Dr Matthew Collins

Assistant Professor in Economics

J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, University of Galway

Development Economics; Education for Sustainable Development; Gender Equality

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Dr Matthew Collins

Matthew works in the area of applied microeconomics, with special focus on labour and development economics.  He studies the drivers of and the returns to the production of human capital, as well as the determinants of intrahousehold inequalities in educational attainment. 

Matthew's work contributes to these SDGs

SDG 1,4,5,8,10


Development Economics is taught on the MSc in Global Environmental Economics and is organized around the transformative question “Why are some countries rich and others poor?” This is one of the oldest and most important questions in Economics - Adam Smith’s “The Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations”, was published in 1776. This course introduces students to the field of Development Economics. The objective of the course is to equip students with a greater understanding of the process of economic development and the challenges faced by nations and individuals in the developing world. The course covers a range of topics in development economics from a theoretical and an empirical perspective.

The course begins with reviewing the theories of economic growth and the development process. It focuses on the role of physical, human and social capital, technology and population growth in economic development. Specific attention is paid to the relationships between inequality, poverty and economic growth. Thereafter, the course covers a set of topics of relevance to developing economies, such as health, education, gender, culture and climate.

Focused on Targets:1.6. 4.7. 8.1, 10.1

Environmental Economic Modelling This module covers a number of key economic modelling approaches typically applied in environmental economics. Topics covered are revealed and stated preference techniques, empirical estimation in climate economics, as well as GIS and spatial methods. The course has an applied policy focus and students learn to estimate and apply several quantitative models, as well as to critically evaluate empirical articles and discuss their policy relevance.

Supporting Target: 4.7


Matthew has worked on projects with The Economic and Social Research Institute Behavioural Economics and the Economics of Energy Efficiency. In 2022 he was a visiting researcher at the Norwegian School of Economics. His early work has included working papers like this one on residential energy efficiency investments with the ESRI.

Direct impact SDG Targets

1.B - Create pro-poor and gender-sensitive policy frameworks

4.1 - Free primary and secondary education

4.2 - Equal access to quality pre-primary education

4.6 - Universal literacy and numeracy

4.7 - Education for sustainable development and global citizenship

5.1 - End discrimination against women and girls

5.2 - End all violence against and exploitation of women and girls

5.A - Equal rights to economic resources, property ownership and financial services

5.C - Adopt and strengthen policies and enforceable legislation for gender equality

8.1 - Sustainable economic growth

10.1 - Reduce income inequalities

SDG wheel
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Photo by Diego PH on Unsplash

Photo by Diego PH on Unsplash


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Photo by Daniel Zbroja on Unsplash

Photo by Daniel Zbroja on Unsplash

Featured Publications



Bietenbeck, Jan, and Matthew Collins. "New evidence on the importance of instruction time for student achievement on international assessments." Journal of Applied Econometrics 38.3 (2023): 423-431.


Collins, Matthew, and Lundstedt, Jonas, "The Effects of More Informative Grading on Student Outcomes." Working Paper (2021)


Collins, Matthew. Sibling Gender, Inheritance Customs and Educational Attainment. Working Paper (2022)

4.1; 5.a; 10.3

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