Category Archives: Institutions and Growth

Fungibility and off-budget aid

If you’ve been following development blogs for a few years, you probably remember The Great Fungibility Debate of 2010 that was sparked by a paper in the Lancet written by researchers at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. To … Continue reading

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Africa in two recessions

Our spring term ended a few weeks ago. I teach an undergraduate course that focuses on the economic history of the twentieth century. Unsurprisingly, the Great Depression is a major focus. The current mainstream view is that monetary shocks were … Continue reading

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Can social norms interfere with efforts to curb rule-breaking?

In every society, the correct functioning of economic, political and social institutions relies on the establishment and enforcement of norms guiding the behavior of the members of that society. In recent years there has been increasing interest in both the … Continue reading

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Does conflict affect political engagement in Africa?

Last Tuesday, as part of CSAE’s weekly seminar series, James Fenske presented his new working paper on ‘War, Resilience and Political Engagement in Africa’ (co-authored with Achyuta Adhvaryu) in which they test whether early-life war exposure influences later-life political engagement … Continue reading

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Local protectionism in developing economies: evidence from pharmaceutical firms in China

This post is written with Zheng Wang The recent trade literature has shown a growing interest in the analysis of barriers to trade within countries, especially with reference to developing economies such as China. Apart from pure academic curiosity, this … Continue reading

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CSAE conference keynote: Ted Miguel on Conflict, Climate and African Development

This Monday at the 2013 CSAE conference, Edward Miguel, introduced by James Fenske, paid tribute to Paul Collier for inspiring and informing a lot of his work on Civil Wars in Africa. Since the early 1990’s there has been much … Continue reading

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Africans care about jobs; non-Africans care about institutions?

There’s a lot of chatter in the blogosphere about Westerners’ perceptions of Africa, and how poorly they align with Africans’ own views of the challenges their societies face. This week I’m in Oxford, for the annual conference on “Economic Development … Continue reading

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Open Data and Development

“the gentlest hand … modern economy, therefore, is the most effectual bridle ever was invented against the folly of despotism.”  — Sir James Steuart (1767) Hirschmann, in a classic of modern political economy (Exit, Voice and Loyalty, 1977),  questions the effectiveness … Continue reading

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NREGA and rural welfare in India

  In the evaluation of social programs, the first order concern is their effect on beneficiaries. However, there is a growing awareness about “spillovers” or “peer effects”, which could affect non-beneficiaries. In Mexican villages where PROGRESA cash transfers were implemented, … Continue reading

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Economic shocks and conflict: where is the literature headed?

I received news this weekend that the keynote speech for the upcoming CSAE conference will be on “Conflict, climate and economic development in Africa.” The speaker will be Berkley’s Ted Miguel. If you didn’t have a reason to attend the … Continue reading

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