Tag Archives: Institutions

The Burundi crisis: Local Grievances, Ethnicity, and the Economy.

When president Nkurunziza announced his intention to run for a third term, serious unrest exploded in the streets of Bujumbura. In the last three weeks, violent clashes with the police have triggered fears of a new civil war and destabilisation … Continue reading

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From rebellion to electoral violence

Promoting democratisation and elections has been at the core of peace-building missions in post-conflict societies since the end of the Cold War. Recent examples are Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq and Libya, just to name a few. Democratisation … Continue reading

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State Capacity in Developing Countries

A state that is able to protect its citizens, enforce property rights and provide public goods acts as the backbone of a functional economy. Researchers call this ability of the state to carry out its objectives ‘state capacity’, and there … Continue reading

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What is the impact of natural resource booms on income inequality? Some lessons from Australia

Commodity price shocks can have powerful but unequal effects on labour, capital and land. A large literature, often referred to as the ‘Dutch Disease’ literature, documents the effects of these commodity booms on factors of production. An increase in global … 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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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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What comes after the Millennium Development Goals?

In 2000 the United Nations adopted the Millennium Development Declaration, which committed their members to a new global partnership to tackle poverty and other development challenges. In 2005, under the leadership of Jeffrey Sachs, a number of time-bound targets were … Continue reading

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