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  • Author: Tijan L. Bah, Catia Batista
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Irregular migration to Europe by sea, though risky, remains one of the most popular migration options for many sub-Saharan Africans. This study examines the determinants of irregular migration from West Africa to Europe. We implemented an incentivized lab-in-thefield experiment in rural Gambia, the country with the region’s highest rate of irregular migration to Europe. Male youths aged 15 to 25 were given hypothetical scenarios regarding the probability of dying en route to Europe and of gaining legal residence status after successful arrival. According to the data we collected, potential migrants overestimate both the risk of dying en route to Europe and the probability of obtaining legal residency status. In this context, our experimental results show that providing potential migrants with official numbers on the probability of getting a legal residence permit decreases their likelihood of migration by 2.88 percentage points (pp), while information on the death risk of migrating increases their likelihood of migration by 2.29 pp—although the official numbers should be regarded as a lower bound to actual mortality. Follow-up data collected one year after the experiment show that the migration decisions reported in the lab experiment correlate well with actual migration decisions and intentions. Overall, our study indicates that the migration decisions of potential migrants are likely to respond to relevant information.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, Migration, Internet, Economic growth, Borders, Violence
  • Political Geography: Africa, Gambia
  • Author: Maxim Ananyev, Michael Poyker
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET)
  • Abstract: We demonstrate that civil conflict erodes self-identification with a nation-state even among non- rebellious ethnic groups in non-conflict areas. We perform a difference-in-difference estimation using Afrobarometer data. Using the onset of Tuareg-led insurgency in Mali caused by the demise of the Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi as an exogenous shock to state capacity, we find that residents living closer to the border with the conflict zone experienced a larger decrease in national identification. The effect was greater on people who were more exposed to local media. We hypothesize about the mechanism and show that civil conflict erodes national identity through the peoples’ perception of a state weakness.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, State Formation, State Actors, State, Institutions
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya, Mali
  • Author: Kai Gehring, Lennart C. Kaplan, Melvin H.L. Wong
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Empirical Studies of Conflict Project (ESOC)
  • Abstract: China’s development model challenges the approaches of traditional Western donors like the World Bank. We argue that both aim at stability, but differ in the norms propagated to achieve that. Using fixed effects and IV estimations, we analyze a broad range of subnational stability measures in Africa. Aid by both the WB and China does not increase outright conflict nor any type of citizen protest, on average. Both even reduce outright conflict by governments against civilians. Still, Chinese aid is associated with more government repression and an increased acceptance of authoritarian norms, while WB projects strengthen democratic values.
  • Topic: Development, International Political Economy, Political Economy, World Bank, Developing World
  • Political Geography: Africa, China
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis
  • Abstract: The objective of this study is to estimate the determinants of unemployment in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region using annual data from 2000 to 2016. Given the characteristic of the data, the study adopts Fixed Effect (FE) estimation technique. For further analysis, the study also estimated the ARDL panel model to capture persistence effect of unemployment in the region. The FE results reveals that real GDP, foreign direct investment, consumer price index, credit to the private sector and interest rate are negatively related to unemployment. While trade openness, labour productivity and population have a positive sign. The results estimated with ARDL model are not very different from those of FE model, but we obtained a noticeably smaller estimates for ARDL model. Variables which have negative association with unemployment suggest that they are likely to reduce unemployment. Therefore, such indicators may be of interest to policy makers when formulating unemployment reduction strategies. In terms of policy advise, the study recommends the government of SADC member states to encourage the education system that can equip leaners with entrepreneurial skills and in-job practical skills, in order to promote high success rate of SMMEs as well as to provide skills needed in the labour market. It also recommended enforcement of free trade of goods and services in the region as a means of making the industrial sector an engine of economic growth in order to create much needed employment.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Labor Issues, Employment, Labor Policies, Macroeconomics, Unemployment
  • Political Geography: Africa, Botswana
  • Author: Masedi K. Tshukudu
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis
  • Abstract: It is clear that technology has brought about significant changes in the livelihoods of people, creating new forms of employment and advancing the traditional forms of employment for individuals. Many countries continue to invest in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) with the view to tackling some of the economic challenges such as unemployment. Botswana like other African countries has made annual budgetary allocations towards ICT Infrastructure. Despite, the Government’s efforts to invest and improve access to ICT, the country still faces a high unemployment rate, particularly for the youth. This study therefore, investigates the impact that access to ICTs has on the employment of individuals in Botswana. In order to provide a detailed analysis of the impact of ICTs on employment we apply a probit model for binary choice responses to being employed or not being employed, using the data from the 2014 Botswana Household Access and Individual use of Information Communication Technology Survey carried out by the Statistics Botswana. The empirical results provide evidence that access to ICTs collectively has a positive impact on employment in Botswana. However, disaggregating the ICTs forms presents slightly different results, e-skill training and access to the internet in Botswana are not significant in explaining an individual’s employment status, this may be associated with low uptake of internet and ICTs skills by individuals in Botswana. The policy message from this study is that there is a need for aggressive implementation of collective ICT. [In addition, there is need to improve collective ICTs infrastructure to create more employment].
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Science and Technology, Communications, Information Age, Economic Development
  • Political Geography: Africa, Botswana
  • Author: Daniel F. Runde, Romina Bandura
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) is a small independent federal agency whose mission is to help American “companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority development projects in emerging economies.” USTDA links American businesses to export opportunities in emerging markets by funding activities such as project preparation and partnership building in sectors including transportation, energy, and telecommunications. Since it was established 25 years ago, the agency has generated a total of $61 billion in U.S. exports and supported over 500,000 American jobs. In connecting American business to such opportunities, USTDA also links American technology’s best practices and ingenuity with U.S. trade and development policy priorities. USTDA is an instrument to enable American-led infrastructure development in emerging economies and, therefore, frequently sees increasing competition from government-backed Chinese firms and the challenge they can pose to American commercial engagement under the flag of One Belt, One Road (OBOR). OBOR is paving the way for Chinese engineering, procurement, and construction companies to prepare and develop infrastructure projects in OBOR countries in a way that favors Chinese standards, thereby exerting significant pressure to select Chinese suppliers. This creates a potentially vicious cycle—the more China builds, the faster their standards become the international norm, and, ultimately, this cycle could foreclose export opportunities for U.S. businesses and harm American competitiveness in global infrastructure development. U.S. exporters are increasingly requesting USTDA intervention at the pivotal, early stages of a project’s development, to compete in markets, such as the OBOR countries, where they frequently face Chinese competition. Of note, 40 percent of USTDA’s activities in 2016 were in OBOR countries across South and Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Although there are other agencies that may seem to do work similar to USTDA, there are various aspects that make it a unique agency. This paper provides a brief description of USTDA, its origin and evolution, the impact on the U.S. economy and its proactive collaboration across U.S agencies. Finally, it offers a set of recommendations for USTDA on how to improve its operations and strengthen its role in the developing world.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy, Communications, Infrastructure, Trade, Transportation
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Middle East, Asia, North America
  • Author: Reid Hamel
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Social protection programming, such as cash transfers and vouchers provided at the individual or household level, has become increasingly prominent as a tool to combat food insecurity worldwide. Advantages of a social protection approach include the ability to target and reach the most vulnerable segments of society and to provide direct support for basic needs without reliance on complex causal pathways.The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) invests relatively little in social protection despite its flagship initiative, Feed the Future, which seeks to mitigate food insecurity and to reduce the prevalence of stunting in 12 countries (formerly in 19). Ghana’s LEAP (Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty) program represents an exception to the U.S. investment pattern. In partnership with UNICEF, USAID/Ghana has made noteworthy investments in the expansion of the LEAP cash transfer program to add a new eligible group of beneficiaries: pregnant women and children under one year old. The intention to intervene during pregnancy and the first year of life is motivated by a growing understanding that good nutrition during this window is critical to physical and cognitive health and human development outcomes that last a lifetime. This report explores the development of Ghana’s LEAP program since 2008; its current coverage, successes, and challenges; and opportunities for both the government of Ghana and donor partners to spearhead continuous improvements for program outcomes and resource efficiency.
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, Social Policy, Development Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, North America, Ghana
  • Author: Tamirace Fakhoury
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: Lebanon, a small republic of 6 million inhabitants, is both an ‘emigration prone’ country and a key destination for refugee movements and migrant workers. The presentation will specifically concentrate on Lebanon’s complex relationships with its diaspora communities. After reviewing Lebanon’s history of emigration, it will unpack the Lebanese diaspora’s complex interactions with war and post-war politics. While Lebanese diaspora communities are heavily engaged in their country’s development, economic, community and political activities, the presentation will show that their involvement does not challenge the nature of Lebanon’s sectarian-based model of governance. Rather the political fragmentation of Lebanese abroad replicates and perpetuates modes of sectarian mobilization. Understanding Lebanon’s fragmented “diasporic field” requires accounting for the state’s policy making towards its diaspora communities. The Lebanese state has so far not succeeded in developing an institutionalized policy making apparatus to channel Diasporas’ contributions nor has it extended substantial rights to its diaspora. It remains to be seen whether, and if so how, the recent extension of extraterritorial voting rights would augur a new era of diaspora involvement in Lebanese politics.
  • Topic: Development, Diaspora, Immigration, voting rights
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Asia, Lebanon, Beirut
  • Author: Pamela Anne Bayona, Vincent Martin Beyer, Olayinka Oladeji
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Trade and Economic Integration, The Graduate Institute (IHEID)
  • Abstract: Trade-Restrictive Measures (TRM) are an area of huge concern to importers and exporters in African Union Least Developed Countries (AU LDCs) located in Sub-Saharan Africa. This report identifies and analyses discriminatory government policies that adversely affect AU LDCs over the period 2009 to 2017 by using the Global Trade Alert database, a database that collects information on trade-discriminatory measures implemented by countries worldwide. The research by the students shows that the most frequently encountered TRM types are import tariff measures, tax-based export incentives, trade finance measures, public procurement localisation and export taxes. However, the Global Trade Alert excludes Technical Barriers to Trade and Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures that are formally justifiable as serving public interests, but are typically the most commonly cited as the biggest obstacles to trade. The report also provides policy recommendations and negotiation positions to the AU LDC Countries to move from a defensive trade agenda to an offensive one.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Developing World, Global Political Economy, Free Trade
  • Political Geography: Africa, African Union
  • Author: B.I.B. Kargbo
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: The Sierra Leone economy is a net importer with a chronic negative balance of trade. Imports as a percentage of GDP averaged 40.8% between 2001 and 2010. Imports of food, mineral fuels and lubricants accounted for 50.8% of the total value of imports within the same period. Also, the value of the leone depreciated from Le 920.75 in 1996 to Le 4,000 in 2010 while inflation averaged 12.6% for the same period. As a result of the interplay of these forces, fuel prices are most times adjusted upwards to compensate for the depreciation of the leone against the dollar or to match up with increases in the world price of crude oil. This study determines the effects of monetary environment as well as exchange rate movement and petroleum prices on domestic prices in Sierra Leone by estimating a hybrid model of inflation in which inflation responds to its own lags, lags of other variables, and a set of error-correction terms that represent short run disequilibria from the money market, external sector and output that feed into the inflation process.The empirical results from the parsimonious model show that petroleum product prices and exchange rate, as well as monetary factors determine inflation in Sierra Leone.What is also significant from the findings is that the contribution of petroleum prices to domestic price formation is unfounded in the long run, meaning that it is only a short-run phenomenon. The results also support the view that a fair portion of fluctuations in domestic prices is driven by its own shocks.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy, Economic growth, Inflation
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sierra Leone