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  • Blog post

    Tracking constraints to micro-enterprise growth in Kenya and Uganda

    Existing surveys that aim to measure and track barriers to business growth often under-represent micro-enterprises and small informal firms. Our pilot, which targeted a sample of small scale entrepreneurs in Kenya and Uganda in a survey conducted by phone, suggests that such enterprises may face a very different set of constraints to growth. This exposes a potential...

    14 Feb 2019 | Tavneet Suri

  • Blog post

    Management in Pakistan: Performance and conflict

    Research on Pakistan offers a fascinating insight into the impact of terrorist events on the deterioration of managerial practices.  The causes and consequences of the vast dispersion in productivity within and across countries has been the subject of research for decades. Recently, researchers have woken up to the important role of management practices in firms to...

    6 Feb 2019 | Ali Choudhary, Renata Lemos, John Van Reenen

  • Blog post

    Rethinking VAT: Making sense of Zambia’s policy U-turn on VAT

    On 28 September 2018, the Zambian Minister of Finance, Margaret Mwanakatwe, in her maiden budget address to Parliament, announced a major policy change set to turn the Zambian tax system on its head. Effective April 2019, Zambia will abolish Value Added Tax (VAT) and replace it with a non-refundable sales tax. This move re-opened a policy debate: Which consumption tax is...

    4 Feb 2019 | Twivwe Siwale

  • Blog post

    The effects of electricity price increases on the poor in Zambia

    The distribution of electricity subsidies and access to the grid is skewed towards rich households, resulting in an increase in extreme poverty. However,  budget neutral mitigation strategies lead to larger reductions in extreme poverty compared to the baseline scenario. In 2016, the electricity crisis in Zambia reached its peak, with daily load shedding of up to 12 hours...

    30 Jan 2019 | Mashekwa Maboshe, Grieve Chelwa

  • Blog post

    IGC Quick Clicks: A new world order in the making? Highlights from Davos

    A short summary of the main themes covered at the 2019 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting. “It can’t be business as usual amid constant protests, riots, shutdowns and escalating social tensions”. These words were written by Seth Klarman, touted as the next Warren Buffet by Fortune, and titled the ‘most successful and influential investor you've probably never...

    25 Jan 2019 | Nidhi Parekh

  • Blog post

    The politics of public sector and tax reform in Lebanon

    In Lebanon, rain from the latest storm was seen dripping through the cracks in Beirut’s bridges. This image aptly summarises the country’s deteriorating infrastructure, which is due to woeful public finances and decades of negligence. Until now, the focus has been on improving the resilience of the financial and banking systems, and immediate structural reforms, to...

    24 Jan 2019 | Moussa Saab

  • Blog post

    New research findings on firms in five graphs

    The productivity gap between firms in developed and developing countries is large. Recent research has focused on both the obstacles and opportunities in bridging this gap. This blog presents new findings, presented in five graphs, from up-and-coming economists exploring firm productivity in developing countries. Evidence shows firms are much less productive in developing...

    18 Jan 2019 | Emilie Yam

  • Blog post

    The trade and industrialisation nexus: A pathway for development

    There is no single country that has managed to reach a high-income level without first undergoing an industrialisation process. Even the few exceptions of rich countries with a large natural resource base, such as Canada and Australia, built a strong and relatively diversified industrial park. Perhaps the main question is what kind of industrialisation process the current...

    14 Jan 2019 | André Castro

  • Blog post

    Improving asset and debt management in developing cities

    Many developing cities have a large pool of wealth in their public assets, however they lack the inventory and strategic capacities required to untap the potential revenue. Well managed cities are able to harness their assets, ensuring they have predictable streams of finance that can be used to pursue inclusive and sustainable development plans. Strategic management of...

    9 Jan 2019 | Mihaly Kopanyi, Mila Friere

  • Blog post

    Challenges and choices in the Rwandan education system: R3 roundtable discussion

    Education is a vital part of any economic growth strategy. However, implementation in Rwanda must overcome a number of challenges including dropout rates, nutrition, teaching hours, teacher recruitment and management, and the need to develop a reading culture. In this blog post, Jonathan Bower describes presentations by researchers from Laterite and from Georgetown...

    7 Jan 2019 | Jonathan Bower