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  • Blog post

    Trade liberalisation in developing countries: the importance of roads

    Research on Ethiopia shows that trade liberalisation can boost the productivity of firms in developing countries, but only if they have access to good roads.  Gains from trade liberalisation are not uniform within countries Many developing countries have liberalised trade in the hope that greater international exposure will improve the performance of local firms.  Lower...

    13 Apr 2018 | Marco Sanfilippo, Asha Sundaram

  • Blog post

    Congestion pricing to solve peak-hour traffic jams? Not so fast!

    Evidence from Bangalore shows that congestion pricing is not as effective in reducing travel times as one might presume. Peak-hour pricing only marginally improved travel times, whilst also triggering schedule costs for commuters induced to change their travel times. Traffic congestion is a chronic problem in large cities across the world. Millions of urban commuters...

    6 Apr 2018 | Gabriel Kreindler

  • Blog post

    EU-Africa trade relations: Why Africa needs the economic partnership agreements

    Africa should ratify the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), make use of their flexibilities, if necessary, and hold the EU’s feet to the fire on the implementation of the EPA’s development component. The Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) are trade deals between Europe and regions in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, designed to end preferential treatment...

    26 Mar 2018 | Olu Fasan

  • Blog post

    Can the MSME sector transform the Tanzanian economy?

    Although it’s true that the average MSMEs and informal firm is small and doesn’t grow, this doesn’t mean that MSMEs don’t have a key role to play in economic growth and structural transformation. Evidence suggests that a small number of high growth firms can have a growth and productivity impact. Policy needs to accommodate different types of MSMEs and target policy...

    23 Mar 2018 | Joshua Chipman

  • Blog post

    Informal taxation in rural Kenya

    The informal taxation system in Kenya is widespread and regressive. It responds to changes in permanent income, rather than temporary income, suggesting that permanent income increases are important for public goods provision. A central question in development economics is how to fund public goods such as water resources, roads, and schools. The standard mechanism of doing...

    21 Mar 2018 | Michael Walker

  • Blog post

    US foreign aid: How is it spent?

    Angus Deaton argues that 3-5 million Americans are “as destitute as the world’s poorest people”, and wants us to adjust aid spending accordingly. His argument has flaws: he mixes data and ignores the fact that the US is already spending a lot more domestically than abroad. In late January 2018, Angus Deaton, 2015 Nobel Prize winner for his work on welfare and...

    19 Mar 2018 | Theres Lessing

  • Blog post

    Determinants of global air pollution exposure

    The map below is based on 14 years of remotely sensed measurements of airborne particulates. It shows unsurprising patterns in the distribution of air pollution across the globe. There are high levels of pollution in China, India, and sub-Saharan Africa. Agricultural burning in the Amazon is important for central South America. North America and Europe are relatively...

    16 Mar 2018 | Lorenzo Aldeco, Lint Barrage , Matthew Turner

  • Blog post

    Where are Kampala’s missing houses?

    Kampala is facing a dearth of affordable formal housing. Rural-urban migration, limited access to mortgage finance, and a host of other factors are all straining its housing sector. It is imperative for planners to think of innovative and sustainable ways to address this issue. Rapid urbanisation across sub-Saharan Africa has had far-reaching implications for housing....

    14 Mar 2018 | Astrid Haas, Thierry Hoza Ngoga

  • Blog post

    Understanding how political violence impacts spending patterns

    Using spending pattern insights and media reports of violence, we can see how fear can heavily influence consumers. Politically motivated violence has important economic effects. Apart from the direct impact of terrorism on its victims, it deters investment in education and businesses. The fear of violence has driven millions of people away from their homes every year,...

    12 Mar 2018 | Tim Besley, Thiemo Fetzer, Hannes Mueller

  • Blog post

    Cholera in Zambia: Treating the causes, not the symptoms

    The recurrent cholera outbreaks in Zambia should provoke reflection on the root causes. Together with a strategic focus on improving water and sanitation infrastructure it will be necessary to complement new investments with reforms to address the problem of weak institutions to achieve a lasting solution to the problem. Since October last year, Zambia has been battling a...

    9 Mar 2018 | Miljan Sladoje, Anand Rajaram