Growth Week 2011

Taking place from 19-21 September 2011 at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Growth Week 2011 brought together the IGC’s international network of scholars, institutional partners and policy makers in partner countries in Africa and South Asia to report on recent developments and highlight the emerging policy questions in country contexts.

The formal sessions of Growth Week were a mixture of ten research themes focused on policy audiences (Agriculture, Climate Change, Environment and Natural Resources, Finance, Firm Capabilities, Governance, Accountability and Political Economy, Human Capital, Infrastructure and Urbanisation, Macroecononics, State Capabilities and Trade) and eleven country programme sessions (Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, India Central and Bihar, Mozambique, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Zambia). The sessional framework was enveloped by space for networking and side-line meetings to discuss fresh ideas on the interface of research and policy. In the evenings, there were three public sessions, featuring a range of distinguished speakers.

All Growth Week 2011 sessions, including downloadable presentations and audio files, are available below.

Featured audio/video



Ideas for Growth Session 1: Agriculture

The Ideas for Growth Session on Agriculture comprised two presentations: the ‘Impact of Training on Farmer Productivity and Profits in Ghana’ by Robert Darko Osei (University of Ghana) and ‘Sugar mills: Ownership, productivity and crop choice’ by Sandip Sukhtankar (Dartmouth University). Three discussants contributed to the presentation.

Ideas for Growth Session 2: Macroeconomics

The Ideas for Growth Session on Macroeconomics focused on International Capital Flows. Francesco Caselli chaired the session and Maurice Obstfeld (UC Berkeley) presented ‘Stories of the twentieth century for the twenty-first’. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas (UC Berkeley) presented ‘Global liquidity and the reform of the international monetary system’ and Veronica Rappoport (Colombia) presented ‘Dissecting the Effect of Credit Supply on Trade: Evidence from Matched Credit-Export Data’. Subir Gokarn (Reserve Bank of India) and Danny Leipziger (George Washington School of Business) were the discussants.

Ideas for Growth Session 3: Infrastructure and Urbanisation

The Ideas for Growth Session on Infrastructure and Urbanization comprised three presentations focusing on cases in Delhi, Beijing and Brazil. The slideshow here includes the presentations from Abhijit Banerjee (MIT Department of Economics) on ‘The effect of a voter mobilization campaign on the delivery of urban public goods: evidence from Delhi’ and from Matt Kahn (UCLA) on ‘Can Government Investment in Urban Public Goods Hurt the Poor? Evidence from Beijing’. N.K. Singh, Member of Parliament (India) was the discussant.

Country Session 1: Mozambique

The Country Session on Mozambique was divided into two parts: ‘The Future of Agriculture and Economic Growth in Mozambique’ and ‘Urbanisation and Low Income Housing in Maputo’. Six presentations were given and included topics such as agricultural policy and agricultural modernisation.

Country Session 2: Ethiopia

The Country Session on Ethiopia involved seven participants and was divided into two parts: ‘The Macroeconomic Consequences of the Growth and Transformation Plan’ and ‘The Ethiopian Green Revolution- Patterns and Sources of Progress’. It was chaired by John Page, Country Director IGC-Ethiopia.

Country Session 3: Ghana

The Country Session on Ghana commenced with a presentation on financial deepening and economic growth in Ghana by Robert Darko Osei (University of Ghana) entitled ‘Examining the Underinvestment in Agriculture: Capital Constraints and Risk’ and was followed by a panel discussion. The presentation is unfortunately unavailable for download.

Country Session 4: India Bihar

The Country Session on India-Bihar began with an introduction and opening remarks, followed by five presentations on topics such as children’s health and education policies. The presentations were followed by a round table discussion on the topic of ‘Bihar – Transformation to a Developed State by 2015: Challenges Ahead’.

Panel Session: 'Building Effective Cities'

Getting fragile states on a path of sustainable economic growth is currently a key policy imperative. This session discussed ways of breaking out of a political equilibrium that creates state fragility and creating one that generates sustained economic growth. Paul Collier is director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies, Oxford University. Sushil Kumar Modi is deputy chief minister of Bihar, India. The session took place on 19 September 2011 in Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE.

Ideas for Growth Session 4: Firm capabilities

The Ideas for Growth Session on Firm Capabilities posed the question ‘Where does employment generation come from?’ Three presentations were delivered followed by two discussants’ responses.

Ideas for growth session 5: Governance

The session was chaired by Gerard Padro i Miquel (LSE; IGC) and organized around research on understanding and improving electoral accountability. The first speaker, Macartan Humphreys (Columbia), presented a case study on citizen empowerment and political accountability in Uganda. The main purpose of the study was to understand how accountability and transparency affect voters’ decisions and alters politicians’ behaviour, once the latter are aware that their performance is being scrutinized prior to elections. The results of the intervention suggest that peoples’ election was largely independent of the score a politician got, whereas the peer assessment of politicians was very predictive of whether they were getting elected. Furthermore, people who thought that their representatives were good but their performance scores turned out to be low reported a downward adjustment in their assessment.

The second speaker, Pedro Vicente (Universidade Nova de Lisboa) presented research on how an NGO-conducted campaign against electoral violence can help undermine violence, drawing on a case study of Nigeria. The main results include: the anti-violence campaign increased the sense of security of the general population; the campaign increased empowerment to counteract electoral violence; the campaign increased voter turnout by 7-11 percentage points, and; it decreased the intensity of violence as reported by journalists.

The session followed with Michael Callen’s (UCSD/UCLA) evidence from a field experiment in Afghanistan on institutional corruption and electoral fraud. His research showed that a lack of constraints on election officials may be a serious obstacle to free and fair elections; political connections facilitate access to impunity, and; there is strong evidence that suggests that reducing fraud increases popular support. The discussions were enriched by a more practical perspective given by Barbara Smith (Carter Center) and Miriam Golden (UCLA). They suggested that working with domestic observers, although underfunded is of paramount importance in reducing fraud. Furthermore, they expressed concerns stemming from the field that even if electoral violence and fraud are effectively eliminated, political corruption may continue to distort outcomes and accountability.

Growth Week 2011 - Ideas for Growth Session 6: Human Capital

The Ideas for Growth Session on Human Capital was chaired by Steve Machin (University College London) and divided into two parts: ‘Vocational training’ and ‘Competition and educational productivity’. Speakers were from a range of countries including Sierra Leone and the USA.

Country Session 5: Tanzania

The Country Session on Tanzania focused on the Tanzania National Development Vision and discussed emerging research issues. The session also comprised a panel discussion on the topic of ‘Issues of fiscal and debt policy, industrial development, and raising rural incomes’.

Country Session 6: Rwanda

The Country Session on Rwanda comprised three presentations on topics such as agronomy practices amongst coffee farmers and the Land Tenure Regularization programme. The presentations were followed by an open discussion.

Country Session 7: Bangladesh

The Country Session on Bangladesh was chaired by Wahiduddin Mahmud (Country Coordinator, IGC-Bangladesh) and divided into four main parts: Resource mobilisation; Food and agriculture; Industry; and, Scopes for research with rural and GIS based data. Following the presentations, some concluding remarks were made.

Country Session 8: Sierra Leone

The Country Session on Sierra Leone was chaired by Omotunde Johnson (Country Director, IGC-Sierra Leone) and comprised two presentations by Richard Konteh (Minister of Trade and Industry, Government of Sierra Leone) on strategies to reduce the cost of doing business and Sheku Sesay (Governor, Bank of Sierra Leone) on the role of the financial sector in fostering trade and investment in Sierra Leone.

Country Session 5/6: Tanzania and Rwanda Joint Session on 'Toward Monetary Union in East Africa'

The topic of the joint Country Session of Rwanda and Tanzania was ‘Toward Monetary Union in East Africa’. It focused on the progress and challenges of progress towards creating an East African monetary union. Three presentations were followed by an open discussion.

Relevant Capabilities and Industrial Development: stories from Sub-Saharan Africa

Good advice for governments intervening to promote industrial development can only come from a detailed understanding of countries’ industrial capabilities, and institutional frameworks. The aim of the “Enterprise Map” project is to provide this information. John Sutton is a Professor of Economics at LSE.

Ideas for Growth Session 7: Finance

The Ideas for Growth session on Finance was divided into two parts: macro finance; and mobile banking. Leading economists and policy-makers participated in the discussions.

Ideas for Growth Session 8: State Capabilities

The Ideas for Growth Session on State Capabilities included presentations on topics such as federal tax income in Pakistan and community health workers in Zambia.

Ideas for Growth Session 9: Climate Change, Environment and Natural Resources

The Ideas for Growth Session on Climate Change, Environment and Natural Resources was chaired by Michael Greenstone (MIT) and made up of five speakers who discussed issues such as oil revenues in Ghana and industrial and air pollution.

Country Session 9: Zambia

The Country Session on Zambia was made up of three presentations on the topics of constraints to growth in Zambia and mineral taxation. The presentations were followed by an open discussion.

Ideas for Growth Session 10: Trade

Ideas for Growth Session 10: Trade

Ideas for Growth Session 10: India-Central

The Country Session on India-Central was divided into three main parts: a series of research presentations looking at topics as diverse as urban air quality and public health insurance; a short presentation on the IGC India-Central offices in Delhi and Kolkata; and, a roundtable discussion.

Ideas for Growth Session 11: Pakistan

The Country Session on Pakistan was made up of presentations on a series of topics including tax, asset transfer programmes and firm capability in Pakistan.

Cities and Economic Development

Urban areas are the most productive parts of the developing world, yet concentrated urban poverty presents some of the biggest policy challenges. This debate will address the potential and the challenges of economic development in urban areas. Sergio Cabral is Governor of the State of Rio de Janeiro. N K Singh is a member of the Indian Parliament. Tony Venables is Professor of Economics at Oxford University.