Showing all content in Africa

  • Data Item

    Data: Understanding fiscal capacity in developing economies: Firms as third-party tax enforcers

    This paper presents a simple agency model to explain why third-party income reporting by employers dramatically improves income tax enforcement. Modern firms have a large number of employees and carry out complex production tasks, which requires the use of accurate business records. Because such records are widely used within the firm, any single employee can denounce...

    28 Feb 2019

  • Data Item

    Data: The Political Economy of Sovereign Debt Overhang

    We propose a tractable variant of the open economy neoclassical growth model that emphasizes political economy and contracting frictions. The political economy frictions involve a preference for immediate spending, while the contracting friction is a lack of commitment regarding foreign debt and expropriation. We show that the political economy frictions slow an economy’s...

    28 Feb 2019

  • Blog post

    Why reliability matters in expanding access to electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa

    It is almost a cliché to state that electricity supply is a critical infrastructure. Without it, the quest for sustained and inclusive growth is sure to falter. Yet, across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), access to this critical piece of infrastructure is limited. Currently, two in five Sub-Saharan Africans lack access to electricity (IEA, 2018) While policymakers across the...

    28 Feb 2019 | James Dzansi, Brittany Street, Steve Puller, Belinda Yebuah-Dwamena

  • Data Item

    Data: Multinationals and growth in developing countries

    We argue that social capital as proxied by trust increases aggregate productivity by affecting the organization of firms. To do this we collect new data on the decentralization of investment, hiring, production, and sales decisions from Corporate Headquarters to local plant managers in almost 4,000 firms in the United States, Europe, and Asia. We find that firms...

    28 Feb 2019

  • Data Item

    Data: Developing and Analyzing Firm Level Moments on Productivity and Reallocation

    This paper investigates the effect of idiosyncratic ( frm-level) policy distortions on aggregate outcomes. Exploiting harmonized frm-level data for a number of countries, we show that there is substantial and systematic cross-country variation in the within-industry covariance between size and productivity. We develop a model in which heterogeneous frms face adjustment...

    28 Feb 2019

  • Data Item

    Data: Enabling Microenterprise Development in Sub-Saharan Africa through the Provision of Financial Services

    Most people in rural Africa do not have bank accounts. In this paper, we combine experimental and survey evidence from Western Kenya to document some of the supply and demand factors behind such low levels of financial inclusion. Our experiment had two parts. In the first part, we waived the fixed cost of opening a basic savings account at a local bank for a random subset...

    28 Feb 2019

  • Data Item

    Data: Economic Impact of Urban Property Rights in Tanzania: The Role of Infrastructure

    While multiple studies have shown that a woman’s control over land is positively associated with bargaining power outcomes, few have succeeded in highlighting successful methods for increasing this control. We report on a policy experiment in an unplanned settlement in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, that provided access to formal land titles to informal settlers at randomized...

    28 Feb 2019

  • Data Item

    Data: Managing bureaucracy to improve public service delivery

    We study how the management practices under which public sector bureaucrats operate, correlate to the quantity and quality of public services delivered. We do so in a developing country context, exploiting data from the Nigerian Civil Service linking public sector organizations to the individual projects they are responsible for. For each of 4700 projects, we have hand...

    28 Feb 2019

  • Data Item

    Data: Railroad to Growth: Evaluating the Impact of Investments in Railroads on Firm Behaviour

    This paper investigates the impact of investments in transport infrastructure on firm performance. Using an original survey of approximately 900 firms in Southern Africa, I estimate the impact of access to a railway on firm sales. Exposure to railway infrastructure is instrumented by geographic proximity to the historical layout of a railway line destroyed by a civil war in...

    28 Feb 2019

  • Data Item

    Data: Counteracting Illicit Behaviour During Elections: The Role of Observers and Cell Phones in a Field Experiment

    African elections often reveal low levels of political accountability. We assess different forms of voter education during an election in Mozambique. Three interventions providing information to voters and calling for their electoral participation were randomized: an SMS-based information campaign, an SMS hotline for electoral misconduct, and the distribution of a free...

    28 Feb 2019