Economic Research on African Development Successes

Article excerpt

The first of three NBER conferences on "Economic Research on African Development Successes" took place in Cambridge on December 11 and 12, 2009. The conference organizers, all NBER Research Associates, were Sebastian Edwards of the University of California, Los Angeles, Simon Johnson of MIT, and David N. Well of Brown University.

Five of the research projects that were discussed at the meeting were approaching completion. They are:

* "Cape Verde and Mozambique as Development Successes in Sub-Saharan Africa"

Jorge Braga de Macedo, Universidade Nova de Lisboa and NBER, and Luis Brites Pereira, Universidade Nova de Lisboa

* "Lesotho's Export Performance: An African Success Story?"

Lawrence Edwards, University of Cape Town, and Robert Z. Lawrence, Harvard University and NBER

* "Mauritius: African Success Story"

Jeffrey Frankel, Harvard University and NBER

* "Borders or Barriers ?The Impact of Borders on Agricultural Markets in West Africa (Niger, Nigeria)"

Jenny C. Aker, Tufts University; Michael W. Klein, Tufts University and NBER; and Stephen O'Connell, Swarthmore College

* "The Greatest of Ali Improvements: Roads, Agriculture, and Economic Development in Africa"

Douglas Gollin, Williams College, and Richard Rogerson, Arizona State University and NBER

Summaries of these papers, and videos of the corresponding conference presentations, may be found at: http://www.nber.org/confer/2009/ADSf09/summary.html

In addition, a number of other early-stage projects were discussed:

* "The Return to Capital for Small Retailers in Kenya"

Michael Kremer, Harvard University and NBER; Jonathan Robinson, University of California, Santa Cruz; and Olga Rostapshova, Harvard University

* "Deals versus Rules: Policy Implementation Uncertainty and Why Firms Hate It"

Mary Hallward-Driemeier, The World Bank, and Lant Pritchett, Harvard University

* "Family Ties, Inheritance Rights and Successful Poverty Alleviation (Ghana)"

Edward Kutsoati, Tufts University, and Randall Morck, University of Alberta and NBER

* "The Financial System in Burundi: An Investigation of its Efficiency in Resource Mobilization and Allocation"

Leonce Ndikumana, African Development Bank; Janvier Nkurunziza, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD); and Prime Nyamoya, OGI Consulting Group, Burundi

* "An African Success: Banking in Nigeria and the Poor"

Lisa Cook, Michigan State University

* "Evaluating the Effects of Large Scale Health Interventions in Developing Countries: The Zambian Malaria Initiative"

Nava Ashraf, Harvard University and NBER; Gunther Fink, Harvard University; and David N. …