What makes linkages "good" linkages?  Firms, the investment climate and business-support services in Vietnam

Chiara Franco, Marco Sanfilippo, Adnan Seric
IOB Working paper 2015.09

The role of backward linkages between foreign and local firms is considered as a crucial factor to favour the economic development of a country. This work tries to unveil its different dimensions with respect to the Vietnamese case.

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A la recherche d’un ange gardien perdu. Pourquoi et comment assurer une meilleure protection de l’Accord d’Arusha pour la paix et la reconciliation au Burundi?

Stef Vandeginste
IOB Working paper 2015.08

L’Accord d’Arusha constitue un enjeu important de la crise actuelle au Burundi. Ce papier donne une analyse des acquis d’Arusha et suggère comment mieux les protéger à travers des mécanismes institutionnels existants mais à renforcer.

The Arusha Agreement is an important stake of the ongoing crisis in Burundi. This paper analyses the Arusha based achievements and suggests how they may be better protected through existing but strengthened institutional mechanisms.

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Institutional Context, Household Access to Resources and Sustainability of River Basin Resources in Tanzania. Towards an Analytical Framework

Christina Mwivei Shitima
IOB Working Paper 2015.07

River basin resources contribute in diverse ways in the livelihoods of rural people in Tanzania. People living around these areas depend on small scale agriculture, subsistence forestry, artisanal fishing, livestock keepings, artisanal mining and small-scale trade as sources of livelihoods.

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On the creation of Adam:  What debt relief means for education in the DRC

Danny Cassimon, Tom De Herdt and Karel Verbeke
IOB working paper 2015.06

In this paper, we assess to what extent large-scale debt relief, irrevocably granted to DRC in 2010 after a decade long bumpy process, has impacted on post-conflict reconstruction, governance and public service delivery in the country, more particularly in the education sector.

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Fifty shades of grey? Conceptualizing and measuring political regimes using theories of democracy. 1972 – 2010

Mathias De Roeck and Ronan Van Rossem
IOB Working paper 2015

The conceptualization and measurement of the range of political regimes in-between authoritarianism and democracy is characterized by many shades of grey. After the end of the Cold War, scholars formulated numerous new political regime typologies, commonly presented as diminished subtypes of democracy and authoritarianism and as transitional rather than stable institutional forms. Correspondingly, scholars collected data to develop new longitudinal and cross-national measures of political regimes.

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2015.04 Joachim De Weerdt and Kalle Hirvonen | Risk Sharing and Internal Migration

Over the past two decades, more than half the population in our sample of rural Tanzanians has migrated out of their home-communities. We hypothesize that this powerful current of internal migrants is changing the nature of traditional institutions such as informal risk sharing. Mass internal migration has created geographically disperse networks, on which we collected detailed panel data. By quantifying how shocks and consumption co-vary across linked households we show that, while both migrants and stayers insure negative shocks to stayers, there is no one in the network who insures the migrants’ negative shocks. While migrants do share some of their positive shocks, they ultimately end up nearly twice as rich as those at home by 2010, despite practically identical baseline positions in the early nineties prior to migration. Taken together, these findings point to migration as a risky, but profitable endeavour, for which the migrant will bear the risk and also reap most of the benefit. We interpret these results within the existing literature on risk-sharing and on the disincentive effects of redistributive norms.  

JEL codes: O12, O15, O17, R23
Keywords: internal migration, risk, insurance, institutions, Africa, tracking data

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2015.03 Lara Cockx and Nathalie Francken | Natural resource wealth and public social spending in the Middle East and North Africa


This paper investigates the discrepancy between the vast natural resource wealth and the relatively low spending on human development in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Our results show a robust, significant inverse relationship between natural resource dependence and public health spending, and natural resource dependence and public education spending over time. The effects remain significant after controlling for income, aid, the age structure of the population, and the quality of institutions. Moreover, we find a particularly strong resource curse effect of oil on social spending. Despite the mounting burden on MENA‘s economic development models due to significant population growth and the pressing need for diversification, countries have been unable or unwilling to convert natural resource wealth into increased social spending. Governments should be strongly encouraged to manage their natural wealth in an accountable and equitable manner that follows international best practice. Correct taxation of natural resource, and especially, oil wealth should provide the governments with adequate budgets to fund a desirable level of public health provision. Finally, the equity of distribution of education spending could be improved. 

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2015.02 Lara Cockx and Nathalie Francken | Is there a Natural Resource Curse on Education Spending?

This paper contributes to a new line of research in the resource curse literaturethat addresses the link between resource wealth and fiscal policy by empirically investigating  the relationship between natural resource dependence and public education spending. Using a large panel dataset of world countries covering the period from 1995
to 2009, we find robust evidence of a public education spending resource curse. The adverse effect of natural resource dependence on public education expenditures relative to GDP remains significant after controlling for additional covariates such as income, aid, and the age structure of the population. Our results further confirm the existence of indirect effects of resource dependence through a deterioration of government accountability and the crowding-out of more skilled-labour intensive sectors in the economy. Furthermore, our findings indicate that the resource curse effect on the government prioritization of education mainly stems from point-source natural resources. Our results have important implications for managing natural resource wealth in developing countries, as they could achieve particularly high returns by investing resource revenues in public goods such as education. While this paper underlines the importance of institutions and government accountability, our results also raise questions on the role of the extractives industry. The oil, gas and mining industry should consider increasing funding for education through Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives in this sector or through other innovative channels of development finance.

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2015.01 Chika Charles Aniekwe Daniel Egiegba Agbiboa | Civic Engagement and its Role in Mitigating Electoral Violence in Nigeria: Implications for the 2015 General Elections

In May 1999, Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, made an epochal transition to democratic civilian rule following roughly thirty-three years of military dictatorship. Since 1999, Nigeria has held four successive elections, which have all been (more or less) undermined by electoral violence. Despite this recurrent and disturbing trend of electoral violence, few works have attempted to systematically engage with three key questions: why is electoral violence a recurrent phenomenon in Nigeria? Why have there been so few constitutional provisions to mitigate its recurrence? What lessons can be learned from Nigeria’s turbulent electoral past, especially with regards to the role of civic engagement? These are the core questions this paper seeks to address. This paper draws its data primarily from the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES)-Electoral Violence Education and Resolution (EVER) programme, with which the authors were actively involved during the 2007 and 2011 general elections in
Nigeria. To balance any inconsistencies, data derived from a content analysis of IFES reports and cumulative observations will be triangulated and cross-validated with reports of different Election Observation Missions to Nigeria (1999-2011), as well as reports from local and international observation teams and key International NGOs working in the areas of elections and democracy in Nigeria, including National Democratic Institute (NDI), Human Rights Watch (HRW) and International Republican Institute (IRI). The paper thus argues that as Nigeria prepares for 2015 elections, important lessons should be adapted from the IFES-EVER project to ensure robust civic engagement in preventing and mitigating electoral related violence. The use of electoral support networks, link with Nigerian police and other security agencies, constant engagement and information sharing between INEC and all relevant stakeholders as well as biweekly reportage and publication of incidents of electoral violence with names of perpetrators will go a long way in preventing and mitigating incidents of electoral violence in Nigeria 2015 General Elections. Furthermore, crucial attention should also be paid to Nigerian legal and constitutional provisions on electoral violence with the view to reviewing the standards and level of sanctions to perpetrators.

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