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In pictures: Household surveys and behavioural games in rural Mozambique

by Eeva Nyyssönen
Over the past few months, we have been carrying out extensive research in Mozambique as part of the Inequality and governance in unstable democracies – the mediating role of trust project. The research aims to understand the long-term impacts of cotton concessions —a forced labour system implemented in colonial Mozambique 1938–1961— on the country’s present-day attitudes and social cohesion. This unique data is collected through individual-level surveys and...

Direct support to small scale farmers reduces poverty

by Jukka Pirttilä, Mari Kangasniemi
Over half of Zambia’s population lived below the national poverty line in 2015. In rural areas, where 89% of households are engaged in agriculture, the poverty rate was even higher, at 77% of the population. Coffee harvest at a farm in Zambia. Photo by Oleksandr Rupeta/NurPhoto via Getty Images   The government runs several programmes of financial support for farmers. Some provide agricultural inputs directly to households. Agricultural input subsidies...

Pay inequality is high in South Africa

by Ihsaan Bassier
South Africa is one of the most unequal countries in the world. This income inequality is mostly due to high unemployment and large differences in wages. In South Africa today, economists and policymakers typically focus on worker characteristics such as education to address wage inequality. Elsewhere, however, attention has recently returned to the power that bosses have to set the wages of workers. In my study, I document that employer wage-setting explains over a third of...

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Urban poverty: cities, slums, and the need for policy action

Developing countries will be predominantly urban by 2030...

Social mobility India Urbanization
What would be the economic consequences of a military stalemate in Ukraine?

Russia’s war in Ukraine may reach a stalemate as neither side appears in reach of a military victory. Unless a settlement can be agreed, a frozen conflict may emerge, which will delay economic recovery in Ukraine...

Tools for effective tax administration

The importance of conducting high-quality analysis for policy advice cannot be understated. The UNU-WIDER Winter School for tax policy research delivered the right tools for my day-to-day work...

Tax administration Tax policy UNU-WIDER Winter School
Opportunities beyond lecture rooms – widening my career perspectives as a UNU-WIDER PhD fellow

It was surreal to take a springtime walk along the harbor in Helsinki on my way to UNU-WIDER’s headquarter offices for the first time. My initial application to the UNU-WIDER PhD Fellowship programme had been rejected...

UNU-WIDER PhD Fellowship Capacity building Capacity development
Lives can be improved when policymakers and researchers collaborate

My motivation for doing economics research comes from the wish to see every human being have their basic needs met and enjoy their life. My interest is in public economics...

Public economics Tax policy Tax-benefit microsimulation
Experiences from UNU-WIDER Winter School 2022: One of the best global training programmes in tax research

Across Africa, governments are now waking up to the fact that taxation targets or economic development goals will not be met without policies that are based on scientific evidence...

Tax policy Public economics UNU-WIDER Winter School
Electoral politics and Mexico’s COVID-19 vaccine roll-out

Government responsiveness is an integral feature of representative democracy. Its importance could be amplified in times of crisis, especially if citizens cannot rely on market actors for help...

COVID-19 COVID-19 policy response COVID-19 vaccine
Digital platforms and job search: Experimental evidence from Mozambique

Digital technologies can be deployed to improve job search, but their effectiveness in practice is disrupted...

Informality Job search Unemployment
Sales recovered faster from the pandemic than employment: Evidence from tax administrative and survey data in Zambia

Like most other countries, the government of Zambia introduced restrictions to control COVID-19, which considerably curtailed normal economic activity...

Competitiveness Debt Finance
State assigned property rights and revenue collection in sub-Saharan Africa

Across sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries there are striking differences in citizen willingness to pay taxes...

Fiscal capacity Building State Capabilities State capacity
Are autocratic states doomed to weak fiscal capacity?

How best to increase and mobilize revenue is a key issue that confronts contemporary developing economies, but the same problems were faced —and solved— by today’s developed economies...

Fiscal states in developing economies: Why do they matter and where do they come from?

Modern states are complex organizations which perform a broad range of functions. They have an important role in economic and human development...

Fiscal capacity State capacity Building State Capabilities
Tax revenues and tax capacity in sub-Saharan Africa

African countries raise lower amounts of tax as a share of national income (GDP) than other countries. Researchers are interested in understanding why this is the case...

Government tax revenue Government revenue domestic resource mobilization
What can the GRD do for policymakers?

A few months ago, I was asked to deliver a lecture at the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies on the UNU-WIDER Government Revenue Dataset (GRD) ...

GRD Domestic revenue mobilization Database
Indonesia, the developer’s dilemma, and Vision 2045

According to the World Bank, Indonesia has reached the upper-middle income status in 2019 after spending almost two decades in the lower-middle income country group...

Research Brief
Are women’s labour force participation rates improving in sub-Saharan Africa? July 2022

Several sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries have achieved substantial economic growth in the past 30 years. Likewise, access to education has considerably expanded, as reflected in rising enrolment rates for both men and women...

Labour supply Gender Sub-Saharan Africa
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