Request for research proposals
Macro-fiscal analysis and policy modelling

The United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), together with the National Treasury of South Africa, is requesting research proposals under the second phase of the Southern Africa – Towards Inclusive Economic Development (SA-TIED) programme. The papers generated under this Request for Research Proposals (RfRP) will be published as a part of the macro-fiscal analysis and policy modelling workstream of the programme. Submission deadline: 15 September 2022, 23:59 UTC+3.

PDF icon See the full Request for Research Proposals

Background

United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), together with its partners, now invites research proposals for the second phase of the Southern Africa Towards Inclusive Economic Development (SA-TIED) programme.

Arguably, one of South Africa’s main challenges is to generate economic growth that is inclusive, thus reducing unemployment, poverty, and inequality. Both fiscal and monetary policy might play a role in this. Investigating the roles of fiscal and monetary policy and understanding the nature and drivers of investment and economic growth in South Africa, the following are priority research areas:

  • The role of fiscal anchors (fiscal targets) to guide sustainable fiscal policymaking and execution. The South African government is no stranger to some form of fiscal anchors. Even the GEAR strategy in the late 1990s had broad guiding targets, while in more recent years the government used expenditure ceilings. The usefulness of such targets, their design, implementation and especially the corrective steps and systems in place should the government deviate from a target, are all important questions.
  • Fiscal risk as key component of fiscal policymaking. Increasingly it is recognised that budgeting and fiscal policymaking entail more than setting the levels of revenue, expenditure, deficits, and debt. These activities are also subject to risk. Accounting and planning for these risks, will require fiscal risk management to be included explicitly in fiscal policymaking. How this should be done, and which risks are likely to play a significant role in future will require extensive research, drawing on a relatively recent, but fast-expanding literature. (Examples include the unexpected impact of COVID-19 on health and social expenditure, and the unexpected impact of events resulting from climate change on expenditure.) 
  • The macro-fiscal position in support of sustainable and inclusive economic growth. This will focus on the role of fiscal and monetary policy in improving economic growth, and reducing unemployment, poverty, and inequality. It will also look at changes needed in the size and composition of expenditure and revenue measures to support sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
  • The determinants of (potential) economic growth, investment, and total factor productivity, both on a macroeconomic and sectoral level.
  • The co-ordination of fiscal and monetary policy in support of macroeconomic stability and sustainable economic growth.
  • Monetary policy and inflation; micro- and macro-prudential policy and financial stability, and economic growth. 

Against this backdrop, UNU-WIDER together with the National Treasury of South Africa announce a Request for Research Proposals on topics within the above research areas.

Offer and expectations

UNU-WIDER and the National Treasury of South Africa invite proposals from qualified researchers for papers examining the questions as outlined above. Papers that pass initial screening will be considered for publication under UNU-WIDER copyright as an SA-TIED research paper and possibly also in the WIDER Working Paper Series. The working papers need to be written in English and limited to 10,000 words or less (inclusive of text, tables, figures, footnotes, references, etc. — further information is found here). Papers may use either theoretical or empirical approaches.

Proposals from individuals (or groups of individuals) as well as non-profit organizations are welcome. Applications from women and South African researchers are particularly encouraged. Proposals may address one or more of the research questions.

Read the full announcement for more information.

Dates (UTC+2)
1 August 2022 launch of request for research proposals
31 August 2022 deadline for questions on the proposal process
15 September 2022 proposal submission deadline
13 October 2022 target date for informing on funding decisions
28 February 2023 target date for submission of first draft of papers
Week of 20 March 2023 target date for work-in-progress workshop
20 April 2023 target date for submission of revised near-final draft papers and a one-page summary of key findings

*Knowledge-sharing events will be planned subsequently.

Proposal submission procedure

Submission of proposals is done electronically by using the online form on the RFRP announcement page. There are three forms to select from: one for individuals, another for groups of individuals, and a third for non-profit organizations. Please familiarize yourself with the form in advance.

Any questions on the proposal process should be sent to research-proposal@wider.unu.edu by 31 August 2022. All queries and responses will be published on the RfRP announcement page. Selected answers will be updated on a rolling basis.

See full request for research proposals