October 24, 2014. Students from the African School of Economics eagerly awaited the arrival of Mr. Victor Pouliquen, an impact evaluation consultant from the World Bank, who came to ASE to explain the research and job opportunities at this international financial institution.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Pouliquen, a graduate of the Paris School of Economics and the Toulouse School of Economics, expressed his satisfaction in the emergence of an economic vocation school in Africa. Before starting with the agenda of the seminar, he made ​​a brief presentation of the objectives and methodology related to the current empirical study he is conducting in partnership with the Institute for Empirical Research in Political Economy (IERPE).

To link this research project with his work at the World Bank, Mr. Pouliquen began by defining the characteristics of good research. He emphasized the importance of a well-defined research question. According to Pouliquen, research is not an end in itself, rather it is designed to meet a specific need. Research must address a question to which no solution has yet been found. A good researcher must always ask how his/her findings are in the interest of the community. Although mastering in mathematics, macroeconomics, microeconomics, and econometrics is required to conduct a good research project, it is not sufficient to find an innovative research question. Hence, according to Pouliquen, a good researcher needs not only to assimilate these courses, but also develop his/her intuition for identifying paradoxical situations worthy of academic research.

Mr. Pouliquen used his experience in screening job applications to advise ASE students on how to successfully obtain an internship with the World Bank. In his opinion, many candidates are rejected due to a misunderstanding of the mission and functions of the World Bank. Thus, the key to understanding a company’s mission and functions is through exhaustive consultation with friends, professors, and the company’s website. For example, the World Bank’s website includes all the necessary information for formulating an impeccable application. Prof. Leonard Wantchekon advised students to ensure that they write their cover letters in a professional style, free from grammar and spelling errors; applying to internships and jobs requires an ample amount of preparation.

Finally, the seminar ended with a Q&A session from ASE students. They were interested in the activities of the World Bank, how the World Bank accounts for gender issues, and the World Bank’s consideration for the Millennium Development Goals.

Prof. Leonard Wantchekon introducing Mr. Victor Pouliquen, World Bank consultant, to the students of ASE

Mr. Victor Pouliquen sharing his advice on applying to World Bank internships

October 21, 2014. The African School of Economics (ASE) is proud to announce the launch of four Research Programs to foster high-caliber academic research and to grow the community of scholarship. Each Research Program brings together scholars from ASE’s faculty and research team, in addition to the global community of first-class academics at ASE’s international partner universities (i.e. Princeton University, the University of Ottawa, etc.). ASE’s Research Programs will actively participate in research projects sponsored by government agencies, international organizations and private corporations.

To help organize, focus, and leverage the work of ASE’s research community, the Research Programs focus on four research domains:

  1. Political Economy & Governance
  2. Human Development
  3. Infrastructure and Rural Development
  4. Finance & Management

 

Political Economy & Governance Research Program:

The Political Economy & Governance Research Program covers political and economic institutions in Africa with a focus on elections, decentralization, public administration and regional integration. Key pieces of the program include public opinion research with Afrobarometer and randomized experiments on democracy and governance.

Human Development Research Program:

The Human Development program will examine a full range of topics on education and public health.  Topics of interest include education and social mobility, aspirations and human capital externalities, emergency care, and management of infectious disease outbreak. Our scholarship offers ideas on institutional and policy reform to ensure sustainable human development.

Infrastructure and Rural Development Research Program:

The path to rural development comes through enhancing sustainable energy, reducing transportation costs and facilitating access to markets. The Rural Infrastructure Research Program involves topics such as rural infrastructure and food security, water and sanitation, the political economy of infrastructure provision.

Finance & Management Research Program:

The Finance and Management program addresses challenges to the development of the private sector in Africa through high caliber academic research. Topics of interest include banking management, financial regulation, firm fragmentation, and microfinance.

 

Each Research Program will manage a variety of seminars, forums, a blog, and regular academic discussion groups relating to their respective area of focus. The ASE research community welcomes interested scholars to engage and contribute to ASE’s Research Programs.

Contact: Ms. Courtney Quinney, ASE Research Coordinator (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

 

October 20, 2014. The African School of Economics (ASE) welcomed a representative from Nigeria’s Centre for Public Policy Alternatives (CPPA) to discuss internships and research opportunities with students. Professor Wantchekon briefly introduced Dr. Olufemi Olarewaju, a CPPA Research Fellow with a PhD in Public Affairs from the University of Texas. Dr. Olarewaju has an extraordinary background in environmental sustainability, business, and public policy.

The Centre for Public Policy Alternatives’ research focuses on public policy solutions to issues of population living standards and state capacity in Sub-Saharan Africa. According to Dr. Olarewaju, it is important to think about how we can utilize statistics, such the median age in Nigeria, to develop sound policy solutions.

ASE students asked Dr. Olarewaju about the availability and application process of internships and research programs at CPPA. Dr. Olarewaju emphasized the need to think differently about research. CPPA does not need the physical presence of students; rather they need the ideas of students. In the end, Dr. Olarewaju stressed the need for students to focus and work hard on their studies.

 

Under the authority of the President of the African School of Economics (ASE), the Director of Finance and Administration will coordinate all services and activities related to the Department of Administration and Finances. This position is critical in guaranteeing the administrative and financial operations of ASE. The successful candidate will work directly with the secretariat, finance and human resources teams, in addition to the Department of Communications, Academic Affairs, Operations and Planning.

Read the full description here

October 14, 2014. Last Tuesday, Prof. Agnes Zabsonre presented a seminar to students, staff, and researchers at the African School of Economics (ASE). She began by describing the main idea of her research, which was to assess the impact of scaling up active antiretroviral therapy (ART) on risky sexual behaviors in Burkina Faso. Recent literature suggests that with an increase in access to ART, people will engage in riskier sexual behavior. She builds a model containing endogenous binary variables and uses a two-year panel data set from Burkina Faso.

Prof. Agnès Zabsonré presenting some data and statistics     

     The audience was very interested in Prof. Zabsonre’s research, as her research question was dynamic and relevant. The audience’s interest led to an enriching debate about the issue of AIDS in Africa. Some students questioned Prof. Zabsonre as to why she choose the variables in her model. These students were keen to understand the intuition behind Prof. Zabsonre’s model.

     In conclusion, Prof. Zabsonre shows that increasing access to antiretroviral therapy does not necessarily lead to an increase in risky sexual behaviors. By using panel data, the results of her research are contrary to the results of previous literature. Instead, Prof. Zabsonre finds that there is a significant reduction in risky sexual behavior associated with an improvement in the availability of antiretroviral therapy in Burkina Faso. The results also suggest that there is less risky sexual behavior when people are more educated.

Zabsonre seminar3

Gaetan Tchakounte (right) questions Prof. Zabsonre on her research

 

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Still of the research seminar