Photo: Kana Lucie Assonfack presents on "Impact of child labor on school attendance and attainment: Case study of Cameroon."

December 14, 2017: ASE’s third annual Summer Institute for Economic Research (SIER), launched December 14th on ASE’s new campus. Bringing together researchers from various countries and academic interests to present multidisciplinary research, SIER’s first day engaged students, researchers, and policy makers from around the continent through four panels.

The first panel, Institutions & Governance, consisted of four papers from seasoned academics.  Dr. Pierre Nguimkeu of Georgia State University and Leonard Wantchekon of ASE and Princeton University presented a joint paper entitled “Randomized Evaluation of Institutions,” focusing primarily on the evaluation and identification of the intrinsic effect of a policy-making process or an institution. Professor Ian Heffernan of ASE and Princeton University presented From Institutions to Culture Experimental Evidence,” a paper questioning the causal relationship between democratic institutions, quality of institutions and civic capital. IREEP Research Associate Andre Gueguehoun also discussed his ongoing project on bureaucratic monitoring, hoping to determine effects of formal, centralized observation on local government performance. William Asante from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) closed the panel with an engaging presentation on the determinants of electoral decisions in Ghana’s 2016 Parliamentary Elections.

The Human Capital panel, chaired by ASE’s Markus Olapade, centered upon a wide variety of topics. Elizabeth Addy, a PhD candidate from GIMPA, shared research on succession planning in Ghanaian institutions, while Deo-Gracias Houndolo, a PhD candidate at the International Institute of Social Studies, questioned and reexamination the field’s measuring and evaluation of human capital at large.

The Microfinance panel, chaired by Professor David Gbaguidi, exhibited papers ranging from economic informality and exogenous shocks to mobile money adoption. ASE professor Messan Agbaglah examined the low rates of mobile money adoption in Togo, while GIMPA PhD Candidate focused on budget governance in Ghana. The panel concluded with an analysis of monetary union policies in ECOWAS, conducted by Mazu Amoudath of Université de Gaston Berger de Saint Louis.

The day concluded with a panel on Infrastructure, addressing a diverse array of structural questions relevant to sub-Saharan Africa. Professor Alice Bonou Fandohan (ASE) explored the ramifications of flooding on farming, poverty, and community expenditure (here). Policy experts also participated, as Senouwa Hectore Kpangon from Cooperation Technique Belge presented an ongoing project aimed at creating sustainable, environmentally friendly rice-parboiling processes.

Numerous ASE Pre-doctoral fellows were granted the opportunity to present their research, further cementing ASE’s dedication to the professional and academic training of young economists on the continent.

Lucie Assonfack and Gaïus Ahamide contributed to the Human Capital panel, as Kana discussed the impact of child labor on school attendance and attainment in Cameroon, while Ahamide provided research linking the health insurance industry in Africa to aggregate labor supply. Wilfried Adohinzin and Caroline Tossou participated in the Macrofinance panel - Adohinzin examined how large informal sectors absorb negative technology shocks, and Tossou evaluated the implication of Benin’s new Government Action Plan (GAP). Horace Gninafon contributed to the infrastructure panel through the examination of natural disasters’ effects on poverty and community expenditure.

 

The interactive and engaging first day of panels set the tone for the remainder of the conference. Through additional panels, lectures, and training sessions, ASE, through SIER, plans to continue its promotion of progressive and relevant research, facilitating networks and collaborations between academics and policy makers.