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Working Paper CEsA no. 198/2024 sheds light on the concept of cumulative causation and its relevance for explaining economic growth trajectories in Sub-Saharan Africa


CEsA has published the Working Paper no 198/2024, entitled The Relevance of the Concept of Cumulative Causation: Understanding growth trajectories in Sub-Saharan Africa, in English, authored by Alice Nicole Sindzingre. Professor Sindzingre is a CEsA researcher, Research Associate at the CEPN (Paris-North Economics Centre, University Paris-North, France), and at the LAM Research Centre (‘Africas in the World’, National Centre for Scientific Research/CNRS-SciencesPo-Bordeaux, France).

This Working Paper sheds light on the concept of cumulative causation and its relevance for explaining economic growth trajectories in Sub-Saharan Africa. Firstly, it empirically discusses the possibility of divergence between regions and countries, as well as the related theoretical debates. Secondly, it questions the mainstream explanations of growth trajectories: notably the limitations stemming from the pre-eminence of the conceptual framework of equilibrium, as well as the limitations of modelling in the apprehending of causation and consideration of other social sciences. Then it presents the concept of cumulative causation. Finally, it shows the relevance of this concept for the explanation of growth trajectories via the stylised examples of Sub-Saharan Africa vs. East Asian economies.

Click here to access the Working Paper no 198/2024.

Abstract:

Differences in growth trajectories among countries – including the possibility of divergence –, are a central issue in economics. Mainstream economics explain growth processes via varieties of neoclassical models, even improved with concepts such as institutions. Yet such models have difficulties in providing accurate accounts of the growth trajectories of many developing countries, notably low-income ones. It is argued that the growth paths of low-income countries are more appropriately explained by the theoretical framework that relies on the nexus of concepts of cumulative causation, non-linearities, threshold effects, self-reinforcing processes, irreversibility, path dependence and traps – though this approach remains marginal in mainstream economic analyses of growth and development. Firstly, this nexus of concepts is a powerful framework concerning the possibility and explanation of dynamic divergence regarding growth between countries, as it exhibits properties such as: the possibility of cumulative, dynamically self-reinforcing, processes; the existence of thresholds and tipping points; multiple equilibria. Secondly, cumulative causation, by definition, involves a combination of causes: its conceptual framework allows for the integration of several dimensions – economic, political, social, cognitive –, whose combination results in either virtuous or vicious circles. In developing countries, these causes (and their coalescence) typically consist in economic structures (e.g., commodity-based export markets), political institutions and social norms (predatory regimes, high inequality) as well as types of public policies.

About the author:

Alice Nicole Sindzingre is reseacher at CEsA, and Research Associate at the CEPN (Paris-North Economics Centre, University Paris-North, France), and at the LAM Research Centre (‘Africas in the World’, National Centre for Scientific Research/CNRS-SciencesPo-Bordeaux, France). She taught in 2008-2010 at SciencesPo-Paris and in 2010-2014 in the department of economics of the University Paris-Nanterre. In 2005-2008, she wrote the monthly column on the theories of economic development in the French newspaper Le Monde. She has been a member of the Core Team of the World Bank World Development Report 2000-1 on poverty. She has conducted research on development economics and political economy as well as fieldwork in Sub-Saharan Africa (mainly in West Africa). She has published a great number of articles in academic journals and edited books on a large range of topics, including international trade, regional integration, foreign aid, China-Africa relationships, poverty traps, the theory of institutions, and the epistemology of economics.

Click here and get to know all the Working Paper Collection of CEsA

 

Author: CEsA Communications (comunicacao@cesa.iseg.ulisboa.pt)
Images: CEsA/Reproduction

Development Studies Seminars 2024 | Rice, Institutions, and the Wealth of Nations: The China Puzzle


 

Development Studies Seminars 2024

Theme: “Rice, Institutions, and the Wealth of Nations: The China Puzzle”
Presenter: Xinpeng Xu (Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
Date: February 29, 2024 (Thursday)
Hour: 6 pm – 8 pm (Lisbon time)
Venue: Novo Banco Room, ISEG (Ed. Quelhas, Rua do Quelhas 6, 1200-781, Lisboa, Portugal)
REGISTER HERE!
Free admission, in person event. We recommend prior registration on EventBrite, but the capacity of the amphitheater will be filled in order of arrival.

The seminars are an initiative that, since 1991, promotes research carried out in the areas of study of MDCI/ISEG/ULisboa and PDED/ISEG/ULisboa.

More information and the complete programme: https://cesa.rc.iseg.ulisboa.pt/news/development-studies-seminars-will-kick-off-on-february-29-at-iseg-with-a-series-of-10-sessions-of-presentations-by-guest-researchers/

 

Why are some countries so rich while others so poor? I argue that thousands of years of farming practice has independent and long-lasting effect on the wealth of nations today. For the whole world sample, I show that rice farming is negatively associated with economic development, independent of the effects of geography and institution. However, the case of China presents a puzzle. Empirical results using disaggregated county-level data suggest a different pattern. I discuss the potential channels of the long-lasting effect, the China puzzle and implications for China’s long-term growth.

 

Dr. Xinpeng Xu, Professor of Economics, Faculty of Business (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)

Professor Xinpeng XU is Professor of Economics at Faculty of Business, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong. Professor Xu was Visiting Professor to many leading universities in the world and was invited to give Public Lecture at Peking University in China, Charles University (Czech) and the Jagiellonian University (Poland), among others. He is the recipient of Hong Kong Research Grant Council’s competitive research grants. He received Faculty Prize for Outstanding Performance in Teaching at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and has many years’ experience in teaching at the level of MBA, EMBA, DBA and Doctor of Management in both Mainland China and Hong Kong. Prof. Xu has published many papers in reputable international refereed journals. Professor Xu served as a consultant to international organizations such as OECD and APEC. He obtained his Ph.D. in Economics from the Australian National University, Australia.

 

Author: CEsA Communication (comunicacao@cesa.iseg.ulisboa.pt)
Images: CEsA/Reproduction

Working Paper CEsA no. 197/2024 analyses the impact of work and income on the identity of women horticulturists in Guinea-Bissau


CEsA has published its firts Working Paper in 2024 (no 197/2024), entitled “La Production Agricole des Femmes en Guiné-Bissau comme Moyen d´Afirmation de son Identité”, in French, authored by Carlos Sangreman and Mara Melo. Sangreman is President of the CEsA Assembly, is a CESA researcher, assistant professor of the Universidade de Aveiro (Portugal), and consultant for Guinea-Bissau at the Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in Portugal and Casa dos Direitos in Bissau. Melo holds a master’s degree from the University of Coimbra and the Institut d’ Études Polítques de Bordeaux.

This Working Paper is an intermediate product of the study carried out for Swiss Cooperation in Guinea-Bissau. Surveys and interviews were carried out in the regions of Bissau, Biombo, Bafatá and Oio, in the areas of production of leguminous agricultural products, by producers (mostly women). The focus of the analysis is on the practice of horticulture with the income belonging to women: “it influences the economic factor through the production and sales activity, it influences cultural factors because it is the woman who makes the key decisions for the activity and not the man and fights against family discrimination because women take on responsibilities in the family and home that they otherwise would not be able to assume and, therefore, tend to have a greater voice in family decisions”.

Click here to access the Working Paper no 197/2024.

Abstract:

This working paper is an intermediate product of the study done for Swiss Cooperation in Guinea-Bissau, written in French without any point in Portuguese. What we demonstrate, as well as the principles of restitution and appropriation by the persons or institutions that access to respond to surveys or interviews, are words that do not translate into concrete actions for this Cooperation. The data were obtained by surveys and interviews in the regions of Bissau, Biombo, Bafatá, and Oio, with the producers (which also include a limited number of male producers) of leguminous agricultural products, in a sample of 160 people chosen at random. At the option of the promoter, the study focused on the marketing of products and not on production.  To better understand the results, it must be said that this business model is not very profitable, but it is an activity that gives a greater independence of women in relation to men in the family space, since decisions about the use of profits belong to the producers.  It also has a potential environment of action for the affirmation of the social (and not just family) identity of women that should not be despised although, as far as we can see, this is expressed for now only in the organization of associations of producers.

Click here and get to know all the Working Paper Collection of CEsA

 

Author: CEsA Communications (comunicacao@cesa.iseg.ulisboa.pt)
Images: CEsA/Reproduction

Development Studies Seminars will kick off on February 29 at ISEG with a series of 10 sessions of presentations by guest researchers


The Centre for African and Development Studies (CEsA/CSG/ISEG/ULisboa) and the coordination of the Masters in Development and International Cooperation (MDCI) and the PhD in Development Studies (PDED) Programmes at ISEG – Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Universidade de Lisboa (ULisboa), invite you to the Development Studies Seminars 2024 — a series of 10 sessions of presentations given by guest researchers that encourage reflection on various topics in the field of Development Studies.

Seminars will take place from February 29 to May 30, 2024, on Thursdays*, from 6 pm to 8 pm, in Novo Banco Room**, at ISEG (Rua do Quelhas 6, Anfiteatro 23, Francesinhas 1, 1200-781, Lisbon, Portugal).

*The session on March 5, 2024 will exceptionally be on a Tuesday.

**The session on March 5, 2024 will take place in Room 006-F1 at ISEG. The session on May 9, 2024 will take place in Auditorium 2 at Quelhas, at ISEG.

Sessions will be presented in Portuguese or English (check the programme below), in a face-to-face format and with free admission. We recommend prior registration, but the capacity of the room will be filled in order of arrival.

PLEASE REGISTER HERE!

The seminars are an initiative that, since 1991, promotes research carried out in the areas of study of MDCI/ISEG/ULisboa and PDED/ISEG/ULisboa.

 


Development Studies Seminars 2024
From February 29 to May 30 2024, on Thursdays*, from 6 pm to 8 pm.
Face-to-face event in Novo Banco Room**, ISEG (Rua do Quelhas 6, Anfiteatro 23, Francesinhas 1, 1200-781, Lisboa, Portugal)
*The session on March 5, 2024 will exceptionally be on a Tuesday.
**The session on March 5, 2024 will take place in Room 006-F1 at ISEG. The session on May 9, 2024 will take place in Auditorium 2 at Quelhas, at ISEG.

 

Click to download the programme:

Author: CEsA Communication (comunicacao@cesa.iseg.ulisboa.pt)
Images: CEsA/Reproduction

 

Applications open for the PhD in Development Studies: 2nd Call starts on February 19


CEsA – Centre for African and Development Studies (CSG/ISEG/ULisboa) and ISEG – Lisbon School of Economics and Management (ULisboa) announce the Call for applications for the PhD in Development Studies 2024/25. The 1st phase began on November 13, 2023 and will end on January 19, 2024. The 2nd Phase will run from February 19 to April 12.

This PhD programme was created in 2009 and accredited by the national agency A3ES in 2015. After 2017/18, this program became a joint PhD of ISEG (School of Economics and Management), ICS (Institute of Social Sciences), IGOT (Institute of Geographic and Spatial Planning) and ISA (School of Agriculture) of Universidade de Lisboa, with some changes in its content, recently approved by the national agency A3ES. This PhD is for anyone interested in obtaining advanced academic training and doing research with a view to working in jobs related to international and national development in the public sector, the private sector, or the non-profit sector.

Further information on IGOT website.

CEsA plays an important role in teaching at ISEG, through representing CEsA as a member of the Scientific and Pedagogical Committee of the PhD in Development Studies (PDED); by supporting and teaching several of the course units; and by supervising student’s’ theses. CEsA also regularly organises international seminars and conferences that enable PDED students to be in permanent contact with leading-edge research in their respective areas. Further information about CEsA HERE.

 

Author: CEsA Communication (comunicacao@cesa.iseg.ulisboa.pt)
Image: CEsA/Reproduction

Celebrations of CEsA’s 40th anniversary and MDCI’s 30th anniversary


The Center for African and Development Studies (CEsA/CSG/ISEG/ULisboa), one of the oldest research centers in Portugal dedicated to Development Studies, is pleased to invite all researchers, students, professionals and enthusiasts of Development Studies to celebrate its 40th anniversary, together with the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Masters in Development and International Cooperation of ISEG.

CEsA is getting the party ready, so please Save this Date: May 9, 2024. It is important to celebrate both our journey and the important work done in African Studies and Development, as well as the new plans and the will to continue journeying towards an open future. 

 

CEsA 40th anniversary and MDCI 30th anniversary
May 9, 2024
2:30 pm – 6 pm
Auditório 2/Quelhas, ISEG (Ed. Quelhas, Rua do Quelhas nº 6, 1200-781, Lisbon, Portugal)
Registration: https://www.eventbrite.pt/e/bilhetes-seminarios-de-estudos-de-desenvolvimento-comemoracao-40o-aniversario-cesa-813553048067?aff=oddtdtcreator

 

Read more:

Find out more about CEsA: a reference in Development Studies since 1983

CEsA institutional brochure

CESA Constitution Statute (in Portuguese)

History of the founding of CEsA by Professor João Estêvão (in Portuguese)

Discover the Master in Development and International Cooperation (MDCI)

 

Author: CEsA Communications (comunicacao@cesa.iseg.ulisboa.pt)
Images: CEsA/Reproduction

Watch all sessions of CEsA Thinks – Research Seminars 2023


 

The CEsA Thinks – Research Seminars 2023′ sessions were held between November 9 and December 7, 2023, at ISEG (Amphitheater 23, F1). Presentations were recorded and are now available on CEsA YouTube channel (access this link).

The sessions welcomed CEsA researchers and guests to discuss various topics relevant to Development Studies, such as peace and conflict in Cabo Delgado (Mozambique), the challenges for the development of Africa taking into account the autocratic and democratic State models, the effects of shocks and fragility in East Africa, and the determinants of growth in developing countries, such as economic relations between China and sub-Saharan Africa.

Check them out:

“Maria, a Filha de Deus: Os caminhos para a paz em Cabo Delgado”, Yussuf Adam (Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, Moçambique), November 9, 2023. In Portuguese.

 

“Autocratic and Democratic State-Centered Model and the Challenges for the Development of Africa”, Jacob Audu (Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigéria), November 16, 2023.

 

“Fragilities and Shocks Effects on Communities in Eastern Africa”, Vincent Agulonye (CEsA/CSG/ISEG/ULisboa), November 30, 2023.

 

“Understanding the Determinants of Growth in Developing Countries: The example of China-Sub-Saharan Africa economic relationships”, Alice Nicole Sindzingre (CEsA/CSG/ISEG/ULisboa, CEPN/University Paris-North and LAM Research Centre/CNRS-SciencesPo-Bordeaux), December 7, 2023.

 

Check out the full schedule of CEsA Thinks Seminars’ sessions for 2022/2023 here.

Author: CEsA Communication (comunicacao@cesa.iseg.ulisboa.pt)


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