Seminars and Events

Public Events

Fireside Chat with African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretary-General

September 30, 2021

DevLab Seminar Series

December 8, 2021

Time: 5:45pm-6:45pm GST on Zoom 

Speaker:

Torsten Figueiredo Walter (NYUAD) On the Microfoundations of National Statistics in Sub-Saharan Africa (joint work with Niclas Moneke (Oxford))

Abstract:

National statistics are essential for policy, business and research. Policymakers and private agents use national statistics to inform resource allocation decisions and policy design, researchers use national statistics as inputs to the study of economic processes.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, national statistics are commonly perceived to be of low quality, but systematic evidence of this is scarce. Therefore, the magnitude of errors in national statistics as well as their effects on research findings and policy analysis remain unknown. This project aims to take a first step towards filling this gap.

We propose a systematic approach to measure the extent to which national statistics are consistent with each other in Sub-Saharan Africa. We start from the observation that two concurrently conducted, nationally representative surveys should not yield statistically significantly different estimates of a given population parameter. To put this proposition to an empirical test, we gather all available individual and household survey (e.g., DHS, LSMS, MICS) and census micro data from Sub-Saharan Africa from the 1980s until today and compare statistical indicators derived from different survey instruments within countries over time. Then, we explore the causes of the uncovered discrepancies and their implications for policy and research.

The seminar is for researchers and academics interested in Development topics. If you are interested in joining the seminar, please email us at devlab@nyu.edu.

February 2, 2022

Time: 5:45pm-6:45pm GST on Zoom 

Speaker:

David Lagakos (Boston University) 

The seminar is for researchers and academics interested in Development topics. If you are interested in joining the seminar, please email us at devlab@nyu.edu.

February 16, 2022

Time: 5:45pm-6:45pm GST on Zoom 

Speaker:

Jenny Aker (Tufts)

The seminar is for researchers and academics interested in Development topics. If you are interested in joining the seminar, please email us at devlab@nyu.edu.

March 2, 2022

Time: 5:45pm-6:45pm GST on Zoom 

Speaker:

Martin Rotemberg (NYU) 

The seminar is for researchers and academics interested in Development topics. If you are interested in joining the seminar, please email us at devlab@nyu.edu.

April 6, 2022

Time: 5:45pm-6:45pm GST on Zoom 

Speaker:

Douglas Gollin (Oxford)

The seminar is for researchers and academics interested in Development topics. If you are interested in joining the seminar, please email us at devlab@nyu.edu.

September 22, 2021

Time: 5:45pm-6:45pm GST on Zoom 
Speaker:

Lauren Falcao Bergquist (University of Michigan) on Search Cost, Intermediation, and Trade: Experimental Evidence from Ugandan Agricultural Markets

Abstract: 

High search costs weaken market integration in developing country agricultural markets, harming both farmers and consumers. We present evidence from a large-scale experiment designed to reduce search costs in randomly selected subcounties in Uganda by introducing a mobile phone-based marketplace for agricultural commodities. The intervention drives increases in trade flows and reductions in price divergence across treated markets. Entry by traders into treated markets increases, and profits of incumbents decrease. However, small-scale farmers find it difficult to reach the scale necessary to find buyers on the platform; only the largest farmers use the platform. As a result, we are only able to detect significant increases in revenues among the farmers most likely to use the platform. Point estimates suggest effects that are meaningful in magnitude, but not statistically significant for the majority of farmers. Since farmers are so numerous and the cost per-farmer is low, these income gains per household aggregate to make the intervention strongly cost-beneficial from an overall welfare perspective.

The seminar is for researchers and academics interested in Development topics. If you are interested in joining the seminar, please email us at devlab@nyu.edu.

November 3, 2021

Time: 4pm-5:30pm GST on Zoom 

Afrobarometer Presentation – “African Voices on African Issues”
by Robert Mattes, Afrobarometer co-founder and board member

Speaker:

Robert Mattes is professor of politics at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland and board member and co-founder of Afrobarometer. Originally from the United States, he spent 25 years researching and teaching in South Africa before moving to Strathclyde in 2016. He was visiting research scholar at Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies in 2016.

He is honorary professor of political studies and former director of the Democracy in Africa Research Unit in the Centre for Social Science Research at the University of Cape Town. Robert was principal investigator in major research projects such as the African Legislatures Project and the South African National Election Study.

He is the co-author author of Public Opinion, Democracy, and Markets in Africa (Cambridge University Press, 2005). His articles have appeared in American Journal of Political ScienceWorld Development, and Party Politics, among others. Robert holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

The seminar is for researchers and academics interested in Development topics. If you are interested in joining the seminar, please email us at devlab@nyu.edu.