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Risk Preferences and the Impact of Credit and Insurance on Farm Technology Uptake

We use a series of credit and insurance simulation games to test the role of access to credit and insurance on magnitude and timing of farm technology uptake with small-scale farmers in South Africa. Using Cumulative Prospect Theory, we assess how insurance impacts technology uptake given risk preferences. Our findings suggest that risk aversion is linked to lower uptake of the insured technology. while loss averse farmers are more likely to adopt technology bundled with insurance. Higher weighting of small probability events leads to later uptake of the uninsured technology option.

The effect of financial inclusion on welfare in sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from disaggregated data

Over two decades sub-Saharan Africa has grown an average by 4.8% per annum. A trend called “Africa rising in the literature” but this robust economic growth seem to have benefited only a minority of elite individuals as poverty in the region remains high and income inequality continues to rise. Critics attribute this to a lack of financial inclusion.

Growth (and Segregation) by Rail: How the Railways Shaped Colonial South Africa

The railway played a large part in late nineteenth century and early twentieth century globalization since, to benefit from the international economy, peripheral countries needed cheap inland transport. This paper discusses how the railway transformed the economy of South Africa’s Cape Colony during the first era of globalization. A very large share of the Colony’s GDP came from rail transport – its resource saving effect was one of the highest in the world at that time.

Diagnosing Deep Roots of Development: Genetic, Disease and Environmental Factors

We examine the association between indicators of real GDP per capita and the ACP1 genetic adaptation to disease and ultraviolet radiation environment. We find a strong impact that varies across the A, B, and C alleles. The result is robust to controlling for reversal of fortunes, migration, and potential endogeneity of the genetic adaptation.

Can International Interventions Secure the Peace?

The international community uses a number of interventions to make and build peace. How effective are these interventions? What works and what does not? The discussion highlights the uncertainties when evaluating interventions. Although some interventions are frequently advocated we know very little about their success. Some of the commonly advocated interventions have been assessed in large n-studies. Although there is no evidence that development aid helps to prevent wars, there is evidence that aid stabilizes post-war situations.

Institutional dynamics and capital accumulation: Evidence from Namibia and Tanzania

The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of institutions on fixed capital accumulation over time in two developing countries, both former German colonies: Namibia and Tanzania. This is motivated by two recent underpinning theories: the new institutional theory, which views institutions as fundamental determinants of economic outcomes and income variations among countries (the institutional hypothesis); and the theory of irreversible investment under uncertainty, which emphasis the impact of uncertainty on investment and capital-stock accumulation.

Measuring Institutions: Indicators of Political and Economic Institutions in Namibia: 1884 - 2008

This paper presents a database on institutional measures for Namibia for the period 1884 to 2008. Using the techniques of principal components and factor analysis in aggregating these indicators, the study does two things. First, it illustrates a methodology for constructing de jure and de facto institutional measures by means of using pieces of legislation and quantitative data, respectively. Secondly, these indicators are used to assess the nature of political and economic institutional transformation from the colonial legacy to the modern outcome using Namibia as a natural experiment.

Indicators of Political and Economic Institutions in Tanzania: 1884 - 2008

This paper is part of series of studies focusing on the measurement and definition of institutions. This paper presents a database on institutional measures for Tanzania for the period 1884 to 2008. These indicators are used to assess the nature of political and economic institutional transformation from the colonial legacy to the modern outcome, using Tanzania as a natural experiment. The paper argues that despite changes in colonial regimes, the broader framework of institutions remained partly the same.

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