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Future Research Directions for ERF

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Ibrahim Elbadawi - Economic Research Forum
ERF 25th Annual Conference
Knowledge, Research Networks & Development Policy

10-12 March, 2019
KuwaitCity, Kuwait

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Future Research Directions for ERF

  1. 1. Future Research Directions for ERF Ibrahim Elbadawi Kuwait, Saturday March 9th , 2019 #ERF@25 1
  2. 2. Outline  Purpose of the meeting  Research Strategy (Ongoing work)  Planned Research Themes  New Proposed Themes  Thematic Research Management Processes #ERF@25 2
  3. 3.  Purpose of the meeting  Reflect upon and critically assess current and planned research agenda  Discuss New Themes and Topics  Evaluate Research Management Processes #ERF@25 3
  4. 4.  Research Strategy: Ongoing Projects and Suggested New Topics #ERF@25 4
  5. 5.  Research Strategy: Ongoing work  A key new feature of the ensuing programmatic landscape is built around synergetic interfaces between:  Standard research, capacity-building and policy outreach modalities:  Current and new thematic research and open access data  Capacity-building: Annual Conference, technical workshops  Communication and policy outreach: national policy dialogue, senior policy seminar …etc.  And, new self-standing thematically cross-cutting initiatives:  Focusing on a sub-region or a group of countries (e.g. GCC)  Responding to emerging challenges  Closing gaps in research capacity and policy outreach #ERF@25 5
  6. 6. ERF strategy 2017-2021: Emerging programmatic landscape: Synergetic interfacing #ERF@25
  7. 7. Research Areas: Ongoing work (Cont.)  Under “Labor and Human Resource development” theme Topics already covered (117 projects and 41 events) Labor market dynamics Assessing the impact of labor market regulations and institutions on labor market outcomes Understanding the impact of incentives in the higher education system on the education and labor market outcomes of graduates Inequality of opportunity in schooling, child health and labor market outcomes New Proposed Topics to be Covered Education reforms Investing in our children: - By developing child’s cognitive and non- cognitive skills - Impact of lack of human capital in the region (due to poor investment, low quality of educational inputs and brain drain) on productivity Job creation demand side of labor market in the region Health inputs over the life cycle, linked to market productivity of labor and personal and family welfare Understanding low female unemployment rates in MENA region #ERF@25
  8. 8.  Under “Equity, Inequality and Inclusive Growth” theme Research Areas: Ongoing work (Cont.) Topics already covered (152 Projects and 16 events) Measurement of inequality of outcome & opportunity alongside directing efforts measuring inequality of assets using traditional and non-traditional data sources Continuing pivot to policy drivers of inequality Building on the policy drivers’ work to explore a work program on the political economy of policy reform and inequality Rural inequality & poverty, rural-urban migration, and the balance between rural and urban development New Proposed Topics to be Covered Poverty & Social Protection Does Social Protection reduce internal conflicts #ERF@25 8
  9. 9.  Under “Natural Resources, Structural Transformation and Growth” theme Research Areas: Ongoing work (Cont.) Topics already covered (93 Projects and 17 events) The MENA Region and the New Normal in the Global Economy Climate change and the Macroeconomy Structural Change and Growth Dynamics in the MENA region) National Oil Companies Fiscal Institutions Sovereign Wealth Funds New Proposed Topics to be Covered MENA after 100 years of the Oil Era: - Economic history of the oil era - Shale oil & the future of oil MENA economies - New industrial revolution and future of oil MENA economies Divergent monetary policies and the implications for emerging economies Tightening monetary cycle in the US and implications for fixed peg regimes that are constrained by lower oil price and tighter fiscal space Firm Dynamics & Structural Transformation: Intersection of IO, Labor and Trade -sectoral studies from an IO perspective, including investigating various markets of MENA countries (market concentration, players, barriers to entry and type of value chains) - promoting the supply side of MENA's goods markets and the demand side of MENA's labour markets through boosting structural transformation and in turn promoting high value production and high quality jobs Finance and the interaction between the financial and real sector of the economy Public finance, indebtedness and how they affect the economy Economic History #ERF@25
  10. 10. Research Areas: Ongoing work (Cont.)  Under “Conflict, post-conflict transition and peace-building” theme Topics already covered (3 Projects and 3 events) Causes of conflict Transition from war to peace The economic agenda of post-conflict reconstruction: - The macroeconomic policy agenda - Political Settlements, Aid, repatriation of refugees and growth Household in conflict: The burden of conflict, especially on women & children - The role of women in bonding social capital and promoting peace Regional & global power interests & peace building In Arab Conflict-affected countries The political economy of business networks & emergence of new entrepreneurs New Proposed Topics to be Covered Institutions, policy and climate change in MENA: induced drought civil wars Does social protection reduce internal conflicts? More multi-disciplinary approaches: historians, political scientists and other social scientists #ERF@25 10
  11. 11. Research Areas: Ongoing work (Cont.)  Under “Political Economy of Transformation” theme Topics already covered (157 Projects and 27 events) The Political Economy of State Business Relations The Pulse of the Arab Street Opinion Poll Project New Proposed Topics to be Covered Political Economy of Macroeconomic Policies in MENA: • Political Economy of social sector public finance: Budgets vs. subsidies • Political economy of fiscal dominance and exchange rate regimes #ERF@25 11
  12. 12.  Planned Research Themes #ERF@25 12
  13. 13.  Projects under consideration: Work In Progress Water, Agriculture, Climate Change and Sustainable Development Digital Connectivity (WB, ERF, AERC, FERDI)  The Effects of Climate Change on Economic Activity and Productivity;  The Effects of Natural Disasters and Extreme Weather on Economic Growth;  Climate Change Adaptation, Mitigation, and the Related Impact on Fiscal Sustainability and;  Climate Change, Institutions, and Conflict.  Nile Basin cooperation (Egypt, Sudan & Ethiopia)  Maghreb region & francophone African economic cooperation #ERF@25 Other Regional Public Goods  An overview of digital connectivity in Africa;  The nexus between digital connectivity and financial inclusion;  Financial literacy and gender equality;  Regional integration and participation into global value chains and;  The link between digital connectivity and the private sector dynamism. 13
  14. 14.  Projects under Consideration: Work In Progress (Cont.) Meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in MENA #ERF@25 In collaboration with the World Bank’s MENA Chief Economists office, ERF will aim to peruse two research tracks: Track I- Decent Jobs, Inclusive Growth and Inequalities in MENA region • The need of new development model for the MENA region taking into consideration the transformations in the region and the “New Normal”. • How to address the economic challenges in a peace building and post conflict context? • What are the needed macroeconomics policies and institutions needed for effective natural resources management to achieve sustainable growth in a context of climate change? Track II- Climate Change Implications for three Middle Eastern Countries: Egypt, Sudan and Tunisia • What are the economy wide consequences of water scarcity • What are the economy wide and distributional implications of different water pricing methods
  15. 15.  New Proposed Themes #ERF@25 15
  16. 16.  New Proposed Themes  Globalization, Digitalization and Development  Cities, Urbanization and Spatial Development  Refugees & Migration  Randomized Control Trials (RCTs) #ERF@25 16
  17. 17.  New Proposed Themes (Cont.) Globalization, Digitization and Development • Crisis of Liberal Democracy and the rise of ultra-nationalism or populism: • Political economy considerations • Potential impact on growth and development for MENA • Slowdown of globalization: • Era of protectionism and Trade and currency wars • Origin, meaning and potential impact on MENA’s development • The rise of the East and the case for “South-south cooperation” • Arab Trade Agreements and implications for access to GVCs • Automation and digitization of production processes: Serious implications for the capital-poor, unskilled labor-abundant countries of our region • China’s Silk Road, Free Zones and Harbors in MENA: Implications for future development • Political economy of quest for supremacy on maritime trade #ERF@25 17
  18. 18.  New Proposed Themes (Cont.) Cities, urbanization & Spatial Development • Urbanization and role of “productive” cities in development • Spatial development: • Growth accounting in governorates/regions within a country • Do the current models of local governments promote or impede economic development? • Data and Research methodology • Large geo-referenced satellite data • Interface with socioeconomic survey and census datadata economies like "Gulf States" are also a topic gaining in importance. #ERF@25 18
  19. 19. Refugees & Migration (with Paris-Dauphine University)  New Proposed Themes (Cont.)  Different unexplored dimensions of refugees issues: Labor, education, growth, inflation, poverty, housing market, crime, and health.  ERF has comparative advantage in terms of access to data and knowledge of the institutional context. Randomized control trials (RCTs) and Evidence Revolution  The last thirty years have seen an evidence revolution which has unfolded in fours waves (e.g. Howard White, the 21st century Experimenting Society…etc.):  the results agenda as part of New Public Management in the 1990s,  the rise of impact evaluations, notably randomized controlled trials (RCTs) since the early 2000s,  increased production of systematic reviews over the last ten years  moves to institutionalize the use of evidence through the emergence of knowledge brokering agencies, most notably the What Works movement in the US and the UK.  A five wave may come from the potential from Al: machine learning and Big Data  Each successive wave has built on the last, and together they comprise the supply side of the evidence architecture  To support the use of evidence demand side activities such as Evidence Needs Assessments and Use of Evidence Awards are proposed. #ERF@25 19
  20. 20.  Thematic Research Management Processes #ERF@25 20
  21. 21.  Research Management Process  Each thematic area is led by a thematic leader (TL) who works closely with the Managing Director, and is responsible for the substantive guidance of ERF’s work in the specified area, as well as the quality control of outcomes.  The selection of themes is guided by relevance of the topics to the region and the existence of a knowledge gap as well as researchers’ diverse interests.  The formulation of the research agenda and the work plan for each theme is a collaborative consultative process:  An Approach paper identifying priorities of research is prepared and discussed in a workshop gathering the most prominent scholars in each theme.  A number of priority research topics is identified and few are selected in each theme.  Most of the research is carried out through an open call for proposals; others are solicited from designated researchers and are conducted as structured projects.  All projects are opened to ERF affiliates and non-affiliates, and the selection takes into consideration both merit and gender balance.  All proposals are subject to external reviews.  A Scientific Committee (SC) was formed, including notable researchers and policy makers.  The role of the SC is to review and approve all the thematic work plans, proposals and the reviewer’s comments, and to advise and give input on different thematic work plans and programs. #ERF@25
  22. 22. Thank You ! #ERF@25 22

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