Centre for Research in Economic Development and International Trade

Research Interests

While research interests are varied, and individual staff will have interests not reflected in this general list, current interests fall into four main themes: Trade, Aid, Microeconomics (especially household survey analysis) and Macroeconomics. As indicated, some staff cover more than one theme and some interests are cross themes (eg. work on the fiscal impacts of aid is related to macroeconomics; work on the impact of trade sometimes uses household surveys, such as in trying to identify effects on poverty), and specific projects are often linked to research students.

1. Trade and Trade Policy

The major ongoing trade policy project has been on EU-ACP Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), starting about ten years ago (predominantly Milner andMorrissey). This has mostly comprised studies of the trade, revenue and welfare effects of eliminating tariffs on imports from the EU (for a sample of ACP countries, including a focus on agriculture and allowing for excluded sensitive products; and in more detail for East African countries and Mauritius) but has also addressed trade-related issues (trade facilitation, investment, competition policy and government procurement). Much of this work is reflected in a set of CREDIT Research Papers in 2007 and 2008.

A second major theme has addressed trade policy reform and trade performance in SSA, in general or selected countries. This has included work on overall trends, econometric analysis of trade, liberalisation and growth (in SSA and relative to developing countries), exploring the political economy of trade policy reform, trade and transport costs in East Africa and specific studies on effects of trade liberalisation in Ghana and Tanzania. Much of this work is reflected in CREDIT Research Papers that have appeared since 2005.

2. Aid and Aid Policy

For almost a decade there have been ongoing research projects on aid policy, especially aid effectiveness (Morrissey; focussing on aid-investment-growth and aid-social spending-welfare), aid and fiscal behaviour (Morrissey and Lloyd) and conditionality (Morrissey and Isopi), from theoretical and policy perspectives. These research themes are ongoing but current interests comprise three areas.

First, evaluation of general budget support (GBS), and how it contrasts with sector support. This relates to work on the fiscal effects of aid, but here the focus is on evaluating the effect on the allocation of government spending (in African countries). Second, and also building on the fiscal work, is analysis of the effect of aid on tax revenue, and in particular if loans and grants have different effects on tax effort. Third is exploring modalities for making aid more effective. The aim is to consider how means of delivering aid relate to conditionality and effects.

3. Microeconomic Analysis

Research in this theme is primarily household survey and poverty analysis (Appleton, Owens), and related work using household surveys to identify effects of trade and trade policy reform (Appleton, Morrissey, Owens). There are some more specific projects, such as research on NGOs (Owens), farm-level survey analysis (Morrissey), and on education (Appleton).

4. Macroeconomic Analysis

Bleaney leads much of the macroeconomic research. Current research concentrates on real exchange rate volatility and on theoretical models of public debt and the choice of exchange rate regime. Other research (typically with PGRs) includes: international capital flows; determinants of real effective exchange rate volatility and openness to international trade; exchange rate regimes, capital controls and the international transmission of monetary policy; fiscal and macroeconomic policy in Africa.


Centre for Research in Economic Development and International Trade

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