Four essays on Africa's economic transformation

Hohmann, Sebastian (2018) Four essays on Africa's economic transformation. Doctoral thesis, University of London: London Business School.


The four chapters of this thesis make use of newly released large-scale microeconomic datasets to study Africas structural transformation, internal migration, and intergenerational mobility. In the first chapter, I combine georeferenced data on mining and oil endowments with satellite-images of land use and census data from 23 countries to show that resource extraction and international trade have fuelled Africa's recent structural transformation. I document that both increases in the values of regional natural resource endowments, induced by global price shocks, as well as a U.S. policy change, lowering tariffs on African imports, which affected regions close to ports more strongly, lead to reallocations away from agriculture towards services. In the second chapter, I use census data from 13 countries together with satellite data on rainfall, georeferenced data on conflict, and survey data on trust and crime, to study the causes and consequences of internal migration in Africa. After establishing the broad regularities - magnitude, distance-elasticity, and skill-level of migrants - in the second part of the paper I show that rainfall and con ict shocks have in part driven outmigration. The third part of the paper then uses a shift-share instrument to study the impact of migration on unemployment, trust, and crime. In the third and fourth chapters, jointly authored with Alberto Alesina, Stelios Michalopoulos, and Elias Papaioannou, I use census data on schooling for 20 million people in 23 countries to study the intergenerational transmission of education in Africa. We define intergenerational mobility as the likelihood that children of uneducated parents complete at least primary school. We (1) characterize the physical and ethno-religious geography of intergenerational mobility, (2) identify causal effects of regions by exploiting variation from migrant households, and (3) explore the geographic and historical correlates of intergenerational mobility across regions and ethnic groups.

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Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subject Areas: Economics
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2022 10:16
Date of first compliant deposit: 10 Feb 2022
Subjects: National economies
Economic growth
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2022 12:10

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