Subscribe to E-Bulletin Donate to CEGA

Working Group in African Political Economy (WGAPE) Spring 2013


The Working Group in African Political Economy (WGAPE - pronounced "wah-gah-pay") brings together faculty and advanced graduate students in Economics and Political Science who combine field research experience in Africa with training in political economy methods. Since 2002, the group has met semi-annually to discuss the work-in-progress of its core members and invited guests. It is co-led by Daniel Posner (Department of Political Science, MIT) and Edward Miguel (Department of Economics, UC Berkeley).

​WGAPE serves as a forum for presenting works-in-progress, and provides an unparalleled opportunity for useful feedback by colleagues in the field.  After nine years as an exclusively west coast entity, WGAPE expanded its reach to include scholars from across the country.  Thanks to funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), WGAPE held its first national meeting in May 2012, at the Blum Center on the University of California, Berkeley campus.

​The two-day meeting consisted of in-depth, round-table discussions of papers that were circulated and read in advance of the meeting.  Presenters provided a brief summary or the paper and orienting comments prior to the floor opening for discussion.

Event Photos

Date and Time

May 3, 2013 10:00am — May 4, 2013 12:30pm


Sloane School MIT, Building E62, Room 221 

Cambridge, Massachusetts


Friday, May 3rd


Coffee & Breakfast


Welcome and Introductions, Discussion of WGAPE and Presentation Format

Edward Miguel, Dan Posner, and Lisa Chen


Internal Borders: Ethnic Diversity and Market Segmentation in Malawi

Amanda Robinson, PhD Candidate, Political Science, Stanford University


The Political Economy of Ethnicity and Property Rights in Slums: Evidence from Kenya

Tavneet Suri, Associate Professor, MIT Sloan School of Management




Geographic Variation in Ethnic Political Mobilization

Mauricio Velasquez, PhD Candidate,  Political Science, UCLA


How Political Violence Shapes Trust in the State: Survey Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa

Omar Garcia Ponce and Benjamin Pasquale, PhD Candidates, Politics, New York University


Coffee Break


Bandits or States: Evidence on the Origins of States from Armed Groups in Eastern Congo

Raul Sanchez de la Sierra, PhD Candidate, Economics, Columbia University


Transparency in Social Science Research

Edward Miguel


Executive Committee Meeting (Closed)


Saturday, May 4th


Coffee & Breakfast


The Economic and Social Returns to Cash Transfers: Evidence from a Ugandan Aid Program

Christopher Blattman, Assistant Professor, International and Public Affairs / Political Science, Columbia University


The Long-Term Effects of the Printing Press in Sub-Saharan Africa

Julia Cagé, PhD Candidate, Economics, Harvard University


Coffee Break


Renewalist Christianity, Political Competition and the Political Saliency of LGBTs in sub-Saharan Africa    

Guy Grossman, Assistant Professor, Political Science, University of Pennsylvania


Concluding Remarks

Dan Posner (UC Los Angeles)


National Science Foundation (NSF), MIT Department of Political Science