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Working Group in African Political Economy

WGAPE is an international forum for academic researchers who combine deep field research experience in Africa with training in political economy methods.

Founded in 2002, the Working Group in African Political Economy (WGAPE - pronounced "wah-gah-pay") brings together west coast-based faculty and advanced graduate students in Political Science and Economics who combine deep field research experience in Africa with training in political economy methods. The group meets semi-annually to discuss the work-in-progress of its regular members and invited guests. It is co-led by Brian Dillon (Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Washington), Daniel Posner (Department of Political Science, UCLA) and Edward Miguel (Department of Economics, UC Berkeley). WGAPE is committed to incorporating African scholars into the network in order to crteate and build collaborative relationships. 

Meetings are built around in-depth discussions of seven or eight papers (see the archive of papers discussed at past WGAPE meetings). The emphasis is on discussion rather than presentation, and members are encouraged to present work in progress on which they would like feedback from the group.

Papers presented at WGAPE meetings have been published in many of the leading journals in Political Science and Economics, including the Journal of Political Economy, the American Political Science Review, the Journal of African Economies, World Politics, African Affairs, the Journal of Economic Perspectives, the Review of Economic Studies, and the Review of African Political Economy, as well as in several edited volumes. 

Since its inception, three sister networks have formed which carry out similar objectives of WGAPE meetings. These include:

WGAPE Executive Committee Members

WGAPE Faculty Members

Former Graduate Student Members (now Faculty)

Papers Discussed at WGAPE Meetings

(Some of the links below are to subsequently revised and/or published versions of the papers presented at WGAPE. Paper presenters marked with an * were outside guests of WGAPE.)

29-30 April 2016, The World Bank and George Washington University
6-9 January 2016, New York University, Abu Dhabi
  • Grant Gordon, "Monitoring Conflict to Reduce Violence: Evidence from a Satellite Intervention in Darfur"
  • Rebecca Ayifah, "Conditional Cash Transfer and Child Labour: The Case of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) Programme in Ghana"
  • Francesco Cecchi, "Prenatal Trauma and Cooperation: Evidence from a Public Goods Game in Post-Conflict Uganda"
  • Lauren Young, "The Psychology of Political Risk: The Effect of Fear on Participation in Collective Dissent"
  • Thorsten Rogall, "Mobilizing the Masses for Genocide"
  • Yang-Yang Zhou, "Can a 'Confidence Boost' Improve Parental Efficacy and Children's Educational Outcomes? Research Design for a Pilot in Tanzania with Twaweza"
  • Noah Nathan, "Women's Participation and Party Capacity: Preliminary Design for a Field Experiment in Ghana"
  • Abhit Bhandari and Lisa Mueller, "Are the Harms of Artificial Statehood Reversible? Development Outcomes Along the Shifting Niger-Burkina Faso Border"
  • Daniel Posner and George Ofosu, "Domestic Election Observers and Election Day Fraud in Malawi's 2014 Elections"
  • Amanda Clayton, "How Quotas Affect Future Elections: A Policy Experiment on Gender Bias and Women's Electoral Success"
  • Sarah Brierley, "Political Party Campaign Strategies and Incumbency Advantages in an African Election"
  • Abdulaziz Shifa, "Building Fiscal Capacity in Developing Countries:Evidence on the Role of Information Technology"
  • Oliver Vanden Eynde, "Ethnic Politics and Job Performance in the Kenyan Police 1957-1970"
6-7 November 2015, Arizona State University

29-30 May 2015, Brown University

9-10 January 2015, University of Washington

16-17 May 2014, UC Los Angeles

19 December 2013, UC Berkeley

3-4 May 2013, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • Amanda Robinson "Internal Borders: Ethnic Diversity and Market Segmentation in Malawi"
  • Tavneet Suri "The Political Economy of Ethnicity and Property Rights in Slums: Evidence from Kenya"
  • Mauricio Velasquez "Geographic Variation in Ethnic Political Mobilization"
  • Omar Garcia Ponce and Benjamin Pasquale "How Political Violence Shapes Trust in the State: Survey Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa"
  • Raul Sanchez de la Sierra "Bandits or States: Evidence on the Origins of States from Armed Groups in Eastern Congo"
  • Christopher Blattman "The Economic and Social Returns to Cash Transfers: Evidence from a Ugandan Aid Program"
  • Julia Cagé "The Long-Term Effects of the Printing Press in Sub-Saharan Africa"
  • Guy Grossman "Renewalist Christianity, Political Competition and the Political Saliency of LGBTs in sub-Saharan Africa"

10 November 2012, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

24-25 May 2012, UC Berkeley

30 March 2012, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

9-10 December 2011, Stanford

20-21 May 2011, UCSD

17-18 December 2010, UC Berkeley

30 April-1 May 2010, Pomona College

11-12 December 2009, UC Berkeley

15-16 May 2009, UCLA

5-6 December 2008, UC Berkeley

16-17 May 2008, UCLA

14-15 December 2007, Stanford

20-21 April 2007, Stanford

1-2 December 2006, UCLA

14-15 April 2006, UC Berkeley

14-15 October 2005, Santa Clara University

13-14 May 2005, UCLA

17-18 December 2004, Caltech

4-5 June 2004, UCSD

12-13 March 2004, Pomona College

5-6 December 2003, UCLA

2-3 May 2003, UCLA

31 January-1 February 2003, UCLA

27-28 September 2002, UCLA