PhD research internships

The World Institute for Development Economics Research of the United Nations University invites applications for its PhD research internships. These offer registered doctoral students an opportunity to utilise the resources at UNU-WIDER for their PhD dissertation or thesis research, and to work with researchers in areas related to developing economies. The internships typically last from two to three months and take place in UNU-WIDER’s facilities in Helsinki, Finland.

Applicants must be enrolled in a PhD programme and have shown ability to conduct research on developing economies. Fluent oral and written English skills are required. Preference is given to applicants who are living or working in developing countries, and who are at later stages of their PhD. In addition, UNU-WIDER and the African Economic Research Consortium have collaborated to reserve a number of internship positions to economists from African countries.

Internships include a travel grant, medical insurance, and a monthly stipend of €1,500 to cover living expenses in Helsinki.

Deadline information Applications are invited between 1 March and 31 March, and 1 September and 30 September annually. Deadlines on: 30 September 2013, 31 March 2014, and repeated annually.

Funder’s website

Evaluation of preferential agricultural trade regimes

The Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development invites proposals for the evaluation of preferential agricultural trade regimes, in particular the Economic Partnership Agreements. The tenderer will carry out an evaluation analysing the effectiveness, efficiency and relevance of the EPAs relating to the agri-food trade.

Legal and natural persons based in EU states or authorised countries under the WTO procurement agreement may submit bids.

Funding is worth between €480,000 and €600,000 for an 11 month contract.

Closing date 19 Sep 13

Funder’s website

Evaluation of the implementation of the EU-Mexico free trade agreement

The Directorate-General for Trade invites proposals for its evaluation of the implementation of the EU-Mexico free trade agreement and an assessment of the possible modernisation of this agreement. The objectives of the project are twofold: an ‘ex post’ analysis including assessment of the economic, social and environmental impacts of the EU–Mexico FTA since its entry into force, and an ‘ex ante’ analysis including identification of new or future trade and investment interests, and of the most relevant manner to address them in the context of a modernisation of the EU–Mexico FTA.

Legal persons based in EU states or authorised countries under the WTO procurement agreement may submit bids.

Groupings may submit bids. The team leader must have at least 10 years’ relevant experience. The team should also include senior and junior experts, with at least seven and two years’ relevant experience, respectively. Local experts with in-depth knowledge of Mexico must also be involved.

Funding is worth an estimated €300,000 over a period of 14 months.

Closing date 30 Sep 2013

Funder’s website

Welcome new members

We would like to welcome new members of the InsTED network.

Prof. Tony Addison (UNU WIDER).  His research interests include development finance, economics of conflict, foreign aid, poverty reduction.

Prof. Jeffrey Bergstrand (University of Notre-Dame).  His current research spans the areas of international trade flows, economic integration agreements, foreign direct investment, and multinational firms.

Prof. Huw Edwards (Loughborough University). His research interests are in applied general equilibrium modelling, international trade, and transition economies.

Prof. Thomas Groll (Columbia University).  His main academic interests are public economics, industrial organization, political economy, and applied microeconomics.

Sushanta Mallick (Queen Mary, University of London).  His main research interests include issues in international economics and finance.

John Morrow (London School of Economics).  His research interests include political economy, industrial development, international trade, globalisation, and inequality.

Ray Riezman (University of Iowa).  His research interests are in international trade theory, political economy, and regional trade agreements.

Enforcement Institutions and Economic Development

Markets rest on institutions that ensure individuals can commit to keep their contractual obligations. The literature has focused both on formal contract-enforcing institutions, where contracts can be enforced by a third party such as a court of law, and informal institutions where the parties enforce an informal contract themselves. Self-enforcing agreements are particularly important in international trade because the jurisdictions of courts of law often do not extend beyond national borders, particularly at a relatively early stage of economic development. One branch of the literature explores whether liberal political institutions such as limited government and the rule of law, which are necessary for a well functioning court system, lead to the expansion of markets or vice versa. A particular focus of attention in this literature is the endogenous emergence of market supporting institutions in the early history of international trade. This is an important question to the extent that development failure is caused by an absence of this type of institution. A second branch of the literature looks at what types of institutions are required to support the supply of high quality goods and services. The concern here rests on recognition that developing countries often lack well functioning formal contract-enforcement institutions. The question becomes one of whether informal institutions such as social networks that do exist in developing countries can support the delivery of high quality (or efficient) outcomes in the absence of formal institutions. While intuition might suggest that formal and informal institutions serve as substitutes, a key insight from this literature is that formal and informal institutions can in fact complement one another.

Battigalli, P. and G. Maggi, (2002); “Rigidity, Discretion, and the Cost of Writing Contracts.” American Economic Review, 92: 798–817. [Earlier version]

Battigalli, P. and G. Maggi, (2008); “Costly Contracting in a Long-Term RelationshipRAND Journal of Economics, 39(2): 352–377. [Earlier version]

Besley, T.J, M. Ghatak, and K. Burchardi (2012) “Incentives and the de Soto EffectQuarterly Journal of Economics, 127(1): 237-282.

Dhillon, A. and J. Rigolini (2011); “Development and the Interaction of Enforcement Institutions.Journal of Public Economics, 95: 79-87.

Dixit, A. (2003); “On Modes of Economic Governance.” Econometrica, 71(2): 449-481. [Earlier version]

Grief, A. (1993); “Contract Enforceability and Economic Institutions in Early Trade: The Maghribi Traders’ Coalition.American Economic Review, 83(3): 525-548.

Greif, A. (2004); “Commitment, Coercion and Markets: The Nature and Dynamics of Institutions Supporting Exchange.” Published in C. Menary and M.M. Shirley (eds) Handbook for New Institutional Economics, Norwell, MA, Kluwer Academic Publications, 727-786.

Greif, A., P. Milgrom and B.R Weingast (1994); “Coordination, Commitment and Enforcement: The Case of the Merchant Guild.Journal of Political Economy, 102(4): 745-776.

MacLeod, B. (2007); “Reputations, Relationships and Contract Enforcement.Journal of Economic Literature, 45(3): 597-630. [Earlier version]

Milgrom, P., D.C. North, B.R. Weingast, (1990); “The Role of Institutions in the Revival of Trade: The Medieval Law Merchant, Private Judges, and the Champagne Fairs.” Economics and Politics, 1: 1-23.