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Call for Papers for online Theme Workshops 2021

We are excited to announce that the six STEG themes will be holding online workshops in September 2021.

These thematic workshops have a dual purpose within the broader STEG program. First, they are a way of increasing the visibility of STEG within the research community and attracting, strengthening, and widening the community of interested scholars. Second, they will play a role in helping to share knowledge of the current research frontier and in identifying open research questions. The workshops will be used to shape future calls for funding that are anticipated as part of the STEG programme.

A Plenary Workshop will kick off the September 2021 STEG Theme Workshops on Friday 3rd September. This workshop will see a paper from each theme presented. A full programme will be available in due course, but in the meantime please register for the event here.

Please find below the schedule of the workshops and information about their structure and emphasis. Note that the deadline for call for papers for all five workshops is Wednesday 28th July at 11.59 pm.  Submit a paper here

Theme 0Data, measurement, and conceptual framing
Workshop dates: 7th September 

This workshop will focus on how improved data or economic measurement can help shed a light on the process of structural transformation and its link to economic growth. There is a particular interest in understanding the challenges for low-income countries. We welcome papers that introduce new data or measurement approaches in this context.  
Specific topics and approaches of interest may include efforts to quantify:  

  • The process of structural transformation  
  • The role of resource (mis)allocation  
  • Domestic or international trade costs  
  • Technology adoption and productivity 
  • Home production and structural change

Theme leaders and workshop organisers: Robert Inklaar (University of Groningen) and Akos Valentinyi (University of Manchester and CEPR)


Theme 1Firms, frictions and spillovers, and industrial policy
Workshop dates: 24th September 

This workshop will focus on the roles of firms, frictions, spillovers and industrial policy in structural transformation and economic growth, with a particular interest in understanding the challenges for the poorest countries. Methodologically, we invite a wide range of approaches including theoretical modelling, quantitative analyses, empirical work utilising secondary datasets and micro-compartments in developing countries.

Specific topics and approaches of interest may include:

  • Aggregate quantitative modelling featuring heterogeneous firms
  • Microempirics of firms in developing countries
  • Measurement and quantification of technological spillovers and knowledge diffusion
  • Measurement and modelling of barriers to firm entry, growth, and the allocation of resources across firms
  • Importance of interactions among producers, e.g. firm to firm trade, production chain decisions, outsourcing
  • Empirical, theoretical, or quantitative analysis of industrial policy
  • Analyses of macro policies promoting firm productivity and growth  

Theme leaders and workshop organisers: Francisco Buera (Washington University in St. Louis and CEPR), Joe Kaboski (Notre Dame and CEPR) and  Ezra Oberfield (Princeton University)


Theme 2Labour, home production, and structural transformation
Workshop date: 21st September 

In this workshop, we aim to bring together leading economists in macro and micro development to discuss the linkages between home production, market work, and structural transformation in the development process. We will have an emphasis on papers that address structural change in the labour market in developing countries or in developed countries in historical perspective, links between home and market work, and trends in female labour force participation over the development process.

Theme leaders and workshop organisers: Taryn Dinkelman (Notre Dame and CEPR) and Rachel Ngai (LSE and CEPR)


Theme 3Agricultural productivity and sectoral gaps and Theme 4Trade and spatial frictions
Workshop dates: 16th-17th September 

This joint workshop with Theme 3 & Theme 4 will focus on how market integration – both internal and global -- shapes the structural transformation process in developing countries. In particular, we are interested in the role of agriculture and connections between agriculture and on economic development. Specific topics include but are not limited to: 

  • Barrier to movement of labour and capital 
  • Measurement and quantification of technological barriers and quantification of productivity gaps within and across sectors 
  • Measurement and quantification of domestic and international spatial frictions 
  • The role of infrastructure and other investments in market integration on economic development  
  • Comparative advantage in natural resources and structural transformation  
  • The role of openness in the transition from rural agricultural sector to high value-added urban manufacturing and service sectors  
  • Welfare consequences of integration of interior areas in world markets 
  • Distributional effects of international trade in developing countries  

Theme 3 leaders and workshop organisers: Kevin Donovan (Yale School of Management), Julieta Caunedo (Cornell University and CEPR), and Doug Gollin (University of Oxford and CEPR) 
Theme 4 leaders and workshop organisers: Costas Arkolakis (Yale University and CEPR) and  Paula Bustos (CEMFI and CEPR)

Theme 5Political economy and public investment
Workshops dates: 10th September 

This workshop will focus on the political economy of policies that promote economic development. We are particularly interested in understanding the following questions: Why are growth-conductive policies or regulations adopted in some regions but not in others? What is the role of capture by interest groups and elites in determining these policy outcomes? What are the political economy implications of the increased collaboration between public and private sectors in several developing countries? We invite applications using different methodologies, but we particularly welcome empirical projects. Specific topics and approaches of interest may include:  

  • Lobbying, interest groups, and power of firms 
  • Elite capture and its effects on policies and technology adoption  
  • Political determinants and effects of industrial policy 
  • The role of state capacity and institutions on policies and structural transformation  

Theme leaders and workshop organisers: Monica Martinez-Bravo (CEMFI and CEPR) and Leonard Wantchekon (Princeton University)

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