STEG Newsletter - October 2023

Dear All,

In our October newsletter, we bring you an array of working papers offering key insights on structural transformation and economic growth at the individual, firm, and sector levels! This month's working papers explore the impact of jobseekers' beliefs on labour market efficiency in South Africa; reveal limited labour specialisation within urban Ugandan manufacturing firms; find that the misallocation of female talent across sectors can distort productivity in a sample of 66 countries; and, investigate the relationship between firm size distribution and economic development with an idea search model. Find these new papers below and browse our growing publications library. 

On the research grant side of things, we had an exciting opportunity open this month: a joint Ideas For Transformation (I4T) call with the International Growth Centre. Find more details on this policy case study challenge, which closes on the 20th of November, below.

As final reminder, our Seventh Small Research Grant Call and Sixth PhD Grant Call are closing on Monday the 6th of November! We look forward to receiving applications over the weekend from those who are still finalising their proposals. 

The Fourth Large Research Grant call evaluations are under way, and we look forward to informing applicants of funding decisions in mid-December. 

Thank you to all who submitted papers for STEG's Annual Conference Week taking place in January 2024 in Abu Dhabi and Barcelona. Selections have been made, and we hope to share a draft programme with the STEG Audience soon. 

Another opportunity to be aware of is the call for papers for the 2nd ERSA/CEPR Workshop on Macroeconomic Policy in Emerging Markets which closes on the 20th of November. You can find the full call on CEPR's website here.

The STEG Team



STEG Working Paper Series: NEW PAPERS

Below are three new papers have been published under the STEG Working Paper Series this October. Check them out below:

We also had one updated working paper to share with the STEG Audience:

If you would like to submit your paper to the STEG Working Paper Series, please contact the STEG Team at [email protected]Working papers that have been produced through STEG-funded projects are included in the series and we welcome papers from researchers directly affiliated with STEG as well as researchers' papers that have been presented at STEG-funded events including our Annual Conference and Theme Workshops.

The series is circulated widely through STEG’s network of researchers and policymakers in order that the results of the research receive thorough professional scrutiny and reach the hands of policymakers more quickly.

We look forward to collating more high-quality research under the STEG Working Paper Series as the STEG programme, and the research field more widely, progresses.



Seventh Small Research (SRG) Grant Call
Sixth PhD Research Grant Call

DEADLINE: Monday, 6th November 2023 


STEG invites applications to the Seventh SRG and Sixth PhD Grant calls. These will be the final SRG and PhD calls under the current STEG programme.

SRGs of between £10,000 and £25,000 can fund research assistance, data collection and/or purchase, and potentially research stipends/teaching buyouts. Grants also support travel to field sites, even when secondary data is utilised. We view this kind of travel (with the possibilities for field visits and conversations with policymakers) as particularly important for researchers who lack prior experience in the countries that they intend to study.

While PhD students are eligible to apply to our SRG calls, we also issue a special call exclusively for PhD students alongside our SRG calls in order to encourage broader participation in the programme. PhD Research Grants up to £15,000 are essentially equivalent to SRGs and fund similar activities.

🔎Research may focus on broad systemic patterns and processes of structural transformation and growth for low-income countries, in a comparative sense across time or space, or more narrowly defined topics related to one or more of the STEG themes. 

🌍 We are particularly interested in research on sub-Saharan Africa, but research in middle-income countries will be considered if it informs growth processes or policies in low-income countries.

💡We strongly recommend that prospective applicants read the SRG documentation about eligibilitycountry criteriapreparing an applicationhow to apply online and the SRG Frequently Asked Questions before applying.

You can find more information on the STEG Website. The deadline for applications is Monday, 6 November 2023!



Fifth Ideas for Transformation Call with IGC

DEADLINE: Monday, 20 November 2023 


About the policy case study challenge

The International Growth Centre (IGC) and STEG are pleased to announce £2,000 awards for exceptional case studies that identify and describe a pressing policy problem or market failure that is related to promoting sustainable economic growth in developing countries. Sustainable growth refers to countries developing their potential in an inclusive way that improves social, environmental, and economic well-being for all, including for future generations.

Case studies are brief and largely non-technical essays (about 10-15 pages, double spaced), utilizing country-specific expertise, to describe a policy problem and identify opportunities for research. These might be specific and well-documented examples of a market failure or a policy problem – but ideally the cases should have broad relevance across developing countries. We are particularly interested in case studies in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

We accept applications from a wide and inclusive pool of researchers, including PhD students and early career-researchers in economics or related disciplines (e.g. public policy, political science), as well as policymakers, civil society organisations, practitioners, and think-tanks. Candidates from developing countries are especially encouraged to apply.

Successful applicants will be invited to participate in match-making initiatives with other researchers, and their case studies will be used to inform future research, and be published on IGC and STEG websites. Cases must be related to one of IGC's research priorities or STEG's themes. Policies that address our cross-cutting issues of gender, climate change and the environment, or inequality and inclusion are of particular interest.

How to Apply

More information on how to apply, eligibility and timeline, and country and policy relevance can be found on our I4T funding page. Projects funded in the STEG-IGC collaboration will follow similar patterns. Examples of I4T projects funded to date by STEG can be found here

We aim to issue funding decisions within two months of the deadline for receipt of proposals. An I4T is intended to be completed within 3 months. Please note that contracts should be signed within one month of the return of the final decision, which is also the expected project start date.

Read more about the case study structure and what makes a successful application in the full call for proposals. 




2nd ERSA/CEPR Workshop 25-26/01/2024

The 2nd ERSA/CEPR Workshop on Macroeconomic Policy in Emerging Markets is dedicated to exploring and discussing research on the challenges to macroeconomic policy in emerging markets, the policy options available to them and the instruments to be developed to inform and monitor policy.

 Find more information here: 

Economic Research Southern Africa |

2nd ERSA-CEPR Workshop on Macroeconomic Policy in Emerging Markets | 



Introducing STEGosaurus...


 Meet STEGosaurus - a curious friend of STEG, who is known for their sense of adventure and keen interest in macro development. In this newsletter, Stegosaurus sends their best from Zambia's capital, Lilognwe, and, from inside a minibus enroute Livingstonia, Malawi. Stay tuned to see where Stegosaurus broadcasts from next! 

Important Dates

Calls Accepting Applications 

Seventh Small Research Grant Call - closing 6 November 
Sixth PhD Research Grants Call - closing 6 November 
Fifth I4T Call with IGC - closing 20 November

Calls Under Evaluation

Fourth Large Research Grant Call - decisions expected in December 

Future Call Timeline


Upcoming Events

2024 STEG Annual Conference and Theme Workshops - 10th - 17th January 2024.

If you have any questions, please contact the STEG Team at [email protected].


Related content

STEG Working Paper Series

Misallocation and Product Choice

Stepan Gordeev, Sudhir Singh • Research Theme 3: Agricultural Productivity and Sectoral Gaps
STEG Working Paper Series

Financing Costs and Development

Tiago Cavalcanti, Joseph P. Kaboski, Bruno Martins, Cezar Santos • Research Theme 0: Data, Measurement, and Conceptual Framing