Zeufack, Albert G.
Office of the Chief Economist for Africa Region
Author Name Variants
Zeufack, Albert (ed.)
Fields of Specialization
Micro-foundations of macroeconomics
Office of the Chief Economist for Africa Region
Externally Hosted Work
Last updated April 3, 2023
Albert G. Zeufack is the World Bank Country Director for Angola, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sao Tome and Principe. Prior to this assignment, from 2016 to 2022, Dr. Zeufack held the position of Chief Economist for the World Bank’s Africa region. A Cameroonian national, Dr. Zeufack joined the World Bank in 1997 as a Young Professional and started his career as a research economist in the macroeconomics division of the research department. Since then, he has held several positions in the World Bank’s Africa, East Asia and Pacific, and Europe and Central Asia regions. Between 2008 and 2012, when on leave from the World Bank, he served as Director of Research and Investment Strategy/Chief Economist for Khazanah Nasional Berhad, a Malaysian Sovereign Wealth Fund. He previously worked as Director of Research at the Natural Resource Governance Institute, and before that he co-founded the Natural Resource Charter.
Publication Search Results
Now showing 1 - 10 of 11
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-01) Jones, Patricia ; Mengistae, Taye ; Zeufack, AlbertThis paper identifies and estimates the impact of firm entry and exit on plant-level productivity in Ethiopia as part of a selection mechanism that might be driving aggregate productivity growth in cities. Specifically, the paper investigates how firms’ entry and exit contribute to the pace of factor reallocation and total factor productivity growth within industries—and whether these processes occur in higher numbers and rates in larger cities. The analysis is carried out using establishment census data from Ethiopia that cover the period from year 2000 to 2010. Importantly, these data include information on plants’ physical outputs and their prices, which allows distinguishing between revenue-based measures of total factor productivity (TFPR) and those based on physical productivity (TFPQ). The analysis reveals that these two measures generate very different results under imperfect competition, suggesting that physical productivity measures (TFPQ) are better suited to examining firm dynamics when local producers have some degree of market power. In addition, the findings show that less productive (higher cost) firms are more likely to exit than their more productive (lower cost) rivals—but the analysis controls for producers’ transport costs. This is consistent with the probability of firm exit being higher when transport costs are lower.
Optimal Allocation of Natural Resource Surpluses in a Dynamic Macroeconomic Framework: A DSGE Analysis with Evidence from Uganda(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-12) Zeufack, Albert ; Kopoin, Alexandre ; Nganou, Jean-Pascal ; Tchana Tchana, Fulbert ; Kemoe, LaurentIn low-income, capital-scarce economies that face financial and fiscal constraints, managing revenues from newly found natural resources can be a daunting challenge. The policy debate is how to scale up public investment to meet huge needs in infrastructure without generating a higher public deficit, and avoid the Dutch disease. This paper uses an open economy dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model that is compatible with low-income economies and calibrated on Ugandan's data to tackle this problem. The paper explores macroeconomic dynamics under three stylized fiscal policy approaches for managing resource windfalls: investing all in public capital, saving all in a sovereign wealth fund, and a sustainable-investing approach that proposes a constant share of resource revenues to finance public investment and the rest to be saved. The analysis finds that a gradual scaling-up of public investment yields the best outcome, as it minimizes macroeconomic volatility. The analysis then investigates the optimal oil share to use for public investment; the criterion minimizes a loss function that accounts for households' welfare and macroeconomic stability in an environment featuring oil price volatility. The findings show that, depending on the policy maker's preference for stability, 55 to 85 percent of oil windfalls should be invested.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-08) Nguimkeu, Pierre ; Zeufack, Albert G.This paper investigates the scale, causes, and timing of significant episodes of industrialization and deindustrialization in Sub-Saharan Africa. Recent studies have argued that the turning point of manufacturing output and employment shares tends to occur prematurely in this region. The analysis is performed using panel data methods for fractional responses and data from a variety of sources for a panel of 41 African countries. The results overwhelmingly do not support the common finding that Sub-Saharan African countries have begun to deindustrialize. Moreover, the study documents meaningful heterogeneity across Sub-Saharan Africa subregions, with the Southern region being the only subregion to have witnessed deindustrialization. However, this deindustrialization of the Southern subregion does not appear to be occurring prematurely. The study also explores the potential role of the Dutch disease and resource curse hypotheses in understanding Sub-Saharan Africa's manufacturing experience in resource rich countries.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-05) Zeufack, Albert G. ; Hassine, Nadia Belhaj ; Zeufack, AlbertThe paper investigates the structure and dynamics of consumption inequality and inequality of opportunity in Tanzania. The analysis covers the period 2001 to 2012. It reveals moderate and declining levels of consumption inequality at the national level, but increasing inequalities between geographic regions. Spatial inequalities are mainly driven by the disparities of households’ characteristics and endowments across geographic locations. An important part of these endowments results from intergenerational transmission of parental background. Father’s education appears as the most important background variable affecting consumption and income in Tanzania. Without appropriate policy actions, there are few chances for the next generations to spring out of the poverty and inequality lived by their parents, engendering risks of poverty and inequality traps in the country.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-12) Ahmed, Sabin ; Mengistae, Taye ; Yoshino, Yutaka ; Zeufack, Albert G.Uganda’s economy underwent significant structural change in the 2000s whereby the share of non-tradable services in aggregate employment rose by about 7 percentage points at the expense of the production of tradable goods. The process also involved a 12-percentage-point shift in employment away from small and medium enterprises and larger firms in manufacturing and commercial agriculture mainly to microenterprises in retail trade. In addition, the sectoral reallocation of labor on these two dimensions coincided with significant growth in aggregate labor productivity. However, in and of itself, the same reallocation could only have held back, rather than aid, the observed productivity gains. This was because labor was more productive throughout the period in the tradable goods sector than in the non-tradable sector. Moreover, the effect on aggregate labor productivity of the reallocation of employment between the two sectors could only have been reinforced by the impacts on the same of the rise in the employment share of microenterprises. The effect was also strengthened by a parallel employment shift across the age distribution of enterprises that raised sharply the employment share of established firms at the expense of younger ones and startups. Not only was labor consistently less productive in microenterprises than in small and medium enterprises and larger enterprises across all industries throughout the period, it was also typically less productive in more established firms than in younger ones.
Market Size, Sunk Costs of Entry, and Transport Costs: An Empirical Evaluation of the Impact of Demand-Side Factors versus Supply-Side Factors on Manufacturing Productivity(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-06) Jones, Patricia ; Lartey, Emmanuel ; Mengistae, Taye ; Zeufack, AlbertThis paper uses plant-level, panel data from the Ethiopian manufacturing census to estimate the effects of demand-side and supply-side factors on industrywide aggregate productivity. The paper focuses on the effects of three factors: (1) local market size, (2) the value of transportation costs that firms incur in selling to customers outside their market, and (3) licensing fees needed to enter the market. Identification is based on a model of production under monopolistic competition, which enables interpreting the estimated coefficients of a reduced form, dynamic productivity equation. The paper analyzes 11 industries in Ethiopia over 2000 to 2010. Several interesting results emerge. In the most parsimonious specification, the estimated coefficients are consistent with all three predictions of the model—but only for one industry: cinder blocks. In this industry, the expansion of the local market boosts industrywide total factor revenue productivity, while increases in transport costs and licensing fees reduce it. The picture is somewhat mixed in the other 10 industries but broadly consistent with the predictions of the model.
Sources of Productivity Growth in Uganda: The Role of Interindustry and Intra-industry Misallocation in the 2000s(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-12) Dennis, Allen ; Mengistae, Taye ; Yoshino, Yutaka ; Zeufack, AlbertUganda's growth in gross domestic product of the 2000s was accompanied by high growth rates of labor productivity across industries producing tradable goods and services. This came about primarily as a result of investment in equipment and other fixed assets, but also entailed substantial gains in total factor productivity Based on data from two waves of the Uganda Business Indicators survey this paper estimates that economy wide aggregate labor productivity and aggregate TFP grew at average annual rates of 13 t and 3 percent, respectively between survey years 2002 and 2009. Part of the growth in productivity on each measure reflected gains from technical progress made at the establishment level and within narrowly defined industries. But it was also in part the outcome of reallocation of labor and capital within as well as across industries. In particular, the paper estimates that about one-fifth of the aggregate growth in labor productivity between the two years reflected the shifting of labor toward industries and sectors where it was more productive on average and at the margin. The rest of the observed growth in labor productivity reflected gains made within narrowly defined industries. But almost in every case 55 to 90 percent of the observed "within industry" growth in labor productivity represented allocative efficiency gains from the correction of intra-industry inter-firm misallocation of labor. The balance of the observed within-industry growth in labor productivity represented establishment-level gains in technical efficiency.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-12) Diallo, Boubacar ; Tchana Tchana, Fulbert ; Zeufack, Albert G.This paper explores the landscape, contributions, and determinants of sovereign wealth funds' long-term investments in Sub-Saharan Africa. The study finds that of all regions, Africa receives the lowest share of investment from sovereign wealth funds, and the landscape is dominated by Asian funds. The investment strategies of sovereign wealth funds established by African countries tend to be to invest less domestically and more abroad, contrary to Asian funds. In addition, using an enriched simple mean-variance portfolio model with an exponential utility function, the analysis shows that the investment rate of return and political connections have a positive and significant effect on sovereign wealth fund investments, and risk exerts a negative but not significant effect. The paper confirms these results empirically, using a database that includes 26 sovereign wealth fund investments over 1985-2013. Hence, sovereign wealth funds investing in Africa care more about high returns and the political interests of their country of origin than the risk of their investment.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-12) Nguena, Christian-Lambert ; Tchana Tchana, Fulbert ; Zeufack, Albert G.Using a partially constructed panel database of 48 Sub-Saharan African countries from 2000 to 2013, this paper analyzes the structure of housing finance in Africa, its determinants, and its impact on inclusive growth. The findings show that market capitalization and urbanization are key positive determinants of housing finance, and the post-conflict environment is conductive to greater housing finance development. This result suggests that housing finance is driven by standard market forces of demand and supply. In addition, the analysis finds that housing finance development in Africa is not yet an effective tool for reducing economic inequality, at its current, very early stage. However, the paper shows that above a given threshold, housing finance could be efficient at reducing inequality. Finally, there is a slightly positive relationship between housing finance and greater economic development in Africa. All these findings suggest that policies to boost housing finance development in Africa would be fruitful in the medium to long terms.
Publication( 2012-03-01) Rafiq, Sohrab ; Zeufack, AlbertThis paper explores the stabilisation properties of fiscal policy in Malaysia using a model incorporating nonlinearities into the dynamic relationship between fiscal policy and real economic activity over the growth cycle. The paper also investigates how output multipliers for government purchases may alter for different components of government spending. The authors find that fiscal policy in Malaysia has become increasingly pro-cyclical over the last 25 years and establish that the size of fiscal multipliers tend to change over the growth cycle. A 1 Malaysian Ringgit rise in government (investment) spending leads to a maximum output multiplier of around 2.7 during growth recessions, and around 2 in normal times. The returns to government spending in Malaysia are greater when the focus is on public investment, as opposed to consumption. Changes in tax policy are less effective in stimulating economic activity than direct government spending. These results provide empirical backing to conjectures in the recent literature implying that procyclicality in fiscal policy reduces the effectiveness of fiscal actions in emerging markets.