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 28
Publication(World Bank, Washington D.C., 2002-04) Fafchamps, Marcel ; El Hamine, Said ; Zeufack, AlbertThe authors test two alternative models of learning to export: productivity learning, whereby firms learn to reduce production cost, and, market learning, whereby firms learn to design products that appeal to foreign consumers. Using panel, and cross-section data on Moroccan manufacturers, the authors uncover evidence of market learning, but little evidence of productivity learning. These findings are consistent with the concentration of Moroccan manufacturing exports in consumer items - the garment, textile, and leather sectors. It is the young firms that export. Most do so immediately after creation. The authors also find that, among exporters, new products are exported very rapidly after production has begun. The share of exported output nevertheless, increases for 2-3 years after a new product is introduced. Old firms are unlikely to switch to exports, even in response to changes in macroeconomic incentives. The authors find a positive relationship between exports, and productivity, and conclude that it is the result of self-selection: it is the more productive firms that move into exports. Policy implications are discussed.
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2003-09) Bigsten, Arne ; Collier, Paul ; Dercon, Stefan ; Fafchamps, Marcel ; Gauthier, Bernard ; Gunning, Jan Willem ; Oduro, Abena ; Oostendorp, Remco ; Pattillo, Cathy ; Soderbom, Mans ; Teal, Francis ; Zeufack, AlbertEmpirical work in labor economics has focused on rent sharing as an explanation for the observed correlation between wages and profitability. The alternative explanation of risk sharing between workers and employers has not been tested. Using a unique panel data set for four African countries, Authors find strong evidence of risk sharing. Workers in effect offer insurance to employers: when firms are hit by temporary shocks, the effect on profits is cushioned by risk sharing with workers. Rent sharing is a symptom of an inefficient labor market. Risk sharing; by contrast, can be seen as an efficient response to missing markets. Authors evidence suggests that risk sharing accounts for a substantial part of the observed effect of shocks on wages.
Market Access, Supplier Access, and Africa's Manufactured Exports : An Analysis of the Role of Geography and Institutions(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2006-06) Elbadawi, Ibrahim ; Mengistae, Taye ; Zeufack, AlbertIn a large cross-country sample of manufacturing establishments drawn from 188 cities, average exports per establishment are smaller for African firms than for businesses in other regions. The authors show that this is mainly because, on average, African firms face more adverse economic geography and operate in poorer institutional settings. Once they control for the quality of institutions and economic geography, what in effect is a negative African dummy disappears from the firm level exports equation they estimate. One part of the effect of geography operates through Africa's lower "foreign market access:" African firms are located further away from wealthier or denser potential export markets. A second occurs through the region's lower "supplier access:" African firms face steeper input prices, partly because of their physical distance from cheaper foreign suppliers, and partly because domestic substitutes for importable inputs are more expensive. Africa's poorer institutions reduce its manufactured exports directly, as well as indirectly, by lowering foreign market access and supplier access. Both geography and institutions influence average firm level exports significantly more through their effect on the number of exporters than through their impact on how much each exporter sells in foreign markets.
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.
Publication(Taylor and Francis, 2021-04) Nguena, Christian-Lambert ; Tchana, Fulbert Tchana ; Zeufack, Albert G.Using a panel database of 48 Sub-Saharan African countries from 2000 to 2012 that we partially constructed, this paper analyses the structure of housing finance in Africa, its determinants, and its impact on inclusive growth. We find that market capitalization and urbanization are key positive determinants of housing finance, while a post-conflict environment is conducive to greater housing finance development. This result suggests that housing finance is driven by standard market forces of demand and supply. Besides, we find that housing finance development in Africa is not yet an effective tool for reducing economic inequality, at its current, very earlier stage. However, we show 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(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-01) Kubota, Megumi ; Zeufack, AlbertThis paper investigates the potential benefits for a country from investing in data transparency. The paper shows that increased data transparency can bring substantive returns in lower costs of external borrowing. This result is obtained by estimating the impact of public data transparency on sovereign spreads conditional on the country's level of institutional quality and public and external debt. While improving data transparency alone reduces the external borrowing costs for a country, the return is much higher when combined with stronger institutional quality and lower public and external debt. Similarly, the returns on investing in data transparency are higher when a country's integration to the global economy deepens, as captured by trade and financial openness. Estimation of an instrumental variable regression shows that Sub-Saharan African countries could have saved up to 14.5 basis points in sovereign bond spreads and decreased their external debt burden by US$405.4 million (0.02 percent of gross domestic product) in 2018, if their average level of data transparency was that of a country in the top quartile of the upper-middle-income country category. At the country level, Angola could have reduced its external debt burden by around US$73.6 million.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-08) Jones, Patricia ; Lartey, Emmanuel K.K. ; Mengistae, Taye ; Zeufack, AlbertThis paper investigates the sources of growth in manufacturing productivity in Cote D’Ivoire, Ethiopia and Tanzania in comparison with the case of Bangladesh. Based on the analysis of establishment census data since the mid-1990s, it finds that reallocation of market share between firms contributed substantially to productivity growth in each of the four countries, although to a varying extent. In Ethiopia, the impact of market share reallocations among survivors tended to be larger than those associated with increases in within-plant productivity. In addition, plant closure (or exit) boosted productivity more than new plant openings (or entry) did in the sense that the relative productivity of survivors (or continuing plants) was higher relative to that of closing plants (or exit cases) than it was relative to the productivity of newly opening plants (or new entrants). Reallocation of market share plays an important role in raising aggregate productivity in Côte d’Ivoire as well. But the pattern here is opposite to that in Ethiopia in that in Côte d’Ivoire entering (or newly opening) plants have larger impact on aggregate productivity growth than closing (or exiting) plants. Unlike the case with Cote D’Ivoire and of Ethiopia, the reallocation of market share among surviving plants is a smaller source of manufacturing productivity growth in Tanzania than the new plant openings and plant closure. The data suggest that the reallocation of market share among surviving plants and exiting plants has larger impact on productivity growth in Bangladesh than the productivity gap between new plants and survivors, as in the case of Ethiopia.
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(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2021-11-23) Abreha, Kaleb G. ; Kassa, Woubet ; Lartey, Emmanuel K.K. ; Mengistae, Taye A. ; Owusu, Solomon ; Zeufack, Albert G.Industrialization drives the sustained growth in jobs and productivity that marks the developmental take-off of most developed economies. Yet, academics and policy makers have questioned the role of manufacturing in development for late industrializers, especially in view of rapid advancements in technologies and restructuring of international trade. Concurrently, industrialization and structural transformation are integral to the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the development strategies of several countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Given this renewed interest in industrialization across the region, a central question is not whether SSA countries should pursue industrialization as a potential path to sustainable growth but how to promote the prospects of industrialization. Industrialization in Sub-Saharan Africa: Seizing Opportunities in Global Value Chains addresses this question by reassessing the prospects for industrialization in SSA countries through integration into global value chains. It also examines the role of policy in enhancing these prospects. The main findings indicate that • SSA has not experienced premature deindustrialization; the region has witnessed substantial growth in manufacturing jobs despite a lack of improvement in the contribution of manufacturing value-added to GDP. • The region’s integration into manufacturing global value chains is reasonably high but it is dominated by exports of primary products and engagement in low-skill tasks. • Global value chain integration has led to job growth, and backward integration is associated with more job creation. The report emphasizes the role of policy in maintaining a competitive market environment, promoting productivity growth, and investing in skills development and enabling sectors such as infrastructure and finance. Policy makers can strengthen the global value chain linkages by (1) increasing the value-added content of current exports, (2) upgrading into high-skill tasks, and (3) creating comparative advantages in knowledge-intensive industries.