Central Africa Unit, Africa Region, The World Bank
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Fields of Specialization
Macroeconomic and structural policies, Growth diagnostics, Fiscal policy
Central Africa Unit, Africa Region, The World Bank
Externally Hosted Work
Last updated January 31, 2023
Souleymane Coulibaly, from Cote d'Ivoire, holds a double Ph.D. degree in International Trade and Economic Geography from the University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne (France) and the University of Lausanne (Switzerland). His publications and ongoing research deal with the impact of geography on firms’ location, trade flows and regional integration. He was a co-author of 2009 World Development Report "Reshaping Economic Geography", contributed to the 2005 Global Economic Prospect report on regionalism, and recently published the book “Eurasian Cities: New Realities along the Silk Road” in the ECA regional studies series. He is the Program Leader and Lead Economist for Central Africa. He joined the World Bank Africa Region in January 2014 from the Operation and Policy and Quality Unit (OPCS) where he was covering Development Policy Lending and Guarantee policies and operations, and represented the unit in the Non-Concessional Borrowing Policy committee. Before OPCS, he was in the Eastern and Central Asia (ECA) region working simultaneously as trade economist and country economist of some former Soviet countries (Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan), as well as ECA regional trade coordinator. Before joining the World Bank as a Young Professional in September 2006, he used to be lecturer at the Ecole Nationale Superieure de Statistiques et d’Economie Appliquée (ENSEA) of Abidjan, teaching assistant at the University of Lausanne, and economist at the Economic and International Relations department of NESTLE in Vevey, Switzerland.
Publication Search Results
Now showing 1 - 10 of 13
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-07) Coulibaly, SouleymaneThe future development of the Tajik economy will be shaped by its comparative advantage on world markets. Exploiting comparative advantage enables an economy to reap gains from trade. Tajikistan's most important comparative advantage is its hydropower potential, which is far larger than the economy's domestic requirements. Yet, high capital costs of building hydropower plants and the unstable geopolitical situation in the transit region to reach South Asian export markets are constraining the realization of this potential. In the short term, the sector, which provides the greatest opportunity for Tajikistan to diversify its exports, appears to be agro-industry and, to a lesser extent, clothing. For both sectors, the main export market is likely to be the regional market. Tajikistan also has a comparative advantage in labor exports, which it has successfully exploited since the mid-2000s. To harness the full potential for labor exports will require improving the skills base of migrant workers and, in particular, their command of the Russian language. In the medium term, the paper argues that an export diversification strategy should tap the agglomeration economies generated by cities. More specifically, establishing Tajikistan's two leading cities, Dushanbe and Khujand, and their surroundings as enclave economies, linked to each other and to major regional markets through improved transport infrastructure so as to minimize production and transportation costs. The two enclave economies should provide the supporting services (finance, logistics, transport and storage) for private sector businesses. In the long term, regional cooperation on trade and transport facilitation could be pursued to reduce transport costs to attractive regional markets such as China, India, Russia and Turkey.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-02) Coulibaly, SouleymaneArmenia's strong economic growth from 2001-2008, when real gross domestic product (GDP) grew 12.6 percent per year on average, boosted living standards and created the fiscal headroom necessary for the Government to respond to the 2009 financial crisis with a large fiscal stimulus. As a result, the fiscal deficit reached 7.6 percent in 2009 and helped limit the contraction in real GDP to 14 percent. With the economy growing again, the stimulus has to be gradually withdrawn. However, the retrenchment will need to be designed carefully to limit negative impact on growth. Improving the efficiency of all aspects of public finances - tax policy, tax administration, and public expenditures - will be crucial to the planned fiscal adjustment. With the ratio of tax revenues to GDP lower than that of comparator countries with similar levels of income per capita, the brunt of the fiscal consolidation should be borne by an increase in tax revenues (the lower bound estimated to be between 2.3 and 5.8 percent of GDP).
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-12) Coulibaly, SouleymaneEurasian cities, unique in the global spatial landscape, were part of the world's largest experiment in urban development. The challenges they now face because of their history offer valuable lessons to urban planners and policymakers across the world from places that are still urbanizing to those already urbanized. Today, Eurasian cities must respond to three big changes: the breakup of the Soviet Union, the return of the market as the driving force of society, and the emergence of regional powers such as the European Union, China, and India that are competing with the Russian Federation for markets and influence in its former satellites. Several methods of analysis indicate an imbalance across Eurasia, implying a need to readjust Eurasia's urban structure. National policies in Eurasia are still preoccupied with spatial equity. But the concentration of economic activity in large cities is fundamental to national competitive advantage: they foster innovation through their diversity of industries -- and reduce production costs through their economies of scale. This paper suggests some ideas on how policymakers can harness the economic power of cities to drive national economic development, by focusing on four themes: planning, connecting, greening, and financing cities.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-08) Kassa, Woubet ; Coulibaly, SouleymaneThis study examines the impact of the African Growth and Opportunity Act using the synthetic control method, a quasi-experimental approach. The novelty in the approach is that it addresses problems of estimation that are prevalent in nonexperimental methods used to analyze the impact of preferential trade agreements. The findings show that most of the eligible countries registered gains in exports due to the African Growth and Opportunity Act. However, the results are varied, and the gains were largely unsteady. Much of the gains are due to exports of petroleum and other minerals, while there are few countries that were able to expand into manufacturing and other industrial goods. The positive trade impacts were largely associated with improvements in information and communications technology infrastructure, integrity in the institutions of legal and property rights, ease of labor market regulations, and sound macroeconomic environment, including stable exchange rates and low inflation. Undue exposure to a single market, like the United States, or few commodities may have also restricted the gains from trade.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-01) Coulibaly, SouleymaneMajor events have reshaped the internal population flows of Eurasia, including the breakup of the Soviet Union, the development of market economies, and the rising influence of regional powers. Looking ahead, policy makers need to promote reforms to make Eurasian cities the main drivers of growth. This can be done by rethinking strategies to better plan, connect, and green the region s important urban centers. Improved planning means promoting policies to develop land and housing markets and enhance public service delivery. Greening Eurasian cities refers to ensuring their sustainable development through strong markets and institutions that encourage the efficient use of resources, address pollution, and build livable cities. To appropriately fund these needed changes, subnational finances will have to be reformed and new ways to finance cross-country connectivity explored.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-07) Coulibaly, Souleymane ; Diaby, MohamedThis paper analyzes and reconciles macro and micro evidence on savings and factors that affect savings, as well as possible policy implications. At the aggregate level, the main question is how savings are affected by growth and macroeconomic policies and variables (fiscal policy, exchange rate, for example) and the breadth of financial markets. Some of these macro determinants can be reconciled with microeconomic evidence of the savings behavior of households. Using macroeconomic quarterly data and household survey data, the analysis explores the determinants of the savings rate at the macroeconomic and microeconomic levels, using the typical econometric models used in the literature (long-term co-integration relation and short-term error correction model for the macro determinants; linear multivariate models for the micro determinants). The long-term relationship indicates that a 10-percent increase in gross domestic product per capita would add 3.7 percentage points to the savings rate in the long run. The short-term relationship depicts a strong catch-up process to the long-run equilibrium, with quarterly changes in gross domestic product per capita and openness strongly correlated with quarterly changes in the savings rate. The characteristics of households that represent the volatility of expected income, such as education and access to borrowing or remittances, significantly impact saving rates. The macroeconomic and microeconomic analyses of the determinants of saving rates in Armenia point to three policy areas: the macroeconomic environment, the financial sector, and the role of remittances.
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2012-09-07) Coulibaly, Souleymane ; Deichmann, Uwe ; Dillinger, William R. ; Heroiu, Marcel Ionescu ; Kessides, Ioannis N. ; Kunaka, Charles ; Saslavsky, DanielEurasian cities, unique in the global spatial landscape, were part of the world's largest experiment in urban development. The challenges they now face because of their history offer valuable lessons to urban planners and policy makers across the world from places that are still urbanizing to those already urbanized. More than three-quarters of the built environment in Eurasian cities was developed after 1945 in a centralized fashion. Central planners could implement whatever they considered good practice planning solutions, and Eurasia's cities became their drawing boards. The central planners got a lot right easy access to public transportation, district heating networks, almost universal access to water systems, and socially integrated neighborhoods. At the same time, they failed to acknowledge the importance of markets and individual choice in shaping sustainable and congenial places for people to live in. From a spatial point of view, it became clear that many Eurasian cities were developed in places where they should not have been. To populate sparsely inhabited territory, Soviet planners pushed urban development toward the heart of Siberia. Many of the resulting cities had no rural hinterland to rely on for daily food needs and had to depend on subsidized goods and services. Many Eurasian cities face an overdeveloped public service infrastructure that is hard to maintain and upgrade. Facing an economic downturn in the 1990s and lacking experience in decentralized urban management, many local authorities struggled to run these services. Public transport ridership fell in most cities, with more people commuting in private vehicles. Recycling networks disappeared, and soaring consumption overwhelmed solid waste management systems. District heating systems became large energy sieves hard to run and maintain without subsidies. Plaguing water systems are large shares of nonrevenue water, and low tariffs do not ensure the cost recovery needed for upgrades and repairs. This book discusses all five of these issues rethinking, planning, connecting, greening, and financing in more detail. It seeks to analyze the key challenges created by central planning, outline how these challenges were addressed in the transition years, and identify some steps Eurasian cities should take to chart a sustainable development path for themselves. The book also shows how some of the most progressive cities in the region have been tackling these problems and, in doing so, shedding the last vestiges of the socialist economy.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2007-05) Coulibaly, SouleymaneMany recent papers have pointed to ambiguous trade effects of developing regional trade agreements (RTAs), calling for a reassessment of their economic merits. The author focuses on seven such agreements currently in force in Sub-Saharan Africa (ECOWAS and SADC), Asia (AFTA and SAPTA) and Latin America (CACM, CAN, and MERCOSUR), estimating their impacts on their members' trade flows. Instead of the usual dummy variables for RTAs, he proposes a variable taking into account the number of years of membership. He then combines a gravity model with kernel estimation techniques to capture the non-monotonic trade effects while imposing minimal structure on the model. The results indicate that except for SAPTA, these RTAs have had a positive impact on their members' intra-trade over the estimation period (1960-99). AFTA seems to be the most successful among them, with an estimated positive impact on its members' imports from the rest of the world (hence no trade diversion), but its impact on their exports to the rest of the world is rather limited. During its first 10 years of existence, ECOWAS appears to have had a positive impact on its members' imports from the rest of the world (hence no trade diversion), but this positive impact vanished over time. SAPTA's negative impact on its members' intra-trade is probably an implicit effect of the India-Pakistan tensions over the estimation period.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2007-08) Coulibaly, Souleymane ; Deichmann, Uwe ; Lall, SomikSince the early 1980s, Turkey has been going through a rapid urbanization process at a pace beyond the World average. This paper aims at assessing the impact of this rapid urbanization process on the country's sector productivity. The authors built a database combining two-digit manufacturing data and some geographical, infrastructural, and socio-economic data collected at the provincial level by the Turkish State Institute of Statistics. The paper develops a parsimonious econometric relation linking sector productivity to accessibility, localization, and urbanization economies, proxying variables in the tradition of the New Economic Geography literature. The estimation results suggest that both localization and urbanization economies, as well as market accessibility, are productivity-enhancing factors in Turkey, although the causation link between productivity and these agglomeration measures is not clearly established. The sector-by-sector estimation confirms this result, although the localization economies effect is negative for the non-oil mineral sector, and the urbanization economies effect is weak for natural-resource-based sectors such as the wood and metal industry. Although the data cover the period up to 2000 and thus ignore the financial crisis that hit Turkey in 2001, the current structural transformation of the country away from the agricultural sector gives room to use the insights of these results as a preliminary step to understand the new challenges faced by the Turkish manufacturing sector. The results provide a discussion base to revisit the policy agenda on the improvement of the accessibility to markets, the improvement of the business environment to ease the creation and development of new firms, and a well-managed urbanization process to tap in the economic potential of cities.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-09) Izvorski, Ivailo ; Coulibaly, Souleymane ; Doumbia, Djeneba ; Izvorski, IvailoThe strong economic performance of Sub-Saharan Africa’s resource-rich countries since the start of the 21st century has been celebrated as a return to more buoyant growth and renewed convergence with the advanced economies.Despite the recent progress in improving living standards and reducing poverty, achieving high and sustainable growth continues to be the main challenge for policymakers.Rwanda and Ethiopia have led Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in terms of per-capita growth since 2000, growing faster than South Asia. However, the gap between the resource-rich countries of Africa with East Asia and the Pacific (EAP), SAR, and the advanced economies has widened since 2010, underlining the difficulty of accelerating growth.Africa has often been portrayed as a continent of boundless natural riches that have helped pull the whole subcontinent forward. Indeed, resource-rich Africa accounts for a dominant part of SSA’s economy. Resource-rich SSA accounts for 70 percent of both the subcontinent’s GDP and physical capital, 60 percent of its natural capital, and nearly 40 percent of its population. For the continent in aggregate and in per capita terms, however, natural resources are just a bit higher than in the South Asia Region (SAR) and lag all other developing regions.One way of thinking of strengthening economic growth depends on more exploration and development of natural resources that should help increase the continent’s natural wealth, as has happened in many other developing regions.More importantly, durable prosperity in resource-rich Africa depends on building up the assets, or components of overall wealth, that are in relatively short supply. In recent years, the literature has started to focus on assets and assets diversification as a path to development, and the World Bank has led in this area. In this report, we emphasize the two complementary types of assets that Africa’s resource-rich countries need to build up to accelerate growth: one is within national borders and the other across borders.