Person:
Coulibaly, Souleymane

Central Africa Unit, Africa Region, The World Bank
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Fields of Specialization
Macroeconomic and structural policies, Growth diagnostics, Fiscal policy
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Central Africa Unit, Africa Region, The World Bank
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Last updated: January 31, 2023
Biography
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 16
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Solow in Transition : Macro and Micro Determinants of Savings in Armenia

2013-07, Coulibaly, Souleymane

This 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.

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Urbanization and Productivity : Evidence from Turkish Provinces Over the Period 1980-2000

2007-08, Coulibaly, Souleymane, Lall, Somik

Since 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.

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Evaluating the Trade Effect of Developing Regional Trade Agreements : A Semi-parametric Approach

2007-05, Coulibaly, Souleymane

Many 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.

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Reinvigorating Growth in Resource-Rich Sub-Saharan Africa

2018-09, Izvorski, Ivailo, Coulibaly, Souleymane, Doumbia, Djeneba, Izvorski, Ivailo

The 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.

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Fiscal Consolidation and Recovery in Armenia

2012-02, Coulibaly, Souleymane

Armenia'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).

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Agglomeration and Specialization Patterns when Firms and Workers Are Footloose

2008, Coulibaly, Souleymane

In new economic geography models, geographic concentration can't arise because of workers' mobility or vertical linkages between firms. We examine a setup that combines those two approaches in conjunction with local congestion costs. We find that, as trade costs are lowered, the geographic concentration of total activity (agglomeration) follows an inverse u-shaped evolution, while the degree of specialization of regions increases. These results shed light on regional development within a country as integration proceeds: when trade costs are high, firms evenly spread between the regions to supply local demand at low costs, hence diversified regions; at intermediate trade costs, we have coexistence of a diversified core and a specialized periphery and at low trade costs, each industry clusters in one region to fully exploit returns to scale externalities. US city centers and non-metropolitan areas during the period 1850-1990 depict such specialization and agglomeration patterns. These results show that a country's effort to improve accessibility across its portfolio of places can favor a win-win regional allocation of firms based on each location's competitive advantage.

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Africa in the New Trade Environment: Market Access in Troubled Times

2022-02-10, Coulibaly, Souleymane, Kassa, Woubet, Zeufack, Albert G., Mattoo, Aaditya, Coulibaly, Souleymane, Kassa, Woubet, Zeufack, Albert G.

Sub-Saharan Africa represents only a small share of global production and trade while hosting half of the extreme poor worldwide. To catch up with the rest of the world, the continent has no alternative: it must undertake reforms to scale up its supply capacity while better linking its production and trade to the global economy. If it does so, it stands to gain from unlimited demand and innovation along the supply chain. Some progress has been made over the past decade, with the region’s exports and imports growing rapidly. Because most African economies rely heavily on trade for a large share of national income, they will also be more vulnerable to the trade disruptions of external shocks, as illustrated by the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Africa in the New Trade Environment: Market Access in Troubled Times provides a comprehensive, state-of-the-art analysis by a team of renowned trade economists who present a strategy to bolster Sub-Saharan Africa’s market access in the current global environment.

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Diversified Urbanization: The Case of Côte d'Ivoire

2016-08-29, Fall, Madio, Coulibaly, Souleymane, Fall, Madio, Coulibaly, Souleymane

Côte d’Ivoire seeks a development strategy to reach middle-income status—a challenge that would require annual growth rates averaging 10 percent over the next 13 years. Global experience of both developed and emerging economies shows that GDP per capita rises with increased urbanization. However, Côte d’Ivoire’s economy is underperforming relative to its level of urbanization. The country’s urbanization has been negatively correlated with income per capita since the late 1970s, and poverty has been increasing. Rather than consider development of cities individually, successful urbanization plans in Côte d’Ivoire should consider the country’s cities as a portfolio of assets, each differentiated by characteristics that include size, location, and density of settlements. The authors of Diversified Urbanization: The Case of Côte d’Ivoire identify three types of cities on the basis of their contribution to growth and job creation: Global Connectors, Regional Connectors along major corridors for regional transport and trade, and Domestic Connectors of localization economies for agribusiness. Stakeholders from the national government, local governments, and the private sector have a shared vision for urbanization in the country—cities that are planned, structured, competitive, attractive, inclusive, and organized around development poles. To achieve this vision and the goal of middle-income status, Ivorian policy makers need to act urgently to support diversified urbanization across all city types. This book identifies important constraints and opportunities along four dimensions: planning, connecting, greening, and financing cities.

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On the Complementarity of Regional and Global Trade

2009, Coulibaly, Souleymane

Sourcing intermediate goods efficiently is essential for a country's production capacity. Countries located in a neighborhood providing a wide range of intermediate goods cheaply available can take advantage of scale economies to reduce their production costs and improve their global competitiveness. Many empirical works have documented the sharp increase in intra-industry trade and particularly trade in intermediate goods within developed neighborhoods such as the EU, North America and Northeast Asia. But what about developing neighborhoods? This paper uses COMTRADE aggregate exports of capital goods, intermediate goods, consumer goods and raw materials for 2002-06 to evaluate how a country's import of intermediate goods from its neighbors impacts its global export performance. For Sub-Saharan African countries particularly, there is a strong positive correlation between countries previous regional import of intermediate goods and their current exports, indicating that developing neighborhoods are also experiencing such complementarity between regional and global trade, the relation being stronger beyond a threshold of global competitiveness. These results call for a two-pronged policy action encompassing regional and global integration and putting a sub-set of Sub-Saharan countries close to that global competitiveness threshold at the heart of a neighborhood growth strategy.

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Shifting Comparative Advantages : Implications for Growth Strategy

2012-07, Coulibaly, Souleymane

The 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.