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Roads, Trade and Cities in Africa [Research Assistantship]

Department: Economics and Elliott School of International Affairs
Professor Remi Jedwab

Description: The second project consists of measuring the economic effects of road investments connecting cities in Africa over the past 50 years. More precisely, for 42 sub-Saharan African countries over the period 1960-2015, we investigate the relationship between road quality, trade between cities, and
city growth, a traditional measure of local economic development. We already have a first draft of the paper: http://home.gwu.edu/~jedwab/Jedwab_Storeygard_07202016.pdf. We are now trying to improve the paper, for example by collecting and using geospatialized data on the location of border crossings in the same 42 countries over the same period. The location of border crossings will give us additional information on the specific trade costs of trading with cities in neighboring countries rather than cities belonging to the same country.

Duties: The research assistant will have to help me: (i) locate some additional sources of data (e.g., maps or tables in books or historical studies, etc.), (ii) help me recreate some of this data in excel or in GIS (geographical information system). GIS is a format that is used to produce as well as analyze the maps that can be found in most books or reports. If the student doesn’t know how to create GIS data, I will train the student myself. I have software that is relatively easy to use. GIS skills are strongly valued by bilateral and multilateral aid agencies because they often need maps for their publications.

Time Commitment/Credits: 4-6 hours per week (average), 2 credits; OR 7+ hours per week, 3 credits

To Apply: Submit Cover Letter/Resume to jedwab@gwu.edu