Hi! I'm Abel


I am a development researcher interested in development economics and a whole slew of topics ranging from industrial policy (with a Sub-Saharan African focus) and renewable energy to political economy analysis, international political economy, historical political economy, and comparative political economy.


  • Data analysis and econometric analysis – R (basic level), STATA, Eviews and Excel software

  • Microeconometrics (basic machine learning)

  • Economic and political economy analysis

  • Teaching and presentation skills

  • Research skills

  • Report writing skills

  • Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint)

  • Interpersonal communication skills

  • Proficiency in written and oral English; intermediate-level competency in Hausa language

A Glimpse of my Personality Type

The Big Five Factor Model


Click here for a description

Myers-Briggs Typology

Click here and/or here for general descriptions of INTJs


Abel B.S. Gaiya

Development economist and researcher
Deputy Research Manager, Clean Technology Hub







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Feb 2015 - Nov 2015

Arts and Culture Officer


Registered, supervised, and coordinated 48 clubs and societies (cultural, religious and social); and organized arts and cultural events to cater to the 61 nationalities represented in the university. Handled logistical support for each club (venue booking, equipment leasing, procurement and purchasing, and secondary funds accounting) in partnership with the university's procurement department, student development department, senior management, maintenance department, student services department and transportation department. Interacted with each club's internal leadership committee on a daily basis to monitor and evaluate progress and performance. Thus, the role spanned administrative and supervisory activities.The task of event management of arts and culture events allowed me to organize to significant events: the annual Africa day, and the annual cultural day whereby I coordinated with cultural societies to have a variety of cultural meals, music, dances and clothing on campus.In my general capacity as a student representative council member, I engaged intensively with the community engagement department to contribute to their events, as well as with general management for orientation week activities and events. In addition to liaising with the marketing department in club brand management, I helped with the Monash South Africa re-branding exercise by suggesting the idea of a university mascot, which was then eventually adopted.All this was done in collaboration with my SRC colleagues, but the roles themselves were part of my portfolio. Note: This was not employment. It was closer to volunteering with a stipend. Yet the work done was comprehensive and required me to engage will many MSA employees across multiple departments.




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Feb 2015 - Nov 2015

Arts and Culture Officer


Registered, supervised, and coordinated 48 clubs and societies (cultural, religious and social); and organized arts and cultural events to cater to the 61 nationalities represented in the university. Handled logistical support for each club (venue booking, equipment leasing, procurement and purchasing, and secondary funds accounting) in partnership with the university's procurement department, student development department, senior management, maintenance department, student services department and transportation department. Interacted with each club's internal leadership committee on a daily basis to monitor and evaluate progress and performance. Thus, the role spanned administrative and supervisory activities.The task of event management of arts and culture events allowed me to organize to significant events: the annual Africa day, and the annual cultural day whereby I coordinated with cultural societies to have a variety of cultural meals, music, dances and clothing on campus.In my general capacity as a student representative council member, I engaged intensively with the community engagement department to contribute to their events, as well as with general management for orientation week activities and events. In addition to liaising with the marketing department in club brand management, I helped with the Monash South Africa re-branding exercise by suggesting the idea of a university mascot, which was then eventually adopted.All this was done in collaboration with my SRC colleagues, but the roles themselves were part of my portfolio. Note: This was not employment. It was closer to volunteering with a stipend. Yet the work done was comprehensive and required me to engage will many MSA employees across multiple departments.

Apr 2021 - present

Deputy Research Manager


  • Supporting the research manager in coordinating CTH’s research activities and portfolio.

  • Preparing concept notes, proposals and budgets for research grant applications.

  • Developed an energy transition policy roadmap proposed to the Delta State government for adoption.

  • Supporting on the e-mobility portfolio to conduct market research and engage with government and private stakeholders in driving policy and collective action in the subsector.

  • Supporting projects under other portfolios in Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) design.

Nov 2019 - Dec 2020



  • Engaged in a variety of research activities including qualitative analysis (in-depth interviews and focus group discussions), quantitative analysis (surveys and regression analysis) and behavioural lab experiments.

  • Projects ranged from climate change, agriculture and financial inclusion to public health and governance, across Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia and Uganda.

  • Provided support on a UNICEF WASH project that tested various nudge-modified communication strategies to promote handwashing to combat cholera in Kenya.

Jan 2020 - present

Associate Editor


Helping out with the review process of scholarly manuscripts submitted to the journal, and preparing decisions on the submitted papers.

Dec 2020 - present

Global Mentor


The EvoMe platform is designed to find, nurture, and launch talent into the industry regardless of time to get there. I help assess performance of  talents/learners and recommend talent Industry direction for them.

23 May 2017 - 12 Apr 2018

Corps Member


The NYSC scheme is a one-year national service (stipended) mandate under which higher education graduates are mobilized to attend a three-week orientation camp, to work at a place of primary assignment (PPA), and to engage in Community Development Service (CDS) for a year. As a corps member my PPA was Government Secondary School, Idang, Calabar South, Cross River State, in the capacity of an economics teacher for SS1 class (Senior Secondary 1). I was given the award of  "Best Corps Member" for my service stream (Batch A Stream 1, 2017). My CDS was Charity CDS, and I was elected the General Secretary.

Apr 2017

Data Collector


Collected data (in a team of 5) from 6 basic education schools in Kaduna state related to the use of the GPE funds disbursed for the purpose of improving quality of and access to basic education especially for female children.

May 2017

Data Collection Team Supervisor

Feb 2017 - May 2017

High School Teacher (Volunteer)


Supervised a four-man team in the collection of financial and operational data from 24 basic education schools in Kanostate related to the use of GPE/NIPEP funds. Liaised directly with the LGEA Education Secretary, coordinated the team, oversaw the data collection procedure, and reviewed the collected data before final submission.


I volunteered as a social studies teacher for JSS 1 to 3 (grades 7 to 9).  One of the reasons for volunteering in this capacity is to observe first hand the conditions facing secondary schools in Nigeria from the educator's point of view. Another is the lack of volunteer or internship opportunities in an professional economics-related field in the state of my residence.

Apr 2016 - Jul 2016



The aim is to provide high quality opportunity for the nursery school learners within Joza township of Grahamstown to engage in educational play time. The facility is full of educational games such as puzzles, colour games, shape identification games, etc. The role of the volunteer is to engage with the children to enable them learn whilst they play.

Jan 2013 - Aug 2015

Independent (Retail) Forex Trader

As a retail forex trader, I used price action (primarily candlestick analysis), complemented by a few indicators, to trade currencies through an online broker. Although I used technical analysis predominantly, the necessity of having knowledge of fundamental analysis gave me the impetus to keep abreast with current global economic, social and geopolitical affairs, and to observe first hand how academically-taught economic principles played out in real life. This activity opened me up to the finance industry and enabled me understand the practicalities of the currency markets.

Feb 2015 - Nov 2015

Arts and Culture Officer


Worked in a multicultural setting within a team of 12 (comprising Zimbabweans, Zambians, Malawians and Nigerians). Registered, supervised, and coordinated 48 clubs and societies (cultural, religious and social); and organized arts and cultural events to cater to the 61 nationalities represented in the university. Handled logistical support for each club (venue booking, equipment leasing, procurement and purchasing, and secondary funds accounting) in partnership with the university's procurement department, student development department, senior management, maintenance department, student services department and transportation department. Interacted with each club's internal leadership committee on a daily basis to monitor and evaluate progress and performance. Thus, the role spanned administrative and supervisory activities.The task of event management of arts and culture events allowed me to organize to significant events: the annual Africa day, and the annual cultural day whereby I coordinated with cultural societies to have a variety of cultural meals, music, dances and clothing on campus.In my general capacity as a student representative council member, I engaged intensively with the community engagement department to contribute to their events, as well as with general management for orientation week activities and events. In addition to liaising with the marketing department in club brand management, helped with the Monash South Africa re-branding exercise by suggesting the idea of a university mascot, which was then eventually adopted.

May 2015 - Apr 2016; Apr 2017-Apr 2020

Global Youth Ambassador


Global Youth Ambassadors (GYAs) are a worldwide network of 500 young people in more than 80 countries advocating and campaigning for education change around the world and who are supporting the movement to get every child into school and learning. I participated in the 2015 #UpforSchool campaign which delivered 10 million signatures to the United Nations in 2015 - demanding that world leaders keep their promise to get every child into school. The youth ambassadors collected more than one million signatures. I also participated in the organization (with other GYAs) of a seminar on the state of South African basic education.


Master of Science


Major: Development Economics


Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Award


Bachelor of Commerce (Honours)


Major: Economics; Focus: Economic Development

First Class Honours

Academic Honours Award 2017


Bachelor of Business Science (without honours)


Majors: Economics and Management

Second Class Lower/Division B

Top Achievers Award 2015 (Cultural Category)


Secondary School Certificate


Arts and Commercial Class

Deputy Head Boy

Student Member Oct 2018 - present

The Royal Economic Society is one of the oldest and most prestigious economic associations in the world. It is a learned society, founded in 1890 to promote the study of economic science. The Society publishes The Economic Journal and The Econometrics Journal; holds its Annual Conference, a major international gathering of academic economists; engages with the media and with the policy communities;and supports education, training and career development of economists

Student Member Oct 2018 - present

The Institute of Economic Development (IED) is the UK’s leading independent professional body representing economic development and regeneration practitioners working for local and regional communities.

Student Member Aug 2015 - present

Membership is open to individuals and organizations having an interest in the development, understanding, teaching, and application of the principles and theories of finance and economics as they relate to Africa and who pay the required annual dues (http://afea.info/). Currently being supervised under the AFEA mentor programme to author an academic paper and submit to the Journal of African Development.

Member Oct 2017 - present
Economic Development Working Group
Africa Working Group
States and Markets Working Group

Provides a home to students, young professionals, or others who embrace new and critical ways of thinking about the economy.

YSI fosters conversation between like-minded peers and connects young scholars to the Institute’s vast network of economists. YSI provides a platform for pursuing your interests in new economic thinking and a lively and stimulating intellectual environment for collaborating on furthering our understanding of the economy. The goal is for every member to be able to follow their curiosity and find resources and support for their specific intellectual pursuits in the overall community effort.

Affiliate Member Nov 2017 - present

IIPPE was founded in 2006 with the aim of promoting political economy in and of itself but also through critical and constructive engagement with mainstream economics, heterodox alternatives, interdisciplinarity, and activism understood broadly as ranging across formulating progressive policy through to support for progressive movements.

Student Member Sep 2019 - present

The Association of Christian Economists (ACE) was formed in December 1982 at the Allied Social Science Association meetings. ACE aims to encourage Christian scholars to explore and communicate the relationship between their faith and the discipline of economics, and to promote interaction and communication among Christian economists. ACE currently has approximately 300 members — Christian economists in academia, business, and government, drawn from around the globe.

Student Member May 2016 - present

The World Economics Association (WEA) was launched on May 16, 2011. It fills a gap in the international community of economists — the absence of a truly international, inclusive, pluralist, professional association. The American Economic Association and UK’s Royal Economic Society provide broad associations mainly for their country’s economists. The WEA will do the same for the world’s community of economists, while promoting a pluralism of approaches to economic analysis.

Image by Kelly Sikkema



Navigating Competitive Clientelism for Industrial Policy Success: Possibilities For Nigeria

Paper to be presented at the Joint SARChI and YSI Young Scholars Conference on Structural Change and Industrial Policy in Africa, 20-21 July 2021.

Abstract: The political settlements framework has emerged as a powerful tool in understanding the diversity of industrial policy outcomes across countries and within countries and sectors. In sub-Saharan Africa, many countries are characterized by more dispersed distributions of power, weak capitalist and middle classes, and weak technological capabilities of domestic firms. The general weakness of state capacity and growth-enhancing ruling coalitions has necessitated a rethinking of the state towards a conception of “extended statehood”. The corollary of this movement within the industrial policy space, and in light of political settlements insights, is a need to experiment with institutional flexibility and mandate extension of pockets of bureaucratic effectiveness, a need to study subnational variation in elaborated political settlements, and the role of international actors and forces in supporting or inciting growth-enhancing coalitions. After considering the precolonial origins of sub-Saharan political settlements, these experimental avenues within extended statehood are applied to the case of Nigeria.

Image by Kelly Sikkema


TITLE: Correcting the Southern Bias in Development Economics: Issues and Tensions in Global Structural Transformation

Abstract: In order to be neutral to, or actively aid, the industrialization of poorer countries, rich countries must intervene within their domestic economies to internalize the costs of industrial adjustment. Interventions include industrial policy to aid the rapid reallocation of capital & generation of new industries and innovations; social policy to aid the rapid reallocation, upskilling, reskilling, and transitional welfare nets for labour in and from import-competing industries; and fiscal policy to mitigate the negative macroeconomic shocks from intensified import competition. Thus, being neutral to the industrialization of emerging countries does not actually require industrialized nations to take a "hands-off approach" in the sense of simply not placing barriers to the converging country. However, this is also a tensile endeavour, as forces within global industrial capitalism and economic hegemony make such interventions by industrial incumbents very difficult. This includes a limited manufacturing share of global GDP (saturation point of Engel's law), the embeddedness of expansionary interests of merchants and capitalists in the state, and the domestic and international pressures for regional and global industrial great powers to be the hubs of economic liberalism.

Image by Kelly Sikkema
Image by Kelly Sikkema


TITLE: 19th Century Attempts at Economic Modernization in Africa

Abstract: Nineteenth century pre-colonial Africa saw various attempts at defensive modernization, from the Imerina Empire in Southern Africa, Egypt in North Africa, Ethiopia and Zanzibar in East Africa, and Asante and Liberia in West Africa. The paper provides an overview of these efforts, as well as historical, geographical, and geopolitical contextualization.


TITLE: Sub-Saharan African Economic Thought over the Long Nineteenth Century: Conservatives, Liberals and Neo-Mercantilists

Abstract: Africa's experience of closer Western European contact in the nineteenth century saw a range of responses, including economic ones. This article identifies three broad approaches taken by writers on (or affiliated with) the continent: conservatism (Emily Ruete and Edward Blyden), economic liberalism (Ottobah Cugoano, Olaodah Equiano and James Horton) and neo-mercantilism (James Payne, Martin R. Delany and Gäbre-Heywät Baykädañ). Diversity within each category, and some intersections between them also exist. The economic ideas of these writers largely reflect the structural conditions of their societies, their roles in practical politics, and the foreign texts and ideas they were exposed to.

Image by Kelly Sikkema


TITLE: When Anti-corruption Meets Industrial Policy - Nigeria's EFCC's Function Creep into Industrial Policy Enforcement

Under journal review

Abstract: Industrial policy in countries characterized by high levels of unproductive and disorganized corruption is, unsurprisingly, also ridden with high levels of corruption. It is more difficult to create and maintain pockets of bureaucratic effectiveness in such settings. This is the case in Nigeria. There has, however, been no research into the involvement of its premier anti-corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in industrial policy enforcement. The article identifies this phenomenon through news reports and proposes avenues for empirical research and policy experimentation. The EFCC has, over years, been involved with development loan recoveries, local content policy enforcement and infrastructure contract enforcement. These have often been at the invitation of the relevant implementing agencies which often display inundation with the enforcement challenge. The breadth, depth and success of the EFCC’s involvement are, however, unknown. Nonetheless, its substantial investigative and prosecutorial capabilities acquired from anti-corruption activities in a highly corrupt country have made it a key agency for others to call when help with enforcement is needed. There are some indications of propositions to institutionalize or regularize the EFCC’s involvement in local content policy and infrastructure contract enforcement, but no serious attention has been paid to these in the literature or news circles.

Image by Kelly Sikkema


TITLE: Democracy, Development and Industrial Policy in Nigeria - A Historical Contextualization

Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory, (Vol 169, Issue 68, pp. 31-56)

Abstract: The article places Nigeria’s political and economic challenges in historical and global context. As opposed to viewing democracy or development emerging simply as the ‘will of the people’ or ‘political will’, it encourages a historical and structural view of the phenomena. Sustained democratic institutions and intensive economic growth emerge under particular conditions where the continued maintenance of hegemony and gate-keeping extractive states are no longer viable. A diversified capitalist class and economic power among a strong middle class are needed to demand greater democratic accountability. Industrial policy is essential to creating the structural change required for their emergence. Yet the dispersed and ethno-religiously fragmented distribution of power makes industrial policy implementation difficult. Given the salience of such historical and structural forces, postcolonial Nigerians should be seen as formative generations. Students and practitioners of development economics, policy and politics should be more creative in producing politically informed policies for the country.

Image by Kelly Sikkema


TITLE: Early Modern (Non-)Proposals for International Development Assistance

Under journal review

Abstract: The bellicosity of the early modern era meant that weaker European and non-European societies faced both war-time disruptions to trade and anti-developmental policies by the great mercantile powers. The ubiquity of war, and the economic drivers of such ubiquity, especially in the eighteenth century, stimulated various proposals for reforming the international system. However, embedded in visions of universal monarchy and confederation was free trade, with no multilateral development assistance conceptualized. Emer de Vattel, who developed some measure of thought for economic aid, did not think favourably of manufacturing and luxury, and thus did not propose economic aid for industrial development. The alternative, balance of power, adopted by the mercantilists and neo-mercantilists, acknowledged the peculiar nature of manufacturing, but also observed the rapacious monopolizing aspirations of England and other commercial powers. They thus opposed confederation and its cosmopolitan orientation, preferring alliances among small states to achieve a balance of commerce.

Image by Kelly Sikkema


TITLE: Channeling Corruption Capital into Productive Investments: Anti-Corruption and Industrial Policy Enforcement in Nigeria

Under journal review

Abstract: Successful industrial policy requires, inter alia, the establishment of mutual interests between ruling elites and capitalists and the enforcement of learning for productivity. In Nigeria, which is characterized by a still developing formal sector and a competitive clientelist political settlement, these conditions are more difficult to facilitate. Likewise, given first the structural nature of corruption and second the country’s political settlement, reducing corruption is very difficult, despite the operations of anti-corruption agencies over almost two decades. A large chunk of ‘corruption capital’ is therefore left untouched by anti-corruption efforts, a large portion of which is not put to growth-enhancing use. The paper proposes an experimental but informal option for potential developmentally-oriented ruling elites, which is the use of the EFCC and other anti-corruption agencies as identification and enlistment tools to gain leverage over, and orient corruption-suspected upper mid-level politically-exposed actors towards enlisting in industrial policy initiatives. This "corruption-investment amnesty" could also increase the flow of corruption capital towards growth-enhancing investments. Evidence is shown that the EFCC has already slightly forayed into industrial policy enforcement, and general evidence of its capacity for gaining leverage among Nigerian elites to extract specified gains is also presented for extrapolation.

Image by Kelly Sikkema


TITLE: Muslim-Populated Countries and the Islamic Policy Premium: The Case of Nigeria

Abstract: Muslim-populated countries (MPCs) – where there is a very large and vocal, but not majority Muslim population – not only face a premium for their non-Muslims to deepen their understanding of Islamic institutions. They also face an Islamic policy premium for development, fiscal and social policies which diversify the distribution of power, entrench society’s power within the state, and enable greater social democratic solidarity. For Nigeria this pressure arises from Islam’s public-private synthesis, the strength of Northern Nigeria’s Islamic political legacy, potential discomfort of some Muslims with co-rule with non-Muslim Nigerians, and the presence of an implicit adalah pact on the eve of decolonization. With these pressures, development, political and economic crises are more likely to incite khawarijian forces opposing the state and regressive neofundamentalist movements seeking to reassert Islamic criminal law and hudood punishments without first establishing egalitarian economic conditions. Hence the policy premium is necessary for stabilizing MPCs.

Dual Capacity Nexus.PNG


TITLE: Industrial Policy and Firms Adaptations to Imperfect Pockets of Efficiency: The Case of Dangote Group

African Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities Research (Vol 3, Issue 6, pp. 186-203)

Abstract: Among other factors, successful industrial policy requires pockets of bureaucratic efficiency to be present. However, there are cases whereby pockets of efficiency are imperfect under competitive clientelist political settlements. As such, adequate resources and organizational capabilities of capitalists could compensate for the deficits in industrial policy tools while being supported by other, “lighter”, policy tools. The case of Dangote Group in the Nigerian cement and downstream oil industries is presented to demonstrate this. While the Nigerian state was unable to implement heavier industrial policy tools, it could provide tariffs and fiscal incentives (tax exemptions and holidays). Yet, for most of the Fourth Republic period, only in the cement industry was there such a firm to take advantage of these industrial supports.




Presented at the IIPPE 3-5 July 2019 10th Annual Conference in Political Economy in University of Lille, France, themed "Envisioning the Economy of the Future and the Future of Political Economy"

Abstract: The stability of any liberal international order has depended on the role of a hegemon in underwriting the institutions which support the system. The domestic stability of the hegemon is therefore critical to the stability of any "embedded liberal" international order. The implication is that the hegemon must be given special attention to when studying the present and future states of the global political economy. This paper identifies multiple tensions or paradoxes associated with hegemony and global economic governance. The first is that, because the domestic stability of the hegemon is critical to the stability of global economic governance institutions, the hegemon must have robust domestic social protection mechanisms which help maintain domestic political support for an embedded international liberal order. On the other hand, because of the burden of military expenditure carried by the hegemon to carry out its role as a global security guarantor, it carries a high fiscal burden. The second is more fundamental. The hegemon is typically the economically dominant actor in the global economy; which means that it also has the greatest amount of accumulated capital, making it a headquarters for international capital. The implication is that it is most vulnerable to financialization, corporate demands for lower taxes, and willingness to sacrifice "unproductive" social spending for the sake of austere government finances. This creates a fundamental tension between the necessity of robust domestic social spending to stabilize the hegemony's society for international stability, and the influence of big capital in undermining such arrangements. The last tension is between the hegemon and the rise of new industrial economies from the developing world. The rise of large new industrial powers making the use of industrial policy, to directly compete with the hegemon creates significant economic turbulence within the hegemon which can easily lead to the hegemon modifying (and destabilizing) global institutions of economic governance to ease its domestic tensions at the cost of other countries, especially those in the developing world. All these tensions are perpetual; meaning that as long as hegemony is necessary for international political stability, they will be present. However, within future international arrangements, some mitigants could be embedded. The burden of international security spending could be shared between allied major powers. An independent international reserve currency should be created. It also must be consciously encouraged of the hegemon to institutionalize mechanisms for social protection and occupational and social mobility, as a concomitant responsibility of hegemony. Complementary to this, such institutions should be systematically defended by trade unions to ensure their resilience in the face of economic crises. Lastly, export-led industrializers should, at some point, actively develop mechanisms for fostering internal integration and wage-led development.  




Abstract: The paper aims to link the effects of global neoliberalism in the developing and developed worlds. The analysis is qualitative, connecting various topics in the literature. It demonstrates that the economic/financial, policy, and socio-political instabilities of the neoliberal era manifest in both the developing and developed worlds will likely culminate in a period of starker global disillusionment with the orthodoxy – driven by a protracted economic crisis in the Global North. Within this period, the conditions for strong deliberative impetus and political will over a New Bretton Woods regime (a re-embedding of capitalism from the bottom-up) would likely emerge, as heterodoxy supplants orthodoxy. For the Global South this presents an opportunity to ease the international economic architecture's constraints to structural transformation and diversification by proposing a new New International Economic Order. Every component in this thread of argument has present signs of its incipience. The conclusion is that the Global South must prepare itself to take advantage of this imminent global reformist environment.



Conducted under the African Finance and Economic Association Mentorship Programme

In-association Supervisor: Prof. Fayomi Oyenike

Abstract: The paper deductively applies VoC analysis to theories of development, and then uses empirical evidence to buttress the analysis. It shows that SSA economies (and perhaps developing economies in general) are characterized by a host of meta-structural conditions which make them tend towards LME-type institutional configurations in the industrial relations, employee relations, and vocational education and training spheres, yet other meta-structural elements incentivize the development of weak CME-type institutional configurations in the corporate governance and inter-firm relations spheres. There is a generalized lack of institutional complementarities which hampers general efficiency. Development theory is examined and it is shown that certain proactive development strategies are de facto meta-structural engineering exercises which, if appropriately envisaged, may ease meta-structural constraints and facilitate the viability of greater complementarity-ridden institutional ecologies. It demonstrates that SSA economies actually have a lot to learn from Denmark, a hybrid success, specifically with regards to its structural policy adopted in the 1980s. Hence, development policy must include action beyond traditional industrial policy and must entail structural policy, deliberately aimed at meta-structural engineering to facilitate systemic coherence.


TITLE: A Developmental Comparative Analysis of the Nature of Sub-Optimal Public Current Expenditure Shares of Total Public Expenditure (Online)

Bachelor of Commerce Research Project (2016); Score: 80%

Supervisor: Mr Rob Stuart

Abstract: An investigation into the patterns of general government current expenditure shares of total expenditure, as well as patterns of optimality and sub-optimality, between developed and developed countries, has been undertaken. Discussion over this metric has largely been limited to publicized comments, the informal blogosphere and news commentary; this paper presents a contribution towards the subject. Using OLS regression with quadratic functional form, a wide range of results are uncovered regarding the cross-developmental patterns of current shares, their optimum values and sub-optimality. It is suggested that future research be directed at expanding and deepening the scope and technical rigour of the analysis.


TITLE: The Monetary Dynamics of Poverty

Stanford Undergraduate Research Journal, (Vol 14, pp. 22-26)

Abstract: A (very) amateur theoretical work, the article proposes a technique termed 'strata analysis' to analyze the dynamics of poverty from a monetary approach. This article shows that wealth groups form strata through which money flows at a rate termed the “inter-strata money mobility rate” where the aim of the poor is to maintain a positive rate of money mobility into their wealth strata, and to exchange the gains for standard-improving commodities that raise their living standards. However, for the money mobility rate to increase, members of the low wealth strata need to produce more (and higher quality) goods and services that members of higher wealth strata find valuable so that wealth can flow from the higher wealth strata to the lower wealth strata. Productivity and quality of production can be improved if members of lower wealth strata gain greater access to factors of production (land, labor, physical capital and human capital); such an improvement would lead to a higher rate of money mobility into the lower wealth strata, as well as a reduction in wealth inequality through a natural redistribution of wealth from higher to lower strata.

Research Agenda (I welcome propositions for co-authoring)

  • Death and Destruction: Estimating the Social Costs of European Modernity and the Counterfactual Costs of Pre-colonial Political Centralization in Africa

    • Although war (Tilly, 1975) and plague (Voigtländer and Voth, 2013) have been instrumental in explaining the "Rise of the West", and their scale limited precolonial state formation in Africa (Herbst, 2000), there has been a tendency to neglect these "sacrificial generations" of European modernity in comparative analyses of European and African development. Europe has been "the most violent place in human history" (Lee, 2013:1), and therefore “No one would wish Europe’s history of international wars on Africa” (Herbst, 2000: xvii) despite the benefits of precolonial political centralization observed even in Asia. Yet some have either stated the European experience in neutral terms (therefore neglecting the sacrificial generations), or praised Europe's bloody geopolitical accumulations and state formations by abstracting from the bloodiness and focusing on the results. One author even notes that "many developing countries are apparently locked in a...disadvantageous position: they are not subject to the bellicist pressures that impelled state building in early modern Europe…” (Saylor, 2014). This paper attempts to bring these sacrificial generations to explicit focus by providing quantitative estimates for the number of war-related deaths which sub-Saharan Africa could have incurred in with a Eurasian-level population density and state centralization, given African terrain, ecological diversity, land quality and other geo-climatic factors. It geo-codes data from the Conflict Catalogue and other data sources and applies spatial econometric methods.

  • Regimes of International Development: A History of Development Assistance Since 1500

    • The rise of mercantilism and capitalism in the early modern era came with unprecedented economic, military and social aggression which touched all continents in various ways, especially the European periphery and semi-periphery, the Americas and Africa. This book puts the developmental impacts of foreign incursions into a three-dimesional model covering development aid and assistance, development policy space and access to foreign markets. The early modern was characterized by negative provisions from foreign mercantile actors across each of these three dimensions for the global periphery and semi-periphery. It charts out the various strartegies of dissent and international reform advocated by thinkers around the world.. This therefore serves as a historical background to Eric Helleiner's exposition of Sun Yat-sen as the first to propose multilateral development finance.

  • The Hidden Developmental Roles of Import-Oriented Traders: Lobbyists for Trade Infrastructure, Bastions against Excessive Protectionism, and Investors in Domestic Production

  • African Rulers and the Variation in Success in Consolidation of Power in response to 19th Century European Incursions

    • As the first responders to modern European incursions on the African continent in the 19th century, why were Egypt's Muhammad Ali Pasha and Imerina's Radama I able to successfully consolidate power domestically while other rulers like Ashanti's Mensa Bonsu and Abyssinia's Tewodros II unable to successfully do so? How do political settlements account for this variation? This is part of a broader project to apply the political settlements approach to understanding precolonial variation in economic performance.

  • Explaining Regime Persistence under Competitive Clientelism: Gowon, Babangida and Obasanjo in Nigeria

    • Nigeria, being characterized by ethno-religious fragmentation, inter-regional economic inequalities and fraught precolonial legacies, has a highly fluid and fecklessly pluralist political system. It is one of the first African countries to experience postcolonial civil war, and it has had 15 changes to the head of state since independence. This has had disastrous effects on levels of political corruption (which significantly serves to provide side-payments as a cost of maintaining power) and absence of politically-insulated industrial policy implementation agencies. Using political settlements analysis, I examine why Yakubu Gowon (r. 9 years), Ibrahim Babangida (r. 8 years), and civilian president, Olusegun Obasanjo (r. 8 years), had unusually longer regime duration than average (2.4 years, max 4.6 years), and why Murtala Mohammed (r. 0.5 years), Muhammadu Buhari (r. 1.7 years), Ernest Shonekan (r. 0.2 years) and Abdulsalami Abubakar (r. 1 year) had the shortest regime duration. I assess the implications for industrial policy implementation during the various regimes.

  • Regional Political Settlements and Regional Industrial Policy Success in Nigeria's First Republic

  • African Varieties of Capitalism and Social Embeddedness

  • Production Regimes, Inequality and Varieties of Capitalism: Commodities Producers, Large Industrial Economies, and Small, Open and Niche Industrial Economies

  • Growth, Development and Catch-Up: Disentangling Concepts and Debates

  • A Structural-Dynamic Model of Development Thought since the Early Modern Period

    • Mainstream historiography of economics and development economics tends towards what Perrotta (1993: 21) calls precursorism – i.e. taking the history of liberal economic thought as THE history of economic thought, thereby neglecting or misrepresenting their development thought and policy through which they moved up the economic ladder (Chang, 2002). This occurs through the selective exposure of economics students to texts, theories and doctrines of the past which were not always the most widely read in their day and did not have the most influence (Reinert and Reinert, 2018; Reinert, 2011).  Other tactics include homogenizing and mischaracterizing the mercantilist and “neo-mercantilist” arguments which preceded liberal economic thought (Schaeffer, 1981; Perrotta, 1993; Perrotta, 2013); skewing the history of physiocracy and ignoring its wide and varied critiques (Kaplan and Reinert, 2019); neglecting the history of economic policy (Reinert and Daastol, 2004); and circumscribing the geographical scope of the history of economic thought (especially to England and the U.S., France and Western Europe). Yet “The very idea of economic development, however, was an early mercantilist innovation” (Reinert and Reinert, 2011: 13). Indeed, Jomo and Reinert (2006: vii) demonstrate “the continuity in thinking on economic development” from the 17th to post-World War Two era. The tendency within global capitalism for such a skewed ideostructure is the reason why the student of development economics in particular and of economics in general, must proactively “de-precursorize” their learning of the subject after coming to ideo-structural consciousness. Progress has been made by scholars such as Sophus Reinert, Erik Reinert, Koen Stapelbroek, Antonio Trampus, Cosimo Perrota, and others, to address these biases within Europe, and by Eric Helleiner, Antulio Rosales and others beyond Europe. I present a simple heuristic for navigating through the idea space of development economics by highlighting the structural localization of the wider canon within a cycle of catch-up, dominance, and relative decline. Economic thought tends towards economic nationalism for developing countries (contingent upon the pressures of war, economic crisis and dominance of agrarian or feudal classes), liberalism when they become industrialized (with hidden canonical dualism and the Krugmanian vice prevailing with regards to policy), and once again economic nationalism when they enter into relative industrial decline. I catalogue these trends across the world since the 17th century until the 20th.

  • Contextualizing Grievance and Contesting Polarities across Social Debates: Cross-Analysis, Structural Analysis and Baseline Assessment (CASABA)

    • Injustices and grievances abound in human history. The expansion of written intellectual power, political power, economic power and democratic ethnics among marginalized groups has enabled a surge in studies and claims of past and present injustices across a wide range of dimensions. Debates about gender relations, racism, colonialism, imperialism, capitalism, and so on, have therefore become common topics of discourse and impassioned arguments. Each of these subjects is highly complex, yet consistent patterns of simplifications and extreme positions emerge on both sides of debate. When women's rights are discussed, men's rights emerge reactively; when 'black lives matter' advocacy surges, 'all lives matter' reacts; when modern Atlantic slavery is the focus, critics argue that "everyone enslaved themselves and each other"; when Western imperialism and colonialism are discussed, non-Western imperialism is pointed to. There are therefore recurrent tendencies towards essentialism and self-righteousness on the part of accusers, dilution on the part of the reactionaries, and moralization of the phenomenon by all sides. Both sides of the extremes are just as dangerous - for instance, bad, badly-constructed and insadequately complemented anti-racial policies (such as badly constructed welfare and affirmative action policies) can actually be more destructive for the targeted marginalized group than passive racism; and vindictive extremist feminist positions can alienate potential allies and therefore stifle mobilization. Nuance is therefore important for better mobilization of allies, humbler attitudes, establishment of truth, and effectiveness of solutions (MATE). I present a heuristic that lay audiences and academic ones can use to critically assess grievances, and which satisfies the concerns of both sides of debates (oppositional and propositional) to reduce, but not eliminate, the gap of disagreement.

  • Economics and Trans-Existential Politics: The Economic Philosophy and Intellectual Politics of Population Size, Welfare, Mortality and  Trans-existential Counterfactuals

  • “They Do Not Represent My Religion”: A Core-Periphery Model of Religious Ideologies

  • Complex Christianity (Book)

    • This book focuses on the often neglected earthly and non-earthly structural underpinnings of several biblical notions and doctrines, from salvation, national judgement, evidentialism and theodicy to gender relations, slavery, religious law, science, and political economy.

  • Weird fictional academic working papers under a fictional "Center for Hypernatural Research (CHR)" within the "Asiri-verse" (Asiri is Hausa for mystery) of a novel I am writing under the supernatural genre.

Dr Alice Sindzingre
Visiting Lecturer, SOAS, University of London, department of economics (2019)

"Abel Gaiya has shown a genuine commitment and interest in the course and beyond my teaching, development issues and policies. He made superb presentations in the tutorials on complex issues such as the concepts of deindustrialisation and servicification, the role of the private sector in intra-African trade or historical perspective son African growth. These presentations revealed exceptional intellectual capacities as well as a remarkable understanding of the debates regarding economic theory and problems of development.

[...] I supervised his dissertation during the summer of 2019, which focused on an original and relevant research question: the explanation of differences in industrial policy outcomes by the concept of implementation capacity, via a comparison between the cement and the downstream oil industries in Nigeria. This brilliant dissertation, where Abel Gaiya elaborated an original conceptual framework, demonstrated exceptional research skills and depth of analysis both in theoretical and policy perspectives, has also been rewarded by a distinction grade. The supervision of a dissertation implies many meetings and they all confirmed Abel Gaiya’s intellectual and personal qualities. His overall grade in my course has been 72 (distinction), which demonstrates his excellence.

In addition, Abel Gaiya is a well-tempered and mature person. He is open to the others and has strong ethics, and he was highly appreciated by his fellow students. His personal qualities and outstanding intellectual capacities are also shown by his CV, which reveals a professional experience that is already very significant and diversified, many awards and volunteer
activities, and a number of research articles that is remarkable given Abel Gaiya has just finished his Master degree in development economics..."

Contact Link: https://www.soas.ac.uk/staff/staff31818.php

Dr Aleksandra Peeroo
Lecturer, Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London (2019)

"During Mr Gaiya’s time at SOAS, I was his lecturer in Growth and Development. Very early on, he distinguished himself among his 60 or so peers thanks to his critical questioning of theories and their underlying assumptions as well as his vast and deep knowledge of development issues. After having taught him only for a couple of weeks, I was convinced that he had everything required for continuing with a PhD and was in fact hoping that he would do one. This is because Mr Gaiya has impressed me so much throughout our classes that I have strong reason to believe that his research in the field of development economics would be highly innovative and original. I was particularly impressed by a presentation on industrial policy he made and the essay he wrote for my course, for which he obtained a first class.

It will not surprise you that Mr Gaiya was always exceptionally well prepared for our classes. In our highly interactive tutorials, where we did a lot of group work, he proved to be a true team player. He could always be counted on to help his group members understand how to apply theories to real life situations and how to interpret data in light of these theories. He did all of this modestly, rather than taking it as an opportunity to profile himself. Also, his interventions and presentations always displayed excellent communication skills. I must also add that he has displayed an outstanding and extremely rare drive to engage in research outside of his formal classroom obligations. I have met with some students who engaged in research in their free time over the years, but Mr Gaiya’s engagement is truly standing out from all my past students. For this reason, I believe that his desire to engage in a PhD stems from a genuine passion for research. This, coupled with his intellectual abilities and his maturity in undertaking his studies, does not leave me any doubt that he would excel in any PhD programme."

Contact Link: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aleksandra-peeroo-72977b25/?originalSubdomain=uk

Mr Craig Rowe
Director: Community Engagement Department and Acting Head of Student Development Department, Monash South Africa (2015)

"I have known Abel since he started his studies at Monash South Africa in 2012.  Abel is a young man that has already made a significant contribution to nation building and I believe will positively influence the direction of Africa in the future. He has been a student, an activist, a leader, and an ambassador of excellence on our campus. Abel has demonstrated excellent leadership skills through various roles and tasks at Monash South Africa. Abel has interacted with the Student Development and Community Engagement departments extensively at Monash. His role has been to mobilize students to be involved in clubs and societies – cultural, academic, religious, and social. Abel  is always completely involved and committed to whatever he is doing. He is a model servant leader.  

As the Cultural officer for the student body in Monash South Africa, Abel encourages students from various countries and regions such as Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Zambia, East Africa, Congo, Mozambique and Angola, amongst over 25 others, to celebrate their cultural diversity. Abel is one of the best young leaders I have had the honour of working with. He has a heart for people and community. I believe his skills and abilities will take him far in life, therefore I am happy to give him my wholehearted endorsement."

Contact Link: https://www.linkedin.com/in/craig-rowe-55719794