This paper analyzes competitiveness in Chad since the advent of the oil era in the 2000s. Oil has since positioned itself as the key sector of a traditional economy that previously depended on agriculture and some light manufacturing. Dominated by developments in the oil sector, Chad’s balance of payments is vulnerable to the indirect effects of the sector’s volatility. The country’s ample reserves are insulated from oil sector shocks to the extent that oil-sector-related flows for trade in goods and service, factor income, and capital automatically offset each other.
The World Bank documents an inverse relationship between GDP per capita and child labor participation rates. We construct a life-cycle model with human and physical capital in which parents make a time allocation choice for their child. The model considers two features that have shown potential in explaining differences in states of development across nations. These are a minimum consumption requirement, and barriers to physical capital accumulation. We find the introduction of capital barriers alone is not enough to replicate the aforementioned observation by the World Bank. However, we find the interplay of a minimum consumption requirement and barriers to capital may enhance our understanding of child labor and the poverty of nations. Additionally, we find support for policies aimed at reducing capital barriers as a means to reduce child labor.
We start by arguing that to understand growth differences across countries and time, one needs to understand differences in public policies that affect the incentives for productive accumulation of capital, human capital, or technically useful knowledge. And to understand policy differences one needs to understand how political institutions aggregate conflicting interests into public policies. We then survey some recent work along these lines, which argues that more inequality leads to slower growth. Next, we illustrate some of the basic ideas of this work, by help of a simple model of taxation. We also present some econometric cross-country evidence, which is largely supportive of the basic ideas. We end by suggestions for further work.