30 May 2023
Brown Bag Seminar, 12:15, Anna Nussbaum Auditorium, World Trade Institute, Hallerstrasse 6, Bern, Switzerland

Brown Bag Seminar: "Foreign direct investment and structural transformation in Africa"

Margherita Tambussi, from University of Turin and Collegio Carlo Alberto (Italy), is WTI's guest for the next Brown Bag on the topic of FDIs.


This paper analyzes the relationship between inward FDI and structural transformation of local labor markets in Africa. We combine geolocalized information on the distribution of FDI with a novel database that provides information from 40,665,627 individuals in 2,570 subnational units over the period 1987-2019.

Results are suggestive of a positive effect of FDI on structural transformation. FDI contributes to an increase in employment, and shifts of workers towards modern industries and higher-skilled occupations. No effects are found on self-employment. Results are heterogenous, reflecting the characteristics of the foreign investor and of the business activity undertaken by foreign firms in the local market.

Geospatial analysis of changes in performance of domestic firms exposed to nearby FDI projects provides evidence of horizontal spillovers and inter-industry linkages, suggesting a complementary mechanism through which FDI drives structural change. 

About the speaker

Margherita Tambussi is a third-year PhD student at the University of Turin and Collegio Carlo Alberto (Italy) and she is the winner of a four-years doctoral scholarship. In 2020, she received the master’s degree in Economic Development at the University of Pavia (Italy) with a thesis titled “Dualism: Change or Structural Heterogeneity in the Economic Development Process?".

Since 2021, she is a member of the organizing committee of the PhD Workshop of Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge (WICK) at the Collegio Carlo Alberto. Her research interests are economic development and economics of inequality. In particular, her work tries to analyze the drives of informality and structural transformation in Africa using individual and firm level data. Currently, she is studying the role of FDI in the structural transformation change of the African local labor market and the relationship between terrorism and informality in low-income countries.

We strongly encourage you to attend this event on-site. In case you cannot be present in person, you can use the following Zoom link to tune in virtuallyhttps://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEvd-mrpzwrG9YVqyS2t3DW9KsU8Jbgx47s

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