NBER Working Papers by Patrick Francois

Contact and additional information for this authorAll publicationsWorking Papers only

Working Papers

September 2012How Is Power Shared In Africa?
with Ilia Rainer, Francesco Trebbi: w18425
This paper presents new evidence on the power sharing layout of national political elites in a panel of African countries, most of them autocracies. We present a model of coalition formation across ethnic groups and structurally estimate it employing data on the ethnicity of cabinet ministers since independence. As opposed to the view of a single ethnic elite monolithically controlling power, we show that African ruling coalitions are large and that political power is allocated proportionally to population shares across ethnic groups. This holds true even restricting the analysis to the subsample of the most powerful ministerial posts. We argue that the likelihood of revolutions from outsiders and the threat of coups from insiders are major forces explaining such allocations. Further, over...
October 2007The Economics of Inefficient Technology Use
with Paul Beaudry: w13500
The adoption and diffusion of technological knowledge is generally regarded as a key element in a country's economic success. However, as is the case with most types of information, the transfer of technological knowledge is likely to be subject to adverse selection problems. In this paper we examine whether asymmetric information regarding who knows how to run a new technology efficiently can explain a set of observations regarding within and cross-country patterns of technology diffusion. In particular, we show how the dynamics of adverse selection in the market for technological knowhow can explain (1) why inefficient technology use may take over a market even when better practice is available, (2) why widespread inefficient use may persist unless a critical mass of firms switch to best...
July 2005Managerial Skill Acquisition and the Theory of Economic Development
with Paul Beaudry: w11451
Micro level studies in developing countries suggest managerial skills play a key role in the adoption of modern technologies. The human resources literature suggests that managerial skills are difficult to codify and learn formally, but instead tend to be learned on the job. In this paper we present a model of the interactive process between on-the-job managerial skill acquisition and the adoption of modern technology. The environment considered is one where all learning possibilities are internalized in the market, and where managers are complementary inputs to non-managerial workers. The paper illustrates why some countries may adopt modern technologies while others stay backwards. The paper also explains why managers may not want to migrate from rich countries to poor countries as woul...

Contact and additional information for this authorAll publicationsWorking Papers only


National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us