African. Economist. Plus other things
Education. PhD Economics. SUNY Binghamton

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Employment History

Policy Associate
Economic Research Southern Africa
July 2013 - Date
Cape Town, RSA

Chief Economist
Business Day Newspaper
Jan 2019 - Date
Abuja, Nigeria

Research Associate
Stellenbosch University
April 2016 - Date
Stellenbosch, RSA

The Guardian Nigeria
Aug 2016 - Dec 2018
Abuja, NG

WARA - Residency Fellow
American University
August 2018 - September 2018
Washington DC, USA

Director of Applied Economics
African Heritage Institution
Aug 2016 - Nov 2016
Enugu, NG

State Univeristy of New York at Binghamton
Jan 2010 - May 2013
Binghamton NY, USA

Teaching Assistant
State University of New York at Binghamton
Aug 2009 - Dec 2009
Binghamton NY, USA

Research Assistant
Central Bank of Nigeria, Microfinance Division
Aug 2006 - Aug 2007
Abuja, NG



National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria

United Nations University - WIDER

National Treasury - South Africa

Mathers and Savant

WNT Capitas

Nextier Advisory


"State Formation in Precolonial Nigeria". . Oxford Handbook of Nigerian Politics. Forthcoming

"Fiscal Policy During Boom and Bust". with Kingsley Moghalu. Oxford Handbook of Nigerian Politics. Forthcoming

"Markups and concentration in South African manufacturing sectors". with Johannes Fedderke and Nicola Viegi. South African Journal of Economics. 2017

"The trans-Atlantic slave trades and local political fragmentation in Africa". - . Economic History Review. 2016. 69(4):1157-1177

"A dream deffered: the microfoundations of direct political action in pre- and post-democratization South Africa". with Biniam Bedasso. Journal of Development Studies. 2016. 52(1):130 - 146

"An examination of subnational growth in Nigeria: 1999 - 2012". - . South African Journal of Economics. 2015. 83(3):335 - 357

"Social capital and human capital in the colonies: a study of cocoa farmers in Western Nigeria". - . Economic History of Developing Regions. 2015. 30(1):1 - 22

"The introduction of higher banknotes and the price level in Nigeria". with E. N. Egbuna. International Journal of Economics and Finance. 2013

Research.Working Papers

"Emigration and education: the schooling of the left behind in Nigeria". with Biniam Bedasso and Ermias Gebru Economic Research Southern Africa no. 722

"Human capital inequality and electoral outcomes in South Africa". with Biniam Bedasso UNU-WIDER Working Paper No. 2016/100

Research.Works in Progress

Climate, yams, and precolonial centralization

Before Formalization: Attitudes toward Government, Taxation, and Governance Alternatives in Lagos's Informal Sector with Adrienne LeBas

Tax Appeals and Social Intermediaries in Lagos Nigeria with Adrienne LeBas and Jessica Goetlibb

Colonialists, Taxation and Punishment: Prisons and Labor Coercion in British Colonial West Africa with Belinda Archibong

Decolonizing with data: Cliometrics in Africa with Johan Fourie

Convict Labor and the Costs of Colonial Infrastructure:Evidence from Prisons in British Nigeria, 1920-1938 with Belinda Archibong


"Bi-monthly column". Guardian Nigeria newspaper.

"The trans-Atlantic slave trade and local political fragmentation in Africa". AEHN. September 2016

"Long-term effects of slave exporting in West Africa". Oxford University Press. March 2016

"Buy Naija to Grow the Naira: probably pointless but potentially dangerous". Premium Times. 24th Febraury 2016

"Naira devaluation and the Nigerian economy: focusing on the big picture". Premium Times. 20th February 2016

"Myths about devaluation". Premium Times. 15th Februaru 2016

"Removing the autonomy of the CBN: a really bad idea". Business Day. 8th June 2012

"Who really benefits from fuel subsidies". Business Day. 5th December 2011


Playing with electoral data from 2011 and 2015

Tue, 12 Feb 2019 09:54:23 GMT

I decided to play around with electoral data this morning. Everyone knows the broad trends. The coalition of parties under the APC banner in 2015 with President Buhari as the flag bearer managed to change the electoral map. But it was not just that the coalition combined votes from their previous parties but also that the PDP lost a significant share of votes. PDP performed worse than in 2011 almost across the board.

Fig 1: Percentage point change in votes won by the PDP between 2011 and 2015

As is apparent above, the PDP did worse almost everywhere and only did marginally better than in 2011 even in the South South. The APC and Buhari were course the benefactors, but there were two things here. First the coalition which aggregated up all the non-PDP votes, but then also the PDP doing really badly relative to previous years.

Fig 2: Percentage point change in votes for President Buhari between 2011 to 2015

The change in the electoral map is even more obvious if you look at the percent won by President Buhari in 2011 and 2015. Amazing turnaround.

Percent won by President Buhari in 2011 and 2015.

PMB lost heavily in many places in 2011 but didn’t in 2015. He won heavily in many places in 2015 but didn’t in 2011. Importantly, he tipped the scales in many places in the middle-belt. What will 2019 look like? Was 2015 an anomaly or is that the new normal? I for one can’t wait to find out.

Data from Carl Levan and and Mathew Page

I have a monthly economic update which you can subscribe to get my personal thoughts and insights on issues regarding the Nigerian economy. Here.

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