Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

This paper examines the political economy of economic policy advice. It offers a framework for assessing how to maximize the economic development impact of advice, allowing for the political incentives of those in power. It argues for a ’second best’ analysis that looks to maximize development impact given political incentives and shows how standard advice, as often given by researchers or by advisors in government or from international organisations such as World Bank and IMF may not be this second best. Furthermore, it looks at the implications of treating political constraints as endogenous. Some examples illustrate how research and advice can be more impactful taking into account local political economy conditions.


Working paper


Centre for the Study of African Economies

Publication Date



economics, Africa, political economy, policy advice