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Title: Understanding the effects of a large development sector on the labour market of a small low-income country : evidence from Sierra Leone
Author: Harris, Jamelia
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2020
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This thesis examines the effects of a large and ever-present development sector on the labour market of aid-dependent low-income countries, using Sierra Leone as a case study. The thread that connects the substantive chapters of this thesis is the positioning of the development sector as a third sector in the labour market. Alongside the public and private sectors, the development sector is also an employer and skills developer in host-countries. Embedding the development sector as a sector in itself, makes apparent a channel of aid transmission in the domestic economy, via the labour market - a channel that is often overlooked in both academic and policy discourses. This in turn brings to the debate the short-term and the long-term effects on the labour market of host-countries. The thesis is novel as it applies analytical methods that are primarily used in the economics discipline, to the types of questions which sit within critical development studies. The main findings are that the presence of a large development sector affects occupational choice of graduates and the skills available in the labour market. These effects interplay with: (i) cognitive ability of graduates – higher ability graduates are more likely to choose employment with a donor organisation, non-governmental organisation or international non-governmental organisation; (ii) patronage in the labour market – in low trust environments where patronage exist in the labour market the development sector emerges as a more transparent recruiter and thus attracts talent; and (iii) skills training programmes at vocational and university levels have been directly affected by donor policies and actions. This process of change in the labour market and skills composition is important in itself; but there are also potential implications for sustainable home-grown growth and continued aid dependence.
Supervisor: Adam, Christopher Sponsor: International Growth Centre ; Government of Trinidad and Tobago
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Development Economics ; Labour Economics ; Development Studies