SOAS University of London

Department of Economics

Miss Christina Wolf

MA (Lille) MA (Münster) MSc (SOAS)
  • Research


Christina Wolf
Miss Christina Wolf
Email address:
Thesis title:
“China’s Impact on Latecomer Industrialisation in Sub-Saharan Africa: On the Interaction between Changing Patterns of Global Demand and Investment Flows and their Mediation through (Industrial) Policy” (working title)
Year of Study:
Year of Entry: 2012-2013
Internal Supervisors

PhD Research

My research examines how China’s systemic impact on the world economy and growing presence in Sub-Sahara Africa affect processes of structural change in SSA countries. Previous literature sees China, on the one hand, as blocking the stepladder to industrial development by crowding out African manufactures. On the other hand, China is said to present a ‘golden opportunity’ for industrialisation in SSA as China’s own industrial upgrading frees up jobs in labour-intensive manufacturing, which – combined with the increasing number of Chinese investments and Chinese financed infrastructure projects in Sub-Saharan Africa – could ignite industrialisation in SSA.

My dissertation aims at uncovering this ambiguity by stressing that the question is not merely whether China is helping African countries to get their feet on the ladder or blocking their way further up: while external/ global trends such as China’s rise in the world economy may indeed act as constraint or accelerator on industrial development, they are not all-powerful in themselves. Rather these external constraints/ accelerators need to be studied in conjunction with different political economy settings and economic policies, which mediate them. The role of the state and of industrial policy – a subject that has been banned from the development orthodoxy from the 1980s onwards – have not been systematically analysed in this respect.

The dissertation combines quantitative methods (cluster analysis and panel regression) with qualitative methods (case study of political economy setting and industrial policies in Angola).


  • Reisen, H. and Wolf, C. (2013): “Chinese Development Finance and the Resource Curse in Africa.” In: Sustaining Growth and Structural Transformation in Africa: How Can a Stable and Efficient Financial Sector Help?, edited by Dirk Willem te Velde and Stephany Griffith-Jones, 41–43. DEGRP Policy Essays: December 2013. London.

  • Dahman Saidi, M. and Wolf, C. (2011): Recalibrating Development Cooperation with Emerging Partners: How can African Countries Maximise Synergies? OECD Development Centre Working Papers No. 302


  • June 2014: “Manufacturing Sector Development and Industrial Policy in Angola”, Center for African Studies Panel Discussion, SOAS, London
  • May 2014: “China's Impact on Structural Change in SSA – Towards an Analytical Framework”, at 13th International Conference of Africanists, Moscow
  • April 2014: “China's Impact on Structural Change in SSA – towards an analytical Framework” at LSE Africa Summit, London
    Awarded the Prize for the ‘Best Research Paper’ (2014 LSE Africa Summit)
  • August 2013: “China's Impact on Structural Change in SSA and the Role of (Industrial) Policy” at Chinese Economic Association Annual Conference, The Hague
  • March 2012: “Chinese Model of Aid for Africa” at Oxford University China Africa Network Conference, Oxford


South-South Relations, Industrial Policy, Structuralist and post-Keynesian growth theory, Sub-
Saharan African economies, Angola