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    Towards a Tracking System to Enforce Competition Law in the Southern and East African Region
    (Southern Centre for Inequality Studies, 2022-11) Manjengwa, Earnest; Padayachie, Karissa Moothoo; Nsomba, Grace; Tshabalala , Ntombifuthi; Vilakazi, Thando
    The paper explores the role of market power in exacerbating inequality by looking at the effects of competition on income and wealth distribution. It argues that the conceptual framework, proposed in the paper, can be used to better understand market power and inequality in various African countries in order to develop appropriate responses.
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    Competition and Inequality in Developing Countries
    (Southern Centre for Inequality Studies, November 2022) Goga, Sha'ista
    This paper examines the link between competition policy and inequality, with a specific focus on the impact on inequality of concentration and competitive abuses by firms. In particular, the paper focuses on the role that concentration and a lack of competition have on inequality more generally and specifically within the context of developing countries. Developing countries have contextual factors, such as concentrated product markets and labour markets characterised by high levels of unemployment. These factors may lead to variation in outcomes relative to those seen in more developed economies. It may also necessitate differences in prioritisation and implementation of competition policies. The paper concludes by providing some recommendations for how competition law and policy can be used to reduce inequality.
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    ‘My boss, the app’: Algorithmic management and labour process in delivery platforms in Colombia
    (Southern Centre For Inequality Studies, 2022-11-15) Sánchez Vargas, Derly Yohanna; Maldonado Castañeda, Oscar Javier
    Work and the activities and technologies that allow any work to be performed seem to be given issues in contemporary modern market-capitalist economies. However such issues are in motion within evolving patterns of governance and organisational arrangements. This paper analyses the impact of algorithms in the working conditions of platform workers in Colombia. We explore the extent to which digital tools and algorithmic management have been used to allocate, monitor and evaluate work in different sectors of the gig economy: couriers (food delivery), transportation (drivers) and domestic work. Drawing on Science and Technology Studies (STS), recent work on the sociology of algorithms, and Organisation Studies, this project analyses the digital devices that shape the labour process and the emerging practices of resistance or compliance that emerge from these interactions amongst workers. This paper builds on our previous work around decent work and working conditions of platform workers, focusing on the human-machine configurations that emerge from the material-semiotic connections between workers and algorithms. We approach the platform’s algorithms from the black-boxed narratives of managers and companies to the embodied accounts of the workers who deal with them. In this paper we explore algorithmic management and the relationships that emerge in the human-machine interaction mediated by app-centred work, focusing on digital delivery platforms. Delivery work offers an opportunity to address the material configurations that sustain the digital economy, the ecologies that emerge in the streets, the workers’ embodied experience and the digital infrastructure. This paper also explores the ways in which algorithms produce new configurations of inequality in the labour process.
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    The architecture of players in Ghana’s digitalising agriculture.
    (Southern Centre For Inequality Studies, 2022-11-15) Akorsu, Angela Dziedzom; Britwum, Akua Opokua
    Digital technology is hailed as the appropriate solution for facilitating the deployment of solutions to poor farmers in Ghana in face of the state’s inability to provide the required extension personnel. The influx of digital platforms into Ghana has brought in several operators whose connections and what they portend for Ghanaian farmers are under investigation. Using the food regimes approach we explore how digital technologies have been introduced into Ghana’s agricultural landscape. Our interest was the developing discourses used to legitimate the transition of agricultural digitalisation from a public good critical for ending rural poverty to a commodity for which farmers assume full costs. Our data was drawn from individual and group interviews with digital players in Ghana’s capital city. We obtained additional data from secondary sources including websites and research publications. We contend that the high proliferation of agritechs in Ghana in the face of state withdrawal locks them into the international digital ecosystems riding on the social enterprise discourse to sanitise the exploitation of Ghanaian farmers. In the face of the complex interconnectedness of digital players, there is an urgent need for sharper conceptual tools to move analysis to the conceptualisation of development alternatives to ensure the beneficial impact of digital technologies for poor farmers in countries such as Ghana.