nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2005‒12‒01
two papers chosen by
Suzanne McCoskey
Foreign Service Institute, US Department of State

  1. Building and Linking a Microsimulation Model to a CGE Model : the South African Microsimulation Model By Nicolas Hérault
  2. Farm Productivity and Market Structure. Evidence from Cotton Reforms in Zambia By Irene Brambilla; Guido Porto

  1. By: Nicolas Hérault (CED, IFReDE/GRES, Université Montesquieu-Bordeaux IV)
    Abstract: This paper describes the project of building a micro-macro model for South Africa. The aim is to deal with the links between globalisation and poverty or inequality, explaining the effects of trade liberalisation on poverty and inequality. The main issue of interest is the effect of international trade on households (especially their income); some changes may contribute to reduce poverty while other changes could work against the poor. The approach presented in this paper relies on combining a macro-oriented CGE model and a microsimulation model. Combining these two models the microeconomic effects (on poverty and inequality) of a macroeconomic policy (trade liberalisation) can be analysed. The paper gives details about the microsimulation model and the "top-down" approach used to link the microsimulation model and the CGE model. In addition, the methodology discussed is applied to South African data and a selection of preliminary results using this approach are presented and discussed. The main concern regarding poor households is whether the decrease in real (or nominal) earnings for formal low-skilled and skilled workers is offset by the upward trend in formal employment levels. This appears to be the case implying a decrease in poverty due to trade liberalisation. Although whites emerge as the main winners, the increase in inter-group inequality is more than compensated by the decrease in intra-group inequality. Ce papier décrit le projet d’élaboration d’un modèle micro-macro pour l'Afrique du Sud. L’objectif est d’examiner les liens entre la mondialisation et la pauvreté ou l'inégalité, en expliquant les effets de la libéralisation commerciale sur ces deux indicateurs de progrès social. La préoccupation principale concerne l'effet du commerce international sur les ménages (particulièrement, leur revenu), certains changements pouvant contribuer à réduire la pauvreté, tandis que d'autres étant susceptibles d’aggraver les privations. L'approche présentée dans cet article est fondée sue la combinaison d’un modèle CGE orienté-macro et d’un modèle de micro-simulation. En combinant ces deux modèles, les effets micro-économiques (sur la pauvreté et l'inégalité) d'une politique macro-économique (libéralisation commerciale) peuvent être analysés. L’étude spécifie le modèle de micro-simulation et l'approche « top-down », employés pour relier les modèles de micro-simulation et CGE.En outre, la méthodologie discutée est appliquée aux données sud-africaines, et des résultats préliminaires, fondés sur cette approche, sont présentés et discutés. Un élément central de l’analyse concernant les ménages pauvres est d’examiner si la diminution des revenus réels (ou nominaux) des ouvriers qualifiés ou faiblement qualifiés du secteur formel est compensée par la tendance à la hausse de l’emploi formel. L’étude montre que cela semble être le cas, ce qui implique une diminution de la pauvreté due à la libéralisation commerciale. Bien que les bénéficiaires principaux soient les « blancs », l'augmentation de l'inégalité inter-groupes est plus que compensée par la diminution de l'inégalité intra-groupes. (Full text in english)
    JEL: C68 E17 O55
    Date: 2005–09
  2. By: Irene Brambilla; Guido Porto
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impacts of cotton marketing reforms on farm productivity, a key element for poverty alleviation, in rural Zambia. The reforms comprised the elimination of the Zambian cotton marketing board that was in place since 1977. Following liberalization, the sector adopted an outgrower scheme, whereby firms provided extension services to farmers and sold inputs on loans that were repaid at the time of harvest. There are two distinctive phases of the reforms: a failure of the outgrower scheme, and a subsequent period of success of the scheme. Our findings indicate that the reforms led to interesting dynamics in cotton farming. During the phase of failure, farmers were pushed back into subsistence and productivity in cotton declined. With the improvement of the outgrower scheme of later years, farmers devoted larger shares of land to cash crops, and farm productivity significantly increased.
    JEL: O12 O13 Q12
    Date: 2005–11

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