nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2006‒01‒01
seven papers chosen by
Suzanne McCoskey
Foreign Service Institute, US Department of State

  1. What have we learned from a decade of manufacturing enterprise surveys in Africa ? By Soderbom, Mans; Bigsten, Arne
  2. Trade costs, export development, and poverty in Rwanda By Asarkaya, Yakup; Brenton, Paul; Diop, Ndiame
  3. The price of corporate social responsibility: the case of black economic empowerment transactions in South Africa By William E. Jackson, III; Todd M. Alessandri; Sylvia Sloan Black
  4. External Debt Sustainability: Theory and Empirical Evidence By Marco Arnone; Luca Bandiera; Andrea Presbitero
  6. The Economic Impact of AIDS Treatment: Labor Supply in Western Kenya By Harsha Thirumurthy; Johsua Graff-Zivin; Markus Goldstein
  7. Market Information and Price Instability : An Insight into Vegetable Markets in Senegal By Hélène David-Benz; Idrissa Wade; Johny Egg

  1. By: Soderbom, Mans; Bigsten, Arne
    Abstract: In the early 1990s the World Bank launched the Regional Program on Enterprise Development in several African countries, a key component of which was the collection of manufacturing firm-level data. In this paper the authors review the research based on the data sets generated by these and subsequent firm surveys in Africa, with a special view to what they think are the most important policy implications. Th e authors survey the research on the African business environment, focusing on market size, risk, access to credit, labor, and infrastructure. They cover the research on how firms choose to organize themselves and how firms do business. They review the research on firm performance, including firm growth, investment and technology acquisition, and exports. They conclude with an extended discussion of the policy lessons.
    Keywords: Economic Theory & Research,Private Participation in Infrastructure,Labor Markets,Microfinance,Small Scale Enterprise
    Date: 2005–12–01
  2. By: Asarkaya, Yakup; Brenton, Paul; Diop, Ndiame
    Abstract: For Rwanda, one of the poorest countries in the world, trade offers the most effective route for substantial poverty reduction. But the poor in Rwanda, most of whom are subsistence farmers in rural areas, are currently disconnected from markets and commercial activities by extremely high transport costs and by severe constraints on their ability to shift out of subsistence farming. The constraints include lack of access to credit and lack of access to information on the skills and techniques required to produce commercial crops. The paper is based on informatio n from the household survey and a recent diagnostic study of constraints to trade in Rwanda. It provides a number of indicative simulations that show the potential for substantial reductions in poverty from initiatives that reduce trade costs, enhance the quality of exportable goods, and facilitate movement out of subsistence into commercial activities.
    Keywords: Crops & Crop Management Systems,Rural Poverty Reduction,Rural Development Knowledge & Information Systems,Economic Theory & Research,Poverty Monitoring & Analysis
    Date: 2005–12–01
  3. By: William E. Jackson, III; Todd M. Alessandri; Sylvia Sloan Black
    Abstract: Since the demise of apartheid in South Africa, corporations have been encouraged to participate in the governmental goal of increasing corporate ownership by the black majority population. One vehicle that has arisen to help facilitate an increase in corporate ownership has been black economic empowerment (BEE) transactions. BEE transactions are essentially private placements of equity. Firms that have taken this socially activist position of selling portions of their equity, usually at a substantial discount, to black empowerment groups have received positive media attention in the name of “good corporate citizenship.” ; This study investigates the market performance of these BEE transactions, specifically addressing three questions. The first question is whether BEE transactions create or destroy wealth. To address this question we use an event study methodology to calculate the cumulative abnormal returns (CARs) associated with public announcements of BEE transactions. The second question is whether specific types of BEE transactions did better or worse than others. We address this question by analyzing the cross-sectional variation in the CARs associated with public announcements of BEE transactions. The third question is whether firms that engage in BEE transactions experience negative post-announcement price performance. This last question is motivated by popular press accounts of the exploitation of black empowerment groups by white-owned South African corporations. To address this question, we test whether BEE transactions have benefited white corporate South Africa at the expense of the participating black empowerment groups.
    Date: 2005
  4. By: Marco Arnone (Catholic University of Milan); Luca Bandiera (World Bank); Andrea Presbitero (Politechnic University of Marche Italy)
    Abstract: This paper is a review of the different approaches on external debt sustainability. The Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) Initiative was launched to assure a permanent exit from debt dependence. However, the IMF-World Bank program is not without faults, in particular for what concerns debt sustainability analysis. The aim of this work is to present the IMF-World Bank approach to debt sustainability, together with the other approaches in the literature. We show that a new and broader framework is emerging to address the main shortcomings of the standard analysis, namely, the effects that large external debts and deficits have on growth and the macroeconomic environment.
    Keywords: HIPC Initiative, Debt Sustainability, Debt Relief, External Debt.
    JEL: F34 H63 O11 O19
    Date: 2005–12–25
    Abstract: The need to develop securities market has, following the recent international financial crises, increasingly attracted the attention of national and international policy makers. Never before have developed and developing countries shared such a strong interest in ensuring the stable growth of the international capital flows. And yet, the question for policymakers is how to channel these gains into investments that promote development, sustainable poverty reduction and social equity. Using the African scenario, this paper argued that although many of the institutions needed for strong income growth and asset accumulation are equally important in fostering social assets, the institutional underpinnings of sustainable development are somewhat broader. They rest on greater access to information and knowledge and the ability to form broader partnerships. Without these additional institutional elements, society risks fragmentation that imperil both income growth and wellbeing. Nothing that market exchange plays a larger role in africa, we also argued that the presence of transactions costs naturally leads market participants to enter in long-term trading relationships(and these relationships form business networks that shape market outcomes) with minimum risks. However,when societies become more equitable in ways that lead to greater opportunites for all,the poor stand to benefit from a 'double dividend'.
    JEL: G10 G11 G12 G24 G30 F21 F32 E44 H55 D81
    Date: 2005–12–19
  6. By: Harsha Thirumurthy; Johsua Graff-Zivin; Markus Goldstein
    Abstract: Using longitudinal survey data collected in collaboration with a treatment program, this paper is the first to estimate the economic impacts of antiretroviral treatment in Africa. The responses in two important outcomes are studied: (1) labor supply of adult AIDS patients receiving treatment; and (2) labor supply of children and adults living in the patients' households. We find that within six months after the initiation of treatment, there is a 20 percent increase in the likelihood of the patient participating in the labor force and a 35 percent increase in weekly hours worked. Since patient health would continue to decline without treatment, these labor supply responses are underestimates of the impact of treatment on the treated. The upper bound of the treatment impact, which is based on plausible assumptions about the counterfactual, is considerably larger and also implies that the wage benefit from treatment is roughly equal to the costs of treatment provision. The responses in the labor supply of patients' household members are heterogeneous. Young boys and women work considerably less after initiation of treatment, while girls and men do not change their labor supply. The effects on child labor are particularly important since they suggest potential schooling impacts from treatment.
    JEL: I1 I3 O1 J2
    Date: 2005–12
  7. By: Hélène David-Benz (CIRAD ; CA ; Montpellier, France); Idrissa Wade (INRA ; UMR MOISA ; Montpellier, France); Johny Egg (INRA ; UMR MOISA ; Montpellier, France)
    Abstract: Market gardening has been increasing fast in Senegal. But farmers face high marketing risks: daily price fluctuations exceed an average 20% for some products, seasonality is strong, anticipation based on prices leads to cyclic movements. Farmers and market operators have found various forms of coordination to manage uncertainty. “Coxers” are specifically dedicated to information gathering, either in rural or wholesale urban markets or to transport negotiation. Paid per unit handled, they limit their own risk, whereas they reduce uncertainty for their partners. In other cases, interlinked transactions permit to provide inputs to producers despite the deficient credit market; meanwhile, it secures merchants access to product. As it is the case in many other countries, information provided by MIS is of little help to Senegalese market gardeners. The updated and more targeted access to information through MANOBI services allows producers to improve their negotiation capacity. But it does not modify the existing coordination features, given that they are not only determined by needs in information (but also by social links, access to credit, payment modalities, transport facilities…).
    Keywords: Horticulture, Price analysis, Market instability, Information, Transaction costs
    JEL: D23 D82 O17 Q13
    Date: 2005–12–19

This nep-afr issue is ©2006 by Suzanne McCoskey. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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