nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2006‒02‒26
five papers chosen by
Suzanne McCoskey
Foreign Service Institute, US Department of State

  1. Trade Regimes, Liberalization and Macroeconomic Instability in Africa By Chantal Dupasquier; Patrick N. Osakwe
  2. African small and medium enterprises, networks, and manufacturing performance By Shah, Manju Kedia; Biggs, Tyler
  3. Institutional Evolution, static and dynamic approaches in assessing performance related to development goals By Michel Fok; Sophia Tazi
  4. The determinants of subjective poverty: A comparative analysis in Madagascar and Peru By Javier Herrera; Mireille Razafindrakoto; François Roubaud
  5. Filières cotonnières en Afrique : une méthode d'appréciation de la performance au regard des objectifs de développement By Michel Fok; Sophia Tazi

  1. By: Chantal Dupasquier (UN Economic Commission for Africa, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia); Patrick N. Osakwe (UN Economic Commission for Africa, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)
    Abstract: Trade policy has been a very contentious issue in the discourse on African development. Using panel data for 33 African countries spanning the period 1986-2000, we examine the relationship between trade liberalization and macroeconomic instability in Africa. We focus on instabilities in output, consumption and investment, and use both single and system estimation techniques as well as different measures of trade regimes. After controlling for key potential sources of macroeconomic instability, we find no substantial evidence that trade liberalization has a systematic impact on instability in the region. The study shows that the volatilities of inflation and the terms of trade, as well as climatic disasters, the nature of fiscal policy, and the severity of debt are more robust determinants of macroeconomic instability in the region. The paper also argues that policymakers in the region can reduce macroeconomic instability and vulnerability to shocks by diversifying their export structures, using fiscal policy in a countercyclical manner, and improving the functioning of the financial sector.
    Keywords: instability, openness, trade regime, Africa, macroeconomic, panel data
    JEL: F13 O24 O55
  2. By: Shah, Manju Kedia; Biggs, Tyler
    Abstract: This paper examines the role of private support institutions in determining small and medium enterprise (SME) growth and performance in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). It finds that SMEs in SSA get around market failures and lack of formal institutions by creating private governance systems in the form of long-term business relationships and tight, ethnically-based, business networks. There are important links between these informal governance institutions and SME performance. Networks raise the performance of " insiders " and, in the sparse business environments of the SSA region, have attendant negative consequences for market participation of " outsiders, " such as indigenous African SMEs. This is indicated through the determinants of access to supplier credit. Policy interventions will be needed to improve the platform for relation-based governance mechanisms and to address the exclusionary effects of tight networks.
    Keywords: Economic Theory & Research,Banks & Banking Reform,Business in Development,Business Environment,Technology Industry
    Date: 2006–02–01
  3. By: Michel Fok (UPR10 - Systèmes cotonniers en petits paysannats - - CIRAD); Sophia Tazi (UPR10 - Systèmes cotonniers en petits paysannats - - CIRAD)
    Abstract: 1. The Resocot Projet is a research project which brought together teams of researchers from the North and Africa, not all of which were familiar with the theoretical approach used at the outset. This project aims at developing a methodology and materials to help assess the performance of the cotton commodity sectors of different countries and to assist the players concerned to steer these sectors towards improving their performance. At a time when several African sectors have already gone over to a inter-professional type of management, the output from the project could prove useful for facilitating exchanges between stakeholders, so as to enable them to develop a common vision of the problems before deciding on the actions required to resolve them.
    Keywords: Cotton; Africa; commodity chain; methodology; theory; New Economics of institution; Benin; Mali, Burkina Faso; Ghana; Mali; Cameroon
    Date: 2006–02–19
  4. By: Javier Herrera (DIAL, IRD, Paris); Mireille Razafindrakoto (DIAL, IRD, Paris); François Roubaud (DIAL, IRD, Paris)
    Abstract: (english) The multidimensionality of poverty is now fully acknowledged. A number of studies show a weak correlation between the monetary approach to poverty and household's subjective perception of wellbeing. Recent studies in developed countries demonstrate that well-being is not only based on monetary income or consumption, but also on other factors such as employment and health. This paper examines the factors that determine households’ subjective evaluation of their living standards, through a comparative analysis in two developing countries, Peru and Madagascar. Our study is based on a first-hand database grouping objective individual variables (the households’ socio-economic characteristics, environment and individual trajectories, provided by the two surveys’ panel studies), and identical questions on subjective well-being for both countries. How much do income levels influence households' welfare perceptions? Do these depend on the level of income and/or the relative position with respect to a given reference group? Apart from income, does the type of labour market inclusion or job quality have a significant impact on subjective well-being? To what extent do individual trajectories and local environment affect well-being (social origin, spatial inequalities in the district)? Finally, how important are the new dimensions of poverty such as vulnerability and social and political exclusion? _________________________________ (français) Le caractère multidimensionnel de la pauvreté est aujourd'hui universellement reconnu. Un certain nombre d'études montrent une faible corrélation entre l'approche monétaire de la pauvreté et la perception des ménages de leur bien-être. Des travaux récents ont pu montrer que, dans les pays développés, cette dernière ne dépend pas seulement du niveau de revenu ou de consommation, mais aussi d'autres facteurs (emploi, santé, etc.). Cette contribution se propose d'explorer les facteurs qui déterminent l'évaluation subjective des ménages de leur niveau de vie à partir d'une analyse comparative portant sur deux pays en développement, le Pérou et Madagascar. Pour ce faire, l'étude mobilise une base de données originale, comptant à la fois des variables individuelles objectives (caractéristiques socio-économiques des ménages, environnement et trajectoires individuelles obtenues grâce à la dimension panel des deux enquêtes), ainsi que des mesures subjectives du bienêtre identiques pour les deux pays. Quelle est la contribution du revenu à la perception du bien-être ? Celle-ci dépend-elle du niveau de revenu et/ou de la position relative par rapport à un groupe de référence qu'il convient d'identifier ? Au-delà des revenus, le type d'insertion sur le marché du travail et la qualité de l’emploi ont-ils une influence significative sur le bien-être subjectif ? Dans quelle mesure la trajectoire d’un individu et son environnement immédiat jouent sur son bien-être (origine sociale, inégalités spatiales au niveau du quartier) ? Enfin, quel est le poids des nouvelles dimensions de la pauvreté telles que la vulnérabilité et l’exclusion sociale et politique ?
    Keywords: Subjective wellbeing, peer group effects, capacity to aspire, relative income, panel data Madagascar, Peru, Bien-être subjectif, pauvreté, groupes de comparaison, aspirations, revenu relatif, données de panel, Madagascar, Pérou.
    JEL: I31 I32 D60 C25
    Date: 2006–01
  5. By: Michel Fok (UPR10 - Systèmes cotonniers en petits paysannats - - CIRAD); Sophia Tazi (UPR10 - Systèmes cotonniers en petits paysannats - - CIRAD)
    Abstract: Les filières ont fait l'objet de nombreuses études orientées plus ou moins explicitement vers l'évaluation de leur performance sans grande précision sur les méthodes. Alors que l'appréciation des actions de développement se réfère à une trilogie d'objectifs largement admis (réduction de la pauvreté, durabilité environnementale, compétitivité internationale) il serait pertinent de disposer d'une méthode pour apprécier la performance d'une filière cotonnière au regard des objectifs de développement. L'exécution d'une phase pilote du Projet Resocot de suivi des filières cotonnières a permis de développer une telle méthode et de mettre au point des outils informatiques pour faciliter son exploitation On pense que cette méthode et les outils associés peuvent servir à d'autres filières de produits agricoles d'exportation après intégration des spécificités propres aux produits. L'exploitation de la méthode et des outils prend surtout son sens dans une démarche collective associant tous les acteurs des filières, pour les aider à parvenir à des visions partagées dans leur concertation.
    Keywords: Coton; objectifs de développement; filières; méthodologie; performance; Afrique francophone; économie néo-institutionnelle, théorie
    Date: 2006–02–19

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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