nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2006‒03‒11
six papers chosen by
Suzanne McCoskey
Foreign Service Institute, US Department of State

  1. Transformation or Stagnation? The South African Defence Industry in the early 21st Century By Paul Dunne; Richard Haines
  2. The influence of Orphanhood on Children’s Schooling and Labour: Evidence from Sub Saharan Africa By L.Guarcello; S.Lyon; F.Rosati; C. Valdivia
  3. School-to-Work Transitions in Sub-Saharan Africa: An overview By L.Guarcello; M. Manacorda; F. Rosati; J. Fares; S.Lyon; C. Valdivia
  4. The demand for Food in South Africa By Paul Dunne; Beverly Edkins
  5. About contemporary challenges of informal activities in Western Africa and Brazil (in Portuguese : A respeito de alguns desafios contemporâneos da informalidade económica...) By Yves-André FAURE (IRD-IFREDE-GRES)

  1. By: Paul Dunne (School of Economics, University of the West of England); Richard Haines (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University)
    Abstract: In post-Apartheid South Africa, the ANC Government faced the challenge of restructuring an unsustainably large defence sector. This was in the context of economic and social problems and a declining international arms market. This paper considers the restructuring of the South African industry over that period and more recently, providing a valuable case study of defence industrial restructuring in a small industrialised economy. It considers how the public sector (DENEL) and private sector responded to the cuts in defence spending and the impact of the Government’s decision to modernise the South African Defence Force through foreign procurement, the Strategic Defence Package (SDP) but with extensive offset deals. Within this context the prospects for the industry and the issues surrounding the privatisation of DENEL are considered. The SDP and its offset deals is seen to be continuing to have a considerable impact on the defence industry, but is of questionable value to the South African economy. While the defence projects seem to have some successes the experience of the non defence projects is poor and overall the value of the deals is nowhere near the promises made at the outset. Lack of transparency has created a environment where corruption was almost inevitable and successful industrial planning almost impossible. While there is still some way to go, the scepticism of offset programmes expressed by Brauer and Dunne (2004) seems to be justified by the experience of South Africa.
    Keywords: South Africa; Defence; industry
    Date: 2005–12
  2. By: L.Guarcello; S.Lyon; F.Rosati; C. Valdivia
    Abstract: This paper explores possible links between orphanhood and two important determinants of child vulnerability - child labour and schooling - using household survey data from 10 Sub Saharan Africa countries. It forms part of a broader, on-going effort to improve policy responses to the orphan crisis and to child vulnerability generally. Marginal effects calculated after a bivariate probit indicate that becoming an orphan makes it generally less likely that a child has the opportunity to attend school and generally more likely that a child is exposed to work. The size and significance of these effects varies considerably across the 10 analysed countries, but in only one - Lesotho - does orphanhood appear to have no significant effect on either work involvement or school attendance. Double orphans appear to be especially vulnerable to schooling loss and work exposure in the analysed countries, underscoring the importance of the distinction between single and double orphans for policy purposes.
    Date: 2004–10
  3. By: L.Guarcello; M. Manacorda; F. Rosati; J. Fares; S.Lyon; C. Valdivia
    Abstract: While youth issues are subject of growing attention in the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region, data for indicators relating specifically to youth employment remain scarce in most SSA countries. There is therefore limited empirical basis for formulating policies and programmes promoting youth employment and successful school to work transitions. The study is aimed at beginning to fill this gap by generating and analyzing a set of youth education and employment indicators based on World Bank survey data for a subset of 13 countries in the Sub Saharan Africa region. Study findings highlight the disadvantaged position of young people in the labour force in the region. They face much higher levels of unemployment than their adult counterparts or young people in developed economies, and are much more concentrated in low skill and unstable informal sector work. Youth never attending school emerge as a particular policy concern. Uneducated youth appear to be stuck not only in low income jobs but also face a high risk of unemployment. The study places particular emphasis on measuring the initial transition from school to work for different groups of young people, and on identifying the factors affecting this transition. Results indicate that the average duration of the transition is very long in many SSA countries, suggesting young people in these countries are faced with substantial labour market entry problems upon leaving the school system.
    Date: 2005–11
  4. By: Paul Dunne (School of Economics, University of the West of England); Beverly Edkins (University of KwaZulu-Natal)
    Abstract: Food consumption is an important issue in South Africa, not only in its relation to poverty and deprivation, but also given the importance of nutrition in allowing HIV/AIDS sufferers to lead extended, productive lives. With the pressing need to increase food security and the enormity of the epidemic, understanding the demand for food has become a vital task. It is important that the determinants of the demand for food are understood, so that responses of household food consumption to changes in the prices of foodstuffs, prices of other commodities, and total expenditure can be anticipated. There is, however, surprisingly little economic research on this topic. This paper provides an empirical analysis of the demand for food in South Africa for the years 1970 to 2002. It uses two modelling approaches, a general dynamic log-linear demand equation and a dynamic version of the almost ideal demand system to provide estimates of the short- and long-run price and expenditure demand elasticities.
    JEL: E58
    Date: 2005–10
  5. By: Yves-André FAURE (IRD-IFREDE-GRES)
    Abstract: This study data are based on several sources including official documents that are statistical or economical, as well as specialized literature and fieldwork investigations in collaboration with national university research teams. The present reflection reports on few western African countries and on Brazil characterized by the extent of informal phenomenon and its recent growth. Informal activities have been defined in different ways. The present document stresses on the problem and limits inherent to these definitions. Indeed although the informal phenomenon seems to be quite simple it is in fact complex and multidimensional. The main part of the article is devoted to two questions related to informal process knowledge and also to more concrete economical actions. First the structural importance of informal activities is signalled. Their extreme modernity is proved by nowadays increase due to neoliberal policies led by the governments for the last decades and is analyzed in the document. Second the most interesting challenges that authorities, administrations and specialized agencies have to face concerning informal activities are pointed out. The difficulties are about public policies and action programmes that deal with small business improvement situation as well as their integration in national economical formal channels.
    Keywords: Economic Development, Informal economy, Public policies, Micro enterprise, SME, Brazil, Western Africa
    JEL: O1
    Date: 2006
  6. By: Christophe Muller (Universidad de Alicante); Sami Bibi (Faculté des Sciences Economiques et de Gestion de Tunis (FSEGT))
    Abstract: This paper introduces a new methodology to target direct transfers against poverty. Our method is based on observable correlates and on estimation methods that focus on the poor. Using data from Tunisia, we estimate ‘focused’ transfer schemes that improve anti-poverty targeting performances. Post-transfer poverty can be substantially reduced with the new estimation method. The impact of these schemes on the welfare of the poor is also much stronger than the current food subsidies system in Tunisia. Finally, the obtained levels of undercoverage of the poor is so low that ‘proxy-means’ focused transfer schemes becomes a realistic alternative to price subsidies, likely to avoid social unrest.
    Keywords: Poverty; Targeting; Transfers
    JEL: D12 D63 H53 I32 I38
    Date: 2006–02

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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