nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2006‒03‒25
sixteen papers chosen by
Suzanne McCoskey
Foreign Service Institute, US Department of State

  1. Slavery, Institutional Development and Long-Run Growth in Africa By Nathan Nunn
  2. Growth options and poverty reduction in Ethiopia By Diao, Xinshen; Pratt, Alejandro Nin; Ghautam, Madhur; Keough, James; Chamberlin, Jordan; You, Liangszi; Puetz, Detlev; Resnick, Danielle; Yu, Bingxin
  3. Community, inequality, and local public goods: Evidence from School Financing in South Africa By Yamauchi, Futoshi; Nishiyama, Shinichi
  4. Looking ahead By Rosegrant, Mark W.; Cline, Sarah A.; Li, Weibo; Sulser, Timothy B.; Valmonte-Santos, Rowena A.
  5. Food Aid: A Primer By Sarah Lowder; Terri Raney
  6. Why the poor in rural Malawi are where they are: An Analysis of the Spatial Determinants of the Local Prevalence of Poverty By Benson, Todd; Chamberlin, Jordan; Rhinehart, Ingrid
  7. Are poor, remote areas left behind in agricultural development By Minot, Nicholas
  8. The transformation of property rights in Kenya's Maasiland By Mwangi, Esther
  9. Development and evaluation of a regional water poverty index for Benin By Heidecke, Claudia
  10. Security analysis for agroterrorism By Linacre, Nicholas A.; Koo, Bonwoo; Rosegrant, Mark W.; Msangi, Siwa; Falck-Zepeda, Jose; Gaskell, Joanne; Komen, John; Cohen, Marc J.; Birner, Regina
  11. Monetary Policy and Financial Sector Reform For Employment Creation and Poverty Reduction in Ghana By Gerald Epstein; James Heintz
  12. Farmers' rights and protection of traditional agricultural knowledge By Brush, Stephen B.
  13. Livelihoods, growth, and links to market towns in 15 Ethiopian villages By Dercon, Stefan; Hoddinott, John
  14. An Assessment of the Impact of Increasing Wheat Self-Sufficiency and Promoting Cash-Transfer Subsidies for Consumers in Egypt: A Multi-Market Model By Gamal M. Siam
  15. Household Income Structure and Determinants in Rural Egypt By André Croppenstedt
  16. Measuring Technical Efficiency of Wheat Farmers in Egypt By André Croppenstedt

  1. By: Nathan Nunn (Economics University of Toronto)
    Keywords: Slave trade; Institutions; Africa; Growth
    JEL: F14 N17 N47
    Date: 2005
  2. By: Diao, Xinshen; Pratt, Alejandro Nin; Ghautam, Madhur; Keough, James; Chamberlin, Jordan; You, Liangszi; Puetz, Detlev; Resnick, Danielle; Yu, Bingxin
    Abstract: "This study assesses which agricultural subsectors have the strongest capacity to drive economic growth and poverty reduction in Ethiopia, and what kind of agricultural and nonagricultural growth is needed to achieve the millennium development goal of halving the 1990 poverty rate by 2015. A spatially disaggregated, economywide model was developed under the study, enabling the analysis of growth and poverty reduction linkages at national and regional levels using national household surveys, agricultural sample surveys, geographic information systems, and other national and regional data. The study reveals that agriculture has the potential to play a central role in decreasing poverty and increasing growth in Ethiopia, primarily through growth in staple crops and livestock. Agricultural growth also requires concurrent investments in roads and other market conditions. At the subnational level, similar rates of agricultural growth have different effects on poverty, necessitating regionally based strategies for growth and poverty reduction." Authors' Abstract
    Keywords: Poverty alleviation ,Agricultural growth ,Millenium Development goal ,Spatial analysis (Statistics) ,Disaggregation ,Household surveys ,Ethiopia ,africa ,
    Date: 2005
  3. By: Yamauchi, Futoshi; Nishiyama, Shinichi
    Abstract: "To examine how local income distribution affects both a community's ability to pay for schooling and the quality of that schooling, this research merges household and school census data from South Africa. Empirical results are twofold. First, while the median income and the average household income increase school fees, inequality inhousehold income (standard deviation) decreases school fees, which indicates that the lower tail of income distribution pulls down school fees. Second, an increase in school fees significantly improves school quality, decreasing the learner-educator ratio and increasing the number of nonsubsidized educators. The result is consistent with (1) strategic behavior of the low-income group and (2) optimal school fee determination with incomplete interhousehold income transfers. Empirical results and simulations demonstrate the possibility that income and asset inequality may reduce the quality of public goods, decreasing human capital and income growth for the next generation." Authors' Abstract
    Keywords: South Africa ,local public goods ,school finance ,willingness to pay ,Human capital ,
    Date: 2005
  4. By: Rosegrant, Mark W.; Cline, Sarah A.; Li, Weibo; Sulser, Timothy B.; Valmonte-Santos, Rowena A.
    Abstract: "Sub-Saharan Africa is the only developing region in the world where food insecurity has worsened instead of improved in recent decades. In this discussion paper, Mark W. Rosegrant, Sarah A. Cline, Weibo Li, Timothy B. Sulser, and Rowena A. Valmonte-Santos show that this discouraging trend need not be a blueprint for the future. The research contained in this discussion paper was conducted in preparation for the IFPRI 2020 Africa conference “Assuring Food and Nutrition Security in Africa by 2020: Prioritizing Actions, Strengthening Actors, and Facilitating Partnerships,” held in Kampala, Uganda, April 1–3, 2004. The authors examine the implications of several different policy scenarios based on IFPRI's International Model for Policy Analysis of Agricultural Commodities and Trade (IMPACT). This model, developed at IFPRI in the early 1990s, has been continually updated to incorporate more food sectors and geographic regions. In this paper, the authors use IMPACT to assess the consequences of a wide range of policy and investment choices for Africa, including a business as usual scenario (continuation of current policy and investment trends through 2025), a pessimistic scenario (declining trends in key investments and in agricultural productivity), and a vision scenario (improving trends in investments and hence in agricultural productivity and human capital), as well as scenarios for more effective use of rainfall in agriculture, reduced marketing margins, and three different scenarios for trade liberalization. The wide variation in results reveals how much these choices will matter. For example, the number of malnourished children under five years old in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2025 is projected to be 38.3 million under business as usual, 55.1 million under the pessimistic scenario, and 9.4 million under the vision scenario. It is our hope that this research will clarify the steps needed to help stimulate the actions contributing to approaching the vision scenario. " From Foreword by Joachim von Braun
    Keywords: Impact model ,Food insecurity ,Forecasting ,Agricultural productivity ,Human capital ,Malnutrition in children ,
    Date: 2005
  5. By: Sarah Lowder; Terri Raney (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization)
    Abstract: As an introduction to food aid this paper reviews various definitions of food aid and terminology used by practitioners and academics. It also briefly examines the size of food aid relative to Official Development Assistance, trade and food production in recipient countries and recognizes that in many instances food aid may play an important role in issues related to food security. Lastly, it summarizes actions taken by various international organizations to limit possible trade distortion resulting from food aid.
    Keywords: Food aid, Food security, Trade, World Food Programme, Official Development Assistance, International Organizations.
    JEL: F35 O19 P45 Q17 Q18
    Date: 2005
  6. By: Benson, Todd; Chamberlin, Jordan; Rhinehart, Ingrid
    Abstract: "We examine the spatial determinants of the prevalence of poverty for small spatially defined populations in rural Malawi. Poverty prevalence was estimated using a small-area poverty estimation technique. A theoretical approach based on the risk chain conceptualization of household economic vulnerability guided our selection of a set of potential risk and coping strategies — the determinants of our model — that could be represented spatially. These were used in two analyses to develop global and local models, respectively. In our global model—a spatial error model — only eight of the more than two dozen determinants selected for analysis proved significant. In contrast, all of the determinants considered were significant in at least some of the local models of poverty prevalence. The local models were developed using geographically weighted regression. Moreover, these models provided strong evidence of the spatial nonstationarity of the relationship between poverty and its determinants. That is, in determining the level of poverty in rural communities, where one is located in Malawi matters. This result for poverty reduction efforts in rural Malawi implies that such efforts should be designed for and targeted at the district and subdistrict levels. A national, relatively inflexible approach to poverty reduction is unlikely to enjoy broad success." Authors' Abstract
    Keywords: Spatial analysis (Statistics) ,Poverty mapping ,Spatial regression ,Poverty determinants ,
    Date: 2005
  7. By: Minot, Nicholas
    Abstract: "In Tanzania, as in many other developing countries, the conventional wisdom is that economic reforms may have stimulated economic growth, but that the benefits of this growth have been uneven, favoring urban households and farmers with good market access. This idea, although quite plausible, has rarely been tested empirically. In this paper, we develop a new approach to measuring trends in poverty and apply it to Tanzania in order to explore the distributional aspects of economic growth and the relationship between rural poverty and market access. We find that, between 1991 and 2003, a period of extensive economic reforms, the overall rate of poverty fell about 9 percentage points. The degree of poverty reduction was similar between rural and urban areas, though poverty appears not to have declined in Dar es Salaam. The poverty rate fell more among households with a less educated head of household than among those with a more educated head. The gains were greater among male-headed households than female-headed households. We find that rural poverty is associated with remoteness, but the relationship is surprisingly weak and it varies depending on the definition used. Rural poverty is more closely related to access to regional urban centers than distance to roads or to Dar es Salaam. We find little evidence that remote rural areas are being “left behind” in terms of the absolute decline in the poverty rate. " Authors' Abstract
    Keywords: Market access ,Agricultural development ,rural areas ,Economic reform ,measurement ,Rural poverty Tanzania ,
    Date: 2005
  8. By: Mwangi, Esther
    Abstract: "This paper explores the puzzle of why the pastoral Maasai of Kajiado, Kenya, supported the individualization of their collectively held group ranches, an outcome that is inconsistent with theoretical expectation. Findings suggest that individuals and groups will seek to alter property rights in their anticipation of net gains from a new assignment, even as they seek to eliminate disadvantages that were present in the status quo property rights structure. Heightened perceptions of impending land scarcity, failures of collective decision making, the promise of new income opportunities and the possibility of accessing capital markets motivated individuals to support group ranch subdivision. More importantly individuals were confronted with a declining security of tenure over their lands. Their supporting a transition to individual rights also represents a rational response anticipated to secure land claims against unauthorized appropriations by both Maasai and non-Maasai elite. Given the differentiated structure of group ranch communities, the costs and benefits of property transformation were unevenly distributed. The political process yielded beneficial outcomes for those with access to decision making, while creating vulnerabilities for those with less access such as women, the youth and poor herders." Author's Abstract
    Keywords: East Africa ,africa south of sahara ,Property rights ,Pastoral systems ,Privatization ,Land tenure ,Group membership ,
    Date: 2005
  9. By: Heidecke, Claudia
    Abstract: "The paper discusses the application of the Water Poverty Index (WPI) as a monitoring tool for Benin's water sector. Benin is currently in a process of political decentralization shifting responsibility for and administration of rural water supplies from the national to the communal level. Appropriate indicators are needed for monitoring and analyzing the progress of the water sector for each community. The Water Poverty Index allows monitoring of a combination of aspects affecting rural water management, including water sources, access to and use of water, human capacity to manage water, and environmental impacts. The application of this index is tested for Benin at the regional level. A series of variables have been chosen for inclusion into the index following data collection and analysis in Benin under the IMPETUS project. Results show a clear distinction between communes in the north and the south of the country and WPI rankings are similar to those for poverty levels. The paper concludes with a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the WPI and suggests improvements for its application at the communal level." Author's Abstract
    Keywords: Water Poverty Index ,Water supply ,Decentralization ,
    Date: 2005
  10. By: Linacre, Nicholas A.; Koo, Bonwoo; Rosegrant, Mark W.; Msangi, Siwa; Falck-Zepeda, Jose; Gaskell, Joanne; Komen, John; Cohen, Marc J.; Birner, Regina
    Abstract: "We examine access to, use of, and participation in decisions on improved water supply in the Volta basin of Ghana, one of the first countries to introduce a community-based approach to rural water supply on a large scale. While 71 percent of the households interviewed have access to improved water, 43 percent of these continue to use unsafe sources as their main domestic water source. Our results indicate that quality perceptions and opportunity costs play an important role in households' choice of water source. The effect of prices and income levels on this choice differs according to the pricing system used. Given that supply characteristics such as the location and pricing system affect household decisions to use the improved source, households may try to influence these characteristics in their favor during the community decision-making process for the improved source. However, less than 40 percent of the households interviewed participated in decisions on location or technology. We argue that the decision whether to participate depends on three main factors: (i) the household's bargaining power, (ii) the potential benefits from influencing outcomes, and (iii) the cost of participation, (mainly opportunity cost of time). Our results indicate that bargaining power matters In some developing countries the potential exists for agroterrorism to cause widespread disruption through loss of sustenance, income and production. Defense of agriculture may also be problematic because of the lack stability and basic biosecurity infrastructure for the detection and prevention of diseases or invasive species. Currently new methodological approaches for terrorism risk assessments are being actively explored for resource prioritization. One such methodology for risk based allocation of resources is Threat, Vulnerability, and Consequence (TVC) Analysis. A qualitative application of the TVC framework is used to analyze the risk of agroterrorism in developing countries relative to industrialized countries. The analysis suggests that evidence exists to demonstrate general terrorist threats, vulnerability of agriculture and, depending on the country, potentially serious consequences arising from argoterrorism. Where specific threats emerge, action may be needed by the international community to strengthen biosecurity systems in developing countries through: increasing global cooperation, capacity building in monitoring, remediation and risk analysis technologies, and the dissemination of novel technologies for control of pests and diseases." Authors' Abstract
    Keywords: Capacity building ,Water-supply Management ,Agroterrorism ,Biosecurity ,Risk analysis ,resource allocation ,Terrorism ,
    Date: 2005
  11. By: Gerald Epstein; James Heintz
    Abstract: This report summarizes the findings of a UNDP-sponsored study on the structure of the financial sector, central bank policy, and employment outcomes in Ghana. The financial sector is the primary conduit through which monetary policy affects real economic outcomes, and monetary policy determines the resources available to financial institutions. Therefore, monetary policy must be coordinated with financial sector reforms in order to improve employment opportunities, reduce poverty and support human development. The report develops a critique of financial programming and inflation targeting, presents a series of empirical estimates on the impact of monetary policy variables in Ghana, and describes the elements of an alternative monetary policy. In addition, the report documents the institutional and structural constraints currently operating in the financial system which prevent the sector from facilitating investment, growth, and improved employment opportunities. Econometric estimates of the determinants of investment explicitly link financial variables to real economic activity. The report summarizes a series of financial sector reforms that would improve the financial sector's capacity to move Ghana onto an employment-intensive growth path.
    Keywords: Monetary policy, financial programming, inflation-targeting, financial reform, Ghana, employment
    JEL: E22 E24 E52 E58 O11
    Date: 2006
  12. By: Brush, Stephen B.
    Abstract: "Although achieving in situ conservation is possible without changing farmers' customary management of crops as common pool resources, an alternative approach is to negotiate a bioprospecting contract with providers of the resource that involves direct payment and royalties. This bioprospecting mechanism implies a change in the customary treatment of crop genetic resources as common pool goods and is in line with national ownership mandated by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). This paper questions the value of bioprospecting for protecting traditional agricultural knowledge and argues for a common pool approach. It examines the nature of crop genetic resources and farmers' knowledge about them, and it analyzes the nature of the ‘common heritage' regime that was partly dismantled by the Convention on Biological Diversity. The paper reviews the implementation of access and benefit sharing schemes under the CBD and discusses programs to recognize Farmers' Rights that have arisen since the establishment of the CBD. It concludes with recommendations for meeting the Farmers' Rights mandate of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture." Author's Abstract
    Keywords: East Africa ,africa south of sahara ,Biological diversity conservation ,Collective action ,Bioprospecting ,
    Date: 2005
  13. By: Dercon, Stefan; Hoddinott, John
    Abstract: ""This paper uses longitudinal data from 15 villages in rural Ethiopia to explore the nature and consequences of these links. It addresses the following questions: (1) What are the links between rural households and local urban centers? (2) Does better access to local market towns affect household economic behavior? and (3) Does better access to local market towns make households better off? ...In our results, market towns and cities are an important source of demand for products produced in rural areas, and rural residents are a source of demand for goods sold in urban areas. Improving the presence of roads, their quality, and improved transport are important factors that willfurther bind these spaces together and improve rural welfare market towns." from Authors' Abstract
    Keywords: Rural-urban linkages ,Livelihoods ,
    Date: 2005
  14. By: Gamal M. Siam (Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University)
    Abstract: Wheat is central to the government of Egypt's food security policy which is based on increasing self-sufficiency in wheat on the one hand and subsidizing bread for consumers on the other hand. This paper uses a multi-market approach to assess the impact of increased self-sufficiency in wheat and a switch to a cash-transfer subsidy on cropping patterns, food consumption, production, input use, and income. The findings show that raising self-sufficiency in wheat would reduce reliance on imports but would also adversely affect other sectors, in particular livestock. At full self-sufficiency in wheat, berseem the main animal feed would nearly vanish, with negative repercussions for livestock production. The simulations also show that a move to a cash transfer subsidy system would improve targeting of the poor and eliminate distortions on the consumption side. Finally, under the current wheat policy an increase in the world price of wheat would intensify the adverse consequences of both self-sufficiency and consumer subsidies at the agricultural sector level and economy wide.
    Keywords: Egypt, agriculture sector, wheat, multi-market model, wheat self-sufficiency, bread subsidy, policy scenario impact analysis.
    JEL: Q11 Q18
    Date: 2006–02
  15. By: André Croppenstedt (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization)
    Abstract: Egypt is on track to achieve its long-term goal of reducing the poverty rate to 6 percent by 2022. Continued progress towards this goal will require rapid employment growth for which agriculture growth, through its impact on demand for goods and services in the rural non-tradable sector will be of fundamental importance. This paper considers which agricultural policies will be most effective at reducing rural poverty in Egypt . Using household survey data from 1997 the study analyzes household income structure and determinants. Results indicate that agricultural policies that help to raise unskilled labor wages and/or increase demand for unskilled labor as well as those that support small animal/bird raising, in particular poultry, are best suited to help the poor. A longer-term strategy must also focus on enhancing formal sector employment through increased access to education for men and in particular women.
    Keywords: Egypt, household income structure, household income determinants, income distribution, rural sector.
    JEL: D30 O12
    Date: 2006
  16. By: André Croppenstedt (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization)
    Abstract: Liberalization of Egyptian agricultural policy and new wheat technology has led to significant increases in area allocated to wheat as well as wheat yields. The wheat self-sufficiency ratio increased from 21 percent in 1986 to about 59 percent over the 2001-03 period. However, the country still imports 4-5 million tonnes of wheat per year. This paper addresses the issue of what kind of output gains can be achieved from improving technical efficiency, i.e. how much more output can be produced with the given levels of inputs and current technology. On average wheat farmers are found to operate 20 percent below the potential output. Better information on irrigation management and two or more extension visits were found to raise output by 14 and 7 percent respectively. However, neither factor was found to affect technical efficiency. Technical efficiency was found not to vary with farm size.
    Keywords: Egypt, Wheat, Technical Efficiency, Stochastic Production Frontier.
    JEL: C21 O13 Q12
    Date: 2005

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