nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2006‒05‒27
ten papers chosen by
Suzanne McCoskey
Foreign Service Institute, US Department of State

  1. Portfolio allocations in the Middle East and North Africa By Thomas Lagoarde-Segot; Brian M. Lucey
  2. Why unwinding preferences is not the same as liberalisation: the case of sugar By Christopher Stevens
  3. Structural Weakness in Nicaragua : Hindrances to Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction By Ruth Rios-Morales
  4. Global rules, patent power and our food future: controlling the food system in the 21st century By Geoff Tansey
  5. Foreign Direct Investment, Firm-Level Capabilities and Human Capital Development: Evidence from Kenyan Manufacturing Industry By Gachino, Geoffrey
  6. Mass Attidudes Toward Financial Crisis and Economic Reform in Korea By Bernd Hayo
  8. Learning in Local Systems and Global Links: The Otigba Computer Hardware Cluster in Nigeria By Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, Banji
  9. Public-private sector wage differentials and returns to education in Djibouti By Seshan, Ganesh; Anos Casero, Paloma
  10. Small Islands, New Technologies and Globalization: A Case of ICT adoption by SMEs in Mauritius By Lal, Kaushalesh; Peedoly, Aveeraj Sharma

  1. By: Thomas Lagoarde-Segot; Brian M. Lucey
    Abstract: We examine the issue of possible portfolio diversification benefits into seven Middle-Eastern and North African (MENA) stock markets. We construct international portfolios in dollars and local currencies. We compute the ex-ante weights by plugging five optimization models and two risk measures into a rolling block-bootstrap methodology. This allows us to derive 48 monthly rebalanced ex-post portfolio returns. We analyze the out-of-sample performance based on Sharpe and Sortino ratios and the Jobson-Korkie statistic. Our results highlight outstanding diversification benefits in the MENA region, both in dollar and local currencies. Overall, we show that these under-estimated, under-investigated markets could attract more portfolio flows in the future.
    Keywords: Portfolio Allocation, Emerging Markets, Middle East and North Africa.
    Date: 2006–05–25
  2. By: Christopher Stevens
    Abstract: Many of the changes to developed country trade policy that affect developing countries do not fit neatly into the category of ‘liberalisation’ yet they are frequently assessed as if they did. The recent changes to the EU’s regimes for production and imports of sugar fall into this group: both production and trade policies were highly distorted before the change and will remain so after it, but the distribution of the effects of these distortions will be altered. This will affect three of the six Development Cooperation Ireland programme countries in Africa: Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia. Returns from sugar exports to the EU will be less than otherwise would have been. How much lower depends critically on how the sugar market develops after 2009.
    Keywords: Sugar, liberalisation, value chains
    Date: 2006–05–23
  3. By: Ruth Rios-Morales
    Abstract: Despite generous debt reduction under the HIPC initiative, Nicaragua is not growing at the rate required to alleviate poverty. This paper outlines Nicaragua 's vulnerability to external changes and its inability to compete in the global market. Nicaragua suffers from severe structural problems; it has a very poorly diversified industrial structure, and its trading performance is correspondingly weak, relying on basic agricultural exports that have suffered stagnant or declining prices on international markets. Nicaragua is a clear example of an HIPC country that has achieved the criteria to enter into the HIPC initiative but is struggling to maintain sustainable economic development while trying to achieve poverty reduction.
    Date: 2006–05–25
  4. By: Geoff Tansey
    Abstract: The rules affecting our food future have been rewritten since the early 1990s, often in remote international bodies. This paper briefly outlines the nature of today's food system, discusses some of these rules and focuses on the dynamics of rule making in the World Trade Organisation, in particular around patent, plant variety protection, trademark, copyright and other forms of 'intellectual property' and their impact on our food future. It draws on work with negotiators dealing with the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (TRIPS) in WTO and its role in globalisation.
    Keywords: Intellectual property rights regimes, WTO, patents, biotechnology
    JEL: L66 Q16
    Date: 2006–05–22
  5. By: Gachino, Geoffrey (United Nations University, Maastricht Economic and social Research and training centre on Innovation and Technology)
    Abstract: This paper uses firm-level survey data of Kenyan manufacturing industry to examine the significance of FDI and firm-level capabilities in human capital development. It undertakes a detailed descriptive comparison of human capital and other firm-level capabilities generated by both foreign and locally owned firms. The analysis shows that foreign firms generally enjoyed high human capital development and firm-level capabilities than locally owned firms. Empirical evaluation of human capital determinants revealed a statistically significant role played by FDI in determining human capital development in all the firms. Other factors which demonstrated an equally significant role included specific firm level capabilities; process, product, marketing and export performance. Interestingly, basic infrastructure, systemic embeddedness, firm size, labour market conditions and the role of government were not statistically significant, implying their weak role in human capital stimulation. The choice of Kenyan manufacturing industry presents an ideal case to evaluate FDI, firm-level capabilities and human capital development for two main reasons. First, the Kenyan economy has continued to witness low levels of economic growth despite having literally lifted most industrial controls and protections since introduction of structural adjustment programme from mid 1980s. Second, although Kenya has low levels of FDI in general terms it has high levels of foreign presence in selected industries. The Kenyan case is therefore expected to offer important policy ramifications for other countries in the sub Saharan region.
    Keywords: FDI, human capital, human development, firm-level capabilities, systemic embeddedness, infrastructure, Kenya
    JEL: C24 F21 F23 L6 O3
    Date: 2006
  6. By: Bernd Hayo (Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Philipps Universitaet Marburg)
    Abstract: This paper gives an account of the financial crisis that took place in Korea from the point of view of the Korean population using survey data collected in 1998 and 1999. Although both, internal and external factors were blamed as causes, domestic factors were considered to be of greater importance. After identifying respondents as supporting either market-based or statebased reform strategies using factor analysis, various determinants of these alternative views are being analyzed within the framework of regression models. A particularly interesting result is that, contrary to theoretical assumptions and empirical evidence on other regions, it is political ideology and not individual economic determinants that helps to explain the respondents’ attitudes towards reform strategies in Korea.
    Keywords: South Korea, financial crisis, public opinion, economic reform strategies institution
    JEL: O5 F3
    Date: 2005
  7. By: Boubacar Diallo (LEO - Laboratoire d'économie d'Orleans - [CNRS : UMR6221] - [Université d'Orléans])
    Abstract: l'objectif de cette recherche est de développer un modèle de Credit Scoring en utilisant un échantillon de 269 emprunteurs individuels de l'institution de micro-finance Nyèsigiso au Mali. Les résultats ont montré l'importance de la relation de long terme, du taux d'intérêt, des coûts de transactions et du rationnement dans la prédiction du défaut de remboursement. Le modèle qui a été développé à partir de la régression logistique et de l'analyse discriminante, prédit correctement dans plus 70% des cas. Une fixation plus conservatrice du point de coupure de 0.5 à 0.4 améliore significativement pouvoir de prédiction sur les mauvais prêts sans affecter la performance globale de prédiction du modèle. L'analyse des cas de rejets a montré une certaine cohérence entre les prédictions du modèle et les décisions de rejet de l'institution.
    Keywords: Micro-finance ; Credit Scoring ; Régression logistique ; Probabilité de défaut
    Date: 2006–05–16
  8. By: Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, Banji (United Nations University, Maastricht Economic and social Research and training centre on Innovation and Technology)
    Abstract: Conventional wisdom suggests to the fact that poor countries are unlikely to be host to a “high-technology” sector and doing so within the organization of small and medium enterprises. This paper examines an unusual phenomenon of industrial organization in an African setting; the emergence of a cluster of an information technology hardware cluster in a very late industrializing country, Nigeria. The evolution of the Otigba Computer Hardware Village (OCV) in Lagos, Nigeria has proceeded largely without direct support from the state and indeed within a decidedly hostile institutional and arid infrastructural environment. Yet the cluster has thrived, thus far, with institutional support of a local trade and manufacturing association. The study holds important lessons for late industrializing countries entering into a knowledge intensive sector.
    Keywords: learning, innovation system, computer hardware, clusters
    JEL: J24 L63 O31
    Date: 2006
  9. By: Seshan, Ganesh; Anos Casero, Paloma
    Abstract: Do public sector workers earn a wage premium in Djibouti and are the returns to education different across the sectors? The authors estimate private and public sector wage earnings using 1996 household survey data, while controlling for selectivity using Heckman ' s two stage approach. They find that Djiboutian public sector employees earn a wage premium, independent of their personal attributes and human capital endowments, and are more likely to be males and have parents in the public sector. Workers in the public sector earn higher private rates of return to education than do private sector workers with post-secondary schooling. These results raise concerns about current government hiring and wage-setting practices that generate distortions in the labor market and are not efficiently allocating labor and public resources.
    Keywords: Labor Markets,Public Sector Economics & Finance,Public Sector Management and Reform,Education For All,Education and Digital Divide
    Date: 2006–05–01
  10. By: Lal, Kaushalesh (United Nations University, Maastricht Economic and social Research and training centre on Innovation and Technology); Peedoly, Aveeraj Sharma (University of Mauritius)
    Abstract: This paper sets out to locate Mauritian SMEs in the present context of global competition and more particularly to identify the extent to which they have adopted ICTs as a tool to meet the challenges which they now face. The essence of the argument that comes to the fore is that despite having an impressive number of SMEs which contribute enormously to employment creation in the country, the latter are in many ways ill-equipped to confront the challenges of global competition. The findings clearly show that the adoption of ICTs in SMEs is far from being an integral feature of Mauritian SMEs despite recent claims to be a cyber-island. Cost of communication and the lack of learning opportunities have been found as the major impediments in the adoption of ICTs. In turn this raises serious implications and challenges for the SMEs themselves and the Government in order to adapt to the requirements of globalisation.
    Keywords: Small Island Economies, ICT, SME, Probit Analysis
    JEL: O55 L86 L96 M13 C5
    Date: 2006

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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