nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2006‒09‒30
nine papers chosen by
Suzanne McCoskey
Foreign Service Institute, US Department of State

  1. The South African poor white problem in the early 20th century: Lessons for poverty today By Johan Fourie
  2. Health Care Provider Choice By Christelle Swanepoel; Ian Stuart
  3. Access to credit by the poor in South Africa: Evidence from Household Survey Data 1995 and 2000 By Francis Nathan Okurut
  4. Aid and Growth Accelerations: An Alternative Approach to Assess the Effectiveness of Aid By Jonas Dovern; Peter Nunnenkamp
  5. Have pro-poor health policies improved the targeting of spending and the effective delivery of health care in South Africa? By Ronelle Burger; Christelle Swanepoel
  6. Political Discourse in Football Coverage – The Cases of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana By Andreas Mehler
  7. Marche à pied, pauvreté et ségrégation dans les villes d'Afrique de l'ouest. Le cas de Dakar By Lourdes Diaz Olvera; Didier Plat; Pascal Pochet
  8. Stratégie monétaire des économies émergentes : les écueils de la dollarisation By Jean-François Ponsot
  9. The long-term impact of French settlement on education in Algeria By Ouarda Merrouche

  1. By: Johan Fourie (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
    Abstract: The causes of the poor white problem, first noted at a Dutch Reformed Church Synod in 1886, were unclear; many blamed the inadequate education system, urbanisation, cheap wages or cultural factors, while others argued that external events such as the rinderpest disease or the Anglo-Boer war added to the numbers of poor whites. Today, poverty is still at the heart of many policy debates in South Africa. A bad educational legacy, urbanisation, labour legislation, culture and tradition, and external factors are still amongst the factors said to be the causes of poverty. This paper assesses the similarities and differences between black poverty today and white poverty a century ago, and suggests possible policy lessons to learn from the past.
    Keywords: poverty, poor white problem, inequality, policy proposals
    JEL: N37 N97 I31
    Date: 2006
  2. By: Christelle Swanepoel (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University); Ian Stuart (South African National Treasury, Pretoria)
    Abstract: In order to achieve an ‘optimal health system’ health policies should not only be focused on the supply of health care, but also take cognisance of the demand for health care. Studies of health care demand in South Africa are scarce due to considerable data limitations. This analysis attempts to fill this gap by combining two data sets (specifically, the GHS 2004 and IES/LFS 2000) in order to be able to utilize the wealth of information regarding health care utilization in the General Household Survey. The aim is to inform and encourage debate on how to incorporate demand side considerations in order to arrive at improved public health care in South Africa.
    Keywords: health care, demand for health, combining data sets, South Africa
    JEL: D0 C2 I11 I18
    Date: 2006
  3. By: Francis Nathan Okurut (Department of Economics, University of Botswana)
    Abstract: This study specifically investigated the factors that influenced access by the poor and Blacks to credit in the segmented financial sector in South Africa, using income and expenditure survey data from 1995 and 2000. The study sheds light on the extent of financial sector deepening through household participation especially among the poor and Blacks, in the context of the fight against poverty. In this study, three types of credit were identified. Formal credit was defined to include debts from commercial banks (including mortgage finance and car loans), semi-formal credit included consumption credit (for household assets such as furniture and open accounts in retail stores), and informal credit specifically referred to debts from relatives and friends.Multinomial logit models and Heckman probit models with sample selection were used for analytical work. The results suggest that the poor and Blacks have limited access to the formal and semi-formal financial sectors. At the national level, access to bank credit is positively and significantly influenced by age, being male, household size, education level, household per capita expenditure and race (being Coloured, Indian or White). Being poor has a negative and significant effect on formal credit access. Semi-formal credit access is positively and significantly influenced by household size, per capita expenditure, provincial location (Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Free State and North West) and being Coloured. The negative and significant factors in determining access to semi-formal credit include being male, rural location, being poor and being White. Informal credit access is negatively and significantly influenced by education level and race (being Coloured or White). Among the poor, access to bank credit is positively and significantly influenced by being male, provincial location (Western Cape, Gauteng and Mpumalanga) and being Coloured. Access to semi-formal credit is positively and significantly determined by household per capita expenditure, provincial location (Western Cape, Northern Cape, North West and Gauteng) and being Indian. Access to informal credit by the poor is positively and significantly influenced by provincial location (Kwazulu Natal and Gauteng). Within the black population, access to bank credit is positively and significantly influenced by age, being male, household per capita expenditure and education level. Semi-formal credit access by Blacks is positively and significantly influenced by household size, household per capita expenditure, education level and provincial location (Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Free State and North West). However being male, poor and located in a rural area negatively affected access to semi-formal credit by Blacks. Informal credit access by Blacks is negatively influenced by education level, but positively influenced by being located in the Western and Eastern Cape. These findings confirm that improving access to organized credit markets (i.e formal and semi-formal credit markets) by the poor and Blacks, remains important in the fight against poverty.
    Keywords: credit, poverty, South Africa
    JEL: N27 D14 G2
    Date: 2006
  4. By: Jonas Dovern; Peter Nunnenkamp
    Abstract: It continues to be heavily disputed whether foreign aid promotes economic growth in developing countries. In most cross-country regressions, aid is considered effective only if it shifts recipient countries to a significantly higher and sustainable growth path. We apply an alternative approach which is less demanding, based on the concept of temporary growth accelerations suggested by Hausmann, Pritchett and Rodrik. In assessing what can reasonably be expected from the donors’ modest aid efforts, we do not only employ aggregate aid data but we also differentiate between major aid categories, including grants, loans and so-called short-impact aid. It turns out that aid flows have a small but significantly positive effect on the conditional probability of growth accelerations. This result holds across different estimation methods. Short-impact aid is found to be more effective in this respect, while we reject the view that grants are superior to loans. To the contrary, we find a stronger effect of loans. Furthermore, aid has become more effective during the second half of our sample. Typically, however, the significance of results crucially depends on the criteria applied to identify growth accelerations.
    Keywords: Aid Effectiveness, Growth Accelerations, Grants versus Loans, Short-Impact Aid
    JEL: F35 O11
    Date: 2006–09
  5. By: Ronelle Burger (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University); Christelle Swanepoel (Bureau of Economic Research, Stellenbosch University)
    Abstract: Since 1994 there have been a number of radical changes in the public health care system in South Africa. Budgets have been reallocated, decision making was decentralised, the clinic network was expanded and user fees for primary health care were abolished. The paper examines how these recent changes have affected the incidence of spending and the accessibility and quality of health care. The paper finds that between 1995 and 2003 there have been advances in the pro-poor spending incidence of both clinics and hospitals. The increased share of the health budget allocated to the more pro-poor clinic services has contributed further to the improvement in the targeting of overall health spending. Also, it appears that the elimination of user fees for clinics and the expansion of the clinic network have helped to make health services more affordable and geographically accessible to the poor and were associated with a notable rise in health service utilisation for individuals in the bottom two expenditure quintiles. South Africa’s spending on clinics and hospitals is well targeted and more progressive than other developing country public health systems. Unfortunately, it appears that to a considerable extent this result is driven by perceptions that services offered in public hospitals and clinics are of a low and variable quality. These perceptions seem to be encouraging most of those who can afford to pay more for health services to opt out of the public health system, thereby increasing the pro-poor incidence of public health spending. Complaints by users of public health facilities include long waiting times, staff rudeness and problems with drug availability. Dissatisfaction with health services is significantly higher in the public sector than in the private sector and the gap has expanded slightly over time. It is consequently not surprising that a substantial and increasing share of individuals – also including the very poorest – prefer to consult private providers.
    Keywords: fiscal incidence, South Africa, health
    JEL: H51 I18
    Date: 2006
  6. By: Andreas Mehler (GIGA Institute of African Affairs)
    Abstract: Football coverage in newspapers is both an arena for and a mirror of political discourse within a society. The paper argues that discourses within football coverage referring to political issues reflect dominant – and, possibly, contesting – “truths”, which themselves are linked to power relations and political struggles within a given society. The compari-son of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, two neighbouring countries in very different conditions (particularly with regard to their historical trajectories and the degree of societal consen-sus), and more particularly, the comparison of dominant discourses on the topics of patri-otism, peace and good governance related to the World Cup qualification of both national teams supports the hypothesis of a strong context-relatedness of a politically loaded “foot-ball language”. For instance, whereas in Ghana patriotism is, when football comes in, quickly merged with pan-africanism, the Ivorian team renewed the heated political debate about “Ivorianess” by putting forward a notion of inclusive patriotism.
    Keywords: football, political discourse, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, patriotism, good govern-ance, peace
    Date: 2006–08
  7. By: Lourdes Diaz Olvera (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - [CNRS : UMR5593] - [Université Lumière - Lyon II] - [Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat]); Didier Plat (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - [CNRS : UMR5593] - [Université Lumière - Lyon II] - [Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat]); Pascal Pochet (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - [CNRS : UMR5593] - [Université Lumière - Lyon II] - [Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat])
    Abstract: Cette communication vise à illustrer les processus de ségrégation spatiale à l'œuvre dans les villes d'Afrique subsaharienne. Dans un contexte général de croissance démographique, d'étalement urbain, et de pauvreté persistante des ménages comme des acteurs publics, à Dakar, comme dans d'autres grandes villes africaines, les transports s'avèrent problématiques dès lors que l'on doit sortir de son quartier. Et pourtant, du fait de l'allongement des distances à parcourir, la motorisation des déplacements s'avère de plus en plus nécessaire. Les études de cas mettent en évidence les écarts très importants existant dans l'accès à la ville des marcheurs et des usagers des modes motorisés, des résidents des quartiers lotis et accessibles et des quartiers non lotis et enclavés. Les nombreuses lacunes dans l'équipement et dans l'accessibilité des quartiers renforcent l'impact négatif des faibles revenus sur la mobilité, et favorisent un repli contraint sur le quartier, au risque d'un approfondissement de la pauvreté et de la ségrégation urbaines.
    Keywords: Marche à pied ; pauvreté ; ségrégation ; Afrique de l'ouest ; Dakar
    Date: 2006–09–22
  8. By: Jean-François Ponsot (LEPII - Laboratoire d'Economie de la Production et de l'Intégration Internationale - [CNRS : FRE2664] - [Université Pierre Mendès-France - Grenoble II])
    Abstract: Cette recherche vise à dégager les implications d'un arrangement monétaire particulier -la dollarisation officielle et intégrale- à partir de l'étude du cas équatorien. Elle montre comment la dollarisation officielle et intégrale a introduit une stabilisation monétaire artificielle et instauré deux niveaux de fragilisation : (1) une insécurité macroéconomique, en raison d'une dynamique des taux d'intérêt et du crédit défavorable aux petites et moyennes entreprises ; (2) une insécurité financière liée à l'absence théorique de marges de manoeuvre sur la gestion de la liquidité et le prêt en dernier ressort. L'évolution des prérogatives de la Banque centrale est soulignée, notamment sur la question des mécanismes imaginés par les autorités équatoriennes pour limiter l'influence de l'insécurité macroéconomique et financière. L'impact de ces deux niveaux de fragilisation sur la croissance demeure néanmoins modeste, compte tenu d'un environnement favorable à l'accumulation de pétrodollars. Tant que les recettes d'exportation de pétrole demeureront élevées, les tendances déflationnistes du régime de dollarisation seront atténuées.
    Keywords: monnaie ; politique monétaire ; prêt ; banque centrale ; taux d'intérêt ; système financier ; dollar ; Equateur
    Date: 2006–09–25
  9. By: Ouarda Merrouche
    Abstract: In settlement colonies, the economic systems, infrastructure and development projects of the settlers exclusively served their own needs. The disastrous outcomes of this discrimination became apparent in the post-colonial era particularly as regards education. In Algeria under French rule (1930-1962) education was almost exclusively reserved to French and other European settlers and as a consequence only ten per cent of Muslim Algerians were literate at independence. While the majority of the settlers left Algeria in 1962, the infrastructure remained. This paper exploits substantial regional variations in the non-Muslims proportion of the population on the eve of the war of independence (1954) in Algeria to evaluate the long term impact of colonial discrimination in public goods allocation on education levels. Using an instrumental variables approach to correct for endogeneous sorting of settlers and natives into regions my results indicate that settlement regions, which inherited a larger stock of infrastructure per capita at independence, have persistently higher literacy rates relative to extractive regions. However, these disparities tend to vanish over time probably as a result of the massive funds allocated to the education sector by the successive governments in the post-independence era.
    Date: 2006–08

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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