nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2006‒10‒14
27 papers chosen by
Suzanne McCoskey
Foreign Service Institute, US Department of State

  1. Early childhood nutrition, schooling, and sibling inequality in a dynamic context: evidence from South Africa By Yamauchi, Futoshi
  2. Understanding South Africa's Economic Puzzles By Dani Rodrik
  3. Gender, labor, and prime-age adult mortality: evidence from South Africa By Yamauchi, Futoshi; Buthelezi, Thabani; Velia, Myriam
  4. Agriculture and HIV/AIDS: understanding the links between agriculture and health By Gillespie, Stuart
  5. Where has all the education gone in Sub-Saharan Africa? Employment and other outcomes among secondary school and university leavers By Al-Samarrai, Samer; Bennell, Paul
  6. Insights from poverty maps for development and food relief program targeting: an application to Malawi By Benson, Todd
  7. The Dynamics of Electronic Investment Networks: African Experience By Nwaobi, Godwin
  8. A gap analysis of confined field trial application forms for genetically modified crops in East Africa: evaluating the potential for harmonization By Linacre, Nicholas A.; Cohen, Joel I.
  9. Nutrition mapping in Tanzania: an exploratory analysis By Simler, Kenneth R.
  10. The demography of youth in developing countries and its economic implications By Lam, David
  11. Agriculture, food safety, and foodborne diseases: understanding the links between agriculture and health By Todd, Ewen C. D.; Narrod, Clare
  12. The Control of Politicians in Divided Societies: The Politics of Fear By Gerard Padro i Miquel
  13. Fiscal and social impact of a nominal exchange rate devaluation in Djibouti By Casero, Paloma Anos; Seshan, Ganesh
  14. Overview: understanding the links between agriculture and health By Hawkes, Corinna; Ruel, Marie T.
  15. Restructuring Uganda ' s coffee industry : why going back to the basics matters By Baffes, John
  16. Education and HIV/AIDS prevention : evidence from a randomized evaluation in Western Kenya By Duflo, Esther; Dupas, Pascaline; Kremer, Michael; Sinei, Samuel
  17. Agriculture and health in the policymaking process: understanding the links between agriculture and health By Benson, Todd
  18. The Impact of Access to Credit on the Adoption of hybrid maize in Malawi: An Empirical test of an Agricultural Household Model under credit market failure By Simtowe, Franklin; Zeller, Manfred
  19. The Determinants of Employment Status in Egypt By Fatma El-Hamidi; Ragui Assaad; Ahmed Akhter
  20. Economic growth, education, and AIDS in Kenya : a long-run analysis By Bell, Clive; Bruhns, Ramona; Gersbach, Hans
  21. Agriculture and nutrition linkages old lessons and new paradigms: understanding the links between agriculture and health By Hawkes, Corinna; Ruel, Marie T.
  22. Impacts of considering climate variability on investment decisions in Ethiopia: By Block, Paul J.; Strzepek, Kenneth; Rosegrant, Mark W.; Diao, Xinshen
  23. Religion, Capital social et réduction de la pauvreté au Cameroun: Le cas de la ville de Yaoundé By Odia Ndongo, Yves Francis; Ebene, Alice Justine; Tegnerowicz, Joanna
  24. Conflict, food insecurity, and globalization: By Messer, Ellen; Cohen, Marc J.
  25. The Nigerian Wars, Regional Crises and Ethnic Disturbances: Policy Responses and Democratic Implications By Nwaobi, Godwin
  26. Bank efficiency, ownership, and market structure : why are interest spreads so high in Uganda ? By Beck, Thorsten; Hesse, Heiko
  27. Farmer management of production risk on degraded lands: the role of wheat genetic diversity in Tigray Region, Ethiopia By Di Falco, Salvatore; Chavas, Jean-Paul; Smale, Melinda

  1. By: Yamauchi, Futoshi
    Abstract: "While nutritional intake in early childhood provides the basis for a child's health capital, investments in schooling provide the basis for a child's knowledge capital. That store of knowledge, in turn, will eventually be rewarded in the labor market. Does the good health built up by the child in his early years affect his educational achievement and his future success? This paper addresses that question based on panel data from South Africa." Authors' Abstract
    Keywords: Children Nutrition, Health capital, Height-for-age, Schooling, Investments, South Africa, Nutrition Evaluation, Nutritional status, Household resource allocation, Households Economic aspects,
    Date: 2006
  2. By: Dani Rodrik
    Abstract: South Africa has undergone a remarkable transformation since its democratic transition in 1994, but economic growth and employment generation have been disappointing. Most worryingly, unemployment is currently among the highest in the world. While the proximate cause of high unemployment is that prevailing wages levels are too high, the deeper cause lies elsewhere, and is intimately connected to the inability of the South African to generate much growth momentum in the past decade. High unemployment and low growth are both ultimately the result of the shrinkage of the non-mineral tradable sector since the early 1990s. The weakness in particular of export-oriented manufacturing has deprived South Africa from growth opportunities as well as from job creation at the relatively low end of the skill distribution. Econometric analysis identifies the decline in the relative profitability of manufacturing in the 1990s as the most important contributor to the lack of vitality in that sector.
    JEL: O11 O14
    Date: 2006–10
  3. By: Yamauchi, Futoshi; Buthelezi, Thabani; Velia, Myriam
    Abstract: "This paper assesses the impact of prime-age mortality on human capital formation and labor markets by examining, first, the impact on adolescents, who may leave school in order to enter the labor market, and second, the impact on adult females who, upon the loss of a breadwinner, may decide to seek a job outside of the home." Authors' Abstract
    Keywords: South Africa, Gender, Labor supply, Schooling, Prime-age adult mortality, Human capital,
    Date: 2006
  4. By: Gillespie, Stuart
    Abstract: "Agriculture is the main source of livelihood of the majority of people affected by HIV and AIDS globally, and it is being progressively undermined by the disease. In Sub-Saharan Africa AIDS is affecting the rural landscape in ways that demand a rethinking of development policy and practice, and parts of South Asia may soon face a similar situation.... There is clearly tremendous scope for agricultural policy to become more HIV-responsive, both to further AIDS-related objectives and to help achieve agricultural objectives. Yet there are no magic bullets. Land-labor ratios and the relative degree of substitutability between household resources, among other factors, will determine the possible responses to HIV/AIDS. If policy becomes more HIV- responsive, it will stay relevant and effective. By mainstreaming HIV/AIDS into the policy process and carefully monitoring the results, policymakers will help build up evidence of what works in different contexts, enhance learning, and ultimately leave people better equipped to address the multiple threats of the pandemic." From text
    Keywords: Agriculture, Health and nutrition, HIV/AIDS, Livelihoods, rural areas, Agricultural policy, Household resource allocation, Agriculture-health linkages,
    Date: 2006
  5. By: Al-Samarrai, Samer; Bennell, Paul
    Abstract: Anecdotal evidence and generalisations abound concerning the employment outcomes of secondary school and university leavers, but there is very little solid, accurate information on what these groups in African countries do after they have completed their education. Using tracer surveys, this paper presents comprehensive time-series information on the activity profiles of representative samples of secondary school leavers and university graduates in Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. The paper shows that much of the anecdotal evidence surrounding the labour market outcomes of these groups is spurious. While employment outcomes are generally much better than expected, the tracer surveys highlight the enormous challenges of educating and subsequently utilising secondary school leavers and university graduates in an efficient and effective manner in low-income African countries. In particular, given the paucity of new employment opportunities in the formal sector, much more needs to be done in order to ensure that both these groups are better prepared for productive self-employment, especially in high growth and higher skill activities.
    Keywords: education; labour markets; further education and training; tracer surveys
    JEL: I2 J62 J0
    Date: 2006
  6. By: Benson, Todd
    Abstract: "This study aims to assess the value of poverty mapping to public-works projects undertaken by the World Food Programme (WFP) with the government of Malawi in its Food for Assets and Development (FFASD) program....Poverty mapping is a useful decisionmaking tool in targeting relief and development programs, and it provides objective and nonpolitical information that is also helpful in prioritizing areas for poverty alleviation projects and emergency food aid relief." Authors' Abstract
    Keywords: Poverty mapping, food security, Malawi, Food relief, Targeting,
    Date: 2006
  7. By: Nwaobi, Godwin
    Abstract: Expanding opportunities for people in developing countries is a pressing concern for governments and for the global community. This is because of the fact that nearly half of the world's population lives on less than two dollar a day and one point one billion barely survive on less than one dollar a day. Thus, improving the climate for investment investment in African countries is essential to provide jobs and opportunities for young people and to build a more inclusive, balanced and peaceful world. Consequently, the importance attached to increasing the magnitude and productivity of investment must be underscored. Africa's investment ratio is still not sufficient to replace depreciated physical and human capital, requiring that both domestic and foreign investment be mobilised to effectively achieved sustained economic growth. This paper therefore argues that the dynamics of electronic investment networks in the african context need to be strengthened.
    Keywords: e-gold;v-cash;digitalcurrency;investment; africaneconomy;forextrading; Onlinebusiness;electronicnetworks;internetstocks;ebay;networkmarketing;referralprogramme;usd22;goldlink;diamondtraders;amazon;e-book;google;investmentclimate;economicgrowth;e-bullion;swift;eft;visacard;mastercard
    JEL: O16
    Date: 2006–10–27
  8. By: Linacre, Nicholas A.; Cohen, Joel I.
    Abstract: "The regulatory approval of genetically modified crops in the field initially requires small, restricted experimental trials known as confined field trials. These small scale experiments provide researchers with important information on environmental interactions and agronomic performance of the crop in a safe and contained manner. To authorize confined field trials regulatory review is required, with formats for obtaining relevant information differing from country to country. In this paper, a Gap Analysis is used to identify informational gaps and potential for harmonization of confined field trial application processes in three East African countries – Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda. The basic principle behind gap analysis is a comparison of the status quo to an ideal with the identification of the differences or gaps and the difficulty involved provides a potential basis for harmonization of confined field trial application processes between countries leading to potential efficiency gains." Authors' abstract
    Keywords: biotechnology, Biosafety, Bioconfinement, Confined field trials, Gap analysis, Harmonization, Genetically modified crops,
    Date: 2006
  9. By: Simler, Kenneth R.
    Abstract: "This paper explores the possibility of applying.. methods... known as small-area estimation to the study of children's nutritional status as measured by anthropometry. This research in Tanzania is the first attempt to map nutrition in an African country using small-area estimation. The study asks two questions: first, is nutrition mapping feasible? Second, what is the spatial distribution of undernutrition in Tanzania?...The answer to the question of whether nutrition mapping is feasible is a qualified “yes.” Although the models of children's nutritional status are not as successful as poverty mapping models at explaining variation, the spatial pattern of undernutrition at the district level seems plausible." from Authors' Abstract
    Keywords: Nutrition mapping, malnutrition, Anthropometry, Small area estimation, Tanzania,
    Date: 2006
  10. By: Lam, David
    Abstract: The number of young people is reaching unprecedented levels in most developing countries. In many countries, especially in East Asia and Latin America, youth populations are at or near their peak, and will decline in coming decades. In other countries, especially in Africa and South Asia, youth populations will continue growing for several decades. From an economic perspective, absolute numbers may be less important than the growth rate or relative size of youth cohorts. Growth rates and the ratio of youth to working-age population reached a peak in the 1970s or 1980s in most developing countries. The worst economic pressures of youth demography may have already occurred in many countries, although significant pressure will continue in Africa and South Asia.
    Keywords: Population Policies,Youth and Governance,Adolescent Health,Demographics,Health Indicators
    Date: 2006–10–01
  11. By: Todd, Ewen C. D.; Narrod, Clare
    Abstract: "To improve the ability of farmers in developing countries to reduce the burden of foodborne illness, government agencies need to take the following steps: (1) Implement a farm-to-table approach to agricultural health by focusing efforts on the prevention of potential food safety and agricultural health threats at all stages of the supply chain including production, processing, marketing, and retailing. (2) Raise awareness among decisionmakers, public servants, producers, traders, and consumers about the potential sources of food safety problems and ways to protect against such problems. (3) Encourage a multi-stakeholder approach to improving public health. (4) Strengthen surveillance and diagnostic capacity in all countries to improve measurement of prevalence and detection of outbreaks. (5) Strengthen risk analysis capacity to help decisionmakers in all countries to set strategies and priorities, to consider the many needs of the supply chain, and to increase their focus on the preharvest stage. (6) Switch from command-control policies to performance-based standards to meet national and international food safety goals. Command-control policies are often less flexible and have higher fixed costs, which may result in the displacement of poor producers from the market. (7) Improve infrastructure and access to cold storage facilities to ensure the delivery of highly perishable foods to distant markets. (8) Support efforts to improve supply chain management to improve food safety along the whole supply chain." From text
    Keywords: Agriculture-health linkages, Agriculture, Health and nutrition, Agricultural technology, Food safety, Diseases, Education, Supply chain management, Risk analysis,
    Date: 2006
  12. By: Gerard Padro i Miquel
    Abstract: Autocrats in many developing countries have extracted enormous personal rents from power. In addition, they have imposed inefficient policies including pervasive patronage spending. I present a model in which the presence of ethnic identities and the absence of institutionalized succession processes allow the ruler to elicit support from a sizeable share of the population despite large reductions in welfare. The fear of falling under an equally inefficient and venal ruler that favors another group is enough to discipline supporters. The model predicts extensive use of patronage, ethnic bias in taxation and spending patterns and unveils a new mechanism through which economic frictions translate into increased rent extraction by the leader. These predictions are consistent with the experiences of bad governance, ethnic bias, wasteful policies and kleptocracy in post-colonial Africa.
    JEL: D72 H2 O17 O55
    Date: 2006–10
  13. By: Casero, Paloma Anos; Seshan, Ganesh
    Abstract: Limited fiscal space limits Djibouti ' s ability to meet the Millennium Development Goals and improve the living conditions of its population. Djibouti ' s fiscal structure is unique in that almost 70 percent of government revenue is denominated in foreign currency (import taxes, foreign aid grants, and military revenue) while over 50 percent of government expenditure is denominated in local currency (wages, salaries, and social transfers). Djibouti ' s economic structure is also unusual in that merchandise exports of local origin are insignificant, and the country relies heavily on imported goods (food, medicines, consumer and capital goods). A currency devaluation, by reducing real wages, could potentially generate additional fiscal space that would help meet Djibouti ' s fundamental development goals. Using macroeconomic and household level data, the authors quantify the impact of a devaluation of the nominal exchange rate on fiscal savings, real public sector wages, real income, and poverty under various hypothetical scenarios of exchange-rate pass-through and magnitude of devaluation. They find that a currency devaluation could generate fiscal savings in the short-term, but it would have an adverse effect on poverty and income distribution. A 30 percent nominal exchange rate devaluation could generate fiscal savings amounting between 3 and 7 percent of GDP. At the same time, a 30 percent nominal devaluation could cause nearly a fifth of the poorest households to fall below the extreme poverty line and pull the same fraction of upper middle-income households below the national poverty line. The authors also find that currency devaluation could generate net fiscal savings even after accounting for the additional social transfers needed to compensate the poor for their real income loss. However, the absence of formal social safety nets limits the government ' s readiness to provide well-targeted and timely social transfers to the poor.
    Keywords: Economic Theory & Research,Economic Stabilization,Rural Poverty Reduction,Fiscal & Monetary Policy,Macroeconomic Management
    Date: 2006–10–01
  14. By: Hawkes, Corinna; Ruel, Marie T.
    Abstract: "Good health and productive agriculture are both essential in the fight against poverty. In a rapidly changing world, agriculture faces many challenges, both old (natural resource constraints, extreme weather conditions, and agricultural pests) and new (globalization, environmental degradation, problems of maintaining production in conflict situations). At the same time, new global health threats emerge, such as HIV/AIDS, SARS, and avian influenza, while old ones persist. Not only do malaria, tuberculosis, diarrheal diseases, respiratory infection, and malnutrition continue to take a heavy toll, but the health sector is faced with increasing problems of chronic disease, drug and insecticide resistance, and a diminishing arsenal of effective interventions. And as the world becomes more integrated, so do the agricultural and health problems the world faces... The briefs in this series aim to communicate what is known about the linkages between agriculture and health in science and policy, thereby stimulating interest in and dialogue on agriculture and health. With a focus on the poor in developing countries, the briefs deal with the relationship between agricultural producers, systems, and outputs and the world's leading causes of death and disease. They examine the various trade-offs involved and set out some of the approaches needed to create improved synergies between the agricultural and health sectors." From text
    Keywords: Agriculture, Agroforestry, Health and nutrition, Agricultural technology, Food safety, Diseases, Sustainability, Biodiversity, Agrobiodiversity, Environmental management,
    Date: 2006
  15. By: Baffes, John
    Abstract: After experiencing a boom during the mid-1990s, the performance of Uganda ' s coffee industry has been disappointing. Most existing analyses see the sector ' s problems as quality deterioration, poor marketing position in the global market, weak regulatory framework, and poor infrastructure. Recommendations range from setting up a coffee auction to increasing the share of specialty coffees. This paper concludes that such advice has been largely inconsistent with the stylized facts of the Ugandan coffee industry. It argues that the coffee wilt disease and the effectiveness of the coffee replanting program are the two key issues on which policymakers and the donor community should focus their activities and allocate their resources.
    Keywords: Crops & Crop Management Systems,Markets and Market Access,Access to Markets,Water and Industry,Economic Theory & Research
    Date: 2006–10–01
  16. By: Duflo, Esther; Dupas, Pascaline; Kremer, Michael; Sinei, Samuel
    Abstract: The authors report results from a randomized evaluation comparing three school-based HIV/AIDS interventions in Kenya: (1) training teachers in the Kenyan Government ' s HIV/AIDS-education curriculum; (2) encouraging students to debate the role of condoms and to write essays on how to protect themselves against HIV/AIDS; and (3) reducing the cost of education. Their primary measure of the effectiveness of these interventions is teenage childbearing, which is associated with unprotected sex. The authors also collected measures of knowledge, attitudes, and behavior regarding HIV/AIDS. After two years, girls in schools where teachers had been trained were more likely to be married in the event of a pregnancy. The program had little other impact on students ' knowledge, attitudes, and behavior, or on the incidence of teen childbearing. The condom debates and essays increased practical knowledge and self-reported use of condoms without increasing self-reported sexual activity. Reducing the cost of education by paying for school uniforms reduced dropout rates, teen marriage, and childbearing.
    Keywords: Tertiary Education,Primary Education,Education For All,Population Policies,Teaching and Learning
    Date: 2006–10–01
  17. By: Benson, Todd
    Abstract: "Earlier briefs in this series make the case that there is added value for the agricultural and health sectors in working more closely together to address problems of human well-being that fall at the intersection of the two sectors. Yet the divisions between the two sectors are wide and difficult to bridge. Building the space and providing sufficient incentives and resources for collaborative activities between them will require changes in government policy—itself not a straightforward endeavor. Moreover, the sharp human and financial resource constraints in developing countries compound the challenge. This brief describes some of the important barriers to effective collaboration between the two sectors and suggests ways to overcome them. First, though, why does policy matter in this context? Policy states how government intends to prioritize the allocation of resources under its control for what is perceived to be the best interest of society. Poor health and stagnant or declining agricultural productivity are among the most fundamental challenges to improved human welfare and economic growth. Government has the responsibility for providing many of the institutions, infrastructure, and resources — key public goods — without which many farmers, in particular, will remain unhealthy, unproductive, and mired in poverty. Thus the policies and actions of government are a critical component in enabling individuals, particularly in rural areas, to live healthier and more productive lives." From text
    Keywords: agricultural sector, Health services, Quality of life, Government policy, Government spending policy, economic growth, Public goods, Public health,
    Date: 2006
  18. By: Simtowe, Franklin; Zeller, Manfred
    Abstract: A substantial amount of the literature has reported on the impact of access to credit on technology adoption, and many studies find that credit has a positive impact on adoption. However, most existing studies have failed to explicitly measure and analyze the amount of credit that farm households are able to borrow and whether they are credit constrained or not. They overlooked the fact that credit access can be a panacea for non-adoption only if it is targeted at households that face binding liquidity constraints. Guided by the frame work of a household model under credit market failure, this paper aims at investigating the impact of access to credit on the adoption of hybrid maize among households that vary in their credit constraints. The data used in the study is from Malawi collected by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).Using the direct elicitation approach, households are classified into constrained and unconstrained regimes. We start by estimating the probability of being credit constrained, followed by an estimation of the impact of access to credit for the two categories of households (credit constrained and unconstrained), while accounting for selection bias. The impact of access to credit is estimated using a switching regression in a Double-Hurdle model. Results reveal that while access to credit increases adoption among credit constrained households, it has no effect among unconstrained households. Results also show that factors that affect adoption among credit constrained households are different from those that that affect adoption among unconstrained household. Landholding size, for example, has opposite effects on adoption in the two regimes of households. The policy implication is that microfinance institutions should consider scaling up their credit services to ensure that more households benefit from it, and in so doing maize adoption will be enhanced.
    Keywords: credit constraints; double-hurdle; hybrid maize; adoption; Malawi
    JEL: Q12
    Date: 2006–09–30
  19. By: Fatma El-Hamidi; Ragui Assaad; Ahmed Akhter
    Date: 2000–06
  20. By: Bell, Clive; Bruhns, Ramona; Gersbach, Hans
    Abstract: The AIDS epidemic threatens Kenya with a long wave of premature adult mortality, and thus with an enduring setback to the formation of human capital and economic growth. To investigate this possibility, the authors develop a model with three overlapping generations, calibrate it to the demographic and economic series from 1950 until 1990, and then perform simulations for the period ending in 2050 under alternative assumptions about demographic developments, including the counterfactual in which there is no epidemic. Although AIDS does not bring about a catastrophic economic collapse, it does cause large economic costs-and many deaths. Programs that subsidize post-primary education and combat the epidemic are both socially profitable-the latter strikingly so, due to its indirect effects on the expected returns to education-and a combination of the two interventions profits from a modest long-run synergy effect.
    Keywords: Population Policies,Primary Education,Education For All,Adolescent Health,Economic Theory & Research
    Date: 2006–10–01
  21. By: Hawkes, Corinna; Ruel, Marie T.
    Abstract: "Agriculture is fundamental to achieving nutrition goals: it produces the food, energy, and nutrients essential for human health and well-being. Gains in food production have played a key role in feeding growing and malnourished populations. Yet they have not translated into a hunger-free world nor prevented the development of further nutritional challenges. Micronutrient deficiencies (for example, of vitamin A, iron, iodine, and zinc) are now recognized as being even more limiting for human growth, development, health, and productivity than energy deficits. Hunger among the poor also increasingly manifests itself through excessive consumption of energy-rich but nutrient-poor foods. The result is a double burden of undernutrition (deficiencies of energy, micronutrients, or both) and “overnutrition” (poor diet quality leading to obesity and other diet-related chronic illnesses)." From text
    Keywords: Agriculture, Health and nutrition, Agricultural technology, Nutrients, Food production, Micronutrients, Vitamin A deficiency, Zinc deficiency, Iron deficiency, Iodine deficiency, Obesity, Diet-related diseases, Hunger, Agriculture-health linkages,
    Date: 2006
  22. By: Block, Paul J.; Strzepek, Kenneth; Rosegrant, Mark W.; Diao, Xinshen
    Abstract: "Extreme interannual variability of precipitation within Ethiopia is not uncommon, inducing droughts or floods and often creating serious repercussions on agricultural and non-agricultural commodities. An agro-economic model, including mean climate variables, was developed to assess irrigation and road construction investment strategies in comparison to a baseline scenario over a 12-year time horizon. The motivation for this work is to evaluate whether the inclusion of climate variability in the model has a significant effect on prospective investment strategies and the resulting country-wide economy. The mean climate model is transformed into a variable climate model by dynamically adding yearly climate-yield factors, which influence agricultural production levels and linkages to non-agricultural goods. Nine sets of variable climate data are processed by the new model to produce an ensemble of potential economic prediction indicators. Analysis of gross domestic product and poverty rate reveal a significant overestimation of the country's future welfare by the mean climate model method, in comparison to probability density functions created from the variable climate ensemble. The ensemble is further utilized to demonstrate risk assessment capabilities. The addition of climate variability to the agro-economic model provides a framework, including realistic ranges of economic values, from which Ethiopian planners may make strategic decisions." Authors' abstract
    Keywords: Climate variability, Water, Droughts, Flooding, Irrigation Economic aspects, Road construction Economic aspects, Investments, Economic situation, Agro-economic model,
    Date: 2006
  23. By: Odia Ndongo, Yves Francis; Ebene, Alice Justine; Tegnerowicz, Joanna
    Abstract: This paper inscribes itself in the logic of debates on the policies of poverty reduction which have been taking place for a decade now. The author evaluates the influence of social religious capital on the poverty of households in Cameroon and particularly in Yaounde. First he identifies the determinants of religious social capital on the basis of a composite indicator, obtained by taking into account the percentage of heads of families who respond affirmatively to the question: "Can you count on the financial support of your religious community, that is of its leaders or other members, in the form of a loan and/or a gift, in the case of illness, of the death of a family member, of a job loss or when you experience short-term financial difficulties ?" The performed estimations allow us to reach the conclusion that the answer to this question depends on the head of family's level of education, on the frequency of his/her perusal of the sacred book (the Bible or the Koran), on the frequency of his/her participation in meetings of his/her religious community and on the existence or the non-existence of a formal and/or informal system of support on which the head of family can count in unexpected situations. Afterwards the author makes use of three different models to estimate three indicators - of monetary poverty, of poverty of living conditions and of poverty of potentialities - on the basis of socioeconomic determinants and of religious variables which allow one to explain the level of resources of the religious social capital. The obtained results prove that these religious variables influence the poverty of households in Yaounde.
    Keywords: social capital; poverty
    JEL: Z12 O12 D1 Z13
    Date: 2006–05–28
  24. By: Messer, Ellen; Cohen, Marc J.
    Abstract: "For more than two centuries, proponents and critics of an open global economy have debated whether the free flows of goods, services, and capital make the world more peaceful and food secure or instead exacerbate inequalities and hardships, fanning interclass or interethnic violence motivated by grievance and greed. Food security and pri-mary agricultural commodities have been largely left out of these discussions; the authors begin to fill these gaps... the paper recommends four agendas for further food policy consideration: first, more attention to equitable outcomes in food distribution and food production and trade programs, so that such food security programs do not further contribute to ethnic divisions favoring violence-prone grievance and greed. Second, more careful scrutiny of national marketing and financial policies that influence farmer and middlemen income, and who benefits from agricultural export crops. Third, the design of some type of compensation fund for sudden or certain “losers” in globalization, who face loss of livelihood and recruitment to violence when cash crops like coffee fail to deliver expected livelihoods. Fourth, and in sum, more systematic use of livelihood-security and rights-based frameworks that address local-level food security in the context of national food policy planning " from Text
    Keywords: Hunger, Conflict, war, Globalization, Crops, exports, coffee, Cotton, Human rights, Right to food, Fair trade,
    Date: 2006
  25. By: Nwaobi, Godwin
    Abstract: Nigeria was incorporated in 1914 when Frederick Lugard(First Governor-General) amalgamated the two British protectorates of Northern and Southern Nigeria and the Crown colony of Lagos into a single entity. The primary reason for almalgamation was economic rather than political. It is therefore, a matter for great regret that this country(Nigeria)has suffered as a result of the all pervasive disunity that has characterised all government action since our accession to independence in 1960. This disunity has distorted, complicated and to a large extent stultified every developmental effort undertaken by government. This paper therefore argues that the much celebrated Nigerian reform progress might be a rhetorics or much ado about nothing. And that the 'BB-, BB AND B'rating of the Nigerian economy might have been a baseless exercise. Consequently, the paper recommends the adoption of e-governance(development as a therapy for a heterogenous and divisible nation such as Nigeria(ceteris paribus).
    Keywords: war;nigeria;biafra;ethnicity;trabalism;regional;crises;disturbances;policy;democracy;governance;e-voting;elections;economy;corruption;coup;constitution;niger delta
    JEL: P35 P43
    Date: 2006–10–04
  26. By: Beck, Thorsten; Hesse, Heiko
    Abstract: Using a unique bank-level data set on the Ugandan banking system during 1999-2005, the authors explore the factors behind consistently high interest rate spreads and margins. While foreign banks charge lower interest rate spreads, they do not find a robust and economically significant relationship between privatization, foreign bank entry, market structure, and banking efficiency. Similarly, macroeconomic variables can explain little of the over-time variation in bank spreads. Bank-level characteristics, on the other hand, such as bank size, operating costs, and composition of loan portfolio explain a large proportion of cross-bank, cross-time variation in spreads and margins. However, time-invariant bank-level fixed effects explain the largest part of bank variation in spreads and margins. Further, the authors find tentative evidence that banks targeting the low end of the market incur higher costs and therefore higher margins.
    Keywords: Banks & Banking Reform,Economic Theory & Research,Investment and Investment Climate,Financial Crisis Management & Restructuring,Financial Intermediation
    Date: 2006–10–01
  27. By: Di Falco, Salvatore; Chavas, Jean-Paul; Smale, Melinda
    Abstract: "This paper investigates the effects of wheat genetic diversity and land degradation on risk and agricultural productivity in less favored production environments of a developing agricultural economy. Drawing production data from household survey conducted in the highlands of Ethiopia, we estimate a stochastic production function to evaluate the effects of variety richness, land degradation, and their interaction on the mean and the variance of wheat yield. Ethiopia is a centre of diversity for durum wheat and farmers manage complex variety mixtures on multiple plots. Econometric evidence shows that variety richness increases farm productivity. Variety richness also reduces yield variability but only for high levels of genetic diversity. Simulations with estimated parameters illustrate how planting more diverse durum wheat varieties on multiple plots contributes to improving farmer's welfare." Authors' abstract
    Keywords: Land degradation, Wheat production, productivity, Risk, Genetic diversity, Household surveys, Stochastic analysis,
    Date: 2006

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