nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2006‒12‒04
four papers chosen by
Suzanne McCoskey
Foreign Service Institute, US Department of State

  1. Abolishing school fees in Malawi: the impact on education access and equity By Al-Samarrai, Samer; Zaman, Hassan
  2. Quantitative competition analysis: Stationarity tests in geographic market definition By Willem H Boshoff
  3. Education, Employment and Earnings of Secondary School and University Leavers in Tanzania: Evidence from a Tracer Study By Al-Samarrai, Samer; Reilly, Barry
  4. Aggregate Import demand and Expenditure Components in Ghana:An Econometric Analysis By Frimpong, Joseph Magnus; Oteng-Abayie, Eric Fosu

  1. By: Al-Samarrai, Samer; Zaman, Hassan
    Abstract: In 1994, the newly elected Government in Malawi abolished primary school fees. Using household survey data from 1990/91 and 1997/98 this paper assesses the impact this major policy change, combined with increased Government spending on education, has had on access to schooling by the poor. This paper shows that enrolment rates have increased dramatically over the 1990s, at both the primary and secondary levels, and that crucially these gains have been greatest for the poor. In order to sustain and build-on these gains the paper suggests cutting back on the informal ‘contributions’ that are widely prevalent in primary school and improving the allocation of secondary school funding. Furthermore, the focus of policy reform, particularly at primary, should shift towards raising the quality of education. Finally the paper argues that careful advance planning and piloting of the reform in selected areas are useful strategies that other countries considering abolishing primary school fees could take to cope with the associated surge in enrolments.
    Keywords: Malawi; education; fee abolition; incidence analyis
    JEL: I22 I38 H52
    Date: 2000
  2. By: Willem H Boshoff (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
    Abstract: The paper focuses on the delineation of geographic markets in competition analysis, investigating the use of both quantitative and qualitative evaluation in the market definition exercise. To this end, the first part is devoted to a conceptual framework for market definition (adopted from Haldrup (2003)). Thereafter, a variety of price tests are explored that can be applied within the quantitative part of the framework. Similar to Forni (2004), the paper emphasizes the use of stationarity tests (that is, tests for the existence of unit roots) – illustrating their application to a recent competition investigation in South Africa.
    Keywords: Market definition, Delineation, Quantitative, Stationarity tests, Prices, Geographic, SSNIP, Hypothetical monopolist, Competition, Unit root, Price ratio, Antitrust
    JEL: L40 L41 L43 D4
    Date: 2006
  3. By: Al-Samarrai, Samer; Reilly, Barry
    Abstract: The empirical evidence on the earnings of educated groups in Tanzania is limited. This study uses a recently completed tracer survey of secondary school completers to analyse the impact of educational qualifications on labour market earnings. Our findings suggest that the rates of return to the highest educational qualifications for wage employees are not negligible and, at the margin, provide an investment incentive. However, we find little evidence of human capital effects in the earnings determination process for the self-employment sector. Information contained in the tracer survey allowed the introduction of controls for father’s educational background and a set of school fixed effects designed to proxy for school quality and potential labour market network effects. Our analysis reveals that the inclusion of these controls in the earnings determination process is important and tends to reduce the estimated rates of return to educational qualifications. A comparison of our results with the available evidence from other countries in the region suggest that despite an extremely small secondary and university education system the private rates of return to education in the Tanzanian wage employment sector are comparatively low.
    Keywords: education; labour markets; school leavers
    JEL: J31 I2
    Date: 2006
  4. By: Frimpong, Joseph Magnus; Oteng-Abayie, Eric Fosu
    Abstract: In this paper, the behaviour of Ghana’s imports during the period 1970-2002 is studied using disaggregated expenditure components of total national income. We use the newly developed bounds testing approach to cointegration and estimated an error correction model to separate the short- and long-run elements of the import demand relationship. The study shows inelastic import demand for all the expenditure components and relative price. In the long-run, investment and exports are the major determinant of movements in imports in Ghana. In the short run household and government consumption expenditures is the major determinant of import demand. Import demand is not very sensitive to price changes.
    Keywords: import demand; imperfect substitution; ARDL cointegration; bounds test approach
    JEL: F10 C22 F41
    Date: 2006–08–15

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