nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2007‒01‒02
six papers chosen by
Suzanne McCoskey
Foreign Service Institute, US Department of State

  1. Determinants of Land Use and Land Access in Post-War Northern Mozambique By Tilman Brück; Kati Schindler
  2. The Marginal Cost of Public Funds in Developing Countries: An Application to 38 African Countries By Auriol, Emmanuelle; Warlters, Michael
  3. Wage Gaps and Job Sorting in African Manufacturing By Benhassine, Najy; Fafchamps, Marcel; Söderbom, Måns
  4. Structural Shift in Demand for Food: Projections for 2020 By Surabhi Mittal
  5. Poverty, Undernutrition, and Child Mortality: Some Inter-Regional Puzzles and their Implications for Research and Policy By Stephan Klasen
  6. Measurement and Sources of Income Inequality among Rural and Urban Households in Nigeria By Abayomi Samuel Oyekale; Adetola Ibidunni Adeoti; Tolulope Olayemi Oyekale

  1. By: Tilman Brück (German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)); Kati Schindler (German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin))
    Abstract: This paper analyzes how land access and land use are regulated in an environment characterized by apparent land abundance, weak institutions and a changing regulatory framework for land tenure. Using household survey evidence from post-war northern Mozambique, this paper demonstrates the diversity and inequality surrounding land. A formal test of land abundance reveals that northern Mozambique is quite land constrained at the household-level. While some households voluntarily restrain from expanding their land, others are involuntarily constrained in their land access. Overcoming such a land-related development trap hence requires a refined land legislation and targeted rural development policies.
    Keywords: land access, farm households, institutions, inequality, Africa, Mozambique
    Date: 2006–12
  2. By: Auriol, Emmanuelle; Warlters, Michael
    Abstract: In this paper we propose estimates of the marginal cost of public funds (MCF) in 38 African countries. We develop a simple general equilibrium mode inspired by the “1-2-3” model of Devarajan et al. (1994) that can handle taxes on the five major tax classes, takes account of the informal sector, and can be calibrated with little more than national accounts data. Sensitivity analysis suggests that our base case estimates are reasonably robust for purposes of tax reform. Contrary to conventional wisdom, differences in MCF are not strongly related to the wealth of the country. We hence show that a reasonable estimate of the average MCF in Africa is 1.17. On the other hand, there is a strong relationship between the size of the informal sector and the value of MCF. Moreover on average taxes on factors have high MCFs and taxes on imports and domestic goods have low MCFs. This suggests that welfare could be improved by increased reliance on VATs and reduced reliance on exports and factor taxes, and by reducing red tape barriers to business entry into the formal sector.
    Keywords: marginal cost of public fund; sub-Saharan Africa; tax reform
    JEL: D43 H25 H26 H32 H60
    Date: 2006–12
  3. By: Benhassine, Najy; Fafchamps, Marcel; Söderbom, Måns
    Abstract: Using matched employer-employee data from eleven African countries, we investigate if there is job sorting in African labor markets. We find that much of the wage gap correlated with education is driven by selection across occupations and firms. This is consistent with educated workers being more effective at complex tasks like labor management. In all countries the education wage gap widens rapidly at high low levels of education. Most of the education wage gap at low levels of education can be explained by selection across occupations. We also find that the education wage gap tends to be higher for women, except in Morocco where many poorly educated women work in the export garment sector. A large proportion of the gender wage gap is explained by selection into low wage occupations and firms.
    Keywords: Africa; gender wage gap; job selection; manufacturing; return to education
    JEL: J24 J31 O14
    Date: 2006–12
  4. By: Surabhi Mittal (Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations)
    Abstract: Knowledge of demand structure and consumer behaviour is essential for a wide range of development policy questions like improvement in nutritional status, food subsidy, sectoral and macroeconomic policy analysis, etc. An analysis of food consumption patterns and how they are likely to shift with changes in income and relative price is required to assess the food security-related policy issues in the agricultural sector. With high growth rates in the agricultural sector, the average per capita income in the country shows an increase, accompanied by a fall in the per capita consumption of staple food. In this background the present study diagnoses the food basket of households in rural and urban areas under different expenditure groups in the last two decades and tries to investigate the driving force for these changes by computing the demand elasticities that explain the level of demand for the commodities by an individual consumer given the structure of relative prices faced, real income and a set of individual characteristics such as age, type of household [expenditure groups] and geographical environment [rural or urban]. The study projects the prospects of the food demand scenario in the country in 2020. And, finally, aims at finding answers to some of the most debatable issues relating to the country's food security, decline in cereal consumption and implications on poverty. The study uses data from the consumer expenditure survey of the National Sample Survey [NSS] rounds number 38, 43, 50 and 55
    Keywords: Household Food Consumption, Demand Elasticity, Decomposition, Demand Projections, Quadratic AIDS Model
    JEL: Q11 Q18
    Date: 2006–08
  5. By: Stephan Klasen (University of Göttingen and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between measures of income poverty, undernourishment, childhood undernutrition, and child mortality in developing countries. While there is, as expected, a close aggregate correlation between these measures of deprivation, the measures generate some inter-regional paradoxes. Income poverty and child mortality is highest in Africa, but childhood undernutrition is by far the highest in South Asia, while the share of people with insufficient calories (undernourishment) is highest in the Caribbean. The paper finds that standard explanations cannot account for these interregional paradoxes, particularly the ones related to undernourishment and childhood undernutrition. The paper suggests that measurement issues related to the way undernourishment and childhood undernutrition is measured might play a significant role in affecting these inter-regional puzzles and points to implications for research and policy.
    Keywords: millennium development goals, undernutrition, child mortality, poverty
    JEL: I1 I3 O1
    Date: 2006–12
  6. By: Abayomi Samuel Oyekale; Adetola Ibidunni Adeoti; Tolulope Olayemi Oyekale
    Abstract: Income inequality and poverty are closely related. This study decomposed income inequality in Nigeria using the Gini-decomposition, regression-based and Shapley approaches. Results show that in 2004, income inequality is higher in rural areas than in urban areas. The study also noted that employment income increases inequality while agricultural income decreases inequality. Factors suchs as urbanization, residence in the southwest zone, household size, the house head's formal education, number of time suffered from illness, engagement in a paid job, involvement in a non-farm business, formal credit and informal credit contributed to the increased income inequality. Between 1998 and 2004, income redistribution and income growth increased poverty. The study recommended that welfare enhancing programs that will benefit urban/rural poor should be identified, while better economic opportunities should be created for those in rural areas.
    Keywords: Income inequality, poverty, decomposition, economic opportunities, Nigeria
    JEL: D3 O15 O55
    Date: 2006

This nep-afr issue is ©2007 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.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.