nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2007‒10‒06
nine papers chosen by
Suzanne McCoskey
George Washington University

  2. Expanding the Social Security Net in South Africa: Opportunities, Challenges and Constraints By Kalie Pauw; Liberty Mncube
  3. The Fiscal Impact of Aid Flows: Evidence from Ethiopia By Pedro M. G. Martins
  4. Labor Supply Responses to Large Social Transfers: Longitudinal Evidence from South Africa By Cally Ardington; Anne Case; Victoria Hosegood
  5. World on Fire? Democracy, Globalization and Ethnic Violence By Bezemer, Dirk; Jong-A-Pin, Richard
  6. Growth, Poverty and Inequality in Mozambique By Pekka Virtanen; Dag Ehrenpreis
  7. Why Development Levels Differ: The Sources of Differential Economic Growth in a Panel of High and Low Income Countries By Charles R. Hulten; Anders Isaksson
  8. An Econometric Analysis of Capital Flight from Nigeria: A Portfolio Approach By Lawanson, Akanni O; Peter Lawater
  9. Eliciting environmental preferences of Ghanaians: An experimental approach By Yael Meroz; Andrea Morone; Piergiuseppe Morone

  1. By: Antony Chapoto; T.S. Jayne; N. Mason
    Abstract: The view that widows and their dependents face greater livelihood risks in the era of HIV/AIDS is indeed supported by nationally-representative survey results from Zambia. Efforts to safeguard widows’ rights to land through land tenure innovations involving community authorities may be an important component of social protection, poverty alleviation, and HIV/AIDS mitigation strategies. Several of the findings reported show the influence of local traditional authorities in affecting the extent to which widows are able to retain land. Increased government commitment to ensure security of widows’ access to land is another approach, but initial evaluations of government efforts provide mixed evidence (see Izumi, 2006). Government decrees appear to have little impact if local community authorities are not part of the agreement. But certainly, national governments, donors, and NGOS have an important role to play in developing programs to work with local authorities to protect widows and children against property grabbing by relatives of the deceased as well as to institute property rights that are more compatible with social protection and anti-poverty objectives in the era of AIDS.
    Keywords: food security, policy, HIV/AIDS, land, Zambia., Africa
    JEL: Q18
    Date: 2007
  2. By: Kalie Pauw; Liberty Mncube (Development Policy Research Unit, University of Cape Town)
    Abstract: Abstract: For a large proportion of the South African population social welfare grants are an important source of income. Rapid increases in government expenditure on social security between 2000 and 2006 has further increased poor households’ reliance on welfare grants and has been important in the fi ght against poverty. Given these apparent successes, many are calling for further expansions in social security provisioning, with the idea of developing conditional cash transfer schemes surfacing in policy circles from time to time. However, as we argue in this paper, various constraints to such expansions of the welfare net exist. Whereas in the past much of the increased expenditure on social security provisioning could be fi nanced out of government revenue overruns, it is likely that further increases will only be possible through a reallocation of government expenditure. Already there is evidence of a substitution taking place within the social budget: expenditure on education and health seems to have declined in favour of increased welfare transfer expenditure. This, we argue, is untenable and may harm the already weak education and health services in South Africa. Conditional grants linked to school attendance and visits to health clinics will only put further pressure on health and education services, as well as the agency responsible for disbursing and monitoring welfare payments in the country. We argue, therefore, that budgetary and service delivery constraints, at the present moment, present a strong argument against any expansion of the social welfare system in the immediate future.
    Keywords: social security net, social welfare, welfare grants, South Africa
    JEL: A1
    Date: 2007–09
  3. By: Pedro M. G. Martins (Visiting IPC Researcher, Institute for Development Studies, Sussex)
    Keywords: Fiscal; Impact; Aid; Flows; Evidence; Ethiopia; Poverty
    Date: 2007–09
  4. By: Cally Ardington; Anne Case; Victoria Hosegood
    Abstract: The South African old-age social pension has been much studied by both researchers and policy makers, in part for the larger lessons that might be learned about behavioral responses to cash transfers in developing countries. In this paper, we quantify the labor supply responses of prime-aged individuals to changes in the presence of old-age pensioners in their households, using longitudinal data recently collected in northern KwaZulu-Natal. Our ability to compare households and individuals before and after pension receipt, and pension loss, allows us to control for a host of unobservable household and individual characteristics that may determine labor market behavior. We find that large cash transfers to elderly South Africans lead to increased employment among prime-aged members of their households. Perhaps more importantly, pension receipt influences where this employment takes place. We find large, significant effects on labor migration among prime-aged members upon pension arrival. The pension's impact is attributable both to the increase in household resources it represents, which can be used to stake migrants until they become self-sufficient, and to the presence of pensioners who can care for small children, which allows prime-aged adults to look for work elsewhere.
    JEL: H31 J20 O12
    Date: 2007–09
  5. By: Bezemer, Dirk; Jong-A-Pin, Richard (Groningen University)
    Abstract: Recent studies suggest that democracy and globalization lead to ethnic hatred and violence in countries with a rich ethnic minority. We examine the thesis by Chua (2003) that democratization and globalization lead to ethnic violence in the presence of a market-dominant minority. We use different data sets to measure market dominant minorities and employ panel fixed effects regressions for a sample of 107 countries over the period 1984-2003. Our model contains two-way and three-way interactions to examine under which conditions democracy and globalization increase violence. We find no evidence for a worldwide Chua effect, but we do find support for Chua?s thesis for Sub-Saharan Africa.
    Date: 2007
  6. By: Pekka Virtanen (University of Tampere, Finland); Dag Ehrenpreis (International Poverty Centre)
    Abstract: Mozambique has experienced more than a decade of sustained economic growth based on two sectors, agriculture and industry. Absolute poverty has fallen rapidly. The main factor in the reduction of poverty since the mid 1990s has been increased production in agriculture, the main source by far of livelihoods in the country. However, this growth represents only a ?bounce-back? to pre-war levels of agricultural production, without any substantial improvement in productivity, which remains very low even when compared regionally. Growth in industrial production has been the main driving force behind Mozambique?s rapidly growing exports. Based on a few mega-projects, this growth has, however, created few jobs while its contribution to public revenue has been marginal when compared to its value of production. Due to the enclave character of such projects, the spillover effect in terms of technology transfer or skills development has been minimal. External aid provides a major part of all foreign exchange available to Mozambique, and it has thus far had a positive effect on growth without major negative impact on the real exchange rate. Aid must be allocated now to crucial services for creating globally competitive agricultural production capacity, including rural infrastructure, in order to promote sustainable livelihoods and enhance labour productivity.
    Keywords: Growth; Poverty; Inequality; Mozambique
    Date: 2007–09
  7. By: Charles R. Hulten; Anders Isaksson
    Abstract: Average income per capita in the countries of the OECD was more than 20 times larger in 2000 than that of the poorest countries of sub-Sahara Africa and elsewhere, and many of the latter are not only falling behind the world leaders, but have even regressed in recent years. At the same time, other low-income countries have shown the capacity to make dramatic improvements in income per capita. Two general explanations have been offered to account for the observed patterns of growth. One view stresses differences in the efficiency of production are the main source of the observed gap in output per worker. A competing explanation reverses this conclusion and gives primary importance to capital formation. We examine the relative importance of these two factors as an explanation of the gap using 112 countries over the period 1970-2000. We find that differences in the efficiency of production, as measured by relative levels of total factor productivity, are the dominant factor accounting for the difference in development levels. We also find that the gap between rich and most poor nations is likely to persist under prevailing rates of saving and productivity change. To check the robustness of these conclusions, we employ different models of the growth process and different assumptions about the underlying data. Although different models of growth produce different relative contributions of capital formation and TFP, we conclude that the latter is the dominant source of gap. This conclusion must, however, be qualified by the poor quality of data for many developing countries.
    JEL: O11 O47 O57
    Date: 2007–10
  8. By: Lawanson, Akanni O; Peter Lawater (Department of Economics,University of Ibadan,Nigeria)
    Abstract: This study provides measures of real capital flight from Nigeria based on the residual method adjusted for exchange rate fluctuations and trade misinvoicing. The portfolio choice approach is explored, in which the flow of capital is accumulated into stock and expressed as ratios of private stock of real wealth. Econometric analysis of capital flight, based on a portfolio choice framework, was conducted using the ordinary least squares (OLS) method of analysis. The results of the econometric analysis reveal that a number of factors systematically explain the portfolio behaviour of private wealth holders in Nigeria. These factors are consistent with earlier studies and include real GDP growth, real interest rate differential, parallel market exchange rate premium, inflows of debtcapital, domestic debt, fiscal deficit and change in inflation rate.
    Date: 2007–05
  9. By: Yael Meroz (University of Foggia); Andrea Morone (University of Bari); Piergiuseppe Morone (University of Foggia)
    Abstract: In this paper we aim - through an 'experimentally-adapted' Contingent Valuation survey - to look into the attributes of Ghanaians' willingness-to-pay for green products. This would help us addressing two main issues: first, from a theoretical point of view, we shall assess whether Ghanaians show a preference towards environmental goods - hence, countering the 'too poor to be green' argument. Secondly, from a methodological point of view, we shall try to see if the incentive compatible CV analysis provides a good measurement of subjects' willingness-to-pay for environmental premium. Our investigation provides an answer to both issues, showing how using an incentive compatible experiment produces, in the case of Ghana, reliable results and that Ghanaians consistently show that they are willing to pay an extra premium for green products.
    Keywords: contingent valuation, experiment, incentive-compatible, Ghana, organic products, willingness to pay.
    JEL: C9 Q5
    Date: 2007–09–25

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