nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2007‒10‒27
five papers chosen by
Suzanne McCoskey
George Washington University

  1. The relationship between rainfall and human density and its implications for future water stress in sub-Saharan Africa By David le Blanc; Romain Perez
  2. Anti-Poverty Transfers without Riots in Tunisia By Christophe Muller
  3. Inflation in the West African Countries. The Impact of Cocoa Prices, Budget Deficits, and Migrant Remittances By Jumah, Adusei; Kunst, Robert M.
  4. Efficiency Gains from Trade Reform: Foreign Technology or Import Competition? Evidence from South Africa’s Manufacturing Sector By Riham Shendy
  5. Poverty and Inequality Components: a Micro Framework By Abdelkrim Araar; Jean-Yves Duclos

  1. By: David le Blanc; Romain Perez
    Abstract: This paper uses Geographic Information System (GIS) data on population density, rainfall and climate change scenarios in order to identify areas that will be subject to increased water stress due to insufficient precipitation to support their projected population levels in 2050. Density increases across the continent should lead to a significant increase in the extent of water stressed zones, especially around the Sahel belt and in Eastern Africa. Changes in rainfall, the pattern of which remains inherently uncertain today, could mitigate or compound those effects. Consequences of unsustainably high local densities such as migrations are bound to become more prevalent.
    Keywords: climate change, rainfall, climate modeling, demographic growth, migrations, Africa
    JEL: Q25 Q54 Q56
    Date: 2007–10
  2. By: Christophe Muller (Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico Universidad de Alicante, Campus de San Vicente)
    Abstract: (english) We draw some lessons from the Tunisian experience of social reforms and associated civil conflict. Our main interest is the riots that occurred after subsidy cuts and their possible substitution of price subsidies by direct cash transfers. We propose new welfare indicators apt to assess policy reforms in situations of fragile states. Finally, using micro level data we show that the plausible policy decision depend on parameters describing the balance between poverty and program exclusion risk. In the Tunisian case, only a much larger weight put on poverty relatively to exclusion could bring the decision maker to substitute the in force price subsidies with direct cash transfers, for fear of social unrest.
    Keywords: Poverty; Social conflicts; North Africa, Tunisia, Targeting; Social transfers.
    JEL: D63 H53 I38
    Date: 2007–09
  3. By: Jumah, Adusei (Department of Economics and Finance, Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna, Austria, and Department of Economics, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria); Kunst, Robert M. (Department of Economics and Finance, Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna, Austria, and Department of Economics, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria)
    Abstract: We verify whether cocoa prices could be a source of inflation in five countries of the West African region within a framework that includes other variables such as migrant remittances to the region and a fiscal policy variable represented by the government budget deficit. Unlike earlier studies that explicitly use money supply variables, the inclusion of migrant remittances enables us to examine the effect of an international capital flow variable on inflation. The results reveal that the influence of cocoa prices on consumer price inflation is strong and statistically significant. The influence of the budget deficit and the flow of migrant remittance variables on inflation are, however, weak.
    Keywords: Inflation, West Africa, Cocoa, Budget deficits, Remittances
    JEL: C5 E31
    Date: 2007–10
  4. By: Riham Shendy
    Abstract: The empirical trade literature examining the effect of tariff reductions on productivity commonly proxies the former with Nominal Tariff Rates (NTR) and estimates the latter as the production function residual. In the context of the South African trade reform experience we examine the different channels by which tariff cuts affect productivity growth. Using industry level data for the manufacturing sector and covering the reform period from 1994 to 2004, we disentangle the differential effect of increased foreign competition, proxied by reductions in NTR, and that of the imported technology, proxied by the reductions in Input Tariff Rates (ITR), on productivity growth. Our measure of efficiency growth controls for the effect of tariff reductions on markups. The results suggest that the efficiency difference between foreign and domestic inputs have the major effect on productivity gains. Declines in ITR significantly raise productivity growth compared to an insignificant effect for NTR. Additionally, we find that higher protection rates are associated with higher markups, albeit this finding is not robust across all specifications.
    Keywords: Productivity, Trade Reform, Tariffs, Manufacturing, South Africa
    JEL: F12 F14 O55
    Date: 2007
  5. By: Abdelkrim Araar; Jean-Yves Duclos
    Abstract: This paper explores the link between poverty and inequality through an analysis of the poverty impact of changes in income-component inequality and in between -an within- group inequality. This can help shed light on the theoretical and empirical linkages between poverty, growth and inequality. It might also help design policies to improve both equity and welfare. The tools are illustrated using the recent 2004 Nigerian national household survey. The analytical derived linkages are supported by the empirical illustration, and interesting insights also emerge from the empirical analysis. One such insight is that both the sign and the size of the elasticities can be quite sensitive to the choice of measurement assumptions (such as the choice of inequality and poverty aversion parameters, and that of the poverty line). The elasticities are also very much distributive-sensitive and dependent on the type of inequality-changing processes taking place. This also suggests that the response of poverty to growth can also be expected to be significantly context specific.
    Keywords: Poverty, inequality, poverty elasticities, redistribution
    JEL: D63 I32 O12
    Date: 2007

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