nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2008‒01‒12
six papers chosen by
Suzanne McCoskey
George Washington University

  1. Are there lessons for africa from China ' s success against poverty ? By Ravallion, Martin
  2. Who Does Bear the Costs of Compliance with Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures in Poor Countries? By Shafaeddin, Mehdi
  3. The persistence of urban poverty in Ethiopia: A tale of two measurements By Bigsten, Arne; Shimeles, Abebe
  4. Bypassing health providers : the quest for better price and quality of health care in Chad By Wane, Waly; Gauthier, Bernard
  5. Who are the net food importing countries ? By Aksoy, M. Ataman; Ng, Francis
  6. Rupture structurelle et demande de monnaie au Rwanda By Jean-François Goux; Thomas Rusuhuzwa Kigabo

  1. By: Ravallion, Martin
    Abstract: At the outset of China ' s reform period, the country had a far higher poverty rate than for Africa as a whole. Within five years that was no longer true. This paper tries to explain how China escaped from a situation in which extreme poverty persisted due to failed and unpopular policies. While acknowledging that Africa faces constraints that China did not, and that context matters, two lessons stand out. The first is the importance of productivity growth in smallholder agriculture, which will require both market-ba sed incentives and public support. The second is the role played by strong leadership and a capable public administration at all levels of government.
    Keywords: Rural Poverty Reduction,Population Policies,Achieving Shared Growth,Services & Transfers to Poor
    Date: 2008–01–01
  2. By: Shafaeddin, Mehdi
    Abstract: Abstract This article is a part of a twin study. Drawing on the available evidence, in this paper the author examines the cost of compliance with Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures for poor countries with reference to Africa. He shows that the burden of cost of compliance is entirely on the exporters despite the fact that their capacity for the compliance is limited. He further indicate that that, in fact, the literature often disregards the cost of loss of exports, or rejection of products at the border of an importing country, let alone the cost of reorganization of the supply chain; the existing organization of supply chain in poor countries would result in the lack of export expansion. The purpose of the paper is not to have an exhaustive literature survey, but to draw on the scanty evidence related to the main argument of the study. More specifically, it is shown that the main characteristics of the SPS Agreement and the related measures applied by main importing countries are such that they require a complex, difficult and high cost “SPS” system. Such a system involves regulatory measures, policy re-orientation, and development of the necessary infrastructure, re-organization of the supply chain, enhanced capacity building and a forward looking strategy, particularly for exports. The preparation for the compliance is also difficult for the poor countries as it is knowledge intensive, requires a learning period, training and a close cooperation between the public and private sector in various stages of the supply chain. Yet the socio-economic cost of the lack of compliance is enormous. Generally speaking, the operational cost, alone, of compliance is estimated to be between 2 to 11 percent of value of export in the case of Africa; in each case it depends, however, on the type of product, the destination of exports, the capacity of the country for the compliance and the size of farm holdings and exporting enterprises and the organization of the supply chain. Further, the investment cost can be colossal; in some cases (e.g Mozambique) exceeding the total food exports of the country. The available studies provide estimates for the administrative cost of control, inspection, testing and certification at the border; but disregard more important costs such as the costs of delays in exportation or rejection at the port of importing countries. Thus they downplay the need for taking preventive measures and the related cost of reorganization of the supply chain. In a separate paper the author proposes alternative organization of the supply chain for reducing the cost of compliance while increasing its benefits (Shafaeddin, 2007). 2
    Keywords: SPS; Agricultural development; food policy; economic development; export expansion; trade; Ethiopia
    JEL: Q1 O1 Q0 F1 I1
    Date: 2007–03
  3. By: Bigsten, Arne (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Shimeles, Abebe (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates dynamics of poverty in urban Ethiopia using both subjective and objective definitions of poverty. The two sets of estimates of persistence and recurrence of poverty are similar, suggesting that consumption-based mobility estimates are not seriously distorted by measurement error.<p>
    Keywords: Subjective poverty; poverty spells; state dependence
    JEL: I32
    Date: 2008–01–08
  4. By: Wane, Waly; Gauthier, Bernard
    Abstract: This paper investigates individuals ' bypassing behavior in the health sector in Chad and the determinants of individuals ' facility choice. The authors introduce a new way to measure bypassing using the patients ' own knowledge of alternative health providers available to them instead of assuming that information as previously done. The authors analyze how perceived health care quality and prices impact patients ' bypassing decisions. The analysis uses data from a Quantitative Service Delivery Survey in Chad ' s health sector carried out in 2004. The survey covers 281 primary health care centers and 1,801 patients. The matching of facility data and patient data allows the analysis to control for a wide range of important patient and facility characteristics, such as income, severity of illness, quality of health care, or price of services. The findings show that income inequalities translate into health service inequalities. There is evidence of two distinct types of bypassing activities in Chad: (1) patients from low-income households bypass high-quality facilities they cannot afford to go to low-quality facilities, and (2) rich individuals bypass low-quality facilities and aim for more expensive facilities that also offer a higher quality of care. These significant differences in patients ' facility choices are observed across income groups as well as between rural and urban areas.
    Keywords: Health Monitoring & Evaluation,Health Systems Development & Reform,Health Law,Housing & Human Habitats,Gender and Health
    Date: 2008–01–01
  5. By: Aksoy, M. Ataman; Ng, Francis
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to update the information on net food importing countries, using different definitions of food, separating countries by their level of income, whether they are in conflict and whether they are significant oil exporters. The study also estimates the changes in net food importing status of these countries over the last two and a half decades, and, most important, the study measures the relative importance of these net food imports in the import basket of the countries. Our results show that while many low-income countries are net food importers, the importance and potential impact of the net food importing status has been highly exaggerated. Many low-income countries that have larger food deficits are either oil exporters or countries in conflict. Food deficits of most low-income countries are not that significant as a percentage of their imports. Our results also show that only 6 low-income countries have food deficits that are more than 10 percent of their imports. Last two decades have seen a significant improvement in the food trade balances of low-income developing countries. SSA low-income countries are an exception to this trend. On the other hand, there are a g roup of countries which are experiencing civil conflicts which are large importers of food, and these countries can not meet their basic needs. They also need special assistance in the distribution of food within their boundaries. Therefore, one should modify the WTO Ministerial Declaration, and focus on these conflict countries rather than the broad net food importers.
    Keywords: Food & Beverage Industry,Emerging Markets,Currencies and Exchange Rates,Economic Theory & Research,
    Date: 2008–01–01
  6. By: Jean-François Goux (GATE - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Ecole Normale Supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines); Thomas Rusuhuzwa Kigabo (Université nationale du Rwanda - Université nationale du Rwanda)
    Abstract: Cette étude examine, pour le cas du Rwanda, si l’existence d’une relation cointégrante de demande de monnaie peut être établie en tenant compte de possibilités de rupture dans la structure de tendance des variables utilisées dans la modélisation. Nous prenons en compte ainsi les différents événements que le pays a connu pendant la période d’étude choisie (premier trimestre1980 – dernier trimestre 1999). Cette méthode permet effectivement de mettre en évidence une telle relation au niveau de la vitesse de circulation de M1, sensible au taux d’intérêt et au taux de change. Elle existe également pour la demande de monnaie M2.
    Keywords: demande de monnaie ; ruptures structurelles ; Rwanda
    Date: 2007–11

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