nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2008‒01‒19
seven papers chosen by
Suzanne McCoskey
George Washington University

  1. The Role of Primary Commodities in Economic Development: Sub-Saharan Africa Versus the Rest of the World By Fabrizio Carmignani; Abdur Chowdhury
  2. A Framework for Analyzing Tariffs and Subsidies in Water Provision to Urban Households in Developing Countries By David le Blanc
  3. Indigenous and colonial origins of comparative economic development : the case of colonial India and Africa By Bayly, C. A.
  4. Performance of the Arabic Book Translation Industry in Selected Arab Countries: Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi-Arabia and Syria By Harabi, Najib
  5. Oil and Challenges of Trade Policy Making In Sudan in a Globalizing Arena By Shafaeddin, Mehdi
  6. Evaluating Aid Impact By White, Howard
  7. Human capital, externalities and tourism: three unexplored sides of the impact of FT affiliation on primary producers By BECCHETTI LEONARDO; COSTANTINO MARCO; PORTALE ELISA

  1. By: Fabrizio Carmignani (United Nations Economic Commission for Africa); Abdur Chowdhury (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe)
    Abstract: The impact of the dependence on primary commodities for economic development is analysed within the framework of growth regressions. While there is no evidence of a generalized primary commodity curse, reliance on primary commodities does retard growth in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Which factors account for theis SSA specificity. Some suggest that SSA specializes in commodities that are not conductive to economic growth and that SSA depends on primary commodities more deeply than the rest of the world. These explanations are not strongly supported by the data. The key to SSA specific curse appears to lie in the interaction between institutions and primary commodities.
    Keywords: economic diversification, commodity concentration, Africa, economic development, primary commodities
    JEL: O10 O13 O55
    Date: 2007–12
  2. By: David le Blanc
    Abstract: This paper aims to present a basic conceptual framework for understanding the main practical issues and challenges relating to tariffs and subsidies in the water sector in developing countries. The paper introduces the basic economic notions relevant to the water sector; presents an analytical framework for assessing the need for and evaluating subsidies; and discusses the recent evidence on the features and performance of water tariffs and subsidies in various regions, with a special focus on Africa. The discussion is limited to the provision of drinking water to urban households in developing countries.
    Keywords: water, access to water, tariffs, subsidies, urban development
    JEL: D42 D61 H71 L95
    Date: 2008–01
  3. By: Bayly, C. A.
    Abstract: This paper concerns the institutional origins of economic development, emphasizing the cases of nineteenth-century India and Africa. Colonial institutions-the law, western style property rights, newspapers and statistical analysis-played an important part in the emergence of Indian public and commercial life in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. These institutions existed in the context of a state that was extractive and yet dependent on indigenous cooperation in many areas, especially in the case of the business class. In such conditions, Indian elites were critical in creating informal systems of peer-group education, enhancing aspiration through the use of historicist and religious themes and in creating a " benign sociology " of India as a prelude to development. Indigenous ideologies and practices were as significant in this slow enhancement of Indian capabilities as transplanted colonial ones. Contemporary development specialists would do well to consider the merits of indigenous forms of association and public debate, religious movements and entrepreneurial classes. Over much of Asia and Africa, the most successful enhancement of people ' s capabilities has come through the action of hybrid institutions of this type.
    Keywords: Cultural Policy,Economic Theory & Research,Corporate Law,,Anthropology
    Date: 2008–01–01
  4. By: Harabi, Najib
    Abstract: Knowledge has always been at the heart of economic growth and development. It is disseminated chiefly through the different stages of education, R&D, the mass media and the translation industry. In Arab countries there has been a widespread impression that there is a low level of translation activities, which in turn has led to a low output of the translation industry in those countries. This research project addresses this issue; its overall objectives are (1) to describe the economic performance of the Arabic book translation industry in Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and Syria; (2) to understand empirically the economic performance of that industry, the focus here being on qualitatively analyzing the major determinants (positive and negative factors) affecting the growth process of that industry; and (3) to provide policy makers and business leaders in the Arab region with theoretically sound and evidence-based advice on the issues analyzed in the project. To provide an empirical base for answering those questions, both published data and fresh new data have been used. For the latter purpose, a questionnaire-based survey was conducted in the year 2005 among 190 experts, covering firm representatives and experts in industry and government. The Porter (Diamond) model has been used as a theoretical background. The empirical results were incorporated in five national case studies. In addition, a synthesis of the results of the national reports gives a comparative account of the performance of the Arabic book translation industry in the five Arab countries
    Keywords: Book industry; Arabic book; Arab countries; Egypt; Morocco; Lebanon; Syria; Saudi-Arabia; translation; Arabic translation
    JEL: L89 Z11
    Date: 2007–12
  5. By: Shafaeddin, Mehdi
    Abstract: Abstract The purpose of this study is to examine the potential impact of oil revenues on the economy of Sudan and the challenges facing the Government in policy making, particularly trade policy and allocation of oil revenues for long-run development and diversification of the production and export structure of the economy. The exploitation of oil resources has been accompanied by impressive liberalization of the economy by the Government of Sudan. Since then the country has been integrating into the world economy rapidly based on oil revenues. Yet, little has been achieved so far in integrating various sectors of the domestic economy despite relatively rapid GDP growth based on oil revenues. Rapid economic growth and diversification of the economy are among the main objectives of the Government. Therefore, the challenge facing the Government is to design and implement a long-term development strategy in order to build up a solid industrial and agricultural sector for sustainable development and expansion of non-oil exports. In such a strategy the design, and implementation, of trade and industrial policies and the way oil revenues are allocated, takes, inter alia, importance. Developing a conceptual framework of analysis, the author will argue that while export of petroleum provides financial resources for the acceleration of investment and growth, prospects for sustained growth and diversification will be still limited by some physical and institutional bottlenecks which can not be easily overcome by ample oil revenues. Trade in oil itself may have some detrimental socio-economic effects, including the attitude and policies of the Government, on the prospects for development and diversification of the economy in the long-run. Therefore, the Government policies, particularly trade policies, and the way oil revenues are allocated may not be necessarily conducive to long-run development and diversification of production and export structure. Proposing an alternative long-run trade and industrial policy for the country, the author will also outline the practical problems of its implementation under current international trade rules. ---------- *The author is a development economist with D.Phil from Oxford Univsity. He is currently an international consultant affiliated to the Institute of Economic Research, University of Neuchatel, Switzerland. He is the former Head, Macroeconomic and Development Policies Branch, UNCTAD and the author of a large number of articles, published in international journals, on trade and industrial policies, economic reform and other development policy issues. His latest book is: Trade Policy at the Crossroads; the recent experience of developing countries, Macmillan, 2005. This paper is developed on the basis of a part of a study undertaken for the World Bank under a DTSI project financed by the same Organization. The author benefited from interviews with Government authorities and comments from Mr. P. Shuler to whom goes his thanks. Comments are welcome and can be sent to author:
    Keywords: Oil economies; trade policy; Sudan; economic development; diversification
    JEL: F4 F0 O5 O2 Q2 Q4 Q1 F3 F1
    Date: 2007–10
  6. By: White, Howard
    Abstract: The ultimate measure of aid effectiveness is how aid ffects the lives of poor people in developing countries. The huge literature on aid’s macroeconomic impact has remarkably little to say on this topic, and less still in terms of practical advice to government officials and aid administrators on how to improve development effectiveness. But there is an expanding toolbox of approaches to impact evaluation at the field level which can answer both questions of whether aid works, and, properly applied, why it works (or not, as the case may be). This paper lays out these approaches, describing some of their uses by official development agencies. I advocate a theory based approach to impact evaluation design, as this is most likely to yield policy insights. Academics need to engage in these real world issues and debates if their work is to help alleviate the plight of the world’s poor.
    Keywords: aid effectiveness; impact evaluation; quasi-experimental design; results agenda
    JEL: O1 O22 O3 O12
    Date: 2007–11
    Abstract: We evaluate the impact of fair trade (FT) affiliation on a sample of around 250 producers from two different fair trade projects which widely differ in terms of average FT affiliation and local standard of living. On the descriptive side we find evidence of two types of externalities (FT affiliates have higher bargaining power also with local intermediaries and, in one project but not in the other, FT improves conditions also of local non FT affiliates). The FT price premium (difference between FT and traditional importers price) is substantial even though “ethical travelers” pay a price even higher than FT importers. On the econometric side we observe that, in both projects, producers’ income, weekly food consumption expenditure, the non food consumption share on total income, self evaluated relative standard of living and professional self esteem are significantly and positively correlated with affiliation years. Through its impact on consumption share and relative standard of living fair trade is also shown to have indirect significant effects on producers’ life satisfaction. We also find weaker but significant effects of fair trade affiliation on last year savings, while we do not observe significant differences between the treatment and control sample in terms of wealth proxies. Finally, with backast panel data we reconstruct farmers yearly decisions to send their children to school and find that FT affiliation has a significant and positive effect on them when children are between 15 and 18. The effect is stronger in the project in which producers have higher standard of living.
    Date: 2007–12

This nep-afr issue is ©2008 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.
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