nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2008‒02‒23
thirteen papers chosen by
Suzanne McCoskey
George Washington University

  2. The General Equilibrium Effects of a Productivity Increase on the Economy and Gender in South Africa By Godbertha Kinyondo; Margaret Mabugu
  3. Determinants of a digital divide in Sub-Saharan Africa : a spatial econometric analysis of cell phone coverage By Wheeler, David; Thomas, Tim; Dasgupta, Susmita; Buys, Piet
  4. Is Africa ' s economy at a turning point? By Page, John; Go, Delfin S.; Arbache, Jorge
  5. Assessing Budget Support with Statistical Impact Evaluation: a Methodological Proposal By Chris Elbers; Jan Willem Gunning; Kobus de Hoop
  6. HIV/AIDS, Risk Aversion and Intertemporal Choice By Judith Lammers; Sweder van Wijnbergen
  7. What explains the Rural-Urban Gap in Infant Mortality — Household or Community Characteristics? By Ellen van de Poel; Owen O'Donnell; Eddy Van Doorslaer
  8. Remittances, consumption and investment in Ghana By Page, John; Cuecuecha, Alfredo; Adams, Jr., Richard H.
  9. Monitoring the Realization of the Right to Food: Adaptation and Validation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Insecurity Module to Rural Senegal By Susan Randolph; Ibrahima Gaye; Ibrahima Hathie; Rafael Perez-Escamilla
  10. Corruption and Armed Conflicts: Some Stirring Around in the Governance Soup By Andvig, Jens Christopher
  11. Borders of everyday life: Congolese young people's political identification in contexts of conflict-induced displacement By Christina R. Clark
  12. The Opec Boys and the political economy of smuggling in northern Uganda By Els Lecoutere; Kristof Titeca
  13. Child labour in Angola: an overview By F. Blanco

  1. By: Cazotto, Gabriel
    Abstract: The main goal of this dissertation is to analyse the development of the Black Africa, more specifically Liberia and South Africa, chosen for being respectively one of the poorest and the most developed country from Sub – Sahaarian Africa, and the help that they receive from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to accomplish the Millennium Development Goals proposed in 2000 by UN. The problems are discussed by doing an economic analysis from the Human Development Reports and a theoretical view of the works of Jeffrey Sachs and Amartya Sen, about poverty and its eradication.
    Keywords: Poverty Eradication. South Africa. Liberia.
    JEL: F0 J1 I3
    Date: 2007–12–10
  2. By: Godbertha Kinyondo (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria); Margaret Mabugu (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria)
    Abstract: This study utilises a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model to examine the effects of economy-wide (SIM 1) and partial (SIM 2) productivity increases on the economy, gender employment, wages, income and welfare in South Africa. The model has 49 sectors, 14 household categories, and 2 primary inputs. SIM 1 results in ‘output’ led employment demand and increased earnings for all skill types of men and women. Skilled men benefits more than others in most sectors. Under SIM 2, productivity has negative employment impact of all skills mostly in labour-intensive sectors. Some displaced labour relocates to expanded export-orientation and service sectors resulting in increased economy-wide jobs and earnings. Unskilled women earnings, however, decline because they are concentrated in low-paying positions. In addition, productivity improves household’s welfare due to reduced commodity prices and improved earnings.
    Keywords: CGE, FDI, South Africa, Gender, Productivity
    JEL: D24 F11 F14 F21 J16
    Date: 2008–02
  3. By: Wheeler, David; Thomas, Tim; Dasgupta, Susmita; Buys, Piet
    Abstract: Most discussions of the digital divide treat it as a " North-South " issue, but the conventional dichotomy doesn ' t apply to cell phones in Sub-Saharan Africa. Although almost all Sub-Saharan countries are poor by international standards, they exhibit great disparities in coverage by cell telephone systems. Buys, Dasgupta, Thomas and Wheeler investigate the determinants of these disparities with a spatially-disaggregated model that employs locational information for cell-phone towers across over 990,000 4.6-km grid squares in Sub-Saharan Africa. Using probit techniques, a probability model with adjustments for spatial autocorrelation has been estimated that relates the likelihood of cell-tower lo cation within a grid square to potential market size (proximate population); installation and maintenance cost factors related to accessibility (elevation, slope, distance from a main road, distance from the nearest large city); and national competition policy. Probit estimates indicate strong, significant results for the supply-demand variables, and very strong results for the competition policy index. Simulations based on the econometric results suggest that a generalized improvement in competition policy to a level that currently characterizes the best-performing states in Sub-Saharan Africa could lead to huge improvements in cell-phone area coverage for many states currently with poor policy performance, and an overall coverage increase of nearly 100 percent.
    Keywords: E-Business,ICT Policy and Strategies,Population Policies,Technology Industry,Geographical Information Systems
    Date: 2008–02–01
  4. By: Page, John; Go, Delfin S.; Arbache, Jorge
    Abstract: In this paper, Arbache, Go, and Page examine the recent acceleration of growth in Africa. Unlike the past, the performance is now registered broadly across several types of countries-particularly the oil-exporting and resource-intensive countries and, in more recent years, the large- and middle-income economies, as well as coastal and low-income countries. The analysis confirms a trend break in the mid-1990s, identifying a growth acceleration that is due not only to favorable terms of trade and greater aid, but also to better policy. Indeed, the growth diagnostics show that more and more African countries have been able to avoid mistakes with better macropolicy, better governance, and fewer conflicts; as a result, the likelihood of growth decelerations has declined significantly. Nonetheless, the sustainability of that growth is fragile, because economic fundamentals, such as savings, investment, productivity, and export diversification, remain stagnant. The good news in the story is that African economies appear to have learned how to avoid the mistakes that led to the frequent growth collapses between 1975 and 1995. The bad news is that much less is known about the recipes for long-term success in development, such as developing the right institutions and the policies to raise savings and diversify exports, than about how to avoid economic bad times.
    Keywords: Economic Conditions and Volatility,Governance Indicators,Achieving Shared Growth,Economic Theory & Research,Emerging Markets
    Date: 2008–02–01
  5. By: Chris Elbers (VU University Amsterdam); Jan Willem Gunning (VU University Amsterdam); Kobus de Hoop (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: Donor agencies and recipient governments want to assess the effectiveness of aid-supported sector policies. Unfortunately, existing methods for impact evaluation are designed for the evaluation of homogeneous interventions (‘projects’) where those with and without ‘treatment’ can be compared. The lack of a methodology for evaluations of sector-wide programs is a serious constraint in the debate on aid effectiveness. We propose a method of statistical impact evaluation in situations with heterogeneous interventions, an extension of the double differencing method often used in project evaluations. We illustrate its feasibility with an example from the education sector in Zambia.
    Keywords: Impact Evaluation; Sector-Wide Programs; Aid Effectiveness; Education; Africa; Zambia
    JEL: F35 H43 N37 O10
    Date: 2007–09–24
  6. By: Judith Lammers (Tilburg University); Sweder van Wijnbergen (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: This study analyses the relation between perceived health status and intertemporal choice. We use data from experiments with real monetary rewards conduEted among students in South Africa to estimate risk and time preferences. These experimental data, based on muitiple price lists developed by Coller & Williams (1999), Holt & Laury (2002), and Harrison et al. (2002, 2005), show that HIV+ agents and participants that perceive to have a high HIV contraction risk are less risk-averse. Although the latter group displays higher discount rates, HP positive agents seem to have substantially lower discount rates, indicating longer time horizons in spite of their lowered life expectancy. However, we show that direct estimates of discount rates can be seriously biased estimators of the pure rate of time preference when other factors than just the pure rate of time preference are not considered simultaneously. We correct for differential mortality risk, risk aversion and differences in anticipated future marginal utility increases and price in these factors when calculating pure rates of time preference from observed discount rates. Once these factors are taken into account, HIV+ agents’ time preferences conform to expectations.
    Keywords: discount rate; risk aversion; perceived HIV infection risk; mortality; time preferences; marginal utility; hyperbolic discounting
    JEL: D81 D91 I18
    Date: 2007–12–18
  7. By: Ellen van de Poel (Erasmus University Rotterdam); Owen O'Donnell (University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece); Eddy Van Doorslaer (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    Abstract: The rural-urban gap in infant mortality rates is explained using a new decomposition method that permits identification of the ontribution of unobserved heterogeneity at the household and the community level. Using Demographic and Health Survey data for six Francophone countries in Western Sub-Saharan Africa, we find that differences in the distributions of factors that determine mortality – not differences in their effects – explain almost the entire gap. Higher infant mortality rates in rural areas mainly derive from the rural disadvantage in household level characteristics; both observed and unobserved, which explain three-quarters of the gap. Among the observed characteristics, household environmental factors—potable water, electricity and quality of housing materials—are the most important contributors explaining 38% of the gap. Unobserved household level determinants explain 10% of the gap. Community level determinants explain 13% of the gap, including 3% that is due to unobservable community level heterogeneity.
    Keywords: Sub-Saharan Africa; rural-urban inequality; infant mortality; decomposition; unobserved heterogeneity
    JEL: I12 I31 O53
    Date: 2007–08–28
  8. By: Page, John; Cuecuecha, Alfredo; Adams, Jr., Richard H.
    Abstract: This paper uses a new, nationally-representative household survey from Ghana to analyze wit hin a rigorous econometric framework how the receipt of internal remittances (from within Ghana) and international remittances (from African or other countries) affects the marginal spending behavior of households on a broad range of consumption and investment goods, including food, education and housing. Contrary to other studies, which find that remittances are spent disproportionately on consumption (food and consumer goods/durables) or investment goods (education and housing), the findings show that households receiving remittances in Ghana do not spend more at the margin on food, education and housing than households with similar income levels and characteristics that do not receive remittances. When the analysis controls for endogeneity and selection bias, the findings show that any differences in the marginal spending behavior between remittance-receiving and non-receiving households are explained completely by the observed and unobserved characteristics of households. Households in Ghana treat remittances just like any other source of income, and there are no changes in marginal spending patterns for households with the receipt of remittance income.
    Keywords: Population Policies,Access to Finance,Debt Markets,Remittances,
    Date: 2008–02–01
  9. By: Susan Randolph (University of Connecticut); Ibrahima Gaye (ENEA); Ibrahima Hathie (ENEA); Rafael Perez-Escamilla (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights first formally recognized food security as a human right. This right was subsequently codified into international law in 1976 when the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, ICESCR, entered into the force of law. The ICESCR obligates states to respect, protect, and fulfill the right to food, but in the absence of reliable measures of food security, simply monitoring progress towards the realization of the right to food is problematic. Moreover, if duty bearers are to design effective policies and programs to fulfill the right to food, it is essential to have reliable information on who is food insecure. This paper assesses the validity of an adaptation of the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Insecurity Survey Instrument to the rural Senegalese context. The advantage of this instrument is that it is simple and inexpensive to administer, identifies the food security status of individual adults as well as children, and assesses the certainty, quality, and quantity aspects of food access. The USDA Food Insecurity Instrument has been successfully adapted to other developed countries and several developing countries as well. Adaptation to the Sub-Saharan context poses particular challenges given the complex household structure, the more limited reach of markets, the myriad of languages spoken within a limited geographic area, and the influence of seasonality on food access. Despite these challenges, this study demonstrates the validity of a reasonably straightforward adaptation of the USDA food insecurity instrument for rural Kaolack, Senegal, attesting to the promise of this approach for measuring food insecurity in developing countries in general and Sub-Saharan African countries in particular.
    JEL: D6 I1 I3 K33 O1 O55
    Date: 2007–10
  10. By: Andvig, Jens Christopher
    Abstract: The paper discusses the impact of corruption on the probability of violent conflict events and traces the shifts in the composition of corrupt transactions during and in the aftermath of violent conflicts in an informal way. So far there has been little interaction between empirical corruption research and the empirical research into civil wars. When the two strands of research are brought together and their results are combined, some patterns become apparent that would have been difficult to detect if the results within each field were analysed in isolation.
    Keywords: Corruption, civil war, governance indicators
    JEL: B49 O17
    Date: 2008
  11. By: Christina R. Clark (St Paul University)
    Abstract: Ethnicity and citizenship issues have been among the contributing causes of conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) over the past decades. These identity issues are exacerbated by the large-scale migration of people to and from the DRC and neighbouring Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda, both historically and in the context of recent political violence. Using ethnographic data collected over a 15-month period, this paper explores Congolese young people’s self-identification vis-à-vis ethnicity and citizenship discourses in Kampala and Kyaka II refugee settlement, Uganda. In particular, research findings highlight the conceptual and practical implications of the territorialisation of ‘tribe’ and citizenship for migrants; the consequent conflation of ethnicity and nationality in migration contexts; a reinforced notion and assertion of ‘Congoleseness’ among refugee populations, even when this creates conflict with Ugandans; and, migrants’ limited opportunities for formal political participation. Understanding this political context from which Congolese refugees have fled, and to which they are returning and will return, is important in anticipating the peace and conflict implications of current Congolese migrations.
    Date: 2008–01
  12. By: Els Lecoutere (Ghent University); Kristof Titeca (Ghent University)
    Abstract: In this article, we unearth the institution for enforcement of the agreement between the Opec Boys, fuel smugglers and ex-rebels, and a politician, who allows them to conduct illegal smuggling. Rather than the Opec Boys’ threat of rebellion, their promise of political support and refraining from civil disorder matters to inflict cooperation. A repeated play mechanism where the players punish each other for defection but return to cooperation makes up the ‘rules of the game’. Uncovering this endogenously emerged institution for contract enforcement explicitly reveals the importance of political alliances in the second economy in a fragile state environment.
    Date: 2007–11
  13. By: F. Blanco
    Abstract: This report provides an overview of the child labour phenomenon in Angola, its extent, characteristics and determinants. It is based on the analysis of UNICEF Multiple Cluster Indicators Survey (MICS) 2001.
    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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