nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2008‒04‒04
six papers chosen by
Suzanne McCoskey
George Washington University

  1. Africans Need not Miss Out on the Benefits of Globalisation By Federico Bonaglia; Nicolas Pinaud; Lucia Wegner
  2. Africa in 2007: Multifaceted Growth By Kenneth G. Ruffing
  3. Reading tealeaves on the potential impact of the privatization of tea estates in Rwanda By Essama-Nssah, B.; Ezemenari, Kene; Korman, Vijdan
  4. Voting in Kenya: Putting Ethnicity in Perspective By Michael Bratton; Mwangi S. Kimenyi
  5. La mondialisation, une opportunité à ne pas manquer pour l’Afrique By Federico Bonaglia; Nicolas Pinaud; Lucia Wegner
  6. The Political Economy of Constitutional Choice: A Study of the 2005 Kenyan Constitutional Referendum By Mwangi S. Kimenyi; William F. Shughart II

  1. By: Federico Bonaglia; Nicolas Pinaud; Lucia Wegner
    Abstract: Strong commodity prices are driving Africa’s growth, which should be about 6 % in 2007 and 2008. External vulnerability is a function of its limited integration into international trade and investment flows. Africa should mobilise external sources more strategically. In this respect, aid for trade can be import. * This Policy Insights introduces the African Economic Outlook 2007.
    Date: 2007–04
  2. By: Kenneth G. Ruffing
    Abstract: Growth will accelerate for net oil exporters and weaken slightly for oil importers, strengthening the trends projected in African Economic Outlook 2006. For the oil importers, moreover, inflation is moving to double-digit levels. Budget deficits in oil-importing countries appear to have stabilised. The current account deficits of these same countries have increased from 2 % in 1998-2004, to about 4 % since 2005. * This Policy Insights introduces the African Economic Outlook 2007.
    Date: 2007–04
  3. By: Essama-Nssah, B.; Ezemenari, Kene; Korman, Vijdan
    Abstract: The Poverty Reduction Strategy of the Government of Rwanda seeks to unlock the growth and poverty reduction potential of the tea sector through the privatization of tea estates. This paper uses the logic of causal inference and data from the 2004 Quantitative Baseline Survey of the tea sector to assess the potential impact of the privatization program. This entails a normalized comparison of productivity outcomes to account for household heterogeneity in terms of observable and non-observable determinants of these outcomes. The paper also compares living standards between tea and non-tea households. Three main findings emerge from the analysis. Producti vity outcomes are generally better in the private sector than in the public sector. Male-headed households outperform female-headed households along all dimensions considered here. And tea households tend to be better off than non-tea households.
    Keywords: Crops & Crop Management Systems,Access to Finance,Poverty Monitoring & Analysis,Small Area Estimation Poverty Mapping,Housing & Human Habitats
    Date: 2008–03–01
  4. By: Michael Bratton (Michigan State University); Mwangi S. Kimenyi (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: Do Kenyans vote according to ethnic identities or policy interests? Based on results from a national probability sample survey conducted in the first week of December 2007, this article shows that, while ethnic origins drive voting patterns, elections in Kenya amount to more than a mere ethnic census. We start by reviewing how Kenyans see themselves, which is mainly in non-ethnic terms. We then report on how they see others, whom they fear will organize politically along ethnic lines. People therefore vote defensively in ethnic blocs, but not exclusively. In Decem- ber 2007, they also took particular policy issues into account, including living standards, corruption and majimbo (federalism). We demonstrate that the relative weight that individuals grant to ethnic and policy voting depends in good part on how they define their group identities, with "ethnics" engaging in identity voting and "non-ethnics" giving more weight to interests and issues.
    Keywords: Democracy, Elections, Kenya, Ethnic Divisions, Ethnic Conflict.
    JEL: D72 D74 D78
    Date: 2008–03
  5. By: Federico Bonaglia; Nicolas Pinaud; Lucia Wegner
    Abstract: La bonne tenue des cours des matières premières tire la croissance africaine, qui devrait avoisiner les 6 pour cent en 2007 et 2008. Une insuffisante intégration du continent dans le commerce international et les flux mondiaux d’investissement est source de vulnérabilité extérieure. L’Afrique doit développer une véritable stratégie de mobilisation des ressources externes, notamment en utilisant davantage l’aide pour favoriser son insertion commerciale. démocratisation.
    Date: 2007–04
  6. By: Mwangi S. Kimenyi (University of Connecticut); William F. Shughart II (University of Mississippi)
    Abstract: Recent studies of the linkages between the wealth of nations and the institutions of governance suggest that concentrating political power in a monarchy or a ruling coalition impedes economic growth and, moreover, that while power-diffusing reforms can enhance the wellbeing of society in general, opposition by groups benefitting from the status quo is predictable. In November 2005, Kenyans rejected a proposed constitution that, despite promises made by their new chief executive, would not have lessened the powers of the presidency. Using a unique, constituency-level dataset on the referendum vote, we estimate a model of the demand for power diffusion and find that ethnic groups' voting decisions are influenced by their expected gains and losses from constitutional change. The results also highlights the importance of ethnic divisions in hindering the power-diffusion process, and thus establish a channel through which ethnic fragmentation adversely impacts economic development.
    Keywords: Constitutions, Direct Democracy, Public Goods, Interest Groups, Ethnic Divisions.
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2008–03

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