nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2008‒05‒24
eight papers chosen by
Suzanne McCoskey
George Washington University

  1. Are Imports in Africa Responsive to Tariff Reductions? By Chris Jones; Oliver Morrissey
  2. The Not-So-Visible Determinants of Youth Reproductive Health in Sub-Saharan Africa. By Soiliou Namoro
  3. Aggregate and Sector Import Price Elasticities for a Sample of African Countries By Chris Jones
  4. Aid-Financed Public Investments and the Dutch Disease: Evidence from Tanzania By Asmah, Emmanuel E.; Levin, Jorgen
  5. African Trade Policy in the 1990s: Political Economy or Technocratic Reforms? By Chris Jones; Oliver Morrissey; Doug Nelson
  6. Poverty and Violent Conflict: A Micro-Level Perspective on the Causes and Duration of Warfare By Patricia Justino
  7. Prevention Failure: The Ballooning Entitlement Burden of U.S. Global AIDS Treatment Spending and What to Do About It By Mead Over
  8. Christian Missionaries and Education in Former Colonies: How Institutions Mattered By Francisco Gallego; Robert Woodberry

  1. By: Chris Jones; Oliver Morrissey
    Abstract: In the 1980’s and 1990’s many African countries liberalised their trade policy, although since the mid 1990s there are countries that did not alter tariffs. This allows us to analyse the effects of trade liberalisation on the change in imports using Difference-in-Differences techniques that allow us to evaluate the impact on imports of trade liberalisation at the general and sector-specific level. During the period of study (1996-2004), Algeria (in 1997), Ethiopia (2001), Egypt (1998), Tanzania (2000) and Uganda (2000) all liberalised their tariffs. These countries act as a ‘treatment’ group. In comparison, Cameroon, Gabon and Madagascar all left their tariffs unchanged. These countries act as our ‘control’ group or counterfactual. We compare the effects on imports for liberalising countries relative to non-liberalising countries, controlling for the timing of liberalisation, trends in import capacity (country effects) and in sector imports across countries (product market effects). Overall, using three methods of measuring imports, there is little evidence that suggests imports increased for the treatment group countries relative to the control group countries. This is true at the general and sector-specific levels.
    Keywords: Tariffs, Difference-in-Difference, liberalisation, Africa
  2. By: Soiliou Namoro
    Abstract: We establish the importance of government corruption and youth literacy for their effects on Youth Reproductive Health (YRH), with particularly strong effects on adolescent girls, in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). We identify the magnitude of these previously unspecified factors in the reproductive health of young people by controlling for the commonly cited influences of poverty and social inequality. We also measure the policy-mediated effects of ethnic diversity on women’s ages at marriage, the marriage age-gap, the age at first sexual encounter, and the prevalence of sexual encounters before age 15. Our analysis highlights the interplay of these factors in a region where there is high risk for sexually-transmitted diseases (STD).We account for the possible endogeneity of youth literacy when used as a predictor of YRH. Our crosscountry Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) and Instrumental Variable (IV) regressions show that corruption, ethnic fractionalization and youth literacy are powerful predictors of YRH.
    Date: 2008–05
  3. By: Chris Jones
    Abstract: This paper applies panel data methods to a simple imperfect substitutes model to estimate import demand elasticities for ten African countries. The elasticities are estimated at three levels of aggregation. Firstly, we generate aggregate elasticities for each country. Secondly, we use interactive dummy variables to create estimates for 16 sectors defined by the World Customs Organisation (WCO). Finally, we estimate elasticities for each of the 94 2-digit product lines defined by the Harmonised System (HS). In total there are 10 aggregate estimates, 158 estimates for the 16 WCO sectors; and 911 estimates at the 2-digit level. Using Fixed-Effects, the aggregate estimates do not differ significantly from unity. However, as we move to different levels of aggregation the estimates have much more variability. In general, import demand appears more elastic in sectors that have relatively high levels of domestic production or where there are exports.
    Keywords: Imports, Import Demand Elasticities, Africa
  4. By: Asmah, Emmanuel E. (Department of Business, Economics, Statistics and Informatics); Levin, Jorgen (Department of Business, Economics, Statistics and Informatics)
    Abstract: In this paper we discuss the impact of scaling-up aid in Tanzania using an economy-wide dynamic CGE model. The major conclusions coming out from this work is that productivity effects matter. If additional aid and consequently increased public spending has a positive impact on productivity this would spur GDP growth and reduce the risk of an appreciating real exchange rate. In a way this resembles previous results in the aid-growth literature that aid has a positive impact on growth in a country with good economic policies assuming that good policies have a positive impact on productivity. Presenting various scenarios on the impact of additional aid a sustained GDP growth rate of around 7 percent would be possible to achieve in a modest scaling-up aid scenario without any significant changes in the real exchange rate.
    Keywords: Aid:Dutch:Disease:Tanzania
    JEL: F35 O11 O55
    Date: 2008–05–14
  5. By: Chris Jones; Oliver Morrissey; Doug Nelson
    Abstract: The majority of African countries implemented import liberalisation in the 1990s. This paper explores factors that may explain the pattern of protection and of tariff reform. We consider political economy explanations, motivated specifically by the Grossman and Helpman (1994) model of protection in response to industry lobbies, and the possibility that reforms are technocratic. Using industry-level data for a sample of six African countries, we find limited evidence that political economy factors have influenced the pattern of tariffs or tariff reductions since the early 1990s. One result does appear frequently: relative sector size (measured by the number of employees or establishments) appears to be associated with the relative level of protection. We then explore various descriptive statistics for tariff changes in seven African countries. The analysis suggests that the pattern of tariff reductions was essentially technocratic in structure - across the board reduction in average tariffs and in the dispersion of rates, with larger proportional reductions for higher tariffs – consistent with policy reforms being guided by the World Bank. While political economy factors may have influenced the initial pattern of protection, the technocratic reforms since the early 1990s have diluted political economy influences on average and relative protection.
    Keywords: Pattern of Protection, Tariff Reform, Political Economy, Africa
  6. By: Patricia Justino (Institute of Development Studies)
    Abstract: This paper argues that endogenous mechanisms linking processes of violent conflict and household poverty provide valuable micro foundations to the ongoing debate on the causes and duration of armed conflicts. Household poverty affects the onset, sustainability and duration of violent conflict due to the direct and indirect effects of violence on the economic behaviour and decisions of households in conflict areas. These effects lead to the emergence of symbiotic relationships between armed groups and households living in areas they control that may sustain the conflict for a long time. The strength of this relationship is a function of two interdependent variables, namely household vulnerability to poverty and household vulnerability to violence.
    Keywords: Household poverty, household welfare, causes of armed conflict, duration of conflict, micro-foundations of conflict
    JEL: D74 I32
    Date: 2008–05
  7. By: Mead Over
    Abstract: U.S. global AIDS spending is helping to prolong the lives of more than a million people and is widely seen as a foreign policy and humanitarian success. Yet this success contains the seeds of a future crisis. Life-long treatment costs are increasing as those on treatment live longer, and the number of new HIV infections continues to outpace the number of people receiving treatment. Escalating treatment costs coupled with neglected prevention measures threaten to squeeze out U.S. spending on other global health needs, even to the point of consuming half of the entire U.S. foreign assistance budget by 2016. This paper describes the dimensions of these problems and argues that the United States has unwittingly created a new global “entitlement” to U.S.-funded AIDS treatment that currently costs about $2 billion per year and could grow to as much as $12 billion a year by 2016— more than half of what the United States spent on total overseas development assistance in 2006. And the AIDS treatment entitlement would continue to grow, squeezing out spending on HIV prevention measures or on other critical development needs, all of which would be considered “discretionary” by comparison. Over suggests ways to substantially restructure the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in order to avert a crisis in which Americans would have to choose among indefinitely increasing foreign assistance spending on an entitlement, eliminating half of other foreign aid programs, or withdrawing the medicine that millions of people depend upon to stay alive. His suggestions include consolidating treatment success and leveraging treatment for prevention by making the extension of further AIDS treatment financing conditional on success in both treatment adherence and prevention outreach; shifting to a focus on prevention by underwriting male circumcision efforts and expanding HIV testing and counseling for couples more so than for individuals; and intensifying the effects of prevention interventions by mapping high risk locations and targeting them with tailor-made prevention programs.
    Keywords: HIV/AIDS, global AIDS, PEPFAR, foreign aid
    Date: 2008–05
  8. By: Francisco Gallego (Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.); Robert Woodberry
    Abstract: Using cross-country data for about 70 countries and regional data for about 180 African provinces, we show that competition between Protestant and Catholic missionaries increased schooling in former colonies. Our evidence implies that Protestant missionaries increased schooling in Catholic countries by more than Catholic missionaries, but we cannot reject the hypothesis that the e ect of Protestant and Catholic missionaries on educational outcomes was similar when missionaries of both denominations faced the same legal and institutional treatment. We interpret these results in the context of an economic rationale in which di erent institutions created di erences in competitive pressures faced by Catholic and Protestant missionaries.
    Keywords: Education, Missionaries, Colonialism, Institutions, State Religions
    JEL: I20 N30 N37 N40 O15 O43 Z12
    Date: 2008

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