nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2008‒07‒14
four papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
University Amedeo Avogadro

  1. Fertility in Sub-Saharan African Countries with Consideration to Health and Poverty By Jeon, Yongil; Rhyu, Sang-Young; Shields, Michael P.
  2. Allocation of Labour in Urban West Africa: Implication for Development Policies By Dimova, Ralitza; Nordman, Christophe Jalil; Roubaud, François
  3. Testing Creative Destruction in an Opening Economy : the Case of the South African Manufacturing Inudstries By Philippe Aghion; Johannes Fedderke; Peter Howitt; Chandana Kularatne; Nicola Viegi
  4. Family Migration: A Vehicle of Child Morbidity in the Informal Settlements of Nairobi City, Kenya? By Konseiga, Adama

  1. By: Jeon, Yongil (Central Michigan University); Rhyu, Sang-Young (Yonsei University); Shields, Michael P. (Central Michigan University)
    Abstract: Fertility has begun to fall in Sub-Saharan Africa but it remains high on average and particularly for a few countries. This paper examines African fertility using a panel data set of 47 Sub-Saharan countries between 1962 and 2003. Fixed and random country effect estimates are made in models where the explanatory variables are suggested by the theory of the demographic transition as modified by Caldwell. Special attention is paid to the economic status of women, urbanization, the poverty level, and the health of the population including total health expenditures and the prevalence of HIV/AIDS. The results support Caldwell’s hypothesis and are generally supportive of hypothesis that a fertility transition is occurring. HIV/AIDS is found to have a negative impact on fertility.
    Keywords: Africa, infant mortality, fertility, poverty, health
    JEL: J13 O10 O55
    Date: 2008–06
  2. By: Dimova, Ralitza (Brunel University); Nordman, Christophe Jalil (DIAL, Paris); Roubaud, François (DIAL, Paris)
    Abstract: With the use of comparable data from seven West African capitals, we attempt to assess the rationale behind development policies targeting high rates of school enrolment through the prism of allocation of labour and returns to skills across the formal and informal sectors. We find that people with high levels of education allocate to the small formal sector and receive high compensation for their education and experience. Less educated workers allocate to the informal sector. While self-employment reveals some characteristics of a sector of dynamic entrepreneurship, the characteristics of the informal salaried sector are closer to those of a sector of hidden unemployment, or a stepping stone for better jobs in the future.
    Keywords: returns to skills, allocation of labour, self-selection, informal sector, Sub-Saharan West Africa
    JEL: J24 J31 O12
    Date: 2008–06
  3. By: Philippe Aghion; Johannes Fedderke; Peter Howitt; Chandana Kularatne; Nicola Viegi
    Date: 2008
  4. By: Konseiga, Adama (IDEA International Institute)
    Abstract: Parental migration is often found to be negatively correlated with child health in Africa, yet the causal mechanisms are poorly understood. The paper uses a dataset that provides information from the respondent parent on child morbidity both in the rural and urban settings. Households first endogenously determine whether they will gain from participating in migration and, if they do, whether they will leave the children behind or not. The final choice is made to ensure the optimal survival chances for the child. This paper contributes to understanding the health consequences of raising the children in the context of increasing urban poverty in Nairobi, Kenya. The findings indicate that households who migrated together with their children in the slums of Nairobi experience higher child morbidity (43 per cent have at least one sick child in the last one month) as compared to households who leave children in their upcountry homes (31 per cent of morbidity rate). Even though children of migrants are safer upcountry, not all households can afford this strategy. Households are able to choose this strategy only if they have a strong social support network in their origin community and/or they are big size households. This is an important finding in targeting the Millennium Development Goals.
    Keywords: childhood morbidity, split migration, incidental truncation, informal settlements, Nairobi, Kenya
    JEL: C31 D13 I12 R23
    Date: 2008–06

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