nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2008‒09‒20
twelve papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
University Amedeo Avogadro

  1. Combining census and household survey data for better targeting: The West and Central Africa Poverty Mapping Initiative By Coulombe, Harold; Wodon, Quentin
  2. Poverty among Cotton Producers: Evidence from West and Central Africa By Tsimpo, Clarence; Wodon, Quentin
  3. Too Sick To Start: Health of the Entrepreneur and Business Entry in Townships around Durban, South Africa By Li-Wei Chao; Helena Szrek; Nuno Sousa Pereira; Mark V. Pauly
  4. Measuring trends in access to modern infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa: Results from Demographic and Health Surveys By Banerjee, Sudeshna; Diallo, Amadou; Wodon, Quentin
  5. Economic liberalization and constraints to development in sub-Saharan africa By Jomo Kwame Sundaram; Rudiger von Arnim
  6. Is there a divergence between objective measures and subjective perceptions of poverty trends? Evidence from West and Central Africa By Wodon, Quentin
  7. Growth and Employment In Subsaharan Africa: Theoretical Evidence and Empirical Facts By YOGO, Urbain Thierry
  8. Making the Most of Aid: Challenges for Africa’s Agribusiness By Jeff Dayton-Johnson; Kiichiro Fukasaku
  9. Exclusion and alienation instead of inclusion: Africa's new Nationalism in times of globalization By Kohnert, Dirk
  10. Do Protestant Aid Organizations Aid Protestants Only? By Bengtsson, Niklas
  11. Achieving the MDGs in Kenya with some aid and reallocation of public expenditures By Kiringai, Jane; Levin, Jorgen
  12. The Socio-Economic Distribution of AIDS Incidence and Output By Pedro de Araujo

  1. By: Coulombe, Harold; Wodon, Quentin
    Abstract: There are often large regional differences in poverty and other social indicators within a country. But geographic poverty profiles based on household surveys tend to be limited to broad areas because survey sample sizes are too small to permit analysts to construct valid estimates of poverty at the local level. At the same time policy makers often need finely disaggregated information at the neighborhood, town, or village level in order to implement anti-poverty programs. This short dissemination note presents the process followed for constructing poverty maps using both census and household survey data in West and Central Africa.
    Keywords: Poverty maps; census; household survey; Africa
    JEL: I32
    Date: 2007–10
  2. By: Tsimpo, Clarence; Wodon, Quentin
    Abstract: World cotton prices have been declining in the past decade and farmers in West and Central Africa have been especially hard hit. This has led to heated policy debates and difficult trade-offs for governments, as their desire to help producers is constrained by the need to avoid large subsidies that could lead to important budget deficits and ultimately threaten macro-economic stability and future growth. Using very simple statistical analysis, this short dissemination note shows how newly available household surveys have permitted the estimation of measures of poverty among cotton producers in West and Central Africa, as well as simulations of the impact that changes in producer prices may have on poverty.
    Keywords: cotton; poverty; producer prices; Africa
    JEL: Q12 I32
    Date: 2007–10
  3. By: Li-Wei Chao (Population Studies Department, University of Pennsylvania); Helena Szrek (CETE, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto); Nuno Sousa Pereira (CETE, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto); Mark V. Pauly (Health Care Systems Department, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania)
    Abstract: Small businesses contribute a substantial share of economic activity in all countries, and may be an engine for job creation in developing economies. Unlike large firms with management teams, small businesses are usually run by one key person, the owner-entrepreneur, who bears almost all of the risks and who makes almost all of the decisions related to the business. Because the owner-entrepreneur also embodies most of the firm-specific knowledge capital, health of the owner-entrepreneur is an important factor contributing to the production process. Following a cohort of respondents with and without small businesses around Durban, South Africa, over a three-year period, our prior study found that poor baseline health and deteriorations in the health of the owner-entrepreneur were strongly associated with subsequent business exit. In the current study, we examined the relationship between an individual’s physical health and the decision to start a business. Our results suggest that respondents who were recent business entrants were in better health than respondents who did not start new businesses. Moreover, respondents without a business at the beginning of the study but who later opened businesses during the three-year study interval were significantly more likely to have better health before business entry than those respondents who never started a new business. Hence, good health among entrepreneurs seems to be an important prerequisite to both small business survival and small business entry.
    Keywords: South Africa; small businesses; business entry; health; entrepreneur
    JEL: I12
    Date: 2008–09
  4. By: Banerjee, Sudeshna; Diallo, Amadou; Wodon, Quentin
    Abstract: This short dissemination note provides a synthesis of key results from a recent study on access to infrastructure services in Africa. Using Demographic and Health Surveys from 22 countries that have conducted at least two such surveys between 1990 and 2005, we provide comparable estimates over time of access to electricity, piped water, flush toilets, and landline telephones. In addition to national, urban, and rural trends in access, we also provide a distributional analysis of how access rates have evolved between 1990 and 2005.
    Keywords: Electricity; piped water; flush toilets; landline phones; access rates; Africa
    JEL: H54 I30
    Date: 2007–10
  5. By: Jomo Kwame Sundaram; Rudiger von Arnim
    Abstract: This paper critically reviews the impact of globalization on Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) since the early 1980s. The large gains expected from opening up to international economic forces have, to date, been limited, and there have been significant adverse consequences. FDI in SSA has been largely confined to resource, especially mineral, extraction, even as continuing capital flight has reduced financial resources available for productive investments. Premature trade liberalization has further undermined prospects for SSA economic development as productive capacities in many sectors are not sufficiently competitive to take advantage of any improvements in market access.
    Keywords: Development, Agriculture, Africa, Trade liberalization, FDI, Bretton Woods Institutions
    JEL: O1 O2 O55
    Date: 2008–09
  6. By: Wodon, Quentin
    Abstract: Several sub-Saharan African countries have succeeded at increasing their economic growth rate in recent years, and this has translated into substantial poverty reduction according to objective measures based on household survey data. At the same time, many people do not feel that the poverty situation has been improving in their country or community, and this is a source of concern for elected policymakers. To what extent is there a divergence between objective measures and subjective perceptions of poverty trends, and what may explain this divergence? The objective of this short dissemination note is to document and discuss this issue using data from West and Central Africa and results from a series of poverty assessments recently completed at the World Bank.
    Keywords: Poverty; Perceptions; Vulnerability; Social Services; Africa
    JEL: I30
    Date: 2007–10
  7. By: YOGO, Urbain Thierry
    Abstract: Abstract This paper provides a theoretical and empirical survey on the link between employment and growth in sub-Saharan Africa countries. Trough this study we shed the light on the majors works that have been done on the subject concerning sub-Saharan Africa and emphasize some stylized facts that could lead to a new path of research. Three main conclusions emerge from this study. First the employment issue in sub-Saharan Africa is mostly a matter of quality than quantity. Secondly the reason of weak employment performances could not be found in labor market rigidities. Third the observed increase of working poor could be explained by the weakness of growth and downward labor demand.
    Keywords: Growth; Employment; Working Poor;
    JEL: J08 J01
    Date: 2008–09–13
  8. By: Jeff Dayton-Johnson; Kiichiro Fukasaku
    Abstract: Aid and trade policies – in OECD countries and in developing countries – might reinforce each other to promote development, or they might be substitutes: the sign of the correlation between trade and aid flows depends on the context. East Asia’s rapid growth demonstrates the important development impact of the trade-aid link. While aid has played a strong complementary role for trade development in Viet Nam, for example, the current impasse of African cotton producers is emblematic of trade and aid policies working at cross purposes. The experience of six African countries reviewed in this brief highlights the case for development assistance that aims to eliminate bottlenecks preventing a greater and deeper African participation in the global trading system. The scaling-up of aid, macroeconomic stability and trade expansion are compatible and the ongoing international “aid for trade” initiative will remain critically relevant for African development in the coming decades.
    Date: 2008–08–01
  9. By: Kohnert, Dirk
    Abstract: The New Nationalism in Africa and elsewhere shows remarkable differences both in its roots and its impact, compared with that of national independence movements of the early 1960s. Contrary to the first nationalism, the second is less prone to include than to exclude populations; alienation, xenophobia and its political instrumentalization are its curse. The New Nationalism has been shaped decisively by the consequences of globalization and by the increasing cleavages between the poor and the rich. Nowadays, structures of nationalism and nation-states differ more than in the past. Frequently, the new nationalism is rooted in populist grass-root movements which do not necessarily share the same interest as the ruling class or the state. This makes for its extraordinary political and social ambiguity and brisance.
    Keywords: nationalism;migration;xenophobia;ethnicity;alienation;poverty; Africa
    JEL: N47 Z1 F5 O15 I38 P16
    Date: 2008–09–17
  10. By: Bengtsson, Niklas (Department of Economics)
    Abstract: We estimate the impact of a village-level assistance program run by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania on literacy and schooling. The programs are partly funded by official development assistance from the US and EU. Villages in northwestern Tanzania are economically isolated but are still characterized a non-trivial degree of religious diversity. This setting allows us to study whether development assistance can spill over within villages, across religious affliation, while maintaining that treatment externalities between villages are mar- ginal. We find that the program increased literacy by 15-20 percent and primary schooling by 10-15 percent, but only among Protestant children. Catholic children living in the same targeted villages were virtually unaffected.
    Keywords: Faith-based foreign aid; Impact evaluation; Religion; Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: F35 O12
    Date: 2008–09–10
  11. By: Kiringai, Jane (European Commission, Kenya); Levin, Jorgen (Department of Business, Economics, Statistics and Informatics)
    Abstract: Kenya has ascribed to the Millennium Declaration and is already in the process of mobilising resources and instituting measures to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). A MDGs status report on Kenya indicates that progress has been made towards achieving the goal of universal primary education. However, the Government will need to scale-up its efforts beyond the current momentum, if the other goals are to be realised by 2015. A preliminary conclusion is that the resource requirements are not extremely large to reach the MDGs in Kenya. If the resources are effectively used and targeted to MDG sectors they could have a substantial impact on whether Kenya would reach the MDGs or not. Some targets seem to be easier to reach than others. The target of 100 percent completion in primary school can be achieved with some additional resources targeted to the primary sector. However, a substantial increase of resources is needed at secondary and tertiary level of education to reach other goals set by the Kenyan government. Even if higher investment in all MDGsectors is needed the water sector seems to be requiring a substantial increase compared to what have been invested in the past. With regard to poverty our results show that annual average real GDP growth rate of around 8 percent would be enough to meet the poverty target of reducing the number of poor by half.
    Keywords: Millennium; Development; Goals; Kenya; Aid; CGE
    JEL: F35 O11 O55
    Date: 2008–09–09
  12. By: Pedro de Araujo (Colorado College)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of HIV/AIDS on steady state output in an overlapping generations economy calibrated to resemble sub-Sahara Africa. I use skill heterogeneity as a proxy for socioeconomic status and test scenarios where the AIDS epidemic affects skills differently. The results indicate that the effects of the epidemic are sensitive to the distribution of the disease across skills. In general, the effect is much greater as the epidemic mainly affects skilled workers. Output is found to be below a no-AIDS output in a range between 3% (10%), when only unskilled workers are affected, and 10% (28%), when only skilled workers affected, whenever the overall infection rate is 7% (20%). When investigating the hypothesis that AIDS affects skilled workers more severely than unskilled at the beginning of the epidemic, with the effect switching as the epidemic becomes more mature, the findings are that the economy can be 8% smaller along the transition path. In all scenarios where the epidemic is temporary, it would take 4 to 5 generations or about 90 years for sub-Saharan Africa to recover.
    Keywords: HIV/AIDS, capital-skill complementarity, heterogeneity, and sub-Sahara Africa
    JEL: E20
    Date: 2008–09

This nep-afr issue is ©2008 by Marco Novarese. 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.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.