nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2009‒01‒17
twenty-one papers chosen by
Quentin Wodon
World Bank

  1. Modelling stock returns in Africa’s emerging equity markets. By Paul Alagidede; Theodore Panagiotidis
  2. Agricultural strategy development in West Africa: The false promise of participation? By Resnick, Danielle; Birner, Regina
  3. Life (evaluation), HIV/AIDS, and Death in Africa By Angus Deaton; Jane Fortson; Robert Tortora
  4. Climate variability and maize yield in South Africa: Results from GME and MELE methods By Akpalu, Wisdom; Hassan, Rashid M.; Ringler, Claudia
  5. Empirical Assessment of Nigeria’s Agricultural Export and Economic Welfare By Nwachukwu, Ifeanyi/ N; Ehumadu, Felix/C; Mejeha, Remy/C; Nwaru, Jude/C; Agwu, Nnanna/Mba; Onwumere, Joe
  7. Local impacts of a global crisis: Food price transmission and poverty impacts in Ghana By Cudjoe, Godsway; Breisinger, Clemens; Diao, Xinshen
  8. Population Size and Civil Conflict Risk: Is There A Causal Link? By Markus Bruckner
  9. Energy Consumption and Economic Growth: Evidence from COMESA Countries By Chali, Nondo; Mulugeta, Kahsai
  10. La féminisation de l'urbanisation de la pauvreté à Madagascar By Jean-Pierre Lachaud
  11. The Fallout from the Financial Crisis (4): Implications for FDI to Developing Countries By Andrew Mold
  12. The Fallout from the Financial Crisis (5): The End of Public Support for Development Aid? By Robert Zimmerman
  13. The Fallout from the Financial Crisis (1): Emerging Markets under Stress By Helmut Reisen
  14. La crise financière et ses retombées (3) : Les budgets d’aide seront-ils victimes de la crise du crédit ? By Andrew Mold; Dilan Olcer; Annalisa Prizon
  15. Aid Volatility and Macro Risks in Low-Income Countries By Eduardo Borensztein; Julia Cagé; Daniel Cohen; Cécile Valadier
  16. La crise financière et ses retombées (2) : Soutenabilité de la dette extérieure - Faut-il faire plus en faveur des pauvres ? By Annalisa Prizon
  17. La crise financière et ses retombées (5) : L’opinion publique contre l’aide au développement ? By Robert Zimmerman
  18. Education in Eritrea: Developmental Challenges By Rena, Ravinder
  19. The Fallout from the Financial Crisis (2): External Debt Sustainability Should More Be Done for the Poor? By Annalisa Prizon
  20. La crise financière et ses retombées (1) : Les marchés émergents à l’épreuve By Helmut Reisen
  21. The Fallout from the Financial Crisis (3): Will Aid Budgets Fall Victim to the Credit Crisis? By Andrew Mold; Dilan Olcer; Annalisa Prizon

  1. By: Paul Alagidede (Department of Economics, University of Stirling); Theodore Panagiotidis (Department of Economics, University of Macedonia)
    Abstract: We investigate the behaviour of stock returns in Africa’s largest markets namely, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Tunisia and Zimbabwe. The validity of the random walk hypothesis is examined and rejected by employing a battery of tests. Secondly we employ smooth transition and conditional volatility models to uncover the dynamics of the first two moments and examine weak from efficiency. The empirical stylized facts of volatility clustering, leptokurtosis and leverage effect are present in the African data. .
    Keywords: Stock Returns, Weak Form Efficiency, Asymmetric Volatility and African Stock Markets.
    JEL: C22 C52 G10
    Date: 2009–01
  2. By: Resnick, Danielle; Birner, Regina
    Abstract: "Participatory approaches are an increasingly prominent technique for designing agricultural strategies within Sub-Saharan Africa. However, such approaches are frequently criticized for either not involving enough stakeholders or limiting the scope of their participation. By analyzing the role of stakeholder participation in the formulation of agricultural and rural development strategies in West Africa, this paper finds that a lack of broad-based participation in these strategies was not a major problem. Rather, the real challenge lies in transforming the outcomes of participatory processes into policies that can be feasibly implemented. The paper highlights why an emphasis on participatory processes can sometimes result in disappointment among stakeholders and discusses a range of measures to help overcome this dilemma. " from authors' abstract
    Keywords: Agricultural and rural development strategies, Policy process, Participation, Representative democracy, Governance,
    Date: 2008
  3. By: Angus Deaton; Jane Fortson; Robert Tortora
    Abstract: We use data from the Gallup World Poll and from the Demographic and Health Surveys to investigate how subjective wellbeing (SWB) is affected by mortality in sub-Saharan Africa, including mortality from HIV/AIDS. The Gallup data provide direct evidence on Africans' own emotional and evaluative responses to high levels of infection and of mortality. By comparing the effect of mortality on SWB with the effect of income on SWB, we can attach monetary values to mortality to illuminate the often controversial question of how to value life in Africa. Large fractions of the respondents in the World Poll report the mortality of an immediate family member in the last twelve months, with malaria typically more important than AIDS, and deaths of women in childbirth more important than deaths from AIDS in many countries. A life evaluation measure (Cantril's ladder of life) is relatively insensitive to the deaths of immediate family, which suggests a low value of life. There are much larger effects on experiential measures, such as sadness and depression, which suggest much larger values of life. It is not clear whether either of these results is correct, yet our results demonstrate that experiential and evaluative measures are not the same thing, and that they cannot be used interchangeably as measures of "happiness" in welfare economics.
    JEL: I12 J17 O15
    Date: 2009–01
  4. By: Akpalu, Wisdom; Hassan, Rashid M.; Ringler, Claudia
    Abstract: "This paper investigates the impact of climate variability on maize yield in the Limpopo Basin of South Africa using the Generalized Maximum Entropy (GME) estimator and Maximum Entropy Leuven Estimator (MELE). Precipitation and temperature were used as proxies for climate variability, which were combined with traditional inputs variables (i.e., labor, fertilizer, seed, and irrigation). We found that the MELE fits the data better than the GME. In addition, increased precipitation, increased temperature, and irrigation have a positive impact on yield. Furthermore, results of the MELE show that the impact of precipitation on maize yield is stronger than that of temperature, meaning that the impact of climate variability on maize yield could be negative if the change increases temperature but reduces precipitation at the same rate and simultaneously. Moreover, the impact of irrigation on yield is positive but with a lower elasticity coefficient than that of precipitation, which supposes that irrigation may only partially mitigate the impact of reduced precipitation on yield. " from authors' abstract
    Keywords: Yield function, maize, Generalized maximum entropy, Maximum entropy Leuven estimator, Climate variability, Climate change,
    Date: 2008
  5. By: Nwachukwu, Ifeanyi/ N; Ehumadu, Felix/C; Mejeha, Remy/C; Nwaru, Jude/C; Agwu, Nnanna/Mba; Onwumere, Joe
    Abstract: This paper assessed empirically Nigeria’s agricultural export and economic welfare. Data used for the study were obtained from secondary sources, bulk of which was collected from institutional and national databases over 1990-2005 and were analyzed using multiple regression and growth rate analysis. The results showed that agricultural output, inflation, subsidy, exchange rate, food import and export were statistically significant at various risk levels and have major implications on the economic welfare of Nigeria. Economic welfare was found to have grown at rate of 2.9% over the period and would be expected to reach N20, 480.64 million in 2010. The study suggested that Nigerian government should adopt appropriate monetary policies to ensure stability in the foreign exchange market in view of the bizarre implications of fluctuations on economic welfare.
    Keywords: economic; agricultural exports; welfare; empirical; assessment
    JEL: B22
    Date: 2008–11–10
  6. By: NWAOBI, GODWIN (Quantitative Economics Research Bureau)
    Abstract: Nigeria was incorporated in 1914 when Frederick Lugard (First Governor General) amalgamated the two British protectorates of Northern and Southern Nigeria and the Crown Colony of Lagos into a single entity. The primary reason for amalgamation was economic rather then political. It is therefore, a matter for great regret that this country (Nigeria) has sulfured as a result of the all-pervasive disunity that has characterized all government action since our accession to independence in 1960. This disunity has distorted, complicated and to a large extent stultified every development effort undertaken by government. This paper therefore argents that the much-celebrated Nigeria reform progress might be rhetoric or much ado about nothing. And that the âÃÂÃÂBB-, BB and BâÃÂàrating of the Nigerian economy might have been a baseless exercise. Consequently, the paper recommends the adoption of e-governance (development) as a therapy for a heterogeneous and divisible nation such as Nigerian (Ceteris Paribus).
    Keywords: war; nigeria; biafra; ethnicity; trabalism; regionalcrises; disturbances; policy; democracy; governance-voting; elections; economy; corruption; coup; constitution; nigerdelta
    JEL: G30 H10 H70 K40 P16 Z10
    Date: 2009–01–05
  7. By: Cudjoe, Godsway; Breisinger, Clemens; Diao, Xinshen
    Abstract: "This paper takes a local perspective on global food price shocks by analyzing food price transmission between regional markets in Ghana. It also assesses the impacts of differential local food price increases on various household groups. Taking the recent global food crisis as an example, we find that prices for domestic staples within all regional markets are highly correlated with prices for imported rice. However, price transmission between pairs of regional markets is limited; it is complete for local rice and maize only when more rigorous cointegration analysis is applied. Our findings also show the important role of seasonality in the determination of market integration and price transmission. The welfare effect for households as consumers appears relatively modest at the aggregate national level due to relatively diverse consumption patterns. However, the national average hides important regional differences, both between regions and within different income groups. We find that the poorest of the poor—particularly the urban poor—are the hardest hit by high food prices. The negative effect of the food crisis is particularly strong in the north of Ghana. Different consumption patterns, in which grains account for a larger share of the consumption basket in the north compared to the rest of the country, together with much lower initial per capita income levels, are the main explanations for this regional variation in the price effect. " from authors' abstract
    Keywords: Food crisis, Price transmission, Poverty, Development strategies,
    Date: 2008
  8. By: Markus Bruckner (Universitat de Barcelona)
    Abstract: Does an expansion of the population size expose nation states to a higher risk of suffering from civil conflict? Obtaining empirical evidence for a causal relationship is difficult due to reverse effects and omitted variable bias. This paper addresses causality issues by using randomly occurring drought as an instrumental variable to generate exogenous variation in population size for a panel of 37 Sub-Saharan countries over the period 1981- 2004. Instrumental variable estimates yield that a one percentage point increase in population size raises the risk of civil conflict by over 5.2 percentage points.
    Keywords: population size, civil conflict, reverse causality
    JEL: Q0 P0 O55 O10
    Date: 2009
  9. By: Chali, Nondo; Mulugeta, Kahsai
    Abstract: This study applies panel data techniques to investigate the long-run relationship between energy consumption and GDP for a panel of 19 African countries (COMESA) based on annual data for the period 1980-2005. In the first step, we examine the degree of integration between GDP and energy consumption by employing three panel unit root tests and find that the variables are integrated of order one. In the second step, we investigate the long-run relationship between energy consumption and GDP. Results overwhelming show that GDP and energy consumption move together in the long-run. In the third step, we estimate the long-run relationship and test for causality using panel-based error correction models. The results indicate that long-run and short-run causality is unidirectional, running from energy consumption to GDP.
    Keywords: Energy consumption, GDP, Panel Causality tests, International Development, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy, O13, O55,
    Date: 2009–01–31
  10. By: Jean-Pierre Lachaud (GED, Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV)
    Abstract: Fondée sur les deux enquêtes prioritaires de Madagascar de 2001 et 2005, l’étude examine l’hypothèse d’une féminisation de l’urbanisation de la pauvreté, et les relations qui prévalent avec le marché du travail. Premièrement, dans un contexte où la part de la pauvreté urbaine a augmenté plus rapidement que la population urbaine au cours de la période 2001-2005, un premier test de la féminisation de la pauvreté, admettant l’invariance de l’inégalité intra-ménages, et consistant à comparer la variation des écarts de pauvreté selon le sexe dans le temps, suggère que, dans les grands centres urbains, les ménages féminins seraient devenus relativement plus touchés par la pauvreté, puisque la variation des écarts de pauvreté [femmes-hommes] est positive, et s’établit à +7,2 points de pourcentage. La prise en compte des autres mesures de la pauvreté ou des individus confirme le poids croissant des femmes dans la pauvreté urbaine. Deuxièmement, un autre test de la féminisation de la pauvreté, fondé sur des estimations d’un modèle spatial auto-régressif mixte, indique une valeur positive et significative du coefficient d’urbanisation régionale, ce qui implique que, toutes choses égales par ailleurs, l’accentuation de l’urbanisation régionale accroît la variation des écarts de pauvreté [femmes-hommes]. Ainsi, pour les chefs de ménages, lorsque le taux d’urbanisation régionale augmente de 1 pour cent, l’écart du ratio de pauvreté régional croît de 0,81 points de pourcentage. Troisièmement, l’incidence régionale de la féminisation de la pauvreté semble être inversement reliée aux taux de croissance relatifs féminins de l’offre de travail per capita, du temps de travail par personne employée et de la productivité du travail, et positivement corrélée au taux de croissance relatif par tête de l’emploi féminin. Dans ce contexte, le déclin de la qualité des emplois, affectant plus que proportionnellement les femmes, la croissance plus rapide du chômage urbain féminin, et les disparités croissantes selon le sexe du taux de sous-occupation globale, prenant en compte à la fois les chômeurs et les employés salariés, renforcent l’opportunité d’une attention accrue aux politiques du marché du travail en milieu urbain, notamment afin de promouvoir l’emploi productif des femmes. Based on the Madagascar priority surveys of 2001 and 2005, the study examines the hypothesis of a feminization of the urbanization of poverty, and the relations witch prevail with the labour market. Firstly, in a context where the share of urban poverty increased more quickly than the urban population during the period 2001-2005, a first test of the feminization of poverty, admitting the invariance of the intra-households inequality, and consisting in comparing the changes in poverty gap by gender in time, suggests that, in the great urban centres, the female households would have become more touched relatively by poverty, since the change in poverty gap [women-men] is positive, and is established at +7,2 points of percentage. Taking into account other measures of poverty or individuals confirms the growing importance of women in urban poverty. Secondly, another test of the feminization of poverty, based on estimates of a spatial auto-regressive model, indicates a positive and significant coefficient of regional urbanization, which implies that, all things being equal, increased urbanization regional variation increases the poverty gap [women-men]. Thus, for households heads, when the regional urbanization rate increases by 1 percent, the gap in the ratio of regional poverty grows by 0.81 percentage points. Thirdly, the regional impact of the feminization of poverty seems to be inversely related to growth rates for women in the labour supply per capita, working hours per employee and labor productivity, and positively correlated to the relative growth rate per capita of female employment. In this context, the decline in the quality of jobs, affecting more than proportionately the women, the faster growth of female urban unemployment, and the growing disparities by sex in the rate of global under-occupation, taking into account both the unemployed and salaried employees, reinforce the opportunity of a greater attention to labour market policies in urban areas, particularly in order to promote productive employment for women. Full text in french)
    JEL: I32 J21
    Date: 2009–01
  11. By: Andrew Mold
    Abstract: Foreign direct investment (FDI) has been one of the principal beneficiaries of the liberalisation of capital flows over recent decades, and now constitutes the major form of capital inflow for many developing countries, including low-income ones like Chad, Mauritania, Sudan and Zambia. But while there are reasons to celebrate this success, the current financial turmoil does not bode well for the sustainability these flows in 2009.
    Date: 2008–12
  12. By: Robert Zimmerman
    Abstract: Over the past 20 years, public attitudes towards aid in OECD countries have remained steadily positive throughout economic ups and downs. At the same time, polling data shows that voters continue to strongly support aid to developing countries, despite the financial crisis.
    Date: 2008–12
  13. By: Helmut Reisen
    Abstract: The contagion of the global credit crisis from the industrialised countries to the emerging markets has taken some time to develop. Then, in October 2008, it spread rapidly, afflicting all emerging markets, without any distinction or regard to their so-called “fundamentals”. For believers in “decoupling”, the high growth rates, massive foreign exchange (FX) reserves, balanced budgets and rising consumerism in the emerging markets at first reassured investors. It is now clear that the diagnosis of emerging-market policy performance suffered from hyperbole. In the end, all emerging market asset classes were hit: stocks, bonds and currencies.
    Date: 2008–12
  14. By: Andrew Mold; Dilan Olcer; Annalisa Prizon
    Abstract: Au cours des derniers mois, dans un effort coordonné visant à redresser le système financier mondial, les gouvernements des pays membres de l’OCDE se sont engagés à hauteur de plusieurs milliers de milliards de dollars sous la forme d’emprunts, de garanties, d’injections de capital et d’autres types d’assistance. En comparaison, les flux annuels de l’aide, qui s’élèvent actuellement à près de 100 milliards de dollars, ne sont « qu’une goutte dans l’océan », comme l’a déclaré Robert Zoellick, président de la Banque mondiale. Pourtant, nombreux sont ceux qui s’inquiètent de l’impact.
    Date: 2008–12
  15. By: Eduardo Borensztein; Julia Cagé; Daniel Cohen; Cécile Valadier
    Abstract: The report argues that aid volatility is an important source of volatility for the poorest countries. Following a method already applied by the Agence Française de Développement, the report argues that loans to LICs should incorporate a floating grace period, which the country could draw upon when hit by a shock. The definition of a shock should include aid uncertainty, along with others such as commodity shocks and natural disasters. The idea is calibrated to a key IMF policy instrument towards Low-Income Countries, the Poverty-Reducing and Growth Facility (PRGF).
    Date: 2008–11
  16. By: Annalisa Prizon
    Abstract: Depuis le début de la crise du crédit, on n’a accordé qu’une attention relativement faible aux conséquences de la crise financière sur l’endettement des pays à faible niveau de revenu. Si au cours des dernières années les pays en développement ont, dans l’ensemble, bénéficié d’une augmentation des flux de capitaux privés (notamment sous la forme d’investissements directs étrangers (IDE) et de transferts de fonds des travailleurs expatriés), de nombreux pays à faible niveau de revenu dépendent encore très largement de l’aide officielle externe et des flux d’endettement.
    Date: 2008–12
  17. By: Robert Zimmerman
    Abstract: Au cours des vingt dernières années, la population des pays de l’Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques (OCDE) a adopté une attitude positive et cohérente vis-à-vis de l’aide, malgré les fluctuations de l’économie. Dans le même temps, les sondages montrent que les électeurs continuent de soutenir majoritairement l’aide aux pays en développement, en dépit de la crise financière.
    Date: 2008–12
  18. By: Rena, Ravinder
    Abstract: The ongoing national reconstruction process of Eritrea is centered on educational reformation. The government of Eritrea placed educational policy on top priority for national development which demands the emergence of new class of trained youth blended with disciplined minds and skills instead of raw graduation. It had established about eight colleges at tertiary level within a short span of time to build human resource required for the present and future. In line with this, it laid down new policies and curricula suit to the immediate national scenario. This article analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of the educational policies, planning and the infrastructure requirements to meet the intended goal. It explored and analyzed Eritrean educational development and its key challenges. It also provided some useful insights for policy development. The data for the study were mainly collected from the reports of Ministry of Education and other colleges in Eritrea. The outcome of the educational reformation is expected to have a profound effect in the development of the country.
    Keywords: Education; Eritrea; Human capital and Economic development; Economic growth; Gender inequality.
    JEL: A22 I21 I23 I28 I22
    Date: 2008–03
  19. By: Annalisa Prizon
    Abstract: Since the credit crisis first erupted, relatively little attention has been given to the consequences of the financial crisis on low-income countries’ indebtedness. Although in recent years developing countries as a group have benefited from increasing private flows (particularly FDI and remittances), many low-income countries are still heavily dependent on external official aid and debt flows.
    Date: 2008–12
  20. By: Helmut Reisen
    Abstract: La crise mondiale du crédit qui a frappé les pays industrialisés n’a contaminé les marchés émergents que tardivement. Cependant, en octobre 2008, elle s’est rapidement étendue à tous ces pays, sans distinction ni considération pour ce qu’il est convenu d’appeler leurs « fondamentaux ». Les investisseurs adeptes du « découplage » ont d’abord été rassurés par les taux de croissance élevés, les réserves colossales de devises étrangères, l’équilibre des budgets et le consumérisme naissant. Mais il est désormais clair que l’évaluation de la performance des politiques publiques de ces États a péché par optimisme. En définitive, toutes les classes d’actifs ont été touchées : actions, obligations et monnaies.
    Date: 2008–12
  21. By: Andrew Mold; Dilan Olcer; Annalisa Prizon
    Abstract: The financial crisis should give a new impetus to governments’ efforts to improve aid effectiveness. Over the last few months, the governments of OECD countries have pledged trillions of dollars in loans, guarantees, capital injections, and other assistance in their coordinated effort to prop up the global financial system. In comparison, annual aid flows, currently standing at around $100 billion, are just “a drop in the ocean”, in the words of Robert Zoellick, President of the World Bank.
    Date: 2008–12

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