nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2009‒02‒07
five papers chosen by
Quentin Wodon
World Bank

  1. Deforestation in Sub- Sahara Africa By Diarrassouba, Malick; Boubacar, Inoussa
  2. Public Governance, Health and Foreign Direct Investment in Sub-Saharan Africa By Céline Azémar; Rodolphe Desbordes
  3. Do Teenagers Respond to HIV Risk Information? Evidence from a Field Experiment in Kenya By Pascaline Dupas
  4. The Production of Child Health in Kenya: A Structural Model of Birth Weight By Mwabu, Germano
  5. The Cost of Coexistence between Bt Maize and Open Pollinated Maize Varieties in Lowland Coastal Kenya By Tumusiime, Emmanuel; De Groote, Hugo; Vitale, Jeffrey; Adam, Brian

  1. By: Diarrassouba, Malick; Boubacar, Inoussa
    Abstract: According to FAO (2005) about 13 million hectares of the word’s forest are lost due to deforestation. Naoto (2006) found Africa to lead the list of countries with the highest rate of deforestation. This worrisome situation is further aggravated by the possible negative impacts of climate change due to an increase in the mean global temperature. Evidence supports that Africa is most likely to suffer the most the devastating impacts of natural calamities such as droughts and floods. This paper sought to evaluate the causes of deforestation in 27 Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. Our model uses annual data spanning from 1990 to 2004. Trade and urban population tend to be associated with a decline in deforestation. On the other hand, we found strong evidence of the existence of the environmental Kuznets curve with regards to deforestation in Sub-Saharan Africa. Finally, our results suggest that countries with a floating exchange rate regime have the highest rate of deforestation. Should future deforestation in SSA continue at the present pace, the associated costs to their already weakened economies may be substantial?
    Keywords: Deforestation, Sub-Saharan Africa, development., International Development, Q23, N 57,
    Date: 2009
  2. By: Céline Azémar; Rodolphe Desbordes
    Abstract: Using 1985-2004 yearly panel data for 70 developing countries, including 28 from Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the paper finds that once market size is accounted for, SSA's FDI deficit with other regions of the world is mainly explained by the insufficient provision of public goods: relatively low human capital accumulation, in terms of education and health in SSA. Based on additional cross-sectional data, the paper finds that in the absence of HIV and malaria, net FDI inflows in the median SSA country could have been one-third higher during 2000-2004, with slightly more than one-half of this deficit explained by malaria.
    Keywords: Public Governance, Foreign Direct Investment, Health
    JEL: F21
    Date: 2008–05
  3. By: Pascaline Dupas
    Abstract: I use a randomized experiment to test whether information can change sexual behavior among teenagers in Kenya. Providing information on the relative risk of HIV infection by partner's age led to a 28% decrease in teen pregnancy, an objective proxy for the incidence of unprotected sex. Self-reported sexual behavior data suggests substitution away from older (riskier) partners and towards protected sex with same-age partners. In contrast, the national abstinence-only HIV education curriculum had no impact on teen pregnancy. These results suggest that teenagers are responsive to risk information but their sexual behavior is more elastic on the intensive than on the extensive margin.
    JEL: C93 I1 O12
    Date: 2009–02
  4. By: Mwabu, Germano (U of Kenya)
    Abstract: The paper investigates birth weight and its correlates in Kenya using nationally representative data collected by the government in the early 1990s. I find that immunization of the mother against tetanus during pregnancy is strongly associated with improvements in birth weight. Other factors significantly correlated with birth weight include age of the mother at first birth and birth orders of siblings. It is further found that birth weight is positively associated with mother's age at first birth and with higher birth orders, with the first born child being substantially lighter than subsequent children. Newborn infants are heavier in urban than in rural areas and females are born lighter than males. There is evidence suggesting that a baby born at the clinic is heavier than a newborn baby drawn randomly from the general population.
    JEL: C31 C34 I11 I12 J13
    Date: 2008–06
  5. By: Tumusiime, Emmanuel; De Groote, Hugo; Vitale, Jeffrey; Adam, Brian
    Abstract: Kenya is currently in the process of introducing genetically modified maize (Bt maize). A major concern is that the Bt gene might cross into local varieties through cross pollination. Current regulatory strategies to ensure coexistence of the two cropping systems at the farm level rely on spatial isolation measures-separation distances and/or buffer zones. However, the interaction of practical measures and costs of spatial isolation with the farmer’s economic incentive to plant a Bt maize crop have not been studied in Kenya. The purpose of this study was to analyze the technical and economic feasibility of the implementation of spatial coexistence measures. Using spatial geo-referenced data from the actual agricultural landscape in lowland coastal Kenya, the study finds that flexible separation distances hold the possibility of ensuring coexistence in the region, but will be difficult to implement. Rigid buffer strips on the other hand are not consistent with the producers’ economic incentive to plant a Bt maize crop.
    Keywords: Coexistence, Regulatory, Spatial, Agro-ecological zone, GM crops, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy,
    Date: 2009

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