nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2009‒03‒28
fourteen papers chosen by
Quentin Wodon
World Bank

  1. Why Isn't South Africa Growing Faster? A Comparative Approach By Luc Eyraud
  2. Bank Efficiency in Sub-Saharan African Middle Income Countries By Chuling Chen
  3. Social Mobility and Colonial Legacy in Five African Countries By Thomas Bossuroy; Denis Cogneau
  4. Les mécanismes à l’origine de la corruption : une analyse sur micro-données africaines By Emmanuelle Lavallée; Mireille Razafindrakoto; François Roubaud
  5. The Determinants of Commercial Bank Profitability in Sub-Saharan Africa By Valentina Flamini; Calvin A. McDonald; Liliana Schumacher
  6. Individual Heterogeneity, Group Interaction, and Co-operative Behaviour: Evidence from a Common-Pool Resource Experiment in South Africa and Namibia By Bernd Hayo; Björn Vollan
  7. Understanding farmers' perceptions and adaptations to climate change and variability: The case of the Limpopo Basin, South Africa By Gbetibouo, Glwadys Aymone
  8. Scambi commerciali agricoli e accordi di partenariato tra Unione Europea e Africa By Bernini Carri, Carlo; Sassi, Maria
  9. Agglomeration, migration, and regional growth: A CGE analysis for Uganda By Dorosh, Paul; Thurlow, James
  10. Impact of Infrastructure Spending in Mali: A CGE Modeling Approach By Antonio Estache; Jean-François Perrault; Luc Savard
  11. Impact of soaring food price in Ethiopia: Does location matter? By Ulimwengu, John M.; Workneh, Sindu; Paulos, Zelekawork
  12. The Macroeconomic Impact of Scaled-up Aid: The Case of Niger By Gonzalo Salinas; Abdikarim Farah; Emilio Sacerdoti
  13. Measuring agricultural innovation system properties and performance: Illustrations from Ethiopia and Vietnam By Spielman, David J.; Kelemework, Dawit
  14. Niveau et déterminants de l’insertion des femmes sur le marché du travail au Mali By Assa Doumbia Gakou; Mathias Kuepie

  1. By: Luc Eyraud
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to examine factors that have constrained South Africa's growth since the end of apartheid by comparing its GDP components and its saving and investment performance with those of 10 faster-growing countries. The study finds that sluggish investment has undermined growth since 1996 and that the underinvestment is in part explained by limited saving. Thus, over the last decade, interactions between investment, saving, and production may have perpetuated slow growth in South Africa.
    Keywords: Economic growth , South Africa , Gross domestic product , Savings , Private savings , Investment , Labor productivity , Cross country analysis , Economic models ,
    Date: 2009–02–10
  2. By: Chuling Chen
    Abstract: We use bank level data to study the efficiency of banks in Sub-Saharan African middle-income countries and provide possible explanations for the difference in the efficiency levels of banks. We find that banks, on average, could save 20-30 percent of their total costs if they were operating efficiently, and that foreign banks are more efficient than public banks and domestic private banks. Among the factors that could affect the efficiency levels are macroeconomic stability, depth of financial development, the degree of market competition, strong legal rights and contract laws, and better governance, including political stability and government effectiveness. Our findings point to the importance of policies that aim to build stronger institutions, promote more competition, and improve governance.
    Keywords: Banks , Africa , Developing countries , Economic conditions , Political economy , Banking sector , Profits , Cross country analysis ,
    Date: 2009–01–28
  3. By: Thomas Bossuroy (EHESS, DIAL, IRD, Paris); Denis Cogneau (DIAL, IRD, Paris)
    Abstract: How fluid are African societies? This paper uses wide-sample nationally representative surveys to set down the first comparative measurement of the extent and features of the social mobility of men in five countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. Intergenerational as well as intra-generational mobility between the farm and non-farm sectors are examined, and are linked to migration patterns on the one hand, educational development and mobility on the other hand. Two former British colonies, Ghana and Uganda, stand out with the highest level of social fluidity. Two former French Western colonies, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, come next. Last, Madagascar exhibits specifically large and sustained inequalities of opportunity. Comparisons between countries reveal how occupational mobility is linked to spatial and educational mobility. In the former French colonies, these latter forms of mobility are much selective on the origin variables, and appear as pre-requisites for the access to non-agricultural jobs. In the former British colonies, the links between origin, migration, education and occupational achievement appear much looser. Historical evidence suggests that these different structures are the product of policies and investments implemented differently by the two former colonial powers. This article thus presents original evidence on social mobility in Africa and highlights how institutions and policies shape it. _________________________________ Quel est le degré de fluidité des sociétés africaines ? Cet article mobilise des enquêtes nationalement représentatives à larges échantillons pour établir une première mesure comparative du niveau et des caractéristiques de la mobilité sociale des hommes dans cinq pays d'Afrique Sub-Saharienne. Les mobilités intergénérationnelle ainsi qu'intra-générationnelle entre les secteurs agricole et non-agricole sont examinés, et mis en relation avec les caractéristiques de la migration d'une part, avec le développement de l'éducation et la mobilité scolaire intergénérationnelle d'autre part. Deux anciennes colonies britanniques, le Ghana et l'Ouganda, ressortent avec le plus haut degré de fluidité sociale. Deux anciennes colonies françaises d'Afrique de l'Ouest, la Côte d'Ivoire et la Guinée, viennent ensuite. Enfin, Madagascar montre une inégalité des chances particulièrement élevée et durable. Les comparaisons entre pays révèlent que la mobilité professionnelle est liée à la mobilité spatiale et à la mobilité scolaire. Dans les anciennes colonies françaises, ces deux dernières formes de mobilité sont plus sélectives en fonction des variables d'origine sociale, et apparaissent comme des préconditions pour l'accès aux professions non-agricoles. Dans les anciennes colonies britanniques, les liens entre origine sociale, migration, éducation et destination professionnelle apparaissent beaucoup plus lâches. L'analyse historique suggère que ces structures différentes sont les produits de politiques et d'investissements mis en oeuvre de façon différente par les deux puissances coloniales. Cet article présente ainsi une série de faits originaux sur la mobilité sociale en Afrique et met en lumière comment les institutions et les politiques lui confèrent ses formes.
    Keywords: Social Mobility, Education, Intergenerational Transmission, Colonization, Dualism,Africa, Mobilité sociale, éducation, transmission intergénérationnelle, colonisation, dualisme,Afrique.
    JEL: J62 N37 O15
    Date: 2008–12
  4. By: Emmanuelle Lavallée (DIAL, Paris); Mireille Razafindrakoto (DIAL, IRD, Paris); François Roubaud (DIAL, IRD, Paris)
    Abstract: (english) Who are the most prone to pay bribes? Who are angled for bribes? Who pay? This article explores these issues in sub-Saharan Africa, an area of the world where corruption is widespread. This paper empirical basis is a rich collection of comparable data provided by the Afrobarometer surveys conducted in 18 sub-Saharan African countries. So as to answer these questions properly, this paper also analyses the characteristics of users of governmental services in Africa. Our study yields new results about the exposure to corruption and the use of public services as well. Our findings notably show that ethnic and religious belongings, which are traditionally put forward in the literature about corruption in this continent, do not have a so clear effect on corruption. _________________________________ (français) Quels sont les individus les plus enclins à recourir à la corruption ? A qui demande-t-on des pots-devin ? Qui en payent ? Cet article explore ces questions à partir d’un riche corpus d’enquêtes-ménages comparables réalisées dans continent où la corruption sévit avec beaucoup d’acuité : les enquêtes Afrobaromètre. Afin de répondre à ces questions, il s’interroge également sur les caractéristiques des utilisateurs des services publics en Afrique. Notre article apporte des résultats nouveaux tant sur la propension à corrompre et l’exposition à la corruption que sur les déterminants de l’utilisation des services publics. Nos estimations montrent notamment que les facteurs d’appartenance ethnique, traditionnellement mis en avant en Afrique, ne jouent pas un rôle aussi clair sur la corruption que ne le suggère la littérature.
    Keywords: corruption, publicly provided goods, household,corruption, publicly provided goods, household.
    JEL: D73 H4 H31
    Date: 2008–12
  5. By: Valentina Flamini; Calvin A. McDonald; Liliana Schumacher
    Abstract: Bank profits are high in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) compared to other regions. This paper uses a sample of 389 banks in 41 SSA countries to study the determinants of bank profitability. We find that apart from credit risk, higher returns on assets are associated with larger bank size, activity diversification, and private ownership. Bank returns are affected by macroeconomic variables, suggesting that macroeconomic policies that promote low inflation and stable output growth does boost credit expansion. The results also indicate moderate persistence in profitability. Causation in the Granger sense from returns on assets to capital occurs with a considerable lag, implying that high returns are not immediately retained in the form of equity increases. Thus, the paper gives some support to a policy of imposing higher capital requirements in the region in order to strengthen financial stability.
    Keywords: Commercial banks , Africa , Profits , Profit margins , Economic policy , Financial stability , Economic models , Time series , Cross country analysis ,
    Date: 2009–01–28
  6. By: Bernd Hayo (Philipps-University Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration & Economics, Universitaetsstr. 24, D-35037 Marburg, Germany); Björn Vollan (University of Mannheim, Department of Economics, L7, 3-5, D-68131 Mannheim, Germany)
    Abstract: We present econometric evidence on the influence of an individual’s sociodemographic characteristics, economic background, and dynamic personal and group interactions on co-operative behaviour in a social dilemma situation. The data are from a framed common-pool resource experiment conducted in Namibian and South African farming communities. Our paper helps to better understand the discrepancy between the fact that people seem to care about advancing their relative position in real life but tend to act to reduce inequality in a laboratory setting. We analyse the first move in the game, the cumulated amount of resources gained by the players and, by taking into account the temporal dimension of the game in a panel context, each individual move.
    Keywords: Common-pool resources, field experiment, group interaction, relative income position, Southern Africa
    JEL: Q24
    Date: 2009
  7. By: Gbetibouo, Glwadys Aymone
    Abstract: "Climate change is expected to have serious environmental, economic, and social impacts on South Africa. In particular, rural farmers, whose livelihoods depend on the use of natural resources, are likely to bear the brunt of adverse impacts. The extent to which these impacts are felt depends in large part on the extent of adaptation in response to climate change. This research uses a “bottom-up” approach, which seeks to gain insights from the farmers themselves based on a farm household survey. Farm-level data were collected from 794 households in the Limpopo River Basin of South Africa for the farming season 2004–2005. The study examines how farmer perceptions correspond with climate data recorded at meteorological stations in the Limpopo River Basin and analyzes farmers' adaptation responses to climate change and variability. A Heckman probit model and a multinomial logit (MNL) model are used to examine the determinants of adaptation to climate change and variability. The statistical analysis of the climate data shows that temperature has increased over the years. Rainfall is characterized by large interannual variability, with the previous three years being very dry. Indeed, the analysis shows that farmers' perceptions of climate change are in line with the climatic data records. However, only approximately half of the farmers have adjusted their farming practices to account for the impacts of climate change. Lack of access to credit was cited by respondents as the main factor inhibiting adaptation. The results of the multinomial logit and Heckman probit models highlighted that household size, farming experience, wealth, access to credit, access to water, tenure rights, off-farm activities, and access to extension are the main factors that enhance adaptive capacity. Thus, the government should design policies aimed at improving these factors. " from authors' abstract
    Keywords: Climate change, Climate variability, Perception, Adaptation, Agriculture,
    Date: 2009
  8. By: Bernini Carri, Carlo; Sassi, Maria
    Abstract: The Cotonou Partnership Agreement, signed on 2000, marks the beginning of a new cooperation phase between ACP countries and the EU. The IV pillar of the Agreement, aimed at the creation of a free trade area, concerns the economic and trade cooperation and is targeted to make trade in line with the WTO rules and to allow the ACP countries a full participation to international trade understood as strategic condition for supporting growth and development. In this context, the trade relationships between the EU and Africa are of specific importance when referred to agricultural products. The liberalization process might have a significant impact for the EU as leading world exporter and importer of agricultural goods and the wider destination and origin market of the African food and agricultural products. On the African side, agricultural export are often the primary source of foreign exchange for food imports required for domestic food security. Furthermore, the new Partnership Agreement creates an additional market access only for the agricultural products that, however, might results strongly constrained by the limited supply potential and high EU SPS standards. Thus, the analysis of the costs and benefits connected to the liberalization process in both the EU and Africa is relevant for a better understanding of the forthcoming competitive scenario for the agricultural products. This is the topic of the paper that, with reference to the time period from 1995-2006, provides a preliminary analysis of the main features of the agricultural trade flows between the EU-25 and Africa; the competitive potential of the sector; the explanatory variables of the African export flows trends to the EU-25. Despite the EU is negotiating an Agreement with the African countries as a whole, the analysis also distinguishes among geographic areas in order to estimate the likely different impact of agricultural trade liberalization. To the same aim food and agricultural product are considered separately.
    Keywords: Agricultural Trade, Trade and Development, Agricultural Competitiveness, Q17,
    Date: 2009–03–11
  9. By: Dorosh, Paul; Thurlow, James
    Abstract: "Uganda has experienced rapid economic growth and poverty reduction over the past decade but has failed to significantly improve incomes in its northern regions where prolonged conflict has hindered growth. We consider three strategies to close this regional divide: (1) develop a north-south corridor to encourage regional trade, (2) accelerate growth in the southern capital city and encourage north-south migration, and (3) improve agricultural productivity in rural areas. We examine these strategies using a regionalized computable general equilibrium model, accounting for internal migration and productivity gains from urban agglomeration effects. Simulation results indicate that a north-south corridor benefits northern households, but its benefits are limited by the small size of northern urban centers and the low productivity of northern producers. Investing in the capital city accelerates economic growth but has little effect on other regions' welfare because of the city's weak growth linkages with other regions and small migration effects. Improving agricultural productivity, however, though less effective at stimulating national economic growth, generates broad-based welfare improvements in both rural and urban areas. We therefore conclude that without significant gains in agricultural productivity in the next decade, out-migration and urban-led growth centered in Kampala will be insufficient to significantly reduce poverty in northern Uganda. " from authors' abstract
    Keywords: economic growth, Poverty, Agricultural development, Spatial economics, Development strategies,
    Date: 2009
  10. By: Antonio Estache; Jean-François Perrault; Luc Savard
    Abstract: In this paper we construct a standard CGE model to explore the impact of scaling up infrastructure in an African country. As the debate on the importance of scaling up infrastructure to stimulate growth and provide a push to African economies, some analyst raise concern on financing these infrastructures after construction and that external funding of these can create major distortion and have a negative impact on the trade balance of these countries. This study aims to provide so insight into this debate. It draws from the infrastructure productivity literature to postulate positive productive externalities of new infrastructure and Fay and Yepes (2003) for operating cost associated with new infrastructure. We compare various infrastructure investment funded with different fiscal tools. These investments scenarios are compared to non productive investment that can be interpreted as a business as usual scenario. Our results show that foreign aid does produce Dutch disease effects but the negative impacts are strongly dependent on the type of investments performed. Moreover, growth effects contribute to attenuate the negative effects.
    Keywords: Investment externalities, foreign aid, exchange rate, fiscal reforms
    JEL: C68 E62 F35 H54
    Date: 2009
  11. By: Ulimwengu, John M.; Workneh, Sindu; Paulos, Zelekawork
    Abstract: "Previous studies implicitly assume uniform price-effects across regions or provinces within countries. They also do not address the issue of integration between the world food market and local markets. Instead, they assume a complete transmission of changes in world food prices to local food prices. In this paper, we first establish evidence of regional price heterogeneity across Ethiopia. We also applied the Johansen test for market integration over 95 local maize markets and found that none of the Ethiopian regional markets for maize is integrated to the world market. However, there is significant short-term price effects between the world maize market and some Ethiopian regional markets. Using the Almost Ideal Demand System, we estimate loss in household consumption and calorie intake as induced by food price increases. The results suggest a great deal of heterogeneity across regions as well as between rural and urban areas. Studies that fail to account for the characteristics of household demand across locations are more likely to induce misleading policy recommendations. " from authors' abstract
    Keywords: Price, Integration, Demand, Elasticity, Poverty, Food prices, maize,
    Date: 2009
  12. By: Gonzalo Salinas; Abdikarim Farah; Emilio Sacerdoti
    Abstract: We develop a simple macroeconomic model that assesses the effects of higher foreign aid on output growth and other macroeconomic variables, including the real exchange rate. The model is easily tractable and requires estimation of only a few basic parameters. It takes into account the impact of aid on physical and human capital accumulation, while recognizing that the impact of the latter is more protracted. Application of the model to Niger-one of the poorest countries in the world-suggests that if foreign aid as a share of GDP were to be permanently increased from the equivalent of 10 percent of GDP in 2007 to 15 percent in 2008, annual economic growth would accelerate by more than 1 percentage point, without generating significant risks for macroeconomic stability. As a result, by 2020 Niger's income per capita would be 12.5 percent higher than it would be without increased foreign aid. Moreover, the higher growth would help Niger to cut the incidence of poverty by 25 percent by 2015, although the country will still be unable to reach the Millennium Development Goal of poverty reduction (MDG 1).
    Keywords: Development assistance , Niger , Low-income developing countries , Aid flows , Economic growth , Capital accumulation , Poverty reduction , Economic models ,
    Date: 2009–03–11
  13. By: Spielman, David J.; Kelemework, Dawit
    Abstract: "The rapidly changing nature of the global food and agriculture system suggests the need to rethink how innovation can contribute to developing-country agriculture. While scientific and technological changes in agriculture can help foster productivity growth and poverty reduction, their contributions are incomplete without commensurate changes in the wider system of which they are a part. A more systems-oriented understanding of how innovation occurs in a society and economy is critical to promoting dynamism, responsiveness, and competitiveness in developing-country agriculture and, ultimately, to enhancing productivity and reducing poverty. However, without adequate measures of the properties and performance of an agricultural innovation system, it is difficult for policymakers, investors, donors, and practitioners to promote policies and investments that foster greater innovativeness in agriculture. This suggests the need for a measure of agricultural innovativeness that preferably extends beyond the “black box” approach of measuring only inputs and outputs, focusing on the underlying processes that contribute to building the capabilities needed to create an innovative agricultural sector. To this end, this paper attempts to provide a “proof of concept” that innovativeness in developing-country agriculture can be measured. It first identifies a set of indicators from secondary data sources that measure the key elements of an agricultural innovation system. Several hundred indicators are reviewed, validated, and aggregated into a unique Agriculture, Development, and Innovation Index (ADII). The paper then provides a toolkit for collecting and analyzing “systems-oriented” indicators that add more process-related nuances to the ADII with both attributional and relational data. This is illustrated with data collected in Ethiopia and Vietnam in 2007–08." from authors' abstract
    Keywords: Agriculture, Developing countries, Innovation, Science and technology,
    Date: 2009
  14. By: Assa Doumbia Gakou (DNSI, Bamako); Mathias Kuepie (DIAL,CEPS/INSTEAD)
    Abstract: (english) The objective of this study is to identify factors that explain Malian women position in the labor market. We begin by presenting a theoretical framework that mobilizes three theories explaining women labor market integration: the feminist theory which shows that the disadvantaged women position in the labor market is an extension of their status in society, the theory of surviving strategies which postulates that the participation of women is strongly linked to households economic constraints and the standard human capital theory. Using data from the “Enquête Légère Intégrée auprès des Ménages” (ELIM) realized in 2003, we more or less validate the three theories: women from poor economic class are more actives. When the Malian women are educated, they have almost the same opportunity (or even more) than men to find their place in the cramped but protective public sector. A last, women with young children are more likely to be located into the informal sector. _________________________________ (français) L’article porte sur l’insertion des femmes maliennes sur le marché du travail. Le travail empirique s’appuie sur le traitement des données de l’Enquête Légère Intégrée auprès des Ménages (ELIM) de 2003. Trois théories explicatives sont testées : la théorie des stratégies de survie qui postule que la participation des femmes est fortement liée aux contraintes de survie des ménages ; la théorie standard du capital humain d’insertion sur le marché du travail, et les théories féministes qui montrent que la position défavorable des femmes sur le marché du travail n’est qu’un prolongement de leur situation dans la société. Nous validons l’hypothèse de stratégie de survie, les femmes appartenant aux ménages les plus pauvres s’insèrent plus fréquemment que celles des ménages les plus aisés sur le marché du travail. De plus, elles sont contraintes soit à mener conjointement étude et travail, soit à travailler et à assurer leur rôle de mère. Ce n’est que dans les classes aisées que l’éducation joue pleinement son rôle comme facteur stimulant la participation des femmes à l’activité économique. Quand elles sont actives, les femmes occupent une position légèrement plus défavorable que les hommes, en étant plus nombreuses dans le secteur informel. Mais cette position s’explique essentiellement par des différences de capital humain car quand les femmes maliennes sont éduquées, elles ont quasiment les mêmes chances (voire plus) que les hommes de trouver leur place dans l’exigu mais protecteur secteur public.
    Keywords: Labor market, women employment, Mali, marché du travail, emploi des femmes.
    JEL: J24 J31
    Date: 2008–12

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