nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2009‒06‒10
seven papers chosen by
Quentin Wodon
World Bank

  1. Agricultural Growth, Poverty Reduction and Millennium Development Goals in Africa: Outcomes of AAAE Conference By Nambiro, Elizabeth; Omare, Musa N.; Nkamleu, Guy B.
  2. Economic analysis of water supply cost structure in the Middle Olifants sub-basin of South Africa By Tsegai, Daniel W.; Linz, Teresa; Kloos, Julia
  3. Preferences for domestic water services in the Middle Olifants sub-basin of South Africa By Kloos, Julia; Tsegai, Daniel W.
  4. Liberalization with Endogenous Institutions: A Comparative Analysis of Agricultural Reform in Africa, Asia and Europe By Johan F.M. Swinnen
  5. Industrial Water Demand analysis in the Middle Olifants sub-basin of South Africa: The case of Mining By Linz, Teresa; Tsegai, Daniel W.
  6. Scaling up aid or scaling down : the global economic crisis and Rwanda's MDGs By Lofgren, Hans; Nielsen, Hannah; Ezemenari, Kene
  7. The Mauritanian labor market through the lens of the 2004 national household survey By Rajadel , Tania; Pontara, Nicola; Sanchez Puerta, Maria Laura

  1. By: Nambiro, Elizabeth; Omare, Musa N.; Nkamleu, Guy B.
    Abstract: This report is a summary of emerging issues affecting African agriculture, recent experiences and policy proposals that can guide interventions in improving the sectorâs productivity. Agriculture is at the centre of rural poverty reduction in Africa and urgent measures are needed to increase farm yields and incomes in order to stem collapse of economies and societies.
    Keywords: AAAE, African Association of Agricultural Economists, millennium development goals in Africa, agricultural policies, agricultural research systems, poverty reduction, agricultural productivity, Agricultural and Food Policy, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Farm Management, Food Security and Poverty, Production Economics, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies, Q010, Q130, Q170, Q180, Q560,
    Date: 2008–06
  2. By: Tsegai, Daniel W.; Linz, Teresa; Kloos, Julia
    Abstract: Using data gathered from the National Treasury of South Africa, we examine the structure of water supply costs and tariffs of Water Service Authorities (WSAs) in the Middle Olifants sub-basin of South Africa. Using the translog cost function method, the marginal cost of water supply and economies of scale are estimated. Comparison of tariffs and marginal costs show that the estimated marginal cost is higher than the actual tariff paid by consumers. This implies that WSAs in the Middle Olifants are not charging enough to recover the costs of the water services. Thus, among other things, pricing of water at its marginal cost would partly assist in solving the cost recovery problem. Raised tariffs would in turn contribute to improved efficiency of water use. As evidenced by estimation results of returns to scale (greater than one), merger of WSAs would be economically advantageous. Hence, reversing the process of transferring water servicesâ authority to âlocalâ municipality level and thus up-scaling WSAs into the âdistrictâ municipality level is an important policy option for improving water services efficiency in the Middle Olifants sub-basin of South Africa.
    Keywords: Translog cost function, Water supply, Water Service Authority, Middle Olifants, South Africa, Environmental Economics and Policy,
    Date: 2009–04
  3. By: Kloos, Julia; Tsegai, Daniel W.
    Abstract: Using household survey data, this study investigates preferences for domestic water services in the Middle Olifants sub-basin of South Africa. Water is a relative scarce resource in South Africa that is distributed unevenly both geographically and seasonally as well as socio-politically. For a water management addressing the policy objectives of efficiency in use, equity in access and benefits and long-term sustainability, economic valuation of the different water uses is required. In order to detect households' preferences, a choice experiment was conducted. Results suggested the presence of preference heterogeneity and therefore, a latent class model was applied, dividing households into homogeneous groups according to their preferences. Four distinct groups of households could be found which differ significantly in terms of their socio-economic characteristics, their attitudes toward pricing of water and their satisfaction with current water service levels. Willingness to pay (WTP) estimates of different water service characteristics in all groups indicate that households are willing to pay higher prices for a better and more reliable water services provision. But the amount households are willing to pay differs among the groups. This information is helpful for policy-makers to enable the design of water services in the Middle Olifants according to preferences of local households. Besides, WTP estimation can provide a basis for setting water tariffs.
    Keywords: Environmental Economics and Policy,
    Date: 2009–05
  4. By: Johan F.M. Swinnen
    Abstract: Thirty years ago, a vast share of the poor and the middle income countries were heavily state-controlled. The effects of the liberalizations in the 1980s and 1990s differed strongly between regions in Africa, Asia and Europe. This paper compares the relative reform performance across Asia, Africa and Europe, using a series of indicators to compare changes in output and productivity during the reform period, with respect to agriculture. The paper shows a model which analyzes how liberalization affects the production and income distribution when liberalization affects the institutions that govern production and exchange. The model helps to derive hypothesis on how the endogenous institutional adjustments affect the supply response to the liberalizations. These insights are related to the empirical observations on agricultural performance and variations in commodity chain performance across countries. [LICOS DP no.233/2009]
    Keywords: liberalization; endogenous institutions; agricultural reforms; Asia; Africa; Europe; agricultural performance trends; pre-liberalization economy; model of liberalization; liberalization performances
    Date: 2009
  5. By: Linz, Teresa; Tsegai, Daniel W.
    Abstract: This paper seeks to determine water demand of the mining sector in the Middle Olifants sub-basin of South Africa. Despite the growing economic importance of mining in the area, only little is known about its water demand and the role of water in the mines´ extrac-tion process. By means of econometric estimation water price elasticities as well as substi-tution possibilities between water and other inputs are derived to analyze the response of mines to changes in water tariffs. Using primary data, a translog cost function is estimated for five mines operating in the area. Cost share equations of each input are specified and estimated using Seemingly Unrelated Regression (SUR) method. The mean cost share of water for all five mines, with around 1%, is relatively small, reflecting the low water tariff and results show industrial water demand to be inelastic. Nevertheless, with water price elasticity values ranging from -0.77 to -0.95 for the five mines, there is a potential to influ-ence water use patterns through higher tariffs. As mines are water intensive industries, pos-sible water savings owing to raised water tariffs should not be neglected. Water intake is found to be a substitute for labor and capital for most of the mines, implying that capital investments in water saving technologies might be an alternative means to reduce water intake of the mining sector.
    Keywords: Environmental Economics and Policy, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy,
    Date: 2009–04
  6. By: Lofgren, Hans; Nielsen, Hannah; Ezemenari, Kene
    Abstract: Rwanda is not on track to achieve most of the Millennium Development Goals at a time when hopes for scaled-up aid are mixed with concerns that, in the context of the global economic crisis, aid instead will be scaled down. This paper analyzes the effects of alternative scenarios for grant aid, government spending allocations (between infrastructure, agriculture, and human development), and government efficiency. The authors use an economy-wide model for development strategy analysis, Maquette for Millennium Development Goal Simulations. Under a plausible scenario for increased aid, annual growth in gross domestic product increases by as much as 0.6 percentage points relative to a baseline with a growth rate of 6 percent; by 2020, the headcount poverty rate declines to 32 percent, 3 percentage points lower than for the baseline. A plausible scenario for reduced aid leads to a symmetric growth reduction but a more pronounced increase in poverty, at 40 percent in 2020. When aid increases, the most positive growth and poverty reduction impacts occur if spending increases are allocated to infrastructure and agriculture; progress in human health and education is significant but weaker than if additional spending is focused on these areas. Given synergies and diminishing marginal returns from expansion in a limited area, the scenarios that may appear most attractive and politically feasible have a broad and balanced expansion across government functions, promoting both growth and human development.
    Keywords: Population Policies,Economic Theory&Research,,Debt Markets,Achieving Shared Growth
    Date: 2009–06–01
  7. By: Rajadel , Tania; Pontara, Nicola; Sanchez Puerta, Maria Laura
    Abstract: This paper provides a snapshot of Mauritania’s labor market using data from the 2004 national household survey. The results show that the labor market is characterized by lower participation rates, lower employment-to-population rates, and relatively higher unemployment rates than in neighboring countries. The non poor fare better in the labor market than the poor. Although the labor force participation of the poor is higher than that of the non poor, the poor display a higher unemployment rate and a lower employment rate than the non poor. The data also suggest a negative correlation between wage employment and poverty. Substantial differences in labor market indicators emerge when disaggregating the analysis by gender and age-group. Female non-participation is extremely high. Women systematically earn less than men independently of their sector and type of employment and controlling for other factors, such as education. Young adults face considerable difficulties in entering the labor market: more than half of the population aged 15-24 is neither studying nor participating in the labor force. As gender disparities remain important for similar levels of education, more work is needed to understand whether cultural factors may prevent women from entering the labor market. Concerning young adults, future poverty reduction strategies need to pay more explicit attention to the promotion of employment through informed labor market policies.
    Keywords: Labor Markets,Population Policies,Rural Poverty Reduction,Labor Policies,
    Date: 2009–06–01

This nep-afr issue is ©2009 by Quentin Wodon. 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.
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