nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2009‒07‒17
six papers chosen by
Quentin Wodon
World Bank

  1. Household Composition and Schooling of Rural South African Children: Sibling Synergy and Migrant Effects By Katy Cornwell; Brett Inder; Pushkar Maitra; Anu Rammohan
  2. The Successful Ghana Election of 2008: A Convenient Myth? Ethnicity in Ghana's elections revisited By Jockers, Heinz; Kohnert, Dirk; Nugent, Paul
  3. South Africa's post-apartheid two-step: social demands versus macro stability By Brahima Coulibaly; Trevon D. Logan
  4. "Promoting Gender Equality through Stimulus Packages and Public Job Creation-- Lessons Learned from South Africa’s Expanded Public Works Programme" By Rania Antonopoulos
  5. South Africa’s Provincial Equitable Share: An Assessment of Issues and Proposals for Reform By James Alm; Jorge Martinez-Vazquez
  6. Age and Gender Bias in Workloads During the Lifecycle: Evidence from Rural Ghana By Raquel Tsukada; Elydia Silva

  1. By: Katy Cornwell; Brett Inder; Pushkar Maitra; Anu Rammohan
    Abstract: In this paper we examine the demand for education among rural Black households in South Africa using nationally representative data from the 1990s. In particular our study focuses on factors affecting schooling decisions at the household level. Our estimation results reveal strong evidence of a sibling synergy effect, in that the presence of other school-age children in a household makes it more likely that a child will attend school. We also find that having working-age migrant adults improves educational participation and attainment of children. Our results point to strong gender effects, with the presence of female migrants increasing the likelihood of girls getting more education. Finally, our results show that pensions in the hands of the grandmother increases the probability of girls attending school, but has little effect on the schooling of boys.
    Keywords: Household composition, Schooling, Education Attainment, Sibling Synergy, Migrant Effects, South Africa
    JEL: O12 I21 C25
    Date: 2009–05
  2. By: Jockers, Heinz; Kohnert, Dirk; Nugent, Paul
    Abstract: Ghana’s 2008 elections have been hailed by national and international observers as a model for Africa. This perception has prevailed despite persistent concerns about 'ethnic block voting' and electoral fraud. Electoral malpractice and vote rigging along ethnic lines in Ghana's virtual two-party system could regain a decisive importance as a 'third force' which could tip the balance in future, possibly coming to represent an even more important factor than the smaller opposition parties. Unfortunate diplomatic and technocratic biases in election monitoring, combined with a reluctance on the part of the responsible authorities to investigate, in what appears to be a long history of fraudulent 'ethnic block voting', amounts to a dangerous time bomb of unresolved conflict which could explode in future elections.
    Keywords: elections; ethnicity; election observation; informal institutions; impunity; Ghana; Africa;
    JEL: Z1 N47 D72
    Date: 2009–06–01
  3. By: Brahima Coulibaly; Trevon D. Logan
    Abstract: During Apartheid, there was little need for redistributional policies or to borrow for public works since the vast majority of the population was underserved. With the arrival of a representative democracy in 1994, however, South Africa faced a unique problem--providing new and improved public services for the majority of its citizens while at the same time ensuring that filling this void would not undermine macroeconomic stability. Over the past fifteen years, policy makers have achieved macrostability, but progress on social needs has been below expectations and South Africa continues to lag behind its peers. This paper reviews the progress made so far and examines the challenges ahead for the upcoming administration. Our analysis suggest an increase in skill formation as a possible solution to the policy dilemma of fulfilling the outsized social demands while maintaining macrostability.
    Date: 2009
  4. By: Rania Antonopoulos
    Abstract: Beyond loss of income, joblessness is associated with greater poverty, marginalization, and social exclusion; the current global crisis is clearly not helping. In this new Public Policy Brief, Research Scholar Rania Antonopoulos explores the impact of both joblessness and employment expansion on poverty, paying particular attention to the gender aspects of poverty and poverty-reducing public employment schemes targeting poor women. The author presents the results of a Levy Institute study that examines the macroeconomic consequences of scaling up South Africa's Expanded Public Works Programme by adding to it a new sector for social service delivery in health and education. She notes that gaps in such services for households that cannot afford to pay for them are mostly filled by long hours of invisible, unpaid work performed by women and children. Her proposed employment creation program addresses several policy objectives: income and job generation, provisioning of communities' unmet needs, skill enhancement for a new cadre of workers, and promotion of gender equality by addressing the overtaxed time of women.
    Date: 2009–06
  5. By: James Alm (Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University); Jorge Martinez-Vazquez (International Studies Program. Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University)
    Abstract: The design of any system of transfers is a complex matter, and in practice very few countries are able to get it right, especially at the start of a process of decentralized system of finance. It is quite obvious that South Africa has made great strides in the design of its transfer system, primarily comprised of: an unconditional grant distributed by formula, the “Provincial Equitable Share” (PES); a system of conditional grants; and several other non-conditional transfers. In this report we focus exclusively on the analysis of the existing PES transfer and also on possible options for its reform. Our report consists of three main parts. We first summarize the main features of the PES. We then focus on what may be lacking with the current system. We finish with options for reform.
    Keywords: South Africa, provincial government, fiscal decentralziation, grants, Provincial Equitable Share (PES)
    Date: 2009–03–01
  6. By: Raquel Tsukada (International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth); Elydia Silva (International Poverty Centre)
    Abstract: This One Pager discusses how age and gender affect workloads during the lifecycle of women and men in rural Ghana. We argue that the division of labour seems to sustain gender-income differences and intergenerational poverty. The workload is disproportionately carried by women, while children enter the labour force prematurely and the elderly work beyond retirement.
    Keywords: Age and Gender Bias in Workloads During the Lifecycle: Evidence from Rural Ghana
    Date: 2009–07

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