nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2009‒08‒16
eight papers chosen by
Quentin Wodon
World Bank

  1. Social Cash Transfers in Zambia: What Is Their Impact? By Gelson Tembo; Nicholas Freeland
  2. Equity in Private Health Insurance Coverage in South Africa: 2002-2007 By Steven F. Koch
  3. Growth Effects of Globalization in the Low Income African Countries: A Systems GMM Panel Data Approach By Rao, B. Bhaskara; Vadlamannati, Krishna Chaitanya
  4. Determinants of Crop Income in Rural Mozambique, 2002-2005 By David Mather
  5. Understanding the Efficiency and Effectiveness of the Dispute Resolution System in South Africa:An Analysis of CCMA Data By Haroon Bhorat; Kalie Pauw; Liberty Mncube
  6. Is Mozambican Growth Sustainable? A Comprehensive Wealth Accounting Prospect By Timothée, Ollivier
  7. Impact of Digital Revolution on the Structure of Nigerian Banks By Agboola, A. A.; Yinusa, D.O.; Ologunde, A.O.
  8. The usefulness of aggregate sustainability indicators for policy making: What do they say for Madagascar? By Ollivier, TO

  1. By: Gelson Tembo (University of Zambia); Nicholas Freeland (MASDAR International Consultants, United Kingdom)
    Abstract: Social cash transfers (SCTs) have become increasingly popular in Sub-Saharan Africa, because growth-centred development policies have failed to reduce poverty. SCTs support the consumption of the poorest, and allow them to invest in human and other forms of capital that reduce the intergenerational transmission of poverty. (...)
    Keywords: Social Cash Transfers in Zambia: What Is Their Impact?
    Date: 2009–08
  2. By: Steven F. Koch (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria)
    Abstract: South Africa, which allowed complete suffrage in 1994, for the first time, has committed itself to improved health outcomes through equitable economic and social development. However, South Africa fares poorly in the World Health Organization’s ranking of health system performance, while spending a large proportion of its Gross Domestic Product on health care, suggesting that inequities in health opportunities and outcomes remain. This paper reports on medical aid scheme coverage rates estimated from a series of nationally representative surveys undertaken in South Africa by Statistics South Africa between 2002 and 2007. The individual’s age group, population group and gender were all used to assess coverage to examine inequalities in health care opportunities. The estimates show that coverage rates are quite low, and differ by age group, population group and gender. Despite government efforts to improve health outcomes for the previously disadvantaged population groups, medical aid access for the most disadvantaged, under apartheid, have not improved over the analyzed time period. The study provides important information related to equitable health care financing, noting that a universal national health insurance plan would need to cover an extremely large proportion of the population, as well as the failure, heretofore, of equalizing access to medical aid schemes across population groups in South Africa.
    Keywords: Medical Schemes, General Household Survey
    Date: 2009–08
  3. By: Rao, B. Bhaskara; Vadlamannati, Krishna Chaitanya
    Abstract: The relationship between globalization and economic growth in the developing countries remains controversial. Liberals argue that globalization will lead to higher economic growth and prosperity. Skeptics contend the opposite, where globalization processes might lead to increased inequality and lower economic growth. Previous studies have examined this issue with single indicators such as trade openness or foreign direct investment (FDI) or aid etc. In this study we make use of a comprehensive measure of globalization developed by Dreher (2006), which measures globalization along three important dimensions viz., economic, political, and social fields to assess the pros and cons of globalization. Our panel data results with a systems based GMM (SGMM) method show a small but significant positive association between globalization and economic growth for a panel of 21 low income African countries for the period 1970 – 2005.
    Keywords: : Globalization; Economic growth; Solow model; Africa
    JEL: O11 O10
    Date: 2009–08–04
  4. By: David Mather
    Abstract: Crop income is the predominant source of income for most rural zambican households, accounting for 73% of rural household income on average in 2002, and greater than 80% of the total income of the poorest 40% of rural households. While the Government of Mozambique recognizes the need to improve agricultural productivity, there is little empirical evidence to date suggesting what mix of public and private investments would best foster improved agricultural productivity in rural Mozambique. This paper aims to better understand the determinants of household crop income in rural Mozambique, by using the TIA panel household survey of 2002-2005 to measure the impact of various private and public assets on crop income. We build upon Walker et al.’s (2004) analysis of TIA02 crop income by utilizing the econometric advantages of panel econometrics to obtain improved estimates of the impact of various private and public assets on crop income. Our principal focus is to measure the effect on total household net crop income of factors which are assumed to have a positive effect on crop productivity and profitability, including: private assets such as landholding; household use of improved inputs (fertilizer, animal traction) and diversification into tobacco or cotton; and access to public goods such as extension advice, market price information, and farm association membership.
    Keywords: income, mozabique, africa, food security
    JEL: D33
    Date: 2009–07
  5. By: Haroon Bhorat; Kalie Pauw; Liberty Mncube (Development Policy Research Unit; Director and Professor)
    Abstract: This paper, while broadly located within reforming the labour market policy debate, is specifically focused on one aspect of the labour regulatory regime, namely the dispute resolution system. Hence, we attempt to understand the efficiency and effectiveness of the country’s institutionalised dispute resolution body, the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). A better and more informed understanding of the nature of dispute resolution and its determinants, it would seem, remains central to any detailed debate regarding labour market institutions in particular and labour market regulation in general. Ultimately then, the study intends to empirically verify the patterns of dispute referral, settlement and determination regionally, sectorally and historically. It should be noted at the outset that this paper, possibly for the first time for South Africa, provides a detailed economic and econometric analysis and interpretation of dispute resolution in the post-apartheid period.
    Keywords: South Africa: labour regulation, Labour Regulatory Environment, Dispute resolution, CCMA
    JEL: A1
    Date: 2009–05
  6. By: Timothée, Ollivier
    Abstract: We estimate the wealth of Mozambique in 2000 and 2005 in order to assess the sustainability of its development path. Our methodology builds on Arrow et al. (2007). We show that Mozambican growth is driven mainly by human and physical capital accumulation, while the pressure on natural capital remains low. Moreover, changes in knowledge and institutions significantly enhance the outcome of the different capital assets while population growth has a strong downward effect on wealth per capita. In the end, we conclude that Mozambique, unlike many other sub-Saharan countries, followed a sustainable growth path in recent times.
    Keywords: natural capital; sustainable development; Mozambique; comprehensive wealth accounting
    JEL: Q56 E01 Q01 E21
    Date: 2009–07
  7. By: Agboola, A. A.; Yinusa, D.O.; Ologunde, A.O.
    Abstract: The study examined the extent to which digital revolution has affected the organizational structure of Nigerian banks. Twenty-five banks were selected for the study in south-western Nigeria. Interview was conducted for middle and top level managers and questionnaire was developed and administered to the other staff using a five-point Likert scale to determine the attitudes and opinions of the staff on the effects of digital revolution on the organizational structure of the banks. The mean was used as an indicator of central tendency for quantitative variables that have frequency distributions in the study. The study found that standard operating procedures, politics, culture, surrounding environment and management decisions were all affected by digital revolution. It affected the organizational balance of rights, privileges, obligations, responsibilities, and feelings that have been established over a long period of time. The revolution brought structural changes in the line and unit of command, the principles of span of control, unity of command, and scalar principle of graded chain of superiors in the studied banks. It encouraged flat organizations as decision making became more decentralized. It also altered the required skill and increased the perceived advantage of workers with computer engineering background. Authority relied on knowledge and competence and not on mere formal position The study concluded that digital revolution has changed the course of history in the banking industry leaving far reaching effects and implications on both the organizational and industrial structure. It is imperative for banks and their staff to effect proper restructuring that will facilitate optimal utilization of the benefits provided by the revolution.
    Keywords: Digital Revolution; ICT; e-Commerce; Organizational Structure; Nigerian Banks
    JEL: L81 L89 L22
    Date: 2009–07–28
  8. By: Ollivier, TO
    Abstract: In this paper we compare the practical policy implications that can be derived from the calculation of three aggregate sustainability indicators for Madagascar. The chosen indicators are: the Adjusted Net Saving, the Genuine Progress Indicator, and the Ecological Footprint. Our results are twofold. First, these indicators provide very different messages regarding the sustainability of Madagascar’s recent development. The first one indicates a development path that is not sustainable, whereas the latter two do not indicate anything to be alarmed about. Second, they yield a set of widely diverse policy implications which we do not see as complementary. The Ecological Footprint provides policy recommendations that are too general for poor countries rich in natural resources, such as Madagascar. The Genuine Progress Indicator highlights several social issues but its interpretation in terms of sustainability remains ambiguous as it is a mix between a present welfare and a sustainability indicator. In the end, we consider that the Adjusted Net Saving provides the most consistent information to decision makers regarding the sustainability of Madagascar’s recent development path.
    Keywords: Sustainable Development; Madagascar; Ecological Footprint; Adjusted Net Saving; Genuine Progress Indicator
    JEL: Q56 Q01
    Date: 2009–07–15

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