nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2010‒02‒27
twenty-two papers chosen by
Quentin Wodon
World Bank

  1. Development Progress in sub-Saharan Africa: Lessons from Botswana, Ghana, Mauritius and South Africa By Naudé, Wim
  2. History Matters: The Long Term Impact of Colonial Public Investments in French West Africa. By Huillery, Elise
  3. Assessing the Incidence of Public Works Programmes: Using Propensity Score Matching Techniques to Assess the Poverty Targeting of Employment in Two Public Works Programmes in South Africa By Anna McCord; Kate Wilkinson
  4. The impact of roads on poverty reduction : a case study of Cameroon By Gachassin, Marie; Najman, Boris; Raballand, Gael
  5. Household responses to adverse income shocks: Pensioner out-migration and mortality in South Africa By Vimal Ranchhod
  6. Lazy Rotten Sons? Relatedness, gender and the intra-household allocation of work and leisure in South Africa By Martin Wittenberg
  7. A new approach to producing geographic profiles of HIV prevalence : an application to Malawi By Ivaschenko, Oleksiy; Lanjouw, Peter
  8. Who are the researchers that are collaborating with industry? An analysis of the wine sectors in Chile, South Africa and Italy By E. Giuliani; A. Morrison; C. Pietrobelli; R. Rabellotti
  9. Formal-informal economy linkages and unemployment in South Africa: By Davies, Rob; Thurlow, James
  10. West African Monetary Integration and Interstates Risk-Sharing By Sampawende Jules TAPSOBA
  11. Re-weighting the OHS and LFS National household Survey Data to create a consistent series over time: A Cross Entropy Estimation Approach By Nicola Branson
  12. Micro-level practices to adapt to climate change for African small-scale farmers: By Below, Till; Artner, Astrid; Siebert, Rosemarie; Sieber, Stefan
  13. Migration from the Northern Cape By Eldridge Moses; Derek Yu
  14. How Can Economic and Political Liberalisation Improve Financial Development in African Countries? By Enowbi Batuo, Michael; Kupukile, Mlambo
  15. UPE and Social Inequality in Uganda: A Step Backward or a Step in the Right Direction? By Tia L. Zuze; Murray Leibbrandt
  16. The impact of AIDS on intergenerational support in South Africa: Evidence from the Cape Area Panel Study By Cally Ardington; Anne Case; Mahnaz Islam; David Lam; Murray Leibbrandt; Alicia Menendez; Analia Olgiati
  17. Globalization, Institutions, Asset Endowments and Poverty Reduction Outcomes in Africa within the Context of the Financial Crisis: Establishing a Transmission Mechanisms By Epo, Boniface Ngah; Abiala, Mireille Ambiana; Miamo, Clovis Wendji; Choub, Péguy Christophe Faha
  18. Parental Loss and Schooling: Evidence from Metropolitan Cape Town By Cally Ardington; Murray Leibbrandt
  19. Agricultural growth, poverty, and nutrition in Tanzania: By Pauw, Karl; Thurlow, James
  20. Implications of avian flu for economic development in Kenya: By Thurlow, James
  21. Weighing the value of Asset Proxies: The case of the Body Mass Index in South Africa By Martin Wittenberg
  22. Internal migration and rural service provision in northern Ghana: By Wouterse, Fleur

  1. By: Naudé, Wim
    Abstract: Botswana, Ghana, Mauritius and South Africa are sub-Saharan African countries that stand out for their development progress. Each of these countries has succeeded against the odds, against expectations. This paper synthesizes the common ingredients of these countries’ success, and derives lessons. It concludes that smallness, landlockedness, tropical location, distance from world markets, racism, colonialism and other challenges can be overcome through appropriate institutions, governance and good economic policies.
    Keywords: sub-Saharan Africa, development, success, country role models
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Huillery, Elise (Département d'économie)
    Abstract: Cette publication n'a pas de résumé
    JEL: N37 O11 P16
    Date: 2009–04
  3. By: Anna McCord; Kate Wilkinson
    Abstract: This paper explores the socio-economic identity of Public Works Programme (PWP) participants in two programmes in South Africa, in order to establish the incidence of PWP participation, a question which is central to assessing the social protection impact of PWPs, but which is frequently omitted from programme analysis, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. The paper focuses on an analysis of the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of PWP participants. As in many PWPs, no baseline data on participants in these programme were collected. Therefore, it is not possible to ascertain a priori who the beneficiaries of the programmes are, a situation which fundamentally challenges any attempt to or to assess incidence or the social protection impact of such an intervention. The research interrogates the assumption that the 'less eligibility criteria' central to the design of PWPs (the work requirement and low wages) will lead to participation of the poorest, thereby reducing the likelihood of inclusion errors, attempting first to ascertain who the participants in the programmes are. The question is explored using survey data gathered in 2003 on two case study PWPs implemented simultaneously in South Africa, which adopt different design and targeting approaches. Programme incidence is then considered in relationship to targeting and programme objectives, and the conclusion drawn that in order for PWPs to reach the poorest in a given community, reliance on self targeting through the work requirement and a low wage is not adequate, and explicit targeting measures are needed during participant selection.
    Date: 2009–04
  4. By: Gachassin, Marie; Najman, Boris; Raballand, Gael
    Abstract: Many investments in infrastructure are built on the belief that they will ineluctably lead to poverty reduction and income generation. This has entailed massive aid-financed projects in roads in developing countries. However, the lack of robust evaluations and a comprehensive theoretical framework could raise questions about current strategies in Sub-Saharan Africa. Using the second Cameroonian national household survey (Enquete Camerounaise Aupres des Menages II, 2001) and the Cameroon case study, this paper demonstrates that investing uniformly in tarred roads in Africa is likely to have a much lower impact on poverty than expected. Isolation from a tarred road is found to have no direct impact on consumption expenditures in Cameroon. The only impact is an indirect one in the access to labor activities. This paper reasserts the fact that access to roads is only one factor contributing to poverty reduction (and not necessarily the most important in many cases). Considering that increase in non-farming activities is the main driver for poverty reduction in rural Africa, the results contribute to the idea that emphasis on road investments should be given to locations where non-farming activities could be developed, which does mean that the last mile in rural areas probably should not be a road.
    Keywords: Transport Economics Policy&Planning,Rural Poverty Reduction,Regional Economic Development,Achieving Shared Growth
    Date: 2010–02–01
  5. By: Vimal Ranchhod
    Abstract: How do poor households respond to the cessation of cash transfers in developing countries? South Africa's generous social pension system results in most of the poor elderly being the primary 'breadwinner' in the household. I estimate the magnitude of the changes in household composition and labour force activity amongst the resident members of the household, that correlate with a pensioner leaving the household. I use nationally representative matched panel data from several waves of the South African Labour Force Surveys. Compositional changes include the out-migration of school-aged children, and in-migration of middle aged females and older adults of either gender. More than 1 in 4 losing households get an additional older adult. For people who maintain their residency status across waves, I nd large and statistically signi cant increases in employment rates for middle aged females and males (9.3 and 8.1 percentage points in each case), as well as for older adult females and males (10.3 percentage points in each case). For middle aged adults, this is not accompanied by a corresponding increase in labour supply.
    Date: 2009–07
  6. By: Martin Wittenberg (School of Economics, University of Cape Town)
    Abstract: We investigate the balance between work (including home production), leisure and personal care (chiefly sleep) within South African households. We use the South African time use survey which enables us to obtain a better measure of the division of total labour (paid and unpaid) within South African households than previous studies have been able to. Furthermore we construct a measure of "genetic" relatedness between the respondent and other members of the household. We find that women that are more closely related to other household members do more work and enjoy less leisure than more peripheral individuals. Single men, by contrast, seem to do less work and enjoy more leisure if they are more closely related to other household members. Our findings are not compatible with the unitary model of the household. They suggest that men extract extra leisure because of the anticipated altruism shown by women.
    Date: 2009–01
  7. By: Ivaschenko, Oleksiy; Lanjouw, Peter
    Abstract: Sub-national estimates of HIV prevalence can inform the design of policy responses to the HIV epidemic. Such responses also benefit from a better understanding of the correlates of HIV status, including the association between HIV and geographical characteristics of localities. In recent years, several countries in Africa have implemented household surveys (such as Demographic and Health Surveys) that include HIV testing of the adult population, providing estimates of HIV prevalence rates at the sub-national level. These surveys are known to suffer from non-response bias, but are nonetheless thought to represent a marked improvement over alternatives such as sentinel surveys. At present, however, most countries are not in a position to regularly field such household surveys. This paper proposes a new approach to the estimation of HIV prevalence for relatively small geographic areas in settings where national population-based surveys of prevalence are not available. The proposed approach aims to overcome some of the difficulties with prevailing methods of deriving HIV prevalence estimates (at both national and sub-national levels) directly from sentinel surveys. The paper also outlines some of the limitations of the proposed approach.
    Keywords: Population Policies,Disease Control&Prevention,HIV AIDS,Gender and Health,Scientific Research&Science Parks
    Date: 2010–02–01
  8. By: E. Giuliani; A. Morrison; C. Pietrobelli; R. Rabellotti
    Date: 2010–01
  9. By: Davies, Rob; Thurlow, James
    Abstract: South Africa's high involuntary unemployment and small informal sector are attributed to an underperforming formal sector and barriers to entry in the informal sector. This paper examines the economywide linkages between the formal and informal economies while accounting for different types of informal activities. A multiregion empirically calibrated general equilibrium model is developed capturing both product and labor markets. Three policy options are considered. First, results indicate that trade liberalization reduces national employment. At the same time, it increases formal employment, hurts informal producers, and favors informal traders, who benefit from lower import prices. Past liberalization may, therefore, partly explain South Africa's small informal sector and its concentration among traders rather than producers. Second, wage subsidies on low-skilled formal workers increase national employment but hurt informal producers by heightening competition in domestic product markets. This suggests that it is insufficient to examine unemployment policies by focusing only on labor markets. Third, unconditional cash transfers stimulate demand for informally produced products, thereby raising informal employment without undermining formal producers. The transfer does, however, place a large fiscal burden on the state and is less effective at reducing national unemployment than a wage subsidy. Overall, these findings underline the importance of distinguishing between the formal and informal sector implications of socioeconomic policies.
    Keywords: informal economy, involuntary unemployment, formal economy, labor markets, trade liberalization, national employment, Cash transfers, wage subsidy, Computable general equilibrium (CGE) modeling, Development strategies,
    Date: 2009
  10. By: Sampawende Jules TAPSOBA (Ministère de l'Economie et des Finances [France])
    Abstract: There are continuing efforts at the monetary integration and unionization in West Africa. Several academics argue that a monetary union among West African states would be costly because of the magnitude of asymmetric shocks. A common monetary policy is inappropriate and ineffective to respond to divergent shocks. Therefore, the stability of such a union is critically dependent on risk-sharing mechanisms for achieving income insurance and consumption smoothing. A monetary union is still optimal if output stabilization mechanisms such as risk-sharing institutions, are in place to cope with asymmetric shocks. This article estimates risk-sharing channels among West African states from 1970 to 2004. It uses the definition of national accounts to measure the fraction of asymmetric output shocks smoothed via net factors income, net transfers and net saving. We find that compared to the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) estimates, the degree of risk-sharing among West African countries is quite low. We also obtain that net saving is the significant and stable risk-sharing channel. A further analysis shows that only the contribution of public saving is significant.
    Keywords: Asymmetric shocks, Interstates Risk-sharing, West Africa
    Date: 2010
  11. By: Nicola Branson
    Abstract: In the absence of South African longitudinal data for the ten years post apartheid, national cross-sectional household survey data is frequently used to analyse change over time. When these data are stacked side-by-side however, they reveal inconsistencies both in trends across time and between the household and person level data. These inconsistencies can introduce biases into research which analyse change. This study calculates a new set of person and household weights for the October Household Surveys between 1995 and 1999 and the Labour Force Surveys between 2000 and 2004. A cross entropy estimation approach is used. This approach is favoured because the calculated weights are similar to the initial sample weights (and hence retain the survey design benefits) while simultaneously being consistent with aggregate auxiliary data. A consistent series of aggregates from the Actuarial Society of South Africa (ASSA) model and the 1996 and 2001 South African Census data are used as benchmarks. The new weights result in consistent demographic and geographic trends over time and greater consistency between person and household level data.
    Date: 2009–09
  12. By: Below, Till; Artner, Astrid; Siebert, Rosemarie; Sieber, Stefan
    Abstract: This paper discusses micro-level practices for adapting to climate change that are available to small-scale farmers in Africa. The analysis is based on a review of 17 studies about practices that boost small-scale farmers' resilience or reduce their vulnerability to observed or expected changes in climate; it includes data from more than 16 countries in Africa, the Americas, Europe, and Asia. The review shows that African smallholders are already using a wide variety of creative practices to deal with climate risks; these can be further adjusted to the challenge of climate change by planned adaptation programs. We found 104 different practices relevant to climate change adaptation and organized them in five categories: farm management and technology; farm financial management; diversification on and beyond the farm; government interventions in infrastructure, health, and risk reduction; and knowledge management, networks, and governance. We conclude that adaptation policies should complement farmers' autonomous response to climate change through the development of new drought-resistant varieties and improved weather forecasts, the provision of financial services, improvement of rural transportation infrastructure, investments in public healthcare and public welfare programs, and policies that improve local governance and coordinate donor activities.
    Keywords: Climate change, adaptation practices, content analysis, Small-scale farmers, climate risks, Farm management, diversification, risk reduction, government interventions, public welfare programs
    Date: 2010
  13. By: Eldridge Moses; Derek Yu
    Abstract: In South Africa, the causes of migration and its impact on society first became entrenched, institutionalised and studied in the latter decades of the 19th Century as mining activity catapulted the country onto the world economic stage. As South Africa evolved into a more modern, capitalist society and agriculture became a less attractive employment option due to a period of crisis at the end of the 1800s, various population groups started migrating towards urban centres. Rural Afrikaners who had been displaced from their land and Black labour migrants constituted the bulk of migrants to urban centres. These population sub-groups were quite different in the motivations and outcomes of their migration, with many of the rural Afrikaners being absorbed into state employment while Black movers were mostly labour migrants.
    Date: 2009–06
  14. By: Enowbi Batuo, Michael; Kupukile, Mlambo
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is to study the interactions between economic liberalisation, political liberalisation and financial development in African countries. More specifically, we seek to establish the impact of economic, political and institutional openness on financial deepening. The empirical approach will be two-step procedure, first using a difference in difference method to show the various aspect of financial liberalisation on economic and political freedom while the second step will be using panel data techniques from period 1990 to 2005. The estimation results can be summarised as the following, first, Economic and financial liberalisation did account significantly for the financial development performance. While political stability show a positive overall effect on financial development, the association with Political freedom is consistent only after controlling the endogeneity of Political freedom on financial development. This result indicates that the transformation of the political and economic environment has improved the performance of the financial sector.
    Keywords: Political Liberalisation; Economic Liberalisation; Financial Development and Africa
    JEL: O55 G2 O17 C23 O16 C21
    Date: 2009–10
  15. By: Tia L. Zuze; Murray Leibbrandt (SALDRU, University of Cape Town)
    Abstract: It is widely agreed that studying the relationship between school quality and academic achievement will benefit public investment in education. This is particularly true in Africa where, the 1990 World Conference on ‘Education for All’ led to renewed commitments to quality basic education. At this time, Uganda implemented a set of public reforms that were designed to increase educational opportunities in poor communities. This paper uses data from the second wave of a cross-national survey of schools in Southern and Eastern Africa to assess some dimensions of these Ugandan reforms. Hierarchical linear models are estimated to investigate which schools most effectively ensure a meaningful educational experience for children who face economic and social hardships. Contrary to earlier studies in developing countries, the positive relationship between socioeconomic status and student performance is striking and significant. In line with the school effectiveness theory, resource availability proves to be consistently related to educational quality and its equitable distribution in Uganda.
    Date: 2009–09
  16. By: Cally Ardington (SALDRU, University of Cape Town); Anne Case; Mahnaz Islam; David Lam; Murray Leibbrandt (SALDRU, University of Cape Town); Alicia Menendez; Analia Olgiati
    Abstract: We use panel data collected in metropolitan Cape Town to document the role played by aging parents in caring for the children of children who die. In addition, we quantify the probabilities that older adults and the older adults' children provide financial support to orphaned grandchildren. We find significant transfers of public and private funds to older adults in households with orphans. Perhaps for this reason, we see no difference in expenditure patterns between households with orphans and other older adult households. With respect to older adults' quality of life, we find no effect of reporting that a child died, or of co-residence with orphaned grandchildren, on the older adults' reports of depression, or on their self-assessed health.
    Date: 2009–02
  17. By: Epo, Boniface Ngah; Abiala, Mireille Ambiana; Miamo, Clovis Wendji; Choub, Péguy Christophe Faha
    Abstract: This paper sets to establish a transmission mechanism linking globalization, institutional setups, asset endowments and poverty reduction outcomes in Africa within the context of the current financial crisis. Identifying different sub channel circuits as well as the complex and indirect linkage observed between globalization and poverty, we note diver’s impact of the various factors on welfare enhancement and poverty reduction. Establishing a framework that teases out these channels, policy wise we identify that: government should: consolidate macro and micro institutions that act as safe nets to forces of globalization during crisis periods, consolidate and enhance asset accumulation of the poor and rural population during the crisis period, strengthen fragile industries, empower human capital, etc in view of reducing poverty and consolidating development during crisis situations.
    Keywords: Globalization, institutional setup, asset endowment, Poverty Reduction
    JEL: F42
    Date: 2010–01
  18. By: Cally Ardington (SALDRU, School of Economics, University of Cape Town); Murray Leibbrandt (SALDRU, School of Economics, University of Cape Town)
    Abstract: This paper makes use of the Cape Area Panel study (CAPS), a longitudinal study of youth and their families in metropolitan Cape Town in order to broaden the empirical body of evidence of the causal impact of parental death on children’s schooling in South Africa in two dimensions. First, analysis of CAPS allows us to examine the extent to which results may generalize across geographically and socioeconomically distinct areas. Second, CAPS allows for an explicit exploration of whether the causal impact lessens as time since the parental death lengthens. Evidence from the CAPS is consistent with that from a large demographic surveillance site in rural KwaZulu-Natal in supporting the findings that mother’s deaths have a causal impact on children’s schooling outcomes and that there is no evidence of a causal effect of paternal loss on schooling for African children. The loss of a father has a significant negative impact on the education of coloured children but a significant amount of this impact is driven by socioeconomic status. We exploit the longitudinal data to investigate the extent to which orphan disadvantage precedes parental death and whether orphans begin to recover in the period following a parent’s death or whether they continue to fall behind. We find no evidence of orphan recovery in the period following their parent’s death and results suggest that negative impacts increase with the time since the parent died. The longer-run impact of parental death in childhood is also evident in an analysis of the completion of secondary schooling by early adulthood. These results suggest that parental death will reduce the ultimate human capital attainment of the child.
    Date: 2009–11
  19. By: Pauw, Karl; Thurlow, James
    Abstract: Rapid economic growth has failed to significantly improve poverty and nutrition outcomes in Tanzania. This raises concerns over a decoupling of growth, poverty, and nutrition. We link recent production trends to household incomes using a regionalized, dynamic computable general equilibrium and microsimulation model. Results indicate that the structure of economic growth—not the level—is currently constraining the rate of poverty reduction in Tanzania. Most importantly, agricultural growth trends have been driven by larger-scale farmers and by crops grown in only a few regions of the country. The slow expansion of food crops and livestock also explains the weak relationship between agricultural growth and nutrition outcomes. Additional model simulations find that accelerating agricultural growth, particularly in maize, greatly strengthens the growth–poverty relationship and enhances households' caloric availability. We conclude that low productivity, market constraints (including downstream agroprocessing), and barriers to import substitution for major food crops are among the more binding constraints to reducing poverty and improving nutrition in Tanzania.
    Keywords: economic growth, Poverty, Nutrition, household incomes, Computable general equilibrium (CGE) modeling, Agricultural growth, Microsimulation model, livestock, Food crops, low productivity, market constraints, Development strategies,
    Date: 2010
  20. By: Thurlow, James
    Abstract: Kenya is vulnerable to avian flu given its position along migratory bird routes and proximity to other high-risk countries. This raises concerns about the effect an outbreak could have on economic development. We use a dynamic computable general equilibrium model of Kenya to simulate potential outbreaks of different severities, durations, and geographic spreads. Results indicate that even a severe outbreak does not greatly reduce economic growth. It does, however, significantly worsen poverty, because poultry is an important income source for poor farmers and a major food item in consumers' baskets. Avian flu therefore does pose a threat to future development in Kenya. Reducing the duration and geographic spread of an outbreak is found to substantially lower economic losses. However, losses are still incurred when poultry demand falls, even without a confirmed outbreak but only the threat of an outbreak. Our findings support monitoring poultry production and trade, responding rapidly to possible infections, and improving both farmers' and consumers' awareness of avian flu.
    Keywords: Avian influenza Developing countries, avian flu, economic growth, Poverty, Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model, Development strategies,
    Date: 2010
  21. By: Martin Wittenberg (School of Economics, University of Cape Town)
    Abstract: There are many household surveys, e.g. the Demographic and Health Surveys, that carry a wealth of useful information but in which information of interest to economists, chiefly or missing altogether. In many of these surveys, however, there are questions about asset ownership. These might be used to proxy for income. Indeed some authors have suggested that asset-based measures of wellbeing may even be better than income or expenditure-based ones, since they may reflect of the household better. They may also be more accurately measured (Filmer and Pritchett 2001, Sahn and Stifel 2003). This is a joint SALDRU/DataFirst Working paper as part of the Mellon Data Quality Project. For more information about the project visit
    Date: 2009–09
  22. By: Wouterse, Fleur
    Abstract: This paper uses a two-stage conditional maximum likelihood procedure and new data from Ghana to identify the determinants of rural-urban migration at the individual, household and community levels, with a particular focus on rural services. The econometric evidence supports the theoretical expectation that human-capital and network variables as well as assets are important determinants of migration. Taking the possible endogeneity of rural services into account, the evidence suggests that rural service improvements aimed at reducing economic isolation can enhance labor mobility and free up on-farm labor for migration by lowering transaction costs.
    Keywords: Rural-urban migration, rural services, Development strategies,
    Date: 2010

This nep-afr issue is ©2010 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.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.