nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2010‒09‒18
eight papers chosen by
Quentin Wodon
World Bank

  1. Management of Stock Price and it Effect on Economic Growth: Case study of West African Financial Markets By Drama, Bedi Guy Herve; Yao, Shen
  2. Simulating the Impact of the Global Economic Crisis and Policy. Responses on Children in West and Central Africa By John Cockburn; Ismaël Fofana; Luca Tiberti
  3. Left Behind: Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital in the Midst of HIV/AIDS By Akbulut-Yuksel, Mevlude; Turan, Belgi
  4. The Determinants Of the Technical Efficiency of Cotton Farmers in Northern Cameroon By Neba, Cletus; Ngassam, Sylvain; Nzomo, Joseph
  5. Social Assistance in Developing Countries Database Version 5.0 By Barrientos, Armando; Nino-Zarazua, Miguel
  6. A short review on the ‘Phiri Water Rights’ By Sahoo, Ganeswar
  7. Microeconomic consequences and macroeconomic causes of foreign direct investment in southern African economies By Lederman, Daniel; Mengistae, Taye; Xu, Lixin Colin
  8. Does respondent reticence affect the results of corruption surveys ? evidence from the world bank enterprise survey for Nigeria By Clausen, Bianca; Kraay, Aart; Murrell, Peter

  1. By: Drama, Bedi Guy Herve; Yao, Shen
    Abstract: Abstract This paper investigates the statistical properties of stock returns in the West African regional stock market and the link between the West African regional stock market and economic growth. To examine the nature of the distribution of West African regional stock returns, the daily closing prices of the two stock index of West African regional stock market, and eighteen of it sub-indices were utilized. Nine years data from 1998 to 2007 interval were employed. The analysis of our study shows that the distribution of the West African regional stock market returns is non-normal and non-i.i.d (independent, identically and normally distributed). The linear and non-linear dependencies in the returns appeared to be the main reasons for the data being non-i.i.d. The study also demonstrates the presence of the day-of-the-week effect in West African regional stock market.
    Keywords: Key words: West Africa regional stock markets; day of the week effects; growth.
    JEL: G15
    Date: 2010–09–10
  2. By: John Cockburn; Ismaël Fofana; Luca Tiberti
    Abstract: The current global financial and economic crisis, which exacerbates the impacts of the energy and food crises that immediately preceded it, has spread to the developing countries endangering recent gains in terms of economic growth and poverty reduction. The effects of the crisis are likely to vary substantially between countries and between individuals within the same country. Children are among the most vulnerable population, particularly in a period of crisis. Especially in least developed countries, where social safety nets programs are missing or poorly performing and public fiscal space is extremely limited, households with few economic opportunities are at a higher risk of falling into (monetary) poverty, suffering from hunger, removing children from school and into work, and losing access to health services. This study simulates the impacts of the global economic crisis and alternative policy responses on different dimensions of child welfare in Western and Central Africa (WCA) over the period 2009-2011. It is based on country studies for Burkina Faso, Cameroon, and Ghana, which broadly represent the diversity of economic conditions in WCA countries. In order to capture the complex macro-economic effects of the crisis and the various policy responses – on trade, investment, remittances, aid flows, goods and factor markets – and to then trace their consequences in terms of child welfare – monetary poverty, hunger (caloric poverty), school participation, child labour, and access to health services – a combination of macro- and micro-analysis was adopted. The simulations suggest that the strongest effects are registered in terms of monetary poverty and hunger, although large differences between countries emerge. More moderate impacts are predicted in terms of school participation, child labour, and access to health care, although these are still significant and require urgent policy responses. Specifically, Ghana is the country where children are predicted to suffer the most in terms of monetary poverty and hunger, while Burkina Faso is where the largest deteriorations in schooling, child labour and access to health services are simulated. Among the policy responses examined to counteract the negative effects of the crisis on child well-being, a targeted cash transfer to predicted poor children is by far the most effective program. A comparison between a universal and targeted approach is also presented.
    Keywords: Global economic crisis, child poverty, hunger, education, child labour, health, West and Central Africa, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Ghana, social protection
    JEL: D58 H31 I18 I21 I32
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Akbulut-Yuksel, Mevlude (Dalhousie University); Turan, Belgi (University of Houston)
    Abstract: This paper provides evidence on how adverse health conditions affect the transfer of human capital from one generation to the next. We explore the differential exposure to HIV/AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa as a substantial health shock to both household and community environment. We utilize the recent rounds of the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) for 11 countries in sub-Saharan Africa that provide information on mother’s HIV status and enable us to link mothers and their children. The data also allow us to distinguish between two separate channels that are likely to differentially affect the intergenerational transfers: mother’s HIV status and community HIV prevalence. First, we find that mothers transfer 37% of their human capital to their children in the developing economies in sub-Saharan Africa. Second, our results show that mother's HIV status has large detrimental effect on inheritability of human capital. HIV-infected mothers are 30% less likely to transfer their human capital to their children. Finally, focusing only on non-infected mothers and their children, we find that HIV prevalence in the community also significantly impairs the intergenerational human capital transfers even if mother is HIV negative. The findings of this paper is particularly distressing for these already poor, HIV-torn countries as in the future they will have even lower overall level of human capital due to the epidemic.
    Keywords: HIV/AIDS, intergenerational transmission, human capital investment
    JEL: O12 I1 I2
    Date: 2010–09
  4. By: Neba, Cletus; Ngassam, Sylvain; Nzomo, Joseph
    Abstract: This paper, seeks to evaluate the technical efficiency of cotton farms in the northern part of Cameroon through the use of a parametric production frontier. The evaluation approach used is a stochastic type which shows that in spite of the fact that cotton yields in Cameroon are amongst the highest in sub-Saharan Africa, efficiency indexes are still as low as 60% in average. Having had a diagnosis overview aimed at identifying the determinant of technical efficiency with the use of a regression function, the main findings show that the characteristics of the producer as well as environmental factors all influence technical efficiency.
    Keywords: technical efficiency; cotton farms; northern Cameroon
    JEL: D24 Q12
    Date: 2010–06–16
  5. By: Barrientos, Armando; Nino-Zarazua, Miguel
    Abstract: In this new version of the database we have included pilot social assistance programmes. A number of pilot cash transfer programmes have been introduced in Latin America, Asia and Africa in the last year or so, and a few more are in the design stage. Their scale and rationale suggest there is a good chance they will be scaled up in the near future. In theory, pilot social protection programmes should imply experimentation in the face of uncertainty regarding the way forward, but several of the pilots covered in the database, and many of those in the pipeline, represent instead a specific route to the extension of social protection, and as such they merit discussion. The main purpose of this brief note is to provide such discussion, and illuminate on this specific mode of development of social protection in developing countries. In Sub-Saharan Africa, there are pilot cash transfers schemes in place in Kenya, Malawi, Ghana and Zambia; and in the implementation stage in Nigeria, Liberia, Uganda, and Tanzania. In Latin America, pilot programmes have been rolled out in Paraguay, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Argentina, and the Dominican Republic. In South Asia, ’s Challenging the Frontiers of Poverty Reduction - Targeting the Ultra Poor programme is in fact a pilot programme, as as is Pakistan’s Child Support programme. Why the high number of pilots? In the context of technocratic models of policy making, pilot programmes would make a great deal of sense if policy makers are uncertain of the feasibility and likely impact effectiveness of interventions. Before introducing innovative, complex, and costly interventions, sensible policy makers would recommend testing the interventions in a small scale experiment. Knowledge from the delivery and impact of the interventions could then inform the desirability and design of a scaled up programme. There is a sense in which the social protection pilot programmes referred to above, and described in the database, do not fit fully into this description. We have accumulated a large body of evidence and knowledge about the design, delivery, and impact of cash transfer schemes in Latin America to be reasonably confident that, adequately designed, they can achieve their short term objectives. Why is further testing necessary? The strongest available evidence on cash transfer programmes comes from middle income countries in Latin America, Mexico’s Progresa/Oportunidades, and to a lesser extent Brazil’s Bolsa Escola/Familia. Naturally, questions remain over whether similar programmes can work in other environments. Would cash transfer schemes work in Africa? Would they work in low income countries in Latin America? Low income countries have higher incidence of poverty; lower capacity in terms of designing, delivering, and evaluating transfers schemes; and less developed administrative and financial systems. It makes sense to check whether cash transfers are appropriate and effective in these, more adverse, environments. Even then, fewer pilots would still deliver answers to our questions. We know from the Zambia Kalomo Social Transfer Pilot Scheme that cash transfers are feasible and effective in low income countries, providing that technical support is available and community selection of beneficiaries is feasible. The spread of pilot social assistance schemes is also explained by domestic policy processes and funding modalities. In countries where policy makers, and perhaps civil society, are reluctant to innovate, pilots provide an opportunity to enable learning from new approaches to poverty and vulnerability. It also provides a well defined time frame in which donors could use existing funding modalities to support the extension of social protection. DFID, for example, is committed to shifting focus from emergency aid to regular forms of support in Africa. In Latin America, IADB support for social protection initiatives normally extends for periods of up to five years. Given the time frame of available international aid , the expectations are that pilot schemes could be instrumental in building learning and support for social protection among domestic policy makers, that they would have strong ‘demonstration effects’. Risks and opportunities There are significant risks with this strategy, and even more significant opportunities. The risks are to do with pilots failing to generate the expected ‘demonstration effects’, and with changes in international economic conditions that shift attention to other problems. The opportunities could potentially be very significant, successful pilot transfer schemes could mark the beginnings of a process leading to the implementation of effective anti-poverty programmes at a scale capable of making a large dent on global poverty. Paying attention to the design of pilots and to associated policy processes could help minimise these risks and maximise opportunities. Designing pilot social assistance programmes as if they are a first phase of a fully scaled up programme is essential. This involves avoiding short cuts in the pilot stage, and making the necessary investment in information systems, delivery institutions, and beneficiary selection. These set up costs can be substantial. Process considerations are important in ensuring the pilots are part of national social protection strategies, and involve a wide range of stakeholders. It is vitally important that pilots achieve a good balance of design and process considerations. As much else in development policy, pilot social transfers are as much about politics as they are about the economic and technical issues of poverty reduction.
    Keywords: Social Protection; developing countries; Conditional Cash Transfers; Social Pensions; Workfare Programmes; database
    JEL: H55 I3 I38 H5 H53
    Date: 2010–07
  6. By: Sahoo, Ganeswar
    Abstract: Nothing is free in this free world. As public good is concerned, water is often termed as a ‘common good’ instead of a public good. In economics, water is an economic good and not a free good. To a layman, water is his/her basic human right and it cannot be deprived at any cost. This paper reviews some debates regarding rights to water in Phiri in the post-apartheid South Africa. In this brief review, I find on one side, the international trends towards cost-recovery and commercialization of water through privatization, or corporatization, or governmental policy, and other hand, the struggles of poor households to this social injustice. The main debate heads towards two synonymous words ‘sustainable development’ (social welfare without negative impact on future generations) and ‘social justice’ (social welfare at current age). The main theme of this water battle is the installation of prepaid water meters that lead to the constitutional challenge of the basic human right of the masses.
    Keywords: Phiri; water rights
    JEL: Z10
    Date: 2010–11
  7. By: Lederman, Daniel; Mengistae, Taye; Xu, Lixin Colin
    Abstract: The causes and consequences of foreign direct investment in developing countries remain a subject of debate among researchers and policymakers alike. The authors use international data and a new micro-data set of firms in 13 Southern African developing countries to investigate the benefits and determinants of foreign direct investment in this region. Foreign direct investment appears to have facilitated local development in the region. Foreign firms tend to perform better than domestic firms, tend to be larger, are located in richer and better-governed countries and in countries with more competitive financial intermediaries, and are more likely to export than domestic firms. They also exhibit positive spillover effects to domestic firms. Relying on a standard model to predict the country-level inflows of foreign direct investment per capita, the authors find that Southern African developing countries are attracting the expected level of inflows, at least relative to their income level, human capital, demographic structure, institutions, and economic track record. There are some differences between Southern African developing countries and the rest of the world in foreign direct investment behavior: in Southern African developing countries, the income level is less important and openness more so. The authors use two comparison groups to compare with the region to shed light on why other regions have attracted more foreign direct investment per capita than Southern African developing countries. The factors that explain the region's low inflows of foreign direct investment are economic fundamentals (previous growth rates, average income, phone density, and adult share of the population).
    Keywords: Emerging Markets,Economic Theory&Research,Investment and Investment Climate,Debt Markets,Foreign Direct Investment
    Date: 2010–09–01
  8. By: Clausen, Bianca; Kraay, Aart; Murrell, Peter
    Abstract: A potential concern with survey-based data on corruption is that respondents may not be fully candid in their responses to sensitive questions. If reticent respondents are less likely to admit to involvement in corrupt acts, and if the proportion of reticent respondents varies across groups of interest, comparisons of reported corruption across those groups can be misleading. This paper implements a variant on random response techniques that allows for identification of reticent respondents in the World Bank’s Enterprise Survey for Nigeria fielded in 2008 and 2009. The authors find that 13.1 percent of respondents are highly likely to be reticent, and that these reticent respondents admit to sensitive acts at a significantly lower rate than possibly candid respondents when survey questions are worded in a way that implies personal wrongdoing on the part of the respondent.
    Keywords: Public Sector Corruption&Anticorruption Measures,E-Business,Social Analysis,Social Accountability,Bankruptcy and Resolution of Financial Distress
    Date: 2010–09–01

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