nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2011‒06‒18
eight papers chosen by
Quentin Wodon
World Bank

  1. Do Religious Factors Impact Armed Conflict? Empirical Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa By Matthias Basedau; Georg Strüver; Johannes Vüllers; Tim Wegenast
  2. Agricultural Productivity and Policies in Sub-Saharan Africa By Yu, Bingxin; Nin-Pratt, Alejandro
  3. The impact of trade preferences on exports of developing countries: the case of the AGOA and CBI preferences of the USA By Cooke, Edgar F A
  4. Do Migrants Improve Governance at Home? Evidence from a Voting Experiment By Catia Batista; Pedro C. Vicente
  5. Endowments and Investment within the Household: Evidence from Iodine Supplementation in Tanzania By Achyuta Adhvaryu; Anant Nyshadham
  6. Labor Supply, Schooling and the Returns to Healthcare in Tanzania By Achyuta Adhvaryu; Anant Nyshadham
  7. Family planning, growth and income distribution in Rwanda: SAM multiplier and graph-theoretic path analysis By Temel, Tugrul
  8. The poverty-inequality relationship in Malawi: A multidimensional perspective By Mussa, Richard

  1. By: Matthias Basedau (GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies); Georg Strüver (GIGA Institute of Latin American Studies); Johannes Vüllers (GIGA Institute of Latin American Studies); Tim Wegenast (GIGA Institute of African Affairs)
    Abstract: Theoretically, the “mobilization hypothesis” establishes a link between religion and conflict by arguing that religious structures such as overlapping ethnic and religious identities are prone to mobilization; once politicized, escalation to violent conflict becomes likelier. Yet, despite the religious diversity in sub-Saharan Africa and the religious overtones in a number of African armed conflicts, this assumption has not yet been backed by systematic empirical research on the religion–conflict nexus in the region. The following questions thus remain: Do religious factors significantly impact the onset of (religious) armed conflict? If so, do they follow the logic of the mobilization hypothesis and, if yes, in which way? To answer these questions, this paper draws on a unique data inventory of all sub-Saharan countries for the period 1990–2008, particularly including data on mobilization-prone religious structures (e.g. demographic changes, parallel ethno-religious identities) as well as religious factors indicating actual politicization of religion (e.g. inter-religious tensions, religious discrimination, incitement by religious leaders). Based on logit regressions, results suggest that religion indeed plays a significant role in African armed conflicts. The findings are compatible with the mobilization hypothesis: Overlaps of religious and ethnic identities and religious dominance are conflict-prone; religious polarization is conflict-prone only if combined with religious discrimination and religious tensions.
    Keywords: Armed conflict, religion, sub-Saharan Africa, mobilization
    Date: 2011–06
  2. By: Yu, Bingxin; Nin-Pratt, Alejandro
    Abstract: We analyze the evolution of Sub-Saharan Africaâs agricultural total factor productivity (TFP) over the past 45 years, looking for evidence of recent changes in growth patterns using an improved nonparametric Malmquist index. Our TFP estimates show a remarkable recovery in the performance of Sub-Saharan Africaâs agriculture between 1984 and 2006 after a long period of poor performance and decline. That recovery is the consequence of improved efficiency in production resulting from changes in the output structure and an adjustment in the use of inputs. Policy interventions, including fiscal, trade and sector specific policies, appear to have played an important role in improving agricultureâs performance. Despite the improved agricultural performance, SSA economies face serious challenges to sustain growth. Among these are the small contribution of technical change to TFP growth in the past, the large tax burden imposed by remaining distortions, and the challenge of population growth.
    Keywords: agriculture, efficiency, Malmquist index, total factor productivity, technical change, Sub-Saharan Africa, policy, Agricultural and Food Policy, International Development, Productivity Analysis,
    Date: 2011–06–01
  3. By: Cooke, Edgar F A
    Abstract: In this paper we study the impact of AGOA and CBTPA preferences on the African and Caribbean Basin beneficiaries respectively. Our methodology consists of modelling the selection in exporting that occurs and to account for the zero trade occurring at the HS 6 digit level of disaggregation used in the paper. The AGOA impact has in the literature been found to be driven mainly by apparel and textiles and oil and energy related products. We however, do find a strong impact of the AGOA and CBTPA preferences for the beneficiary countries.
    Keywords: Trade preference regimes; African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA); Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI); Africa; Latin America and Caribbean; international trade; Generalised System of Preferences (GSP)
    JEL: F13 F10 F19
    Date: 2011–06–11
  4. By: Catia Batista (Trinity College Dublin and IZA); Pedro C. Vicente (Trinity College Dublin, University of Oxford - Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE) and)
    Abstract: Can international migration promote better institutions at home by raising the demand for political accountability? In order to examine this question, we designed a behavioral measure of the population’s desire for better governance. A postcard was distributed to households with the pledge that, if enough postcards were mailed back, results from a survey module on perceived corruption would be made public in the national media. Using data from a tailored household survey, we examine the determinants of our behavioral measure of demand for political accountability (i.e. of undertaking the costly action of mailing the postcard), and isolate the positive effect of international emigration using locality level variation. The estimated effects are robust to the use of instrumental variables, including both past migration and macro shocks in the migrant destination countries. We find that the estimated effects can be mainly attributed to those who emigrated to countries with better governance, especially return migrants.
    Keywords: international migration, governance, political accountability, institutions, effects of emigration in origin countries, household survey, Cape Verde, sub-Saharan Africa.
    JEL: F22 O12 O15 O43 P16
    Date: 2011–01
  5. By: Achyuta Adhvaryu (MEPH Health Policy and Administration, Yale University); Anant Nyshadham (Department of Economics, Yale University)
    Abstract: Standard theories of resource allocation within the household posit that parents’ investments in their children reflect a combination of children’s endowments and parents’ preferences for child quality. We study how changes in children’s cognitive endowments affect the distribution of parental investments amongst siblings, using data from a large-scale iodine supplementation program in Tanzania. We find that parents strongly reinforce the higher cognitive endowments of children who received in utero iodine supplementation, by investing more in vaccinations and early life nutrition. The effect of siblings’ endowments on own investments depends on the extent to which quality across children is substitutable in parents’ utility functions. Neonatal investments, made before cognitive endowments become apparent to parents, are unaffected. Fertility is unaffected as well, suggesting that inframarginal quality improvements can spur investment responses even when the quantity-quality tradeoff is not readily observable.
    Keywords: endowments, intra-household, child health, Tanzania
    JEL: I18 O12
    Date: 2011–06
  6. By: Achyuta Adhvaryu (MEPH Health Policy and Administration, Yale University); Anant Nyshadham (Department of Economics, Yale University)
    Abstract: We estimate the effects of higher quality healthcare usage on health, labor supply and schooling outcomes for sick individuals in Tanzania. Using exogenous variation in the cost of formal sector healthcare to predict treatment choice, we show that using better quality care improves health outcomes and changes the allocation of time amongst productive activities. In particular, sick adults who receive better quality care reallocate time from non-farm to farm labor, leaving total labor hours unchanged. Among sick children, school attendance significantly increases as a result of receiving higher quality healthcare, but labor allocations are unaffected. We interpret these results as evidence that healthcare has heterogeneous effects on marginal productivity across productive activities and household members.
    Keywords: labor supply, health shocks, schooling, Tanzania
    JEL: I10 J22 J43 O12
    Date: 2011–03
  7. By: Temel, Tugrul
    Abstract: This paper examines the linkages among family planning, sectoral growth and income distribution in Rwanda. Drawing on the 2006 SAM accounting multipliers, macroeconomic e¤ects of alternative income policies are evaluated. Furthermore, the high and low-income gain pathways are identi…ed by applying the graph-theoretic path analysis. The following …ndings are noted. The rural income gain spreads over the entire economy, whereas the urban income gain largely remains within urban areas, suggesting relatively larger income multiplier e¤ects of rural development policies. Second, investing in education, health and family planning promises a signi…cant increase in agricultural production, which in turn creates considerable employment in rural areas. Targeted rural development policies thus seem to be the best strategy to bring growth and harmoniously improve income distribution. Third, a unit increase in the demand for family planning-health commodities generates 60% more income for the urban-Kigali households than rural households. Finally,a unit increase in the family planning-health demand raises agricultural production by 1.3 unit, which is followed by 1.2 unit increase in service production and by 0.74 unit increase in manufacturing production. To sum up, investing in family planning-health is a viable strategy to promote agricultural growth and reduce poverty through employment created in the rural sector.
    Keywords: Family planning; growth; income distribution; Rwanda; SAM multiplier; Graph-theoretic path analysis
    JEL: H41 O15 O21 C67 J11
    Date: 2011–06–09
  8. By: Mussa, Richard
    Abstract: This paper looks at the linkage between poverty and inequality by investigating the poverty impacts of changes in within and between inequalities in Malawi. We recognize the multidimensional nature of both poverty and inequality by focusing on monetary (consumption) and non monetary (health and education) dimensions of well being. Two questions are answered namely; what is the contribution of within-group inequalities (vertical inequalities) to total poverty? And what is the contribution of between-group inequalities (horizontal inequalities) to total poverty? The second integrated household survey (IHS2) is used, and the results differ considerably across the three dimensions of well being. The elasticity of poverty with respect to within-region consumption inequalities is positive and higher than that of between-region inequalities, suggesting that reductions in vertical inequalities in consumption would have a higher poverty reducing effect. Between-region inequalities in health have a larger and positive effect on the health poverty headcount; on the other hand within-region inequalities in health have a larger and positive relationship with the health poverty gap and severity. We also find that an increase in both within and between region education inequalities reduce the education poverty headcount, but increase the education poverty gap and severity.
    Keywords: Inequality; poverty; Malawi
    JEL: D30
    Date: 2011–06–10

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