nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2011‒09‒16
eleven papers chosen by
Quentin Wodon
World Bank

  1. Trends in the Production, Trade, and Consumption of Food-Legume Crops in Sub-Saharan Africa By Akibode, Comlanvi Sitou
  2. Patterns of Conflict in the Great Lakes Region By Lupa Ramadhani; Jennifer Todd; Patrick Paul Walsh
  3. Terms of Trade and Growth of Resource Economies: A Tale of Two Countries By Augustin Kwasi Fosu
  4. When is capital enough to get female microenterprises growing? Evidence from a randomized experiment in Ghana By Marcel Fafchamps; David McKenzie; Simon Quinn; Christopher Woodruff
  5. Consensus, institutions, and supply response : the political economy of agricultural reforms in Sub-Saharan Africa By Aksoy, Ataman; Onal, Anil
  6. The Economic Effects of Malaria Eradication: Evidence from an Intervention in Uganda By Jeremy Barofsky; Claire Chase; Tobenna Anekwe; Farshad Farzadfar
  7. Network Proximity and Business Practices in African Manufcaturing By Marcel Fafchamps; Mans Soderbom
  8. Conflict of interest as a barrier to local accountability By Abigail Barr; Andrew Zeitlin
  9. Assessing absolute and relative pro-poor growth, with an application to selected African countries By Bibi, Sami; Duclos, Jean-Yves; Verdier-Chouchane, Audrey
  10. The lived experience of an American expatriate in Ghana: A rhetorical analysis of facebook postings to understand a cross-cultural behavior By Yawson, Robert M.
  11. Do contacts matter in the process of getting a job in Cameroon? By Doko Tchatoka; Urbain Thierry Yogo

  1. By: Akibode, Comlanvi Sitou
    Abstract: Food legumes in Sub-Saharan Africa play a vital role by being a source of livelihood for millions of people; and offer tremendous potential to contribute to the alleviation of malnutrition among resource-poor farmers. They contribute to the sustainability of cropping systems and soil fertility. Cowpea and dry beans are the two main food legume crops grown in Sub-Saharan Africa. Area harvested under all food legumes was more than 20 million ha in 2006-08, representing 28% of the global food legume area harvested. Yields are low compared to other developing and developed countries; however they have increased at an annual rate of 1.6% with an increase in production of 3.9% per year. The region has stayed a net importer over the period. Price has increased 5% in real terms from mid 1990s to 2006-08. Per capita availability for consumption has increased at an annual rate of 1.7% and is estimated to be 12.3 kg in 2006-08, which is about 35% higher than the average for developing countries. The future of the legume crop sector remains positive in Sub-Saharan Africa if these crops get the required policy attention in terms of research and institutional infrastructure. However, factors such as scientific breakthroughs and policies regarding competing crops for land use (such as biofuels) or protein sources are highly unpredictable and could rapidly change this positive outlook.
    Keywords: Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy, Crop Production, Demand and Price Analysis, Food Security, Poverty, International Development, Marketing, Production Economics, Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy, Crop Production/Industries, Demand and Price Analysis, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty, International Development, Marketing, Production Economics,
    Date: 2011
  2. By: Lupa Ramadhani (Institute for British-Irish Studies, School of Politics and International Relations, University College Dublin); Jennifer Todd (Institute for British-Irish Studies, School of Politics and International Relations, University College Dublin); Patrick Paul Walsh (Geary Institute, School of Politics and International Relations, University College Dublin)
    Abstract: The African Great Lakes Region (GLR) has witnessed some of the most intense violence and protracted conflict of the last half-century. There has been spiralling and sometimes over-lapping conflict in Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) (hereinafter Zone 1 conflict states). Yet their neighbours—Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia (hereinafter Zone 2 peaceful states)—have remained generally peaceful. This article asks what makes the difference in conflict outcomes between these neighbouring states? It has one goal: to identify a set of structural and historical factors (if any), that differentiate the zone 1 from the zone 2 states and which can explain the incidence of conflicts across time and countries. We set out to document and estimate the impact of a common set of structural factors that underpin the outbreak of wars in this region over the past fifty years, while controlling for time and country specific effects.
    Date: 2011–09–08
  3. By: Augustin Kwasi Fosu
    Abstract: The current paper demonstrates a dichotomy of the growth response to changes in the barter terms of trade (TOT), employing as case studies the following two African countries: Botswana and Nigeria. Using distributed-lag analysis, the paper finds that the effect of TOT on output is positive and negative for the two countries, respectively. I interpret these results as supportive of the ‘resource curse’ hypothesis for Nigeria but not for Botswana. I further argue that the superior institutional quality (IQ) in Botswana, relative to Nigeria, is likely responsible for the contrasting results. However, Nigeria appears to be making progress on IQ, especially in the last decade. Continuing such progress would be necessary if the country was to reverse course.
    Keywords: African resource economies; terms of trade; growth
    JEL: O13 O43 O55 O57
    Date: 2011
  4. By: Marcel Fafchamps; David McKenzie; Simon Quinn; Christopher Woodruff
    Abstract: Standard models of investment predict that credit-constrained firmd should grow rapidly when given additional capital, and that how this capital is provided should not affect decisions to invest in the business or consume the capital. We randomly gave cash and in-kind grants to male- and female- owned microenterprises in urban Ghana. Our findings cast doubt on the ability of caoital alone to stimulate the growth of female microenterprises. First, while the average treatment effects of the in-kind grants are large and positive for both males and females, the gain in profits is almost zerp fpr women with itital profits below the median, suggesting that capital alone is not enough to grow subsistence enterprises owned by women. Second, for women we strongly reject equality of the case and in-kind grants; only in-kind grants lead to growth in business profits. The results for men also suggest a lower impact of cash, but differences between cash and in-kind grants is assoicated more with a lack of self-control than with external pressure. As a result, the manner in which funding is provided affects microenterprise growth.
    Keywords: microenterprises; ghana; Conditionality; Asset intergration
    JEL: O12 O16 C93
    Date: 2011
  5. By: Aksoy, Ataman; Onal, Anil
    Abstract: During the late 1980s and the 1990s, most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa implemented agricultural policy reforms, along with national political and economic reforms. The agricultural reforms focused on opening up processing and marketing activities to increased competition and eliminating export taxes and restrictions to improve producer incentives. In eight of nine country/commodity case studies analyzed in this paper, output responded positively in the short run to the reforms. In many cases, however, the initial supply response was not sustained in the face of subsequent shocks. The studies suggest that stakeholder consensus on the distribution of sector-specific rents is a key variable affecting the sustainability of supply responses. Agricultural sector reforms lead to large changes in income distribution. The greater the acceptance of the distribution of rents following the reforms, the better sectors are able to accommodate subsequent shocks. In cases where the initial consensus on the distribution of rents is weak, shocks lead to reform reversals in some cases or an inability to design necessary support institutions in others. The diversity in outcomes across similar products and countries suggests it is possible to achieve sector and local level results that differ from national ones.
    Keywords: Markets and Market Access,Crops&Crop Management Systems,Emerging Markets,Economic Theory&Research,Labor Policies
    Date: 2011–08–01
  6. By: Jeremy Barofsky (Harvard School of Public Health); Claire Chase (Harvard School of Public Health); Tobenna Anekwe; Farshad Farzadfar
    Abstract: This study evaluates the economic consequences of a malaria eradication campaign in the southwestern Ugandan district of Kigezi. The project was a joint venture between the WHO and Uganda's Ministry of Health, designed to test for the first time the feasibility of malaria eradication in a sub-Saharan African country. During the years of 1959 and 1960, eradication efforts employing DDT spraying and mass distribution of anti-malarials were implemented, beginning in northern Kigezi. Follow-up studies reported a drop in overall parasite rates from 22.7 to 0.5% in hyperendemic areas and from 12.5 to 0% in mesoendemic areas. We use this campaign as a plausibly exogenous health shock to explore changes in human-capital formation and income. We employ a difference-in-difference methodology to show that eradication produced differential improvements in Kigezi compare to the rest of Uganda in years of schooling, literacy, and primary school completion. In addition, we find suggestive evidence that eradication increased income levels.
    Keywords: human capital, malaria, economic development and health
    Date: 2011–05
  7. By: Marcel Fafchamps; Mans Soderbom
    Abstract: We document empirical patterns of correlation in the adoption of technological innovation and contractural practices among manfacturing firms in Ethiopia and Sudan. The analysis is based upon network data indicating whether any two firms in our sample do business with each other, whether they buy inputs from a common supplier and whether they sell output to a common client. We only find limited support for the commonly held idea that firms that are more proximate in a network sense are more likely to adopt similar practices. For certain practices, adoption decisions appear instead to be local strategic substitutes: if ones firms in a given location is using a certain practice, others nearby are less likely to do so. These results appear out of tune with policy discussion of how the economic performance of African's manufcaturing sector can be improved.
    Date: 2011
  8. By: Abigail Barr; Andrew Zeitlin
    Abstract: Using a specially designed lab-type experiment conducted in the field, we compare the willingness of head teachers, centrally appointed public servants, and community representatives to hold Ugandan primary school teachers to account. We find no difference in the willingness of centrally appointed public servants and community representatives. However, head teachers are significantly less willing to punish teachers whose performance falls 20 to 40 percent below a generally accepted benchmark. In addition, head teachers are twice as likely to punish teachers who “over-perform”, a behaviour akin to punishing rate-busters.
    Keywords: Public service, Education, Experiments, Africa, Accountability, Methodology.
    JEL: C91 I29 O12 O17
    Date: 2011
  9. By: Bibi, Sami; Duclos, Jean-Yves; Verdier-Chouchane, Audrey
    Abstract: This paper proposes a multidimensional procedure for jointly assessing the absolute and relative pro-poorness of growth. It is also a procedure for testing whether poverty comparisons can be made over classes of indices that incorporate both absolute and relative views of poverty. Besides being robust to whether pro-poor judgements should be absolute or relative, the procedure is also robust to choosing over a class of weights to aggregate the impact of growth on the poor as well as over ranges of absolute and relative poverty lines. The test is applied to distributional changes in five middle- and four lower-income African countries, countries that have witnessed different impacts of growth in the last two decades. --
    Keywords: Pro-poor growth,absolute poverty,relative poverty,stochastic dominance
    JEL: D63 I32
    Date: 2011
  10. By: Yawson, Robert M.
    Abstract: Using rhetorical analyses of the Facebook updates and postings, the lived experience of an American Expatriate in Ghana is told through the lenses of a Ghanaian living in the United States. The study reviews the contemporary understanding and importance of expatriation to organizations and provides detailed description and analysis of different models with theoretical base from cognitive and social psychology and sociology including models developed by Fons Trompenaars, Geert Hofstede, Harry Triandis, and E.T. Hall to understand the thinking and behavior of this expatriate as revealed through postings on his Facebook page. The paper concludes by re-affirming the importance of pre-departure cultural sensitivity training and the significant role of HRD professionals even in non-typical HRD –related organizations.
    Keywords: Cross-Cultural; facebook; expatriation; social psychology
    JEL: M14 O1 D23 L2 M1 O15 P3
    Date: 2011–04
  11. By: Doko Tchatoka; Urbain Thierry Yogo (School of Economics and Finance, University of Tasmania)
    Abstract: We question whether the use of social networks to exit unemployment matters in Cameroon. We develop a Weibull-type duration model which allows us to address this issue in a convenient way. Our investigations indicate that there is a strong evidence of endogeneity and sample selection biases. We then propose a three-step procedure to deal with both problems. Our results show that the use of social networks to exit unemployment is effective. Furthermore, we find that the hazard monotonically increases with time. Hence, unemployment exhibits a positive duration dependence. Moreover, we provide an analysis of factors that determine labor market participation and the use of social networks. We find that the density of the west native population in the center of Cameroon and religion are the only factors that determine the use of social networks. In contrast, characteristics such as age, sex, education, association’s membership, determine labor market participation.
    Keywords: RePEc
    Date: 2011–02

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