nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2011‒11‒01
thirteen papers chosen by
Quentin Wodon
World Bank

  1. International and Institutional Traps in Sub-Saharan Africa under Globalisation: A Comparative Perspective By Machiko, Nissanke
  2. ECCAS's infrastructure : a regional perspective By Ranganathan, Rupa; Foster, Vivien
  3. Food Security in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and sub-Saharan Africa: A Comparative Analysis. By Jane, Harrigan
  4. Revisiting the "cotton problem": A comparative analysis of cotton reforms in sub-Saharan Africa By Claire Delpeuch; Anneleen Vandeplas; Johan F.M.Swinnen
  5. The elusive quest for supply response to cash-crop market reforms in Sub-Saharan Africa : the case of cotton By Delpeuch, Claire; Leblois, Antoine
  6. Industrialization, Exports and the Developmental State in Africa: The Case for Transformation By Mwangi wa Githinji; Olugbenga Adesida
  7. The Economics of Information Technology in Public Sector Health Facilities in Developing Countries: The Case of South Africa By Gregory B. Cline; John M. Luiz
  8. African cotton markets at crossroads : will the price spike turn into a new kick-start ? By Delpeuch, Claire
  9. Transparency without Accountability By Mwangi wa Githinji; Frank Holmquist
  10. How Beliefs about HIV Status Affect Risky Behaviors: Evidence from Malawi, Seventh Version By Áureo de Paula; Gil Shapira; Petra E. Todd
  11. Food quality in domestic markets of developing economies:A comparative study of two countries By Anneleen Vandeplas; Bart Minten;
  12. Intrahousehold Distribution and Child Poverty: Theory and Evidence from Côte d’Ivoire By Bargain, Olivier; Donni, Olivier; Kwenda, Prudence
  13. Leave None to Claim the Land. A Malthusian Catastrophe in Rwanda? By Marijke Verpoorten; ;

  1. By: Machiko, Nissanke
    Date: 2011–09
  2. By: Ranganathan, Rupa; Foster, Vivien
    Abstract: Sound infrastructure is fundamental for growth across the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS). During 1995-2005, improvements in infrastructure boosted growth in Central Africa by 1 percentage point per capita annually, primarily due to the introduction and expansion of mobile telephony. Improved roads also made a small contribution. Conversely, inadequate power deterred growth to a greater degree than elsewhere in Africa. ECCAS must address a complex set of challenges. Economic activity takes place in isolated pockets separated by vast distances. Two countries are landlocked and dependent on regional corridors; seven countries have populations of under 10 million; and eight have economies that are smaller than $10 billion/year. This difficult economic geography demands a regional approach to developing infrastructure. Yet Central Africa's infrastructure has the poorest performance record in all of Africa on most aggregate indicators. Transportation is slow and the most expensive in Sub-Saharan Africa, with poor road conditions, border delays, port delays, time-consuming administrative processes, no integrated railway network, and inefficient air transport. The ICT backbone is still in its early stages; access rates are low and the prices of critical services are the highest in Africa. ECCAS has the least-developed power sector on the continent despite significant hydropower resources. If Central Africa's infrastructure could be improved to the level of Mauritius, regional growth performance would be boosted by some 5 percentage points, with power making the strongest contribution. The cost of such an improvement is estimated at $1.8 billion/year for a decade and will require external assistance.
    Keywords: Transport Economics Policy&Planning,Infrastructure Economics,Airports and Air Services,Roads&Highways,Transport and Trade Logistics
    Date: 2011–10–01
  3. By: Jane, Harrigan
    Date: 2011–09
  4. By: Claire Delpeuch; Anneleen Vandeplas; Johan F.M.Swinnen
    Abstract: The cotton sector has been amongst the most regulated in Africa, and still is to a large extent in West and Central Africa (WCA), despite repeated reform recommendations by international donors. On the other hand, orthodox reforms in East and Southern Africa (ESA) have not always yielded the expected results. This paper uses a stylised contracting model to investigate the link between market structure and equity and efficiency in sub-Saharan cotton sectors; explain the outcomes of reforms in ESA; and analyze the potential consequences of orthodox reforms in WCA. We argue that the level of the world price and of government intervention, the nature of pre-reform institutional organisation, as well as the degree of parastatal inefficiency, all contribute to making reforms less attractive to farmers and governments in WCA today, as compared to ESA in the 1990s.We illustrate our arguments with empirical observations on the performance of cotton sectors across sub-Saharan Africa.
    Keywords: Sub-Saharan Africa, cotton reforms, self-enforcing contracts
    JEL: Q12 L33 O12
    Date: 2011
  5. By: Delpeuch, Claire; Leblois, Antoine
    Abstract: Little cross-cutting conclusions emerge from comparative studies on the impact of structural adjustment on Sub-Saharan African agricultural performance. This paper aims to illuminate this long-standing debate by adopting a novel quantitative, sectoral and long-term approach controlling for country-specific determinants. It incorporates detailed information on the pace of reforms and the nature of post-reform market structure, pre-reform policies and weather conditions at the cultivation zone level. The cotton sector is the focus of this paper because of its particularly interesting institutional history. The authors find that the changes in market structure brought about by reforms have had very different impacts in Francophone West and Central Africa and in the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa. In the former region, production has been higher but productivity lower, on average, in regulated markets than in monopolistic markets. Conversely, in the liberalized markets of the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa, productivity has been higher in than in monopolistic markets but highly competitive markets seem to have produced less than monopolistic sectors.
    Keywords: Markets and Market Access,Economic Theory&Research,Labor Policies,Debt Markets,Political Economy
    Date: 2011–10–01
  6. By: Mwangi wa Githinji (University of Massachusetts Amherst); Olugbenga Adesida (African Leadership Institute)
    Abstract: This essay explores the role of the state in promoting exports and industrialization in the quest for transformation of African economies. It does this by exploring the role of trade in African economies followed by a brief look at the East Asian Developmental state. This is followed by an examination of why many African states have failed at being drivers of transformation. It concludes by examining the potential role of African states in a project of transformation as well as the available avenues and resources for transformation. JEL Categories: O1; O2; O3; N17; N47; N57; N67; N77.
    Keywords: Africa; economic development; economic history; exports; industrialization; transformation;.
    Date: 2011–08
  7. By: Gregory B. Cline; John M. Luiz
    Abstract: The public healthcare sector in developing countries face many challenges, including weak healthcare systems and under resourced facilities that deliver poor outcomes relative to total healthcare expenditure. Healthcare delivery, access to healthcare and cost containment has the potential for improvement through more efficient healthcare resource management. Global references demonstrate that information technology (IT) has the ability to assist in this regard through the automation of processes, thus reducing the inefficiencies of manually driven processes and lowering transaction costs. This study examines the impact of new systems implementations on service delivery, user adoption and organizational culture within the hospital setting in South Africa, as perceived by doctors, nurses and hospital administrators. The research provides some insight into the reasons for investing in system automation, the associated outcomes, and organiztional factors that impact the successful adoption of IT systems. In addition, it finds that sustainable success in these initiatives is as much a function of the technology as it is of the change management function that must accompany the system implementation.
    Keywords: Hospital information systems; healthcare management; electronic health records; South Africa, mixed methods
    Date: 2011
  8. By: Delpeuch, Claire
    Abstract: After years of diplomatic efforts and legal procedures to obtain the elimination of rich countries'cotton subsidies, policy prospects for African cotton producers remain bleak. However, the world price for cotton has doubled in a year and has hit an all-time high. This paper examines these developments and investigates their potential consequences for African smallholder farmers. It emphasizes the importance of price transmission to domestic markets; assesses the impact of the reforms undertaken in Sub-Saharan African cotton sectors on producers'supply responsiveness; and outlines what remains to be done to ensure that farmers can benefit from a favorable global environment. The paper concludes that improving the functioning of domestic markets remains the priority in the short run. The current high price season will reveal the costs and benefits of different types of sector regulation systems and the capacity of policy-makers and sector stakeholders to deliver on promises. It also offers a last-minute opportunity to rich countries to keep their word in the context of the Doha Development Round.
    Keywords: Markets and Market Access,Economic Theory&Research,Environmental Economics&Policies,Emerging Markets,Access to Markets
    Date: 2011–10–01
  9. By: Mwangi wa Githinji (University of Massachusetts Amherst); Frank Holmquist (Hampshire College)
    Abstract: Kenya has been going through a period of political reform from 1991 when section 2A of the constitution that had made Kenya a de jure one party state was repealed. The reform followed a prolonged struggle by citizens both within and without the country. Their call for democracy was one that, post the fall of the Berlin wall, was embraced by western countries. Via diplomatic pressure and conditionality on aid, western donors played an important role in the repeal of section 2a, the return of multi-party elections and in the creation and reform of a number of political institutions and offices. In the main these changes were pushed by the donors and though supported by the opposition in Kenya they did not rise organically from the struggle over political power in Kenya. In this paper, we argue that although these reforms led to a heightened awareness of the ills of the political class, they failed to actually hold members of this class accountable for their transgressions. We argue that these institutions presupposed the existence of an electorate with an effective set of identities that belonged to the larger Kenyan nation. This broader construct of society did not exist. A history of economic and political inequality from the inception of modern Kenya had resulted in a divided population that was unable to exercise this mandate, and could ultimately discipline politicians when they failed. In actuality, since the politics was not based on broader Kenyan national interests but rather narrower personal interests construed as ethno-nationalist, the political class was not accountable to the larger Kenyan constituency. JEL Categories: O, P16, Z13
    Keywords: Political Economy, Ethnicity, Development, Corruption, Kenya
    Date: 2011–10
  10. By: Áureo de Paula (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania); Gil Shapira (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania); Petra E. Todd (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)
    Abstract: This paper examines how beliefs about own HIV status affect decisions to engage in risky sexual behavior, as measured by having extramarital sex and/or multiple sex partners. The empirical analysis is based on a panel survey of males from the 2006 and 2008 rounds of the Malawi Diffusion and Ideational Change Project (MDICP). The paper first develops a behavioral model of the belief-risky behavior relationship. It then estimates the causal effect of beliefs on risky behavior in a way that takes into account the belief updating mechanisms implied by the model. In particular, the Arellano and Carrasco (2003) semiparametric panel data estimator that is used accommodates both unobserved heterogeneity and belief endogeneity, arising from dependence of current beliefs on past risky behavior. Results show that downward revisions in the belief assigned to being HIV positive increase risky behavior and upward revisions decrease it. We estimate for example that a change in the perceived probability of being HIV positive from 0 to 100% reduces risky behavior between 13.7 and 36.4 percentage points depending on the risky behavior definition and year. Implementation of a modified estimator that allows for misreporting of risky behavior finds the estimates to be downward biased but relatively robust to a wide range of plausible misreporting levels.
    Keywords: Malawi,HIV,beliefs
    JEL: I12
    Date: 2011–02–21
  11. By: Anneleen Vandeplas; Bart Minten;
    Abstract: Food quality has become an important determinant of success in global food trade and growers for international markets have to continuously adjust to buyers’ requirements. It is however not clear to what extent there is a demand for food quality - and how much buyers are willing to pay for it - in domestic food markets of developing economies. Based on unique comparable price and trader data in a poor country in Africa (Madagascar) and an emerging economy in Asia (India), we compare food quality and quality’s pricing. We find significantly better quality and higher quality premiums (using revealed as well as stated preference methods) in India than in Madagascar. We explain these observed differences through a simple theoretical model, solely based on large average income gaps between the two countries.
    Keywords: food quality, quality premiums, development
    JEL: Q12 Q13 L15
    Date: 2011
  12. By: Bargain, Olivier (University of Aix-Marseille II); Donni, Olivier (University of Cergy-Pontoise); Kwenda, Prudence (University College Dublin)
    Abstract: Poverty measures in developing countries often ignore the distribution of resources within families and the gains from joint consumption. In this paper, we extend the collective model of household consumption to recover mother's, father's and children's shares together with economies of scale, using the observation of adult-specific goods and an extended version of the Rothbarth method. The application on data from Côte d'Ivoire shows that children command a reasonable fraction of household resources, though not enough to avoid a very large extent of child poverty compared to what is found in traditional measures based on per capita expenditure. We find no significant evidence of discrimination against girls, and educated mothers have more command over household resources. Baseline results on children's shares are robust to using alternative identifying assumptions, which consolidates a general approach grounded on a flexible version of the Rothbarth method. Individual measures of poverty show that parents are highly compensated by the scale economies due to joint consumption.
    Keywords: collective model, consumer demand, Engel curves, Rothbarth method, cost of children, bargaining power, sharing rule, scale economies, equivalence scales, indifference scales
    JEL: D11 D12 I31 J12
    Date: 2011–10
  13. By: Marijke Verpoorten; ;
    Abstract: More than 200 years after its first publication, the Malthusian thesis is still much debated, albeit in a modified form. Rather than predicting a global catastrophe, most neo-Malthusians stress the local character of the relationship between population pressure , natural resource scarcity, and conflict as well as its dependency on the socio-political and economic context. This softened version of Mathus' thesis has received little emphirical support in cross-country studies. In contrast, a number of sub-national analyses have provided some evidence for local conditional Malthusian catastrophes, although "catastrophe" is a big word since these studies have largely focused on low-intensity violence. This article adds to the small body of sub-national studies, but focuses on a high-intensity conflict, the Rwandan genocide. In particular, it provides a meso-level analysis of the relation between population pressure and the intensity of violence measured by the death toll among the Tutsi across 1,294 small administrative units. The results indicate that the death toll was significantly higher in localities with bothhigh population density and little opportunity for young men to acquire land. On the one hand, this finding can be interpreted as support for the neo-Malthusian thesis. On the other hand, it is possible that another mechanism played, i.e. in densely populated areas it may have been relatively easy for the elite to mobilize the population, because of dependency relations through the land and labor market. Alternatively, in densely populated areas, there may have been more lootable assets, and the violence may have been opportunistic rather than driven by need or by fear.
    Date: 2011

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