nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2012‒01‒18
fifteen papers chosen by
Quentin Wodon
World Bank

  1. Reflections on a new democratic South Africa’s role in the multilateral trading system By Faizel Ismail
  2. Self-Reported Food Insecurity in Africa During the Food Price Crisis By Marijke Verpoorten; Abhimanyu Arora; Johan F.M.Swinnen
  3. Poverty, AIDS, Orphanhood, Gender, and Child Schooling in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Review of the Evidence By Mather, David
  4. Informal-formal Linkages and Informal Enterprise Performance in Urban West Africa By Marcus Böhme, Rainer Thiele
  5. Challenging small-scale farming, a non-parametric analysis of the (inverse) relationship between farm productivity and farm size in Burundi By M. VERSCHELDE; M. D’HAESE; G. RAYP; E. VANDAMME
  7. Spatial inequality and household poverty in Ghana By S. Annim; S. Mariwah; J. Sebu
  8. Economics of Fish Marketing in Central Uganda: A Preliminary Analysis By Bukenya, James O.; Hyuha, Theodora; Twinamasiko, Julius; Molnar, Joseph
  9. Perception of HIV risk and the quantity and quality of children: The case of rural Malawi By Rubén Castro; Jere Behrman; Hans-Peter Kohler
  10. Working-Age Adult Mortality, Orphan Status, and Child Schooling in Rural Mozambique By Mather, David
  11. From vice to virtue? Civil war and social capital in Uganda By Giacomo De Luca; Marijke Verpoorten;
  12. Mozambique Cashew reforms revisited By Aksoy, M. Ataman; Yagci, Fahrettin
  13. Subjective Wealth, Policy Change, and Political Opinions: Evidence from the Cotton Reform in Burkina Faso By Kaminski, Jonathan
  14. Effets des Chocs de Produits de Base sur la Mobilisation des Recettes Publiques dans les Pays d'Afrique Sub-saharienne By Souleymane DIARRA
  15. Local taxation and institutional accountability in Rwanda’s growing cities. By Goodfellow, Tom

  1. By: Faizel Ismail
    Abstract: The paper argues that South Africa’s participation in the World Trade Organization since the birth of its democracy in 1994 was informed by its domestic development challenges. It claims that South Africa’s values were derived from its long struggle against apartheid and its transition to a new democracy. South Africa’s political leadership in the Doha negotiations was also strengthened by its deep democratic institutions and consultative processes. South Africa’s values, articulated by Nelson Mandela, reflected a deep commitment to multilateralism and consensus building, fairness and justice, inclusiveness, and a concern to support and promote development, within South Africa, and also in developing countries, especially the African continent. The paper discusses how and why South Africa’s unique value system enabled it to play a significant role in the Doha Round. The paper concludes that South Africa is both part of the group of major emerging developing countries and a crucial bridge to a smaller group of developing countries, particularly in Africa.
    Date: 2011
  2. By: Marijke Verpoorten; Abhimanyu Arora; Johan F.M.Swinnen
    Abstract: This article analyzes data on self-reported food insecurity of more than 50,000 individuals in 18 Sub-Saharan African countries over the period 2005 to 2008, when global food prices increased dramatically. The average level of self-reported food insecurity was high but remarkably stable, at about 54%.However, this average hides large heterogeneity, both within countries and across countries. In eight of the sample countries, self-reported food security improved, while it worsened in the ten countries. Our results suggest that heterogeneous effects in self-reported food security are consistent with economic predictions, as they are correlated with net food consumption (both at the household and country level) and economic growth. Specifically, self-reported food security improved on average in rural households. Improvements in food security were positively correlated with net food exports and GDP per capita growth. We estimate that over the period 2005-2008 between 5 and 12 milion people in the 18 SSA countries became more food secure. While the self-reported indicator used in this paper requires further study and one should carefully interpret the results, our findings suggest the need for a critical evaluation of the currently used data in the public debate on the food price crisis, which makes mention of hundreds of millions of additional food insecure.
    Keywords: Food policy, food insecurity measurement, Sub-Saharan Africa, food crisis
    JEL: Q18 I32 O55
    Date: 2012
  3. By: Mather, David
    Abstract: There is growing concern that the HIV/AIDS epidemic may reduce long-term human capital development through reductions in child schooling in SSA, thus severely limiting the longterm ability of orphans and their extended families to escape poverty. In response, some have called for targeted schooling subsidies for orphans and other children made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS, on the assumption that such children are under-enrolled. This paper provides an overview of the data sources used by existing empirical studies that test for orphan schooling deficits and the methodological challenges that they face. It then reviews the empirical evidence on the effects of orphan status or adult mortality on child schooling, as well as the prevalence of orphans in SSA and their living arrangements.
    Keywords: HIV/AIDS, child schooling, Poverty, Sub-Saharan Africa, Food Security and Poverty,
    Date: 2011–11
  4. By: Marcus Böhme, Rainer Thiele
    Abstract: Employing a unique dataset that covers almost 6000 informal enterprises from six West African urban centers, this paper examines the backward and forward linkages of these enterprises to the formal sector. We first provide a descriptive analysis of the existing formal-informal linkages. It turns out that formal backward linkages are much more prevalent than formal forward linkages, and that linkages vary with the degree of informality, occurring less frequently if firms have no ties to the formal sector at all or low capital stocks. In the second step, we employ a Probit approach to identify major factors associated with the observed backward linkages. The Probit analysis corroborates the importance of the degree of informality for the existence of linkages and shows various enterprise characteristics to be significant determinants as well. Finally, we analyze whether backward linkages matter for enterprise performance using both OLS and IV estimations. We find a positive and robust impact of backward linkages, whereas the degree of informality of the enterprises in our sample seems to affect firm performance only indirectly through their linkages to the formal sector
    Keywords: Informal sector, formal-informal linkages, enterprise performance, West Africa
    JEL: D22 D40 O17
    Date: 2012–01
    Abstract: We use a nonparametric approach to investigate the relationship between farm produc- tivity and farming scale. A Kernel regression is used on data of mixed cropping systems to study the determinants of production including different factors that have been identifieed in literature as missing variables in the testing of the inverse relationship such as soil quality, location and household heterogeneity. Household data on farm activities and crop produc- tion was gathered among 640 households in 2007 in two Northern provinces of Burundi. Five production models were specified each with different control variables. Returns to scale are found to depend on the farm scale. Our results qualify to a large extent the finding of an inverse relationship between farm size and productivity, though without fully explaining it. Other factors that affect significantly positive production include the soil quality and produc- tion orientation towards banana or cash crop production. Production seems to be negatively affected by field fragmentation.
    Date: 2011–10
  6. By: Véronique MEURIOT
    Abstract: La récente crise internationale du prix des matières premières agricoles a généré de nombreux dérèglements dans les économies nationales des pays en développement. Analyser et mesurer les phénomènes de transmission des prix entre l’international et le national est aujourd’hui une priorité : la sécurité alimentaire des pays en développement en dépend. Nous revenons sur l’histoire de la flambée des prix internationaux, et leurs conséquences pour les économies dépendantes, notamment en Afrique subsaharienne. À partir de deux cas polaires, le Sénégal et le Mali, nous étudions les mécanismes de transmission des dérèglements internationaux sur les marchés du riz locaux. [...]
    Date: 2012–01
  7. By: S. Annim; S. Mariwah; J. Sebu
    Abstract: Abstract Over time, while some countries have experienced trends of poverty and inequality moving in the same direction, others have witnessed the two developmental issues panning out in opposite directions. The latter is observed in Ghana, where in the last two decades poverty has been reducing and consumption inequality is on the ascendency. Motivated by this observation, we address three objectives in this paper. First, we decompose inequality using administrative districts as the unit of analysis to examine within and between contributions to national inequality. Second, we examine trends of inequality in the only region (Eastern) of Ghana that experienced a reduction in inequality over the period 1991-2006; and, finally, we investigate the relationship between district-level inequality and household poverty. The last three rounds of the Ghana Living Standard Survey are used for our analysis. We observe that the contribution of within district inequality is higher than inequality between districts. This pattern is observed for other geographical classifications, such as rural-urban, ecological zone and regions. In the Eastern region of Ghana, where overall inequality reduced over the period 1998 to 2005, this was not the case for about 50 percent of the districts in the region. Finally, district-level inequality shows a significant effect on household poverty, but with varying signs, depending on the state of economic activity of the unit of analysis (district) and factors that affect both poverty and inequality. We recommend that districtlevel policy implementers should be tasked with the responsibility of minimising inequality within their district and therefore overall inequality in Ghana. Also, poverty reduction strategies should take into consideration district-level poverty and other factors, such as land size distribution, that jointly affect poverty and inequality.
    Date: 2012
  8. By: Bukenya, James O.; Hyuha, Theodora; Twinamasiko, Julius; Molnar, Joseph
    Abstract: The paper examines profitability and market performance of small-scale fish traders selected randomly from a cross-section of nine fish markets in four districts in Central Uganda. Data were collected through a structured questionnaire which was designed to solicit information on tradersâ socio-economic characteristics, marketing characteristics, operating costs and returns, and problems associated with fish marketing in the study area. Percentages were used to describe the socio-economic characteristics, market characteristic and problems associated with fish marketing while gross profit and marketing performance models were used to determine profitability, marketing margin and operational efficiency, respectively. The results suggest that fish trade is carried out by both men and women. More men are involved in the trade of fresh fish while more women are involved in the processed (sundried/smoked) fish trade. Some traders dealt in more than one species of fish although a majority sold exclusively in one species. Gross profit was estimated at USh358.40/kg and USh234.73/kg for wholesalers and retailers, respectively, with marketing margins of 19.32% and 16.67% for wholesalers and retailers, respectively. The market operational efficiency was 279.27 percent, implying high efficiency in fish marketing in the study area. The major pressing concerns which included high supply cost, low prices, low fish supply and increased arrests for selling immature fish were common to both retail and wholesale marketing channels.
    Keywords: Fish marketing, survey data, gross profit, market margin, operational efficiency, Uganda, Agribusiness, International Development, International Relations/Trade, Marketing, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods,
    Date: 2012
  9. By: Rubén Castro (Facultad de Economía y Empresa, Universidad Diego Portales); Jere Behrman (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania); Hans-Peter Kohler (Department of Sociology, University of Pennsylvania)
    Date: 2011–05
  10. By: Mather, David
    Abstract: Replaced with revised version January 11, 2012.
    Keywords: AIDS, Mozambique, adult mortality, Child Schooling, Food Security and Poverty,
    Date: 2011–11
  11. By: Giacomo De Luca; Marijke Verpoorten;
    Abstract: We show that armed conflict affects social capital as measured by trust and associational membership. Using the case of Uganda and two rounds of nationally representative individual-level data bracketing a large number of battle events, we find that self-reported generalized trust and associational membership decreased during the conflict in districts in which battle events took place. Exploiting the different timing of two distinct waves of violence, we provide suggestive evidence for a rapid recovery of social capital. Evidence from a variety of identification strategies, including difference-in-difference and instrumental variavle estimates, suggest that these relationships are causal.
    Date: 2011
  12. By: Aksoy, M. Ataman; Yagci, Fahrettin
    Abstract: Cashew policy reforms in Mozambique have been controversial. They are often invoked by critics as an illustration of how agricultural policy reforms supported by international financial institutions may fail to have their intended effects. This paper revisits the reforms and their outcomes almost two decades later. While the reforms resulted in higher producer prices and an increase in output, lack of consensus on the specifics of the reforms and associated non-price support arrangements created a situation in which the sector was not able to withstand international price shocks that ultimately led to a collapse of both the processing industry and cashew production. Non-price support by donors improved the efficiency of the processing industry but this was not complemented by an expansion in cashew nut supply as such support did not extend to smallholder cashew producers. For the reforms to have had their intended results, greater investment in -- and support to -- smallholder production was needed to increase yields and overall output. Such a more comprehensive approach to cashew policy reform would have required a greater focus on achieving consensus on the causes of the cashew sector's problems and agreement by all stakeholders on a common institutional framework for pricing and non-price support.
    Keywords: Markets and Market Access,Emerging Markets,Economic Theory&Research,Access to Markets,E-Business
    Date: 2012–01–01
  13. By: Kaminski, Jonathan
    Abstract: This paper provides new evidence on the pattern of individual subjective welfare after a natural experiment in policy-led rural development, and aims to identify the causal relationships between subjective welfare and political opinions on the effects of the policy change. I adopt a structural approach by introducing a reference-based utility function that contains a signal of individual participation in the policy change, which is conveyed by political opinions. Using data collected in cotton areas of Burkina Faso, several simultaneous estimations are performed to analyze seemingly covariant political opinions on the recent cotton reform and changes in subjective wealth, while addressing measurement issues related to subjective indicators as well as heterogeneity in latent psychological factors. In addition to absolute and relative indicators of wealth, the large increase in subjective wealth is found to be driven by enthusiastic opinions about the reformâs effects on welfare and poverty alleviation, as well as by technical and institutional changes. The endogenous impact of political opinions on subjective wealth underlies the partial appropriation of the reformâs welfare effects by farmers.
    Keywords: Subjective Wealth, Burkina Faso, Policy Change, Rural Development, Political Opinions., Environmental Economics and Policy, Political Economy, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy, I32, 013, Q16, Q18,
    Date: 2011–11
  14. By: Souleymane DIARRA
    Abstract: Les chocs de produits de base ont fait l'objet de nombreuses études scientifiques. Les analyses se sont plutôt concentrées sur l'effet des chocs sur : la croissance économique, les dépenses publiques, le niveau de la pauvreté des ménages, etc. Cet article donne une autre dimension à l'analyse de l'effet des chocs en s'intéressant à la mobilisation des recettes publiques dans les pays d'Afrique sub-saharienne. Nous avons d'abord identifié et créé des variables muettes "booms" et "busts". Le test économétrique qui en suit montre un effet significatif et négatif des chocs négatifs sur le taux de prélèvement public et un effet non significatif des chocs positifs. Ces résultats s'expliquent par la baisse de l'effort de mobilisation des recettes publiques durant les périodes de "booms" et l'incapacité des pays d'Afrique sub-saharienne à mobiliser davantage de recettes durant les périodes de "busts". La baisse de l'effort de mobilisation des recettes durant les périodes de "booms" s'explique par l'effet richesse et par la politique budgétaire optimale de Talvi et Végh (2005). En effet, pendant ces périodes, une erreur d'appréciation de la durée du choc positif peut amener les Etats à réduire volontairement les taux d'imposition ou à pratiquer des politiques fiscales laxistes. En outre, l'apparition des pressions à la dépense durant les chocs positifs rend coûteux les surplus budgétaires et amène les Etats à réduire leur taux d'imposition. L'effet négatif et significatif des chocs négatifs est logique et s'explique par le rétrécissement de l'assiette fiscale et les difficultés de mise en œuvre des politiques de mobilisation fiscale durant les périodes de chocs négatifs pour compenser les pertes de recettes publiques.
    Keywords: Chocs, Produits de base, Recettes publiques.
    JEL: O13 H20 C23
    Date: 2011
  15. By: Goodfellow, Tom
    Date: 2011–12

This nep-afr issue is ©2012 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.