nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2012‒02‒01
thirteen papers chosen by
Quentin Wodon
World Bank

  1. WP 116 - Comparative study of labour relations in African countries By Ruya Kocer; Hayter, S.
  2. Loan Defaults in Africa By Svetlana Andrianova; Badi H Baltagi; Panicos O Demetriades
  3. African Financial Development Dynamics: Big Time Convergence By Simplice A, Asongu
  5. Are Proposed African Monetary Unions Optimal Currency Areas? Real and Monetary Policy Convergence Analysis By Simplice A , Asongu
  6. African Development: Beyond Income Convergence By Simplice A, Asongu
  7. African Stock Market Performance Dynamics: A Multidimensional Convergence Assessment By Simplice A, Asongu
  8. War and Stature: Growing Up During the Nigerian Civil War By Richard Akresh; Sonia Bhalotra; Marinella Leone; Una Osili
  9. Foreign aid and revenue response: An examination of joint General Budget Support By Knoll, Martin
  10. Is it all about Money? A Randomized Evaluation of the Impact of Insurance Literacy and Marketing Treatments on the Demand for Health Microinsurance in Senegal By Jacopo Bonan; Oliver Dagnelie; Philippe LeMay-Boucher; Michel Tenikue
  12. Real and Monetary Policy Convergence: EMU Crisis to the CFA Zone By Simplice A, Asongu
  13. Is Tanzania a Success Story? A Long Term Analysis By Sebastian Edwards

  1. By: Ruya Kocer (Universiteit van Amsterdam); Hayter, S.
    Abstract: In this paper we present a generic analytical picture of the development of national labour relations in Africa. We outline common features of industrial relations` actors and institutions, and, analyze the general conditions of labour markets in which these actors and institutions operate. We show that organized industrial relations in Africa face serious challenges but there are also new opportunities and strategies that might enable collective actors to cope with these challenges, and, contribute to the solution of Africa’s structural problems.
    Date: 2011–12
  2. By: Svetlana Andrianova; Badi H Baltagi; Panicos O Demetriades
    Abstract: African financial deepening is beset by a high rate of loan defaults, which encourages banks to hold liquid assets instead of lending. We put forward a novel theoretical model that captures the salient features of African credit markets which shows that equilibrium with high loan defaults and low lending can arise when contract enforcement institutions are weak, investment opportunities are relatively scarce and information imperfections abound. We provide evidence using a panel of 110 banks from 29 African countries which corroborates our theoretical predictions.
    Keywords: Financial development; Africa
    JEL: G21 O16
    Date: 2011–08
  3. By: Simplice A, Asongu
    Abstract: In the first critical assessment of convergence in financial development dynamics in Africa, we find overwhelming support for integration. The empirical evidence is premised on 11 homogenous panels based on regions(Sub-Saharan and North Africa), income-levels(low, middle, lower-middle and upper-middle), legal-origins(English common-law and French civil-law) and religious dominations(Christianity and Islam). We examine convergence in financial intermediary dynamics of depth, efficiency, activity and size. Findings suggest that countries with small-sized financial intermediary depth, efficiency, activity and size are catching-up with countries with large-sized financial intermediary depth, efficiency, activity and size respectively. We also provide the speeds of convergence and time necessary to achieve a full(100%) convergence. As a policy implication African governments should not relent in structural and institutional reforms.
    Keywords: Convergence; Policy Coordination; Banking; Africa
    JEL: F15 F42 O55 F36 P52
    Date: 2012–01–19
  4. By: NZINGA H. BROUSSARD (The Ohio State University); STEFAN DERCON (University of Oxford); ROHINI SOMANATHAN (Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi, India)
    Abstract: We study the distribution of food aid in Ethiopia between 1994 and 2004 using data from the Ethiopian Rural Household Survey. Over this period village leaders had considerable discretion in disbursing aid subject to official guidelines and periodic monitoring. We use a principal-agent model and household panel data for approximately 940 households to understand biases in the allocation of aid. The model shows that correlations between aid and observed measures of need are not a good measure of targeting because agents have incentives to distort allocations within targeted classes. Consistent with the model, we find that the aid recipients match official criteria but disbursements are negatively correlated with determinants of need that are not easily observable by monitoring agencies, namely pre-aid consumption, self-reported power and involvement in village-level organizations. Our results suggest informal structures of power within African villages influence the extent to which food aid insulates some of the world's poorest families from agricultural shocks but also that policy guidelines do constrain permissible deviations from need-based allocations.
    Date: 2012–01
  5. By: Simplice A , Asongu
    Abstract: A spectre is hunting embryonic African monetary zones: the EMU crisis. The introduction of common currencies in West and East Africa is facing stiff challenges in the timing of monetary convergence, the imperative of bankers to apply common modeling and forecasting methods of monetary policy transmission, as well as the requirements of common structural and institutional characteristics among candidate states. Inspired by the premise of the EMU crisis, this paper assesses real and monetary policy convergence within the proposed WAM and EAM zones. In the analysis, monetary policy targets inflation and financial dynamics of depth, efficiency, activity and size while real sector policy targets economic performance in terms of GDP growth at macro and micro levels. Findings suggest overwhelming lack of convergence; an indication that candidate countries still have to work towards harmonizing cross-country differences in fundamental, structural and institutional characteristics that hamper the convergence process.
    Keywords: Currency Area; Convergence; Policy Coordination; Africa
    JEL: F15 F42 O55 F36 P52
    Date: 2012–01–19
  6. By: Simplice A, Asongu
    Abstract: In examining some big questions on African development, we provide evidence that dynamics of some development indicators could support both endogenous and neoclassical growth theories in the convergence debate. This paper investigates convergence in real per capita GDP and inequality adjusted human development in African countries, disaggregated into 11 homogenous panels based on regions(Sub-Saharan and North Africa), income-levels(low, middle, lower-middle and upper-middle), legal-origins(English common-law and French civil-law) and religious dominations(Christianity and Islam). Findings reveal, while human development supports the exogenous growth model and rejects the endogenous theory, its income component suggests the contrary. As a policy implication, looking beyond income convergence can provide a concrete agenda for development involving all aspects of economic, institutional and social life. Also, the income component of the human development index moves slower than others in the convergence process and thus requires a more focused policy intervention.
    Keywords: Human development; Growth; Convergence; Panel; Africa
    JEL: O11 O55 O47 O20 P52
    Date: 2012–01–19
  7. By: Simplice A, Asongu
    Abstract: This paper dissects with great acuteness, the issues of convergence in financial performance dynamics in the African continent through the lenses of stock market capitalization, value traded, turnover and number of listed companies. The empirical evidence is premised on 11 homogenous panels based on regions(Sub-Saharan and North Africa), income-levels(low, middle, lower-middle and upper-middle), legal-origins(English common-law and French civil-law) and religious dominations(Christianity and Islam). Findings provide partial support for the existence of absolute convergence in some dynamics. Only SSA reveals conditional convergence in relation to per capita number of listed companies. The speed of convergence for the most part is between 12% and 28% per annum. As a policy implication, countries should work towards adopting common institutional and structural characteristics that favor stock market development.
    Keywords: Convergence; Stock markets; Panel; Africa
    JEL: F30 O16 G10 G20 P50
    Date: 2012–01–19
  8. By: Richard Akresh; Sonia Bhalotra; Marinella Leone; Una Osili
    Abstract: The Nigerian civil war of 1967-70 was precipitated by secession of the Igbo-dominated south-eastern region to create the state of Biafra. It was the first civil war in Africa, the predecessor of many. We investigate the legacies of this war four decades later. Using variation across ethnicity and cohort, we identify significant long run impacts on human health capital. Individuals exposed to the war at all ages between birth and adolescence exhibit reduced adult stature and these impacts are largest in adolescence. Adult stature is portentous of reduced life expectancy and lower earnings.
    Keywords: war, height, early life, human capital investments, Nigeria.
    JEL: I12 O12 J13
    Date: 2011–12
  9. By: Knoll, Martin
    Abstract: The present paper explores the extent to which new joint General Budget Support (GBS) systems have been able to overcome the problems of aid dependency and negative fiscal incentives that can potentially result from high levels of on-budget aid. As approximately 90 percent of new joint GBS goes to sub-Saharan Africa, this analysis, which covers the period from 2000 to 2008, evaluates data from 37 sub-Saharan developing countries. According to fixed effect and system GMM estimations, joint GBS assistance - although highly discretionary - does not undermine recipients' revenue mobilization efforts. Indeed, on the contrary, while aid in general has no measurable impact on recipients' revenue performance, joint GBS programs are associated with higher revenue mobilization. This suggests that on-budget aid delivered under well-targeted conditionality successfully mitigates adverse fiscal incentives while substantially enhancing recipients' fiscal space. --
    Keywords: budget support,fiscal response,revenue mobilization,sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: C33 F35 O23 O55
    Date: 2011
  10. By: Jacopo Bonan; Oliver Dagnelie; Philippe LeMay-Boucher; Michel Tenikue
    Abstract: In Senegal mutual health organizations (MHOs) have been present in the greater region of Thiès for years. Despite their benefits, in some areas there remain low take-up rates. We offer an insurance literacy module, communicating the benefits from health microinsurance and the functioning of MHOs, to a randomly selected sample of households in the city of Thiès. The effects of this training, and three cross-cutting marketing treatments, are evaluated using a randomized control trial. We find that the insurance literacy module has no impact, but that our marketing treatment has a significant effect on the take up decisions of households.
    Keywords: Community based health insurance scheme, Randomized control trials, Africa, Senegal
    JEL: C93 O17
    Date: 2012–01
  11. By: Yuki Tanaka (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies); Alistair Munro (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies)
    Abstract: Experiments measuring risk and time preferences in developing countries have tended to have relatively small samples and geographically concentrated sampling. This large-scale field experiment uses a Holt-Laury mechanism to elicit the preferences of 1289 randomly selected subjects from 94 villages covering six out of seven agro-climatic zones across rural Uganda. As in previous studies we find evidence of risk aversion and loss aversion amongst most subjects. In addition we find significant heterogeneity in risk attitudes across agro-climatic zones. Especially, the farmers in the agro-climatically least favourable zone, the uni-modal rainfall zone, are the most risk averse, loss averse and impatient. We also find significant relationships between risk attitudes and village level predictors such as the distance to town and the road conditions. After controlling for the village level factors, we find that the level of schooling still positively correlates with the individual’s level of loss tolerance and patience. The main results are not altered by allowing for probability weighting in subjects’ choices. Overall the results provide clear evidence that within one country there may be significant regional variations in risk and time attitudes. We conjecture that the agro-climatic conditions that affect farmers’ livelihoods may also affect their risk and time preferences and village level development in infrastructure could improve the household perception of investment related policies.
    Date: 2012–01
  12. By: Simplice A, Asongu
    Abstract: A major lesson of the EMU crisis is that serious disequilibria result from regional monetary arrangements not designed to be robust to a variety of shocks. The purpose of this paper is to assess these disequilibria within the CEMAC, UEMOA and CFA zones. In the assessments, monetary policy targets inflation and financial dynamics of depth, efficiency, activity and size while real sector policy targets economic performance in terms of GDP growth. We also provide the speed of convergence and time required to achieve a 100% convergence. But for financial intermediary size within the CFA zone, findings for the most part support only unconditional convergence. There is no form of convergence within the CEMAC zone. The broad insignificance of conditional convergence results have substantial policy implications. Monetary and real policies which are often homogenous for member states are thwarted by heterogeneous structural and institutional characteristics which give rise to different levels and patterns of financial intermediary development. Therefore member states should work towards harmonizing cross-country differences in structural and institutional characteristics that hamper the effectiveness of monetary policies.
    Keywords: CFA Zone; Currency Area; Convergence; Policy Coordination
    JEL: F15 F42 O55 F36 P52
    Date: 2012–01–19
  13. By: Sebastian Edwards
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to provide a historical perspective on the reform process initiated in Tanzania in 1986, and deepened in 1996. In order to do this I concentrate mostly on the period spanning from 1967, when the Arusha Declaration was adopted by the official political party the TANU, and 1996, when a new approach towards foreign aid was implemented. I am particularly interested in investigating how external aid affected Tanzania during the early years, and how it contributed to the demise of the economy in the 1970s and 1980s. I also analyze the role played by foreign aid in the subsequent (after 1996) recovery of the country. I emphasize both technical as well as political economy issues related to imbalances, disequilibria, devaluation, black markets, adjustment, and reform. Because of the emphasis on foreign aid and macroeconomics, I pay special attention to three important episodes in Tanzania’s economic history: (a) the exchange rate crisis of the late 1970’s and early 1980s; (b) the IMF Stand-by Program and the maxi-devaluation of 1986; and (c) The serious impasse between donors and the Tanzanian authorities in the mid 1990s. At the end of the analysis I ask whether Tanzania is, as officials from the multilateral institutions have claimed repeatedly, a “success story.”
    JEL: F31 F32 G01 N17 N72 O55
    Date: 2012–01

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.
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