nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2012‒04‒03
twenty-one papers chosen by
Quentin Wodon
World Bank

  1. The impact of demand on cargo dwell time in ports in SSA By Beuran, Monica; Mahihenni, Mohamed Hadi; Raballand, Gael; Refas, Salim
  2. South-South Migration and the Labor Market: Evidence from South Africa By Giovanni Facchini; Anna Maria Mayda; Mariapia Mendola
  3. Staple Food Market Sheds in West Africa By Haggblade, Steven; Longabaugh, Steven; Boughton, Duncan; Dembele, Niama Nango; Diallo, Boubacar; Staatz, John M.; Tschirley, David L.
  4. Employment Generation in Rural Africa: Mid-Term Results from an Experimental Evaluation of the Youth Opportunities Program in Northern Uganda By Christopher Blattman; Nathan Fiala; Sebastian Martinez
  5. Living Standards In South Africa's Former Homelands By Martine Mariotti
  6. HIV, Wages, and the Skill Premium By Marinescu, Ioana E.
  7. Income and Poverty Impacts of USAID-Funded Programs to Promote Maize, Horticulture, and Dairy Enterprises in Kenya, 2004-2010 By Smale, Melinda; Mathenge, Mary K.; Jayne, Thomas S.; Magalhaes, Eduardo; Olwande, John; Kirimi, Lilian; Kamau, Mercy W.; Githuku, James
  8. State legitimacy and famines in Sub-Saharan Africa By Sutter, Camille
  10. Do reticent managers lie during firm surveys? By Clarke, George
  11. Determinants of Crop Income in Rural Mozambique, 2002-2005. By Mather, David
  12. Smallholder shallow groundwater irrigation development in the upper east region of Ghana By Namara, Regassa E; Awuni, J. A.; Barry, Boubacar; Giordano, Mark; Hope, Lesley; Owusu, Eric S.; Forkuor, Gerald
  13. Financial Sector Competition in West African Economic and Monetary Union By Florian LEON
  14. Determinants of Health Professionals’ Migration in Africa By Simplice A , Asongu
  15. "The Determinants and Consequence of School Choice Errors in Kenya" By Adrienne Lucas; Isaac M. Mbiti
  18. Household Responses to Information on Child Nutrition: Experimental Evidence from Malawi By Fitzsimons, Emla; Malde, Bansi; Mesnard, Alice; Vera-Hernández, Marcos
  19. Interest rates in community-managed microfinance: How the poorest Africans earn sixty percent return on their savings By Rasmussen, Ole Dahl
  21. A Estrutura e Tendência da Despesa Pública Agrícola em Moçambique By Zavale, Helder; Mlay, Gilead; Boughton, Duncan; Chamusso, Adriano; Gemo, Helder; Chilonda, Pius

  1. By: Beuran, Monica; Mahihenni, Mohamed Hadi; Raballand, Gael; Refas, Salim
    Abstract: Long cargo dwell times in ports are a critical issue in Sub-Saharan African countries since they result in slow import processes and are bound to dramatically reduce trade. The main objective of this study is to analyze long dwell times'causes in ports in Sub-Saharan Africa from a shipper's perspective. The findings point to the crucial importance of private sector practices and incentives. The authors argue in the case of Sub-Saharan African countries that private operators, rather than being advocates of reforms in this area, might be responsible for the failures of many of these initiatives. It seems that in Sub-Saharan Africa importers'and freight forwarders'professionalism, cash constraints and operators'strategies are some of the factors that have a major impact on cargo dwell time. Low competency, cash constraints and low storage tariffs explain why most importers have little incentive to reduce cargo dwell time since in most cases, this would increase their input costs. However, monopolists/cartels may have a stronger incentive to reduce cargo dwell time but only in order to maximize their profit (and would not adjust prices downward).
    Keywords: Markets and Market Access,Common Carriers Industry,Transport and Trade Logistics,Transport Economics Policy&Planning,Economic Theory&Research
    Date: 2012–03–01
  2. By: Giovanni Facchini (Erasmus University Rotterdam, University of Milan, CEPR, CES-Ifo, CReAM, IZA and LdA); Anna Maria Mayda (Georgetown University, Centro Studi Luca d’Agliano, CEPR and IZA); Mariapia Mendola (University of Milan Bicocca and Centro Studi Luca d’Agliano)
    Abstract: Using census data for 1996, 2001 and 2007 we study the labor market effect of immigration in South Africa. In this period the share of foreign born over the total population has grown by almost fifty percent, and both the characteristics and geographical distribution of immigrants show substantial variation over time. We exploit these features of the data to carry out an analysis that combines both the “spatial correlation” approach pioneered by Card (1990) and the variation across schooling and experience groups used by Borjas (2003). We estimate that increased immigration has a negative effect on natives’ employment outcomes, but not on total income. Furthermore, we find that skilled South Africans appear to be the most negatively affected subgroup of the population.
    Keywords: Immigration, Labor market effects, South Africa
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2012–03–27
  3. By: Haggblade, Steven; Longabaugh, Steven; Boughton, Duncan; Dembele, Niama Nango; Diallo, Boubacar; Staatz, John M.; Tschirley, David L.
    Abstract: This paper aims to identify the geographic extent of major staple food market sheds in West Africa as well as the major trade corridors that link surplus producing areas with the deficit markets they serve. The method employed combines data on the spatial distribution of rural and urban population, maps of differing food staple zones, crop production data and consumption patterns as described in an array of recent household surveys to map major urban food markets as well as principal surplus production zones. Expert knowledge from traders and other market monitors in the region enable the authors to identify the major commodity flows linking the markets with their major supply zones. These efforts aim to summarize a large volume of information simply and clearly in market shed maps. The paper applies this method to map foodsheds for the region's major domestically produced food staple, sorghum and millet, and the major imported food, rice.
    Keywords: West Africa, food markets, Marketing,
    Date: 2012–02
  4. By: Christopher Blattman; Nathan Fiala; Sebastian Martinez
    Abstract: Can cash transfers promote employment and reduce poverty in rural Africa? Will lower youth unemployment and poverty reduce the risk of social instability? We experimentally evaluate one of Uganda's largest development programs, which provided thousands of young people nearly unconditional, unsupervised cash transfers to pay for vocational training, tools, and business start-up costs. Mid-term results after two years suggest four main findings. First, despite a lack of central monitoring and accountability, most youth invest the transfer in vocational skills and tools. Second, the economic impacts of the transfer are large: hours of nonhousehold employment double and cash earnings increase by nearly 50% relative to the control group. We estimate the transfer yields a real annual return on capital of 35% on average. Third, the evidence suggests that poor access to credit is a major reason youth cannot start these vocations in the absence of aid. Much of the heterogeneity in impacts is unexplained, however, and is unrelated to conventional economic measures of ability, suggesting we have much to learn about the determinants of entrepreneurship. Finally, these economic gains result in modest improvements in social stability. Measures of social cohesion and community support improve mildly, by roughly 5 to 10%, especially among males, most likely because the youth becomes a net giver rather than a net taker in his kin and community network. Most strikingly, we see a 50% fall in interpersonal aggression and disputes among males, but a 50% increase among females. Neither change seems related to economic performance nor does social cohesion - a puzzle to be explored in the next phase of the study. These results suggest that increasing access to credit and capital could stimulate employment growth in rural Africa. In particular, unconditional and unsupervised cash transfers may be a more effective and cost-efficient form of large-scale aid than commonly believed. A second stage of data collection in 2012 will collect longitudinal economic impacts, additional data on political violence and behavior, and explore alternative theoretical mechanisms.
    Keywords: Cash grant, randomized control trial, credit constraints, psychological and social impacts
    JEL: O12 O15
    Date: 2012
  5. By: Martine Mariotti
    Abstract: I exploit the sudden increase in employment in 1975, 1976 and 1977 in some former homelands by comparing the long term adult physical outcomes of children benefitting from the employment increase to those not subject to it. Using a standard difference in difference approach I find that there was some malnutrition in the homelands resulting in stunting in African men born during the shock providing support to the foetal origins hypothesis. The employment shock did not affect other long term outcomes such as education and general health, although there is some evidence of an improvement in long term health. This study provides previously unmeasured individual level information on the quality of life in the homelands during apartheid, an era when African living standards were neglected but unmeasured because of a lack of data collection
    Keywords: Apartheid; living standards; stunting; difference-in-difference; foetal origins hypothesis
    JEL: I31 N37
    Date: 2012–03
  6. By: Marinescu, Ioana E. (Harris School, University of Chicago)
    Abstract: The HIV epidemic has dramatically decreased labor supply among prime-age adults in sub-Saharan Africa. Using within-country variation in regional HIV prevalence and a synthetic panel, I find that HIV significantly increases the capital-labor ratio in urban manufacturing firms. The impact of HIV on average wages is positive but imprecisely estimated. In contrast, HIV has a large positive impact on the skill premium. The impact of HIV on the wages of low skilled workers is insignificantly different from 0, and is strongly dampened by competition from rural migrants. The HIV epidemic disproportionately increases the incomes of high-skilled survivors, thus increasing inequality.
    Keywords: labor supply, wages, health, AIDS, HIV, development
    JEL: J22 I15 J31
    Date: 2012–03
  7. By: Smale, Melinda; Mathenge, Mary K.; Jayne, Thomas S.; Magalhaes, Eduardo; Olwande, John; Kirimi, Lilian; Kamau, Mercy W.; Githuku, James
    Abstract: Since 2002, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has funded programs to promote maize, dairy, and horticulture enterprises among smallholder farmers in Kenya under the Strategic Objective 7 of Increased Rural Household Incomes. On behalf of USAID, Tegemeo Institute has conducted household surveys to help track key indicators that monitor progress in the implementation of these programs. The first survey was conducted in 2004. Subsequent surveys were conducted every two years (i.e., 2006, 2008, and 2010). The sample comprises households participating and those not participating in the programs. The programs monitored include the Kenya Maize Development Program (KMDP), the Kenya Horticulture Development Project (KHDP), and the Kenya Dairy Development Program (KDDP), which is now known as the Kenya Dairy Sector Competitiveness Program (KDSCP).
    Keywords: Kenya, income, poverty, household surveys, International Development, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods,
    Date: 2012–02
  8. By: Sutter, Camille
    Abstract: Political Economy of famines mainly focuses on political regimes to understand the role of institutions. In this paper, we investigate a broader concept, state legitimacy, and its role on one specific development outcome, famine management. State legitimacy refers to the political history of a country, meaning the embedding of state and society. Using a database of Sub-Saharan countries observed from 1980 to 2005, we use three empirical strategies: logit on famine occurrence, negative binomial regression and Arellano-Bond dynamic model on the number of years of famines. They all lead to the same results: there is room for a political economy of famine based on an analysis of state. State legitimacy prevents famines, controlling for shocks countries might go through, and controlling for the quality of government. The main contributions of this paper are first to consider the role of state legitimacy in the political economy of famines and second to apply the concept in an empirical analysis, using for the first time a state legitimacy variable.
    Keywords: Democracy; Famine; Institutions; State Legitimacy; Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: O55 H11 I18 I3 Q18
    Date: 2011–10
  9. By: Tawanda Mudamburi Author_Email: (Harare Institute of Technology (HIT), Harare, Zimbabwe)
    Keywords: Resource, Strategic, Innovation, Value Addition, Business Management
    JEL: M0
    Date: 2011–10
  10. By: Clarke, George
    Abstract: Previous studies have shown that reticent managers, who are identified through a series of random-response questions, answer questions about corruption, firm performance and how honest they are differently from other managers. If reticent managers’ answers are different because they are lying, estimates of these behaviors will be inaccurate. But it is also possible that reticent managers answer questions differently because they and their firms are different. This paper presents evidence consistent with the idea that reticent managers lie. First, it shows that reticent managers in Nigeria report that their firms pay higher wages than other firms. This is consistent with previous studies that have found that they also report better performance. Second, it shows that workers at firms with reticent managers report lower, or similar, wages to workers at other firms. The different responses of the managers and the workers suggest that reticent managers are lying. That is, reticent managers in Nigeria report paying higher wages but they are not doing so.
    Keywords: Reticence; Nigeria; Africa; Corruption; Wages
    JEL: D21 D73 C42 O12
    Date: 2012–03–25
  11. By: Mather, David
    Abstract: Crop income is the predominant source of income for most rural Mozambican households, accounting for 73% of rural household income on average in 2002, and greater than 80% of the total income of the poorest 40% of rural households. While the Government of Mozambique recognizes the need to improve agricultural productivity, there is little empirical evidence to date suggesting what mix of public and private assets would best foster improved agricultural productivity in rural Mozambique. This paper aims to better understand the determinants of household crop income in rural Mozambique, by using the TIA panel household survey of 2002-2005 to measure the impact of various private and public assets on crop income. We build upon Walker et al.’s (2004) analysis of TIA02 crop income by utilizing the econometric advantages of panel econometrics to obtain improved estimates of the impact of various private and public assets on crop income. Our principal focus is to measure the effect on total household net crop income of factors which are assumed to have a positive effect on crop productivity and profitability, including: private assets such as landholding; household use of improved inputs (fertilizer, animal traction) and diversification into tobacco or cotton; and access to public goods such as extension advice, market price information, and farm association membership.
    Keywords: Mozambique, crop income, food security, Agricultural and Food Policy, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Consumer/Household Economics, Food Security and Poverty, International Development, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods,
    Date: 2012–01
  12. By: Namara, Regassa E; Awuni, J. A.; Barry, Boubacar; Giordano, Mark; Hope, Lesley; Owusu, Eric S.; Forkuor, Gerald (International Water Management Institute (IWMI))
    Keywords: Groundwater irrigation / Wells / Agronomic practices / Smallholders / Economic aspects / Social aspects / Irrigated land / Investment / Water management / Crop management / Food security / Poverty / Households / Ghana
    Date: 2011
  13. By: Florian LEON (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the degree of competition in the WAEMU financial industry over the period 2002-2007 using firm-level data (591 year-firm observations). Market structure analysis, the Panzar-Rosse model and conjectural variation are applied to assess the level of competition. The results show that the prevailing market structure in the WAEMU financial industry is concentrated and financial intermediaries operate under imperfect competition. Although competition was fierce during the mid-2000s, the level of competition has remained limited. Moreover, apart from Benin and Mali, the structural and non-structural approaches are closely related, contrary to previous findings, which have some implications for the empirical studies. Finally, a common regulatory framework does not imply similar level of competition. The presence of non-legal barriers is the most plausible explanation of these large differences between WAEMU members.
    Keywords: Banking competition;Market structure;Panzar-Rosse model;Conjectural variation model;WAEMU
    Date: 2012–03–21
  14. By: Simplice A , Asongu
    Abstract: How do economic prosperity, health expenditure, savings, price-stability, demographic change, democracy, corruption-control, press-freedom, government effectiveness, human development, foreign-aid, physical security, trade openness and financial liberalization play-out in the fight against health-worker crisis when existing emigration levels matter? Despite the acute concern of health-worker crisis in Africa owing to emigration, lack of relevant data has made the subject matter empirically void over the last decades. This paper assesses the theoretical postulations of the WHO report on determinants of health-worker migration. Findings provide a broad range of tools for the fight against health-worker brain-drain. As a policy implication, blanket emigration-control policies are unlikely to succeed equally across countries with different levels of emigration. Thus to be effective, immigration policies should be contingent on the prevailing levels of the crisis and tailored differently across countries with the best and worst records on fighting health worker emigration.
    Keywords: Welfare; Health; Human Capital; Migration
    JEL: F22 O15 J24 D60 I10
    Date: 2012–03–26
  15. By: Adrienne Lucas (Department of Economics, Unversity of Delaware); Isaac M. Mbiti (Department of Economics, Southern Methodist University)
    Abstract: The benefits of school choice systems designed to help disadvantaged groups might be hindered by information asymmetries. Kenyan elite secondary schools admit students from the entire country based on a national test score, district quotas, and stated school choices. We find even the highest ability students make school choice errors. Girls, students with lower test scores, and students from public and low quality primary schools are more likely to make such errors. Net of observable demographic characteristics, these errors are associated with a decrease in the probability that students are admitted to elite secondary schools, relegating them to schools of lower quality.
    Keywords: school choice, education, secondary schooling, kenya
    JEL: I21 I25 O15
    Date: 2012
  16. By: Ahmad Bello Author_Email: (Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria)
    Keywords: Corporate Governance, Board Composition, Board Size, Dividend Payment, Accounting ethics
    JEL: M0
    Date: 2011–06
  17. By: Azubuike Vera M.U. Author_Email: (Department Of Business Administration University Of Abuja)
    JEL: M0
    Date: 2011–06
  18. By: Fitzsimons, Emla; Malde, Bansi; Mesnard, Alice; Vera-Hernández, Marcos
    Abstract: This paper provides evidence on household responses to the relaxation of one barrier constraining adoption of health practices - lack of information - in a resource constrained setting. It examines the effects of a randomized intervention in Malawi which provides mothers with information on infant nutrition and health. It finds that the intervention results in increases in household food consumption, particularly of protein-rich foods by children. The increased household consumption is funded by increased father’s labor supply, constituting evidence that changes in the perceived child health production function affect adult labor supply. Improved consumption also results in better child health.
    Keywords: cluster randomised control trial; health information; infant health
    JEL: D10 I15 I18 O12 O15
    Date: 2012–03
  19. By: Rasmussen, Ole Dahl (Department of Business and Economics)
    Abstract: It is common to see the interest rate on savings in community-managed microfinance being reported as "20-30% annually". Using panel data from 204 groups in Malawi, I show that the right figure is likely to be at least twice this figure. This is due to sector-wide application of non-standard interest rate calculation and unrealistic assumptions about the savings profile in the groups. In the 204 groups, the annual interest rate on savings is 63%. For transparency and accountability donors, politicians and practitioners should change their interest rate calculations. Furthermore, the proposal method will allow practitioners to better monitor group performance.
    Keywords: Microfinance; interest rates; performance monitoring; community-managed microfinance; village savings and loan associations; Malawi; NGO
    JEL: G21 M40 O16 Q13
    Date: 2012–03–29
  20. By: Luka Mailafia Author_Email: (Department of Accounting Faculty of Administration, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria)
    Keywords: Automated Trading System, Capital Market, Nigerian Stock Exchange
    JEL: M0
    Date: 2011–10
  21. By: Zavale, Helder; Mlay, Gilead; Boughton, Duncan; Chamusso, Adriano; Gemo, Helder; Chilonda, Pius
    Keywords: Mozambique, food policy, Agricultural and Food Policy, International Development, Political Economy,
    Date: 2011–12

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