nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2012‒11‒11
fourteen papers chosen by
Quentin Wodon
World Bank

  1. Assessing the price-raising effect of non-tariff measures in Africa By Olivier Cadot; Julien Gourdon
  2. Real Interest Rate Persistence in South Africa: Evidence and Implications By Sonali Das; Rangan Gupta; Patrick T. Kanda; Monique Reid; Christian K. Tipoy; Mulatu F. Zerihun
  3. A Framework for Investigating Micro Data Quality, with Application to South African Labour Market Household Surveys By Reza C. Daniels
  4. Youths in the South African labour since the transition: A study of changes between 1995 and 2011 By Derek Yu
  5. The Role of Land Certification in Reducing Gender Gaps in Productivity in Rural Ethiopia By Bezabih, Mintewab; Holden, Stein; Mannberg, Andrea
  6. Impact of land certification on tree growing on private plots of rural households: Evidence from Ethiopia By Mekonnen, Alemu; Ghebru, Hosaena; Holden, Stein; Kassie, Menale
  8. The Battle for Rubber in Benin By James Fenske
  9. Questionnaire Design and Response Propensities for Employee Income Micro Data By Reza C. Daniels
  10. Aspectos Conceituais e Práticos da Atuação do Brasil em Cooperação Sul-Sul: Os Casos de Haiti, Bolívia e Guiné Bissau By Moníca Hirst
  11. Uganda's microfinance policy regime: An exploratio through a political-economy framework By Schmidt, Oliver
  12. Learning by Doing: Skills and Jobs in Urban Ghana By Monazza Aslam; Kim Lehrer
  13. Réexamen des déterminants de la croissance économique en Côte d'Ivoire By Lewis Landry Gakpa
  14. Modeling Artisanal Fisheries and Hydroelectricity in Relation to the Itezhi-tezhi Dam on the Kafue River, Zambia By Richard Jensen

  1. By: Olivier Cadot; Julien Gourdon
    Abstract: In spite of widespread tariff reductions, intra-African borders remain thick. Regional trade is inhibited by inadequate transportation infrastructure, but also by various government-imposed measures. This paper combines price data from the World Bank’s International Comparison Project (ICP) with the new TRAINS database on non-tariff measures (NTMs) to estimate their effect on consumer prices for selected consumption products. Results based on panel regressions on 1260 country-product pairs suggest that, after controlling for tariffs, systematic cross-country cost-of-living differences, and product-specific unobservables, SPS measures contribute to raise the price of African foodstuffs by 14%. At the product level, rice and other cereals, some types of meat (e.g. poultry), and edible oils tend to fetch high AVEs. Combining our estimates with data on household expenditure patterns from Kenya’s household survey, we show that the effect is regressive, raising the cost of living by 9% for poor households.
    Keywords: Ad-valorem equivalent;Price-raising impact of non tariff measures;Africa
    JEL: F10 F11 F13 O55
    Date: 2012–08
  2. By: Sonali Das (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research); Rangan Gupta (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria); Patrick T. Kanda (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria); Monique Reid (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch); Christian K. Tipoy (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria); Mulatu F. Zerihun (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria)
    Abstract: The real interest rate is a very important variable in the transmission of monetary policy. It features in vast majority of financial and macroeconomic models. Though the theoretical importance of the real interest rate has generated a sizable literature that examines its long-run properties, surprisingly, there does not exist any study that delves into this issue for South Africa. Given this, using quarterly data (1960:Q2-2010:Q4) for South Africa, our paper endeavors to analyze the long-run properties of the ex post real rate (EPRR) by using tests of unit root, cointegration, fractional integration and structural breaks. In addition, we also analyze whether monetary shocks contribute to fluctuations in the real interest rate based on test of structural breaks of the rate of inflation as well as Bayesian change point analysis. Based on the tests conducted, we conclude that the South African EPPR can be best viewed as a very persistent but ultimately mean-reverting process. Also, the persistence in the real interest rate can be tentatively considered as a monetary phenomenon.
    Keywords: Real Interest Rate, Monetary Policy, Persistence, Mean Reversion
    JEL: C22 E21 E44 E52 E62 G12
    Date: 2012
  3. By: Reza C. Daniels (SALDRU, School of Economics, University of Cape Town)
    Abstract: In this paper the Total Survey Error (TSE) paradigm is combined with detailed data quality indicators to develop a framework for investigating micro data quality. The TSE framework is widely used in the survey methodology literature to identify different components of error that arise in the survey process. Consequently, it provides a very useful typology for researchers to understand which data quality issues are relevant in applied work based on these surveys. In order to demonstrate how the framework sheds light on micro data quality, two labour market household surveys conducted by Statistics South Africa are reviewed, spanning a time-frame from 1995-2007. It is argued that efforts to improve data quality should involve a virtuous interaction between producers and consumers of micro data and should be considered an evolving process. For producers of data, the preparation and publication of detailed data quality frameworks is recommended, and two examples of these frameworks are reviewed. For consumers of data, judicious analyses of the univariate, bivariate and multivariate relationships in public-use versions of the datasets can help shed light on different components of survey error, and should be communicated back to survey organisations. Ultimately, improving data quality is about being more explicit about the limitations of data production at each stage of the process, which does not stop at initial public release.
    Keywords: Data Quality Evaluation and Assessment, Total Survey Error
    JEL: C81 C83
    Date: 2012
  4. By: Derek Yu (Department of Economics, Universities of Stellenbosch and the Western Cape)
    Abstract: The persistently high unemployment rate has always been one of the most pressing socio-economic problems of the South African economy. There is a general consensus that unemployment is structural, as there is a mismatch between the skills demanded by employers for the available jobs and the skills supplied by the labour force seeking work. As there is an increase of demand for highly-skilled workers with the adoption of capital-intensive and technologically more advanced production processes, most of the unemployed are unskilled and not well educated. The unemployment rate is much higher amongst youths than in amongst the older workforce. Also, youths are less likely to find employment and employed youths are relatively more likely to be retrenched during recessions due to their lack of experience. The announcement by the Finance Minister in the February 2011 Budget Speech that a youth wage subsidy will be implemented in 2012 was based on the hope that the subsidy program would boost the labour demand for youths, and decrease youth unemployment. Hence, this paper first analyses the demographic and education characteristics of the youth labour force, employed and unemployed, using the 1995-2011 labour survey data released by Statistics South Africa. The paper then investigates the main causes of youth unemployment, such as skills mismatch, quality of education, lack of experience, expectations of the youths, and the impact of wage rigidities. The paper then discusses how the wage subsidy program works, as well as its potential merits and drawbacks. It is concluded that while a wage subsidy might be effective in facilitating the entry of young workers into the job market, it is not sufficient to increase and maintain youth employment. Various other issues need to be addressed, such as reducing and preventing early drop out from schools; improving the quality of education in former Black schools; more attention to critical subjects like Mathematics and Science to prevent skills mismatch; more emphasis on practical, skills-oriented, vocational training at higher education levels; curtailing restrictive labour legislation that results in wage rigidity, productivity stagnation or decline, and increase in indirect costs, which eventually discourage employers to employ youth workers; and more rapid economic growth that is employment elastic.
    Keywords: Youth, employment, unemployment, wage subsidy
    JEL: J00 J21
    Date: 2012
  5. By: Bezabih, Mintewab (Department of Economics, University of Sussex); Holden, Stein (Department of Economics and Resource Management, Norwegian University of Life Sciences); Mannberg, Andrea (Department of economics, Umeå university)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the impact of a low cost and restricted rights land certification program on the productivity of female-headed households. The analysis is based on plot level panel data from the East Gojjam and South Wollo Zones in the Amhara region of Ethiopia. The results suggest a positive and significant effect of certification on plot-level productivity, particularly on plots rented out to other operators. In addition, the results show that certification has different impacts on male and female productivity with female-headed households gaining significantly more and with zonal differences in the effectiveness of certification impacts.
    Keywords: Ethiopia; Female Headed Households; Productivity; Land Market; Certification
    JEL: D02 Q12 Q15
    Date: 2012–09–01
  6. By: Mekonnen, Alemu (Addis Ababa University and EEPFE/EDRI); Ghebru, Hosaena (IFPRI); Holden, Stein (School of Economics and Business); Kassie, Menale (CIMMYT)
    Abstract: The paper examines the impact of land certification on tree growing on private plots of rural households in the Amhara and Tigray regions of Ethiopia. Household and plot level panel data from before and after land certification from stratified random samples of households were used for the analysis. The results suggest a positive impact of land certification on tree growing on private plots of rural households. Law restrictions on tree planting on land suitable for agricultural production may explain why positive but lower investments in tree growing were found on plots that had been exposed to public conservation programs. The study questions the rationale of prohibiting tree growing on degraded agricultural land where tree growing is more profitable and more sustainable than continued growing of food crops.
    Keywords: Land certification; tenure security; incentives for tree planting; investment impact; law restrictions
    JEL: K11 Q15 Q23 Q24 Q56
    Date: 2012–09–01
    Abstract: Appreciated for its culinary qualities, rice has become very important in the diets of households in Cameroon. The rice market is generally found Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese. But where is the rice Cameroon? The central objective is to identify trade policy tools to implement in Cameroon to meet the ambitions that the region is fixed in its Common Agricultural Policy. Determine which trade policy tools related to TEC / CEMAC would be more appropriate to stimulate production and promote regional trade. The methodology combines qualitative and quantitative analysis. The reference period is 2005 with support from the spinneret method that extends from 2006-2016. The final choice in instrument protection is primarily political and should reflect the need for coherence between the protective measures and the objective of food sovereignty defined at the sectoral agricultural policy in the region. Now exposed to strong competition and often unfair, it is difficult for operators to Central Africa to make the investments necessary to develop the agricultural sector. At the end of our analysis, we suggest that to increase the supply of rice in Cameroon should develop a tariff rate of 50% compliance with the WTO clause. The model showed that the TSI has a very positive impact on rice, with an increase in revenue of 14% to the producer and the production of 6%.
    Keywords: Local rice; agricultural policy; farming system; farm; farm household model; trade policy; food sovereignty
    JEL: F13
    Date: 2012–05–18
  8. By: James Fenske (St.Anthony’s College, University of Oxford)
    Abstract: At the start of the Second World War, British policies restricted rubber planting in Nigeria's Benin region. After Japan occupied Southeast Asia, Britain encouraged maximum production of rubber in Benin. Late in the war, officials struggled with the planting boom that had occurred. The war was a period of both continuity and change. Producers gained experience and capital. Forestry policies restricting planting survived, and output quality continued to occupy officials after the war. The colonial state was hindered by a lack of knowledge and resources, and by its pursuit of conflicting objectives in giving incentives to both producers and traders.
    Date: 2012–10–05
  9. By: Reza C. Daniels (SALDRU, School of Economics, University of Cape Town)
    Abstract: The design of the income question in household surveys usually includes response options for actual income, bracketed values, "Don't Know" and "Refuse" responses. This paper conducts an analysis of these response types using sequential response models specified analogously to those in the survey participation literature. We analyse the income question in Statistics South Africa's October Household Surveys (1997-1999) and Labour Force Surveys (2000-2003). The choice of survey years coincides with a period of development of the income question during which additional response options were steadily introduced to the questionnaire. An analysis of this sort sheds light on the underlying response process, which is useful for survey planning purposes and to researchers concerned with diagnosing the item missing and partial response mechanisms for variables of interest. It was found that the probability of a bracketed response increases as income increases, suggesting that this response option plays a significant role in getting higher income earners to answer the question. However, the relationship between response type and the correlates of income are no longer consistently statistically significant when the item nonresponse subset is decomposed into "Don't Know" and "Refuse". These findings suggest that response propensity models can help reduce specification error in single or multiple imputation algorithms. This is a joint SALDRU and DataFirst working paper
    Keywords: Questionnaire Design, Response Propensity Models, Employment Income
    JEL: C81 C83 D31
    Date: 2012
  10. By: Moníca Hirst
    Abstract: Brasil vem projetando uma presença internacional na qual combina ações de assistência humanitária, programas de cooperação horizontal e presença militarpolicial. Conquanto seja certo que esta atuação obedece às premissas da política internacional do país, os formatos desta presença são muito variados, condicionados pelos compromissos bilaterais e multilaterais específicos e pela própria realidade a ser atendida. Neste artigo serão analisados três casos particularmente ilustrativos, que, se espera, ajudem a compreender a forma e o conteúdo desta presença. Os exemplos do Haiti, da Bolívia e da Guiné Bissau são representativos, seja pelo volume de recursos despendidos, o número de ações e agências governamentais que envolvem e a própria destreza geopolítica da cooperação para o desenvolvimento oferecido pelo Brasil. Estes países correspondem também a focos de especial interesse da política externa brasileira, seja em função da importância atribuída à estabilidade democrática na América do Sul, como se dá no laço com a Bolívia; dos compromissos com a Comunidade de Países de Língua Portuguesa (CPLP) como instrumento de aprofundamento da política africana, como ocorre com vínculo mantido com a Guiné Bissau; ou dos compromissos assumidos na área de segurança global, no marco do Conselho de Segurança da Organização das Nações Unidas (ONU), como ocorre no Haiti desde 2004. O Brasil se posiciona nos três países como um ator que pretende identificar-se com um "novo tempo" da cooperação internacional que, além de contribuir para desvencilhar o receptor de um passado insatisfatório em matéria de cooperação internacional, mostra-se comprometido com uma missão de transformação sustentável. Over the past decade, Brazil has launched a foreign policy that has revealed its aim to broaden its influence in the design of the global multilateral architecture, and increase both its presence in UN peace operations and its cooperation in the development of low-income countries (LICs) in Latin America and Africa. In order to achieve this aim, the Brazilian government has been stimulating the country`s international participation in humanitarian assistance actions, in UN-led peace missions and in cooperation for development initiatives. This paper will present three illustrative cases, which demonstrate the different forms this participation can take and the variety of methods of intervention they may involve: Haiti, Bolivia and Guinea-Bissau. These cases reveal the diversity of Brazilian involvement in Sousth-South Cooperation( SSC), regarding political motivations, cultural affinities and regional/global aspirations. They also help illustrate certain plasticity in Brazil`s performance as an emerging donor. The three cases portray the multidimensional nature of the Brazilian South-South agenda, in which security, development, and political and institutional support are intertwined. In addition, these countries represent areas of high interest in Brazilian foreign policy. In the case of Bolivia, its importance relates to the Brazilian interest in promoting democratic stability in South America. In the case of Guinea-Bissau, its importance relates to the Brazilian aim to strengthen its commitments to the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP), as an instrument to foster relations with the African continent. Finally, in the case of Haiti, its significance is related to Brazil`s stance when intervention takes place in vulnerable states with the aim to improve Brazil`s presence in global governance associated with the promotion of sustainable development in the low income countries.
    Date: 2012–01
  11. By: Schmidt, Oliver
    Abstract: In 2005, Uganda’ government fundamentally shifted the direction of its microfinance (MF) policy. Hitherto it had focused on integrating MF institutions into the financial sector, allowing them to take deposits. Since 2005, it focuses on savings and credit cooperatives (SACCOs); with government funding of and ostensibly interfering in the SACCOs’ operations. This paper explores the reversal of policy direction, drawing on public choice theory. It finds that the shift of policy direction served the objectives of Uganda’s politicians to maintain political power, as it offered them an avenue to create loyalty through patronage. MF special interest groups – particularly development agencies – had chosen a strategy based on information and financial contributions that failed to incite politicians and to maintain univocal support from technocrats and MF practitioners.
    Keywords: Political Economics; Microfinance; Policy; Uganda; Regulation; Policy Making; Economic Develoopment
    JEL: O55 D02 O16 D78
    Date: 2012–10
  12. By: Monazza Aslam; Kim Lehrer
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between skills acquisition and job characteristics using a panel dataset of individuals in urban Ghana by analyzing on-the-job skills acquisition and exploring the link between mathematics skills and jobs which involve the handling of money. These mathematics skills are important, not only, in the workplace but also more generally. Survey respondents were administered a short mathematics test involving a number of theoretical and practical math questions. The relationship between skills and jobs is identified by examining individuals who changed jobs between survey rounds while controlling for individual time invariant characteristics. We argue that the process of job choice in Ghana allows us to identify causal impacts. The findings show that money handling is positively associated with higher math skills for women. These results are not driven by differences in mathematics scores between self-employed individuals and wage employed individuals and are robust to changes in the classification of money handling jobs. Moreover, the findings show that working in a job involving the handling of money is positively associated with higher math scores among women with high levels of education. This suggests that individuals at the low end of the distribution of years of education are not acquiring mathematics skills through money handling jobs. It is only the 36% of women who are already quite highly educated in the Ghanaian context who are acquiring these skills on the job.
    Date: 2012
  13. By: Lewis Landry Gakpa (Université Félix H. Boigny (Abidjan))
    Abstract: L’objectif de ce papier est de réexaminer les déterminants de la croissance économique en Côte d’Ivoire afin de proposer des mesures pour les pouvoirs publics. Pour ce faire nous utilisons les données provenant de la Banque mondiale (2008), la division des statistiques des Nations Unies, et de l’ICRG couvrant la période 1980-2006. La vérification empirique à partir d’un modèle structurel appliqué sur les données de séries temporelles montre des résultats globalement significatifs. En effet, il ressort de ces résultats que la gouvernance techniciste et la gouvernance démocratique se révèlent être les mécanismes importants par lesquels les déterminants de la croissance se transmettent à la croissance économique. Ce qui amène à définir des politiques susceptibles de stimuler la croissance économique à travers la mise en place de structures aptes à aider à l’installation de pratiques de bonne gouvernance. The aim of this paper is to re-examine the determinants of economic growth in Côte d’Ivoire. We use the 2008 world development indicators of the World Bank, Statistics Division of the United Nations and ICRG over the period 1980-2006. The empirical verification, from a structural model based, on time series data shows overall significant results. Indeed, it comes out from these results that the technicist governance and the democratic governance are proving to be important mechanisms by which the growth determinants are transmitted to economic growth. Thus, this leads to the definition of politics likely to reinforce the economic growth towards the starting up structures qualified to help to the settlement of sound governance policies.(Full text in french)
    JEL: O50 O55
    Date: 2012–02
  14. By: Richard Jensen (Department of Economics, University of Notre Dame)
    Abstract: Maximizing the production of ecosystem services is a necessity for resource management particularly when increasing the provision of one service decreases the provision of another. In these instances, it is important to estimate the value of ecosystem services to efficiently distribute resources. We estimate two major ecosystem services provided by the Kafue River, Zambia -hydroelectricity and fisheries- and discuss management implications of the relationship between hydropower controlled water regime and fisheries production.
    Keywords: Environmental flows, Multivariate state-space, Fisheries management, ecosystem services, canonical correlation
    JEL: D L
    Date: 2012–07

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