nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2012‒11‒24
six papers chosen by
Quentin Wodon
World Bank

  1. New estimates of settler life span and other demographic trends in South Africa, 1652–1948 By Jeanne Cilliers; Johan Fourie
  2. Revenue and expenditure nexus: A case study of ECOWAS By Magazzino, Cosimo
  3. Output per head in pre-independence Africa : quantitative conjectures By Leandro Prados de la Escosura
  4. Islamic banking and finance in Nigeria: issues, challenges and opportunities By Aliyu, Shehu Usman Rano
  5. An Inquiry into the Use of Illegal Electoral Practices and Effects of Political Violence By Roxana Gutiérrez Romero
  6. Returns to Education Revisited and Effects of Education on Household Welfare in Nigeria By Ogundari, Kolawole

  1. By: Jeanne Cilliers (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch); Johan Fourie (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
    Abstract: To date very little has been known about the demography of European settlers in South Africa, since descriptions have only been based on Ross’s 1975 calculations of a small sample of 300 observations in the Cape Colony. In this paper we provide a broader and deeper account, using a dataset drawn from the Genealogical Institute of South Africa (2008) that includes information on 401,602 observations of settlers in South Africa and spans the period 1652 to 1948. We estimate useful descriptive statistics on key demographic indicators: population dynamics, age distribution, longevity, marriage patterns, and dependency burdens. These shed new light on the development and demographic transition of the South African settler population and enable international comparisons.
    Keywords: historical demography, economic development, population dynamics, living standards, family life, life span, age distribution, marriage patterns, South Africa
    JEL: N37
    Date: 2012
  2. By: Magazzino, Cosimo
    Abstract: This paper aims to assess the relationship among fiscal variables (net lending, government expenditure and revenue) and economic growth in Sub-Saharan African countries. Using yearly data for the period between 1980 and 2011 in 15 ECOWAS countries, a weak long-run relationship between government expenditure and revenue emerge, but only in the case of WAMZ countries. Granger causality analysis showed mixed results for WAEMU countries, while for four out of six WAMZ countries (Gambia, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone) the tax-and-spend hypothesis holds, since government revenue would drive the expenditure. Finally, in the last three decades, cyclical component of economic growth has reduced its fluctuations, both for WAEMU and WAMZ member States. --
    Keywords: ECOWAS,Sub-Saharan Africa,economic growth,government expenditure,government revenue,panel
    JEL: E62 F33 B22 C33
    Date: 2012
  3. By: Leandro Prados de la Escosura
    Abstract: GDP figures for Africa are unreliable. More dependable information can be found in government expenditure and international trade records. These records, though, provide little insight into non-market output. In this paper an attempt is made to draw explicit conjectures on real output per head in preindependence Africa on the basis of trade data so that conjectures can be established about Africa’s long-run growth. Two alternative approaches are considered. One estimates per capita GDP by assuming no increase in output per head outside the tradable sector, for which the purchasing power of per capita exports is accepted as a proxy. Another approach establishes an econometric association between real per capita GDP and the income terms of trade per head for 1950-1990 and, on the basis of the prediction equation’s parameters and the values of the RHS variables, infers real output per head for 1870-1938. Trends in real output per head are then drawn for Africa (and its main regions). By comparing these trends with those from other developing regions, some conjectures about Africa’s relative position over time are put forward. It emerges that economic growth started earlier than usually assumed and there is continuity in growth before and after colonial independence. Sub- Saharan Africa’s retardation is a gradual process, as growing and falling behind took place simultaneously. But it is in the period 1975-1995 when the worst setback in modern Africa’s history took place
    Keywords: GDP, Long-run growth, Pre-independence Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: E01 N17 O47 O55
    Date: 2012–11
  4. By: Aliyu, Shehu Usman Rano
    Abstract: With increasing wave of popularity and successes of Islamic finance across the world, Nigeria aspires to be the hub of Islamic finance of Africa. The country, for instance, has an estimated population of over 170 million people, a strong banking industry and a highly receptive and agile capital market in the continent, its dream is about to become a reality. This is despite the strong appearance of South Africa and Kenya into the scene. Early this year, the Nigeria’s apex bank issued a license to Jaiz Bank Plc, to operate as a full-fledged non-interest financial institution (NIFI), while other conventional bank were allowed to open a non-interest banking window. Similarly, the Nigerian government intends to float its first sovereign sukuk before the end of this year. Accordingly, the Nigeria’s Stock Exchange (NSE) market has recently introduced as Islamic index – Lotus Islamic Index (LII) in line with global trends, to monitor performance of sharia’ah compliant assets. These developments, no doubt raised a number of critical issues, posed a number challenges to both operators, regulators and investors alike, as well as opened doors of opportunities for the country. This paper attempts to allay some of the thorny issues, proffers way out to some of the challenges and brings to fore some of the opportunities for the country.
    Keywords: Islamic Banking and Finance; Capital market; Central Bank; Sukuk
    JEL: G23 G28 G21
    Date: 2012–10–26
  5. By: Roxana Gutiérrez Romero (Departament d'Economia Aplicada, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)
    Abstract: This article investigates whether vote-buying and the instigation of violence in the disputed 2007 Kenyan elections were strategically motivated, and whether those affected by electoral violence changed their views towards ethno-politics and the use of violence. To answer these questions, a panel survey conducted before and after the elections is combined with external indicators of electoral violence. We find that political parties targeted vote-buying towards specific groups to weaken the support of their political rivals and to mobilize their own supporters. Furthermore, parties instigated violence strategically in areas where they were less likely to win. Although the victims of violence would prefer that parties are no longer allowed to organize in ethnic or religious lines, they are more likely to identify in ethnic terms, support the use of violence and avoid relying on the police to resolve disputes. The overall findings suggest an increased risk of electoral-violence reoccurring.
    Keywords: Political competition, electoral violence, vote-buying, election fraud, ethnic identity, Kenya
    Date: 2012–11
  6. By: Ogundari, Kolawole
    Abstract: Human capital development, especially higher educational attainment attaches high premium to human skills as an important factor of production. In view of this, the objective of the study is defined in two folds; first, to revisit returns to education in Nigeria and second, to investigate effects of education on the economic welfare of households in Nigeria. The study uses Double Hurdle (DH) model and Quantile Regression (QR), respectively for the objective one and two. Thus, our findings show that returns to schooling (i.e., labour market earnings) at primary, secondary and postgraduate levels are very low relative to schooling at the tertiary education in Nigeria. Also, we find the effects of primary, secondary and postgraduate education on household economic welfare to be substantially lower compared with that of tertiary education in the country. The implication of these findings is that investment up to completing tertiary education is vital for higher welfare through increasing labour market earnings among households in Nigeria.
    Keywords: Community/Rural/Urban Development, Industrial Organization, Production Economics, Public Economics,
    Date: 2012–08

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