nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2012‒12‒06
fifteen papers chosen by
Quentin Wodon
World Bank

  1. Weather and Infant Mortality in Africa By Kudamatsu, Masayuki; Persson, Torsten; Strömberg, David
  2. Aid and Infrastructure Financing: Emerging challenges with a focus on Africa By Addison, Tony; Anand, P. B.
  3. Women.s Labour Supply and Household Insurance in Africa By Bhalotra, Sonia; Umana-Aponte, Marcela
  4. “Effective enrolment” - Creating a composite measure of educational access and educational quality to accurately describe education system performance in sub-Saharan Africa By Nicholas Spaull; Stephen Taylor
  5. Enterprise Agglomeration, Output Prices, and Physical Productivity: Firm-Level Evidence from Ethiopia By Siba, Eyerusalem; Soderbom, Mans; Bigsten, Arne; Gebreeyesus, Mulu
  6. L'inégalité des chances sur le marché du travail urbain ouest-africain. By Pasquier-Doumer, Laure
  7. Financial constraints, risk taking and firm performance: Recent evidence from microfinance clients in Tanzania By Martijn Boermans; Daan Willebrands
  8. Mutual health insurance and its contribution to improving child health in Rwanda By Binagwaho, Agnes; Hartwig, Renate; Ingeri, Denyse; Makaka, Andrew
  9. Commodity Price Shocks and Child Outcomes: The 1990 Cocoa Crisis in Côte d’Ivoire. By Cogneau, Denis; Jedwab, Rémi
  10. Intergenerational Transmission of Self-Employed Status in the Informal Sector: A Constrained Choice or Better Income Prospects? Evidence from seven West-African Countries. By Pasquier-Doumer, Laure
  11. The Political Economy of Government Revenues in Post-Conflict Resource-Rich Africa: Liberia and Sierra Leone By Victor A.B. Davies; Sylvain Dessy
  12. Foreign Aid in Dangerous Places: The donors and Mali.s democracy By van de Walle, Nicolas
  13. Cash for work in Sierra Leone : a case study on the design and implementation of a safety net in response to a crisis By Andrews, Colin; Ovadiya, Mirey; Ribes Ros, Christophe; Wodon, Quentin
  14. L’annulation de la condamnation à mort de Pierre Nkurunziza, Président de la République du Burundi: un commentaire de l’arrêt du 8 juillet 2011 de la Cour Suprême dans l’affaire RPSA 280 By Vandeginste, Stef
  15. Attrition and Follow-Up Rules in Panel Surveys: Insights from a Tracking Experience in Madagascar. By Vaillant, Julia

  1. By: Kudamatsu, Masayuki; Persson, Torsten; Strömberg, David
    Abstract: We estimate how random weather fluctuations affected infant mortality across 28 African countries in the past, combining high-resolution data from retrospective fertility surveys (DHS) and climate-model reanalysis (ERA-40). We find that infants were much more likely to die when exposed in utero to much longer malaria spells than normal in epidemic malaria regions, and to droughts in arid areas, especially when born in the hungry season. Based on these estimates, we predict aggregate infant deaths in Africa, due to extreme weather events and to maternal malaria in epidemic areas for 1981-2000 and 2081-2100.
    Keywords: climate change; maternal malaria; maternal malnutrition; natural experiments
    JEL: I15 O13 O15 O55 Q54
    Date: 2012–11
  2. By: Addison, Tony; Anand, P. B.
    Abstract: The central argument of this study is that given the magnitude of the investment in infrastructure that is required, especially in Africa, the role of foreign aid in the future should be distinctly different. While aid will be required to continue to fill
    Keywords: aid, infrastructure, Africa, finance, funds, private sector
    Date: 2012
  3. By: Bhalotra, Sonia; Umana-Aponte, Marcela
    Keywords: insurance, women.s labour supply, added worker effect, business cycles, Africa
    Date: 2012
  4. By: Nicholas Spaull (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch); Stephen Taylor (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
    Abstract: In this paper we question the existing practice of reporting enrolment statistics that ignore quality, but also quality-statistics that ignore enrolment differentials. The extant literature on education in Africa is bifurcated in that reports focus either on the quality of education or on access to education, but not both. This is problematic for two reasons: 1) observing access to education without regard for the quality of that education clouds the analysis, primarily because labour-market prospects and social mobility are driven by cognitive skills acquired rather than only by years of education attained, and 2) analysing the quality of education without taking cognizance of the enrolment and dropout profiles of the countries under review is likely to bias the results due to sample selection. In the paper we propose a new composite statistic - effective enrolment - that calculates the proportion of the age-appropriate population that has reached some basic threshold of numeracy and literacy proficiency. Put simply, it is enrolment that produces learning. To do so we combine household data on enrolment (from the Demographic and Health Surveys - DHS) with survey data on cognitive outcomes (from the Southern and Eastern African Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality - SACMEQ III) for ten sub-Saharan African countries: Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. We calculate and report the effective enrolment rates for each country by gender, location and wealth quintile as well as highlighting the patterns of differential access and achievement across countries and sub-groups. As far as we are aware, these figures are the most accurate and comprehensive statistics on basic education system performance for each of the ten countries under review. Using these figures for analyses overcomes the selection bias inherent in all cross-national comparisons of educational achievement, and is far superior to simple comparisons of traditional enrolment rates. We argue that the method should be applied to all developing regions, and outline the prerequisites for doing so. The paper refocuses the discussion on education system performance in Africa by providing a composite measure of access and quality and in so doing places educational outcomes at the centre of the discourse.
    Keywords: Access to education, quality of education, educational statistics, Education For All, Millenium Development Goals, SACMEQ, DHS
    JEL: I21 I24 I25 I28 I32
    Date: 2012
  5. By: Siba, Eyerusalem; Soderbom, Mans; Bigsten, Arne; Gebreeyesus, Mulu
    Abstract: We use census panel data on Ethiopian manufacturing firms to analyze the connections between enterprise agglomeration, firm-level output prices and physical productivity. We find a negative and statistically significant relationship between the agglomerat
    Keywords: agglomeration, productivity, output prices, firm-level data, Ethiopia, Africa, manufacturing
    Date: 2012
  6. By: Pasquier-Doumer, Laure
    Abstract: Cette étude cherche à savoir si l’origine sociale des travailleurs détermine leurs opportunités sur le marché du travail, en comparant le degré d’inégalité des chances sur le marché du travail dans sept capitales ouest-africaines. Elle évalue ensuite pour chacune des villes si la situation professionnelle du père agit directement sur le positionnement sur le marché du travail ou si son effet est indirect, à travers l’éducation. Dans le premier cas, les politiques visant à égaliser les chances doivent agir directement sur le marché du travail, dans le second cas, elles doivent agir en amont, sur le système éducatif.
    Abstract: This paper aims at evaluating to what extent one’s position in the labour market is determined by his social background and what explains differences between seven West-African capital cities. Does the father’s position influence directly the occupational situation of his children through the transmission of informational, social or physical capital gained in the course of his career? Or does it play an indirect role through determining the educational level of his children? In the first case, reducing inequality of opportunities means improving labour markets efficiency and in the second case, it means improving educational policy.
    Keywords: West Africa; informal sector; inequality of opportunity; Afrique de l'Ouest; secteur informel; Inégalité des chances;
    JEL: D63 J62 J24
    Date: 2012
  7. By: Martijn Boermans; Daan Willebrands
    Abstract: Financial constraints and risk taking are two well-established determinants of firm performance, however, no research analyzes how these variables are connected in the context of a high risk environment. Using data from microfinance clients in Tanzania, we derive a novel financial constraints measure and incorporate a psychometric risk taking scale. Results confirm the importance of access to finance and risk attitudes for business development. Also, we provide preliminary evidence for an interaction between financial constraints and risk taking. Financial constraints “throw sand in the wheels” and protect risk taking entrepreneurs from the negative impact of risk taking on microenterprise performance.
    Keywords: micro-credit; access to finance; risk attitude; entrepreneurship; Africa
    JEL: D22 G29 O16
    Date: 2012–11
  8. By: Binagwaho, Agnes; Hartwig, Renate; Ingeri, Denyse; Makaka, Andrew
    Abstract: Rwanda is among the few countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and the developing approaching universal health insurance coverage. To date, over 90 per cent of the population are enrolled in the Mutuelles de Santé - a system that started off from a number of stand-alone community based health insurance schemes and gradually evolved into a unified social health insurance plan. The country has also made remarkable progress in ameliorating child health, particularly since 2005, which coincides with the year when the Mutuelles de Santé was standardised and raises the question to what extent the insurance scheme did contribute to the observed improvements. In order to address this issue we conduct a quantitative impact evaluation using nationally representative micro-data from the 2005 and 2010 Rwandan Demographic and Health Surveys (RDHSs) and also consider potential channels from which improvements could originate. Our results suggest the following: The Mutuelles de Santé improves access to preventative and curative health services. Insured households are more sensitive to health issues, in the sense that they are more inclined to use bed nets and ensure safe drinking water. Despite a weak effect on health outcomes overall, the insurance scheme seems to have contributed to improvements in stunting and mortality, at the critical ages (before the age of two). --
    Keywords: Health Insurance,Child Health,Mutuelles de Santé,Rwanda
    JEL: I11 I38 J13
    Date: 2012
  9. By: Cogneau, Denis; Jedwab, Rémi
    Abstract: We look at the drastic cut of the administered cocoa producer price in 1990 Côte d'Ivoire and study to which extent cocoa producers' children su®ered from this severe aggregate shock in terms of school enrollment, labor, height stature and morbidity. Using pre-crisis (1985-88) and post- crisis (1993) data, we propose a di®erence-in-di®erence strategy to identify the causal e®ect of the cocoa shock on child outcomes, whereby we compare children of cocoa-producing households and children of other farmers living in the same district or the same village. This causal e®ect is shown to be rather strong for the four child outcomes we examine. Hence human capital investments are de¯nitely procyclical in this context. We also argue that the di®erence-in-di®erence variations can be interpreted as private income e®ects, likely to derive from tight liquidity constraints.
    Keywords: Education; Health; Commodity prices; Child Labor; Agriculture; Africa;
    JEL: I12 I21 O12
    Date: 2012
  10. By: Pasquier-Doumer, Laure
    Abstract: This paper aims at highlighting the debate on firm heterogeneity in the informal sector by testing whether entrepreneurial familial background impacts informal businesses outcomes in the West African context. In the USA, a literature aiming at understanding the high intergenerational correlation of the self-employed status shows that children of self-employed have better business performance than children of wage earners. However, it is not obvious that this result could be generalised to developing countries. Using 1-2-3 surveys collected in the commercial capitals of seven West African countries in 2001–02, this paper shows that children of self-employed, who own an informal business, do not have better business outcomes than children of wage earners, except when they choose a familial tradition in the same sector of activity. Thus, in the West African context, having a self-employed father seems not sufficient for the transmission of valuable skills and does not provide any advantage in terms of value added or sales if the activity is different from that of the father. On the other hand, informal entrepreneurs who have chosen a specific enterprise based on familial tradition have a competitive advantage. Their competitive advantage is partly explained by the transmission of enterprise-specific human capital, acquired through experiences in the same type of activity and by the transmission of social capital that guarantees a better clientele and a reputation.
    Keywords: informal sector; Entrepreneurship; Intergenerational link; Human capital; secteur informel; entreprenariat; lien intergénérationnel; capital humain;
    JEL: L26 J24 J62
    Date: 2012
  11. By: Victor A.B. Davies; Sylvain Dessy
    Abstract: This paper examines the post-war strategies of Liberia and Sierra Leone to generate revenues from their natural resources. We document the challenges faced by the government of the two countries, contrasting measures taken to address these challenges as well as the outcomes. We complement the analysis with an analytical model which explores the implications of exploiting natural resources in the aftermath of a civil conflict before public management institutions are developed, as observed in Liberia and Sierra Leone. The key lesson is that resource-rich countries emerging from conflict face a difficult trade-off between relatively large longer-term gains which accrue when institutional capacity is developed prior to exploiting the resources, and smaller short-term revenues that come with immediate exploitation of the resources. The findings call attention to the potential role of the international community in developing post-conflict countries’ natural resource and revenue institutional capacity, as well as transparent corporate and government institutions for resource management.
    JEL: O11
    Date: 2012–11
  12. By: van de Walle, Nicolas
    Abstract: Mali long seemed a model, low-income democracy. Yet, in a few short weeks in early 2012, more than half of the territory came under the military control of an Islamist secessionist movement, and a military coup deposed the democratically-elected governmen
    Keywords: Mali, democracy, foreign aid, military coup, inequality
    Date: 2012
  13. By: Andrews, Colin; Ovadiya, Mirey; Ribes Ros, Christophe; Wodon, Quentin
    Abstract: This paper presents an assessment of the first phase (2008?2009) of Sierra Leone's cash for work program based on a qualitative and quantitative analysis examining program design features, mainprocesses and impact. The assessment highlights that while cash for work was an appropriate crisis response, the challenge of achieving good targeting should not be underestimated. Findings from the assessment point to high inclusion errors of non?poor population quintiles, despite the program apparently many rules of best practice in program design. The assessment points to a series of factors to explain targeting performance, and future strategies consider mixed methods with a greater emphasis on the role of communities in affecting overall outcomes. The assessment notes areas of success during implementation, including the impact of the program in promoting cohesion amongst youth groups, as well as women. In this sense the assessment points to future strategies and options for moving cash for work forward under its expanded incarnation of the Youth Employment Support Project. Through the use of light qualitative and quantitative methods, the paper also advocates for similar assessments where monitoring and evaluation capacity are weak and time constraints tight.
    Keywords: Safety Nets and Transfers,Rural Poverty Reduction,Housing&Human Habitats,Poverty Monitoring&Analysis,Labor Markets
    Date: 2012–11–01
  14. By: Vandeginste, Stef
    Abstract: On 8 July 2011, the Supreme Court of Burundi annulled the judgment of the Court of Appeal of Bujumbura of 11 February 1998 which convicted to death Pierre Nkurunziza, currently President of the Republic. The analysis of the Supreme Court judgment shows, first of all, that the criminal responsibility of the Head of State is poorly regulated under Burundian law. Secondly, the paper concludes that, in all likelihood, the conviction of Pierre Nkurunziza by the Court of Appeal of Bujumbura was indeed procedurally grossly irregular. However, although seen from a procedural angle justice has been done, several reasons explain why in the general perception justice has not been seen to be done. These relate essentially to the perceived lack of independence of Burundi’s judiciary and the instrumentalisation of the judicial process to serve political interests. In fact, the procedure may well have been inspired by electoral motivations. However, our analysis also finds that the Supreme Court judgment should not prevent Burundi’s future transitional justice mechanisms from investigating the same case.
    Keywords: Burundi; Justice
    Date: 2012–10
  15. By: Vaillant, Julia
    Abstract: Most longitudinal surveys recontact households only if they are still living in the same dwelling, producing very high attrition rates, especially in developing countries where rural–urban migration is prevalent. In this paper, we discuss the implications of the various follow-up rules used in longitudinal surveys in the light of an original tracking survey from Madagascar. This survey attempted in 2005 to search and interview all individuals who were living in the village of Bepako in 1995, the baseline year of a yearly survey, the Rural Observatories. The tracking survey yielded an individual recontact rate of 78.8 percent, more than halving attrition compared to a standard dwelling-based follow-up rule. The tracking reveals a very high rate of out-migration (38.8 percent) and household break-ups, as three-quarters of recontacted households had divided between 1995 and 2005. The average income growth of the sample over the period increases by 28 percentage points when follow-up is extended to those who moved out of their household or village, suggesting that dwelling-based panels give a partial view of the welfare dynamics of the baseline sample. A higher baseline income per capita is associated with a higher probability of staying in Bepako and of being found in the tracking if one moved out. The hardest people to find are the poorest and most isolated. Special attention should be paid to collecting data that enable the identification and follow-up of individuals, without which attrition is likely to remain a source of bias even after a tracking procedure is carried out.
    Keywords: Mobilité; Enquêtes tracking; Données de panel; Mobility; Attrition; Tracking surveys; Panel data;
    JEL: O15 O12 I32 C81
    Date: 2012

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