nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2013‒02‒03
thirty-one papers chosen by
Quentin Wodon
World Bank

  1. Children Malnutrition and Horizontal Inequalities in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Focus on Contrasting Domestic Trajectories By Viridiana Garcia
  2. Crime and conflicts in Africa: consequences of corruption? By Simplice A, Asongu; Oasis, Kodila-Tedika
  3. State fragility, rent seeking and lobbying: evidence from African data By Simplice A , Asongu; Oasis , Kodila-Tedika
  4. Ecology, Trade and States in Pre-Colonial Africa By James Fenske
  5. New Light on Chinese enterprises in Africa: Findings from a recent survey of Chinese Firms in Kampala, the capital of Uganda By Meine Pieter van Dijk; Ward Warmerdam
  6. Fighting African Conflicts and Crimes: Which Governance Tools Matter? By Simplice A , Asongu; Oasis, Kodila-Tedika
  7. A Time-Varying Approach to Analysing Fiscal Policy and Asset Prices in South Africa By Rangan Gupta; Charl Jooste; Kanyane Matlou
  8. The out-of-sample forecasting performance of non-linear models of real exchange rate behaviour: The case of the South African Rand By Goodness C. Aye; Mehmet Balcilar; Adel Bosch; Rangan Gupta; Francois Stofberg
  9. The effects of rapidly expanding primary school access on effective learning: The case of Southern and Eastern Africa since 2000 By Stephen Taylor; Nicholas Spaull
  10. MACRO SHOCKS AND HOUSE PRICES IN SOUTH AFRICA By Beatrice D. Simo-Kengne; Rangan Gupta; Goodness C. Aye
  11. Climate, Ecosystem Resilience and the Slave Trade By James Fenske; Namrata Kala
  12. An Inquiry into the Use of Illegal Electoral Practices and Effects of Political Violence By Roxana Gutierrez-Romero
  13. The Impact of the Global Financial Crisis on Efficiency and Productivity of the Banking System in South Africa By Andrew Maredza and Sylvanus Ikhide
  14. Does trade reduce poverty ? a view from Africa By Le Goff, Maelan; Singh, Raju Jan
  15. Missing links, missing markets: Internal exchanges, reciprocity and external connections in the economic networks of Gambian villages By Jaimovich, Dany
  16. Expansion of Lowland Rice Production and Constraints on a Rice Green Revolution: Evidence from Uganda By Kijima, Yoko
  17. A Model of Comparative Advantage with Matching in the Urban Tanzanian Labour Market By Andrew Kerr
  18. Tackling the largest global education challenge? Secular and religious education in northern Nigeria By Manos Antoninis
  19. African Polygamy: Past and Present By James Fenske
  20. Learning by Doing: Skills and Jobs in Urban Ghana By Kim Lehrer; Monazza Aslam
  21. The Battle for Rubber in Benin By James Fenske
  22. Genetic Diversity and the Origins of Cultural Fragmentation By Quamrul Ashraf; Oded Galor
  23. Predicting BRICS Stock Returns Using ARFIMA Models By Goodness C. Aye; Mehmet Balcilar; Rangan Gupta; Nicholas Kilimani; Amandine Nakumuryango; Siobhan Redford
  24. "Rubber will not keep in this country": Failed Development in Benin, 1897-1921 By James Fenske
  25. Wartime Violence and Post-Conflict Development Policy: The Case of Agricultural Concessions in Mozambique By McDougal, Topher; Caruso, Raul
  27. How subjective beliefs about HIV infection affect life-cycle fertility : evidence from rural Malawi By Shapira, Gil
  28. Children Returning Home after Civil War: The Consequences of Forced Displacement For Food Security, Nutrition and Poverty among Burundese Households By Philip Verwimp
  29. General Budget Support in Tanzania Late Disbursement and Service Delivery By Furukawa, Mitsuaki; Takahata, Junichiro
  30. Cash transfers and child schooling : evidence from a randomized evaluation of the role of conditionality By Akresh, Richard; de Walque, Damien; Kazianga, Harounan
  31. Les déterminants de la fréquentation scolaire au Mali : Entre caractéristiques socioculturelles et économiques et statut de l'enfant dans le ménage By BOUARÉ Issa; KONE Felix Yagoua; KUEPIE Mathias; SIDIBE Lassine

  1. By: Viridiana Garcia (United Nations Development Programme)
    Abstract: Over the past two decades Sub-Saharan African countries have experienced accelerated economic growth. This positive trend represents a huge opportunity to improve the living standards of millions of Africans and foster inclusive and sustainable development. At the regional level however, such improvements do not seem to have translated into higher human development. Child malnutrition indicators in particular have registered some relatively limited advances. This paper contributes to the literature by providing a more accurate and nuanced view on the progress made with regards to child malnutrition and inequalities across Sub-Saharan Africa.
    Keywords: Child Malnutrition, Sub-Saharan Africa, Inequality, Inclusive Growth, Economic development
    JEL: I14
    Date: 2012–03
  2. By: Simplice A, Asongu; Oasis, Kodila-Tedika
    Abstract: With earthshaking and jaw-breaking levels of corruption in the African continent, the question on the extent to which corruption influences crime still remains unanswered. This paper assesses the effect of corruption (corruption-control) in 38 African countries using updated data. We find that, crime is highly positively (negatively) correlated with corruption (corruption-control). The potential mitigation effect (by corruption-control) is higher than the corresponding positive effect of corruption, implying, corruption-control offsets crime emanating beyond the corruption mechanism (inter alia, other poor governance mechanisms). The relationship is statistically strong when controlling for the number of police officers, age dependency, per capital economic prosperity, level of education, government effectiveness and population density. Given that crime is proxied by the level of organized internal conflict, the findings also sustain the substantial role of corruption in the birth and propagation of conflicts within and across Africa. Policy implications are discussed.
    Keywords: Security; Corruption; Crime; Conflicts; Africa
    JEL: O55 F52 O17 K42 P16
    Date: 2013–01–15
  3. By: Simplice A , Asongu; Oasis , Kodila-Tedika
    Abstract: This paper assesses the determinants of state fragility in sub-Saharan Africa using hitherto unexplored variables in the literature. The previously missing dimension of nation building is integrated and the hypothesis of state fragility being a function of rent seeking and/or lobbying by de facto power holders is tested. The resulting interesting finding is that, political interference, rent seeking and lobbying increase the probability of state fragility by mitigating the effectiveness of governance capacity. This relationship (after controlling for a range of economic, institutional and demographic factors) is consistent with a plethora of models and specifications. The validity of the hypothesis is confirmed in a scenario of extreme state fragility. Moreover, the interaction between political interferences and revolutions mitigate the probability of state fragility while the interaction between natural resources and political interferences breeds the probability of extreme state fragility. As a policy implication, there is a ‘sub-Saharan African specificity’ in ‘nation building’ and prevention of conflicts. Blanket fragility oriented policies will be misplaced unless they are contingent on the degree of fragility, since ‘fragile’ and ‘extreme fragile’ countries respond differently to economic, institutional and demographic characteristics of state fragility.
    Keywords: State fragility; rent seeking; lobbying; nation building; Africa
    JEL: C43 O55 O43 H11 O20
    Date: 2013–01–29
  4. By: James Fenske
    Abstract: State capacity matters for growth.  I test Bates' explanation of pre-colonial African states.  He argues that trade across ecological boundaries promoted states.  I find that African societies in ecologically diverse environments had more centralized states.  This is robust to reverse causation, omitted heterogeneity, and alternative interpretations of the link between diversity and states.  Ecological diversity also predicts states outside of Africa.  I test mechanisms connecting trade to states, and find that trade supported class stratification between rulers and ruled.  I underscore the importance of ethnic institutions and inform our knowledge of the effects of geography and trade on institutions.
    Date: 2012–11–05
  5. By: Meine Pieter van Dijk (Professor at Maastricht School of Management); Ward Warmerdam (PhD student at ISS of EUR)
    Abstract: In this paper five issues will be analyzed. In the first place that no separation is made between providing Chinese aid, developing trade relations with China and starting investment activities in Africa. Secondly, is it true that the Chinese government helps Chinese entrepreneurs to get started in Africa. In the third place it is often suggested that Chinese entrepreneurs start after a Chinese aid project or construction job. Another issue is the presence of Chinese traders: what is the role of Chinese whole sale or retail traders in Africa and why are these entrepreneurs so successful? Finally we will look at employment and environmental issues in which Chinese entrepreneurs are said to be involved. Based on interviews of 42 Chinese enterprises in Uganda evidence is presented concerning what types of enterprises moved into Uganda and for which reason? We will analyze to what extent Chinese enterprises employ Chinese workers and Ugandan managers. What motivates these Chinese entrepreneurs to invest in Uganda and how do they deal with the challenges such as labour and environmental legislation? Which problems do they face? The relations between Uganda and China are influenced by the influx of Chinese enterprises in Uganda and the issues this raises. African countries are sensitive to the issue of Chinese companies competing with African firms. Many African countries question whether Chinese (small) traders are necessary to sell Chinese products in Africa. To what extent are 'wholesale' shops in Uganda in fact involved in retail business and how does Uganda react to this? The analysis challenges some of the generalizations concerning China's presence in Africa. We conclude that Uganda is becoming increasingly proactive in its relationship and tries to increase the contribution of Chinese enterprises to the Ugandan economy, while defining the terms on which Chinese citizens can come to work in Uganda.
    Date: 2012–10
  6. By: Simplice A , Asongu; Oasis, Kodila-Tedika
    Abstract: Crimes and conflicts are seriously undermining African development. This article assesses the best governance tools in the fight against the scourges. The following findings are established. (1) Democracy, autocracy and voice & accountability have no significant negative correlations with crime. (2) The increasing relevance of government quality in the fight is as follows: regulation quality, government effectiveness, political stability, rule of law and corruption-control. (3) Corruption-control is the most effective mechanism in fighting crimes (conflicts). The findings are significantly strong when controlling for age dependency, number of police (and security) officers, per capita economic prosperity, educational level and population density. Justifications for the edge of corruption-control (as the most effective governance tool) and policy implications are discussed.
    Keywords: Security; Governance; Conflicts; Crime; Africa
    JEL: O55 F52 O17 K42 P16
    Date: 2013–01–20
  7. By: Rangan Gupta (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria); Charl Jooste (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria); Kanyane Matlou (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria)
    Abstract: This paper studies the interplay of fiscal policy and asset prices in a time varying parameter VAR. Using South African data since 1966 we are able to study the dynamic shocks of both fiscal policy and asset prices on asset prices and fiscal policy. This enables us to isolate specific periods in time to understand the size and sign of the shocks. The results seem to suggest that at least two regimes exist in which expansionary fiscal policy affected asset prices. From the 1970's until 1990 fiscal expansions were associated with declining house and slightly increased stock prices. The majority of first decade of 2000 had asset prices increasing when fiscal policy expanded. On the other hand, increasing asset prices reduced deficits for the majority of the sample period, while the recent financial crises had a marked change on the way asset prices affect fiscal policy.
    Keywords: TVP-VAR, countercyclical fiscal policy, stock prices, house prices
    JEL: C11 C15 C32 H30 H61
    Date: 2013–01
  8. By: Goodness C. Aye (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria); Mehmet Balcilar (Department of Economics, Eastern Mediterranean University, Famagusta, North Cyprus,via Mersin 10, Turkey); Adel Bosch (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria); Rangan Gupta (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria); Francois Stofberg (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the out-of-sample forecasting performance of non-linear vs. linear models for the South African Rand against the United States dollar and the British Pound, in real terms. We compare the forecasting performance of point, interval and density forecasts for non-linear Band- TAR and ESTAR models to linear autoregressive models. Our data spans from 1970:01 to 2012:07, and we found that there are no significant gains from using either the Band-TAR or ESTAR non-linear models, compared to the linear AR model in terms of out-of-sample forecasting performance, especially at short horizons. We draw similar conclusions to other literature, and find that for the South African rand against the United States dollar and British pound, non-linearities are too weak for Band-TAR and ESTAR models to estimate.
    Keywords: Real exchange rate; Transaction costs; Band-threshold autoregressive model; Exponential smooth transition autoregressive model; Point forecast; Interval forecast; Density forecast; South Africa
    JEL: C22 C52 C53 F31 F47
    Date: 2013–01
  9. By: Stephen Taylor (Department of Basic Education); Nicholas Spaull (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
    Abstract: Have recent expansions of access to primary schooling in African countries led to deterioration in the quality of education delivered? This paper helps clarify this question by presenting an appropriate conceptual framework: instead of considering country average test scores and enrolment rates in isolation, we argue that the important outcome of interest is the proportion of children in an age-specific population that reach particular levels of literacy and numeracy. In order to measure this outcome we combine school achievement data with enrolment data for a selection of 14 Southern and Eastern African education systems. Using this preferred measure, we examine the performance of these education systems between 2000 and 2007, many of which considerably increased access to primary schooling in this period. The commonly held perception of an access-quality trade-off in Africa has far less empirical support than was previously believed to be the case.
    Keywords: Enrolment, School quality, Human capital, Southern and East Africa, SACMEQ, Education Statistics
    JEL: I21 I25 I28 O15
    Date: 2013
  10. By: Beatrice D. Simo-Kengne (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria); Rangan Gupta (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria); Goodness C. Aye (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the economic sources underlying the comovement of real house prices in South Africa. We use quarterly provincial-level data from 1974:Q1 to 2011:Q4. First, we disentangle the national component of real house price movements from the local (provincial or region-specific) shocks using a dynamic factor model. The results indicate that recent (2001-2011) fluctuations in house prices were mainly driven by the national component. However, historical movements in real estate prices appear to be a local phenomenon. Second, we assess the effects of monetary policy, portfolio, aggregate supply and aggregate demand shocks on the common (national) component of real house prices using a SVAR model. Our findings show that macro shocks are important sources of house price fluctuations, with portfolio and monetary policy shocks playing greater roles. An historical decomposition confirms the primary role of portfolio and monetary policy shocks in driving house price dynamics over the sample period while aggregate supply shocks are of limited influence. We conclude that comovement in real house prices is due to the combined effects of favourable and unfavourable structural shocks emanating from different sectors of the South African economy.
    Keywords: Housing, Macroeconomy, Structural Vector Autoregression
    JEL: C31 C32 E44 R31
    Date: 2013–01
  11. By: James Fenske; Namrata Kala
    Abstract: African societies exported more slaves in colder years.  Lower temperatures reduced mortality and raised agricultural yields, lowering slave supply costs.  Our results help explain African participation in the slave trade, which predicts adverse outcomes today.  We use an annual panel of African temperatures and port-level slave exports to show that exports declined when local temperatures were warmer than normal.  This result is strongest where African ecosystems are least resilient to climate change.  Cold weather shocks at the peak of the slave trade predict lower economic activity today.  We support our interpretation using the histories of Whydah, Benguela, and Mozambique.
    Date: 2012–12–25
  12. By: Roxana Gutierrez-Romero
    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: 2012–10–30
  13. By: Andrew Maredza and Sylvanus Ikhide
    Abstract: South Africa‘s financial sector is believed to have weathered the contagion and catastrophic effects of the 2008 world wide financial crisis partly on account of a sound regulatory framework and solid macroeconomic policies. In this paper, we seek to measure efficiency and productivity changes during the period of the crisis through an analysis of bank performance over the period 2000 — 2010 using a two stage methodology framework. The recently developed Hicks-Moorsteen total factor productivity (TFP) index approach developed by O‘Donnell (2010a) as opposed to the popular Malmquist TFP was utilised. Our first stage results showed that during the crisis period there was a noticeable but mild deviation of total factor productivity and efficiency measures. Second stage analysis using the censored Tobit model showed that the financial crisis was the main determinant of bank efficiency, indicating that total factor productivity efficiency was 16.96% lower during the crisis period compared to the pre-crisis period.
    Keywords: Bank efficiency, data envelopment analysis, global financial crisis, Hicks-Moorsteen, Malmquist, South African banking, total factor productivity efficiency, censored Tobit model
    JEL: G01 G21 C14 C24
    Date: 2013
  14. By: Le Goff, Maelan; Singh, Raju Jan
    Abstract: Although trade liberalization is being actively promoted as a key component in development strategies, theoretically, the impact of trade openness on poverty reduction is ambiguous. A more liberalized trade regime is argued to change relative factor prices in favor of the more abundant factor. If poverty and relative low income stem from abundance of labor, greater trade openness should lead to higher labor prices and a decrease in poverty. However, should the re-allocation of factors be hampered, the expected benefits from freer trade may not materialize. The theoretical ambiguity on the effects of openness is reflected in the available empirical evidence. This paper examines how the effect of trade openness on poverty may depend on complementary reforms that help a country take advantage of international competition. Using a non-linear regression specification that interacts a proxy of trade openness with proxies of various country structural specificities and a panel of 30 African countries over the period 1981-2010, the analysis finds that trade openness tends to reduce poverty in countries where financial sectors are deep, education levels high and governance strong.
    Keywords: Achieving Shared Growth,Free Trade,Economic Theory&Research,Trade Policy,Emerging Markets
    Date: 2013–01–01
  15. By: Jaimovich, Dany
    Abstract: A unique dataset of social and economic networks collected in 60 rural Gambian villages is used to study the ways in which households with links outside the village (that are considered as a proxy for market connections) behave in the locally available exchange networks for land, labor, input and credit. Using measures gleaned from the social network analysis literature, the econometric results at both household and link (dyadic) level provide evidence of: (i) substitutability between internal and external links, and (ii) substitutability between internal reciprocation and external links. These findings provide support for the transformation process of primitive economies described in a long tradition of anthropological work as well as recent theoretical models.
    Keywords: Social Networks; Missing markets; Gift economy; Economic Anthropology; West Africa
    JEL: Z13 C31 O12
    Date: 2013–01
  16. By: Kijima, Yoko
    Abstract: In Uganda, rice production has increased rapidly in the past 10 years while the yield has been stagnant. To examine this mixed story in detail, we use data on 600 rural households with access to wetlands. The estimation results on the expansion of rice cultivation show that the high population density in upland farm areas has pushed farmers to rice cultivation in wetlands. Although applying proper cultivation practices such as constructing bunds, leveling, and transplanting is considered to be critical in yield enhancement, as well as using chemical fertilizer and improved varieties, such cultivation practices are rarely adopted in Uganda. The rice production function estimation results show that these practices do not increase the yield significantly once village fixed effects are controlled for. This suggests that these practices are not being adopted since the rice yield is not enhanced effectively by the cultivation practices. This is probably explained by the fact that the water supply in wetlands tends to be unstable and to suffer from drought and floods.
    Keywords: agricultural intensification , lowland rice , cultivation practices , Uganda
    Date: 2012–12–06
  17. By: Andrew Kerr
    Abstract: In this paper I build an equilibrium search model of the urban Tanzanian labour market that explains the choice between wage and self-employment and the variation in earnings across and within these sectors.  Self-employment is very common in urban Tanzania and survey data show both that there are large overlaps in the distribution of earnings in private wage employment and self-employment and that there is little movement between wage and self-employment.  This suggests that self-employment represents a worthwhile alternative to wage employment in small, low-productivity firms for the majority of urban Tanzanians, in contrast to the traditional view of African labour markets in which wage employment in small firms and self-employment are lumped together as the informal sector.
    Date: 2012–12–03
  18. By: Manos Antoninis
    Abstract: With more than ten million children out of school, Nigeria is the country furthest away from universal primary education.  Low access to school is concentrated in the north of the country where a tradition of religious education has been seen as both a constraint and an opportunity.  This paper uses recent survey data to explain household decisions related to secular and religious education.  It demonstrates a shift in attitudes with unobserved household characteristics that favor religious education attendance being negatively correlated with secular school attendance after controlling for a rich set of background variables.  The paper also provides quantitative evidence to support the argument that the poor quality of secular education acts as a disincentive to secular school attendance.  This finding cast doubts at policy attempts to increase secular school enrolment through the integration of religious and secular school curricula.
    Keywords: Universal primary education, Islamic education, Nigeria, bivariate probit
    Date: 2012–11–01
  19. By: James Fenske
    Abstract: Motivated by a simple model, I use DHS data to test nine hypotheses about the prevalence and decline of African polygamy.  First, greater female involvement in agriculture does not increase polygamy.  Second, past inequality better predicts polygamy today than does current inequality.  Third, the slave trade only predicts polygamy across broad regions.  Fourth, modern female education does not reduce polygamy.  Colonial schooling does.  Fifth, economic growth has eroded polygamy.  Sixth and seventh, rainfall shocks and war increase polygamy, though their effects are small.  Eighth, polygamy varies smoothly over borders, national bans notwithstanding.  Finally, falling child mortaility has reduced polygamy.
    Date: 2012–11–27
  20. By: Kim Lehrer; Monazza Aslam
    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: 2012–10–19
  21. By: James Fenske
    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
  22. By: Quamrul Ashraf; Oded Galor
    Abstract: Despite the importance attributed to the effects of diversity on the stability and prosperity of nations, the origins of the uneven distribution of ethnic and cultural fragmentation across countries have been underexplored. Building on the role of deeply-rooted biogeographical forces in comparative development, this research empirically demonstrates that genetic diversity, predominantly determined during the prehistoric "out of Africa" migration of humans, is an underlying cause of various existing manifestations of ethnolinguistic heterogeneity. Further exploration of this uncharted territory may revolutionize the understanding of the effects of deeply-rooted factors on economic development and the composition of human capital across the globe.
    JEL: N30 O10 O50 Z10
    Date: 2013–01
  23. By: Goodness C. Aye (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria); Mehmet Balcilar (Department of Economics, Eastern Mediterranean University, Famagusta, North Cyprus,via Mersin 10, Turkey); Rangan Gupta (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria); Nicholas Kilimani (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria); Amandine Nakumuryango (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria); Siobhan Redford (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria)
    Abstract: This paper examines the existence of long memory in daily stock market returns from Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) countries and also attempts to shed light on the efficacy of Autoregressive Fractionally Integrated Moving Average (ARFIMA) models in predicting stock returns. We present evidence which suggests that ARFIMA models estimated using a variety of estimation procedures yield better forecasting results than the non-ARFIMA (AR, MA, ARMA and GARCH) models with regard to prediction of stock returns. These findings hold consistently the different countries whose economies differ in size, nature and sophistication.
    Keywords: Fractional integration, long-memory, stock returns, long-horizon prediction, ARFIMA, BRICS
    JEL: C15 C22 C53
    Date: 2012–12
  24. By: James Fenske
    Abstract: Although Nigeria’s Benin region was a major rubber producer in 1960, the industry faltered before 1921. I use labour scarcity and state capacity to explain why rubber did not take hold in this period. The government was unable to protect Benin’s rubber forests from over-exploitation. Plantations found it difficult to recruit workers, and the government was unwilling to allow expatriates to acquire land. Colonial officials promoted the development of “communal†plantations, but these suffered due to labour scarcity and a state that was short on staff and equipment, and dependent on local chiefs. 
    Date: 2012–10–08
  25. By: McDougal, Topher (University of San Diego); Caruso, Raul (Catholic University of the Sacred Heart)
    Abstract: Widely hailed as a paragon of successful post-conflict development policy, the Government of Mozambique has focused its economic aspirations on the promise of biofuel exports over the past decade. It has made hundreds of agricultural concessions to corporations in the biofuels industry. However, this land use competes with pre-existing local claims on arable land and water resources, possibly heightening food insecurity in rural areas. In response, local groups have sought to oppose the concessions, thus securing their land grants. We investigate whether the magnitude and recentness of wartime violence influence the success of communities in opposing agricultural concessions and securing community land grants. We test this and two alternative hypotheses with districtlevel data on biofuels concessions, recognized community landholdings, and civil war events generated in a geographic information system. Controlling for demographic, geographic, and market access factors, we find that while the recentness of violence may actually galvanize community cohesion and reinvigorate local institutional capacity, the intensity of violence plays a more nuanced role, associated, as it is, with higher levels of both corporate concessions (locally undesirable) and community land grants (locally desirable). We suggest that these findings are consistent with the idea that violence heightens community cohesion, but degrades connections between the local and national levels.
    JEL: D74 N47 N57 O13 O25 Q15 Q16 Q18
    Date: 2013–01–01
  26. By: Riane de Bruyn (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria); Rangan Gupta (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria); Renee van Eyden (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria)
    Abstract: Traditionally, the literature on forecasting exchange rates with many potential predictors have primarily only accounted for parameter uncertainty using Bayesian Model Averaging (BMA). Though BMA-based models of exchange rates tend to outperform the random walk model, we show that when accounting for model uncertainty over and above parameter uncertainty through the use of Dynamic model Averaging (DMA), the gains relative to the random walk model are even bigger. That is, DMA models outperform not only the random walk model, but also the BMA model of exchange rates. We obtain these results based on fifteen potential predictors used to forecast two South African Rand-based exchange rates. In the process, we also unveil variables, which tends to vary over time, that are good predictors of the Rand-Dollar and Rand-Pound exchange rates at different forecasting horizons.
    Keywords: Bayesian, state space models, exchange rates, macroeconomic fundamentals, forecasting
    JEL: C11 C53 F37 F47
    Date: 2013–01
  27. By: Shapira, Gil
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect of subjective beliefs about HIV infection on fertility decisions in a context of high HIV prevalence and simulates the impact of different policy interventions, such as HIV testing programs and prevention of mother-to-child transmission, on fertility and child mortality. It develops a model of women's life-cycle, in which women make sequential fertility decisions. Expectations about the life horizon and child survival depend on women's perceived exposure to HIV infection, which is allowed to differ from the actual exposure. In the model, women form beliefs about their HIV status and about their own and their children's survival in future periods. Women update their beliefs with survival to each additional period as well as when their HIV status is revealed by an HIV test. Model parameters are estimated by maximum likelihood with longitudinal data from the Malawi Diffusion and Ideational Change Project, which contain family rosters, information on HIV testing, and measures of subjective beliefs about own HIV status. The model successfully fits the fertility patterns in the data, as well as the distribution of reported beliefs about own HIV status. The analysis uses the model to assess the effect of HIV on fertility by simulating behavior in an environment without HIV. The results show that the presence of HIV reduces the average number of births a woman has during her life-cycle by 0.15. The paper also finds that HIV testing can reduce the fertility of infected women, leading to a reduction of child mortality and orphan-hood.
    Keywords: Population Policies,Gender and Health,Disease Control&Prevention,Gender and Law,Adolescent Health
    Date: 2013–01–01
  28. By: Philip Verwimp (Ecares and Centre Emile Bernheim Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management,Université Libre de Bruxelles)
    Abstract: Civil wars often force people to leave their homes. Displaced populations run higher risk in terms of disease, hunger and death, something that is well-documented. They leave their land, cattle and other assets behind for an uncertain existence in a refugee camp or depend on relatives or friends. But what happens when they return back home?
    Keywords: Forced Displacement, Food Security, Nutrition, Poverty, Burundi
    JEL: D13
    Date: 2012–03
  29. By: Furukawa, Mitsuaki; Takahata, Junichiro
    Abstract: The actual flow of General Budget Support (GBS) is not well known in developing countries. There have been few empirical studies on the effect of late disbursement from donors to a recipient government and from the central government to local governments. This paper attempts to analyze this flow by focusing on donorsf GBS disbursement to Tanzania and on the intergovernmental money flows in Tanzania. This paper shows that such center-local transfers are significantly correlated with the timing of local government expenditures in general and health expenditures in particular. It also shows that development expenditures are more affected than recurrent expenditures by delays in the transfer. To improve service delivery on the ground, the transfers from donors to the central government and from the central government to local governments need to be timely.
    Keywords: General Budget Support , late disbursement , service delivery , performance ratio , local government
    Date: 2012–11–08
  30. By: Akresh, Richard; de Walque, Damien; Kazianga, Harounan
    Abstract: The authors conduct a randomized experiment in rural Burkina Faso to estimate the impact of alternative cash transfer delivery mechanisms on education. The two-year pilot program randomly distributed cash transfers that were either conditional or unconditional. Families under the conditional schemes were required to have their children ages 7-15 enrolled in school and attending classes regularly. There were no such requirements under the unconditional programs. The results indicate that unconditional and conditional cash transfer programs have a similar impact increasing the enrollment of children who are traditionally favored by parents for school participation, including boys, older children, and higher ability children. However, the conditional transfers are significantly more effective than the unconditional transfers in improving the enrollment of"marginal children"who are initially less likely to go to school, such as girls, younger children, and lower ability children. Thus, conditionality plays a critical role in benefiting children who are less likely to receive investments from their parents.
    Keywords: Youth and Governance,Primary Education,Street Children,Educational Sciences,Education For All
    Date: 2013–01–01
  31. By: BOUARÉ Issa; KONE Felix Yagoua; KUEPIE Mathias; SIDIBE Lassine
    Abstract: La question fondamentale à laquelle cette étude se propose de répondre est de savoir pourquoi certains enfants de 7-18 ans fréquentent l?école au Mali et d?autres pas. Pour y répondre, nous commençons par positionner la fréquentation scolaire dans un cadre théorique où les facteurs culturels, économiques, familiaux et d?offre éducative se conjuguent pour déterminer les chances de fréquentation des jeunes. Il ressort des analyses, à partir des données de l?enquête malienne auprès des ménages de 2003, que les facteurs culturels sont de loin plus déterminant pour la fréquentation scolaire que le facteur économique. Un autre résultat de première importance est que la discrimination vis-à-vis des filles confiées est si importante qu?elle explique, à elle seule, quasiment toutes les inégalités entre filles et garçons en matière d?éducation.
    Keywords: Mali; fréquentation scolaire; inégalités scolaires; enfants confiés
    JEL: I30 J13 J22
    Date: 2012–12

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