nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2013‒05‒19
nine papers chosen by
Quentin Wodon
World Bank

  1. War, resilience and political engagement in Africa By Achyuta Adhvaryu; James Fenske
  2. How does Market Access affect Smallholder Behavior? The Case of Tobacco Marketing in Malawi By Wouter Zant
  3. South-South Migration and the Labor Market: Evidence from South Africa By Facchini, Giovanni; Mayda, Anna Maria; Mendola, Mariapia
  4. Teacher Quality in Sub-Saharan Africa: Pupil-fixed effects estimates for twelve countries By Christopher F. Hein; Rebecca Allen
  5. Is EU Support to Malawi Agriculture Effective? By Wouter Zant
  6. Dynamics and Drivers of Consumption and Multidimensional Poverty: Evidence from Rural Ethiopia By Brück, Tilman; Workneh Kebede, Sindu
  7. Inequality, poverty and quality of institutions: which freedom channels of globalization matter for Africa? By Asongu, Simplice A
  8. Individuals’ Preventive Behavioral Response to Changes in Malaria Risks and Government Interventions: Evidence from six African countries By Gabriel Picone; Robyn Kibler; Benedicte Apouey
  9. Effectiveness of Large Scale Water and Sanitation Interventions: the One Million Initiative in Mozambique By Chris Elbers; Samuel Godfrey; Jan Willem Gunning; Matteus van der Velden; Melinda Vigh

  1. By: Achyuta Adhvaryu; James Fenske
    Abstract: We test whether early-life war exposure influences later-life political engagement in Africa. We combine data on the location and intensity of conflicts since 1945 with nationally representative data on political attitudes and behaviors from 17 sub-Saharan African countries. Exposure from ages 0 to 14 has a very small (standardized) impact on later attitudes and behaviors. Our results are robust to migration, and hold across several definitions, specifications, and sources of data. Our results are consistent with recent studies demonstrating that, on average, individuals and localities recover quickly from the destructive effects of conflict, though those most exposed experience large and prolonged effects.
    Date: 2013
  2. By: Wouter Zant (VU University Amsterdam)
    Abstract: Transaction costs play a key role in the behaviour of smallholders in developing countries. We exploit the quasi experimental design of the introduction of an additional tobacco auction floor in Malawi in order to investigate the impact of a reduction in transaction costs and improved market access on yield and underlying smallholder's decisions on production and area of tobacco, the major cash crop in Malawi. Estimations are based on annual data by Extension Planning Area, 198 in total, fully covering Malawi, for 2003-04 to 2009-10. The estimation results support a statistically significant positive impact of the introduction of a new auction floor on tobacco yield and production of smallholders. Yield increases over the years to 21-25% above base year level. Smallholder production increases are of a similar size with a larger variation, ranging from 12% to 30%. The evidence further suggests that smallholder area is not affected. Results are shown to be robust after controlling for rainfall, fertilizer use, tobacco prices, maize prices and after including the lagged dependent variable.
    Keywords: transaction costs, market access, subsistence, food & cash crops, Malawi, Africa
    JEL: D23 O13 O55 Q11 Q13
    Date: 2012–09–03
  3. By: Facchini, Giovanni (University of Nottingham); Mayda, Anna Maria (Georgetown University); Mendola, Mariapia (University of Milan Bicocca)
    Abstract: Using census data for 1996, 2001 and 2007 we study the labor market effect of immigration to South Africa. The paper contributes to a small but growing literature on the impact of South-South migration by looking at one of the most attractive destinations for migrant workers in Sub-Saharan Africa. We exploit the variation – both at the district level and at the national one – in the share of foreign-born male workers across schooling and experience groups over time. At the district level, we estimate that increased immigration has a negative and significant effect on natives' employment rates – and that this effect is more negative for skilled and white South African native workers – but not on total income. These results are robust to using an instrumental variable estimation strategy. At the national level, we find that increased immigration has a negative and significant effect on natives' total income but not on employment rates. Our results are consistent with outflows of natives to other districts as a consequence of migration, as in Borjas (2006).
    Keywords: South Africa, labor market effects, immigration
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2013–04
  4. By: Christopher F. Hein (Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, University of London); Rebecca Allen (Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, University of London)
    Abstract: This paper estimates the relationship between teacher characteristics and teacher quality by applying point-in-time pupil-fixed effects. It uses a large cross-sectional dataset of grade 6 teaching and learning in 12 sub-Saharan countries. The findings are generally in line with the existing literature that finds such observable characteristics to be weak predictors that significantly differ in their effects across countries. Teacher subject competency test scores, the only consistent predictor of teacher quality across African countries in other studies, are only significant in the Seychelles. Contrary to US studies, we do not find consistent returns to teacher experience. Our estimates suggest that teacher characteristics are complementary rather than mutually exclusive. The analysis presented here provides comparable estimates of within-school variation of teacher quality and unique lower-bound estimates of teaching ability.
    Keywords: Teacher Quality, Teacher Characteristics, Africa, SACMEQ, Complementarity
    JEL: I20 I21 I25 O15 O55 O57
    Date: 2013–05–13
  5. By: Wouter Zant (VU University Amsterdam)
    Abstract: We measure the impact of the Farmers Income Diversification Program (FIDP), an EU funded program implemented in Malawi from late 2005 onwards, aiming at increasing agricultural productivity, diversification, value addition, commercialization and trade of subsistence farmers. The geographical spread of the implementation of FIDP is exploited to identify its impact. Computations are based on annual data by Extension Planning Area, 198 in total, fully covering Malawi, for the period 2003-04 to 2009-10. The estimations support a statistically significant impact of FIDP on agricultural productivity, with increases reaching 20% to 24% relative to base period levels, with a lag of at least one year after the start of the program and increasing over the years. Evidence on diversification of crop income is less strong but still suggests increases ranging from 5% to 10%. Results are robust for instrumental variables, synthetic controls, clustering of standard errors and inclusion of additional covariates.
    Keywords: agricultural policy, impact evaluation, subsistence farming, Malawi, Africa
    JEL: F35 O13 O55 Q11 Q13
    Date: 2012–09–07
  6. By: Brück, Tilman (SIPRI); Workneh Kebede, Sindu (DIW Berlin)
    Abstract: This study aims to explore poverty measures, its dynamics and determinants using Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) and consumption poverty. Our results show that the two measures assign similar poverty status to about 52 percent of households and that both approaches confirm poverty is mainly transient in rural Ethiopia. However, we find that the trend in adjusted head count poverty is different when using these two poverty measures. In terms of determinants of poverty dynamics, we find that household size matters in consumption poverty while we do not find significant effects on multidimensional poverty. Amongst the shocks, drought shock is found to affect consumption poverty but not multidimensional poverty. This implies that short-term shocks are more reflected in consumption poverty while the effect of simultaneous shocks is exhibited significantly on multidimensional poverty. Overall, our result provides empirical evidence on the importance of using both measures as complementary to get a full picture of poverty measure, dynamics and determinants.
    Keywords: poverty dynamics, consumption, multidimensional poverty index, rural Ethiopia
    JEL: I32 O12
    Date: 2013–04
  7. By: Asongu, Simplice A
    Abstract: Are formal institutions instrumental in the effect globalization mechanisms have on the human face? If so, through which freedoms channels are poverty and inequality mitigated? With the instrumentality of formal institutions: (1) de jure financial liberalization (KAOPEN) has a positive income-redistribution impact while the de facto measure (FDI) does not; (2) political liberalization has a disequalizing effect and; (3) economic freedom has a positive (negative) effect on inequality (poverty). Hence, economic freedom does not stop the wealthy from growing wealthier, but at the same time provides for conditions that mitigate poverty. The findings broadly show that, despite the substantially documented negative incidences of some channels of globalization on poverty (and inequality), formal institutions have the capacity to device policies that will give capital openness, trade and economic liberalizations a human face. Social implications and policy options are discussed.
    Keywords: Globalization; Inequality; Poverty; Formal institutions; Africa
    JEL: F30 F41 F50 O15 O55
    Date: 2013–01–14
  8. By: Gabriel Picone (Department of Economics, University of South Florida); Robyn Kibler (Department of Economics, University of South Florida); Benedicte Apouey (Paris School of Economics, CNRS)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the importance of malaria prevalence, malaria ecology, and indoor residual spraying on the probability of sleeping under an insecticide-treated net (ITN) in six African countries. Using individual data on ITN usage combined with the malaria prevalence and ecology data for the area where the person lives, we show that malaria prevalence and ecology have positive effects on ITN usage. However, ITN usage is inelastic with respect to malaria prevalence, with elasticity of 0.181 for children under 5 and of 0.223 for adult women. We also find that indoor residual spraying does not crowd out ITN usage.
    Keywords: Malaria prevalence elasticity, ITN usage, public intervations
    JEL: I12 I15 I18 H4
    Date: 2013–02
  9. By: Chris Elbers (VU University Amsterdam); Samuel Godfrey (UNICEF Mozambique); Jan Willem Gunning (VU University Amsterdam); Matteus van der Velden (UNICEF Mozambique); Melinda Vigh (VU University Amsterdam)
    Abstract: The One Million Initiative aims to give one million people in rural Mozambique access to clean drinking water and adequate sanitation by constructing new water points and providing sanitation training. We use panel survey data for 1600 households to analyze the health impact of the Initiative. The paper moves beyond a black box evaluation by analyzing the contribution of various channels through which the interventions affected health. To our knowledge this is the first rigorous evaluation of such a large scale program in the water and sanitation sector. We find that the water point intervention had a sizeable impact on the use of improved water sources and on the health of young children (up to 3 years), while the sanitation training had a strong impact on latrine ownership and on the health of both adults and older children.
    Keywords: impact evaluation, water and sanitation programs, health impact
    JEL: I15 I18 I38
    Date: 2012–07–17

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