nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2013‒11‒09
eight papers chosen by
Quentin Wodon
World Bank

  1. Transportation Technology and Economic Change: The Impact of Colonial Railroads on City Growth in Africa By Remi Jedwab; Alexander Moradi
  2. Role of regulation and micro finance in Africa, Asia and Latin America By Marianne, Roedl
  3. Document de travail 166 - Mésalignement du taux de change effectif réel Quand faudra-t-il de nouveau dévaluer le franc CFA By Sosthène Ulrich GNANSOUNOU; Chouchane, Audrey
  4. Institutions, gouvernance et croissance de long terme à Madagascar : l'enigme et le paradoxe By Mireille Razafindrakoto; François Roubaud; Jean-Michel Wachsberger
  5. Pauvreté et microfinance au Congo Kinshasa : une approche par l’analyse factorielle discriminante By Ngunza Maniata, Kevin
  6. The Transmission of Oil and Food Prices to Consumer Prices: Evidence for the MENA Countries By Ansgar Belke; Christian Dreger
  7. Intra-household Selection into Migration: Evidence from a Matched Sample of Migrants and Origin Households in Senegal By Isabelle Chort; Jean-Noël Senne
  8. Creating and using fiscal space for accelerated development in Liberia By Lofgren, Hans

  1. By: Remi Jedwab; Alexander Moradi
    Abstract: What is the impact of modern transportation technology on long-run economic change in poor countries with high trade costs? Rail construction in colonial Sub-Saharan Africa provides a natural experiment: 90% of African railroad lines were built before independence, in a context where headloading was the dominant transportation technology. Using new data on railroads and cities over one century within one country, Ghana, and Africa as a whole, we find large permanent effects of transportation technology on economic development. First, colonial railroads had strong effects on commercial agriculture and urban growth before independence. We exploit various identification strategies to ensure these effects are causal. Second, using the fact that African railroads fell largely out of use post-independence, due to mismanagement and lack of maintenance, we show that colonial railroads had a persistent impact on cities. While colonial sunk investments (e.g., schools, hospitals and roads) partly contributed to urban path dependence, evidence suggests that railroad cities persisted because their early emergence served as a mechanism to coordinate contemporary investments for each subsequent period. Railroad cities are also wealthier than non-railroad cities of similar sizes today. This suggests a world where shocks to economic geography can trigger an equilibrium in which cities will emerge to facilitate the accumulation of factors, and thus have long-term effects on economic growth.
    Keywords: Transportation Technology; Development; Path Dependence; Growth
    JEL: R4 R1 O1 O3 N97
    Date: 2013
  2. By: Marianne, Roedl
    Abstract: An innovative aspect of this paper is evidenced through its recommendation of the Micro-Savings Requirement Scheme - which offers numerous benefits – as will be highlighted in this paper. Furthermore, the paper not only addresses how linkages, direct and facilitating linkages, can benefit microfinance institutions – and particularly in jurisdictions where the Savings Group Outreach involvement is particularly low, but also illustrates ways and means whereby group lending and other more recent innovative methods used by micro lenders to secure repayments, could increase the desired effects, efficiency and impact of microfinance in selected jurisdictions. In so doing, it addresses some of the existing and persisting problems of micro finance in rural areas.
    Keywords: microfinance; regulation; agency theory; Micro-Savings Requirement Scheme; Africa; Asia; Latin America
    JEL: D82 G2 G21 K2
    Date: 2013–11–03
  3. By: Sosthène Ulrich GNANSOUNOU; Chouchane, Audrey
    Date: 2013–02–26
  4. By: Mireille Razafindrakoto (IRD, UMR DIAL, PSL, Université Paris-Dauphine); François Roubaud (IRD, UMR DIAL, PSL, Université Paris-Dauphine); Jean-Michel Wachsberger (Université Lille 3, UMR DIAL)
    Abstract: (english) The classical and more recent theories on development all fail to explain Madagascar’s long-running economic underperformance. This paper proposes a reinterpretation of Malagasy history based on the analytical framework of political economy. Our analyses point to the fact that, despite deep-rooted blockages, Madagascar has shown an unexpected capacity to transform and modernise: economic transition (with the emergence of a new entrepreneurial class) and political transition (with democratic alternation of power); the setting up of sound institutions that characterise “modern” societies; control of violence; and the Malagasy people’s expression of their economic and civic aspirations. However, three structural constraints hinder the country’s development. Firstly, social fragmentation, an atomised population and the atrophy of intermediary bodies foster a high concentration of power in the hands of a few elites who are neither compelled nor encouraged to develop a medium- or long-term vision and take the interests of the vast majority into consideration. Secondly, although the Malagasy people lay claim to democratic principles, they remain torn between the demands of democratic and meritocratic nature and the traditional values that impose respect for the real and symbolic hierarchies they have inherited from the past. Finally, although the policies promoted and sometimes imposed by international donors may have had some positive effects, they have also had a hugely negative impact on the State’s capacity to regulate society. _________________________________ (français) Les théories classiques et récentes du développement sont impuissantes à expliquer la contreperformance économique malgache sur longue période. Cet article propose une relecture de l'histoire malgache en mobilisant le cadre d’analyse de l’économie politique. Nos analyses pointent qu’en dépit de facteurs de blocage profonds, Madagascar a fait montre d'une capacité de transformation d'une modernité inattendue : transitions économique (avec l'arrivée d'une classe d'entrepreneurs nouveaux) et politique (avec les alternances démocratiques) ; mise en place d'institutions solides caractéristiques des sociétés « modernes » ; contrôle de la violence ; expression des aspirations économiques et citoyennes de la population. Trois entraves structurelles s’opposent en revanche au développement du pays : la fragmentation de la société, l'atomisation de la population et l'atrophie des corps intermédiaires favorisent une forte concentration du pouvoir aux mains d'une poignée d'élites qui n'est ni contrainte ni incitée à avoir une vision de moyen/long terme et à prendre en compte les intérêts de la grande majorité ; malgré sa revendication des principes démocratiques, la population reste tiraillée entre des revendications citoyennes de type démocratique et méritocratique et des valeurs traditionnelles qui imposent le respect de hiérarchies réelles et symboliques héritées du passé ; enfin, les politiques promues, voire imposées, par les bailleurs de fonds, si elles ont pu avoir des effets positifs, ont également eu un impact négatif majeur sur la capacité de l'Etat à réguler la société.
    Keywords: Violence, Political economy, Madagascar, Elite, long term growth, social structure, Rents, Violence, Economie politique, Madagascar, Elites, Croissance de long terme, structure sociale, Rentes.
    JEL: N37 N47 O55 Z13
    Date: 2013–10
  5. By: Ngunza Maniata, Kevin
    Abstract: The objective of fight against poverty was at the origin of the creation of the institutions of microfinance (IMF) which thus drained public financings and created strong waitings, as well for their customers as at the macro-economic level. Today, certain authors underline the limits of the microfinance and question its impact on the development. What happens really? What do the impact studies learn on the contribution from the microfinance to the poverty reduction in the developing countries? The first impact waited of the microfinance, taking into account its objectives, is on the level of its customers. This article proposes a combination of the multivaried statistics’ approach with the use of the most usual measurements as regards poverty approach on the whole of the units (recipients and not recipients of the financial services) and of the decompositions analysis according to sub-groups' of interest (recipient or not, men/women) for the poverty analysis and the role of the institutions of microfinance (IMF) in a poor and precarious congolese environment.
    Keywords: Poverty, Microfinance, Canonical Discriminant Analysis
    JEL: C19 G21 I32
    Date: 2013–10–31
  6. By: Ansgar Belke; Christian Dreger
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of global oil and food price shocks to consumer prices in Middle East-North African (MENA) countries using threshold cointegration methods. Oil and food price shocks increase domestic prices in the long run, whereby the impact of food prices dominates. While global prices are weakly exogenous, consumer prices respond to deviations from the equilibrium relationship. The short run adjustment pattern exhibits asymmetries and is particularly strong after positive shocks. Downward rigidities on wages may play a crucial role in this regard, as the relatively weak reactions of consumer prices after negative shocks are related to labour market institutions and public subsidies. The more rigid the regulations the more pronounced are the asymmetries. Robustness checks show that international price shocks do not affect GDP growth.
    Keywords: Oil and food price transmission, asymmetric error correction, MENA region
    JEL: C22 E31 Q02
    Date: 2013
  7. By: Isabelle Chort (LEDa - Laboratoire d'Economie de Dauphine - Université Paris IX - Paris Dauphine, DIAL - Développement, institutions et analyses de long terme - Institut de recherche pour le développement [IRD]); Jean-Noël Senne (DIAL - Développement, institutions et analyses de long terme - Institut de recherche pour le développement [IRD], PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales [EHESS] - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA), EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, CREST - Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique - INSEE - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique)
    Abstract: This paper fills the gap between individual selection models and collective approaches of migration. We build a theoretical model in order to account for household-based migration decisions and derive its implications on migrant selection. Assuming that the origin household maximizes a collective utility including earnings but also further remittances when choosing the one among its members who is to migrate, migrant selection in this case may differ from what is predicted by a pure individual decision model. Therefore, we specifically tackle the so far under-explored issue of intra-household selection into migration in order to identify what are the key determinants of household members' location choices. We derive our estimation procedure from an extension of the Roy-Dahl model and provide empirical evidence using a unique matched sample of 926 Senegalese migrants in three destination countries - France, Italy and Mauritania - and their origin household in Senegal. Our results show that expected remittances, along with earnings differentials, play a major role in shaping intra-household selection patterns, which stands in striking contrast with usual predictions from individual self-selection models.
    Keywords: Migration ; Remittances ; Intra-household allocation ; Selection
    Date: 2013–10–25
  8. By: Lofgren, Hans
    Abstract: This paper presents simulations for the period 2013-2030 of measures that permit increased spending on infrastructure and human development, the priority areas in Liberia's 2013-2017"Agenda for Transformation"and for its national vision, Liberia Rising 2030. The simulations are carried out with a Liberian version of MAMS (Maquette for Millennium Development Goals Simulations), a Computable General Equilibrium model. According to the results, among the key sources of fiscal space, foreign grants generate the best outcomes followed by improved government allocative efficiency. Taxes tend to involve trade-offs since they reduce resources for private consumption and investment, both of which tend to contribute to stronger macro and Millennium Development Goals performance. Increased foreign borrowing is less attractive since, in order to make a substantial difference, it would quickly add to the foreign debt, making the economy more crisis-prone and less flexible. The preferred balance between different uses of fiscal space depends on payoffs from different government functions, typically unknown or only appearing with a lag. Under the parameters used in the simulations, determined in light of fragmentary evidence, the outcomes were marginally stronger under a balanced approach with scaling up of both infrastructure and human development services. Balanced expansion may also contribute to efficiency and be easier for political reasons. A final finding is that it is possible to consider fiscal space issues in isolation from the mining sector: simulations suggest that the marginal effects of creating additional fiscal space are very similar irrespective of the level of mining export prices.
    Keywords: Economic Theory&Research,Debt Markets,Banks&Banking Reform,Emerging Markets,Access to Finance
    Date: 2013–10–01

This nep-afr issue is ©2013 by Quentin Wodon. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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