nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2014‒03‒01
eight papers chosen by

  1. Africa and Global Economic Trends Quarterly Review - Fourth Quarter 2013 By AfDB AfDB
  2. Purchasing power parity (PPP) between South Africa and her main currency exchange partners: Evidence from asymmetric unit root tests and threshold co-integration analysis By Phiri, Andrew
  3. Endogenous Co-residence and Program Incidence: South Africa’s Old Age Pension By Amar Hamoudi; Duncan Thomas
  4. Does Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program Improve Child Nutrition? By Legesse Debela, Bethelhem; Shively, Gerald; Holden, Stein
  5. Do return migrants transfer political norms to their origin country? Evidence from Mali By Mercier, Marion; Chauvet, Lisa
  6. Are Wives less Selfish than their Husbands? Evidence from Hawk-Dove Game Field Experiments By Holden, Stein; Bezu, Sosina
  7. Life Satisfaction, Contract Farming and Property Rights: Evidence from Ghana By Susanne Väth; Simone Gobien
  8. Sons as Widowhood Insurance: Evidence from Senegal By Sylvie Lambert; Pauline Rossi

  1. By: AfDB AfDB
    Date: 2014–02–19
  2. By: Phiri, Andrew
    Abstract: Purpose: This purpose of this study is to examine the asymmetric adjustment effects for the purchasing power parity (PPP) for South Africa against her main currency trading partners; namely, the US, the UK, the Euro area, China and Japan. Design/Methodology/Approach: This study presents a two-fold empirical approach by using nominal exchange rate and aggregate price level data collected monthly for the periods 1971-2013. As a first step, the paper tests for nonlinear integration properties on the real exchange rate as computed as the nominal exchange rate adjusted for price differentials between the domestic and foreign price levels. The paper then proceeds to investigate asymmetric cointegration and error correction effects between nominal exchange rates and aggregate price differentials; and further supplements the empirical analysis by investigating granger causal effects between the variables. Findings: While the study is able to validate significant asymmetric PPP effects between South Africa and all her main currency exchange partners through the application of asymmetric unit root tests; the evidence presented when examining these PPP effects through the use of threshold cointegration and error correction analysis exempts the relationship explored between South African and the Euro area. Furthermore, the causal effects are found to run uni-directional from exchange rates to aggregate price differentials for all significant asymmetric cointegration relations. Originality/value: This study makes a novel contribution to literature by confirm significant asymmetric PPP effects between South Africa and her main currency exchange partners from both a unit root and a co-integration perspective.
    Keywords: Purchasing power parity (PPP); Threshold co-integration; Threshold unit root tests; South Africa
    JEL: C32 E31 E58 F31
    Date: 2014–02–13
  3. By: Amar Hamoudi; Duncan Thomas
    Abstract: We investigate whether living arrangements respond to an arguably exogenous shift in the distribution of power in family economic decision-making. In the early 1990s, the South African Old Age Pension was expanded to cover most black South Africans above a sex-specific age cut-off resulting in a substantial increase in the income of older South Africans and potentially their say in the economic decisions of their families. Beneficiaries of the program are more likely to coreside with adults who have less human capital as measured by height and education. Since height and education are fixed for adults, this cannot be an effect of the pension income but reflects selective changes in living arrangements resulting from the pension. The findings highlight the endogeneity of living arrangements and illustrate the potential value of moving beyond theory and data that are confined to a spatially determined definition of the household.
    JEL: C81 I38 J12 O12
    Date: 2014–02
  4. By: Legesse Debela, Bethelhem (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences); Shively, Gerald (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences); Holden, Stein (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences)
    Abstract: We study the link between Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) and short-run nutrition outcomes among children age 5 years and younger. We use 2006 and 2010 survey data from Northern Ethiopia to estimate parameters of an exogenous switching regression. This allows us to measure the differential impacts of household characteristics on weight-for-height Z-score of children in member and non-member households in PSNP. We find that the magnitude and significance of household covariates differ in samples of children from PSNP and non-PSNP households. Controlling for a set of observable features of children and households we find that children in member households have weight-for-height Z-scores that are 0.55 points higher than those of children in non-member households. We conclude that the PSNP is providing positive short-term nutritional benefits for children, especially in those households that are able to leverage underemployed female labor.
    Keywords: anthropometrics; Ethiopia; food security; nutrition; safety net
    JEL: I15 I38
    Date: 2014–02–18
  5. By: Mercier, Marion; Chauvet, Lisa
    Abstract: This paper explores the link between return migration and political outcomes in the origin country, using the case study of Mali. We use electoral and census data at the locality level to investigate the role of return migration on participation rates and electoral competitiveness. First, we run OLS and IV estimations for the 2009 municipal election, controlling for current emigration and using historical and distance variables as instruments for return migration and current emigration. Second, we build a panel dataset combining the 1998 and 2009 censuses and the electoral results for the municipal ballots of those two years to control for the potential time-invariant unobservable characteristics of the localities. We find a positive impact of the stock of return migrants on participation rates and on electoral competitiveness, which mainly stems from returnees from non-African countries. Finally, we show that the impact of returnees on turnout goes beyond their own participation, and that they affect more electoral outcomes in areas where non-migrants are poorly educated, which we interpret as evidence of a diffusion of political norms from returnees to non-migrants.
    Keywords: Return migration; Elections; Mali; Norms transfer;
    JEL: D72 F22 O15 O55
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Holden, Stein (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences); Bezu, Sosina (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences)
    Abstract: Lab-in-the-field Hawk-Dove game experiments were played by spouses in a rural sample of households in Southern Ethiopia where women/wives traditionally have a weak position. Randomized treatments included a 3x3 design with simultaneous, one-way signaling and sequential games as the first dimension and Pareto-efficient, Pareto-inferior and Pareto-superior (Dove;Dove) payout treatments as the second dimension, with a sequence of six game rounds per household. The experiments allow for the assessment of the presence of alternative player types, such as players that prioritize household income maximization, players that prioritize personal income, players that are Hawkish and punish their spouse at their own expense, and cooperative reciprocators (Doves) who cooperate even at the expense of household and personal income. The experiments revealed that all player types were present in the sample. Husbands played significantly less Hawkish than their wives and played gradually less Hawkish over the six game rounds, whereas wives remained Hawkish.
    Keywords: Intra-household cooperation; Hawk-Dove game; Pareto-efficiency; simultaneous games; one-way signaling games; sequential games
    JEL: C71 C72 C93 H31 J16 Q15
    Date: 2014–02–25
  7. By: Susanne Väth (University of Marburg); Simone Gobien (University of Marburg)
    Abstract: Large-scale land acquisition has increased dramatically in recent years. The question whether land deals can benefit both the local population and the investor is therefore high on the international agenda. Contract farming is discussed as a possible solution but studies identifying the causal effects are rare. Using data from a quasi-natural experiment in contract allocation, we compare the subjective well-being of outgrowers and independent farmers in the sphere of the biggest palm oil producer in Ghana. We identify a positive causal effect of the outgrower scheme which increases subjective well-being by 1.5 points on a scale of 0 to 10. We find a substitutive relationship between having an outgrower contract and having property rights, and thus we argue that by increasing security a contract increases well-being, as secure rights to land matter substantially for the overall life satisfaction of non-contract but not of contract farmers.
    Keywords: contract farming, property rights, quasi-natural experiment, subjective well-being, large-scale land acquisition
    JEL: D60 I31 Q13
    Date: 2014
  8. By: Sylvie Lambert (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); Pauline Rossi (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: Exploiting original data from a Senegalese household survey, we provide evidence that fertility choices are partly driven by women's needs for widowhood insurance. We use a duration model of birth intervals to show that women most exposed to the risk of widowhood intensify their fertility until they get a son. Insurance through sons entails substantial health costs : short birth spacing raises maternal and infant mortality rates.
    Keywords: Intra-household insurance ; Gender ; Fertility ; Health ; Senegal
    Date: 2014–02–17

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