nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2014‒06‒22
twenty-two papers chosen by
Christian Zimmermann
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

  1. Clientelism and ethnic divisions By Isaksson, Ann-Sofie; Bigsten, Arne
  2. Effects of Policy Reforms on Price Transmission in Coffee Markets: Evidence from Zambia and Tanzania By Mofya-Mukuka, Rhoda; Abdulai, Awudu
  3. Income Convergence in South Africa: Fact or Measurement Error? By Tobias Lechtenfeld; Asmus Zoch
  4. Development as Diffusion: Manufacturing Productivity and Sub-Saharan Africa’s Missing Middle - Working Paper 357 By Alan Gelb, Christian Meyer, and Vijaya Ramachandran
  5. What Explains Minimal Usage of Minimum Tillage Practices in Zambia? Evidence from District-representative Data. By Ngoma, Hambulo; Mulenga, Brian P.; Jayne, T.S.
  6. Conservation Farming Adoption and Impact among First Year Adopters in Central Zambia By Goeb, Joseph
  7. Africa's Changing Farm Structure and Employment Challenge By Jayne, T.S.; Chapoto, A.; Sitko, N.; Muyanga, M.; Nkonde, C.; Chamberlin, J.
  8. Women’s individual and joint property ownership: Effects on household decisionmaking: By Doss, Cheryl; Kim, Sung Mi; Njuki, Jemimah; Hillenbrand, Emily; Miruka, Maureen
  9. Can Increasing Smallholder Farm Size Broadly Reduce Rural Poverty in Zambia? By Hichaambwa, Munguzwe; Jayne, T.S.
  10. Why don’t households invest in latrines: health, prestige, or safety? By Elena Gross; Isabel Günther
  11. Direct seed marketing program in Ethiopia in 2013: An operational evaluation to guide seed-sector reform: By Benson, Todd; Spielman, David J.; Kasa, Leulsegged
  12. From Rebellion to Electoral Violence: Evidence from Burundi By Andrea Colombo; Olivia D'Aoust; Olivier Sterck
  13. Value Chain Analysis of the Groundnuts Sector in the Eastern Province of Zambia By Mofya-Mukuka, Rhoda; Shipekesa, Arthur M.
  14. The Dictator's Inner Circle By Patrick Francois; Ilia Rainer; Francesco Trebbi
  15. Can smallholder fruit and vegetable production systems improve household food security and nutritional status of women? Evidence from rural Uganda: By Kabunga, Nassul Ssentamu; Ghosh, Shibani; Griffiths, Jeffrey K.
  16. Poverty Reduction Potential of Increasing Smallholder Access to Land. By Hichaambwa, Munguzwe; Jayne, T. S.
  17. Importance of rice research and development in rice seed policies: Insights from Nigeria: By Takeshima, Hiroyuki
  18. Seasonal Credit Constraints and Agricultural Labor Supply: Evidence from Zambia By Günther Fink; B. Kelsey Jack; Felix Masiye
  19. Creating Scarcity From Abundance: Bumper Harvests, High Prices, And The Role Of State Interventions In Zambian Maize Markets By Kuteya, Auckland N.; Sitko, Nicholas J.
  20. The impact of cash and food transfers: Evidence from a randomized intervention in Niger: By Hoddinott, John F.; Sandström, Susanna; Upton, Joanna
  21. Thanks but No Thanks: A New Policy to Reduce Land Conflict By Martin Dufwenberg; Gunnar Köhlin; Peter Martinsson; Haileselassie Medhin
  22. Exit from Catastrophic Health Payments: A Method and an Application to Malawi By Mussa, Richard

  1. By: Isaksson, Ann-Sofie (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Bigsten, Arne (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: In light of the empirical evidence on clientelism and ethno-regional favouritism in African politics, the present paper examines the relationship between ethnic divisions and clientelism. Specifically, we ask whether – and what type of – ethnic divisions affect the experiences with, perceived prevalence of, and attitudes to clientelism. Empirical findings drawing on data for more than 20 000 respondents across 15 African countries challenge the dominant role of ethnic divisions for clientelist practices in Africa. Contextual measures of ethnic fragmentation and ethnic identification are found to have limited explanatory power for the concerned clientelism outcomes, and, considering possible subjects of ethno-regional favouritism, the empirical findings point more to the relevance of regional than ethnically based targeting of clientelist transfers.
    Keywords: Clientelism; vote buying; ethnic divisions; Africa
    JEL: D72 O12 O55
    Date: 2014–06
  2. By: Mofya-Mukuka, Rhoda; Abdulai, Awudu
    Abstract: In the late 1990s, several governments in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) embarked on various market reforms to improve commodity market performance. The success of such market reforms depends partly on the strength of the transmission of price signals between spatially separated markets and between different levels of commodity value chains. This study takes a look at these issues through an analysis of coffee producer prices for Zambia and Tanzania.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Security and Poverty, Marketing,
    Date: 2013–09
  3. By: Tobias Lechtenfeld (The World Bank Group); Asmus Zoch (Stellenbosch University)
    Abstract: This paper asks whether income mobility in South Africa over the last decade has indeed been as impressive as currently thought. Using new national panel data (NIDS), substantial measurement error in reported income data is found, which is further corroborated by a provincial income data panel (KIDS). By employing an instrumental variables approach using two different instruments, measurement error can be quantified. Specifically, self-reported income in the survey data is shown to suffer from mean-reverting measurement bias, leading to sizable overestimations of income convergence in both panel data sets. The preferred estimates indicate that previously published income dynamics may have been largely overestimated by as much as 77% for the national NIDS panel and 39% for the provincial KIDS panel. Overall, income mobility appears much smaller than previously thought, while chronic poverty remains substantial and transitory poverty is still very limited in South Africa.
    Keywords: Measurement Error; Income Dynamics; Consumption Dynamics; South Africa
    JEL: C81 I32 O15
    Date: 2014–06–18
  4. By: Alan Gelb, Christian Meyer, and Vijaya Ramachandran
    Abstract: We consider economic development of Sub-Saharan Africa from the perspective of slow convergence of productivity, both across sectors and across firms within sectors. Why have “productivity enclaves”, islands of high productivity in a sea of smaller low-productivity firms, not diffused more rapidly? We summarize and analyze three sets of factors: First, the poor business climate, which constrains the allocation of production factors between sectors and firms. Second, the complex political economy of business-government relations in Africa’s small economies. Third, the distribution of firm capabilities. The roots of these factors lie in Africa’s geography and its distinctive history, including the legacy of its colonial period on state formation and market structure.
    Keywords: Productivity, Manufacturing, Dualism, Firms, Africa
    JEL: D24 L25 O11 O14
    Date: 2014–02
  5. By: Ngoma, Hambulo; Mulenga, Brian P.; Jayne, T.S.
    Abstract: Conservation farming (CF) practices are widely considered to be important components of sustainable agricultural development in Sub-Saharan Africa because of their potential to raise farm productivity and incomes while maintaining or improving soil quality and reducing vulnerability to variable climatic conditions. CF in Zambia can be traced to the 1980s when government, private sector, and donor communities started promoting CF as an alternative set of agronomic practices for Zambian smallholders (Haggblade and Tembo 2003).
    Keywords: Crop Production/Industries, Food Security and Poverty, Land Economics/Use,
    Date: 2014–04
  6. By: Goeb, Joseph
    Abstract: In Zambia, as in most of Sub-Saharan Africa, rural poverty, food security, and farming are inextricably linked. While the livelihoods of nearly two thirds of Zambia’s population depend directly on their agricultural productivity, average yields have historically been low and soil fertility has been diminishing. Conservation Farming (CF) has shown promise of being a solution to these challenges after several years of adoption, yet the short-term yield effects are more variable. A better understanding of the immediate yield effects and their profitability relative to other techniques is necessary to determine if CF adoption is an effective and feasible way to increase agricultural productivity while sustainably building soil fertility.
    Keywords: Crop Production/Industries, Food Security and Poverty,
    Date: 2013–10
  7. By: Jayne, T.S.; Chapoto, A.; Sitko, N.; Muyanga, M.; Nkonde, C.; Chamberlin, J.
    Abstract: Even under optimistic assumptions about the rate of urbanization and growth of non-farm employment, agriculture will still be the main source of livelihood for the majority of Africans for at least the next several decades (Losch 2012). Non-farm wage jobs in Sub-Saharan Africa will be able to absorb between 40 to 65 percent of the additional 122 million workers estimated to enter the labor force before 2020 (Fine et al. 2012). This means that farming will be called upon to provide gainful employment for at least a third of young Africans entering the labor force till at least 2025.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Financial Economics, Food Security and Poverty, Labor and Human Capital,
    Date: 2014–04
  8. By: Doss, Cheryl; Kim, Sung Mi; Njuki, Jemimah; Hillenbrand, Emily; Miruka, Maureen
    Abstract: In this paper, the relationship of women’s individual and joint property ownership and the level of women’s input into household decisionmaking is explored with data from India, Mali, Malawi, and Tanzania. In the three African countries, women with individual landownership have greater input into household decisionmaking than women whose landownership is joint; both have more input than women who are not landowners.
    Keywords: Property rights, Land, Gender, Women, Decision making,
    Date: 2014
  9. By: Hichaambwa, Munguzwe; Jayne, T.S.
    Abstract: Despite Zambia’s sustained and fairly robust agricultural growth since 2000, rural poverty levels have remained at about 80% over the past 15 years. Because over 70% of Zambia’s agricultural households are small-scale farmers cultivating less than two hectares of land, they must effectively contribute to agricultural growth if the process of growth is to be broadly based in Zambia.
    Keywords: Food Security and Poverty, Land Economics/Use,
    Date: 2014–05
  10. By: Elena Gross (University of Bayreuth); Isabel Günther (ETH Zurich)
    Abstract: 70 percent of the rural population in sub-Saharan Africa does not use adequate sanitation facilities. In rural Benin, as much as 95 percent of the population has no access to improved sanitation. This paper explores why households remain without latrines analyzing a representative sample of 2000 rural households. Our results show that wealth and latrine prices play the most decisive role for sanitation demand and ownership. At current income levels, sanitation coverage will only increase to 50 percent if costs for construction are reduced from currently $200 USD to $50 USD per latrine. Our analysis also suggests that previous sanitation promotion campaigns, which were based on prestige and modern lifestyle as motives for latrine construction, have had no success in increasing sanitation coverage. Moreover, improved public health, which is the objective of public policies promoting sanitation, is also difficult to achieve at low sanitation coverage rates. Fear at night, especially of animals, and personal harassment, are stated as the most important motivational factors for latrine ownership and the intention to build one. We therefore suggest that new low cost technologies should be introduced on rural markets and that social marketing strategies should be adjusted accordingly.
    Keywords: Sanitation; Sanitation Demand; Willingness to pay; Motivational factors
    JEL: D12 O12 O31 O55
    Date: 2014–06–18
  11. By: Benson, Todd; Spielman, David J.; Kasa, Leulsegged
    Abstract: In 2013 the Bureaus of Agriculture in the regional states of Amhara, Oromia, and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples of Ethiopia supported a program of direct marketing of certified seed by seed producers to farmers across 31 woredas (districts). This program stands in contrast to the dominant procedure for supplying such seed in which farmers register with local agricultural offices or extension agents to purchase seed for the coming cropping season and then receive seed either directly from these local offices or through local cooperatives. The evaluation shows that competition between entrepreneurial seed producers to capture a substantial portion of the market of farmer-customers for their seed to enable their firms to remain in business will propel wider and more effective distribution of new and improved hybrid maize to more and more farmers.
    Keywords: Seed markets, Private sector, Hybrids, Hybrid maize, evaluation, Smallholders, seed sector,
    Date: 2014
  12. By: Andrea Colombo; Olivia D'Aoust; Olivier Sterck
    Abstract: We aim at understanding the triggers of electoral violence, which spoiled 80% of elections in Africa during the last decades. We focus on Burundi, a country which experienced polls in 2010, only few months after the end of a long-lasting civil war. Our results suggest that higher polarization between ex-rebels’ groups increases the risk of electoral violence at the municipal level. However, neither ethnic nor political cleavages significantly determine such electoral malpractices. These results are robust to numerous specifications. We therefore argue that policies supporting the transition of ex-rebel groups from warfare to the political arena should be reinforced.
    Keywords: Civil war, Electoral violence, Polarization, Demobilization, Burundi
    JEL: D74 O11 O17 O55
    Date: 2014
  13. By: Mofya-Mukuka, Rhoda; Shipekesa, Arthur M.
    Abstract: Groundnuts play an integral role in the livelihoods of the majority of the Zambian population, particularly the rural households. The crop is produced by nearly half of the estimated 1.4 million rural smallholder households, making it the second largest, after maize, in terms of production volume and hectares cultivated. Approximately 8.8% of total land cultivated in Zambia is planted to groundnuts.
    Keywords: Food Security and Poverty, Productivity Analysis,
    Date: 2013–09
  14. By: Patrick Francois; Ilia Rainer; Francesco Trebbi
    Abstract: We posit the problem of an autocrat who has to allocate access to the executive positions in his inner circle and define the career profile of his own insiders. Statically, granting access to an executive post to a more experienced subordinate increases political returns to the post, but is more threatening to the leader in case of a coup. Dynamically, the leader monitors the capacity of staging a coup by his subordinates, which grows over time, and the incentives of trading a subordinate’s own position for a potential shot at the leadership, which defines the incentives of staging a palace coup for each member of the inner circle. We map these theoretical elements into structurally estimable hazard functions of terminations of cabinet ministers for a panel of postcolonial Sub-Saharan African countries. The hazard functions initially increase over time, indicating that most government insiders quickly wear out their welcome, and then drop once the minister is fully entrenched in the current regime. We argue that the survival concerns of the leader in granting access to his inner circle can cover much ground in explaining the widespread lack of competence of African governments and the vast heterogeneity of political performance between and within these regimes.
    JEL: H11 P16 P48
    Date: 2014–06
  15. By: Kabunga, Nassul Ssentamu; Ghosh, Shibani; Griffiths, Jeffrey K.
    Abstract: This paper aims to empirically infer potential causal linkages between fruit and vegetable (F&V) production, individual F&V intake, household food security, and anemia levels for individual women caregivers of childbearing age.
    Keywords: Fruits, Vegetables, Diet, Gender, Women, food security, households, malnutrition, hemoglobin, anemia,
    Date: 2014
  16. By: Hichaambwa, Munguzwe; Jayne, T. S.
    Abstract: Economists have long held that broad-based agricultural growth is the most powerful source of poverty reduction in developing countries where most of the rural population is engaged in agriculture (Johnston and Mellor 1961; Mellor 1974; Lipton 2006). However, in Zambia’s case, despite sustained and fairly robust agricultural growth since 2000, rural poverty levels have remained at about 80% over the past 15 years. This indicates that productivity in the agricultural sector needs to be increased, especially considering that no country, apart from the island economies of Singapore and Hong Kong, has been able to sustain rapid transition out of poverty without raising the productivity in its agricultural sector.
    Keywords: Food Security and Poverty, Land Economics/Use,
    Date: 2014–03
  17. By: Takeshima, Hiroyuki
    Abstract: First, this paper shows that rice varietal development in Nigeria has been lagging behind that of other developing countries in Asia and Latin America, due partly to insufficient investment in domestic rice R&D. The paper then illustrates using a household model simulation that impacts of certain policies, such as the seed subsidy, may be greater (smaller) if they are applied to good (poor) varieties. The paper concludes by discussing key policy implications and future research needs.
    Keywords: rice, Research, Agricultural research, seed policies, seed sector, household model,
    Date: 2014
  18. By: Günther Fink; B. Kelsey Jack; Felix Masiye
    Abstract: Small-scale farming remains the primary source of income for a majority of the population in developing countries. While most farmers primarily work on their own fields, off-farm labor is common among small-scale farmers. A growing literature suggests that off-farm labor is not the result of optimal labor allocation, but is instead driven by households’ inability to cover short-term consumption needs with savings or credit. We conduct a field experiment in rural Zambia to investigate the relationship between credit availability and rural labor supply. We find that providing households with access to credit during the growing season substantially alters the allocation of household labor, with households in villages randomly selected for a loan program selling on average 25 percent less off-farm labor. We also find that increased credit availability is associated with higher consumption and increases in local farming wages. Our results suggest that a substantial fraction of rural labor supply is driven by short-term constraints, and that access to credit markets may improve the efficiency of labor allocation overall.
    JEL: J22 O16 Q12
    Date: 2014–06
  19. By: Kuteya, Auckland N.; Sitko, Nicholas J.
    Abstract: From 2010 through 2012 harvest seasons, Zambian farmers produced three consecutive maize bumper harvests. The total maize production during this period was 8.6 million metric tonness, of which 4.6 million metric tonnes was a marketable surplus (CSO/MAL various years). This far exceeded the national maize consumption requirement. In an effort to prevent producer price collapse in the wake of these historic harvests, the Government’s Food Reserve Agency (FRA) was mandated to purchase approximately 80% or 3.7 million metric tonnes of the available surplus.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Crop Production/Industries, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty, Marketing, Political Economy,
    Date: 2014–05
  20. By: Hoddinott, John F.; Sandström, Susanna; Upton, Joanna
    Abstract: There is little rigorous evidence on the comparative impacts of cash and food transfers on food security and food-related outcomes. We assess the relative impacts of receiving cash versus food transfers using a randomized design. Drawing on data collected in eastern Niger, we find that households randomized to receive a food basket experienced larger, positive impacts on measures of food consumption and diet quality than those receiving the cash transfer.
    Keywords: food security, social policies, Nutrition, cash transfers, social protection, social safety nets,
    Date: 2014
  21. By: Martin Dufwenberg; Gunnar Köhlin; Peter Martinsson; Haileselassie Medhin
    Abstract: Land conflicts in developing countries are costly. An important policy goal is to create respect for borders. This often involves mandatory, expensive interventions. We propose a new policy design, which in theory promotes neighborly relations at low cost. A salient feature is the option to by-pass regulation through consensus. The key idea combines the insight that social preferences transform social dilemmas into coordination problems with the logic of forward induction. As a first, low-cost pass at empirical evaluation, we conduct an experiment among farmers in the Ethiopian highlands, a region exhibiting features typical of countries where borders are often disputed. Our results suggest that a low-cost land delimitation based on neighborly recognition of borders could deliver a desired low-conflict situation if accompanied by an optional higher cost demarcation process. Keywords: Conflict, land-conflict game, social preferences, forward induction, Ethiopia, experiment, land reform JEL codes: C78; C93; D63; Q15
    Date: 2014
  22. By: Mussa, Richard
    Abstract: This paper proposes three measures of average exit time from catastrophic health payments; the first measure is non-normative in that the weights placed on catastrophic payments incurred by poor and nonpoor households are the same. It ignores the fact that the opportunity cost of health spending is different between poor and nonpoor households. The other two measures allow for distribution sensitivity but differ in their conceptualization of inequality; one is based on socioeconomic inequalities in catastrophic health payments, and the other uses pure inequalities in catastrophic health payments. The proposed measures are then applied to Malawian data from the Third Integrated Household Survey. The empirical results show that when the threshold of pre-payment income is increased from 5% to 15%, the average exit time decreases from 2.1 years to 0.2 years; and as the catastrophic threshold rises from 10% to 40% of ability to pay, the average exit time falls from 3.6 years to 0.1 years. It is found that when socioeconomic inequality is adopted, the changes in the exit times are quite small, however, using pure inequality leads to large reductions in the exit time.
    Keywords: Catastrophic payments; average exit time; Malawi
    JEL: I13 I15
    Date: 2014–06–12

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