nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2014‒08‒02
nine papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. How Important Was Marxism for the Development of Mozambique and Angola? By Kyle, Steven
  2. Maturity of Real Estate Markets in Sub-Saharan Africa By Rothacher, Nora
  3. Estimating the Benefits of Sub-Saharan Africa Urban Land Use Planning System: A Methodological Discussion By Awuah, Kwasi Gyau Baffo; Hammond, Felix; Lamond, Jessica; Booth, Colin
  4. Generational Differences in the Experience of the Office Space - 2 Case Studies in South Africa By Azasu, Samuel; Lalloo, Aashen
  5. Anchoring and adjustment and herding behaviour as heuristic-driven bias in property investment decision-making in South Africa By Lowies, Gert Abraham; ; Hall, John Henry; Cloete, Christiaan Ernst
  6. Barriers to Electrification for “Under Grid” Households in Rural Kenya By Kenneth Lee; Eric Brewer; Carson Christiano; Francis Meyo; Edward Miguel; Matthew Podolsky; Javier Rosa; Catherine Wolfram
  7. Standards of living and health status: the socioeconomic determinants of life expectancy gain in sub-Saharan Africa By Keita, Moussa
  8. A Colonial Legacy of African Gender Inequality? Evidence from Christian Kampala, 1895-2011 By Felix Meier zu Selhausen; Jacob Weisdorf
  9. China's economic embrace of Africa: An international comparative perspective By Broich T.; Szirmai A.

  1. By: Kyle, Steven
    Keywords: International Development, Political Economy,
    Date: 2013
  2. By: Rothacher, Nora
    Abstract: Purpose - This paper aims to determine the maturity of real estate markets in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) with focus on the United Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of South Africa. These individual markets are investigated on the basis of market maturity features such as market transparency, connectivity with international capital markets, commercial building offer, domestic and international corporate base.Design/methodology/approach - The present study is placed on an empirical investigation of the assessments of local real estate experts concerning the Tanzanian and South African real estate market. The survey is based on self-administrated questionnaires regarding the countries characteristics and their real estate markets within categorical rating scales.Findings - The comparison between nascent Tanzania and emerging or even mature South Africa represents the diversity of the real estate market characteristics in the SSA region. Potential foreign real estate investors are provided with objective information concerning the real estate market activity in order to identify the opportunities and risks in comparison to global investment alternatives.Research limitations/implications - As Sub-Saharan Africa represents all African countries located south of the Sahara the region is characterized by diverse geographical, socio-cultural and historical conditions. Given that the real estate market maturity indicators cannot be generalized and adapted to any other African country without analyzing the real estate market efficiency the need to enrich future studies was noted.Originality/value - Benchmarking tools such as the Market Maturity could close the gap between investment opportunities and the absence of foreign real estate investments activity in Sub-Saharan Africa.
    Date: 2013
  3. By: Awuah, Kwasi Gyau Baffo; Hammond, Felix; Lamond, Jessica; Booth, Colin
    Abstract: A large volume of literature discussion focuses on the weakness of sub-Saharan Africa land use planning systems to the exclusion of their benefits. The starting point to any effort at assessing the extent of benefit of these land use planning systems is to devise a suitable benefit estimation methodology. This study based on a review of the literature interrogates the conventional quantitative methodologies usually employed in the developed world to calibrate benefits of planning policies. It is established that conventional methodologies used in the developed world are associated with complexities and require huge volumes of organised data, which are hardly encountered in sub-Saharan Africa. This signifies that a bespoke methodology is required to estimate the benefits of planning regimes in the sub-region. The study, therefore, prescribes a methodology based on the nature of planning regimes and organised data peculiarities in the sub-region.
    Date: 2013
  4. By: Azasu, Samuel; Lalloo, Aashen
    Abstract: The purpose of the study was to explore the existence of generational differences in the employees’ experiences in the office environment in Johannesburg. The authors conducted a survey of employees in two financial institutions in South Africa.Open plan offices were found to be the dominant office form. Private offices were the least common type of space. Most offices also had supplementary facilities like restaurants/canteens and covered parking. We found no generational differences in the trade-off between privacy and collaboration in the workplace. There were, however, significant associations between generational differences and group cohesion in the work-space.Cost savings in the dominance of open plan offices create a trade-off between privacy and collaboration. The privacy concerns appear to be compensated for by the dominance of private meeting rooms. It is unclear if the differences in group cohesion are related to physical work-space or other concerns.
    Date: 2014
  5. By: Lowies, Gert Abraham; ; Hall, John Henry; Cloete, Christiaan Ernst
    Abstract: Behavioural finance involves a study of the process and influence of human aspects in decision-making and how they influence markets. The core principle of behavioural research in various disciplines is a focus on identifying the ways in which behaviour differs from a normative framework, and this principle can also be applied in an economic context.One aspect of behavioural finance, heuristic-driven bias, reflects the fact that decision makers adhere to the underlying principles of a specific rule of thumb that may lead to judgement errors. This study’s objective was to determine whether anchoring and adjustment and herding behaviour as heuristic-driven bias influences listed property fund managers in South Africa’s property investment decisions.The study surveyed the fund managers of all South African-based property funds listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE). Non-parametric statistical measures were used. Although no statistical significant results were found on anchoring and adjustment and herding behaviour, consistency with other studies do suggest that anchoring exist in the decisions made by listed property fund managers. They disregarded the fact that new information deemed the original anchor property less favourable.This study recommends that property fund managers should be alerted that, although no statistical evidence on anchoring and adjustment were found, the consistency with other studies does suggest that they might be prone to the anchoring and adjustment heuristic-driven bias. Such bias may lead to judgement errors and the potential of a missed gain. This study expands the body of knowledge surrounding property investment decision behaviour in an emerging market.
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Kenneth Lee; Eric Brewer; Carson Christiano; Francis Meyo; Edward Miguel; Matthew Podolsky; Javier Rosa; Catherine Wolfram
    Abstract: In Sub-Saharan Africa, 600 million people live without electricity. Despite ambitions of governments and donors to invest in rural electrification, decisions about how to extend electricity access are being made in the absence of rigorous evidence. Using a novel dataset of 20,000 geo-tagged structures in rural Western Kenya, we provide descriptive evidence that electrification rates remain very low despite significant investments in grid infrastructure. This pattern holds across time and for both poor and relatively well-off households and businesses. We argue that if governments wish to leverage existing infrastructure and economies of scale, subsidies and new approaches to financing connections are necessary.
    JEL: O18 O55 Q01 Q41
    Date: 2014–07
  7. By: Keita, Moussa
    Abstract: Using a panel dataset on 45 sub-Saharan Africa countries (SSA), this study analyzes empirically the socioeconomic determinants of life expectancy gain (considered as an indicator of global health improvement at country level). In order to treat heterogeneity and endogeneity concerns, we use multiple estimation methods including pooling, fixed-effect, long difference and system GMM. Our analyses show that income is critical for health enhancement. Particularly, we find that GDP per capita is strongly and positively correlated with life expectancy gain. Furthermore, variables such as adult literacy, access to improved sanitation and safe water appear positively correlated health gain. In contrast the high incidence of extreme poverty is negatively correlated with heath gain while the impact of income inequality seems ambiguous.
    Keywords: Standards of living, health, life expectancy at birth
    JEL: C12 C51 I11 I12
    Date: 2013–06
  8. By: Felix Meier zu Selhausen; Jacob Weisdorf
    Abstract: The colonial legacy of African underdevelopment is widely debated but hard to document. We use occupational statistics from Protestant marriage registers of historical Kampala to investigate the hypothesis that African gender inequality and female disempowerment are rooted in colonial times. We find that the arrival of Europeans in Uganda ignited a century- long transformation of Kampala involving a gender Kuznets curve. Men rapidly acquired literacy and quickly found their way into white-collar (high-status) employment in the wage economy built by the Europeans. Women took somewhat longer to obtain literacy and considerably longer to enter into white-collar and waged work. This led to increased gender inequality during the first half of the colonial period. But gender inequality gradually declined during the latter half of the colonial era, and after Uganda’s independence in 1962 its level was not significantly different from that of pre-colonial times. Our data support Boserup’s view that gender inequality was rooted in native social norms: daughters of African men who worked in the traditional, informal economy were less well educated, less frequently employed in formal work, and more often subjected to marital gender inequality than daughters of men employed in the modernized, formal economy created by the Europeans.
    Keywords: Africa, Church Books, Colonialism, Development, Female Disempowerment, Gender Discrimination, Gender Inequality, Missionaries, Uganda
    Date: 2014–07
  9. By: Broich T.; Szirmai A. (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: This paper discusses the entry of China into the game of foreign finance in Africa. It analyses the scope, destination and sectoral distribution of Chinese financial flows and trade in comparison with Western patterns and trends of aid, foreign direct investment FDI and trade. Chinas foreign aid and manufacturing investment flow to Africas physical infrastructure and productive sectors of agriculture and manufacturing fill the vacuum which emerged when Western financial flows shifted to other sectors and activities. In contrast, Chinas trade patterns with Africa highly resemble those of Africas leading Western trading partners. Africa imports manufactured goods and exports primary goods. Differences in relative factor endowments of labour, capital and natural resources are largely responsible for the pattern of Sino-African trade.
    Keywords: Trade: General; International Investment; Long-term Capital Movements; Foreign Aid; International Relations and International Political Economy: General; International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations; Economywide Country Studies: Asia including Middle East; Economywide Country Studies: Africa;
    JEL: F10 F21 F35 F50 O19 O53 O55
    Date: 2014

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