nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2014‒12‒08
seventeen papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. A meta-regression analysis of frontier efficiency estimates from Africa By Ogundari, Kolawole
  2. Africa Rising: Harnessing the Demographic Dividend By Paulo Drummond; Vimal Thakoor; Shu Yu
  4. Agricultural Transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Role of the Multiplier By Snodgrass, Donald
  5. An Empirical Analysis of Household Well-being in Northern Ghana By Zereyesus, Yacob; Shanoyan, Aleksan; Ross, Kara; Amanor-Boadu, Vincent
  7. Estimating the Resiliency of Zambian Smallholder Farmers: Evidence from a Three-Wave Panel By Murray, Anthony G; Mills, Bradford F
  8. Financial Development and Economic Growth in a Natural Resource Based Economy: Evidence from Angola By Yuri Quixina; Álvaro Almeida
  9. Giving in South Africa: Determining the influence of altruism, inequality aversion and social capital By Tirivayi J.N.
  10. Households’ investments in durable and productive assets in Niger: quasi-experimental evidences from a cash transfer project By Stoeffler, Quentin; Mills, Bradford
  11. Islamic Finance in Sub-Saharan Africa: Status and Prospects By E. Gelbard; Mumtaz Hussain; Rodolfo Maino; Yibin Mu; Etienne B. Yehoue
  12. Land Market Integration, Structural Change, and Smallholder Farming in Zambia By Larson, Andrew M.
  13. Liquidity Determinants of Moroccan Banking Industry By FERROUHI, El Mehdi; LEHADIRI, Abderrassoul
  14. Maize Yield Response to Nitrogen in Malawi’s Smallholder Production Systems By Snapp, Sieg; Jayne, T.S.; Mhango, Wezi; Ricker-Gilbert, Jacob
  15. On the Ethnic Origins of African Development Chiefs and Pre-colonial Political Centralization By Stelios Michalopoulos; Elias Papaioannou
  16. Productivity effects of sustainable intensification: The case of Urea deep placement for rice production in Niger State, Nigeria: By Liverpool-Tasie, Lenis Saweda O.; Adjognon, Serge; Kuku-Shittu, Oluyemisi
  17. Saving for a (not so) Rainy Day: A Randomized Evaluation of Savings Groups in Mali By Lori Beaman; Dean Karlan; Bram Thuysbaert

  1. By: Ogundari, Kolawole
    Abstract: The study investigates whether African agricultural efficiency levels has been improving or not and what drives its over the years based on 442 frontier studies using meta-regression analysis. The results show that mean efficiency estimates from studies decrease significantly as year of survey in the primary study increases. Also studies published in Journals, with parametric specification and with panel data produced significantly higher efficiency estimates, while those with a focus on grain crops reported significantly lower efficiency estimates. Other results show that education, followed by experience; extension and credit are the major drivers of agricultural efficiency levels in Africa.
    Keywords: Agriculture, efficiency, meta-analysis, food security, fractional regression, Africa, Food Security and Poverty, Production Economics, Productivity Analysis, C13, Q12, Q18,
    Date: 2014
  2. By: Paulo Drummond; Vimal Thakoor; Shu Yu
    Abstract: Africa will account for 80 percent of the projected 4 billion increase in the global population by 2100. The accompanying increase in its working age population creates a window of opportunity, which if properly harnessed, can translate into higher growth and yield a demographic dividend. We quantify the potential demographic dividend based on the experience of other regions. The dividend will vary across countries, depending on such factors as the initial working age population as well as the speed and magnitude of demographic transition. It will be critical to ensure that the right supportive policies, including those fostering human capital accumulation and job creation, are in place to translate this opportunity into concrete economic growth.
    Keywords: Demographic transition;Africa;Sub-Saharan Africa;Population growth;Human capital;Labor force participation;Econometric models;Demographic Dividend, Economic Growth, Sub-Saharan Africa, Panel Estimates
    Date: 2014–08–05
  3. By: Kibonge Naik, Aziza
    Keywords: Productivity, precipitation, climate change, Environmental Economics and Policy, International Development, Productivity Analysis,
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Snodgrass, Donald
    Keywords: International Development,
    Date: 2014–10
  5. By: Zereyesus, Yacob; Shanoyan, Aleksan; Ross, Kara; Amanor-Boadu, Vincent
    Keywords: Health Economics and Policy, International Development,
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Ayinde, O.E.; Bessler, D. A.; Oni, F. E.
    Abstract: Rice, which is one of the major sources of energy, vital nutrients and a staple food, is in short supply in many Nigerian households. Nigeria is among many African countries that have engaged in agricultural liberalization since 1986 in the hope that reforms emphasizing price incentives will encourage producers to respond. Hitherto, the reforms seem to have introduced greater uncertainty into the market given increasing rates of price volatility (Ajetomobi 2010). This study therefore models supply responses in Nigerian Rice production that include the standard arguments as well as price risk. Statistical information on domestic and imported quantities of rice was obtained for 41 years (1970 to 2011) from the AGROSTAT system of the statistical division of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Federal Ministry of Agriculture statistical bulletins, Central Bank of Nigeria statistical bulletins and National Bureau of Statistic. (NBS). The data are analyzed using descriptive, equilibrium output supply function and co-integration models and vector autoregressive distributed lag. Producer price of rice was positive and statistically significant with coefficient 0.6334. The output response of rice to hectarage was statistically significant but was negative with the coefficient 1.5135. Rice importation showed a negative sign and was statistically significant in Nigeria at 0.05, with Changes in output also responsive to changes in price. There is the tendency for the price of agricultural products to drop, which may consequently reduce the level of domestic production and thus discourage commercial production. The results indicate that producers are more responsive not only to price and non-price factor but to price risk and exchange rate. It is therefore imperative to reduce price risk as to increase the response of producer to supply by bridging the gap in production.
    Keywords: Consumer/Household Economics, Demand and Price Analysis, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, International Relations/Trade, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies, Risk and Uncertainty,
    Date: 2014–07
  7. By: Murray, Anthony G; Mills, Bradford F
    Abstract: Aggregate African agricultural production is expected to fall due to changes in temperature and rainfall under current economic models, but 65 percent of the African labor force is employed in agriculture activity. Therefore, climatic changes have the potential to significantly impact all African citizens, especially farmers. Agricultural producers must adapt to these climatic changes and the risk filled environment that rural households operate, especially small-holder farmers, which makes them particularly vulnerable to poverty and food insecurity without successful adaptation. The limited success of improving agricultural technology in Zambia makes it important to understand the determinants of changes in farm yield for major staple crops, including maize, groundnuts, sweet potatoes, and cassava. This paper generates an empirical model of the determinants of changes in farm yields using a three wave panel dataset for three agricultural seasons. Results indicate that over households have made minimal changes in crop choice and little impact has been observed due to changes in climate for Zambian farmers. Increases in yearly average rainfall and temperature positively affect maize yields. As temperatures continue to rise in the future, this relationship may not hold as the climate becomes unsuitable for large scale maize production. Changes in rainfall negatively affect household groundnut and sweet potato production which might result from switching between crops as weather changes. Finally, increased temperatures negatively affect cassava production.
    Keywords: Resiliency, Zambia, Agricultural and Food Policy, International Development, O13,
    Date: 2014
  8. By: Yuri Quixina (Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto); Álvaro Almeida (CEF.UP and Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the relationship between financial development and economic growth in Angola, an economy heavily dependent on natural resources. We extend existing literature by treating separately the oil and non-oil sectors of the economy. We test for Granger causality between three variables – oil revenues, non-oil GDP and financial development – for the Angolan economy for the period 1995-2012. The results show that the oil sector has been the great engine of Angolan economic growth, since we identified Granger causality from oil revenues to the other two variables, but none of these variables Granger causes oil revenues. On the other hand, financial development does not seem to have a significant role in economic growth in Angola: it does not Granger-cause either oil revenues or non-oil GDP, even though it is Granger-caused by both variables.
    Keywords: Financial Development, Economic Growth, Natural Resources, Angola
    JEL: E44 O16 O43 Q32
    Date: 2014–09
  9. By: Tirivayi J.N. (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: I use data from the South African Social Giving Survey to investigate the role of social capital and motivations for giving to formal charities and beggars. Results suggest that both impure altruism and inequality aversion positively influence giving to formal charities but they have no influence on giving to beggars. The role of social capital is varied. Members of informal insurance groups are more likely to give to both charities and beggars, while members of formal community groups are more likely to give to charities only. Members of interest groups are actually less likely to donate to charities and prefer giving to beggars.
    Keywords: Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models: Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models; Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models: Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Altruism; Philanthropy; Public Goods;
    JEL: H41 C31 C35 D64
    Date: 2014
  10. By: Stoeffler, Quentin; Mills, Bradford
    Abstract: Cash transfers programs are an increasingly popular tool to alleviate poverty by raising households’ consumption and well-being. However, the sustainability of the short-term improvement induced by the transfers is still an open question in Sub-Saharan Africa. By studying a cash transfer project in rural Niger 18 months after its termination, this article investigates whether transfers induce investments in assets and productive activities that result in improvements in wellbeing that survive the termination of program payments. Results indicate that livestock asset and local credit (tontines) participation significantly increase among project participants. There is also evidence of improvement in private assets, living standards, micro-enterprises and agriculture. The findings imply that cash transfer programs can have long-term sustainable impacts even in extremely, poor rural areas.
    Keywords: Household investments, Productive Assets, Micro-enterprises, Unconditional Cash Transfers, Long-term Impact, Niger, Quasi-experiments, Consumer/Household Economics,
    Date: 2014
  11. By: E. Gelbard; Mumtaz Hussain; Rodolfo Maino; Yibin Mu; Etienne B. Yehoue
    Abstract: Islamic finance is a fast growing activity in world markets. This paper provides a survey on Islamic Finance in SSA. Ongoing activities include Islamic banking, sukuk issuances (to finance infrastructure projects), Takaful (insurance), and microfinance. While not yet significant in most Sub-Saharan countries, several features make Islamic finance instruments relevant to the region, in particular the ability to foster SMEs and micro-credit activtities. As a first step, policy makers could introduce Islamic financing windows within the conventional system and facilitate sukuk issuance to tap foreign investors. The entrance of full-fleged Islamic banks require addressing systemic issues, and adapting the crisis management and resolution frameworks. The IMF can play a role by sharing international experiences and providing advice on supervisory and regulatory frameworks as needed.
    Keywords: Islamic banking;Sub-Saharan Africa;Financial sector;Financial institutions;Insurance;Microfinance;Bonds;Islamic Finance, Islamic Banking, Sub-Saharan Africa
    Date: 2014–08–11
  12. By: Larson, Andrew M.
    Abstract: The bifurcation of Zambia's agricultural land markets prevents smallholder farmers from participating in modern food marketing channels. High transaction costs in terms of time and financial resources make conversion of customary land into commercial land title prohibitively expensive for smallholder farmers. The simulated conversion of land title, without changing ownership, instigates a reallocation of capital and labor resources in the modeled economy that benefits smallholders in their roles as producers and household owners of factors of production. With the increase in commercial land area, labor becomes scarce and farm production becomes more capital intensive, thus increasing labor productivity and smallholder household income. This analysis highlights the importance of integrating land markets and giving smallholders an effective increase in the range of their resource allocation decisions.
    Keywords: Land Markets, Smallholder Farming, Economic Growth, Agricultural and Food Policy, Crop Production/Industries, Farm Management, Land Economics/Use, Marketing, Political Economy, Q13, O13, F43,
    Date: 2014–05
  13. By: FERROUHI, El Mehdi; LEHADIRI, Abderrassoul
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the behavior of Moroccan bank’s liquidity during the period 2001 – 2012. The research aims to identify the determinants of Moroccan bank’s liquidity. We first evaluate Moroccan banks’ liquidity positions through different liquidity ratios to determine the effects of financial crisis on bank’s liquidity. We then highlight the effect of banks’ size on banks’ liquidity. Finally, we identify determinants of Moroccan bank’s liquidity using panel data regression. From results obtained, we can conclude that liquidity has decreased during the last decade. This decline has increased since 2007 with the financial crisis. We also conclude that banks’ size is a determinant of banks’ liquidity since liquidity is correlated with size of banks. Large banks are more liquid than small banks. Results show that in Morocco, liquidity is mainly determined by eleven 11 determinants: size of banks, share of own bank’s capital of the bank's total assets, external funding to total liabilities, return on assets, foreign direct investment, monetary aggregate M3, foreign assets, growth rate of gross domestic product, public deficit, inflation ratio and the effects of financial crisis. Thus, liquidity of Moroccan banking industry is positively correlated with bank’s size, share of own bank’s capital of the bank's total assets, external funding to total liabilities, monetary aggregate M3, foreign assets, foreign direct investment and negatively correlated with return on assets, inflation rate, growth rate of gross domestic product, public deficit and financial crisis. However, bank’s return on equity, equity to total assets and unemployment rate have no impact on Moroccan bank’s liquidity.
    Keywords: Morocco; bank’s liquidity, panel data regression; size of banks
    JEL: G17 G21 G32
    Date: 2013–11–30
  14. By: Snapp, Sieg; Jayne, T.S.; Mhango, Wezi; Ricker-Gilbert, Jacob
    Abstract: Sustainable intensification in crop and livestock production is the foundation for smallholder agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa to adapt to a changing world, to respond to new economic opportunities, and to address poverty reduction and food security. For crop farmers, substantial gains in potential productivity have been made through crop genetics, but these do not translate into production without complementary investments in soil, water, and pest management. Nitrogen is the key driver for cereal crop performance across most environments, both in terms of yield and stability of yield (Vanlauwe et al. 2013). Understanding nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) – here defined as the amount of additional grain harvested per kilogram of nitrogen applied to the grain crop – thus becomes an urgent project that underlies success in agricultural development in the region. Indeed, nitrogen has been identified as one of the grand challenges of the 21st Century given its pivotal role in food production, and nowhere is this more important than in sub-Saharan Africa where fertilizer manufacture infrastructure is non-existent and landlocked countries face fertilizer costs five to ten-fold higher than in the Global North.
    Keywords: Production Economics, Productivity Analysis,
    Date: 2014–10
  15. By: Stelios Michalopoulos; Elias Papaioannou
    Abstract: We report on recent findings of a fruitful research agenda that explores the importance of ethnic-specific traits in shaping African development. First, using recent surveys from Sub-Saharan African countries, we document that individuals identify with their ethnic group as often as with the nation pointing to the salience of ethnicity. Second, we focus on the various historical and contemporary functions of tribal leaders (chiefs) and illustrate their influence on various aspects of the economy and the polity. Third, we elaborate on a prominent dimension of ethnicity, that of the degree of complexity of pre-colonial political organization. Building on insights from the African historiography, we review recent works showing a strong association between pre-colonial centralization and contemporary comparative development both across and within countries. We also document that the strong link between pre-colonial political centralization and regional development -as captured by satellite images of light density at night- is particularly strong in areas outside the vicinity of the capitals, where due to population mixing and the salience of national institutions ethnic traits play a lesser role. Overall, our evidence is supportive to theories and narratives on the presence of a "dual" economic and institutional environment in Africa.
    JEL: O10 O40 O43 Z1 Z13
    Date: 2014–09
  16. By: Liverpool-Tasie, Lenis Saweda O.; Adjognon, Serge; Kuku-Shittu, Oluyemisi
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Consumer/Household Economics, Productivity Analysis, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods,
    Date: 2014
  17. By: Lori Beaman; Dean Karlan; Bram Thuysbaert
    Abstract: High transaction and contracting costs are often thought to create credit and savings market failures in developing countries. The microfinance movement grew largely out of business process innovations and subsidies that reduced these costs. We examine an alternative approach, one that infuses no external capital and introduces no change to formal contracts: an improved "technology" for managing informal, collaborative village-based savings groups. Such groups allow, in theory, for more efficient and lower- cost loans and informal savings, and in practice have been scaled up by international non-profit organizations to millions of members. Individuals save together and then lend the accumulated funds back out to themselves. In a randomized evaluation in Mali, we find improvements in food security, consumption smoothing, and buffer stock savings. Although we do find suggestive evidence of higher agricultural output, we do not find overall higher income or expenditure. We also do not find downstream impacts on health, education, social capital, and female decision-making power. Could this have happened before, without any external intervention? Yes. That is what makes the result striking, that indeed there were no resources provided nor legal institutional changes, yet the NGO-guided, improved informal processes led to important changes for households.
    JEL: D12 D91 O12
    Date: 2014–10

This nep-afr issue is ©2014 by Sam Sarpong. 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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