nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2014‒12‒24
thirteen papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Ownership Structure and Firm Performance in the Egyptian Manufacturing Sector By Ahmed Fayez Abdelgouad; Christian Pfeifer; John P. Weche Gelübcke
  2. Is there a Brazilian model of development? Are there lessons for countries in Africa? By Barrientos, Armando; Amann, Ed
  3. The rise of a middle class in East and Southern Africa: Implications for food system transformation By Tschirley, David; Reardon, Thomas; Dolislager, Michael; Snyder, Jason
  4. Prospects for grid-connected solar photovoltaic in Kenya: A systems approach By Rose, Amy; Stoner, Robert J.; Perez-Arriaga, Ignacio
  5. South African labour market transitions during the global financial and economic crisis: Micro-level evidence By Essers, Dennis
  6. The impact of conditional cash transfer programmes on household work decisions in Ghana By Mochiah, Eric Ekobor-Ackah; Osei, Robert Darko; Osei Akoto, Isaac
  7. Does ethnic diversity decrease economic interactions? Evidence from exchange networks in rural Gambia By Arcand, Jean-Louis; Jaimovich, Dany
  8. Economic Partnership Agreements of the EU: Impact on Regional Integration in Africa By Marinov, Eduard
  9. Customary Norms, Inheritance, and Human Capital: Evidence from a Reform of the Matrilineal System in Ghana By La Ferrara, Eliana; Milazzo, Annamaria
  10. An African Growth Miracle? By Rodrik, Dani
  11. Fresh Patterns of Liberalization, Bank Return and Return Uncertainty in Africa By Simplice Anutechia Asongu
  12. The Impact of the 2014 Platinum Mining Strike in South Africa: An Economy-Wide Analysis By Heinrich Bohlmann; Petor Dixon; Maureen Rimmer; Jan Van Heerden
  13. How significant is Africa's demographic dividend for its future growth and poverty reduction ? By Ahmed, S. Amer; Cruz, Marcio; Go, Delfin S.; Maliszewska, Maryla; Osorio-Rodarte, Israel

  1. By: Ahmed Fayez Abdelgouad (Leuphana University Lueneburg); Christian Pfeifer (Leuphana University Lueneburg); John P. Weche Gelübcke (Leuphana University Lueneburg; Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA), Germany)
    Abstract: We use the World Bank enterprise survey for the Egyptian manufacturing sector to study the correlation between the ownership structure (private vs. public, Egyptian vs. Arab foreign vs. non-Arab foreign) and firm performance, which we measure as sales per worker, capacity utilization, and net profit rate. Our main findings indicate that (1) productivity differences between Egyptian private and public firms are not significant, but firms with public ownership have a lower capacity utilization and a lower net profit rate than private firms, (2) firms with private Arab and private non-Arab foreign ownership are significantly more productive and have a higher capacity utilization than purely Egyptian owned firms, and (3) differences between Arab and non-Arab foreign ownership are not significant for productivity and capacity utilization, but firms with non-Arab foreign ownership have a higher net profit rate than firms with Arab foreign or Egyptian owners.
    Date: 2014–09
  2. By: Barrientos, Armando; Amann, Ed
    Abstract: Brazil.s recent growth has been intensely pro-poor, and both poverty and inequality have declined significantly in the last decade. It has been suggested that Brazil.s unexpected successes are the outcome of a new model of development. The paper argues th
    Keywords: Brazil, inclusive growth, development, poverty
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Tschirley, David; Reardon, Thomas; Dolislager, Michael; Snyder, Jason
    Abstract: We examine the implications of the rise of a middle class in East and Southern Africa for food consumption patterns and the food system. A unique classification of food items shows that highly processed food has one-third of the purchased food market, wit
    Keywords: Africa, food imports, middle class, processed food, urbanization
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Rose, Amy; Stoner, Robert J.; Perez-Arriaga, Ignacio
    Abstract: Capacity planners in developing countries frequently use screening curves and other system-independent metrics such as levelized cost of energy to guide investment decisions. This can lead to spurious conclusions when evaluating intermittent power sources
    Keywords: solar photovoltaic (PV), renewable integration, developing countries
    Date: 2014
  5. By: Essers, Dennis
    Abstract: This paper studies individual-level labour market transitions and their determinants in South Africa during the zenith and aftermath of the global financial and economic crisis using 2008 to 2010-2011 panel data from the National Income Dynamics Study an
    Keywords: global financial crisis, labour markets, employment, survey data, South Africa
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Mochiah, Eric Ekobor-Ackah; Osei, Robert Darko; Osei Akoto, Isaac
    Abstract: A cash transfer programme .Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty. has been implemented with the aim of addressing poverty and vulnerability in Ghana. This study looks at the impact of this conditional cash transfer programme on households. supply of labo
    Keywords: poverty reduction, cash transfers, social protection, household decision, labour supply, impact evaluation
    Date: 2014
  7. By: Arcand, Jean-Louis; Jaimovich, Dany
    Abstract: Using a unique dataset collected in 59 rural Gambian villages, we study how ethnic heterogeneity is related to the structure of four economic exchange networks: land, labor, inputs and credit. We find that different measures of village-level ethnic fragmentation are mostly uncorrelated with network structure. At a more disaggregated level, household heads belonging to ethnic minorities are not less central than those from the predominant ethnicity in any of the networks and, at the dyadic level, the fact that two households share ethnicity is not an economically significant predictor of link formation. Our results indicate that, in the particular setting of our study, the structure of the exchange networks is better defined by other variables than ethnicity, and that ethnic heterogeneity is unlikely to be a driver for sub-optimal economic exchanges. We argue that our findings can be interpreted in a causal way as the current distribution of ethnic groups in rural Gambia is largely influenced by specific historical features of the British colonial administration. Moreover, the network structure of our data allow us to include fixed effects at different levels as well as to precisely measure kinship ties, a confounding variable often omitted in previous studies.
    Keywords: Keywords: West Africa, Social Networks, Ethnic Fragmentation. JEL codes: C31, D04, 012, Z13.
    JEL: C31 O1 O12 Z13
    Date: 2014
  8. By: Marinov, Eduard
    Abstract: The development and dynamics of regional integration in Africa are severely influenced by the transformation of the trade relations between African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and the EU, imposed by the Cotonou agreement. Economic relations now based on unilateral trade preferences provided by the EU are envisaged to be based on Economic partnership agreements (EPAs) that should regulate trade and cooperation establishing new trade regimes between the EU and ACP regions selected by clear criteria. They also promote regional integration efforts and impose measures to support developing partner regions. However a decade after the start of the negotiations for the EPAs in Africa, the impact on regional integration is still unclear. The EPA negotiations do not cover the existing regional economic communities (RECs) which complicates the already delicate situation of dispersed capacity. Although EPAs aim at the promotion of regional integration their immediate impact is even greater fragmentation of existing RECs. The report examines the principles, history, and current state of negotiations as well as the twofold effects of EPAs on regional integration efforts in Africa.
    Keywords: Economic Partnership Agreements, African economy
    JEL: F15 F50 N77
    Date: 2013
  9. By: La Ferrara, Eliana; Milazzo, Annamaria
    Abstract: This paper studies the effects of descent rules on human capital accumulation. We exploit a policy experiment in Ghana that introduced minimum quotas for the land that parents should devolve on their children. This policy differentially affected ethnic groups depending on their descent rules: the matrilineal Akan saw a reduction in the share of land going to the matriclan and an increase in the land going to male children (who could not inherit from their own fathers before the reform). Patrilineal groups were instead less affected because sons could already inherit from fathers before the reform. Using a difference-in-differences strategy, across cohorts and ethnic groups, we estimate the impact of the reform on educational attainment. We find that Akan boys exposed to the reform received on average 0.9 less years of education, a 10 percent reduction. The effect is driven by landed households, for whom the reform did effectively bind, while no effect is found for non-landed households. This evidence is consistent with the fact that before the reform matrilineal groups in Ghana "over-invested" in education to substitute for land inheritance. Our findings suggest that in the presence of customary norms, land reform and the individualization of land rights may have implications that go beyond the agricultural sector and affect human capital accumulation in the long run.
    Keywords: education; Ghana; inheritance reform; land rights
    JEL: I25 O12
    Date: 2014–09
  10. By: Rodrik, Dani
    Abstract: Africa’s recent growth performance has raised expectations of a bright economic future for the continent after decades of decline. Yet there is a genuine question about whether Africa’s growth can be sustained, and if so, at what level. The balance of the evidence suggests caution on the prospects for high growth. While the region’s fundamentals have improved, the payoffs to macroeconomic stability and improved governance are mainly to foster resilience and lay the groundwork for growth, rather than to generate productivity growth on their own. The traditional engines behind rapid growth, structural change and industrialization, seem to be operating at less than full power. If African countries do achieve growth rates substantially higher, they will have to do so pursuing a growth model that is different from earlier miracles based on industrialization. This might be agriculture-led or services-led growth, but it will look quite different than what we have seen before.
    Keywords: Africa; economic growth
    JEL: O11 O55
    Date: 2014–06
  11. By: Simplice Anutechia Asongu (Association of African Young Economists)
    Abstract: This chapter complements exiting African liberalization literature by providing fresh patterns of two main areas. First, it assesses whether African banking institutions have benefited from liberalization policies in terms of bank returns. Second, it models bank return and return uncertainty in the context of openness policies to examine fresh patterns for the feasibility of common policy initiatives. The empirical evidence is based on 28 African countries for the period 1999-2010. Varying non-overlapping intervals and autoregressive orders are employed for robustness purposes. The findings show that, while trade openness has increased bank returns and return uncertainties, financial openness and institutional liberalization have decreased bank returns and reduced return uncertainty respectively. But for some scanty evidence of convergence in return on equity, there is overwhelming absence of catch-up among sampled countries. Implications for regional integration and portfolio diversification are discussed.
    Keywords: Liberalization policies, Capital return, Africa
    JEL: D6 F30 F41 F50 O55
    Date: 2014–08
  12. By: Heinrich Bohlmann (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, 0002, South Africa.); Petor Dixon (Centre of Policy Studies and Impact Project (COPS) Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia.); Maureen Rimmer (Centre of Policy Studies and Impact Project (COPS) Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia.); Jan Van Heerden (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, 0002, South Africa.)
    Abstract: In this paper we measure the economy-wide impact of the 2014 labour strike in South Africa’s platinum industry. The strike lasted five months, ending in June 2014 when producers reached an agreement with the main labour unions. The immediate impacts on local mining towns were particularly severe, but our research shows that the strike could also have long lasting negative impacts on the South African economy as a whole. We find that it is not the higher nominal wages itself that caused the most damage, but the possible reaction by investors in the mining industry towards South Africa. Investor con…dence is likely to be, at least, temporarily harmed, in which case it would take many years for the effects of the strike to disappear. We conduct our analysis using a dynamic CGE model of South Africa.
    Keywords: Platinum mining strike, computable general equilibrium,UPGEM
    JEL: C68 J52
    Date: 2014–11
  13. By: Ahmed, S. Amer; Cruz, Marcio; Go, Delfin S.; Maliszewska, Maryla; Osorio-Rodarte, Israel
    Abstract: Africa will be undergoing substantial demographic changes in the coming decades with the rising working age share of its population. The opportunity of African countries to convert these changes into demographic dividends for growth and poverty reduction will depend on several factors. The outlook will likely be good if African countries can continue the gains already made under better institutions and policies, particularly those affecting the productivity of labor, such as educational outcomes. If African countries can continue to build on the hard-won development gains, the demographic dividend could account for 11 to 15 percent of gross domestic product volume growth by 2030, while accounting for 40 to 60 million fewer poor in 2030. The gains can become much more substantial with even better educational outcomes that allow African countries to catch up to other developing countries. If the skill share of Africa's labor supply doubles because of improvements in educational attainment, from 25 to about 50 percent between 2011 and 30, then the demographic dividends can expand the regional economy additionally by 22 percent by 2030 relative to the base case and reduce poverty by an additional 51 million people.
    Keywords: Achieving Shared Growth,Economic Conditions and Volatility,Economic Theory&Research,Economic Growth,Emerging Markets
    Date: 2014–12–01

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