nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2015‒02‒05
eleven papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Sustainability standards, gender, and nutrition among smallholder farmers in Uganda By Chiputwa, Brian; Qaim, Matin
  2. The Impact of External and Internal Factors on Strategic Management Practices of Agribusiness Firms in Tanzania By Dominic, Theresia; Theuvsen, Ludwig
  3. Revisiting the Link between Political and Financial Crises in Africa By Bertin, Sara; Ohana, Steve; Strauss-Kahn, Vanessa
  4. Agricultural Transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Role of the Multiplier A Literature Review By Snodgrass, Donald
  5. Climate Trends and Farmers’ Perceptions of Climate Change in Zambia By Mulenga, Brian P.; Wineman, Ayala
  6. Determinants of Transitions across Formal / Informal Sectors in Egypt By Tansel, Aysit; Ozdemir, Zeynel Abidin
  7. Can mobile phones help control neglected tropical diseases?: experiences from Tanzania By Shirin Madon; Jackline Olanya Amaguru; Mwele Ntuli Malecela; Edwin Michael
  8. Management of bureaucrats and public service delivery: evidence from the Nigerian civil service By Imran Rasul; Daniel Rogger
  9. Proximity and price co-movement in West African rice markets By Mengel, Carolin; von Cramon-Taubadel, Stephan
  10. Networks in Conflict: Theory and Evidence from the Great War of Africa By König, Michael; Rohner, Dominic; Thoenig, Mathias; Zilibotti, Fabrizio
  11. Education, HIV, and Early Fertility: Experimental Evidence from Kenya By Duflo, Esther; Dupas, Pascaline; Kremer, Michael

  1. By: Chiputwa, Brian; Qaim, Matin
    Abstract: Sustainability standards are gaining in importance in global markets for high-value foods. While previous research has shown that participating farmers in developing countries may benefit through income gains, nutrition impacts have hardly been analysed. We use survey data from smallholder coffee farmers in Uganda – certified under Fairtrade, Organic, and UTZ – to analyse impacts on food security and dietary quality. Estimates of instrumental variable models and simultaneous equation systems show that certification increases calorie and micronutrient consumption, mainly through higher incomes and improved gender equity. In certified households, women have greater control of coffee production and monetary revenues from sales.
    Keywords: private standards, smallholder farmers, nutrition impact, gender, Uganda, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Consumer/Household Economics, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty, International Development, I32, L15, O12, Q13, Q17,
    Date: 2014–12
  2. By: Dominic, Theresia; Theuvsen, Ludwig
    Abstract: All firms need to work out strategic plans to exploit the existing market, but they differ in their capacity to implement and manage strategies. Considering the industrial organization and resource-based views in the strategic management literature, we understand that firm attributes, resources and external environmental factors are critical links to strategic practices. With regard to African agribusiness firms, there is scant research on how these factors determine the successful application of strategic management practices. Therefore, this study uses empirical data from 229 agribusiness firms in Tanzania to obtain insights into the determinants of their choice of strategic management practices. The results show significantly that better strategic actions reside in the capabilities of firm managers, whereas many external factors, such as access to public infrastructure, did not turn out to have a significant influence. The findings have interesting implications for the management of agribusiness firms in African countries and other developing and emerging economies.
    Keywords: strategic management practices, agribusiness, structural modelling, Tanzania, Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy, Marketing, Q13, Q18, M31, L10,
    Date: 2015–01
  3. By: Bertin, Sara; Ohana, Steve; Strauss-Kahn, Vanessa
    Abstract: There is an important information deficit on political and financial risks in Africa. This paper fills this gap by compiling a unique database of financial (sovereign, banking, currency, expropriation) and political crises (regime changes, ethnic and revolutionary wars, genocides, armed conflicts) covering 53 African countries between 1965 and 2008. We employ a new methodological framework to disentangle cross-crisis from temporal contagion effects. This allows us to extend to Africa a number of insights from the literature on financial crises (e.g., the mutual contagion effects between banking and currency meltdowns). Importantly, and critically for a study devoted to Africa, political upheavals are of modest relevance to predict financial crises. These results may be reconciled with previous literature given our original focus on Africa and our event-based approach of financial and political risks.
    Keywords: Political crises, financial crises, contagion, Africa
    JEL: F3 F30 G01
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Snodgrass, Donald
    Abstract: In the coming decades, Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) could see a major humanitarian crisis. If rapid population growth continues and agricultural productivity rises slowly or not at all,large increases in the working-age population and daunting problems of food supply, poverty,and underemployment will result. Lowered population growth, job creation, and higher agricultural productivity are all needed to avert impending disaster. If a way can be found to bring about substantial increases in small farm productivity, the crisis may be averted. Multiplier effects could increase the benefits that accrue to the rural economy.
    Keywords: Africa, Sub-Sahara, Agricultural and Food Policy, Agricultural Finance, Food Security and Poverty,
    Date: 2014–10
  5. By: Mulenga, Brian P.; Wineman, Ayala
    Abstract: Despite some overlap between farmers’ observations and climate patterns found in the meteorological records, the meteorological data do not support the perception that is an increase in intra-season variability in rainfall. Therefore, a complete picture of climate change requires contributions from multiple knowledge systems.
    Keywords: Zambia, climate change, Agricultural and Food Policy, Environmental Economics and Policy,
    Date: 2014–12
  6. By: Tansel, Aysit (Middle East Technical University); Ozdemir, Zeynel Abidin (Gazi University)
    Abstract: Informality is a salient feature of labor market in Egypt as it is the case with many developing countries. This is the first study of the determinants of worker transitions between various labor market states using panel data from Egypt. We first provide a diagnosis of dynamic worker flows across different labor market states. We develop transition probabilities by gender across different labor market states utilizing Markov transition processes. Next we identify the effects of individual, household, job characteristics and location on different mobility patterns by estimating a multinomial logit regression. The results point to the highly static nature of the Egyptian labor market. Government employment and the out of labor force are the most persistent labor market states. Further, only a few of the explanatory variables except high levels of education are found to have predictive power in explaining the transitions from formal wage, informal wage, self-employment, unemployment government employment and out of labor market states.
    Keywords: labor market dynamics, informality, Markov processes, multinomial logit, Egypt
    JEL: J21 J24 J40 J63 O17
    Date: 2015–01
  7. By: Shirin Madon; Jackline Olanya Amaguru; Mwele Ntuli Malecela; Edwin Michael
    Abstract: The increasing proliferation of mobiles offers possibilities for improving health systems in developing countries. A case in point is Tanzania which has piloted a mobile phone-based Management Information System (MIS) for the control of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) where village health workers (VHWs) were given mobile phones with web-based software to test the feasibility of using frontline health workers to capture data at point of source. Based on qualitative case study research carried out in 2011, we found that providing mobile phones to VHWs has helped to increase the efficiency of routine work boosting the motivation and self-esteem of VHWs. However, despite these advantages, the information generated from the mobile phone-based NTD MIS has yet to be used to support decentralised decision-making. Even with improved technology and political will, the biggest hindrance to local usage of information for health planning is the lack of synthesised and analysed health information from the district and national levels to the villages. Without inculcating a culture of providing health information feedback to frontline workers and community organisations, the benefits of the intervention will be limited. If not addressed, this will mean that mobiles have maintained the one-way upward flow of information for NTD control and simply made reporting more hi-tech.
    Keywords: decentralisation; health systems; m-health; mobiles; neglected tropical diseases (NTDs); Tanzania
    JEL: L91 L96
    Date: 2014–02
  8. By: Imran Rasul; Daniel Rogger
    Abstract: We study how the management practices that bureaucrats operate under, correlate to the quantity and quality of public services delivered. We do so in a developing country context, exploiting data from the Nigerian Civil Service linking public sector organizations to the projects they are responsible for. For each of 4700 projects, we have hand coded independent engineering assessments of each project’s completion rate and delivered quality. We supple- ment this information with a survey to elicit management practices for bureaucrats in the 63 civil service organizations responsible for these projects, following the approach of Bloom and Van Reenen[2007]. Management practices matter: a one standard deviation increase in autonomy for bureaucrats corresponds to significantly higher project completion rates of 18%; a one standard deviation increase in practices related to incentives and monitoring corresponds to significantly lower project completion rates of 14%. We provide evidence that the negative impacts of practices related to incentive provision/monitoring arise because bureaucrats multi-task and incentives are poorly targeted, and because these management practices capture elements of subjective performance evaluation that further leave scope for dysfunctional responses from bureaucrats. The backdrop to these results, where 38% of projects are never started, implies there are potentially large gains to marginally changing management practices for bureaucrats.
    Keywords: autonomy; bureaucracy; multi-tasking; performance evaluation
    JEL: J1 J50
    Date: 2013–10
  9. By: Mengel, Carolin; von Cramon-Taubadel, Stephan
    Abstract: This study explores the link between proximity and price cointegration between two markets, where proximity is captured with variables for geographical, political and cultural distance. Linear and threshold cointegration is tested for a set of 756 rice market pairs in 6 West African countries, with threshold specifications accounting for transaction costs. Whether proximity influences price transmission is determined in a second step with a multinomial logistic regression. The estimation produces robust and statistically significant evidence of a link with air-line and road distance, international borders, contiguity and a common language. We conclude that proximity matters for market integration processes in West African rice markets.
    Keywords: West Africa, cointegration, developing countries, agricultural trade, rice, commodity prices, transaction costs, regional integration, Demand and Price Analysis, International Relations/Trade, C32, D23, L11, Q11, Q17,
    Date: 2014–05
  10. By: König, Michael; Rohner, Dominic; Thoenig, Mathias; Zilibotti, Fabrizio
    Abstract: We study from both a theoretical and an empirical perspective how a network of military alliances and enmities affects the intensity of a conflict. The model combines elements from network theory and from the politico-economic theory of conflict. We postulate a Tullock contest success function augmented by an externality: each group’s strength is increased by the fighting effort of its allies, and weakened by the fighting effort of its rivals. We obtain a closed form characterization of the Nash equilibrium of the fighting game, and of how the network structure affects individual and total fighting efforts. We then perform an empirical analysis using data on the Second Congo War, a conflict that involves many groups in a complex network of informal alliances and rivalries. We estimate the fighting externalities, and use these to infer the extent to which the conflict intensity can be reduced through (i) removing individual groups involved in the conflict; (ii) pacification policies aimed at alleviating animosity among groups.
    Keywords: Africa; alliances; civil conflict; Congo War; contest success function; enmities; network; rainfall
    JEL: C36 C72 D74 D85 F51
    Date: 2015–01
  11. By: Duflo, Esther; Dupas, Pascaline; Kremer, Michael
    Abstract: A seven-year randomized evaluation suggests education subsidies reduce adolescent girls’ dropout, pregnancy, and marriage but not sexually transmitted infection (STI). The government’s HIV curriculum, which stresses abstinence until marriage, does not reduce pregnancy or STI. Both programs combined reduce STI more, but cut dropout and pregnancy less, than education subsidies alone. These results are inconsistent with a model of schooling and sexual behavior in which both pregnancy and STI are determined by one factor (unprotected sex), but consistent with a two-factor model in which choices between committed and casual relationships also affect these outcomes.
    Keywords: education; fertility; HIV; Kenya; pregnancy
    JEL: I12 I25 I38 O12
    Date: 2015–01

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