nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2015‒02‒11
ten papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Destination or Distraction? Querying the Linkage between Off-farm Income and Farm Investments in Kenya By Smale, Melinda; Kusunose, Yoko; Mathenge, Mary K.; Alia, Didier
  2. Service use, charge, and access to mental healthcare in a private Kenyan inpatient setting: the effects of insurance By Victoria de Menil; Martin Knapp; David McDaid; Frank Gitau Njenga
  3. Is there Discrimination Against Women Entrepreneurs in Formal Credit Markets in Nigeria? By Emmanuel O. Nwosu; Anthony Orji; Vivian Nwangwu; Chioma Nwangwu
  4. Are the elder more effective implementing punishment? Experimental evidence from urban Ghana By Asiedu, Edward; Ibanez, Marcela
  5. Social networks and farmer exposure to improved crop varieties in Tanzania By Muange, Elijah N.; Schwarze, Stefan; Qaim, Matin
  6. Tradeoffs and Complementarities in the Adoption of Improved Seeds, Fertilizer, and Natural Resource Management Technologies in Kenya By Wainaina, Priscilla; Tongruksawattana, Songporne; Qaim, Matin
  7. A Colonial Legacy of African Gender Inequality? Evidence from Christian Kampala, 1895-2011 By Meier zu Selhausen, Felix; Weisdorf, Jacob
  8. Vulnerability to malnutrition in the West African Sahel By Alfani, Federica; Dabalen, Andrew; Fisker, Peter; Molini, Vasco
  9. Networks in Conflict: Theory and Evidence from the Great War of Africa By Michael D. König; Dominic Rohner; Mathias Thoenig; Fabrizio Zilibotti
  10. Ordinal bivariate inequality: concepts and application to child deprivation in Mozambique By Sonne-Schmidt, Christoffer; Tarp, Finn; Østerdal, Lars Peter

  1. By: Smale, Melinda; Kusunose, Yoko; Mathenge, Mary K.; Alia, Didier
    Abstract: Off-farm earnings account for a substantial and growing share of household income among smallholder farmers in most of Sub-Saharan Africa, but evidence concerning the effects of these earnings on investment in food production remains sparse. Conceptually, some factors may push farm families to send members in search of cash to relieve expenditure constraints or serve to meet consumption needs under duress; other factors pull members of rural households toward the promise of steady, dependable income. Previously published research suggests that the search for off-farm income has a negative impact on farm investments.
    Keywords: Kenya, Off-farm earnings, Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Security and Poverty,
    Date: 2014–12
  2. By: Victoria de Menil; Martin Knapp; David McDaid; Frank Gitau Njenga
    Abstract: The gap in Kenya between need and treatment for mental disorders is wide, and private providers are increasingly offering services, funded in part by private health insurance (PHI). Chiromo, a 30-bed psychiatric hospital in Nairobi, forms part of one of the largest private psychiatric providers in East Africa. The study evaluated the effects of insurance on service use and charge, questioning implications on access to care. Data derive from invoices for 455 sequential patients, including 12-month follow-up. Multi-linear and binary logistic regressions explored the effect of PHI on readmission, cumulative length of stay, and treatment charge. Patients were 66.4% male with a mean age of 36.8 years. Half were employed in the formal sector. 70% were admitted involuntarily. Diagnoses were: substance use disorder 31.6%; serious mental disorder 49.5%; common mental disorder 7%; comorbid 7%; other 4.9%. In addition to daily psychiatric consultations, two-thirds received individual counselling or group therapy; half received lab tests or scans; and 16.2% received ECT. Most took a psychiatric medicine. Half of those on antipsychotics were given only brands. Insurance paid in full for 28.8% of patients. Mean length of stay was 11.8 days and, in 12 months, 16.7 days (median 10.6). 22.2% were readmitted within 12 months. Patients with PHI stayed 36% longer than those paying out-of-pocket and had 2.5 times higher odds of readmission. Mean annual charge per patient was Int$ 4,262 (median Int$ 2,821). Insurers were charged 71% more than those paying out-of-pocket - driven by higher fees and longer stays. Chiromo delivers acute psychiatric care each year to approximately 450 people, to quality and human rights standards higher than its public counterpart, but at considerably higher cost. With more efficient delivery and wider insurance coverage, Chiromo might expand from its occupancy of 56.6% to reach a larger population in need.
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2014–03
  3. By: Emmanuel O. Nwosu; Anthony Orji; Vivian Nwangwu; Chioma Nwangwu
    Abstract: This research investigates whether women entrepreneurs in small and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs) in Nigeria are marginalised in formal credit markets compared to their male counterparts. The study also investigates the impact of credit access on the performance of enterprises. The study uses Nigerian Enterprise Surveys data from 2010 to construct a direct measure of credit constraints in order to address the objectives. A probit credit constraint model was estimated, and nonlinear decomposition methods as well as propensity score matching methods were employed in the analyses. Our results did not show significant discrimination against women in formal credit markets in Nigeria. The results reveal that firms that are not credit constrained in the formal credit market perform measurably better in terms of output, output per worker and the decision to invest/expand, compared to firms that are constrained. Our results also show that access to formal credit by small and medium enterprises in Nigeria is still very low. The policy implications, among others, are that government and monetary authorities should support credit expansion policies for medium and small enterprises by creating an enabling environment for financial intermediation in Nigeria. Also, intervention funds targeted specifically at medium and micro enterprises would help to ease credit constraints.
    Keywords: gender, discrimination, credit, constraint, performance, access
    JEL: O16 O17
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Asiedu, Edward; Ibanez, Marcela
    Abstract: To study the persistence of cultural norms that mandate respect towards the elder, we conducted an artefactual field experiment in two cities in Ghana. Using a public good game with third-party punishment, we find that punisher's age is an important determinant of cooperation. Our results indicate the elder are more efficient using punishment than youngsters.
    Keywords: Field experiment, status, age, punishment, public goods, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Public Economics, H41, C92, C93,
    Date: 2014–07
  5. By: Muange, Elijah N.; Schwarze, Stefan; Qaim, Matin
    Abstract: In Sub-Sahara Africa, adoption rates of improved crop varieties remain relatively low, which is partly due to farmers’ limited access to information. In smallholder settings, information often spreads through informal networks. Better understanding of such networks could potentially help to spur innovation and farmers’ exposure to new technologies. This study uses survey data from Tanzania to analyze social networks and their role for the spread of information about improved varieties of maize and sorghum. Regression models show that network links for the exchange of agricultural information are more likely between farmers who have similar educational but different wealth levels. Moreover, network links are more likely when farmers have direct contacts to extension officers, suggesting that information flows through informal channels can support but not replace formal channels. Social networks play a significant role for the spread of information about open-pollinated varieties. This is not the case for maize hybrids, which are sold by private seed companies.
    Keywords: social networks, exposure, improved varieties, sorghum, maize, gender, Community/Rural/Urban Development, International Development, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies, O12, O13, O31, Q12, Q16,
    Date: 2014–09
  6. By: Wainaina, Priscilla; Tongruksawattana, Songporne; Qaim, Matin
    Abstract: There is widespread consensus that agricultural technology has an important role to play for poverty reduction and sustainable development. There is less consensus, however, about the types of technologies that are best suited for smallholder farmers in Africa. While some consider natural resource management (NRM) technologies as most appropriate, others propagate input intensification with a stronger role of the private sector. In the public debate, the two strategies are often perceived as incompatible. Most existing adoption studies focus on individual technologies, so that comparisons across technologies in the same context are not easily possible. We use representative data from maize-producing households in Kenya and a multivariate probit model to analyze the adoption of different types of technologies simultaneously. Results indicate that NRM technologies and strategies that build on external inputs are not incompatible. Interesting complementarities exist, which are not yet sufficiently exploited, because many organizations promote either one type of technology or the other, but rarely a combination of both.
    Keywords: Technology adoption, maize, small farms, sustainable agriculture, Africa, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Environmental Economics and Policy, International Development, Production Economics, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies, O13, O33, Q12, Q16,
    Date: 2014–11
  7. By: Meier zu Selhausen, Felix; Weisdorf, Jacob
    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 also support Boserup’s view that gender inequality was rooted in indigenous 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
    JEL: J12 J16 N37
    Date: 2015–01
  8. By: Alfani, Federica; Dabalen, Andrew; Fisker, Peter; Molini, Vasco
    Abstract: This study estimates marginal increase in malnutrition for children ages 1-3 years from exposure to an extreme shock in the West African Sahel. The study uses knowledge of a child's birth and high resolution spatial and temporal distribution of shocks, calculated from the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index and satellite-based measures of rainfall and temperature to link a child to the shock experienced in-utero. The study finds that while around 20 percent of the children in the sample are stunted or underweight, more than 30 percent of the children in the sample are highly vulnerable to either form of malnutrition.
    Keywords: Science of Climate Change,Population Policies,Rural Poverty Reduction,Regional Economic Development,Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases
    Date: 2015–01–01
  9. By: Michael D. König (University of Zurich); Dominic Rohner (University of Lausanne); Mathias Thoenig (University of Lausanne); Fabrizio Zilibotti (University of Zurich)
    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.
    Date: 2015–02
  10. By: Sonne-Schmidt, Christoffer (The Danish National Centre for Social Research); Tarp, Finn (Department of Economics); Østerdal, Lars Peter (Department of Business and Economics)
    Abstract: This paper introduces a concept of inequality comparisons with ordinal bivariate categorical data. In our model, one population is more unequal than another when they have common arithmetic median outcomes and the first can be obtained from the second by correlation-increasing switches and/or median-preserving spreads. For the canonical 2x2 case (with two binary indicators), we derive a simple operational procedure for checking ordinal inequality relations in practice. As an illustration, we apply the model to childhood deprivation in Mozambique.
    Keywords: Qualitative data; two-dimensional first order dominance; multidimensional inequality; ordinal comparison; childhood deprivation
    JEL: D63 I32 O15
    Date: 2015–02–03

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