nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2015‒07‒04
six papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Local currency bond market development in Sub-Saharan Africa: A stock-taking exercise and analysis of key drivers By Essers, Dennis; Blommestein, Hans; Cassimon, Danny; Ibarlucea Flores, Perla
  2. The Economics of the African Media By Julia Cage
  3. What do we know about the mineral resource rent sharing in Africa? By Bertrand LAPORTE; Celine DE QUATREBARBES
  4. The consumption, income, and wealth of the poorest: cross-sectional facts of rural and urban Sub-Saharan Africa for macroeconomists By De Magalhaes,Leandro; Santaeulalia-Llopis,Raul
  5. The Returns to Microenterprise Support Among the Ultra-Poor: A Field Experiment in Post-War Uganda By Christopher Blattman; Eric P. Green; Julian C. Jamison; M. Christian Lehmann; Jeannie Annan
  6. Gold mining and proto-urbanization : recent evidence from Ghana By Fafchamps,Marcel; Koelle,Michael Rene; Shilpi,Forhad J.

  1. By: Essers, Dennis; Blommestein, Hans; Cassimon, Danny; Ibarlucea Flores, Perla
    Abstract: This paper studies the current state and drivers of government local currency bond market (LCBM) development in Sub-Saharan Africa. We argue that well-developed government LCBMs could reduce countries’ exposure to external shocks; help overcome ‘original sin’; facilitate domestic savings mobilisation; and may have important financial, macroeconomic and institutional spill-overs. With detailed information collected from various sources the paper first shows that quite a few African countries have made significant progress in developing LCBMs. Increasingly, African governments issue fixed-rate local currency bonds with tenors of ten years and more on a regular basis. However, we also find that LCBMs in Africa often have low liquidity, feature very few corporate securities and generally have relatively narrow investor bases dominated by commercial banks. The second part of the study presents an econometric analysis of the drivers of African government LCBMs based on a new high-quality panel dataset compiled by the OECD. Our results indicate that LCBM capitalisation is correlated negatively with governments’ fiscal balance and inflation, and positively with common law legal origins, institutional quality and strong democratic political systems.
    Keywords: public debt; local currency bonds; Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: H63 O16 O55
    Date: 2015–06
  2. By: Julia Cage
    Abstract: The focus of this chapter is on the economics of sub-Saharan African media. Using the history of sub-Saharan African newspapers as well as historical evidence from Europe and the United States, I study the emergence of market-oriented journalism and of an independent and informative press in sub-Saharan Africa. I document the extent to which sub-Saharan African newspapers have followed the same development steps than newspapers in other countries, moving from living off patronage and government favors to moving more towards mass sales and advertising revenues. I show that the story of the sub-Saharan African media is not a simple story of catching up and convergence. In particular, through the study of the economics of the sub-Saharan African media, I challenge traditional views of the media. I question the long-term sustainability of advertising-dependent media and discuss a new framework to improve the financial sustainability of mass media while preserving the independence of media outlets. I document the pros and cons of ownership concentration and argue in favor of the development of synergies between national and local newspapers as well as of the development of nonprofit media organizations.
    Keywords: Print Media; Advertising Revenues; Nonprofit Media Organizations; Corruption; Political Participation; Government Accountability
    Date: 2014–03
  3. By: Bertrand LAPORTE (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International(CERDI)); Celine DE QUATREBARBES
    Abstract: Governments that lack the capacity to mine resources themselves have to attract foreign direct investment. However, since resources are not renewable, countries need to capture a ‘fair’ share of mineral resource rent to promote their development. While the third raw materials super cycle increased the global turnover of the mining sector by a factor of 4.6 between 2002 and 2010, the tax revenues from the non-renewable natural resource sector earned by African governments only grew by a factor of 1.15. The sharing of mineral resource rent between governments and investors is often criticised for being unfavourable to African governments. But what do we really know about the mineral resource rent sharing in Africa? The aim of this study is to review theoretical and empirical studies on rent sharing in Africa and note their limits for the knowledge of the actual mineral rent sharing.
    Keywords: taxation, Mineral Tax, Resource Rent Tax, developing countries
    JEL: L78 L72 L71 H25
    Date: 2015–04
  4. By: De Magalhaes,Leandro; Santaeulalia-Llopis,Raul
    Abstract: This paper provides new empirical insights on the joint distribution of consumption, income, and wealth in three of the poorest countries in the world ? Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda ? all located in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The first finding is that while income inequality is similar to that of the United States, wealth inequality is barely one-third that of the US. Similarly, while the top of the income distribution (1 and 10\percent) earns a similar share of total income in SSA as in the United States, the share of total wealth accumulated by the income-rich in SSA is one-fifth of its US counterpart. The main contributions of the paper are to document the following: (i) that this dwarfed transmission from income to wealth, which suggests that SSA households face a larger inability to save and accumulate wealth compared with US households; and (ii) a lower transmission from income to consumption inequality, which suggests the presence of powerful institutions that favor consumption insurance to the detriment of saving. These features are more relevant for rural areas, which represent roughly four-fifths of the total population. The paper identifies the few successful pockets of the SSA population that are able to accumulate wealth by exploring sources of inequality such as age, education, migration, borrowing ability, and societal systems.
    Keywords: Economic Theory&Research,Population Policies,Rural Poverty Reduction,Inequality,Climate Change Economics
    Date: 2015–06–25
  5. By: Christopher Blattman; Eric P. Green; Julian C. Jamison; M. Christian Lehmann; Jeannie Annan
    Abstract: We show that extremely poor, war-affected women in northern Uganda have high returns to a package of $150 cash, five days of business skills training, and ongoing supervision. 16 months after grants, participants doubled their microenterprise ownership and incomes, mainly from petty trading. We also show these ultrapoor have too little social capital, but that group bonds, informal insurance, and cooperative activities could be induced and had positive returns. When the control group received cash and training 20 months later, we varied supervision, which represented half of the program costs. A year later, supervision increased business survival but not consumption.
    JEL: C93 D13 J24 O12
    Date: 2015–06
  6. By: Fafchamps,Marcel; Koelle,Michael Rene; Shilpi,Forhad J.
    Abstract: Central place theory predicts that agglomeration can arise from external shocks. This paper investigates whether gold mining is a catalyst for proto-urbanization in rural Ghana. Using cross-sectional data, the analysis finds that locations within 10 kilometers from gold mines have more night light and proportionally higher employment in industry and services and in the wage sector. Non-farm employment decreases at 20?30 kilometers distance to gold mines. These findings are consistent with agglomeration effects that induce non-farm activities to coalesce in one particular location. This paper finds that, over time, an increase in gold production is associated with more wage employment and apprenticeship, and fewer people employed in private informal enterprises. It also finds that the changes arising from increasing gold production are not reversed when large gold mines shrink. However this pattern cannot be ascribed unambiguously to agglomeration effects, given an increase in informal mining after formal mines decrease output is also observed.
    Keywords: Labor Markets,Transport Economics Policy&Planning,Population Policies,Mining&Extractive Industry (Non-Energy),Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases
    Date: 2015–06–30

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