nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2015‒09‒11
eight papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. The Impact of Social Cash Transfer Programmes on Community Dynamics in Sub-Saharan Africa By Pamela Pozarny; Benjamin Davis
  2. The Permanent Effects of Transportation Revolutions in Poor Countries: Evidence from Africa By Remi Jedwab; Alexander Moradi
  3. Morocco: The Sub-Saharan Expansion of Moroccan Banks: Challenges and Opportunities By International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
  4. On the Drivers of Inflation in Sub-Saharan Africa By Anh D. M. Nguyen; Jemma Dridi; D. Filiz Unsal; Oral Williams
  5. Poverty, Growth, and Inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa: Did the Walk Match the Talk under the PRSP Approach? By Daouda Sembene
  6. The Silent Success: Delivery of Public Assets Since Democracy By Haroon Bhorat; Carlene Van Der Westhuizen; Derek Yu
  7. Sub-Saharan Employment Developments: The Important Role of Household Enterprises with an Application to Rwanda By Alun H. Thomas
  8. Fertility and Life Satisfaction in Rural Ethiopia. By Conzo, Pierluigi; Fuochi, Giulia; Mencarini,Letizia

  1. By: Pamela Pozarny (IPC-IG); Benjamin Davis (IPC-IG)
    Abstract: Social cash transfers are on the rise in sub-Saharan Africa. The African Unions 2008 Social Policy Framework Plan of Action prompted a number of member countries to prioritise social protection strategies, including cash transfers. Such strategies—often partly supported by development partners—address hunger and food insecurity, school enrolment and attendance, the well-being of children, and poverty reduction.(…)
    Keywords: Impact, Social Cash Transfer Programmes, Community Dynamics, Sub-Saharan Africa, PtoP, Protection to Production
    Date: 2015–05
  2. By: Remi Jedwab; Alexander Moradi
    Abstract: We exploit the construction and eventual demise of the colonial railroads in Africa to study the impact of transportation investments in poor countries. Using Ghana and Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole, we assembled new data on railroads and cities spanning over one century to show that: (i) Railroads had large effects on the spatial distribution and aggregate level of economic activity during the colonial period, as they constituted a transportation revolution in a context where no modern transportation technology previously existed. (ii) These effects have persisted to date, although railroads collapsed and road networks expanded considerably in the post-independence period. The analysis contributes to our understanding of the heterogeneous impact of transportation investments. It shows that initial investments may have a large effect in poor countries with basic infrastructure. As the countries develop, increasing returns may then solidify their spatial distribution, and subsequent investments may have a smaller effect on local economic development.
    Keywords: Transportation, Railroads, Development, Cities, Path Dependence, Roads
    JEL: O1 O3 O18 R4 R1 N97
    Date: 2015–01
  3. By: International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
    Abstract: This Selected Issues paper presents an overview of the cross-border expansion of Moroccan banks in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). It discusses policies to minimize possible negative spillovers and address the main supervisory challenges. It builds on the analysis and main results of a Pan-African Cross-Border Exercise—a joint initiative by the IMF’s African and Monetary and Capital Markets departments, with the collaboration of the Middle East and Central Asia department. It highlights that that Morocco could play an instrumental role by providing technical assistance to other supervisors in the region, and the SSA region may benefit from the Moroccan experience of good practices in many areas and relatively advanced supervisory capacity.
    Keywords: Bank supervision;Banking sector;Central bank role;Financial risk;Morocco;Risk management;Selected Issues Papers;Sub-Saharan Africa;banks, bank, banking, subsidiaries, risk
    Date: 2015–05–08
  4. By: Anh D. M. Nguyen; Jemma Dridi; D. Filiz Unsal; Oral Williams
    Abstract: The perception that inflation dynamics in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are driven by supply shocks implies a limited role for monetary policy in influencing inflation in the short run. SSA’s rapid growth, its integration with the global economy, changes in the policy frameworks, among others, in the last decade suggest that the drivers of inflation may have changed. We quantitatively analyze inflation dynamics in SSA using a Global VAR model, which incorporates trade and financial linkages among economies, as well as the role of regional and global demand and inflationary spillovers. We find that in the past 25 years, the main drivers of inflation have been domestic supply shocks and shocks to exchange rate and monetary variables; but that, in recent years, the contribution of these shocks to inflation has fallen. Domestic demand pressures as well as global shocks, and particularly shocks to output, however, have played a larger role in driving inflation over the last decade. We also show that country characteristics matter—the extent of oil and food imports, vulnerability to weather shocks, economic importance of agriculture, trade openness and policy regime, among others, help in explaining the role of shocks.
    Keywords: Zambia;Zimbabwe;Supply and demand;Vector autoregression;Congo, Democratic Republic of the;Congo, Republic of;Econometric models;Sub-Saharan Africa;Sudan;Swaziland;Tanzania;Togo;Uganda;Rwanda;Senegal;Seychelles;Sierra Leone;South Africa;Niger;Nigeria;Mozambique;Namibia;Monetary policy;Liberia;Gabon;Gambia, The;Ghana;Guinea;Guinea-Bissau;Inflation;Kenya;Lesotho;Madagascar;Malawi;Mali;Mauritania;Mauritius;Djibouti;External shocks;Equatorial Guinea;Eritrea;Ethiopia;Benin;Angola;Central African Republic;Chad;Comoros;Botswana;Burkina Faso;Burundi;Cameroon;Global VAR (GVAR), supply, supply shocks, demand, Time-Series Models, Monetary Policy (Targets, Instruments, and Effects), General, Sub-Saharan Africa.,
    Date: 2015–08–05
  5. By: Daouda Sembene
    Abstract: Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have shown strong signs of growth resilience in the aftermath of the recent global crisis. Yet, this paper finds evidence that growth has more than proportionately benefited the top quintile during PRSP implementation. It finds that PRSP implementation has neither reduced poverty headcount nor raised the income share of the poorest quintile in Sub-Saharan Africa. While countries in other regions have been more successful in reducing poverty and increasing the income share of the poor, there is no conclusive evidence that PRSP implementation has played a role in shaping these outcomes.
    Keywords: Cross country analysis;Economic growth;Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers;Poverty reduction strategy;Poverty and inequality;Poverty;Sub-Saharan Africa;Growth, Inequality, PRSP, poverty reduction, poor, poverty reduction strategies, General,
    Date: 2015–06–12
  6. By: Haroon Bhorat; Carlene Van Der Westhuizen; Derek Yu (Development Policy Research Unit; Director and Professor)
    Abstract: Most developing economies often yield positive economic growth, which however is simultaneously associated with little or no change in non-income welfare. This paper estimates the extent to which non-income welfare has improved in South Africa, since democracy. The focus is on the public assets, measuring their delivery to the poor between 1993 and 2011. Through utilizing a factor analysis approach for generating an asset index, both the reduction in the incidence of asset poverty as well as measures of the changes in asset inequality since 1993 are estimated.
    Date: 2014–07
  7. By: Alun H. Thomas
    Abstract: This paper documents the structural transformation in employment that has taken place in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) over the past 15 years. In contrast to Asian economies, where at least half of the labor flows out of agriculture have gone into industry, in SSA, most of the workers have ended up in the service sector, especially household enterprises. Rwanda has been one of the stellar performers in SSA in terms of structural transformation with the strongest movement of workers out of agriculture. Contrary to conventional wisdom, except for the very top of the distribution of consumption in Rwanda, families in household enterprises now consume as much as non-agricultural wage earners.
    Keywords: Employment;Family economic aspects;Rwanda;Rwanda;Services sector;Business enterprises;Sub-Saharan Africa;structural transformation, household enterprises, salaried employment, workers, labor, labor force, labor market, General, General,
    Date: 2015–08–03
  8. By: Conzo, Pierluigi; Fuochi, Giulia; Mencarini,Letizia (University of Turin)
    Abstract: There is a growing number of studies focusing on the role of fertility in subjective well-being in developed countries while developing countries have been rarely taken into account. We investigate the empirical relationship between fertility and life satisfaction in rural Ethiopia, the largest landlocked country in Africa providing the unique opportunity of panel data availability. Our results suggest that older men benefit the most in terms of life satisfaction from the investment in children, the latter being instead detrimental for women’s subjective well being in reproductive age. In particular, consistently with the related socio-economic theories, we find that the number of children ever born plays a positive role for men’s life satisfaction in older age. Conversely, a new birth produces the opposite effect especially for young women. We argue that this mismatch has two complementary explanations: on the one hand, rather than a source of (labour) support young children represent a burden which traditionally falls on women’s shoulders in the short run; on the other hand, in poor rural areas children can be thought as a valuable long-term investment in a lifecycle perspective. Endogeneity issues are addressed by controlling for lagged life satisfaction in OLS regressions, through fixed effects and the IV approach.
    Date: 2015–06

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