nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2015‒11‒01
seven papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Does community involvement affect teacher effort? Assessing learning impacts of Free Primary Education in Kenya. By Atuhurra, Julius
  2. What Drives Land Sales and Rentals in Rural Africa: Evidence from Western Burkina Faso By Estelle Koussoubé
  3. Financialisation, price risks, and global commodity chains: Distributional implications on Cotton Sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa By Cornelia Staritz; Susan Newman; Bernhard Tröster; Leonhard Plank
  4. Did Africa’s First Choices Matter? Growth Legacies of Leaders at Independence By Mangaard Jørgensen, Christina; Bjørnskov, Christian
  5. The Long-Term Effects of Conflict on Welfare: Evidence from Burundi By Marion Mercier; Rama Lionel Ngenzebuke
  6. Bright Lights, Big Cities : measuring national and subnational economic growth in Africa from outer space, with an application to Kenya and Rwanda By Bundervoet,Tom; Maiyo,Laban; Sanghi,Apurva

  1. By: Atuhurra, Julius
    Abstract: While the school participation impacts of the Universal Primary Education policies in Sub-Saharan Africa have been impressive, learning impacts’ assessment has received little attention. This study measures and explains the initial achievement impacts of the Free Primary Education (FPE) policy in Kenya using grade six pupils’ reading and math standardized test scores. We find large achievement declines, spillover effects to private schools and heterogeneous impacts by gender and socioeconomic status. The declines are associated with decreased teacher efforts and local community disengagement. Policy studies on pathways to increased local community involvement in public schools will lead to improved learning.
    Keywords: Educational policy Learning achievement Teacher Effort Community involvement
    JEL: H44 I20 I21
    Date: 2014–08
  2. By: Estelle Koussoubé (PSL, Université Paris Dauphine, LEDa, IRD, UMR DIAL)
    Abstract: (english) This paper examines the conditions of emergence of agricultural land markets in the cotton zone of Burkina Faso. I use census data obtained from 454 villages in the Hauts-Bassins region, to estimate the determinants of activity in land sales and rental markets, focusing on the effect of internal in-migration. After controlling for the endogeneity of in-migration using instrumental variables, the results show a significant and positive impact of in-migration on the probability of rentals of agricultural land at the village level. The results also show that the eradication of river blindness in the study area, and rainfall shocks in migrant origin provinces are important determinants of in-migration in this part of Burkina Faso. Furthermore, I find a positive impact of urban proximity on both land sales and rental market activity. These findings suggest that heterogeneity in land endowment and access to (input and output) markets play a crucial role in the emergence of land markets in Western Burkina Faso. _________________________________ (français) Cet article examine les conditions d’émergence des marchés fonciers ruraux dans la région des Hauts-Bassins dans la zone cotonnière du Burkina Faso. J’utilise des données de recensement sur 454 villages de la région combinées avec des données géo-référencées pour estimer l’impact de la migration sur les ventes et locations de terres agricoles. La première contribution de ce papier est de corriger du biais d’endogénéité de la migration en utilisant des variables instrumentales, à savoir les chocs de précipitations dans les régions d’origine des migrants, et la participation au programme de lutte contre l’onchocercose (PLO) lancé en 1974 par l’Organisation mondiale de la Santé. En recourant à cette approche par variables instrumentales, je trouve que l’augmentation de la part des migrants dans les villages a un impact positif sur la probabilité d’avoir un marché foncier actif à la location et à la vente. Ces résultats suggèrent que la rareté de la terre n’est pas le principal déterminant des ventes et locations de terres agricoles; les différences de dotations en terres jouent un rôle important dans l’émergence et le développement des marchés fonciers.
    Keywords: Agricultural Land Markets; Internal Migration; Urban Proximity; Rainfall Shocks; River Blindness; Burkina Faso.
    JEL: Q15 O15
    Date: 2014–12
  3. By: Cornelia Staritz (Austrian Foundation for Development Research (ÖFSE)); Susan Newman (University of the West of England & University of Johannesburg); Bernhard Tröster (Austrian Foundation for Development Research (ÖFSE)); Leonhard Plank (Vienna University of Technology)
    Abstract: The functioning of commodity markets has changed related to processes of financialization that involve two major developments – the rise of financial interest on commodity derivative markets through the increasing presence of financial investors and the changing business models of international commodity trading houses and the increasing importance of these markets in price setting and risk management since the liberalization of national commodity sectors. A critical question is how these global financialization processes affect commodity producers in low income countries via the operational dynamics of global commodity chains and distinct national market structures. This paper investigates how global financialization processes influence how prices are set and transmitted and how risks are distributed and managed in the cotton sectors in Burkina Faso, Mozambique and Tanzania. It concludes that uneven exposure to price instability and access to price risk management have important distributional implications. Whilst international traders have the capacity to deal with price risks through hedging in addition to expanding their profit possibilities through financial activities on commodity derivative markets, local actors in producer countries face the challenge of price instability and increased short-termism – albeit to different extents deepening on local market structures – with limited access to risk management.
    Keywords: commodity markets, financialization, global commodity chains, commodity prices, price risks, price risk management, cotton sector, Africa
    Date: 2015–09
  4. By: Mangaard Jørgensen, Christina (Aarhus University); Bjørnskov, Christian (Aarhus University)
    Abstract: We explore the potential effects of the first leaders of Sub-Saharan Africa. We first outline a set of theoretical reasons for why leaders may matter particularly at the critical juncture of African independence and why this influence may be persistent. In an unbalanced panel from 40 African countries observed since independence, we find evidence of strongly persistent effects of the education of African leaders. Only military coups seem able to break the persistent negative influence of this characteristic.
    Keywords: Africa; Leaders; Institutions; Development
    JEL: O11 O43 O55 P16
    Date: 2015–10–12
  5. By: Marion Mercier (Universite Libre de Bruxelles); Rama Lionel Ngenzebuke (Universite Libre de Bruxelles)
    Abstract: Based on an original three-wave panel data for Burundi, allowing to track individuals from 1998 to 2012 and to compute a local measure of exposure to violence during the whole civil war, we investigate the effects of the conflict on poverty dynamics. We put forward a significant positive correlation between violence exposure and various measures of deprivation at the household level, which turns out to persist until 2012 - 7 years after the conflict termination. Moreover, we find that the adverse effect of the war on welfare mostly stems from poor households whose chances to pull through are significantly and durably reduced when they experienced violence. Violence exposure thus seems to have trapped these households into chronic poverty, while we do not find significant evidence of violence exposure affecting non-poor households' likelihood to fall into poverty.
    Keywords: Deprivation; Poverty dynamics; Civil war; Panel data; Burundi
    JEL: C81 I32 O12 N47
    Date: 2015–09
  6. By: Bundervoet,Tom; Maiyo,Laban; Sanghi,Apurva
    Abstract: This paper uses the night lights (satellite imagery from outer space) approach to estimate growth in and levels of subnational 2013 gross domestic product for 47 counties in Kenya and 30 districts in Rwanda. Estimating subnational gross domestic product is consequential for three reasons. First, there is strong policy interest in how growth can occur in different parts of countries, so that communities can share in national prosperity and not get left behind. Second, subnational entities want to understand how they stack up against their neighbors and competitors, and how much they contribute to national gross domestic product. Third, such information could help private investors to assess where to undertake investments. Using night lights has the advantage of seeing a new and more accurate estimation of informal activity, and being independent of official data. However, the approach may underestimate economic activity in sectors that are largely unlit notably agriculture. For Kenya, the results of the analysis affirm that Nairobi County is the largest contributor to national gross domestic product. However, at 13 percent, this contribution is lower than commonly thought. For Rwanda, the three districts of Kigali account for 40 percent of national gross domestic product, underscoring the lower scale of economic activity in the rest of the country. To get a composite picture of subnational economic activity, especially in the context of rapidly improving official statistics in Kenya and Rwanda, it is important to estimate subnational gross domestic product using standard approaches (production, expenditure, income).
    Keywords: Pro-Poor Growth,Poverty Reduction Strategies,Economic Theory&Research,Subnational Economic Development,Poverty Impact Evaluation
    Date: 2015–10–28
    Abstract: The main objective of this paper is to ascertain empirically the impact of government expenditure on economic development in Nigeria. The time series data for this study spans from 1981 through 2013. The study adopts the Cointegration analysis. The Error Correction model shows that the various functional government expenditures were statistically significant and have positive relationship with gross domestic product. However, government expenditures on education and health have no significant impact on economic development in the short term. The coefficient of the Error correction model showed that the deviation of gross domestic product from its long-run equilibrium value will be reconciled quickly. On the whole, our study reveals that public spending enhances economic development in the long term and that a long run relationship exists between government expenditure and economic development in Nigeria.
    Keywords: Public Spending, Gross Domestic Product, Cointegration, Error Correction Model and Nigeria.
    JEL: C22 E62 H52

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