nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2016‒02‒29
eight papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Financial accessibility and user fee reforms for maternal- health care in five sub-Saharan countries: a quasi-experimental analysis By Tiziana Leone; Valeria Cetorelli; Sarah Neal; Zoë Matthews
  2. Rwanda: developmental success story in a unique setting By Zsuzsanna Biedermann
  3. Economic development in Africa and Europe: reciprocal comparisons By Stephen Broadberry; Leigh A. Gardner
  4. Do aid donors specialize and coordinate within recipient countries? The case of Malawi By Nunnenkamp, Peter; Sotirova, Albena; Thiele, Rainer
  5. How the New International Goal for Child Mortality Is Unfair to Africa (Again) - Working Paper 407 By Simon Lange and Stephan Klasen
  6. Inflation persistence in African countries: Does inflation targeting matter? By Phiri, Andrew
  7. Testing the Relationships between Energy Consumption, CO2 emissions and Economic Growth in 24 African Countries: a Panel ARDL Approach By Asongu, Simplice; El Montasser, Ghassen; Toumi, Hassen
  8. The Impact of Tax Concessions on Extraction of Non-renewable Resources:An Application to Gold Mining in Tanzania By Amos James Ibrahim-Shwilima; Hideki Konishi

  1. By: Tiziana Leone; Valeria Cetorelli; Sarah Neal; Zoë Matthews
    Abstract: Objectives: Evidence on whether removing fees benefits the poorest is patchy and weak. The aim of this paper is to measure the impact of user fee reforms on the probability of giving birth in an institution or receiving a caesarean section (CS) in Ghana, Burkina Faso, Zambia, Cameroon and Nigeria for the poorest strata of the population. Setting: Women’s experience of user fees in five African countries. Primary and secondary outcome measures: Using quasi experimental regression analysis we tested the impact of user fee reforms on facilities’ births and CS differentiated by wealth, education and residence in Burkina Faso and Ghana. Mapping of the literature followed by key informant interviews are used to verify details of reform implementation and to confirm and support our countries' choice. Participants: We analysed data from consecutive surveys in five countries: two case countries that experienced reforms (Ghana and Burkina Faso) in contrast to three that did not experience reforms (Zambia, Cameroon, Nigeria). Results: User fee reforms are associated with a significant percentage of the increase in access to facility births (27 percentage points) and to a much lesser extent to CS (0.7 percentage points). Poor (but not the poorest) and non-educated women and those in rural areas benefitted the most from the reforms. User fees reforms have had a higher impact in Burkina Faso compared to Ghana. Conclusions: Findings show a clear positive impact on access when user fees are removed but limited evidence for improved availability of CS for those most in need. More women from rural areas and from lower socioeconomic backgrounds give birth in health facilities after fee reform. Speed and quality of implementation might be the key reason behind the differences between the two case countries. This calls for more research into the impact of reforms on quality of care.
    JEL: E6
    Date: 2016–01–28
  2. By: Zsuzsanna Biedermann (Institute of World Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences)
    Abstract: The paper discusses the applicability of the developmental state concept in Africa via the illustrative case study of Rwanda and through the detailed analysis of the country’s unconventional institutional framework that enables the acceleration of "primitive accumulation", the leap from precapitalism to capitalism. The Rwandan state features several attributes of the classic developmental state: a transformative leadership with a developmental vision, closely intertwined business and political sectors and a highly effective public bureacracy. What makes Rwanda different from states with similar developmental ambitions, is the unique post-genocidal setting and special homegrown solutions. The 1994 genocide was a shock that moved Rwanda out of the high-corruption equilibrum and opened a window of opportunity for deep-seated reforms. Homegrown solutions combine classic developmental tools with indigenous knowledge and mobilize people to take part in the long-term development of their own country. These tactics and the dynamic economic development ensure the exceptionally wide support of the regime: the government and military is backed by 80 to 90 per cent of the population in most of its endeavours.
    Keywords: developmental state, Rwanda, development-oriented leadership, effective public service, post-genocidal setting
    JEL: A13 O17 H41
    Date: 2015–07
  3. By: Stephen Broadberry; Leigh A. Gardner
    Abstract: Recent advances in historical national accounting have allowed for global comparisons of GDP per capita across space and time. Critics have argued that GDP per capita fails to capture adequately the multi-dimensional nature of welfare, and have developed alternative measures such as the human development index. Whilst recognising that these wider indicators provide an appropriate way of assessing levels of welfare, we argue that GDP per capita remains a more appropriate measure for assessing development potential, focussing on production possibilities and the sustainability of consumption. Twentieth-century Africa and pre-industrial Europe are used to show how such data can guide reciprocal comparisons to provide insights into the process of development on both continents.
    Keywords: GDP per capita; HDI; Africa; Europe; reciprocal comparison
    JEL: N0 N01 N1 N13 N17
    Date: 2016
  4. By: Nunnenkamp, Peter; Sotirova, Albena; Thiele, Rainer
    Abstract: Acknowledging that aid proliferation and a lack of coordination impair aid effectiveness, donors have repeatedly promised to specialize and better coordinate their aid activities, most notably in the Paris Declaration of 2005. We exploit geocoded aid data from Malawi to assess whether the country's bilateral and multilateral donors have acted accordingly at the district and sector level. We do not find compelling evidence for increased aid specialization after the Paris Declaration, and the regional division of labor among donors may even have deteriorated. Our within-country evidence thus broadly corroborates what previous studies found at the national level of recipient countries.
    Keywords: foreign aid,aid proliferation,donor coordination,Malawi
    JEL: F35
    Date: 2015
  5. By: Simon Lange and Stephan Klasen
    Abstract: Despite unprecedented progress towards lower under-five mortality in high-mortality countries in recent years, a large fraction of these countries will not attain the numerical target under Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4, a reduction of the mortality rate by two-thirds compared to levels in 1990. Nevertheless, many stakeholders have argued that the post-2015 agenda should contain a level-end goal for under-five mortality and recent accelerations in the rate of reduction in under-five mortality have been cited as a cause for optimism. We argue in this paper that one key fact about relative changes in mortality rates is a lack of persistence. We find robust evidence for substantial mean reversion in the data. Hence, recent accelerations observed for countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are an overly optimistic estimate of future reductions. At the same time, progress as required by the old MDG4 coincides very much with our projections for Sub-Saharan Africa and other regions. Thus, while MDG4 has been rightly criticized as overly ambitious and unfair to Africa for the 1990-2015 period, such a goal seems more appropriate for the 2005-2030 period. We also offer a discussion of likely drivers of future reductions in child deaths.
    Keywords: MDGs, SDGs, under-five mortality, Africa
    JEL: I15 I18 J11 J18 O21
    Date: 2015–06
  6. By: Phiri, Andrew
    Abstract: This study investigates inflation persistence in annual CPI inflation collected between 1994 and 2014 for 46 African countries. We group these countries into panels according to whether they are inflation targeters or not and conduct estimations for pre and post inflation targeting periods. Interestingly enough, we find that inflation persistence was much higher for inflation targeters in periods before adopting their inflation targeting regimes and inflation persistence dropped by 40 percent for these countries after adopting the policy frameworks. For non-inflation targeters inflation persistence has increased by almost 290 percent between the two time periods.
    Keywords: African countries; Developing countries; Inflation persistence; Inflation targeting; Panel data.
    JEL: C1 C5
    Date: 2016–02–01
  7. By: Asongu, Simplice; El Montasser, Ghassen; Toumi, Hassen
    Abstract: This study complements existing literature by examining the nexus between energy consumption (EC), CO2 emissions (CE) and economic growth (GDP) in 24 African countries using a panel ARDL approach. The following findings are established. First, there is a long run relationship between EC, CE and GDP. Second, a long term effect from CE to GDP and EC is apparent, with reciprocal paths. Third, the error correction mechanisms are consistently stable. However, in cases of disequilibrium only EC can be significantly adjusted to its long run relationship. Fourth, there is a long-run causality running from GDP and CE to EC. Fifth, we find causality running from either CE or both CE and EC to GDP and inverse causal paths are observable. Causality from EC to GDP is not strong, which supports the conservative hypothesis. Sixth, the causal direction from EC to GDP remains unobservable in the short term. By contrast, the opposite path is observable. There are also no short-run causalities from GDP, or EC, or EC and GDP to EC. Policy implications are discussed.
    Keywords: Energy consumption; CO2 emissions; Economic growth; Africa
    JEL: C52 O40 O43 O50 O55
    Date: 2015
  8. By: Amos James Ibrahim-Shwilima (Graduate School of Economics, Waseda University); Hideki Konishi (School of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University)
    Abstract: Gold mining firms in Tanzania pay royalty and corporate taxes, but also receive many tax concessions. Such tax incentives may cause to reschedule their extraction plans and thereby change the expected life of a gold mine. We model a representative mining firm’s extraction decision using optimal control theory, into which various tax incentives are introduced to determine their theoretical impact. Our results suggest thatin the race to take advantage of tax incentives, a firm may end up making excessive investments, which in turn increases extraction rate. Actual extraction patterns of several gold mining companies in Tanzania are also reviewed.
    Keywords: Natural resources, tax incentives, corporate tax policy
    JEL: Q38 H25
    Date: 2014–05

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