nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2016‒05‒21
seven papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Structural Breaks in Renewable Energy in South Africa: A Bai & Perron Test Approach By Jaco Pieter Weideman and Roula Inglesi-Lotz
  2. Liberation Technology: Mobile Phones and Political Mobilization in Africa By Manacorda, Marco; Tesei, Andrea
  3. “Cursed is the ground because of you”: Religion, Ethnicity, and the Adoption of Fertilizers in Rural Ethiopia By Guerzoni, Marco; Jordan, Alexander
  4. Africa's Changing Farmland Ownership: The Rise of the Emergent Investor Farmer By Jayne, Thomas S.; Chamberlin, Jordan; Traub, Lulama; Sitko, N.; Muyanga, Milu; Yeboah, Felix; Nkonde, Chewe; Anseeuw, Ward; Chapoto, Anthony; Kachule, Richard
  5. The potential effect of the African integration process on migration flows By Daniel Rais
  6. Analysis of Financial Services Sector Transparency Through Whistle Blowing: The Case of South Africa and Switzerland By Daniel Rais
  7. South Africa’s Foreign Direct Investment Links with the BRIC Countries By Daniel Rais

  1. By: Jaco Pieter Weideman and Roula Inglesi-Lotz
    Abstract: South Africa has been struggling to cope with its energy demand. In order to remedy the problem, the government of South Africa has committed itself to pursuing renewable energy as a viable alternative to traditional sources such as fossil fuels. The aim of this study is to understand whether or not the policies pursued by the South African government in the period 1990-2010 have had any effect on the behaviour of consumers and producers of renewable energy. To this end, the Bai & Perron (1998, 2003) break test methodology is employed to understand how renewable energy production and consumption series have evolved over this period. Deviations from the base case are then explained in the South African economic and policy context.
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Manacorda, Marco; Tesei, Andrea
    Abstract: Can digital information and communication technology (ICT) foster mass political mobilization? We use a novel geo-referenced dataset for the entire African continent between 1998 and 2012 on the coverage of mobile phone signal together with geo-referenced data from multiple sources on the occurrence of protests and on individual participation in protests to bring this argument to empirical scrutiny. We find that mobile phones are instrumental to mass mobilization during economic downturns, when reasons for grievance emerge and the cost of participation falls. Estimated effects are if anything larger once we use an instrumental variable approach that relies on differential trends in coverage across areas with different incidence of lightning strikes. The results are in line with insights from a network model with imperfect information and strategic complementarities in protest provision. Mobile phones make individuals more responsive to both changes in economic conditions - a mechanism that we ascribe to enhanced information - and to their neighbors' participation - a mechanism that we ascribe to enhanced coordination. Empirically both effects are at play, highlighting the channels through which digital ICT can alleviate the collective action problem.
    Keywords: Africa; collective action; geo-referenced data; mobile phones
    JEL: D70 L96 O55
    Date: 2016–05
  3. By: Guerzoni, Marco; Jordan, Alexander (University of Turin)
    Abstract: This paper analyses culture as a determinant of technology adoption in a developing country. While the literature extensively discusses the influence of culture upon economic growth, little attention has been paid to the mechanisms that can explain this link at the micro level. In this paper, we postulate that culture may play a crucial role in hindering or fostering the adoption and diffusion of innovation, a key trigger of the engine of growth. We thus borrow from the literature on the economics of innovation, and we model the impact of culture upon households’ decision to adopt innovation. We focus on developing countries and specifically on the adoption of fertilizer in Ethiopian rural areas. This empirical study uses the Ethiopia Rural Household Survey† to attempt to differentiate between individual cultural traits, namely, ethnicity and religion, and the cultural homogeneity of the environment as co-determinants of fertilizer adoption. We thus apply a multivariate survival model for clustered and correlated observations and find a positive effect on the diffusion of fertilizer. Firstly, habits and social norms, proxied by ethnicity, provide a better explanation for the role of culture, than religious beliefs, as usually posited in the literature. Secondly, the cultural environment plays a decisive role. While a homogeneous ethnic environment accelerates the diffusion of fertilizer, a diverse religious background in a community creates an environment conducive to initial adoption. While the direct contribution of this paper relates to technology adoption at the micro level, we believe it represents a first step in gaining a better understanding of the relation between culture and growth at the micro level.
    Date: 2016–04
  4. By: Jayne, Thomas S.; Chamberlin, Jordan; Traub, Lulama; Sitko, N.; Muyanga, Milu; Yeboah, Felix; Nkonde, Chewe; Anseeuw, Ward; Chapoto, Anthony; Kachule, Richard
    Abstract: Sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing major changes in farm land ownership and use, which are both cause and consequence of the economic transformations that the region is now experiencing. The rapid rise of emergent investor farms in the 5 to 100 hectare category represents a revolutionary change in Africa’s farm structure since 2000. In most countries examined, the majority of medium-scale farms are owned by urban-based professionals or rural elites, many of whom are also public sector employees. About half of these farmers obtained their land later in life, financed by non-farm income. The rise of investor farmers is affecting the region in diverse ways that are difficult to generalize. Many investor farms are a source of dynamism, technical change and commercialization of African agriculture. In densely populated areas, however, the growth of investor farms may be displacing the potential for agricultural land expansion of small-scale farming communities. Investor farmers tend to dominate farm lobby groups and influence agricultural policies and the allocation of public expenditures to agriculture in their favor. Nationally representative Demographic and Health Survey data from six countries (Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia) show a sharp rise in urban-based households engaged in agriculture, with about 10% of urban households owning 10% to 35% of total agricultural land. Urban households account for a disproportionately large share of national farm holdings over 20 hectares. This suggests a new and hitherto unrecognized channel by which investor farmers may be shifting the strength and location of agricultural growth multipliers between rural and urban areas.
    Keywords: International Development, Land Economics/Use,
    Date: 2015
  5. By: Daniel Rais
    Abstract: Abstract This paper focus on the African integration process and analyses its potential effect in a sense of favouring the diminishment of migration flows to the North. In the sense of a diffusion of the underlying principle of partnership cooperation another dimension of the paper analyses the effects, if any, of the contribution of the Swiss – Nigerian Migration partnerships on the African integration process.
    Date: 2015–05–13
  6. By: Daniel Rais
    Abstract: SECO Working Paper 12/2014 by Herbert Kawadza, University of Witwatersrand
    Date: 2014–10–30
  7. By: Daniel Rais
    Abstract: SECO Working Paper 10/2014 by Stephen Gelb, WTI/Mandela Institute
    Date: 2014–09–01

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