nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2016‒06‒04
nine papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Mobile Phones and Farmers’ Marketing Decisions in Ethiopia By Tadesse, Getaw; Bahiigwa, Godfrey
  2. Prospects for Africa's economic growth By Przemyslaw Cieslak
  3. Consumer awareness of food fortification in Kenya: The case of vitamin-A-fortified sugar By Pambo, Kennedy Otieno; Otieno, David Jakinda; Okello, Julius Juma
  4. “Cursed is the ground because of you”: Religion, Ethnicity, and the Adoption of Fertilizers in Rural Ethiopia By Guerzoni, Marco; Jordan, Alexander
  5. What causes inequity in access to publicly funded health services that are supposedly free at the point of use? A case of user fee exemptions for older people in Senegal By Philipa Mladovsky; Maymouna Bâ
  6. Combining sensory evaluation and mental models in the assessment of consumer preferences for and choice of healthy products: Experience from a field experiment in Kenya By Okello, Julius J; Lagerkvist, Carl Johan; Muoki-Kingori, Penina; Heck, Simon; Prain, Gordon
  7. The Farm Size-Productivity Relationship: A Conceptual Review with Empirical Evidence from three African Countries By Julien, Jacques C.; Bravo-Ureta, Boris E.
  8. Education, HIV Status and Risky Sexual Behavior: How Much Does the Stage of the HIV Epidemic Matter ? By Ioro, Daniela; Santaeulalia-Llopis, Raül
  9. Including excluded groups: The slow racial transformation of the South African university system By Barnard, Helena; Cowan, Robin A.; Kirman, Alan P.; Müller, Moritz

  1. By: Tadesse, Getaw; Bahiigwa, Godfrey
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of mobile phones on farmers’ marketing decisions (spatial arbitrage, buyer’s choice, frequency of selling, and size of transaction) and prices they receive based on household and village level information collected from rural Ethiopia. It explains the reason for the weak impact of mobile phones observed in this study as well as in previous studies in Africa. We argue that even though many farmers participate in information searching, the number of farmers who use mobile phones for information searching is very small. The reason for such low use of mobile phones for information searching seems lack of quality information that can be accessed through mobile phones.
    Keywords: mobile phones, agricultural marketing, producer prices, smallholder farmers, Ethiopia, Farm Management, International Development, Marketing, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies,
    Date: 2015
  2. By: Przemyslaw Cieslak (Poznan University of Life Sciences)
    Abstract: On the African continent for a decade is observed economic growth, combined with the demographic explosion. In the XXI century countries which have been given the nickname of the Third World have a chance to offset the distance of the level of socio-economic development with the rest of the world, and at the same time become the next, after Asia, center of dynamic economic growth. Based on the theory of convergence, the analysis of economic ties between African countries and the developed economies such as the United States, European Union, Australia, Japan, and the fast developing as China and Brazil a decade ago was conducted. The analysis made it possible to shift the dynamics of growth in GDP per capita in the years 1960-1995 in developed countries to six African countries, including Algeria, Angola, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, and South Africa. On this basis, we obtained the forecast of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in these countries till 2030.
    Keywords: economic growth; Africa; forecasting and simulation; macroeconomic analyses of economic development; cluster analysis
    JEL: C15 C53 N27 O11
    Date: 2016–05
  3. By: Pambo, Kennedy Otieno; Otieno, David Jakinda; Okello, Julius Juma
    Abstract: Paper prepared for presentation at the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA) 24th annual world symposium to be held in Cape Town, South Africa, 16-17 June, 2014
    Keywords: Fortification, vitamin-A, consumer awareness, binary logit, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty,
    Date: 2014–06
  4. 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
  5. By: Philipa Mladovsky; Maymouna Bâ
    Abstract: Plan Sésame (PS) was launched in 2006 to provide free access to health services to Senegalese citizens aged 60 and over. As in many countries, this user fee exemption is marred by inequitable implementation. This study seeks to identify underlying causal mechanisms to explain how and why some people were relatively less likely to have access to publicly funded health care. Explanations identified in focus group and interview data are organised into four themes: (i) PS as a poorly implemented and accessed “right” to health care; (ii) PS as a “privilege” reserved for elites; (iii) PS as a “favour” or moral obligation to friends or family members of health workers; and (iv) PS as a “curse” caused by adverse incorporation. These results are analysed through critical realist and social constructivist epistemological lenses, in order to reflect on different interpretations of causality. Within the critical realist interpretation, the results point to a process of social exclusion. However, this interpretation, with its emphasis on objective reality, is contradicted by some local, subjective experiences of inequality and corruption. An alternative social constructionist interpretation of the results is therefore explored; it is argued this may be needed to prevent relatively powerful actors’ versions of the truth from prevailing.
    Keywords: Social exclusion; older people; universal health coverage; user fees; Senegal; critical realism
    JEL: E6
    Date: 2016–05
  6. By: Okello, Julius J; Lagerkvist, Carl Johan; Muoki-Kingori, Penina; Heck, Simon; Prain, Gordon
    Abstract: This paper combines Just-About-Right (JAR) sensory evaluation and means-end chain (MEC) analysis to examine consumer evaluation of the sensory attributes of conventionally bred biofortified orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP). It specifically examined the role of information on biofortification process on consumers’ expected and actual sensory evaluation of OFSP attributes and the mental models associated with the decision to consume OFSP. It is based on data collected via a field experiment with 504 rural consumers. Each consumer was randomly placed into one of the 3 treatment groups and received: i) general information about biofortification (Control), ii) general and positive information (Treatment 1) and iii) general and negative information (Treatment 2). The study finds, among others, that information on vitamin A (i.e., nutrition), taste and texture were, overall, discriminated by the kind of information provided (i.e., treatment), with texture being considered to be at an inappropriately lower level. Nutrition attribute was, however, considered to be at a higher than appropriate level. The results of the MEC were in line with those of sensory evaluation, with mental constructs (and models) being strongly discriminated by treatment type. It concludes that information consumers receive affect the expected and actual sensory evaluation OFSP attributes and mental models of OFSP consumption. We highlight some implications of these findings.
    Keywords: Rural consumers, Sensory evaluation, JAR, MEC analysis, Mental models, Biofortified foods, Field experiment, Kenya, Consumer/Household Economics, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, International Development,
    Date: 2016–05–25
  7. By: Julien, Jacques C.; Bravo-Ureta, Boris E.
    Keywords: International Development, Productivity Analysis,
    Date: 2016–07–31
  8. By: Ioro, Daniela; Santaeulalia-Llopis, Raül
    Abstract: We study the relationship between education and HIV status using nationally representative data from 39 Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) in Sub-Saharan Africa. First, we construct an innovative algorithm that systematically defines aggregate stages of the HIV epidemic in a comparable manner across time and across space. Second, we exploit the variation in the aggregate HIV stages in the DHS data, and find that the education gradient in HIV shows a U-shaped (positive-zero-positive) pattern over the course of the epidemic. Further, educational disparities in the number of extramarital partners are largely consistent with the evolution of the education gradient in HIV. We propose a simple theoretical model of risky sex choices that accounts for these stylized facts.
    Keywords: Education, HIV, Risky sex, Epidemiological stages
    JEL: I15 I25
    Date: 2016
  9. By: Barnard, Helena; Cowan, Robin A.; Kirman, Alan P.; Müller, Moritz
    Abstract: This paper looks at the inclusion of excluded groups, notably the racial transformation of the South African university system. Both demand-side factors - are qualified black people hired as faculty? - and supply-side factors - are there enough qualified black people who can be hired as faculty? | need to be aligned. Prior evidence suggests that demand and supply both have both a psychological and a structural dimension. Affrmative action-type regulations address the structural dimension of demand, but homophily (a "love for the own") can nonetheless limit the hiring of faculty in white-dominated hiring committees. On the supply side, the weak education system limits the structural supply of quality black potential academics. But the limited hiring of black academics and resulting limited role models mean that few black people even consider an academic career. This paper presents a model of hiring (either randomly or on a homophilic basis), calibrated with data from the South African university system from the end of Apartheid. Our evidence suggests that even a relatively small reduction of homophily increases the rate at which the excluded group enters the workforce, and also that the effects of homophily and feedback from previous hires are of a similar magnitude. Nonetheless, the conclusions from the model suggest that the relatively long duration of a research career and slow growth of the national university system will result in a slow process of racial transformation.
    Keywords: universities,racial transformation,South Africa,transformation,higher education access,segregation
    JEL: O15 O30 I2
    Date: 2016

This nep-afr issue is ©2016 by Sam Sarpong. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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