nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2016‒06‒25
nine papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. The Power to Tax in Sub-Saharan Africa: LTUs, VATs, and SARAs By Christian EBEKE; Mario MANSOUR; Grégoire ROTA-GRAZIOSI
  2. Individual Migration and Household Incomes By Julia Garlick; Murray Leibbrandt; James Levinsohn
  3. Are Cash Transfers the answer for children in Sub-Saharan Africa? A Literature Review By James Manley; Vanya Slavchevska
  4. Bring Back our Light: Power Outages and Industrial Performance in Sub-Saharan Africa By Mensah, Justice Tei
  5. Women's empowerment, sibling rivalry, and competitiveness: evidence from a lab experiment and a randomized control trial in Uganda By Buehren,Niklas; Goldstein,Markus P.; Leonard,Kenneth; Montalvao,Joao; Vasilaky,Kathryn
  6. The social shaping of nuclear energy technology in South Africa By Britta Rennkamp; Radhika Bhuyan
  7. Agricultural Development in Emerging Africa: Can Farming Systems Approach help in Planning and Priority Setting for Climate Smart Agriculture? By Mishili, Fulgence; Mallawaarachchi, Thilak; Valerian, Judith; Auricht, Christopher; Boffa, Jean-Marc; Dixon, John
  8. An inquiry into the political economy of the global clean energy transition policies and Nigeria.s federal and state governments. fiscal policies By David Onyinyechi Agu; Evelyn Nwamaka; Ogbeide Osaretin
  9. How do small firms respond to tax schedule discontinuities? Evidence from South African tax registers By Wian Boonzaaier; Jarkko Harju; Tuomas Matikka; Jukka Pirttilä

  1. By: Christian EBEKE (International Monetary Fund (IMF)); Mario MANSOUR (Fiscal Affairs Department - International Monetary Fund); Grégoire ROTA-GRAZIOSI (Ferdi)
    Abstract: In the context of achieving the new Sustainable Development Goals, revenue mobilization is a high priority in developing countries and in Sub-Saharan Africa, where governments’ ability to tax remains limited. Using a unique revenue dataset spanning the period 1980-2010, we analyze three important tax reforms: the Large Taxpayers Unit (LTU), the Value Added Tax (VAT), and the Semi-Autonomous Revenue Agency (SARA). We propose an ex-post impact assessment of these tax reforms in SSA countries based on propensity-score matching methodology (PSM) and synthetic control method (SCM). VAT and SARA are found to have an unambiguously large and positive effect on non-resource taxes, while the impact of LTU is insignificant—LTU seems however an important precondition for the adoption of the first two reforms. We conclude also that VAT and SARA display some synergy, and their positive effects strengthen several years after their adoption.Keywords: tax reforms; Africa; revenue mobilization; causality.
    Keywords: tax reforms, Africa, revenue mobilization, causality.
    JEL: H2 O23 O55 C1
    Date: 2016–06
  2. By: Julia Garlick; Murray Leibbrandt; James Levinsohn
    Abstract: We estimate the returns to internal migration in South Africa. These appear to be the first nationally representative estimates of the return to migration for any African country-- a somewhat surprising claim for a literature that's over 60 years old. We develop a framework to analyze individual migration in the context of income pooling within endogenously formed households. We apply this framework to estimate the return to migration from the perspective of the migrant (as is typically done) as well as from the perspectives of the sending and receiving households.
    JEL: O1 O12 O15
    Date: 2016–06
  3. By: James Manley (Department of Economics, Eastern Michigan University); Vanya Slavchevska (Consultant, Gender Analysis, FAO, Rome, Italy.)
    Abstract: Early evidence has been ambiguous on the effects of cash transfer programmes on children, but little has focused on Africa. We review the literature on twenty cash transfer schemes, including twelve from Sub-Saharan Africa. Such interventions have shown improvements in household diet and in some cases to agriculture, but have not always improved child health. However, a larger perspective focusing on the first 1000 days of life reveals more opportunities for impact. In particular the opportunity to empower young women to get secondary education and cut adolescent pregnancy rates can improve the health of African children. Cash transfer programmes seem cost effective, though they are not without flaws.
    Keywords: Social protection, cash transfers, Sub-Saharan Africa, child health, adolescent health.
    JEL: Q15 I18 I15 J13
    Date: 2016–06
  4. By: Mensah, Justice Tei
    Abstract: Power cuts have become a characteristic feature of many Sub-Saharan African economies. This paper attempts to estimate the firm level impact of power out- ages using panel data on firms from 15 Sub-Saharan African countries. Further, I evaluate the impact of electricity self-generation in ameliorating the effects of power outages on firm performance using a quasi-experimental approach. Results from the analysis reveal significant negative effects of electricity short- ages on firm productivity, size and labor employment. Finally, contrary to the notion that self-generation may be helpful for firms during outage periods, evidence from this paper suggest that reliance on self-generation is associated with productivity losses albeit short run revenue gains.
    Keywords: Power outages, Sub-Saharan Africa, Electricity, Productivity, Firms, Productivity Analysis, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy, D04, D24, L11, L94, O12, O13, Q41,
    Date: 2016–06
  5. By: Buehren,Niklas; Goldstein,Markus P.; Leonard,Kenneth; Montalvao,Joao; Vasilaky,Kathryn
    Abstract: This study looks at how a community event?adolescent women's economic and social empowerment -- and a family factor -- sibling sex composition?interact in shaping gender differences in preferences for competition. To do so, a lab-in-the-field experiment is conducted using competitive games layered over the randomized rollout of a community program that empowered adolescent girls in Uganda. In contrast with the literature, the study finds no gender differences in competitiveness among adolescents, on average. It also finds no evidence of differences in competitiveness between girls in treatment and control communities, on average. However, in line with the literature, in control communities the study finds that boys surrounded by sisters are less competitive. Strikingly, this pattern is reversed in treatment communities, where boys surrounded by (empowered) sisters are more competitive.
    Keywords: Anthropology,Gender and Development,Gender and Social Development,Gender and Law,Adolescent Health
    Date: 2016–06–07
  6. By: Britta Rennkamp; Radhika Bhuyan
    Abstract: This paper analyses the question why the South African government intends to procure nuclear energy technology, despite affordable and accessible fossil and renewable energy alternatives. We analyse the social shaping of nuclear energy technology based on the statements of political actors in the public media. We combine a discourse network analysis with qualitative analysis to establish the coalitions in support and opposition of the programme. The central arguments in the debate are cost, safety, job creation, the appropriateness of nuclear energy, emissions reductions, transparency, risks for corruption, and geopolitical influences. The analysis concludes that the nuclear programme is not primarily about generating electricity, as it creates tangible benefits for the coalition of supporters.
    Keywords: nuclear energy, energy policy, science and technology policy, discourse network analysis South Africa
    Date: 2016
  7. By: Mishili, Fulgence; Mallawaarachchi, Thilak; Valerian, Judith; Auricht, Christopher; Boffa, Jean-Marc; Dixon, John
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy,
    Date: 2016–02
  8. By: David Onyinyechi Agu; Evelyn Nwamaka; Ogbeide Osaretin
    Abstract: In order to implement clean energy transition programmes, the national and subnational governments in Nigeria will incur some cost. In the same way, failure to implement the policies will come with some costs. This paper therefore considers the fiscal policy implications of Nigerian governments. implementation of clean energy transition policies in the country. The analysis also reveals that the observed reluctance of Nigerian governments in implementing the policies is obviously unconnected with their dependence on oil revenues. The paper further presents the fiscal policy implications of Nigerian governments. inaction even when other countries implement their clean energy transition policies.
    Keywords: fossil fuel, clean energy, federal government, state governments, fiscal policies, fiscal shocks Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp2016-031
    Date: 2016
  9. By: Wian Boonzaaier; Jarkko Harju; Tuomas Matikka; Jukka Pirttilä
    Abstract: In this paper we study the effects of various tax schedule discontinuities on the behavior of small firms using high-quality and population-wide tax register data from South Africa. We use the bunching method to analyse how these discontinuities affect the firm-size distribution. We first examine how the value-added tax threshold affects the sales distribution of firms. We also study the effects of two separate corporate income tax rate kinks. We find sizable bunching at each of these thresholds. The elasticity estimates for the corporate tax kink points are large, ranging from 0.7 to 1.6, whereas the elasticity of the value added is below 0.1. We find some suggestive evidence that part of the response is driven by tax evasion.
    Keywords: developing countries, value-added tax, corporate tax, VAT threshold, corporate tax kink, bunching, small firms
    Date: 2016

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