nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2017‒01‒29
five papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Do Anti-Poverty Programs Sway Voters? Experimental Evidence from Uganda By Christopher Blattman; Mathilde Emeriau; Nathan Fiala
  2. The Role of Marriage in Fighting HIV: A Quantitative Illustration for Malawi By Jeremy Greenwood; Philipp Kircher; Cezar Santos; Michele Tertilt
  3. The Economic Origins of Conflict in Africa By Eoin McGuirk; Marshall Burke
  4. The New Frontier: Welfare Effects of Foreign Biofuel Investments in Africa (Case Study: Sierra Leone) By Lakoh, Kepifri; Perrin, Richard K.; Fulginiti, Lilyan
  5. The Medium-Term Impacts of Girl-Friendly Schools: 7-Year Evidence from School Construction in Burkina Faso By Harounan Kazianga; Leigh Linden; Cara Orfield; Matt Sloan; Ali Protik

  1. By: Christopher Blattman; Mathilde Emeriau; Nathan Fiala
    Abstract: A Ugandan government program allowed groups of young people to submit proposals to start skilled enterprises. Among 535 eligible proposals, the government randomly selected 265 to receive grants of nearly $400 per person. Blattman et al. (2014) showed that, after four years, the program raised employment by 17% and earnings 38%. This paper shows that, rather than rewarding the government in elections, beneficiaries increased opposition party membership, campaigning, and voting. Higher incomes are associated with opposition support, and we hypothesize that financial independence frees the poor to express political preferences publicly, being less reliant on patronage and other political transfers.
    JEL: C93 D72 F35 O12
    Date: 2017–01
  2. By: Jeremy Greenwood (University of Pennsylvania); Philipp Kircher (European University Institute and University of Edinburgh); Cezar Santos (Getulio Vargas Foundation); Michele Tertilt (University of Mannheim)
    Abstract: How might policies that promote marriage and/or dissuade divorce help in the fight against HIV/AIDS? This question is addressed employing a choice-theoretic general equilibrium search model, using Malawi as a case study. In the framework developed, individuals can choose between married and single life. A single person can select among abstinence and sex with or without a condom. The results suggest that marriage-friendly policies can help to abate HIV/AIDS. The policy predictions that obtain from general equilibrium analysis are compared with those that arise from simulated synthetic field experiments and epidemiological studies. AEA, Papers and Proceedings, forthcoming.
    Keywords: AIDS, circumcision, condoms, general equilibrium modeling, HIV, marriage and divorce, Malawi, sex markets, search
    JEL: D10 D50 E10 I10 O11
    Date: 2017–01
  3. By: Eoin McGuirk; Marshall Burke
    Abstract: We study the impact of plausibly exogenous global food price shocks on local violence across the African continent. In food-producing areas, higher food prices reduce conflict over the control of territory (what we call “factor conflict”) and increase conflict over the appropriation of surplus (“output conflict”). We argue that this difference arises because higher prices raise the opportunity cost of soldiering for producers, while simultaneously inducing net consumers to appropriate increasingly valuable surplus as their real wages fall. In regions without crop agriculture, higher food prices increase both factor conflict and output conflict, as poor consumers turn to soldiering and appropriation in order to maintain a minimum consumption target. We validate local-level findings on output conflict using geocoded survey data on interpersonal theft and violence against commercial farmers and traders. Ignoring the distinction between producer and consumer effects leads to attenuated estimates. Our findings help reconcile a growing but ambiguous literature on the economic roots of conflict.
    JEL: D74 H56 O10 O12
    Date: 2017–01
  4. By: Lakoh, Kepifri; Perrin, Richard K.; Fulginiti, Lilyan
    Abstract: This research analyzes the market and welfare effects of foreign biofuel investments into Sierra Leone. A log-linear comparative static displacement model is used to carry out the analysis. A 30% demand shock was introduced into the equilibrium system to represent an increase in biofuel demand as a result of increased foreign biofuel investments. Results revealed large welfare enhancing gains for consumers of inedible biofuels but resulted in welfare losses in the staples and edible biofuel consumer markets. Producers (farmers) generally reported welfare gains by virtue of owning factor inputs (land and other). Equilibrium quantities of inedible biofuels, edible biofuels and food increased by about 8.8%, decreased by 0.22% and increased by 0.6% respectively. Prices for both inputs and outputs increased while quantities of inputs also increased.
    Keywords: Biofuels, Comparative Static, General Equilibrium, Log-linear, Agricultural and Food Policy, Community/Rural/Urban Development, International Development, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy,
    Date: 2016–09
  5. By: Harounan Kazianga; Leigh Linden; Cara Orfield; Matt Sloan; Ali Protik
    Abstract: We evaluate the long term effect of a "girl-friendly" primary school program in Burkina Faso, using a regression discontinuity design. The intervention consisted in upgrading existing three-classroom schools to six-classroom schools in order to accommodate more grades. After 6 years, the program increased enrollment by 15.4 percentage points and increased test scores by 0.29 standard deviations. Students in treatment schools progress farther through the grades, compared to students in non-selected schools. These upgraded schools are effective at getting children into school, at getting children start school on time and at keeping children in school longer. Overall, we find that the schools are able to sustain large impacts observed about 3 years earlier, with enrollment declining slightly from 18.5 to 14.9 for the cohorts of children who were exposed to both the first and second phases of the intervention.
    Date: 2016

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