nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2017‒04‒16
six papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Racing to the bottom? Chinese development projects and trade union involvement in Africa By Isaksson, Ann-Sofie; Kotsadam, Andreas
  2. Localising Sovereign Debt: The Rise of Local Currency Bond Markets in Sub-Saharan Africa By Ulrich Volz; Dafe Florence; Dennis Essers
  3. The European Union–West Africa Economic Partnership Agreement: By Bouët, Antoine; Laborde Debucquet, David; Traoré, Fousseini
  4. Malaria Risk and Civil Violence By Cervellati, Matteo; Esposito, Elena; Sunde, Uwe; Valmori, Simona
  5. Existing data to measure African trade: By Mitaritonna, Cristina; Traoré, Fousseini
  6. Female political representation in the aftermath of ethnic violence: A comparative analysis of Burundi and Rwanda By Andrea Guariso; Bert Ingelaere; Marijke Verpoorten

  1. By: Isaksson, Ann-Sofie (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Kotsadam, Andreas (The Frisch Centre; University of Oslo, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Chinese firms operating in Africa are often accused of violating international labour standards and not adhering with national labour laws. Considering China’s tendency to maintain control over development projects throughout the entire implementation phase, using Chinese contractors for work performed in the recipient countries, the present paper investigates whether China impacts African labour practices in their capacity as a donor. Specifically, we use a new data material allowing for systematic quantitative analysis of Chinese development finance to investigate whether Chinese development projects affect trade union involvement. Matching geo-referenced data on the subnational allocation of Chinese development projects to Africa over the 2000-2012 period with 41,902 survey respondents across 18 African countries, our estimation strategy relies on comparing the trade union involvement of individuals who live near a site where a Chinese project is being implemented at the time of the interview to those of individuals living near a site where a Chinese project will appear in the future, but where implementation had yet to be initiated at the time of the survey. The results consistently indicate that Chinese development projects – unlike the projects of other major donors – discourage trade union involvement in the local area.
    Keywords: China; aid; trade unions; Africa
    JEL: D71 F35 O10 O55
    Date: 2017–04
  2. By: Ulrich Volz; Dafe Florence; Dennis Essers (Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the development of local currency sovereign bond markets (LCBMs), a potentially important but often overlooked source of longer-term public finance, in Sub- Saharan Africa (SSA). We construct a novel dataset comprising 28 SSA countries for the period 2000-2014 to identify the main correlates of LCBM capitalization, of local currency bond (LCB) tenors and of LCB issue yields. Our econometric analysis is complemented by case studies of Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria, where we further investigate the drivers of LCBM development and place LCBMs in a broader public debt context. We find that LCBMs have become important sources of financing in SSA but that new vulnerabilities emerge from the costs of domestic borrowing, short bond tenors and the composition of the investor base.
    Keywords: Public debt; local currency bond markets; long-term finance; Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: F21 F34 G23 H63 O11
    Date: 2017–01
  3. By: Bouët, Antoine; Laborde Debucquet, David; Traoré, Fousseini
    Abstract: Despite recent modifications, the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Union (EU) and West African (WA) countries is still being criticized for its potential detrimental effects on WA countries. This paper provides updated evidence on the impact of the EPA on these countries. A dynamic multicountry, multisector computable general equilibrium trade model with modeling of the dual-dual economy and with a consistent tariff aggregator is used to simulate a series of new scenarios that include updated information on the agreement. We also go beyond estimating macrolevel economic effects to analyze the impacts on poverty. The policy simulation results show that the implementation of the EPA between the EU and WA countries would have marginal but positive impacts on Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire and negative impacts on Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, and Togo. The impact on poverty indicators in Ghana and Nigeria would be marginal. From the perspective of WA countries, this study supports the view that recent EU concessions are not sufficient and that domestic fiscal reforms are needed in WA countries themselves.
    Keywords: EUROPEAN UNION [INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS]; GHANA; WEST AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA; BURKINA FASO; COTE D'IVOIRE; BENIN; NIGERIA; SENEGAL; TOGO, economics; trade; trade agreements; poverty; indicators; impact assessment; fiscal policies; reforms, regional trade agreements; computable general equilibrium model; dual-dual model, F11 Neoclassical Models of Trade; F13 Trade Policy, International Trade Organizations; F15 Economic Integration,
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Cervellati, Matteo; Esposito, Elena; Sunde, Uwe; Valmori, Simona
    Abstract: Using high-resolution data from Africa over the period 1998-2012, this paper investigates the hypothesis that a higher exposure to malaria increases the incidence of civil violence. The analysis uses panel data at the 1° grid cell level at monthly frequency. The econometric identification exploits exogenous monthly within-grid-cell variation in weather conditions that are particularly suitable for malaria transmission. The analysis compares the effect across cells with different malaria exposure, which affects the resistance and immunity of the population to malaria outbreaks. The results document a robust effect of the occurrence of suitable conditions for malaria on civil violence. The effect is highest in areas with low levels of immunities to malaria. Malaria shocks mostly affect unorganized violence in terms of riots, protests, and confrontations between militias and civilians, rather than geo-strategic violence, and the effect spikes during short, labor-intensive harvesting periods of staple crops that are particularly important for the subsistence of the population. The paper ends with an evaluation of anti-malaria interventions.
    Keywords: Malaria Risk; Civil Violence; Weather Shocks; Immunity; Cell-level Data; Africa
    JEL: D74 J1
    Date: 2017–03–10
  5. By: Mitaritonna, Cristina; Traoré, Fousseini
    Abstract: One finds a broad consensus in the literature regarding the lack of good information on trade in Africa, particularly intraregional trade. This paper attempts to identify gaps and remedies in measuring and tracking trade in Africa. We review the major international and regional databases that track trade in Africa, identifying the gaps therein. We also review the studies that have attempted to track informal trade between African countries, and we look at the major ongoing initiatives to track such informal trade. It appears that both international and regional databases suffer from a lack of reporting or from faulty reporting of African trade statistics. Informal trade flows pose an ongoing problem when measuring intraregional trade, although actual border-monitoring initiatives ongoing in selected countries constitute an interesting option for their quantification. When no direct monitoring method is available, estimating gravity equations represents an alternative with which to measure the potential trade between two partner countries, giving us an estimate of missing trade. A final avenue consists of estimating unregistered trade via national accounts data by comparing consumption, production, and declared trade.
    Keywords: AFRICA, trade; informal sector; production; consumption, trade databases; informal trade; missing trade, F10 Trade: General; F14 Empirical Studies of Trade; F19 Trade: Other,
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Andrea Guariso; Bert Ingelaere; Marijke Verpoorten
    Abstract: We study the impact of electoral gender quotas in post-war Burundi and Rwanda on women’s political representation. First, we look at descriptive representation by studying the number of female representatives and the prestige of their positions in the legislative and executive branches of government. Second, we focus on political representation as perceived by ordinary women, before, during, and after the introduction of gender quotas. We find that, both in Rwanda and Burundi, descriptive female political representation significantly increased with the introduction of gender quotas, with the share of women in parliament and ministries consistently exceeding 30 per cent. While women still disproportionally end up in ministries of relatively lower prestige, the gap with men is closing as more women have joined the executive branches of power. We do not find any tangible effect on women’s perceived political representation. Among the possible explanations, we discuss the authoritarian nature of the regime and the crowding out of gender identity by ethnic identity. We argue that these explanations are not entirely consistent with our data and put forward a third explanation, i.e. that the perception of political representation depends on the implementation of policies—thus substantive representation, not descriptive representation—and that men and women are to a very large extent appreciative of the same policies.
    Date: 2017

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