nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2017‒07‒09
five papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Malaria Prevalence, Indoor Residual Spraying, and Insecticide Treated Net Usage in Sub-Saharan Africa By Gabriel Picone; Robyn Kibler; Benedicte Apouey
  2. Bride price and the wellbeing of women By Sara Lowes; Nathan Nunn
  3. Involvement, knowledge and perception in a natural reserve under participatory management: Mida Creek, Kenya By Céline C. Frank; James Gitundu Kairo; Jared O. Bosire; Mohamed Mohamed; Farid Dahdouh-Guebas; Nico Koedam
  4. The African origins of Euro-American development: Pins on an empirical roadmap By Amavilah, Voxi Heinrich
  5. Mobile Phone Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa By Simplice Asongu; Nicholas Biekpe

  1. By: Gabriel Picone (Department of Economics, University of South Florida); Robyn Kibler (Department of Economics, University of South Florida); Benedicte Apouey (Paris School of Economics, CNRS)
    Abstract: This paper examines the extent to which bed net usage is responsive to changes in malaria prevalence and whether indoor residual spraying crowds out bed net usage. We show that malaria prevalence increases the probability of sleeping under an insecticide treated net but the implied elasticities are below one. For children under five, a one percentage point increase in malaria prevalence increases the probability of sleeping under a bed net by 0.41 percentage point. We find that indoor residual spraying does not crowd out bed net usage. Instead, children under five who live in houses that were recently sprayed are 3.1 percentage points more likely to sleep under a bed net.
    Keywords: Malaria prevalence, Indoor residual spraying, Insecticide treated nets
    JEL: I12 I15 I18 H4
    Date: 2017–02
  2. By: Sara Lowes; Nathan Nunn
    Abstract: Bride price, which is payment from the groom and/or the groom’s family to the bride’s family at the time of marriage, is a common cultural practice in many African societies. It is often argued that the practice may have negative effects for girls and women because it may: incentivize early marriage and lead to higher fertility; promote the view that husbands have ‘purchased’ their wives, resulting is worse treatment of wives; and trap women in unhappy marriages due to the common requirement that some of the bride price be paid back upon divorce. We provide evidence towards a better understanding of the effects of bride price by examining the empirical relationship between bride price payments and various outcomes of interest. Examining a sample of 317 couples from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, we find no evidence that a larger bride price payment is associated with earlier marriage or with higher fertility. We also find that larger bride price payments are actually associated with better-quality marriages as measured by beliefs about the acceptability of domestic violence, the frequency of engaging in positive activities as a couple, and the self-reported happiness of the wife. We also examine the effect of the requirement for the bride price to be paid back upon divorce and find no evidence that this requirement is associated with women being less happy in their marriages on average. However, we do find that the combination of a very high bride price (over US$1,000) and a requirement to pay back the bride price upon divorce is associated with lower levels of happiness for wives.
    Date: 2017
  3. By: Céline C. Frank; James Gitundu Kairo; Jared O. Bosire; Mohamed Mohamed; Farid Dahdouh-Guebas; Nico Koedam
    Abstract: Participatory forest management (PFM), as opposed to top down state management, is part of the decentralization process that has occurred in Africa over the past few decades. In Kenya, the process is still at its dawn with enforcing laws dating from 2005 and many pilot projects now in course. Little feedback has been given so far. This case study evaluates, for the first time, participatory management of a Kenyan protected mangrove forest. PFM, coupled with a status of protection, is believed to be an efficient way to preserve the threatened mangrove forests. Semi-structured interviews with local community members (people living within or next to the forest) and key-informants (people working in the forest management) were performed in order to measure three major components of participatory management: Knowledge, involvement, and perception of local communities. Those interviews revealed a partial and overall low involvement of local communities in the formal participatory management structure. Knowledge of the policy concerning mangrove forest management was higher for the people having a job related to natural resources from the forest (e.g. fishing or tour guiding) and for people holding at least a primary level education. The former group was also more involved in the management process. Villagers who were better informed about PFM approaches were also generally more involved in the management. Perceptions of PFM were contrasted and many criticisms were revealed at this early stage of implementation. These results are believed to evolve positively as the government regains trust among local communities who are given more power and wardenship on the forest.
    Keywords: Decentralization; Kenya; Mangrove; Participatory forest management
    Date: 2017–06
  4. By: Amavilah, Voxi Heinrich
    Abstract: Despite their obvious ideological bends, economic studies of the interactions between Africa and “developed” Europe and America (Euro-America) have been decidedly lopsided. Existing studies conceive the effects of the interactions to be unidirectional, with Africa always on the receiving end in both good and bad ways. The conception is incorrect; it lacks the appreciation that the effects are interactive, mutual, dynamic, and simultaneous. Thus, I argue that contrary to the extant literature, the development of Euro-America has origins in Africa through the mechanism of mercantile, slave, and free trade. For example, the growth of colonial Britain depended on foreign trade with the Americas – exports of manufactured goods and imports of raw materials. In turn, American raw materials were produced by African slave labor. When slavery ended African raw materials began to flow to Euro-America in greater amounts than before, replacing slave labor. The result was a smooth transition from a slave-labor-based economy to a modern economy in Euro-America, and a stunted economy in Africa. The objective of this paper is to sketch how one might go about illustrating such effects in a simple quantitative way. In other words, it puts some pins to suggest a roadmap for empirical studies. To do so, first I review very briefly the history of African and Euro-American interactions. Second, I attempt to establish the channels of interactions. Third, I construct a simple model for measuring Africa’s effects on Euro-American development as a system of three seemingly unrelated equations, which can be estimated individually and/or simultaneously. Fourth, I indicate the challenges and methods for generating the data required to implement the model empirically. While this version of the paper is unaccompanied by its empirical counterpart, it is nonetheless clear that at least some of the origins of Euro-American development are African.
    Keywords: African origins of Euro-American development, growth and development, growth and change
    JEL: N13 O33 O47 O55 P16 P51 P52
    Date: 2017–06–28
  5. By: Simplice Asongu (Yaoundé/Cameroun); Nicholas Biekpe (Cape Town, South Africa.)
    Abstract: This study assesses how knowledge diffusion modulates the effect of the mobile phone on entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa with data for the period 2000-2012.The empirical evidence is based on interactive Generalised Method of Moments in which mobile phones are interacted with three knowledge diffusion variables, namely: education, internet penetration and scientific output. Ten variables of entrepreneurship are used. The following three main findings are established. First, the net effects from interacting mobile phones with the internet and scientific publications are negative whereas the corresponding net impact from the interaction between mobile phones and education is positive on the cost of doing business. Second, the mobile phone interacts with education (the internet) to have a positive (negative) net effect on the time needed to construct a warehouse whereas, the corresponding interaction with the internet yields a net negative effect on the time to enforce a contract. Third, there is a positive net effect from the interaction of mobile phones with education on the time to start a business. Given the construction of the education variable, the positive net effects from education are consistent with corresponding negative net effects from the other knowledge diffusion variables. The main policy implication is that mobile phone innovation (by means of internet penetration, scientific output and quality education) decreases constraints of entrepreneurship. Suggestions on how to boost these knowledge diffusion channels are discussed. Other practical and theoretical implications are also covered. To the best our knowledge, this is the first inquiry to assess the relevance of mobile phone innovation in entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; the Mobile Phone; Knowledge Diffusion; Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: L59 L98 O10 O30 O55
    Date: 2017–05

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