nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2017‒09‒24
six papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Development and poverty in sub-Saharan Africa By Tony Addison; Ville Pikkarainen; Risto Rönkkö; Finn Tarp
  2. Breaking the metal ceiling: Female entrepreneurs who succeed in male-dominated sectors By Francisco Campos; Markus Goldstein; Laura McGorman; Ana Maria Munoz Boudet; Obert Pimhidzai
  3. The Impact of Subsidized Antimalarials on Treatment Seeking Behavior By Jacqueline Fiore
  4. Working and Women’s Empowerment in the Egyptian Household: The Type of Work and Location Matter By Clémentine Sadania
  5. The Origins of Financial Development: How the African Slave Trade Continues to Influence Modern Finance By Ross Levine; Chen Lin; Wensi Xie
  6. Mobile Money and Household Consumption Patterns in Uganda By J Paul Dunne; Elizabeth Kasekende

  1. By: Tony Addison; Ville Pikkarainen; Risto Rönkkö; Finn Tarp
    Abstract: This paper puts sub-Saharan Africa’s economic development into perspective. While much did not go as hoped for at independence, much of the region has been on a more promising development trajectory since the mid-1990s, as we illustrate using growth, poverty, and human development indicators. We identify key weaknesses, including lack of structural transformation and the slow rate of employment growth. We refer to global shocks that have played a critical role in sub-Saharan Africa’s economic performance alongside domestic events, policies, and governance. Finally, we discuss a set of critical challenges requiring effective management for subSaharan Africa to realize its considerable development potential.
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Francisco Campos; Markus Goldstein; Laura McGorman; Ana Maria Munoz Boudet; Obert Pimhidzai
    Abstract: Occupational segregation significantly contributes to the earnings gender gap worldwide. We look at differences in outcomes for male and female enterprises and their sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa, a region of high female participation in entrepreneurship. Data on Uganda show that women breaking into male-dominated sectors make as much as men, and three times more than women staying in female-dominated sectors. Factors including entrepreneurial skill/abilities and credit/human capital constraints do not explain women’s sectoral choices. However, information about profitability, male role models’ influence, and exposure to the sector from family and friends are critical in helping women circumvent or overcome norms undergirding occupational segregation.
    Date: 2017
  3. By: Jacqueline Fiore (Department of Economics, Tulane University)
    Abstract: I investigate the effect of the first multi-country antimalarial subsidy on the type and source of treatment taken for children under five years of age reporting a fever. I use nationally representative, cross-sectional survey data from sixteen malaria endemic African countries over a ten year period. My research design exploits the within country variation in malaria treatment subsidies. Artemisinin-based Combination Therapies (ACTs) are the recommended first line treatment for uncomplicated malaria. Overall, the ACTs subsidy achieved two of its main objectives. Among children reporting a fever, countries offering subsidized ACTs showed a statistically significant 8.1 percentage point increase in ACTs taken from private sector outlets compared to countries not participating in the subsidy. To complement these results, the ACTs subsidy was associated with a decrease of 10.7 percentage points in children taking lesser effective antimalarial monotherapies from any source for participating countries. However, the effect of the ACTs subsidy was not consistent among the four countries participating in the subsidy. Uganda showed the desired response with the greatest magnitude to the subsidy whereas no significant effect was observed in Ghana. The mixed results among countries participating in the ACTs subsidy may be due to differences in ACTs availability, price, market share, and supporting interventions.
    Keywords: Malaria, subsidy, Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), Affordable Medicines Facility-malaria, Private Sector Co-payment Mechanism
    JEL: I11 I12 I18
    Date: 2017–09
  4. By: Clémentine Sadania (Aix-Marseille Univ. (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), CNRS, EHESS and Centrale Marseille)
    Abstract: This paper explores the impact of women’s work on empowerment in Egypt. Existing evidence suffers from several limitations, which I attempt to address. First, I develop an instrumental variable strategy to account for the endogeneity of work. Second, I allow for a heterogeneous impact of work, distinguishing between working in the public sector, outside work in the private sector and home-based work. Third, women’s empowerment is directly measured as their participation in household decisions. Outside work has the greatest impact. Interestingly, home-based work enhances joint decision-making. Distinguishing between urban and rural residence reveals distinct patterns of impact on decision-making.
    Keywords: women’s empowerment, employment, household decision-making
    JEL: D13 J16 J21
    Date: 2016–12
  5. By: Ross Levine; Chen Lin; Wensi Xie
    Abstract: We assess how the African slave trade—which had enduring effects on social cohesion—continues to influence financial systems. After showing that the intensity with which people were enslaved and exported from Africa during the 1400 – 1900 period helps account for overall financial development, household access to credit, and firm access to finance, we evaluate three potential mechanisms linking the slave trade to modern finance—information sharing institutions, trust in financial institutions, and the quality of legal institutions. We discover that the slave trade is strongly, negatively related to the information sharing and trust mechanisms but not to the legal mechanism.
    JEL: G21 N27 O16 O55
    Date: 2017–09
  6. By: J Paul Dunne (Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, School of Economics, University of Cape Town); Elizabeth Kasekende (Bank of Uganda)
    Abstract: Financial services in low income countries are often not well developed, thus, individuals rely heavily on informal means of financial services to send, receive and save money, with a large number of the population unbanked. Mobile money, a type of financial innovation, enables individuals to transfer, deposit and save money using cell phone technology. It not only has the potential to improve access to financial services but could also have an effect on household consumer behaviour and improve individuals' livelihoods. This paper investigates the difference in consumption patterns between mobile money users and non-users in Uganda, one of the countries that have seen significant increases in mobile money usage, since its introduction in 2009. It is based on the Financial Inclusion Tracker Surveys (FITS) household level data that was conducted in 2012. Using ordinary least squares and seemingly unrelated regression estimation techniques, the results suggests that mobile money users are less likely to spend on food, a necessity, and more likely to spend on luxury goods, than non-users. In addition, mobile money users are more likely to receive more remittances and, as a result, they are able to spend more efficiently on particular commodities than non-users. This suggests that mobile money could indeed potentially improve individuals' livelihoods.
    Keywords: Mobile money, Consumption patterns
    JEL: D12
    Date: 2017

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