nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2017‒10‒08
five papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Migration and gender in South Africa: following bright lights and the fortunes of others? By Dieter von Fintel; Eldridge Moses
  2. Fiscal regimes in resource dependent African states: a political economy game By Temitope J. Laniran
  3. Wars and Conflicts in the Sahara-Sahel By Olivier J. Walther
  4. Enhancing ICT for Environmental Sustainability in Sub-Saharan Africa By Simplice Asongu; Sara Le Roux; Nicholas Biekpe
  5. Financial development and total factors productivity channel: Evidence from Africa By EZZAHID, Elhadj; ELOUAOURTI, Zakaria

  1. By: Dieter von Fintel (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University and Institute for Labor Economics (IZA), Bonn); Eldridge Moses (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University)
    Abstract: Internal migration in South Africa has a strong gender dimension. Historically, the apartheid-era migrant labour system meant that predominantly black African men moved to urban areas without their families. After the abolition of influx controls in 1986, many women relocated, presumably to join their male partners. The period of migration feminization was also coupled with labour market feminization. However, existing research shows that increased female labour supply was poorly matched by labour market absorption, leading to rising unemployment among black African women. This paper studies incentives for female migration in this context, by building a gravity model of male and female inter-municipal migration. We find that neither men nor women move primarily for family reasons. Instead, they follow the traditional male migrant route to well-lit economic centres. Women also do not migrate primarily for increases in their own labour market opportunities, but tend to flock to regions where other fortunate groups have higher earnings potential. While this might signal that migrants base relocation decisions on incorrect information (and could in turn explain why many migrants have unfulfilled expectations), our results also show that women not only move for work, but for public services. The implications are twofold if migration is to alleviate poverty in the long run: firstly, in the short run, management of public resources must improve, as poor (women) place large emphasis on their effect; and secondly, labour market barriers – especially into the informal sector – should be better understood.
    Keywords: Regional migration, gravity model, feminization of migration, income mobility, economics of gender, South Africa
    JEL: C31 J16 J61 O15 O18 R23
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Temitope J. Laniran (University of Bradford, UK)
    Abstract: Policy reform debates in African economies often focus on poverty alleviation programs, liberalisation of trade and market and social service provisions. These reforms are heavily dependent on funding from either foreign sources or natural resource wealth, accompanied with concessions from the East and conditionality laden Western sources. They rarely optimally explore the internal fiscal revenue sources of their economy and as such undermines the fiscal prowess of their economies. Despite the less desirable situation, most resource-dependent African economies have found themselves, the elite political class in these countries still engage in wasteful expenditure pattern. The question of demand for accountability and good governance is rather ambiguous to the majority of the electorate as there is often a weakfiscal contract between them and the elite political class. The acknowledgement of this gives politicians an \"incentive\" to perpetuate corrupt activities which enrich the elite class at the expense and well-being of the masses and widens the inequality gap. This scenario is rather worse off in natural resource-endowed developing economies. The elite classis faced with a game-like situation, where the payoffs can either be beneficial to the elite class at the expense of the electorate or beneficial to the electorate at the expense of the elite class.This study expands the discussion on how an effective fiscal regime can help improve accountability and welfare of citizens in natural resource-endowed African states.
    Keywords: Accountability, Natural Resources, Fiscal Regimes
    JEL: D72 O10 Q30
    Date: 2017–09
  3. By: Olivier J. Walther (Sahel Research Group, University of Florida)
    Abstract: The Sahel and the Sahara are faced with exceptional political instability involving a combination of rebellions, jihadist insurgencies, coups d’état, protest movements and illegal trafficking. The backdrop to this accumulated violence is a globalised security environment, which blurs the traditional lines between what is local and global, military and civilian, domestic and international, politics and identity. The purpose of this paper is to analyse these patterns of violence. The first section presents the geographic distribution and development over time of the main sources of violence in North and West Africa before examining the events behind the increase in political violence in the Sahel and the Sahara. The second section analyses the patterns of violence, and focuses on the geographic scales thereof and the strategies of the warring parties. In its conclusion, the paper highlights the need to strengthen regional co-operation, restore the legitimacy of governments, and establish inclusive governance solutions in conflict zones.
    Keywords: conflict, jihadism, Sahara, Sahel, security, terrorism, war
    JEL: D74 F5 H56 N47
    Date: 2017–09–29
  4. By: Simplice Asongu (Yaoundé/Cameroun); Sara Le Roux (Oxford, UK); Nicholas Biekpe (Cape Town, South Africa)
    Abstract: This study examines how increasing ICT penetration in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) can contribute towards environmental sustainability by decreasing CO2 emissions. The empirical evidence is based the Generalised Method of Moments and forty-four countries for the period 2000-2012. ICT is measured with internet penetration and mobile phone penetration while CO2 emissions per capita and CO2 emissions from liquid fuel consumption are used as proxies for environmental degradation. The following findings are established: First, from the non-interactive regressions, ICT (i.e. mobile phones and the internet) does not significantly affect CO2 emissions. Second, with interactive regressions, increasing ICT has a positive net effect on CO2 emissions per capita while increasing mobile phone penetration alone has a net negative effect on CO2 emissions from liquid fuel consumption. Policy thresholds at which ICT can change the net effects from positive to negative are computed and discussed. These policy thresholds are the minimum levels of ICT required, for the effect of ICT on CO2 emissions to be negative. Other practical implications for policy and theory are discussed.
    Keywords: CO2 emissions; ICT; economic development; Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: C52 O38 O40 O55 P37
    Date: 2017–01
  5. By: EZZAHID, Elhadj; ELOUAOURTI, Zakaria
    Abstract: We explore the links between financial development and economic growth through Total Factors Productivity canal in African economies. First, we use a composite index to gauge the levels of financial development in 40 African economies during the period 2004-2014. Second, we study the Finance-Total Factors Productivity (TFP) relationship in a panel of 22 economies classified by their income level. The main results of our study show that financial development in Africa promotes economic growth, improves the allocation investment, and stimulates total factors productivity, but affects negatively saving mobilization. Results by group of countries show that financial development does not promote total factors productivity in low-income and upper-middle-income countries. For low-income countries, this is due to the inadequacy of financial services available to the needs of economic agents. For the second category of countries, this result is probably due to the fact that the financial system is biased toward the formal sector, which does not make enough efforts to increase TFP. The Finance-TFP relationship is significantly positive in the lower middle-income countries. the reforms of African financial systems have to be designed and directed to increase the adequacy of financial services to the needs of each economy and its development level. Financial sectors should encourage the accumulation of inputs in factors-driven economies, improve the reallocation of resources to high-productivity sectors in efficiency-driven economies, and finance Innovation in innovation-driven economies.
    Keywords: Total Factors Productivity, financial development, financial composite index, economic growth, Africa.
    JEL: C01 G2
    Date: 2017

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