nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2017‒10‒29
six papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Malaria Risk and Civil Violence By Matteo Cervellati; Elena Esposito; Uwe Sunde; Simona Valmori
  2. Can Africa Be a Manufacturing Destination? Labor Costs in Comparative Perspective By Alan Gelb; Christian J. Meyer; Vijaya Ramachandran; Divyanshi Wadhwa
  3. Riots and the Window of Opportunity for Coup Plotters: Evidence on the Link between Urban Protests and Coups d’État By Gerling, Lena
  4. Tanzania—from mining to oil and gas: Structural change or just big numbers? By Alan R. Roe
  5. Emergent structures in faculty hiring networks and the effects of mobility on academic performance By Robin Cowan; Giulia Rossello
  6. Household bargaining and spending on children: Experimental evidence from Tanzania By Ringdal, Charlotte; Sjursen, Ingrid Hoem

  1. By: Matteo Cervellati; Elena Esposito; Uwe Sunde; Simona Valmori
    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 1o 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 J10
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Alan Gelb (Center for Global Development); Christian J. Meyer (European University Institute); Vijaya Ramachandran (Center for Global Development); Divyanshi Wadhwa (Center for Global Development)
    Abstract: Our central question is whether African countries can break into global manufacturing in a substantial way. Using a newly-constructed panel of firm-level data from the World Bank's Enterprise Surveys, we look at labor costs in a range of low and middle income countries in Africa and elsewhere. Using fixed effects and random effects models, we estimate a set of labor costs, both actual and hypothetical—what would labor costs for Sub-Saharan African firms look like if they were located outside of Africa? What would Bangladesh's labor costs be if it was located on the African continent? Our results suggest that for any given level of GDP, labor is more costly for firms that are located in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, we also find that there are a few countries in Africa that, on a labor cost basis, may be potential candidates for manufacturing—Ethiopia in particular stands out. We conclude with thoughts on the future of manufacturing in Africa.
    Keywords: Africa, industrialization, labor, manufacturing
    JEL: D2 L6 O14
  3. By: Gerling, Lena
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of urban protests on coup attempts in a sample of 39 SSA countries for the period 1990 to 2007. Widespread public discontent, especially when occurring in urban centers, can act as a trigger of coups in autocratic regimes by opening a window of opportunity for leadership removals. Variation in rainfall is used to create an instrument for protests. The results show that rainfall-related popular uprisings in urban areas increase the likelihood of a coup attempt.
    JEL: C26 D74 P16
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Alan R. Roe
    Abstract: This paper extends UNU-WIDER Working Paper 2016/79, which examined the economic situation in Tanzania during the resurgence of gold and diamond production after 1999, with the situation that emerged as the country began to exploit its very large resources of natural gas mainly from the Indian Ocean. The mining boom after 1999 provided the authorities with significant lessons and opportunities associated with managing natural resource wealth. The present paper additionally examines some of the specific policy and regulatory decisions taken since 2015, and tries to assess how the multiple challenges of new natural gas wealth are being addressed. It concludes that the experience thus far is not encouraging.
    Date: 2017
  5. By: Robin Cowan; Giulia Rossello
    Abstract: This paper is about the South African job market for PhDs. PhD to first job mobility involves the preferences of both the hiring institution and the candidate. Both want to make the best choice and here institutional prestige plays a crucial role. A university’s prestige is an emergent property of the hiring interactions, so we use a network perspective to measure it. Using this emergent ordering, we compare the subsequent scientific performance of scholars with different changes in the prestige hierarchy. We ask how movements between universities of different prestige from PhD to first job correlates with academic performance. We use data of South African scholars from 1970 to 2004 and we find that those who make large movements in terms of prestige have lower research ratings than those wo do not. Further, those with higher prestige PhD or first job have high research ratings throughout their careers.
    Keywords: Academia, South Africa, faculty hiring network, institutional prestige, institutional stratification, scholars research performance, university system, matched pair analysis.
    JEL: D7 I2 J15 O3 Z13
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Ringdal, Charlotte (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Sjursen, Ingrid Hoem (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)
    Abstract: It is frequently assumed that money in the hands of women leads to better out-comes for their children than money in the hands of men. However, empirical and theoretical evidence are mixed. We conduct a novel between-subject lab-in-the-field experiment to study whether increasing the wife's control over resources causes a couple to allocate more to their child. The paper provides two main insights. First, increasing the wife's bargaining power does not increase the share allocated to the child, but leads to more gender-equal allocations to children. Second, time preferences are important in explaining household decision-making; it is better for the child that the most patient spouse has more relative bargaining power. Our results highlight the importance of taking a broader set of preferences into account when studying household decision-making, and suggest that policy aimed to increase spending on children should target the spouse with preferences most aligned with such spending.
    Keywords: Intra-household allocation; female bargaining Power; Tanzania
    JEL: C92 D13 J13
    Date: 2017–10–19

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