nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2017‒11‒26
six papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Synopsis: How should rural financial cooperatives be best organized? Evidence from Ethiopia By Abay, Kibrom A.; Koru, Bethlehem; Abate, Gashaw T.; Berhane, Guush
  2. The same, only different: estimating the magnitude of bribery in business surveys By Frédéric LESNÉ
  3. Determinants of IMF lending: How different is Sub-Saharan Africa? By Oberdabernig, Doris
  4. The Health Costs of Ethnic Distance: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa By Joseph Flavian Gomes
  5. The effect of oil spills on infant mortality: Evidence from Nigeria By Anna Bruederle; Roland Hodler
  6. Marriage, Fertility, and Women’s Agency in Tunisia By Ragui Assaad; Samir Ghazouani; Caroline Krafft

  1. By: Abay, Kibrom A.; Koru, Bethlehem; Abate, Gashaw T.; Berhane, Guush
    Abstract: What is the optimal size and composition of rural financial cooperatives (RFCs)? With this broad question in mind, we characterize alternative formations of RFCs and the implications of each in improving the access of rural households to financial services, including savings, credit, and insurance services. We find that some features of RFCs have varying implications for delivering various financial services. The size of RFCs is found to have a nonlinear relationship with the various financial services RFCs provide. We also show that compositional heterogeneity among members, including diversity in wealth, is associated with higher access to credit services, while this has limited effects on the savings behavior of members. Similarly, social cohesion among members is strongly associated with higher access to financial services. These empirical descriptions suggest that the optimal size and composition of RFCs may vary across the different domains of financial services that they are designed to facilitate. This evidence provides suggestive insights on how to ensure financial inclusion among smallholders, a priority among agricultural sector policy makers in developing countries, including Ethiopia. The results also provide some insights for the design of rural microfinance operations as they seek to satisfy members’ demand for various financial services.
    Keywords: economic growth; economic development; livestock; livestock production; smallholders; market access; rural communities; households; production; grain crops marketing; livelihoods,
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Frédéric LESNÉ (Transparency International - Initiative Madagascar)
    Abstract: As first shown in Clarke (2011), Word Bank’s Enterprise Surveys data suggest that the magnitude of bribery estimated by firm owners and managers in Africa is considerably higher when estimates are formulated as a percentage of turnover rather than in monetary value. This working paper confirms these findings with a randomized experiment carried out in Madagascar with 436 firm owners and managers and provides additional evidence that the observed gap in estimates between these two answer formats is caused by a measurement error on the part of survey respondents. Experience in running a business appears to mitigate error but without eliminating it completely.
    Date: 2017–09
  3. By: Oberdabernig, Doris
    Abstract: While economic conditions explain part of the di erence in lending decisions, some economic but also political factors have sys-tematically different effects on IMF lending in SSA. Studies that account for selection into IMF programs should take this into account in order to increase the reliability of their findings.
    Date: 2017–11–16
  4. By: Joseph Flavian Gomes
    Abstract: We show that ethnic distances lead to worse child health outcomes by impeding access to health-related information. We combine individual level micro data from DHS surveys for fourteen sub-Saharan African countries, with a high-resolution dataset on the spatial distribution of ethnic groups at the 1 × 1 sq. km level constructed using an Iterative Proportional Fitting algorithm. We show that children whose mothers are linguistically more distant to their neighbours face higher mortality rates and are shorter in size. Linguistically distant mothers are also less likely to know about the oral rehydration product for treating children with diarrhoea.
    Keywords: ethnic distance, linguistic distance, linguistic diversity, ethnic inequality, child mortality, African development, health inequalities
    JEL: I14 O10 O15 Z10 Z13
    Date: 2017–11
  5. By: Anna Bruederle; Roland Hodler
    Abstract: Oil spills can lead to irreversible environmental degradation and pose hazards to human health. We are the first to study the causal effects of onshore oil spills on neonatal and infant mortality rates. We use spatial data from the Nigerian Oil Spill Monitor and the Demographic and Health Surveys, and rely on the comparison of siblings conceived before and after nearby oil spills. We find that nearby oil spills double the neonatal mortality rate. These effects are fairly uniform across locations and socio-economic backgrounds. We also provide some evidence for negative health effects of nearby oil spills on surviving children.
    Keywords: Oil spills; Nigeria; infant mortality; child health.
    JEL: I10 I18 J13 Q53
    Date: 2017–09
  6. By: Ragui Assaad (University of Minnesota); Samir Ghazouani; Caroline Krafft
    Abstract: Three important interconnected spheres shape women’s lives in Tunisia: marriage, fertility and agency over their lives and those of their families. This paper focuses on the forces that shape women’s choices and the patterns of their lives and how these choices and patterns have evolved over time. Specifically, the paper examines marriage decisions, such as whether and at what age women marry and what living arrangements they adopt at marriage. We also investigate the crucial decisions women and their husbands make vis-à-vis procreation, along with fertility correlates such as age and education level. Finally, we examine the scope of women’s agency over a variety of decisions, as well as the links between women’s employment and marital status. Relying on the Tunisia Labor Market Panel Survey (TLMPS) 2014 data, this paper highlights differences between urban and rural areas, different regions in Tunisia, and across women of different socio-economic statuses.
    Date: 2017–11–16

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