nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2017‒12‒11
six papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. When Foreign Interventions in Domestic Economy Leads to Exploitation: A Case Study of Oil Production in Nigeria’s Niger Delta By Akpan, Wilson; Dawood, Mamoon
  2. A Capital Flight-Growth Nexus in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Role of Macroeconomic Uncertainty By Afees A. Salisu; Kazeem Isah
  3. Individual’s Risk Attitudes in sub-Saharan Africa: Determinants and Reliability of Self-reported Risk in Burkina Faso By Sephavand, Mohammad; Shahbazian, Roujman
  4. The Influence of Institutionally Embedded Ownership on Anglo-American Corporate Governance Migration into Emerging Economy IPO Firms By Hearn, Bruce; Oxelheim, Lars; Randøy, Trond
  5. Smarter Teachers, Smarter Pupils? Some New Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa. By Nadir Altinok; Manos Antoninis; Phu Nguyen-Van
  6. Party System Change and the Quality of Democracy in East Africa By Riccardo Pelizzo; Zim Nwokora

  1. By: Akpan, Wilson; Dawood, Mamoon
    Abstract: This paper examines the logic of environmental racism (and its ethnic variant) and places it against some of the main issues in the Niger Delta resistance. Relying on primary ethnographic data obtained in the Niger Delta in 2003 as well as on a close examination of the framework for oil exploitation in Nigeria, and some (recent) actions of the Nigerian government, the paper argues that while environmental ‘recklessness’, poor social remediation, and other ‘excesses’ have been undeniable concomitants of oil production in the Niger Delta, environmental racism provides only a tangential explanation for these problems, if at all. Environmental racism arguments neglect the underlying issue of a dysfunctional state-dictated framework for oil operations, whose devastating impact is felt not just in the Niger Delta, but across the broader Nigerian social fabric, as well as by the state and the multinational oil companies. The paper revisits John Rawls’ concept of ‘background institutions’ in explaining the environmental and social consequences of oil exploration and the Niger Delta crisis.
    Keywords: Colonialism, North South Relationships, Natural Resources
    JEL: Q32
    Date: 2017–12–04
  2. By: Afees A. Salisu (Centre for Econometric and Allied Research, University of Ibadan); Kazeem Isah (Centre for Econometric and Allied Research, University of Ibadan)
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate capital flight-growth nexus and the role of macroeconomic uncertainty in 28 Sub-Saharan African countries for the period 1986 to 2010. We utilize the newly updated estimates of capital flight from SSA by Boyce and Ndikumana (2012). Using heterogeneous panel methods, we find that the adverse effects of capital flight on growth of SSA seem incontrovertible and these effects may be escalated by macroeconomic uncertainty. In addition, capital flight has more devastating effects on long run growth of the oil exporting region than their non-oil counterpart when confronted with macroeconomic uncertainty. We also establish that the inflow of foreign direct investment and foreign aid are not adequate to compensate for capital flight from SSA. On this basis, fiscal and monetary authorities need to show serious commitments towards addressing the prevalent macroeconomic uncertainty in SSA to mitigate its influence on capital flight and growth in the region.
    Keywords: Capital flight, Macroeconomic uncertainty, Growth, Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), Heterogeneous panels
    JEL: C23 F21 F32 O40 O55
    Date: 2017–11
  3. By: Sephavand, Mohammad (Department of Economics); Shahbazian, Roujman (Individual’s Risk Attitudes in sub-Saharan Africa: Determinants and Reliability of Self-reported Risk in Burkina Faso)
    Abstract: Risk taking is an important topic in Africa, as access to financial institutions and social security is scarce. Data on risk attitudes in Africa is limited and the available data collected might not be reliable. We investigate the determinants of risk attitudes and the reliability of survey data in a sub-Saharan country, like Burkina Faso. Using a large representative panel survey of 31 677 individuals, we analyze the determinants and the test-retest reliability for different risk attitudes in general, traffic and financial matters. Our results show that determinants such as individual’s sex and age are significantly associated with willingness to take risk. Women have more reliable risk measures compared to men, older individuals have more reliable risk measures than younger individuals and those with high education exhibit a higher reliability in terms of their self-reported risk attitude compared to people with low education. Reliability differs across risk attitudes; risk-taking in traffic has the highest
    Keywords: risk attitudes; determinants of risk-taking; test-retest reliability; Burkina Faso
    JEL: D81 J10
    Date: 2017–11–06
  4. By: Hearn, Bruce (School of Business, Management and Economics,); Oxelheim, Lars (School of Business and Law, University of Agder, Norway); Randøy, Trond (School of Business and Law, University of Agder, Norway)
    Abstract: We argue that the corporate governance of emerging economy IPO firms is influenced by firm-specific institutionally embedded block ownership groups. Applying an extended institutional logic perspective and using a mixed-effects ordered probit model, our findings from 190 IPO-firms from 22 African countries 2000–2016, support the notion that five major block owner categories (corporate, private equity, non-executive, business group, state) exerts very different influence on African firms’ degree of adoption of Anglo-American corporate governance measures. We find that the influence from the various block owner groups is significantly moderated by institutional quality and tribalism, but to different degrees and directions across block owner groups. Our contextually embedded firm-specific results support the criticism of a one-hat-fits-all global and uniform corporate governance model.
    Keywords: IPO; Corporate Governance Practice; Institutional Theory; Africa; Emerging Economies
    JEL: G23 G38 M12 M14 M16
    Date: 2017–11–20
  5. By: Nadir Altinok; Manos Antoninis; Phu Nguyen-Van
    Abstract: We study the effect of teacher subject knowledge on student achievement in mathematics and reading by using a dataset from six Sub-Saharan African countries. By using a difference-indifference between pupils’ and teachers’ scores in two skills, we are able to avoid potential endogeneity bias. In most estimations, we do not find a significant teacher knowledge effect in most countries. The main reason is teacher absenteeism and the need to focus on core knowledge. Indeed, more knowledgeable teachers improve student learning only if certain conditions are met. For instance, a high level of teacher absenteeism and low teacher performance in a subset of items that are also administered to students can dampen the teacher subject knowledge effect on student learning. When these conditions are met, teacher subject knowledge has a significant and positive effect on student achievement in most countries.
    Keywords: Teacher knowledge; Africa; Learning; SACMEQ; cognitive skills.
    JEL: I2 O12
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Riccardo Pelizzo (Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan); Zim Nwokora (Deakin University, Australia)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to explore in greater detail the nexus between party system change and democratic qualities. In doing so, we do not simply assess whether, how and to what extent qualities of democracy in East Africa are affected by the instability of the patterns of inter-party competition (fluidity of the party system), but we also plan to show how the sub-components of party system fluidity (frequency of change, scope of change, variety of change) influence the democratic qualities. By disaggregating fluidity in its constitutive elements and by testing how each of them affects the qualities of democracy, we find that while the frequency of change has a beneficial impact on the qualities of democracy, the other sub-components of fluidity—namely, the “scope” and “variety” of system change—have a consistently negative effect on democratic quality.
    Keywords: party system change, East Africa, South East Asia, fluidity, democracy
    JEL: D02 D72 H00 H11 H89 O00 O10 O43 O55
    Date: 2017–01

This nep-afr issue is ©2017 by Sam Sarpong. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.