nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2018‒01‒01
five papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Electricity for all - a driver for development in Africa? Large-scale investments in grid roll out to rural Africa have only a weak impact on income, health and education; benefits do not reach the poor By Peters, Jörg
  2. Neocolonialism or Balanced Partnership? Reframing Agricultural Relations Between the EU and Africa By Lungu, Ioana
  3. Trends in African migration to Europe: Drivers beyond economic motivations By Giménez-Gómez, José-Manuel; Yabibal Mulualem Walle; Zergawu, Yitagesu Zewdu
  4. Can HIV alter the quantity-quality switch and delay the fertility transition in Sub-Saharan Africa? By Luca Gori; Enrico Lupi; Piero Manfredi; Mauro Sodini
  5. Malaria and Education: Evidence from Mali By Josselin Thuilliez; Hippolyte D'Albis; Hamidou Niangaly; Ogobara Doumbo

  1. By: Peters, Jörg
    Abstract: More than 1.1 billion people in developing countries lack access to electricity. Based on the assumption that electricity is a prerequisite for economic development, the UN has proclaimed the goal of providing electricity to all by 2030. This will cost an estimated 640 billion USD. New empirical evidence, however, shows: Effects on income, health and education in newly connected communities are low. Moreover, the poorest households are lacking funds to get connected. This calls for a stronger focus on electrification through low-cost off-grid technologies, which could improve the cost-benefit balance.
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Lungu, Ioana
    Abstract: The narratives in the media with respect to EU external policies and their effects on developing countries generally paint a picture of unequal power dynamics and negative externalities, particularly with respect to international trade and land grabbing. In this paper, I use trade data to argue that reality is more nuanced and aim to provide a preliminary sketch of the institutional dynamics between the EU and Africa. I focus on agricultural relationships to highlight the interplay between historical path dependencies, colonialism, trade policy and domestic institutions on the EU and African side. While trade is often portrayed in an overly simplified manner as the main factor hindering agricultural development, African countries are often plagued by a long history of extractive institutions, both politically and economically, which lead to a vicious cycle of unequally distributed resources, exploitation, insecure human rights and a lack of incentives for innovation. This becomes apparent when examining phenomena such as land-grabbing, which often involve African elites partnering with foreign investors to conclude controversial deals. Overall, this paper aims to highlight the necessity of building institutional capacity particularly in countries with a long history of extractive institutional continuity, and to underline the importance of state centralisation for agricultural development, so that African partners can fully take advantage of the preferential trade regime with the EU and improve their position with respect to power dynamics.
    Keywords: development; institutional economics; international trade; Economic Partnership Agreement; European Union; Africa; agricultural development;
    JEL: F19 H8 O1 O13 O2 O20 O24 Q17 Q18
    Date: 2017–12
  3. By: Giménez-Gómez, José-Manuel; Yabibal Mulualem Walle; Zergawu, Yitagesu Zewdu
    Abstract: The current migration and refugee crisis in Europe requires an understanding of the different migration drivers beyond the well-known economic determinants. In this paper, we view migration from a broader human security perspective and analyze the determinants of regular and irregular migration flows from Africa to Europe for the period 1990-2014. Our results show that, in addition to economic determinants, a combination of push and pull factors influence the migration decisions of individuals. In particular, rising political persecution, ethnic cleansing, human rights violations, political instability and civil conflicts in African source countries are all significantly associated with increased migration flows into European destination countries. Therefore, our results underscore the need for the EU and European countries to collaborate with the source countries, not only in terms of supporting economic development in the source countries, but also in promoting human security: human rights, democracy, peace and social stability.
    Keywords: international migration,asylum seeker,refugee crisis,human security,Poisson Pseudo-Maximum Likelihood
    JEL: F22 O15
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Luca Gori (Department of Political Science, University of Genoa); Enrico Lupi (DEF, University of Rome "Tor Vergata"); Piero Manfredi (Department of Economics and Management, University of Pisa); Mauro Sodini (Department of Economics and Management, University of Pisa)
    Abstract: According to the conventional theory of the demographic transition, mortality decline has represented the major trigger for fertility decline and eventually sustained economic development. In Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the HIV/AIDS epidemic has had a devastating impact on mortality, by dramatically reversing, in high HIV-prevalence countries, the long-term positive trend in life expectancies. Despite the fact that SSA as a whole is suffering a delayed and slow fertility transition compared to other world’s regions, and despite evidence for halting or even reverting fertility decline in countries with severe HIV epidemics, there seems to be little concern amongst international policy makers about the ultimate impact that HIV might have on SSA fertility. This work reports model-based evidence of the potential for a HIV-triggered reversal of fertility in high HIV-prevalent SSA countries induced by the fall in education and human capital investments following the drop in life expectancy for young adults. This eventually breaks down the virtuous circle promoting the switch quantity-to-quality of children. This result suggests that the current evidence on fertility halting and declining education in high HIV-prevalent SSA countries should be seriously taken into consideration to prioritise current international interventions.
    Keywords: Sub-Saharan Africa, fertility transition, quantity-quality switch, HIV/AIDS epidemics, human capital accumulation, fertility reversal.
    JEL: J11 J13 O1 O41
    Date: 2017–12–08
  5. By: Josselin Thuilliez (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Hippolyte D'Albis (PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics); Hamidou Niangaly (MRTC - Malaria Research and Training Center - Faculté de Médecine de Bamako); Ogobara Doumbo (DEAP - Département d'épidémiologie des affections parasitaires - Université de Bamako - Malaria Research and Training Center (MRTC) - Facultés de Médecine, de Pharmacie et d'Odonto-Stomatologie - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This article examines the influence of malaria on human capital accumulation in the village of Diankabou in Mali. To account for malaria endogeneity and its interaction with unobservable risk factors, we exploit natural variations in malaria immunity across individuals of several sympatric ethnic groups—the Fulani and the non-Fulani—who differ in their susceptibility to malaria. The Fulani are known to be less susceptible to malaria infections, despite living with a similar malaria transmission intensity to those seen among other ethnic groups. We also use natural variation of malaria intensity in the area (during and after the malaria transmission season) and utilise this seasonal change as a treatment. We found that malaria has an impact on cognitive and educational outcomes in this village.
    Date: 2017

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