nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2018‒01‒15
nine papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Is women empowerment a zero Sum game? Unintended Consequences of microfinance for Women’s empowerment in Ghana By Salia, Samuel; Hussain, Javed; Tingbani, Ishmael; Kolade, Oluwaseun
  2. The Effect of Civil War Violence on Aid Allocations in Uganda By Stijn van Weezel
  3. Confronting the wall of patriarchy : does participatory intrahousehold decision-making empower women in agricultural households? By Lecoutere, Els; Wuyts, Eva
  4. The Impact of Peace: Evidence from Nigeria By Hönig, Tillman
  5. Mostly Harmless? A Subnational Analysis of the Aid-Conflict Nexus By Stijn van Weezel
  6. Working conditions of indigenous women and men in Central Africa an analysis based in available evidence By Thornberry, Francesca.
  7. Dynamic Openness and Finance in Africa By Asongu, Simplice; Minkoua N., Jules
  8. Burundi and its development partners: navigating the turbulent tides of governance setbacks By Molenaers, Nadia; Rufyikiri, Gervais; Vandeginste, Stef
  9. Land Tenure Insecurity as an Investment Incentive: The Case of Migrant Cocoa Farmers and Settlers in Ivory Coast. By Catherine Bros; Alain Desdoigts; Hugues Kouassi Kouadio

  1. By: Salia, Samuel; Hussain, Javed; Tingbani, Ishmael; Kolade, Oluwaseun
    Abstract: Purpose: Against the background of growing concerns that development interventions can sometimes be a zero-sum game, this paper examines the unintended consequences of microfinance for women empowerment in Ghana. Design/methodology/approach: The study employs a participatory mixed-method approach including household questionnaire surveys, focus group discussions and key informant interviews to investigate the dynamics of microfinance effects on women in communities of different vulnerability status in Ghana. Findings: The results of hierarchical regression, triadic closure and thematic analyses demonstrate that the economic benefits of microfinance for women is also directly associated with conflicts amongst spouses, girl child labour, polygyny and the neglect of perceived female-domestic responsibilities due to women’s devotion to their enterprises. Originality/value: In the light of limited empirical evidence on potentially negative impacts of women empowerment interventions in Africa, this paper fills a critical gap in knowledge that will enable NGOs, policy makers and other stakeholders to design and implement more effective interventions that mitigate undesirable consequences.
    Keywords: Microfinance; Women Empowerment; Unintended Consequences; Ghana
    JEL: G30 O1 O16
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Stijn van Weezel
    Abstract: In recent years there has been an increase in the number of studies using microlevel data to analyse the aid-conflict nexus at local level, however most of these studies focus on how conflict dynamics are influenced by aid allocations whereas there is relatively little analysis on how conflict affects subnational aid allocations. Estimating the effect of conflict on aid can be difficult given possible reverse causality, therefore this study exploits an exogenous driven shock in conflict intensity in Uganda to estimate the effect of aid allocations at subnational level. Using district level data for Uganda between 2002-2010, and information on both foreign aid commitments and disbursements, the results show that conflict is negatively related to aid allocations: Conflict-struck regions see both lower commitment and disbursement levels in the wake of conflict. Although the sudden outburst of violence in Uganda can help identifying the effect of conflict on aid allocations, one caveat of this approach is that it is hard to know to what extent the results generalise.
    Keywords: Civil conflict; Foreign aid; Uganda; Differences-in-differences
    JEL: D74 F35 H72 N47
    Date: 2017–11
  3. By: Lecoutere, Els; Wuyts, Eva
    Abstract: This study investigates the impact of introducing participatory intrahousehold decision-making on the empowerment of women in agricultural households in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in Ugandan coffee farming households. Participatory intrahousehold decision-making is expected to empower women through increasing their voice and lifting collective action problems, which otherwise compromise efficiency and equity of the household farm. With a mixed methods approach this study captures the impact on multiple dimensions of empowerment, including women’s perceptions of the process, meaning and value. Women portrayed three possible pathways towards empowerment in their household: “Breaking through the wall of patriarchy” – the preferred pathway but conditional on being married to a cooperative husband - “Circumventing” it, or having “No choice but to take full responsibility” in case of husbands who are ill or migrant workers. On the basis of a randomized encouragement of couples to participate in an intervention introducing participatory intrahousehold decision-making, we quantitatively demonstrated the catalyzing effects on different domains of women’s empowerment, including involvement in strategic household decisions, women’s control over household income, personal income and assets. Women’s decision-making power about cash crop production, another strategic domain that women value, increased to some extent. These impacts support women in following a pathway to empowerment by “Breaking through the wall of patriarchy”, but are also valuable for women for whom that pathway is out of reach. Policies and programmes introducing participatory intrahousehold decision-making have the potential to empower women in domains they value and should be combined with effective ways to accomplish women’s wish to gain economic power to actively contribute to the development of their household.
    Keywords: women empowerment; intrahousehold decision-making
    Date: 2017–11
  4. By: Hönig, Tillman
    Abstract: This paper studies the consequences of peace – or conversely, conflict – on four outcomes on fundamental economic relevance: Education, health, self-employment income and household expenditures. While the empirical literature on the consequences of conflict involving cross-country regression studies may deliver suggestive big picture evidence on links between conflict and economic outcomes, establishing causation remains problematic. By contrast, my study builds on the rather recent micro-empirical literature and proposes to use a natural experiment in Nigeria to evaluate the consequences of a reduction of conflict. The amnesty policy implemented by the Nigerian government in the Niger Delta Region in 2009 is used as a policy shock to assess the effect of a conflict reduction on the outcomes of interest. Using a constructed synthetic control region from the states that are not part of the Niger Delta region and therefore unaffected by the policy as a within-country counterfactual to the Niger Delta region, the natural experiment setting enables me to interpret the results causally and estimate the peace benefits the amnesty policy generated. I find that peace through the amnesty policy generated an increase in education by 0.53 years of schooling, a 67% increase in self-employment income and a 19% increase in household expenditures four years later.
    Keywords: Conflict; Peace; Education; Health; Household expenditures; Self-employment income; Nigeria;
    JEL: D12 D74 I15 I25 J31 O12
    Date: 2017–09–05
  5. By: Stijn van Weezel
    Abstract: Although most aid projects are aimed at local development, most research on the aid-conflict nexus is based on the country-year as unit of analysis. In contrast, this study examines the link between aid commitments and conflict intensity at the local level for three African countries between 1999-2008, using data from a unique dataset containing information on local aid allocations. The data shows that in general the spatial interdependence between aid and conflict is low, as aid is allocated relatively close to the capital and conflicts tend to occur in the peripheral areas. Fitting a Bayesian linear regression model the empirical analysis finds that there is no strong correlation between changes in lagged aid commitments and changes in conflict intensity. Looking at the extensive margin the results do show that fungible aid is correlated with increased conflict risk, in line with rent-seeking behaviour, but the estimated magnitude of the coefficient is very small. The results are stronger at the district level compared to the province level, suggesting that the possible link between aid and conflict is highly localised.
    Keywords: Foreign aid; Armed conflict; Africa
    JEL: C11 D74 F35 O55
    Date: 2017–12
  6. By: Thornberry, Francesca.
    Keywords: indigenous people, indigenous worker, working conditions, Central Africa
    Date: 2017
  7. By: Asongu, Simplice; Minkoua N., Jules
    Abstract: This study assesses dynamics of openness and finance in Africa by integrating financial development dynamics of depth, activity and size in the assessment of how financial, trade, institutional, political and other openness policies (of second generation structural and institutional reforms) have affected financial development. The empirical evidence is based on Generalized Method of Moments with data from 28 African countries for the period 1996-2010. The following findings are established. (i) While the de jure (KAOPEN) indicator of financial openness improves financial depth, the de facto (FDI) measurement decreases it, with the effect of the latter measure positive on financial size. (ii) Whereas trade openness improves financial depth, its effect on financial activity and size is negative. (iii) Institutional openness has a positive effect on financial dynamics of depth and activity, while its effect on financial size is negative. (iv) Political openness and economic freedom are detrimental to financial depth and activity. Justifications for these nexuses are discussed.
    Keywords: Banking; Trade; Institutions; Politics; Africa
    JEL: E50 G20 O16 O17 O55
    Date: 2017–01
  8. By: Molenaers, Nadia; Rufyikiri, Gervais; Vandeginste, Stef
    Abstract: Between the first post-conflict elections (2005) and the crisis that was occasioned by the 2015 electoral process, Burundi underwent evolutions of both remarkable progress and substantial setbacks in different dimensions of governance. For international development partners it was challenging to deal with these subsequent – and partly parallel - ups and downs. They used financial and non-financial means to incentivise, signal, constrain and sanction the Burundian government into desirable policies and actions. We discern three patterns in donor behavior. Immediately after the transition, donors heavily inclined towards optimism with a large margin of tolerance for perceived ad hoc setbacks (here referred to as ‘good enough governance’ strategy). When setbacks however became systematic, donors increasingly expressed unease and used various means to voice their concerns: statements, policy and political dialogue, aid as a carrot and stick. Finally, when setbacks evolved into a crisis, donors started sanctioning, albeit in uncoordinated and sometimes contradicting manners.
    Keywords: Burundi; aid; governance; political dialogue
    Date: 2017–12
  9. By: Catherine Bros (ERUDITE - Université Paris-Est); Alain Desdoigts (IEDES - Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne); Hugues Kouassi Kouadio (École nationale supérieure de statistiques et d'économie appliquée (ENSEA) Abidjan)
    Abstract: This study sets forth a positive relationship between tenure insecurity and investments over dierent time horizons among cocoa farmers in Ivory Coast. This positive relationship stands in stark contrast to results found in many related studies. We argue this dierence stems from the type of crops considered and, in particular, whether one considers annual and/or perennial crops. Given that cultivating perennial crops such as cocoa requires large upfront investments over a long period of time, it is of paramount importance to retain control over the land in the long run, especially when the trees reach full maturity. According to some theoretical arguments, investing is a way to retain such control when the farmer does not have administrative rights. Our results show that cocoa farmers whose status remains precarious in terms of tenure security (migrants) have a higher propensity to invest, especially when the tree is about to yield substantially. This study thus underlines the need to account for the life cycle of crops and the associated revenue streams when assessing the relationship between tenure (in-)security and investment.
    Keywords: Tenure security, investment time horizons, crop life cycle, outsiders, Ivory Coast.
    JEL: Q15 O13 O17 O55 D23
    Date: 2017–10

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