nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2018‒05‒14
eight papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Just peanuts? Trump's protective tariffs and their impact on Africa By Kohnert, Dirk
  2. Recent Trends in Africa’s Services Trade By Ayoki, Milton
  3. Are consumers leaning towards hedonic, symbolic or functional attributes ? Brand benefits scale development and validation in emerging markets: case of Tunisia By Jérôme Lacoeuilhe; Selima Ben; Hager Turki; Samy Belaid
  4. What is the Role of Taxpayer Education in Africa? By Mascagni, Giulia; Santoro, Fabrizio
  5. Social Accountability and Service Delivery: Experimental Evidence from Uganda By Nathan Fiala; Patrick Premand
  6. Will the Poor in Nigeria Escape Poverty in Their Lifetime? By Zuhumnan Dapel
  7. The impact of taxation on economic growth in South Africa By Hlalefang Khobai; Khumbuzile Dladla
  8. Testing the Quiet Life Hypothesis in the African Banking Industry By Simplice Asongu; Nicholas Odhiambo

  1. By: Kohnert, Dirk
    Abstract: The international discussion of Trump's dispute over import tariffs for steel, aluminum and even cars is so far focused on the big global players. However, African countries in particular could suffer too from the planned punitive tariffs, analogous to the famous African proverb, "When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers". Egypt and South Africa for example, the potentially most affected countries in Africa, face massive job losses and earning opportunities, with all the consequences that this entails for their already fragile economy and their population in dire poverty.
    Keywords: Trade policy
    JEL: F13 F51 F52 H21 P16 P52
    Date: 2018
  2. By: Ayoki, Milton
    Abstract: This paper offers an assessment of the status of services trade in Africa. It addresses three policy questions: how Africa has fared in trade in services trade over the past decade relative to other regions of the world; who the key players and partners are; and the sectors shaping Africa’s services trade. Africa’s trade in commercial services remains very concentrated in a few countries. Over the last 11 years (2006–2016) only three countries—Egypt, South Africa and Morocco accounted for 55.5 percent of Africa’s exports; and five countries—Nigeria, Angola, South Africa, Egypt and Algeria accounted for 55 percent of Africa’s imports). The implication is that conditions facing those countries will continue to influence Africa’s services landscape. Second, infrastructural constraints (including low rates of access to the Internet and poor connectivity) has hindered the participation of African economies in the most dynamic segment of services trade leading to high export concentration (in very few sectors such as transport, tourism and travel-related services) heightening its vulnerability to external shocks. Third, with less than 10 percent of the value of services produced in most countries entering into the economy’s export basket, growth in services sector will continue to have very limited influence on the world market (share in global service exports). Reforms and programmes aimed at reducing trade barriers and cost of trading across borders (raised by inefficient transport, border management, and logistics, poorly designed technical regulations and standards, licensing requirements and process, among others) would not only create opportunities to directly expand services exports, but would also promote the development of competitive value chains of production across the region
    Keywords: Trade in Services, Developing Countries, Africa, GATs.
    JEL: F13 F14 F15
    Date: 2018–01–08
  3. By: Jérôme Lacoeuilhe (IRG - Institut de Recherche en Gestion - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée - UPEC UP12 - Université Paris-Est Créteil Val-de-Marne - Paris 12); Selima Ben (Nova Southeastern University); Hager Turki (IHEC - Institut des Hautes Etudes Commerciales [Carthage] - Université de Carthage); Samy Belaid
    Abstract: Branding is an important part of consumer decision making whether domestically or internationally. Brand choices are the reflection of consumers’ motivations. Given the importance of branding to international marketers, its role has been studied in different markets developed as well as developing economies. However, most of the studies have focused on developed economies without taking into consideration the value of branding in less developed economies. The North African Market is a market that has been neglected in such research. This study seeks to understand brands benefits in the Tunisian market. The purpose of this study is to develop a psychometric scale measuring brand benefits in Tunisia. The scale development is based on Churchill’s paradigm. Results show that brand benefits converge towards a two-factor structure consisting in a functional and symbolic factor. Since the choice of a brand reflects the motivations an individual seeks to satisfy through its possession, marketing managers could use such a scale to measure the benefits associated with the brands they commercialize in a north-african environment.
    Abstract: Que ce soit au plan national ou international, les marques jouent un rôle important dans le processus de choix du consommateur. Les choix de marques reflètent les bénéfices du consommateur. Vu l’importance que revêt la marque pour les praticiens du marketing au plan international, son rôle a été étudié tant dans les économies développées que dans celles en développement. Cependant, la plupart des études se sont focalisées sur les économies développées sans englober l’intérêt de la marque dans les pays les moins développés. Le marché nord-africain fait partie des marchés laissés à l’écart par ces recherches. La présente étude vise à appréhender les bénéfices rattachés aux marques sur le marché tunisien. Le but de cette étude consiste à développer une échelle psychométrique de mesure des bénéfices rattachés aux marques en Tunisie. Le développement de cette échelle s’appuie sur le paradigme de Churchill. Les résultats montrent que les bénéfices reliés aux marques convergent vers une structure à deux facteurs – les facteurs fonctionnels et symboliques. Dans la mesure où le choix d’une marque reflète les aspirations qu’une personne cherche à satisfaire au travers de sa possession, les gestionnaires en marketing pourraient utiliser cette échelle pour mesurer les bénéfices associés aux marques qu’ils commercialisent dans un contexte nord-africain.
    Keywords: Utilitaire ,Échelle ,Fonctionnel ,Symbolique ,Marque ,Bénéfices ,Affectif ,Expérientiel ,Économies
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Mascagni, Giulia; Santoro, Fabrizio
    Abstract: This paper reviews existing initiatives on taxpayer education in Africa, an area that has been largely under-researched in the literature. We start by providing an overview of the wide variety of programmes that African revenue authorities have undertaken in this area, including both traditional training and more innovative approaches. We then ask how effective these programmes are, and what can be done to improve them in the future. We argue that more evaluation is needed in this area. We also highlight the importance of complementing technical training with broader educational content on the importance of paying taxes, fiscal exchange and transparency.
    Keywords: Governance,
    Date: 2018
  5. By: Nathan Fiala (University of Connecticut); Patrick Premand (World Bank)
    Abstract: Corruption and mismanagement of public resources can affect the quality of government services and undermine growth. Can citizens in poor communities be empowered to demand better-quality public investments? We look at whether providing social accountability training and information on project performance can lead to improvements in local development projects. The program we study is unique in its size and integration in a national program. We find that offering communities a combination of training and information on project quality leads to significant improvements in household welfare. However, providing either social accountability training or project quality information by itself has no welfare effect. These results are concentrated in areas that are reported by local officials as more corrupt or mismanaged, suggesting local agents have significant information about where corruption and mismanagement is worse. We show evidence that the impacts come in part from community members increasing their monitoring of local projects, making more complaints to local and central officials and increasing cooperation. We also find modest improvements in people’s trust in the central government. The results suggest that government-led, large-scale social accountability programs can strengthen communities’ ability to address corruption and mismanagement as well as improve services.
    Keywords: Social accountability; community training; scorecards; corruption; service delivery
    JEL: D7 H4 O1
    Date: 2018–04
  6. By: Zuhumnan Dapel (Center for Global Development)
    Abstract: Drawing on six sweeps of household surveys of Nigeria that together span 1980–2010 with a pooled sample size of about 97,000 households and data on Nigeria’s age-gender-specific life expectancy from the World Health Organization, this paper shows that about 72 percent to 91 percent of Nigeria’s poor are at risk of spending their entire life below the poverty line. To show this, I estimate the duration of poverty spells and link this to the average age of the poor and to the life expectancy. I find that the poor are expected to escape poverty at the age of 85.46 years on average. However, there is heterogeneity in the exit time, with the transient poor averaging 3–7 years below the poverty line and the chronically poor averaging 37 years or more. Given these exit times and life expectancy, the mean age of the poor at their expected time of escaping poverty exceeds the average life expectancy, meaning some of the poor are not guaranteed to escape poverty in their remaining lifetime. The implication is that growth in Nigeria has not been sufficient nor has it demonstrated the potential to help the poor break free from poverty. However, like Brazil, Nigeria can significantly reduce poverty without absolute reliance on economic growth by reducing its high inflation rate and substantially expanding its social security and social assistance transfers.
    Keywords: Nigeria, Poverty, Growth, Life expectancy, duration of poverty spell
    Date: 2018–04–30
  7. By: Hlalefang Khobai (Department of Economics, Nelson Mandela University); Khumbuzile Dladla (Department of Economics, Nelson Mandela University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of taxation on economic growth in South Africa. Yearly data for South Africa for the period 1981 – 2016 was used to develop the Auto-Regressive Distribution Lag (ARDL) approach. The empirical results confirm that there is a negative relationship between taxes and economic growth in South Africa. The findings of the study include that economic growth, trade and openness, capital and taxes are co-integrated. This paper suggests that fiscal policy is very important to force sustainable economic growth in South Africa.
    Keywords: Taxation, Economic growth, Auto-regression Distribution Lag Model (ARDL), Co-integration, South Africa.
    JEL: E27 H20
    Date: 2018–05
  8. By: Simplice Asongu (Yaoundé/Cameroun); Nicholas Odhiambo (Pretoria, South Africa)
    Abstract: The Quiet Life Hypothesis (QLH) is the pursuit of less efficiency by firms. In this study, we assess if powerful banks in the African banking industry are increasing financial access. The QLH is therefore consistent with the pursuit of financial intermediation inefficiency by large banks. To investigate the hypothesis, we first estimate the Lerner index. Then, using Two Stage Least Squares, we assess the effect of the Lerner index on financial access proxied by loan price and loan quantity. The empirical evidence is based on a panel of 162 banks from 42 African countries for the period 2001-2011. The findings support the QLH, although quiet life is driven by the below-median Lerner index sub-sample. Policy implications are discussed.
    Keywords: Financial access; Bank performance; Africa
    JEL: D40 G20 G29 L10 O55
    Date: 2018–01

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