nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2018‒06‒18
five papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Maize and Precolonial Africa By Jevan Cherniwchan; Juan Moreno-Cruz
  2. FDI as a contributing factor to economic growth in Burkina Faso: How true is this? By Zandile Zezethu; Andrew Phiri
  3. Modelling heterogeneous speculation in Ghana’s foreign exchange market: Evidence from ARFIMA-FIGARCH and Semi-Parametric methods By Omane-Adjepong, Maurice; Boako, Gidoen; Alagidede, Paul
  4. Mobile Phones and Mozambique Farmers: Less Asymmetric Information and More Trader Competition? By Wouter Zant
  5. Three Decades of Poverty Mobility in Nigeria: The Trapped, the Freed, and the Never Trapped By Zuhumnan Dapel

  1. By: Jevan Cherniwchan; Juan Moreno-Cruz
    Abstract: Columbus’s arrival in the New World triggered an unprecedented movement of people and crops across the Atlantic Ocean. We study an overlooked part of this Columbian Exchange: the effects of New World crops in Africa. Specifically, we test the hypothesis that the introduction of maize increased population density and Trans-Atlantic slave exports in precolonial Africa. We find robust empirical support for these predictions. We also find little evidence to suggest maize increased economic growth or reduced conflict. Our results suggest that rather than stimulating development, the introduction of maize simply increased the supply of slaves during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.
    Keywords: Africa, Columbian exchange, maize, slave trades
    JEL: N57 O13 Q10
    Date: 2018
  2. By: Zandile Zezethu (Department of Economics, Nelson Mandela University); Andrew Phiri (Department of Economics, Nelson Mandela University)
    Abstract: Much emphasis has been placed on attracting FDI into Burkina Faso as a catalyst for improved economic growth within the economy. Against the lack of empirical evidence evaluating this claim, we use data collected from 1970 to 2017 to investigate the FDI-growth nexus for the country using the ARDL bounds cointegration analysis. Our empirical model is derived from endogenous growth theoretical framework in which FDI may have direct or spillover effects on economic growth via improved human capital development as well technological developments reflected in urbanization and improved export growth. Our findings fail to establish any direct or indirect effects of FDI on economic growth except for FDI’s positive interaction with export-oriented growth, albeit being constrained to the short-run. Therefore, in summing up our recommendations, political reforms and the building of stronger economic ties with the international community in order to raise investor confidence, which has been historically problematic, should be at the top of the agenda for policymakers in Burkina Faso.
    Keywords: Per capita GDP, Convergence, unit root tests, nonlinearities, structural breaks, BRICS Emerging economies
    JEL: C13 C32 C51 F21 O40
    Date: 2018–06
  3. By: Omane-Adjepong, Maurice; Boako, Gidoen; Alagidede, Paul
    Abstract: In this paper, we explore the weak form efficiency of Ghana’s foreign exchange (FX) market and analyse the existence of speculative activity and correlated shocks in the market. We use high and low frequency data covering May 31, 1999 to November 30, 2017. For robustness, four rigorous methods are employed. Our findings are as follows: First, the efficiency of the FX market is non-homogenous. This gives very little room for speculative trading options, hence, we surmise that speculative activities cannot necessarily account for the self-driven shocks in Ghana’s FX market system. Second, the cedi/dollar market inefficiency is concealed in conditional returns, and toggles between persistence and anti-persistence for the high and low data frequencies respectively. Third, varying significant persistence is detected for the volatility returns for all market series, however, the evidence is more pronounced for daily-, absolute-, and conditional volatility returns. These data dynamics prove useful and should be considered when examining empirical behaviours of asset markets. In summing up, investors and policy makers could rely on the findings and their implications in making decisions on investment and exchange rate control system.
    Keywords: Correlogram; FX market returns; Long-memory; Speculative activity; Ghana
    JEL: C22 F31 G14
    Date: 2018–02
  4. By: Wouter Zant (VU Amsterdam)
    Abstract: We measure the impact of search costs on farmers’ and traders’ transaction prices in Mozambique by investigating to what extent the introduction of mobile phones has affected the margin between recorded maize producer and retail market prices, and by exploring if producers or traders benefit from possible margin changes. Estimations are based on weekly producer and retail market prices of white maize grain, from July 1997 to December 2009, for 15 major producer markets in Mozambique. We find a margin increase that varies from 4.5% to 9.6%, supporting a bias of benefits of mobile phones towards maize traders and hence not less asymmetric information and increased trader competition, but rather the reverse. Impacts on producer and market prices independently vary, but confirm the margin results. Estimation results are robust for non-random rollout of the mobile phone network and various other threats.
    Keywords: search costs; transport costs; mobile phones; agricultural markets; maize prices; Mozambique; sub-Sahara Africa
    JEL: O13 O33 Q11 Q13
    Date: 2018–06–15
  5. By: Zuhumnan Dapel (Center for Global Development)
    Abstract: Individuals do escape poverty during periods of overall rise in the poverty rate; they also transit into poverty during periods of overall decline in the poverty rate. A static poverty estimate drawn from independent cross surveys tends to obscure these details because it is unable to provide information on individual poverty experiences across time and space. In this paper, I explore six sweeps of household surveys of Nigeria (1980–2010) in an attempt to address these concerns. In addition, I test, by estimating poverty regressions, whether different processes are at work in determining chronic and transient poverty. Between 1980 and 1985, about 0.11–9.5 percent of Nigeria’s population escaped poverty. At the same time, 21.94–32.27 percent moved into poverty. Both transient and chronic poverty were higher in 1996–2010 than in 1980–1992. But transient poverty rose faster as the share of chronic poverty declined to between 3-55 percent from about 90 percent. Chronic poverty is less prevalent in Nigeria’s oil producing region and more prevalent in the country’s northeast, and poverty increases with household size. About 81 percent of those trapped in poverty farm, and 81.02 percent are from the north. Years of schooling has the strongest negative impact on chronic poverty; 74 percent of those never trapped in poverty have more than a high school level of education. Stepping up girls’ education can mitigate teenage pregnancies and consequently address population rise among the poor. In addition, increasing investment in human capital, through government spending, can help break the cycle of poverty in the north.
    Keywords: poverty, chronic, transient, mobility, synthetic, panel, Nigeria
    JEL: I31
    Date: 2018–06–01

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