nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2018‒08‒13
five papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Unobserved structural shifts and asymmetries in the random walk model for stock returns in African frontier markets By De Villeris, David; Apopo, Natalya; Phiri, Andrew
  2. Child Marriage and Infant Mortality: Evidence from Ethiopia By J. García-Hombrados
  3. Social Structure and Conflict: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa By Robinson, James A
  4. Regional Spillovers in Sub-Saharan Africa; Exploring Different Channels By Margaux MacDonald; Montfort Mlachila; Mustafa Yenice; Francisco Arizala; Matthieu Bellon
  5. Understanding child labour beyond the standard economic assumption of monetary poverty By Krauss, Alexander

  1. By: De Villeris, David; Apopo, Natalya; Phiri, Andrew
    Abstract: The purpose of this study is to examine the weak-form market efficiency hypothesis (EMH) for 8 African Frontier markets (Nairobi Securities Exchange of Kenya, the Nigerian Stock Exchange of Nigeria, Botswana Stock Exchange of Botswana, Zimbabwe Stock Exchange of Zimbabwe, Johannesburg Stock Exchange of South Africa, Egyptian Exchange of Egypt, Casablanca Stock Exchange of Morocco, the Tunis Stock Exchange of Tunisia). To achieve this purpose we employ unit root testing procedures which are robust to both nonlinearities and smooth structural breaks. To further allow for vigorousness in our empirical analysis we employ two time series datasets for each of the capital markets, namely daily and weekly time series. To the best of our knowledge, our study becomes the first, to investigate the weak-form EMH for all 8 African frontier markets whilst simultaneously accounting for asymmetries and smooth structural breaks. Our empirical findings suggest that most African frontier markets are not market efficient, in the weak sense form, with the exception of the Kenyan stock market and to a very much lesser extent the Botswana and South African stock series. Important policy and investor implications are drawn in our study.
    Keywords: Africa; Efficient market hypothesis (EMH); Unit roots; Nonlinearities; Fourier approximation.
    JEL: C21 C22 C51 G14
    Date: 2018–07–16
  2. By: J. García-Hombrados
    Abstract: This study uses age discontinuities in exposure to a law that raised the legal age of marriage for women in Ethiopia to investigate the causal link between child marriage and infant mortality. Using a fuzzy regression discontinuity design, the study shows that laws banning underage marriages could be an effective strategy to tackle child marriage and decrease infant mortality; and estimates that a oneyear delay in women’s age at cohabitation during teenage years causally reduces the probability of infant mortality of the first born by 3.8 percentage points. The impact of child marriage on infant mortality seems to be closely linked to the effect of delaying cohabitation on the age of women at first birth.
    Date: 2018–07
  3. By: Robinson, James A
    Abstract: We test the long-standing hypothesis that ethnic groups that are organized around 'segmentary lineages' are more prone to conflict and civil war. Ethnographic accounts suggest that in segmentary lineage societies, which are characterized by strong allegiances to distant relatives, individuals are obligated to come to the defense of fellow lineage members when they become involved in conflicts. As a consequence, small disagreements often escalate to larger-scale conflicts involving many individuals. We test for this link between segmentary lineage and conflict across 145 African ethnic groups in sub-Saharan Africa. Using a number of estimation strategies, including an RD design at ethnic boundaries, we find that segmentary lineage societies experience more conflicts and ones that are longer in duration and larger in scale. We also find that the previously-documented relationship between adverse rainfall shocks and conflict within Africa is only found within segmentary lineage societies.
    Date: 2018–07
  4. By: Margaux MacDonald; Montfort Mlachila; Mustafa Yenice; Francisco Arizala; Matthieu Bellon
    Abstract: After close to two decades of strong economic activity, overall growth in sub-Saharan Africa decelerated markedly in 2015–16 as the largest economies experienced negative or flat growth. Regional growth started recovering in 2017, but the question remains of how trends in the economies stuck in low gear will spill over to the countries that have maintained robust growth. This note illuminates the discussion by identifying growth spillover channels. The focus is on trade, banking, financial, remittance, investment, fiscal, and security channels, which are the most prominent and most likely to transmit growth trends across borders. In addition to bringing together findings from a broad array of existing research, the note identifies countries that are the most likely sources of regional spillovers and those that are most likely to be impacted, and provides estimates for the size of these channels. It finds that intraregional trade and remittance flows are an important channel for growth spillovers, while banking channels are less important but will remain a risk going forward. Finally, the note documents other important spillover channels through financial markets contagion, revenue-sharing arrangements in fiscal unions, commodity-pricing policies, corporate investment, and forced migration. The main takeaway is that the level of interdependence among sub-Saharan countries is higher than is generally assumed. Consequently, there is a need for additional emphasis on regional surveillance and spillover analysis, along with traditional bilateral surveillance.
    Keywords: Zambia;Zimbabwe;Congo, Democratic Republic of the;Congo, Republic of;Gross domestric product growth;Growth acceleration;Growth deceleration;Negative spillovers;Positive spillovers;Angola;Uganda;Mozambique;Namibia;Niger;Nigeria;Sub-Saharan Africa;Swaziland;Tanzania;Togo;Rwanda;Senegal;Seychelles;Sierra Leone;South Africa;South Sudan;Spillovers;Kenya;Lesotho;Liberia;Madagascar;Malawi;Mali;Mauritius;Ghana;Guinea;Guinea-Bissau;Gabon;Gambia, The;Comoros;Economic growth;Equatorial Guinea;Eritrea;Ethiopia;Benin;Botswana;Burkina Faso;Burundi;Cameroon;Central African Republic;Chad;growth
    Date: 2018–07–12
  5. By: Krauss, Alexander
    Abstract: Child labour is pervasive across sub-Saharan Africa. The common assumption is that monetary poverty is its most important cause. This paper investigates this hypothesis with empirical evidence by exploring structural, geographic, monetary, demographic, cultural, seasonal and school-supply factors simultaneously that can influence child labour. It is a first attempt in the literature to combine quantitative with qualitative methods to identify a broader range of potential factors—on the demand- and supply-side and at the micro and macro levels—for why children work in agrarian economies like Ghana. Interviews with the Minister of Education and with children enrich the multivariate regression results. The multiple sources of child labour appear to include, in particular, the structure of the economy, social norms and no returns to rural basic education. Policy responses are outlined especially on the demand side that are needed to help reduce harmful child labour that affects children’s education and later opportunities.
    Keywords: Child labour; Poverty; Agriculture; Africa; Child work; Ghana; Mixed methods; Methodology
    JEL: D13 I31 J23 J24
    Date: 2017–03–01

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