nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2018‒10‒22
five papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Responding to the SDG16’ measurement challenge: the Governance, Peace and Security survey modules in Africa By Mireille Razafindrakoto; François Roubaud
  2. Does Social Pressure Hinder Entrepreneurship in Africa? The Forced Mutual Help Hypothesis By Alby, Philippe; Auriol, Emmanuelle; Nguimkeu, Pierre
  3. How Do African Firms Respond to Unreliable Power? Exploring Firm Heterogeneity Using K-Means Clustering By Vijaya Ramachandran; Manju Kedia Shah; Todd Moss
  4. Social Rootedness: Examining Ethnic and National Attachments in Ghana By Asante, Kofi Takyi
  5. Fiscal Convergence in Africa: What Role for Regional Economic Communities? By Vigninou Gammadigbe; Daouda Sembene; J.-A Tapsoba; Ismaël Issifou

  1. By: Mireille Razafindrakoto (IRD, UMR DIAL, PSL, Université Paris-Dauphine); François Roubaud (IRD, UMR DIAL, PSL, Université Paris-Dauphine)
    Abstract: This paper presents an ongoing initiative, built on practical approach and grounded in fieldwork experience, to produce harmonised statistics on Governance, Peace and Security (GPS) at continental level in Africa. The methodology consists of adding on standardised GPS modules to socioeconomic household surveys. In line with the usually promoted principles of inclusiveness and participation, the use of statistical survey among large and representative sample of the population is a good strategy to voice citizens’ views and concerns. The adoption of the 2030 agenda, which positions institution-building and governance issues as a cornerstone of sustainable development, provides a unique opportunity to consolidate this pioneering African experience. The institutionalisation of the production of GPS statistics by National Statistics Offices within the official statistics field can give the means to take up the Goal 16 measurement challenge. The paper describes the main methodological options for doing so and draws lessons and initial evidence from a dozen countries that have piloted the GPS survey module. Selected empirical results illustrate the analytical potential and policy relevance offered by this approach.
    Keywords: Governance, Household Survey, Add-On Modules, Peace, Security, Methodology, Official Statistics, Sustainable Development Goals, Development
    JEL: C83 D02 H56 O10 O43 O55
    Date: 2018–02
  2. By: Alby, Philippe; Auriol, Emmanuelle; Nguimkeu, Pierre
    Abstract: In the absence of a public safety net, wealthy Africans have the social obligation to share their re- sources with their needy relatives in the form of cash transfers and inefficient family hiring. We develop a model of entrepreneurial choice that accounts for this social redistributive constraint. We derive pre- dictions regarding employment choices, productivity, and profitability of firms ran by entrepreneurs of African versus non-African origin. Everything else equal, local firms are over-staffed and less productive than firms owned by nonlocals, which discourages local entrepreneurship. Using data from the manu- facturing sector, we illustrate the theory by structurally estimating the proportion of missing African entrepreneurs. Our estimates, which are suggestive due to the data limitation, vary between 8% and 12.6% of the formal sector workforce. Implications for the role of social protection are discussed.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Family Solidarity; Formal Sector; Africa
    JEL: C51 H53 H55 O14 O17 O55
    Date: 2018–09
  3. By: Vijaya Ramachandran (Center for Global Development); Manju Kedia Shah (Campbell University); Todd Moss (Center for Global Development)
    Abstract: In this paper, we apply a novel analytical technique—k-means clustering—to understand the relationship between the growth of firms and the availability of power in sub-Saharan Africa. We develop a classification of firms and show how firm clusters are distributed across industries and countries. Our analysis reveals a surprising degree of within-country heterogeneity in the experience of firms. While previous studies have found a positive relationship between the reliability of power and firm growth, we find that such a clear relationship seems not to prevail. In other words, some firms are able to cope with an unreliable supply of power while many others do not. This may be because firms self-select into industries which promise high returns despite anticipated power problems. Further research on the conditions determining entry would provide insight into why some firms succeed in a poor business environment, while others are unable to thrive.
    Keywords: electricity, power outages, Africa, firm growth, industrialization
    Date: 2018–08–20
  4. By: Asante, Kofi Takyi
    Abstract: The question of national unity has exercised the minds of researchers and politicians since the dawn of independence. But since the wave of democratisation in the late 1980s, ethnicity again has come under the spotlight as electoral competition highlighted the problem of divisive politics across the democratising world. In this study, I pose the question: what is the impact of alternative group loyalties on national attachment? Using a survey of 996 university students, I find evidence supporting recent reports of declining salience of ethnicity in Ghana. However, the effect of ethnicity on national attachment was counterintuitive. Conceptually, individualistic orientations undermined national attachment, while collectivistic orientations boosted it. I argue that rather than being contradictory impulses, ethnicity and national attachment are both underlaid by the same collectivistic orientation, pointing to the importance of social rootedness. I deploy qualitative and historical data to give substance and texture to these findings.
    Date: 2018
  5. By: Vigninou Gammadigbe (Université de Lomé - Université de Lomé); Daouda Sembene (Fonds Monétaire International); J.-A Tapsoba (International Monetary Fund (IMF)); Ismaël Issifou (LEO - Laboratoire d'économie d'Orleans - UO - Université d'Orléans - Université de Tours - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: The literature on Optimal Currency Areas (OCA) has identified several channels for the ex post justification of common monetary areas based on the synchronicity criterion. These include trade, cross-border investments, mobility of factors, mobility of goods and services, and fiscal convergence of member countries. We focus on the later for the African continent. We analyze the role of African regional economic communities (RECs) in convergence of fiscal policies from 1990 to 2015. Our estimates show that African RECs reduce significantly fiscal divergence between countries. We further find that common monetary areas are more effective in fostering fiscal convergence. This result is in line with the argument of self-validation of monetary arrangements in Africa, despite low levels of cycle synchronization and trade intensity.
    Keywords: Fiscal convergence,Common monetary areas,Africa
    Date: 2018–09–19

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