nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2018‒11‒19
five papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Thirty Years of Economic Growth in Africa By António Santos; João Amador
  2. Governance and social media in African countries: An empirical investigation By Asongu, Simplice A; Odhiambo, Nicholas M
  3. Can Big Companies' Initiatives to Promote Mechanization Benefit Small Farms in Africa? A Case Study from Zambia By Birner, R.; Adu-Baffour, F.; Daum, T.
  4. Validating a utility and trust in mobile banking scale in the South African context By Marko Van Deventer
  5. Climatic shocks and child undernutrition in Ethiopia: A longitudinal path analysis By Bahru, B.

  1. By: António Santos; João Amador
    Abstract: This paper examines the contribution of employment, capital accumulation and total factor productivity (TFP) to economic growth in African countries over the period 1986-2014. The methodology consists in the estimation of a translog dynamic stochastic production frontier for a set of 49 African economies, thus allowing for the breakdown of TFP along efficiency developments and technological progress. Although the heterogeneity amongst African countries poses a challenge to the estimation of a common production frontier, this is the best approach to perform cross-country comparisons. The results of our growth accounting exercise are more accurate for the contribution of input accumulation and TFP to GDP growth than for the separation between contributions of technological progress and efficiency. We conclude that economic growth patterns differ across African countries but they have been almost totally associated to input accumulation, notably in what concerns capital. The experience of Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa - the three largest African economies - confirms this pattern.
    JEL: C11 O47 O55
    Date: 2018
  2. By: Asongu, Simplice A; Odhiambo, Nicholas M
    Abstract: This study assesses linkages between social media and governance dynamics in 49 Africancountries for the year 2012. The empirical evidence is based on ordinary least squares andquantile regressions. Ten bundled and unbundled governance dynamics are used, notably: (i)political governance (entailing ???voice & accountability??? and political stability/no violence);(ii) economic governance (involving regulation quality and government effectiveness); (iii)institutional governance (comprising the rule of law and corruption-control) and (iv) generalgovernance (entailing political, economic and institutional governance). Social media ismeasured with Facebook penetration. The findings show that Facebook penetration ispositively associated with governance dynamics and these positive nexuses differ in terms ofsignificance and magnitude of significance throughout the conditional distribution of thegovernance dynamics.
    Keywords: Governance; Social media; AfricaGovernance; Social media; Africa
    Date: 2018–10
  3. By: Birner, R.; Adu-Baffour, F.; Daum, T.
    Abstract: After many years of neglect, there is a renewed interest in agricultural mechanization in Africa. This paper analyzes an initiative of the company John Deere and its dealer AFGRI to promote smallholder mechanization in Zambia. The analysis focuses on the impact of this initiative on smallholder farmers who receive tractor services and on the demand for hired labor. The results of a Propensity Score Matching (PSM) analysis indicate that farmers who access tractor services for land preparation can almost double their income by cultivating a much larger share of the land that they own. The analysis also suggests that the increased income is used for children s education and for purchasing more food, but does not result in increased food diversity. The findings indicate that the demand for hired labor increases due to the expansion of the cultivated area and due to a shift from family labor, including that of children, to hired labor. Questions that require further investigation are identified, including strategies to increase the incentives of tractor owners to provide services to smallholders; and strategies to avoid new forms of dependency of agricultural laborers that may result from a shift in the timing of the labor demand. Acknowledgement : We would like to thank all persons who were interviewed for this study. We gratefully acknowledge the financial support, which was provided by the "Program of Accompanying Research for Agricultural Innovation (PARI)", a program funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). We are also grateful to The Deere & Company, which enabled this study and funded the fieldwork of two Master students.
    Keywords: Agribusiness
    Date: 2018–07
  4. By: Marko Van Deventer (North-West University)
    Abstract: A widespread search of four large online academic databases, namely Sabinet Reference, EBSCOhost, Google Scholar and Emerald showed no evidence of a validated attitudes-towards-personal-financial-planning scale within the South African context. To fill this gap in the literature, the aim of this study was to describe the process undertaken to validate attitudes towards personal financial planning as a 13-factor structure within the South African context. The study followed a descriptive and single cross-sectional research design and used a survey self-administered questionnaire to collect the required data from a convenience sample of 334 Generation Y students registered at the campuses of two Gauteng-based public South African universities. The data analysis techniques comprised Pearson?s product-moment correlation analysis, multicollinearity analysis, reliability measures and confirmatory factor analysis using the maximum likelihood method. The findings of the analysis validate that the proposed measurement model of utility and trust in mobile banking is a 13-factor structure that consists of attitudes towards mobile banking, perceived ease of use, perceived behavioural control, perceived self-efficacy, trust in mobile banking, perceived integrity of the mobile bank, perceived relative advantage, perceived compatibility, behavioural intention to use mobile banking, perceived structural assurance, perceived information quality, perceived system quality and subjective norms. In addition, the measurement model revealed evidence of internal-consistency reliability, composite reliability, construct, convergent, discriminant and nomological validity. Furthermore, the measurement model displayed no evidence of multicollinearity between the factors and the goodness-of-fit indices produced by AMOS suggested a well-fitting model.
    Keywords: Utility; trust; mobile banking; confirmatory factor analysis; South Africa
    JEL: G20 M31 O30
    Date: 2018–10
  5. By: Bahru, B.
    Abstract: Climate change poses a serious challenge to achieving the SDG2 of ending hunger by 2030 and leaves billions of people at risk of food insecurity, illness, and malnutrition. This paper analyzes the long-term impacts of climatic shocks on the nutritional status of 1,911 sample children in Ethiopia. To this end, the study employed a linear mixed effect model, random intercept probit model, and structural equation modeling. Accordingly, climatic shocks are negatively associated with child nutrition. Moreover, early life exposure to climatic shocks is negatively associated with nutritional status at later age. Therefore, if appropriate measures are not taken, the predicted increase in the frequency of extreme events might slow down the secular progress in reduction of child undernutrition in Ethiopia. The role of other covariates was also analyzed. Accordingly, despite their biological and behavioral advantage, girls were more likely to be stunted than boys. This finding highlights the need for a gender-sensitive intervention and the role of intra-household food allocation during shocks. This study also revealed that program participation by drought-affected households has a positive association with child nutrition. Therefore, programs targeted to shock affected households might have a potential to smooth the impact of climatic shocks on child undernutrition Acknowledgement : The data used in this study come from Young Lives, a 15-year study of the changingnature of childhood poverty in Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam ( Young Lives is funded by UK aid from the Department forInternational Development (DFID). The views expressed here are those of the author(s). They are not necessarily those of Young Lives, the University of Oxford, DFID or other funders.
    Keywords: Environmental Economics and Policy
    Date: 2018–07

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