nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2019‒05‒20
five papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. The Blessings of Medicine? Patient Characteristics and Health Outcomes in a Ugandan Mission Hospital, 1908-1970 By Doyle, Shane; Meier zu Selhausen, Felix; Weisdorf, Jacob
  2. Optimal local content for extractive industries: How can policies best create benefits for Tanzania? By Ellis Mia; McMillan Margaret
  3. Tax-motivated transfer mispricing in South Africa: Direct evidence using transaction data By Wier Ludvig
  4. Uganda’s oil: How much, when, and how will it be governed? By Wolf Sebastian; Potluri Vishal
  5. Rowing against the current: Diversification in Africa’s resource-rich economies By Page John

  1. By: Doyle, Shane (African Economic History Network); Meier zu Selhausen, Felix (African Economic History Network); Weisdorf, Jacob (African Economic History Network)
    Abstract: This paper sheds new light on the impact and experience of western biomedicine in colonial Africa. We use patient registers from Western Uganda’s earliest mission hospital to explore whether and how Christian conversion and mission education affected African health behaviour. A dataset of 18,600 admissions permits analysis of patients’ age, sex, residence, religion, diagnoses, duration of hospitalisation, and treatment outcomes. We document Toro Hospital’s substantial geographic reach, trace evolving treatment practices, and highlight significant variation in hospital-based disease incidence between the early colonial and early postcolonial periods. We observe no relationship between numeracy and health outcomes, nor religion-specific effects concerning hygiene-related infections. Christian conversion was associated with superior cure rates and shorter length of stay, and with lower incidence of skin diseases and sexually-transmitted infections (STIs). However, our findings indicate that STI-incidence was linked to morality campaigns and that clinicians’ diagnoses were influenced by assumptions around religious groups’ sexual behaviour.
    Keywords: Africa; Medical History; Missionary Medicine; Religion; Sexually-Transmitted Infections
    JEL: N01 N37 N47
    Date: 2019–04–10
  2. By: Ellis Mia; McMillan Margaret
    Abstract: Tanzania is rich with natural resources, which have significant potential to contribute to the country’s economic development.Several laws recently passed in Tanzania are dedicated to establishing linkages between foreign firms in natural resource extraction and the local economy. This paper documents this legislation and the institutions set up to enforce and monitor these laws.Effectiveness of local content legislation and the potential for firms in the mining sector to contribute to local development are then evaluated using a combination of qualitative and quantitative evidence. We then examine other developing countries’ experiences with local content legislation, drawing lessons for Tanzania.
    Keywords: Extractive industries,Local content,Mining,Natural gas,Natural resources
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Wier Ludvig
    Abstract: This paper provides the first direct systematic evidence of profit shifting through transfer mispricing in a developing country.Using South African transaction-level customs data, I directly test for transfer price deviations from arm’s-length pricing. I find that multinational firms in South Africa manipulate transfer prices in order to shift taxable profits to low-tax countries. The estimated tax loss is 0.5 per cent of corporate tax payments.My estimates do not support the common belief that transfer mispricing in South Africa is more severe than in advanced economies. I find that an OECD-recommended reform had no long-term impact on transfer mispricing but argue that the method used in this paper provides a cost-efficient way to curb transfer mispricing.Resources Appendix.xlsx
    Keywords: Multinational firms,Profit shifting,Tax,Developing countries,International taxation
    Date: 2018
  4. By: Wolf Sebastian; Potluri Vishal
    Abstract: We study Uganda’s journey to become a petroleum producer and provide estimates regarding the size and timing of the oil revenues to be expected. At an average US$38 per capita per year over a 33-year period, oil revenue by itself will not be transformational for the Ugandan economy, but it could provide a welcome boost.The question is whether the Ugandan government will manage to avoid squandering it, and will transform the country’s natural resource assets into productive assets. To this end, the government has made significant additions and changes to the policy and institutional framework that will govern the use of revenues, adapted from the Norwegian model.We study the framework put in place and identify a number of potential shortcomings. Weaknesses in public investment management further raise doubts about the transformational impact of the planned investments.
    Keywords: Extractive industries,Extractives,Oil,Petroleum revenues,structural change
    Date: 2018
  5. By: Page John
    Abstract: The exploitation of natural resources is a huge opportunity, but one that carries considerable risks. Relative prices in resource-exporting economies tend to push them towards economic structures dominated by the resource sector. This paper explores ways to achieve diversification in a resource-rich economy.It describes the relative price changes that accompany a resource boom and suggests policies and public investments to mitigate their impact. It explores some of the issues that influence the participation of local firms in the resource value chain and argues for broadening the options for diversification, through the development of ‘industries without smokestacks’ and investments in knowledge.
    Keywords: diversification,Extractive industries,Natural resources
    Date: 2018

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