nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2019‒06‒10
four papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Regional inequalities in African political economy: theory, conceptualization and measurement, and political effects By Boone, Catherine; Simson, Rebecca
  2. Intelligence and Slave Exports from Africa By Simplice A. Asongu; Oasis Kodila-Tedika
  3. Political Economy of Reform and Regulation in the Electricity Sector of Sub-Saharan Africa By Imam, M.; Jamasb, T.; Llorca, M.
  4. The escalating China-US trade dispute: economic and geopolitical implications for Sub-Saharan Africa By Uri Dadush

  1. By: Boone, Catherine; Simson, Rebecca
    Abstract: There is growing recognition in the economics literature that African countries are characterized by very large economic disparities across subnational regions. Yet the lack of systematic and reliable empirical data at subnational levels of aggregation has made it difficult to explore possible links between these spatial inequalities and political dynamics. This paper reviews some of the empirical literature that attempts to measure and compare spatial inequality within and acorss African countries, and asks whether and how it might be used to bring studies of Africa into dialogue with comparative political economy work on regional inequality in other parts of the world.
    Keywords: Africa; inequality; regionalism; political geography; urban-rural; political economy
    JEL: N0 Q15
    Date: 2019–03–11
  2. By: Simplice A. Asongu (Yaoundé/Cameroon); Oasis Kodila-Tedika (TKishasa, The Democratic Republic of Congo)
    Abstract: This article examines the role of cognitive ability or intelligence on slave exports from Africa. We test a hypothesis that countries which were endowed with higher levels of cognitive ability were more likely to experience lower levels of slave exports from Africa probably due to comparatively better capacities to organise, corporate, oversee and confront slave traders. The investigated hypothesis is valid from alternative specifications involving varying conditioning information sets. The findings are also robust to the control of outliers.
    Keywords: Intelligence; Human Capital; Slavery
    JEL: I20 I29 N30
    Date: 2019–01
  3. By: Imam, M.; Jamasb, T.; Llorca, M.
    Abstract: As part of their electricity sector reforms, Sub-Saharan African countries have established independent regulatory agencies to signal legal and political commitment to end self-regulation and provision of service by the state. The reforms aimed to encourage private investments, improve efficiency, and extend the service to the millions who lacked access to it. However, after nearly two and half decades of reforms, these expectations have not been met and the electricity sectors of these countries remain undeveloped. There are anecdotes that these outcomes are due to poor design, non-credible, unpredictable regulations, and political interference. This paper investigates the performance of the reforms in the context of government political ideology. We use a dynamic panel estimator and data from 45 countries from 2000 to 2015 to analyse the role of ideological differences in the effect of independent sector regulation on access to electricity and installed capacity. We find negative impact from independent regulatory agencies on installed capacity in countries with left-wing governments, while in countries with right-wing governments we find positive effects on capacity. Also, we find negative impact on access in countries with left-wing governments, while we find no significant impact for countries with right-wing governments. The results have interesting policy implications for private sector participation, increased generation capacity and access rates especially in countries with left-wing governments.
    Keywords: independent regulation, electricity sector reform, government ideology, dynamic GMM, Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: D73 Q48 L51 L94 O55 P16
    Date: 2019–05–19
  4. By: Uri Dadush
    Abstract: The trade tensions between the United States and China will cause only minor immediate damage to their giant economies. However, tariffs have important and diverse effects on individual sectors and cause heightened uncertainty. The main adverse effects on Sub-Saharan Africa will therefore be through global investor confidence, economic growth and commodity prices, and these effects could be severe if the dispute escalates further and endangers the rules-based trading system. The trade tensions are also a symptom of the growing rivalry between China and the United States, raising challenging questions for African development strategy and diplomacy.
    Date: 2019–05

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