nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2019‒09‒09
four papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Migration, Innovation, and Growth: An African Story? By Mbaye, Linguère Mously; Tani, Massimiliano
  2. Innovation technology and environmental sustainability in the case of Tunisia By Fethi Amri
  3. Natural disasters and economic growth in Africa By Adjei-Mantey, Kwame; Adusah-Poku, Frank
  4. How did Christianity expand in sub-Saharan Africa to become the continent’s dominant religion? Using annual panel data on all Christian missions from 1751 to 1932 in Ghana, as well as cross-sectional data on missions for 43 sub-Saharan African countries in 1900 and 1924, we shed light on the spatial dynamics and determinants of this religious diffusion process. Missions expanded into healthier, safer, more accessible, and more developed areas, privileging these locations first. Results are confirmed for selected factors using various identification strategies. This pattern has implications for extensive literature using missions established during colonial times as a source of variation to study the longterm economic effects of religion, human capital and culture. Our results provide a less favourable account of the impact of Christian missions on modern African economic development. We also highlight the risks of omission and endogenous measurement error biases when using historical data and events for identification. By Remi Jedwab; Felix Meier zu Selhausen; Alexander Moradi

  1. By: Mbaye, Linguère Mously (African Development Bank); Tani, Massimiliano (University of New South Wales)
    Abstract: This chapter brings new evidence on the relationship between short-term labour mobility, as proxied by tourism flows, and innovation in Africa. Using data from 34 African countries over the period 2011-2016 sourced from the World Bank’s Enterprise Survey, we find that short–term mobility positively contributes to innovation, making this a potentially effective channel for economic development alongside established determinants such as investments in R&D, foreign direct investments, and trade. Short-term labour mobility thus emerges in Africa, too, as a prospective policy lever to generate new productive knowledge and promote sustainable economic growth.
    Keywords: Africa, innovation, business visits, labour mobility, migration
    JEL: J61 O15 O33
    Date: 2019–08
  2. By: Fethi Amri (University of Carthage, Faculty of Economics and Management of Nabeul)
    Abstract: This study examines the relationship between innovation and environmental sustainability in Tunisia over the 1971-2014 period. For this reason, the autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) with break-point method and the Granger causality tests are performed. In the current study, the total patent is considered as a measure of innovation. Our outcome goes in the direction of non-acceptance of the Kuznets hypothesis. In addition, the impact of energy consumption on CO2 emissions is positive. Moreover, even if the effect of technological innovation is directly insignificant, it indirectly contributes to lessen the effect of energy consumption. Furthermore, in the long and short terms, there are feedback links between economic growth and energy consumption, between pollution and both economic growth and energy consumption. In the long and short runs, there is also a one-way impact going from technological innovation variable to energy consumption one while there is no causality between technological innovation on the one hand and economic growth and CO2 emissions on the other hand. Consequently, policy makers should stimulate innovatively and enhance technologic capacity in Tunisia.
    Date: 2019–08–21
  3. By: Adjei-Mantey, Kwame; Adusah-Poku, Frank
    Abstract: The continent of Africa has experienced its fair share of natural disasters historically and in contemporary times. The effect of natural disasters on economic growth has generated useful but inconclusive debates in the literature. Different studies have found positive, negative or no significant effects at all in some cases of disasters on growth. This makes the question of what impacts natural disasters have on an economy’s growth a purely empirical one and more meaningful to be examined on a case by case basis. Using panel data solely for the continent of Africa from 1980-2015, our regression results show a significant negative effect of natural disasters on economic growth, growth in agricultural value-added and growth in industrial value-added. Additionally, our results also show that disaster effect appears and persists in the post-year periods. The negative relationship between economic growth and disasters is also robust to different disaster measures. We recommend the need to invest in the modernization of the agricultural sector in Africa with the goal of withstanding the negative effects of natural disasters.
    Keywords: Africa, economic growth, disaster measures, natural disasters, climate change
    JEL: O44 O47 Q54
    Date: 2019–03–01
  4. By: Remi Jedwab (Department of Economics, George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA); Felix Meier zu Selhausen (Department of Economics, University of Sussex, Jubilee Building, Falmer, East Sussex, UK); Alexander Moradi (Faculty of Economics and Management, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Bolzano, Italy)
    Keywords: Economics of Religion; Religious Diffusion; Path Dependence; Economic Development; Compression of History; Measurement; Christianity; Africa
    JEL: N3 N37 N95 Z12 O12 O15
    Date: 2019–05

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