nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2019‒09‒16
five papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Taxing dissent: The impact of a social media tax in Uganda By Levi Boxell; Zachary Steinert-Threlkeld
  2. Foreign Direct Investment Spillovers Within and Between Sectors: Evidence from a Developing Economy By Oluwasheyi Oladipo
  3. Causality between public debt, public debt service and economic growth: Evidence from South Africa By Saungweme, Talknice; Odhiambo, Nicholas M
  4. Factors Affecting the Adoption of Alternative Financing Methods for Startups by Africans in China By SANDRA OBIORA; YONG ZENG
  5. ECONOMIC GROWTH IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA, 1885-2008 By Stephen Broadberry; Leigh Gardner

  1. By: Levi Boxell; Zachary Steinert-Threlkeld
    Abstract: We examine the impact of a new tool for suppressing the expression of dissent---a daily tax on social media use. Using a synthetic control framework, we estimate that the tax reduced the number of georeferenced Twitter users in Uganda by 13 percent. The estimated treatment effects are larger for poorer and less frequent users. Despite the overall decline in Twitter use, tweets referencing collective action increased by 31 percent and observed protests increased by 47 percent. These results suggest that taxing social media use may not be an effective tool for reducing political dissent.
    Date: 2019–09
  2. By: Oluwasheyi Oladipo (State University of New York at Old Westbury)
    Abstract: With volatile global capital flows, the stability of FDI and its emergence as an important source of foreign capital for developing economies has renewed interest in its linkages with sustainable economic growth in developing countries. FDI is crucial as it influences production, employment, income, prices, imports, economic growth, balance of payments and the general welfare of the recipient country. Nigeria has attracted huge inflows of FDI over the last decade?from $1.14 billion in 2001 to $4.4 billion in 2016. Though FDI has been concentrated in the oil and gas sectors, the government is now seeking to channel it into the communication, manufacturing and financial services sectors.The broad objective of this study is to examine the spillover effect from oil FDI on the Nigerian economy: (i) is there positive micro linkage from the oil FDI on the domestic economy in Nigeria? (ii) are there positive spillover effects from oil FDI to domestic labor markets in Nigeria?We will trace which sectors/subsectors are recipients of these linkages. How have foreign oil multinationals helped the domestic firms in terms of technology transfer, and employment linkages? What are the linkages between the foreign oil companies and the domestic Petroleum Training Institute in terms of technology transfer on one hand and employment of the Institute?s graduates on other hand? Are the policies embarked upon to attract FDI and ensure its spillover to other sectors of the Nigerian economy sufficient to stimulate economic growth?
    Keywords: FDI, sectoral spillovers, economic development
    JEL: F21 O11 F35
    Date: 2019–06
  3. By: Saungweme, Talknice; Odhiambo, Nicholas M
    Abstract: This paper explores the causality between public debt and economic growth, and betweenpublic debt service and economic growth in South Africa covering the period 1970 ? 2017. Thestudy employed the autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) bounds testing approach tocointegration and the multivariate Granger-causality test. The empirical results indicate thatthere is unidirectional causality from economic growth to public debt, but only in the short run.However, the study fails to establish any causality between public debt service and economicgrowth, both in the short run and in the long run. In line with the empirical evidence, the studyconcludes that it is economic growth that drives public debt in South Africa, and that the causalrelationship between public debt and economic growth is sensitive to the time frameconsidered. The paper recommends that South Africa should prioritise the implementation ofappropriate policies and strategies that could drive economic growth in order to uphold asustainable public debt level.
    Keywords: Economic growth, Granger-causality, public debt, public debt service, South
    Date: 2019–08
    Abstract: Alternative financing methods such as Crowdfunding, and Peer-to-Peer lending in the past few decades are becoming more sort after means of business start-up financing. On the other hand, traditional financing methods such as bank loans are now more difficult to acquire especially across African countries. Taking a sample of 410 Africans in China, this study examines the factors that affect the adoption of alternative financing methods for business start-ups. The results show that internet usage in Africa and China, length of residence in China, and the capital intensity of the type of the business to be started are all significant factors to the preference and adoption of alternative financing methods by Africans residing in China. Seeing as research into Africa?s adoption of alternative financing is lacking, this study, this study provides insight where Africans are concerned.
    Keywords: Alternative financing methods, Traditional financing methods, Business Start-ups
    JEL: A12 G29 C15
    Date: 2019–06
  5. By: Stephen Broadberry; Leigh Gardner
    Abstract: Estimates of GDP per capita are provided on an annual basis for eight Sub-Saharan African economies for the period since 1885. Although the growth experienced in most of SSA since the mid-1990s has had historical precedents, there have also been episodes of negative growth or “shrinking†, so that long run progress has been limited. Despite some heterogeneity across countries, this must be seen as a disappointing performance for the region as a whole, given the possibilities of catch-up growth. Avoiding episodes of shrinking needs to be given a higher priority in understanding the transition to sustained economic growth.
    Date: 2019–03–19

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