nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2019‒09‒30
six papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. The Old-Age Security Motive for Fertility: Evidence from the Extension of Social Pensions in Namibia By Pauline Rossi; Mathilde Godard
  2. Malaria Control and Infant Mortality in Africa By Denis Cogneau; Pauline Rossi
  3. Intelligence and Slave Exports from Africa By Simplice A. Asongu; Oasis Kodila-Tedika
  4. Fiscal challenges on the path towards universal health coverage in Benin By Elisabeth Paul; Jean-Pierre Wangbe; Fabienne Fecher-Bourgeois; Marc Bourgeois
  5. Supporting Education in Africa: Opportunities and Challenges for an Impact Investor By Francesca Marchetta; Tom Dilly
  6. The Africa Continental Free Trade Area: An opportunity to deepen cooperation on Regional public goods By Jaime de Melo

  1. By: Pauline Rossi (University of Amsterdam); Mathilde Godard (CNRS)
    Abstract: The old-age security motive for fertility postulates that people's needs for old-age support raise the demand for children. We test this widespread idea using the extension of social pensions in Namibia during the nineties. The reform eliminated inequalities in pension coverage and benefit across regions and ethnic groups. Combining differences in pre-reform pensions and dfferences in exposure across cohorts, we show that pensions substantially reduce fertility, especially in late reproductive life. This article provides the first quasi-experimental quantification of the old-age security motive. The results suggest that improving social protection for the elderly could go a long way in fostering fertility decline in Sub-Saharan Africa.
    Keywords: Fertility, Old-age pensions, Social security, Africa, Difference-in-differences
    JEL: H55 I38 J13 O15 O55
    Date: 2019–09–20
  2. By: Denis Cogneau (Paris School of Economics); Pauline Rossi (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: Has massive distribution of insecticide-treated-nets contributed to the reduction in infant mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa over the past 15 years? Using large household surveys collected in 16 countries and exploiting the spatial correlation in distribution campaigns, we estimate the relationship between the diffusion of bednets and the progress in child survival. We find no evidence of a causal link in cities, and no impact either in rural areas with low malaria prevalence. By contrast, in highly malarious rural areas where bednet coverage reached high levels, above 75% of households, infant mortality has been reduced by at least 3 percentage points, which amounts to 25% of the initial mortality. The identified impact is even higher for the children of mothers with no education. It lies at the upper bound found with RCTs, most likely because those were implemented in contexts with lower mortality and/or malaria prevalence.
    Keywords: Child mortality, Malaria, Africa, Foreign aid
    JEL: I1 J1 O1 F35
    Date: 2019–09–20
  3. By: Simplice A. Asongu (Yaoundé/Cameroon); Oasis Kodila-Tedika (University of Kinshasa, The DRC)
    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
  4. By: Elisabeth Paul; Jean-Pierre Wangbe; Fabienne Fecher-Bourgeois; Marc Bourgeois
    Abstract: Introduction: In its pursuance of universal health coverage (UHC), the government of Benin has launched an ambitious reform of the health sector governance and has recently started to implement a policy of mandatory social insurance for health through the so-called Assurance pour le Renforcement du Capital Humain (ARCH) project. This raises important fiscal challenges, both at the revenue mobilisation and at the spending levels.Aim: We analyse the fiscal challenges raised by the launch of State-subsidised mandatory social health insurance in Benin.Methods: We analysed fiscal data and ARCH documents, and performed interviews with over 40 representatives of the government, development partners, private insurers and other resource persons during two mission in Benin in March 2018 and April 2019. Results are presented along the three classical objective or functions of public expenditure management.1Results: The government of Benin faces important fiscal challenges to implement the ARCH social insurance project: (i) regarding aggregate fiscal discipline, the fiscal space is quite limited, there is little room for raising new revenues, hence the necessity to re-prioritise fiscal resources without jeopardising other areas; (ii) regarding resource allocation and use based on strategic priorities, purchasing of health services will need to be more strategic so as to increase allocative efficiency and equity; (iii) regarding efficiency and effectiveness of programmes and service delivery, the fluidity of the expenditure process will have to be improved, and more autonomy will have to be devoted to the operational level, so as to ensure health facilities are reimbursed in time for insured people’s health costs, so as not to jeopardize their financial equilibrium.Conclusion: Benin faces important fiscal challenges to implement its UHC policy, which are also faced by many other African countries. An important risk to be avoided is to ensure that the resources dedicated by the government to the social health insurance system are not compensated by a reduction in the financing of preventive and promotional health services.Reference(s):1. World Bank. Public Expenditure Management Handbook. 1998; Washington, D.C. 178 pages.
    Keywords: Universal health coverage; Financing; Benin; Africa; Fiscal space; Strategic purchasing
    Date: 2019–09–18
  5. By: Francesca Marchetta (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - Clermont Auvergne - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Tom Dilly (I&P - Investisseurs et Partenaires)
    Date: 2019–09–13
  6. By: Jaime de Melo (FERDI - Fondation pour les Etudes et Recherches sur le Développement International, UNIGE - Université de Genève)
    Abstract: The Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) signed in March 2018 aims to establish a single market across the continent. This challenge is also an opportunity to extend the provision of regional public goods beyond hard infrastructure. Peace and security, mining, and energy are such examples covered in the Africa Economic Outlook 2019.
    Keywords: AFCTA
    Date: 2019–09–13

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