nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2020‒05‒11
four papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
The University of Mines and Technology

  1. Exchange Rate Volatility and Tax Revenue: Evidence from Ghana By Ofori, Isaac Kwesi; Obeng, Camara Kwasi; Armah, Mark Kojo
  2. Polygyny, Inequality, and Social Unrest By Tim Krieger; Laura Renner
  3. Saving for Multiple Financial Needs: Evidence from Lockboxes and Mobile Money in Malawi By Shilpa Aggarwal; Valentina Brailovskaya; Jonathan Robinson
  4. The WTO's TPR coverage of SPS systems in Sub-Saharan Africa By Kolié, Michael

  1. By: Ofori, Isaac Kwesi; Obeng, Camara Kwasi; Armah, Mark Kojo
    Abstract: The need for the Ghanaian government to generate enough revenue for development is becoming increasingly crucial in this era of slow growth, growing unemployment and high debt. However, tax revenue performance over the years reveals an unstable pattern. One key factor that has been overlooked in the literature in terms of the determinants of tax revenue is exchange rate volatility. Coming from the background of volatility in Ghana’s exchange rate, could it be the reason for the instability in the trend of tax revenue? This question is the subject matter of this study. To estimate the effect of exchange rate volatility on tax revenue, the study employed the Auto Regressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) technique after the yearly exchange rate volatilities had been generated using the GARCH(1,1) method. The results of the study suggest that exchange rate volatility has a deleterious effect on tax revenue both in the short-run and long-run but the effect is more pronounced in the long-run than the short-run. The study recommends that the Bank of Ghana step-up its exchange rate stabilization efforts to reduce exchange rate risk imposed on international trade players.
    Keywords: Exchange rate volatility; GARCH; tax revenue; trade openness; foreign aid; Ghana
    JEL: A1 F1 F35 F36 H0 H2
    Date: 2018–10–22
  2. By: Tim Krieger; Laura Renner
    Abstract: This paper proposes three theoretical mechanisms through which polygyny may be related to social unrest. The mechanisms are related to different dimensions of grievance-inducing and, partly, greed-related inequality, which may occur in polygynous societies. These dimensions include (i) economic, reproductive and social inequality resulting in relative deprivation among non-elite men; (ii) inequality within elites when it comes to the distribution of resources and inheritance, both related to the relative position of dependent family members in a clan; and (iii) gender inequality in general. Using data for 41 African countries from 1990–2014, we provide evidence for these mechanisms and their relationship to social unrest. We find that especially the first and third dimension of inequality are correlated with social unrest. Furthermore, we consider several potential counter-arguments but do not find support for them.
    Keywords: polygyny, inequality, women’s rights, social unrest, Africa, institutions
    JEL: D74 J12 J16
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Shilpa Aggarwal; Valentina Brailovskaya; Jonathan Robinson
    Abstract: We test whether the provision of multiple labeled savings accounts affects savings and downstream outcomes in an experiment with 761 microentrepreneurs in urban Malawi. Treatment respondents received one or multiple savings accounts, in the form of lockboxes or mobile money. We find that while providing additional boxes increased savings by 40%, technical issues marred the efficacy of a second mobile money account. Both types of accounts had impacts on downstream outcomes, including farming decisions and credit extended to customers. We do not detect differential downstream effects by the number of accounts.
    JEL: D14 O12 O16
    Date: 2020–04
  4. By: Kolié, Michael
    Abstract: Agriculture is highly important to the sustainable performance of economies in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and a sound sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) system plays a key role in this respect. SPS measures are one of the many trade topics covered by TPR reports on WTO Members. Therefore, we found it interesting to explore the extent to which the WTO Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM) has contributed to providing a comprehensive picture of SPS systems in SSA countries, and venues for a more in-depth analytical framework. The main purpose of the paper is to present the coverage of SPS systems in SSA countries by TPR reports, and their main findings. It also opens the discussion as to whether the SPS analytical framework in TPR reports has been sufficiently comprehensive and beneficial in guiding technical assistance (TPR follow-up) activities in SSA. At the outset, we briefly present the strategic importance of agriculture in SSA countries, with a description of the link between an effective SPS regulatory system and the performance of agriculture. This paper is neither a comparative study on the work done by the WTO Secretariat and other organisations whose mandate is exclusively SPS related, nor a research paper to analyse SPS issues in SSA. For this work, the main source of our information consists of the series of TPR reports on SSA countries, particularly sections on SPS; standards, including inspections and conformity assessment; customs procedures; and agriculture policies.
    Keywords: WTO,Trade Policies Review Mechanism,agriculture,exports,Africa
    JEL: F13 N57
    Date: 2020

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