nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2022‒07‒25
seven papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
Xiamen University Malaysia Campus

  1. Comparative Analysis of the Growth Impact of Pollution and Energy Use in Selected West African Nations By Ekundayo Peter Mesagan; Emeka Osuji; Hope Agbonrofo
  2. Structural Change And Trade Openness in sub-Saharan African Countries By Kabinet Kaba; Justin Yifu; Mary-Françoise Renard
  3. What drove the profitability of colonial firms?: Labour coercion and trade preferences on the Sena Sugar Estates (1920-74) By Sam Jones; Peter Gibbon
  4. Overcoming Data Sparsity: A Machine Learning Approach to Track the Real-Time Impact of COVID-19 in Sub-Saharan Africa By Karim Barhoumi; Jiaxiong Yao; Tara Iyer; Seung Mo Choi; Jiakun Li; Franck Ouattara; Mr. Andrew J Tiffin
  5. Labour market effects of digital matching platforms: Experimental evidence from sub-Saharan Africa By Sam Jones; Kunal Sen
  6. What lies behind South Africa's improvements in PIRLS? An Oaxaca-Blinder analysis of the 2011 and 2016 data By Martin Gustafsson; Stephen Taylor
  7. Historical prevalence of infectious diseases and sustainable development in 122 countries By Messono O. Omang; Simplice A. Asongu; Vanessa S. Tchamyou

  1. By: Ekundayo Peter Mesagan (Pan Atlantic University, Lagos, Nigeria.); Emeka Osuji (Pan Atlantic University, Lagos, Nigeria); Hope Agbonrofo (Pan Atlantic University, Lagos, Nigeria)
    Abstract: We adopt the FMOLS and Granger causality technique to analyse the effect of energy use and carbon emissions on output growth in selected West African economies, which includes Nigeria, Gambia and Ghana, from 1970 to 2019. Findings confirm that energy use enhances growth in the three selected West African economies. But in terms of significance, energy consumption is significant in Nigeria and Gambia at a 1% level of significance while it is insignificant for the Gambia. CO2 emission positively and significantly propels economic growth for the three selected West African economies. For Nigeria, causality evidence shows no direct influence among the variables. For Ghana, we find a bi-causal association between output growth and carbon emissions and a unidirectional causality from pollution to energy consumption. For Gambia, economic growth causes CO2 emissions. We recommend that the West African government reinforce their stand on a sustainable growth path through energy conservation.
    Keywords: Energy Use, Pollution, Output Growth, West Africa
    JEL: O44 O55 Q40 Q53
    Date: 2022–01
  2. By: Kabinet Kaba (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne); Justin Yifu; Mary-Françoise Renard (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne)
    Abstract: In this paper, we study the role of trade openness in the economic reallocation from the agriculture to the manufacturing sector in 34 sub-Saharan African countries between 1970-2016. The results show that the long term evolution of trade openness negatively impacts the long-run and the short-run dynamics of structural change. Moreover, this impact goes through aggregate exports not aggregate imports. By breaking down global exports, we find that commodities exports have a negative impact while manufacturing exports positively impact structural change. These results are explained by the fact that, contrary to Asian countries, African countries have failed to put trade at the service of industrialization by following the logic of comparative advantage. More precisely, they have failed to invest the revenues from commodities exports to improve the quality of infrastructure in order to remove the constraints on the relocation to labor-intensive manufacturing activities. Unlike previous studies, we address the endogeneity problem by using a dynamic ordinary least squares method after a pooled mean group method.
    Keywords: Industrialization,Structural Change,Comparative Advantage,Trade Openness,State,Africa,Infrastructure,Asia
    Date: 2022–06–01
  3. By: Sam Jones; Peter Gibbon
    Abstract: The magnitude of returns to colonial-era investments in Africa has been addressed in an extensive literature, as have the nature and legacies of extractive colonial institutions. However, the link between these institutions and the profitability of firms remains unclear. We reconstruct the annual financial records of Sena Sugar Estates in Portuguese East Africa (today's Mozambique) over the period 1920-74 to probe the contributions of forced labour and preferential trade arrangements to the performance of the firm.
    Keywords: Mozambique, Sugarcane, Forced labour, Trade preferences, Colonialism, Profitability
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Karim Barhoumi; Jiaxiong Yao; Tara Iyer; Seung Mo Choi; Jiakun Li; Franck Ouattara; Mr. Andrew J Tiffin
    Abstract: The COVID-19 crisis has had a tremendous economic impact for all countries. Yet, assessing the full impact of the crisis has been frequently hampered by the delayed publication of official GDP statistics in several emerging market and developing economies. This paper outlines a machine-learning framework that helps track economic activity in real time for these economies. As illustrative examples, the framework is applied to selected sub-Saharan African economies. The framework is able to provide timely information on economic activity more swiftly than official statistics.
    Keywords: Sub-Saharan Africa; Economic Activity; GDP; Machine Learning; Nowcasting; COVID-19; machine learning approach; data sparsity; GDP statistics; crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa; learning framework; Oil prices; Real effective exchange rates; Africa; Global
    Date: 2022–05–06
  5. By: Sam Jones; Kunal Sen
    Abstract: Can digital labour market platforms reduce search frictions in either formal or informal labour markets? We study this question using a randomized experiment embedded in a tracer study of the work transitions of graduates from technical and vocational colleges in Mozambique. We implement an encouragement design, inviting graduates by SMS to join one of two local digital platforms: Biscate , a site to find freelancers for informal manual tasks; and Emprego , a conventional formal jobs website.
    Keywords: Job search, Search frictions, Unemployment, Mozambique, Labour market outcomes
    Date: 2022
  6. By: Martin Gustafsson (ReSEP, Stellenbosch University and Department of Basic Education); Stephen Taylor (Stellenbosch University and Department of Basic Education)
    Abstract: Three international testing programmes, including PIRLS, point to educational quality improvements in South Africa during the period 2002 to 2019. The gains were substantial, relative to the steepness of improvements seen in other countries. What lay behind these trends? National education quality trends are not easy to explain, and this is seldom attempted in a systematic manner. This is in part because there is little guidance on the optimal methods to follow, methods which must inevitably employ a mix of statistical and non-statistical approaches. This paper offers a brief historical account of major policy and implementation shifts in South Africa's schooling sector, with a focus on the primary level, the level tested by PIRLS. A statistical analysis then employs an Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition, using the PIRLS 2011 and 2016 data in an attempt to identify factors that explain the improvement in reading scores between the two surveys. While this technique adds value to the analysis, there are serious limitations relating to missing values in the background questionnaire data and the fact that these questionnaires are international, and thus do not capture many local policy specificities. When viewed jointly, the historical account and statistical analysis point to improvements in the home background circumstances of learners, including more educated adults and increased access to digital technologies, playing an important role. Certain policy interventions are likely to have played an important role: a large expansion of participation in pre-school education; an increased focus on learning outcomes prompted in part by standardised national assessments; improved initial teacher education; increased provision and use of books in classrooms; and curriculum reforms.
    Keywords: PIRLS, educational improvement, Oaxaca-Blinder, South Africa
    JEL: B50 C21 I21
    Date: 2022
  7. By: Messono O. Omang (University of Douala, Douala, Cameroon); Simplice A. Asongu (Yaoundé, Cameroon); Vanessa S. Tchamyou (Yaoundé, Cameroon)
    Abstract: This study investigates the effects of historical prevalence of infectious diseases on contemporary sustainable development. Previous studies reveal numerous proximate causes of sustainable development, but little is known about the fundamental determinants of this widespread economic concern. The novelty of this paper lies in the adoption of a historical approach that sheds light on the deep historical roots of cross-country differences in sustainable development. The central hypothesis is that historical pathogens exert persistent impacts on present-day sustainable development. Using Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) and Two Stage Least Squares (2SLS) in cross-section with data from 122 countries between 2000 and 2021, we provide support for the underlying hypothesis. Past diseases reduce sustainable development both directly and indirectly. The strongest indirect effects occur through property rights, innovation, globalization and government effectiveness. This result is robust to many sensitivity tests. Policy makers may take these findings into account and incorporate disease pathogens into the design of international sustainable development.
    Keywords: infectious diseases; sustainable development, economic development
    JEL: B15 B40 I31 J24 Q01
    Date: 2022–01

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