nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2022‒10‒03
six papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
Xiamen University Malaysia Campus

  1. Logistics contracts and the political economy of state failure: evidence from Somalia By Elder, Claire
  2. Pension funds in sub-Saharan Africa By Owen Nyangoro; Githinji Njenga
  3. Determinants of government debt in sub-Saharan African countries: the role of conflict, governance, and economic factors By Princewill U. Okwoche; Eftychia Nikolaidou
  4. The Impact of Natural resources, CO2 Emission, Energy use, Domestic Investment, Innovation, Trade and Digitalization on Economic growth: Evidence from 52 African Countries By Bakari, Sayef
  5. Can food aid relax farmers’ constraints to adopting climate-adaptive agricultural practices? Evidence from Ethiopia, Malawi and the United Republic of Tanzania By Ignaciuk, Ada; Malevolti, Giulia; Scognamillo, Antonio; Sitko, Nicholas J.
  6. Optimal Assignment of Bureaucrats: Evidence from Randomly Assigned Tax Collectors in the DRC By Augustin Bergeron; Pedro Bessone; John Kabeya Kabeya; Gabriel Z. Tourek; Jonathan L. Weigel

  1. By: Elder, Claire
    Abstract: Scholars have long sought to understand how economic rents may inhibit the formation of effective and accountable government. Prevailing interpretations of empirical state failure do not adequately account for economic connections and rents. Based on in-depth ethnographic fieldwork and original source material from the Somalia context, this study shows how the dominance of the logistics economy, as a system of 'graft' endogenous to state-building, has contributed to empirical state failure. Empirical state failure is characterized by intra-elite struggle, endemic political violence, and insecurity including the threat posed by Islamic extremism. Contributing to the study of political settlements, political clientelism, and business-state relationships in Africa, findings from this study offer new insights for understanding how the dominance of logistics rents and lead firms within a political system may prevent the establishment of legitimate, centralized authorities. These findings contribute to the broader study of Africa's political economies which have experienced protracted civil war and post-conflict reconstruction. In conclusion, it argues how economic development, procurement reform agendas, and efforts to withhold or withdraw aid through economic sanctions fail to resolve endemic conflict and governance issues due to vested interests, elite fragmentation, and polycentric aid practices. Instead, both government policy and foreign interventions continue to empower lead logistics firms (as skilful political entrepreneurs) that destabilize the Federal Government of Somalia.
    Keywords: ES/P008038/1
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2022–07–09
  2. By: Owen Nyangoro; Githinji Njenga
    Abstract: The population structure the world over is going through a demographic shift, and the elderly proportion is projected to increase with population growth. This change is a matter of concern for sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries, where the majority of the people are young and the rates of both population growth and unemployment are high. A good pension system provides elderly assistance and is a source of savings for long-term investment.
    Keywords: Elderly care, Pensions, Saving, Sub-Saharan Africa
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Princewill U. Okwoche (School of Economics, University of Cape Town); Eftychia Nikolaidou (School of Economics, University of Cape Town)
    Abstract: In recent years, there have been growing concerns around the implications of large fiscal imbalances in sub-Saharan African countries (SSA). An ongoing debate focuses, among other things, on the determinants of public debt in the sub-region. Much of the recent work has, however, employed descriptive methods in quantifying the extent of the debt problem and in explaining the drivers thereof. Moreover, most studies only consider macroeconomic factors. Instead of focusing only on macroeconomic factors, this study considers the influence of conflict and governance. It employs a variety of panel methods, namely, the pooled OLS, one- and two-way fixed effects, and instrumental variables fixed effects to facilitate the comparison of results. The study finds compelling evidence showing that conflict and governance are important determinants of SSA's public debt in addition to the economic factors. Policy recommendations based on the findings are discussed.
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Bakari, Sayef
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to examine the impact of natural resources, CO2 emission, energy use, domestic investment, innovation, trade, and digitalization on economic growth in the case of 52 African Countries. To attempt our goal, we used annual data of 52 African countries for the period 1996 to 2021 which was estimated by using random effect model, fixed effect model and Hausman test. Empirical results indicate that domestic investment, exports, natural resources and final consumption expenditure have a positive impact on economic growth. Also, we found that labor force, imports and energy use have a negative effect on economic growth. However, we found that CO2 emission, innovation and internet use don’t have any effect on economic growth. The study recommends vital policies that should focus on promoting domestic investment, exports, natural resources, and final consumption to stimulate economic growth in African countries. Similarly, it recommends creating new strategies to manage the role of the active population, imports, energy consumption, CO2 emissions, innovation, and digitalization to make their effects influential in improving the economic growth.
    Keywords: Natural Resources, CO2 Emission, Energy Use, Domestic Investment, Innovation, Trade, Digitalization, Economic Growth, African Countries.
    JEL: C10 C22 C23 E22 F11 F14 J60 O31 O32 O34 O40 O44 O47 O49 O55 Q43 Q47 Q48 Q50
    Date: 2022
  5. By: Ignaciuk, Ada; Malevolti, Giulia; Scognamillo, Antonio; Sitko, Nicholas J.
    Abstract: The adoption of climate-adaptive agricultural practices (CAAPs) among resource-poor smallholder households is typically hindered by liquidity and risk constraints. Using an inverse probability weighted estimator that uses three waves of nationally representative panel survey data from Ethiopia, Malawi and the United Republic of Tanzania, this article examines whether food transfers help overcome barriers to the adoption of selected CAAPs. The results show that in each country analysed, receiving food transfers increase the probability of adopting at least one CAAP.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Security and Poverty, Risk and Uncertainty
    Date: 2022–05–16
  6. By: Augustin Bergeron; Pedro Bessone; John Kabeya Kabeya; Gabriel Z. Tourek; Jonathan L. Weigel
    Abstract: The assignment of workers to tasks and teams is a key margin of firm productivity and a potential source of state effectiveness. This paper investigates whether a low-capacity state can increase its tax revenue by optimally assigning its tax collectors. We study the two-stage random assignment of property tax collectors into teams and to neighborhoods in a large Congolese city. The optimal assignment involves positive assortative matching on both dimensions: high (low) ability collectors should be paired together, and high (low) ability teams should be paired with high (low) payment propensity households. Positive assortative matching stems from complementarities in collector-to-collector and collector-to-household match types. We provide evidence that these complementarities reflect in part high-ability collectors exerting greater effort when matched with other high-ability collectors. According to our estimates, implementing the optimal assignment would increase tax compliance by 2.94 percentage points and revenue by 26% relative to the status quo (random) assignment. Alternative policies, such as replacing low-ability collectors with new ones of average ability or increasing collectors’ performance wages, are likely incapable of achieving a similar revenue increase.
    JEL: D73 H11 H20 M50
    Date: 2022–09

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