nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2022‒11‒14
six papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong
Xiamen University Malaysia Campus

  1. A structural analysis of foreign exchange markets in sub-Saharan Africa By Kaltenbrunner, Annina; Perez Ruiz, Daniel; Okot, Anjelo
  2. The Realities of Primary Care : Variation in Quality of Care Across Nine Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa By Andrews,Kathryn Gilman; Conner,Ruben Orion; Gatti,Roberta V.; Sharma,Jigyasa
  3. Remittance dependence, support for taxation and quality of public services in Africa By Konte, Maty; Ndubuisi, Gideon
  4. Motivating Teams : Private Feedback and Public Recognition at Work By Delavallade,Clara Anne
  5. Robust Trade Integration Indicators By Bouët, Antoine; Laborde Debucquet, David; Traore, Fousseini
  6. Using Mobile Data to Understand Urban Mobility Patterns in Freetown, Sierra Leone By Arroyo Arroyo,Fatima; Fernandez Gonzalez,Marta; Matekenya,Dunstan; Espinet Alegre,Xavier

  1. By: Kaltenbrunner, Annina; Perez Ruiz, Daniel; Okot, Anjelo
    Abstract: This paper presents detailed insights into the microstructural characteristics of several African Lower and Lower-Middle Income Countries (LLMICs) foreign exchange markets and the implications of these characteristics for macroeconomic management. It draws on 13 semi-structured interviews with 17 foreign exchange experts in central banks, banks, non-bank financial institutions, and research institutions in selected case studies (Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Uganda, and Zambia) and the City of London. The results show that whilst most case study countries have functioning foreign exchange interbank markets, these markets are oftentimes characterised by low, volatile and "lumpy" liquidity. These liquidity dynamics and uncertainty about future foreign exchange flows can lead to FX hoarding among foreign exchange market participants, further depriving the official foreign exchange market of liquidity. Moreover, they provide those with access to FX liquidity with significant market power and the potential to affect price dynamics. These microstructural characteristics, in turn have meant that central banks in African LLMICs remain key agents in foreign exchange markets to manage scarce and volatile liquidity patterns. At the same time though, these microstructural weaknesses complicate central banks' ability to deal with volatile foreign exchange availability and structural depreciation pressures. Whereas hoarding behaviour reduces the central bank's access to foreign exchange, low trust in domestic currencies puts serious limits on the extent of nominal depreciations central banks will be able and willing to tolerate. Overall, the results show the difficulties of moving towards floating exchange rates in the context of African LLMICs, characterised by concentrated export structures, low trust in their currencies, and shallow domestic financial markets.
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Andrews,Kathryn Gilman; Conner,Ruben Orion; Gatti,Roberta V.; Sharma,Jigyasa
    Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the centrality of primary care in protecting people’s health and well-being during and beyond crises. It has also provided an opportunity to strengthen and redesign primary care so that it will better serve its purpose. However, to-date there is limited evidence on the quality of service delivery in primary care. Service Delivery Indicators surveys have attempted to fill this gap. Using Service Delivery Indicators surveys of 7,810 health facilities and 66,151 health care providers in nine Sub-Saharan African countries, this paper investigates the quality of care across five domains to understand a citizen’s experience of primary care in his/her country. The results indicate substantial heterogeneity in the quality of primary care service delivery between and within countries. The availability of basic equipment, infrastructure, and essential medicines varies—public facilities, facilities in rural areas, and non-hospitals are more lacking compared with private facilities, urban facilities, and hospitals. In terms of patient care, health care providers’ ability to correctly diagnose and treat common health conditions is low and variably distributed. COVID-19 has catalyzed a long overdue health system redesign effort, and the Service Delivery Indicators surveys offer an opportunity to examine carefully the quality of service delivery, with an eye toward health system reform.
    Keywords: Health Care Services Industry,Pharmaceuticals Industry,Pharmaceuticals&Pharmacoeconomics,Health Service Management and Delivery,Hydrology
    Date: 2021–04–01
  3. By: Konte, Maty (Maastricht Graduate School of Governance, RS: GSBE other - not theme-related research); Ndubuisi, Gideon (RS: GSBE other - not theme-related research, Mt Economic Research Inst on Innov/Techn)
    Abstract: We explore the heterogeneous effect of migrant remittances on citizens' support for taxation using a sample comprising 45,000 individuals from the Afrobarometer survey round 7 [2016-2018] across 34 African countries. To correct for unobserved heterogeneity, we endogenously identify latent classes/subtypes of individuals that share similar patterns on how their support for taxation is affected by their unobserved and observed characteristics, including remittances dependency. We apply the finite multilevel mixture of regressions approach, a supervised machine learning method to detect hidden classes in the data without a priori assumptions on class/subtype membership or how remittance dependency affects support for taxation across the classes. Our data is best generated by an econometric model with two classes/subtypes of individuals. In class 1 where more than two-thirds of the citizens in our sample belong, we do not find any significant evidence that remittance dependence affects support for taxation. However, in class 2 where the remaining one-third of the citizens belong, we find a significant negative effect of remittance dependence on support for taxation. We further examine whether citizens' valuation of the quality of public services is an important factor in determining the classification of individuals into classes. We find that citizens who have a positive appraisal of the quality of the public service delivery have a lower probability of belonging to the class/subtype in which depending on remittances reduces support for taxation.
    JEL: D01 H41 O55
    Date: 2022–05–30
  4. By: Delavallade,Clara Anne
    Abstract: Aside from money, what works best to incentivize teams? Using a randomized field experiment, this paper tests whether fixed-wage workers respond better to receiving private feedback on performance or to competing for public recognition. Female school feeding teams in 450 South African schools were randomly assigned to receiving (i) private feedback: information on performance and ranking using scorecards, (ii) public recognition: public ceremony award for top performers, (iii) both feedback and award, or (iv) no intervention. The analysis yields two main findings. First, while private feedback and public award are more effective when offered separately, receiving feedback on performance boosts teams’ effort more than public recognition. Second, image motivation crowds out intrinsic motivation, especially for low-ability teams. This suggests that providing performance feedback can be an effective policy for leveraging intrinsic motivation and improving service delivery, more so than mechanisms leveraging image motivation.
    Keywords: Health Service Management and Delivery,Wages, Compensation&Benefits,Educational Sciences,Gender and Development
    Date: 2021–04–12
  5. By: Bouët, Antoine; Laborde Debucquet, David; Traore, Fousseini
    Abstract: Robust indicators are essential for tracking the progress made in regional trade integration. Although the bias of traditional indexes such as the share of intra-regional trade in total trade have been known for a long time, they continue to be used by various analysts and international organizations. In this technical note, based on the recent literature, we present new robust trade integration indicators that allow analysts to make dynamic and cross region comparisons without ambiguity. These new indicators shed new light in regional integration, particularly in Africa where the level of integration is not as low as one might think.
    Keywords: AFRICA, AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA, CENTRAL AFRICA, EAST AFRICA, NORTH AFRICA, SOUTHERN AFRICA, WEST AFRICA, indicators, trade, robust trade integration indicators, indexes
    Date: 2022
  6. By: Arroyo Arroyo,Fatima; Fernandez Gonzalez,Marta; Matekenya,Dunstan; Espinet Alegre,Xavier
    Abstract: In recent years, researchers have demonstrated that digital footprints from mobile phones can be exploited to generate data that are useful for transport planning, disaster response, and other development activities—thanks mainly to the high penetration rate of mobile phones even in low-income regions. Most recently, in the effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, these data can be used and explored to track mobility patterns and monitor the results of lockdown measures. However, as rightly noted by other scholars, most of the work has been limited to proofs of concept or academic work: it is hard to point to any real-world use cases. In contrast, this paper uses mobile data to obtain insight on urban mobility patterns, such as number of trips, average trip length, and relation between poverty, mobility, and areas of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. These data were used in preparation of an urban mobility lending operation. Additionally, the paper describes good practices in the following areas: accessing mobile data from telecom operators, frameworks for generating origin and destination matrices, and validation of results.
    Keywords: Transport Services,Telecommunications Infrastructure,ICT Applications
    Date: 2021–01–20

This nep-afr issue is ©2022 by Sam Sarpong. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.