nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2023‒10‒30
four papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong, Xiamen University Malaysia Campus

  1. Balancing the Scales: Does Public Debt and Energy Poverty Mitigate or Exacerbate Ecological Distortions in Nigeria? By Uju Regina Ezenekwe; Kingsley Ikechukwu Okere; Stephen Kelechi Dimnwobi; Chukwunonso Ekesiobi
  2. Educational Assortative Mating and Harsh Parenting in Sub-Saharan Africa By Pesando, Luca Maria; De Cao, Elisabetta; La Mattina, Giulia; Ciancio, Alberto
  3. Climate Change and Health Transitions: Evidence From Antananarivo, Madagascar By Klein, Jordan D.; Rasoanomenjanahary, Anjarasoa
  4. Drought Shocks and Labor Reallocation in Rural Africa: Evidence from Ethiopia By Musungu, Arnold L.; Kubik, Zaneta; Qaim, Matin

  1. By: Uju Regina Ezenekwe (Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria); Kingsley Ikechukwu Okere (Gregory University, Uturu, Nigeria); Stephen Kelechi Dimnwobi (Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria); Chukwunonso Ekesiobi (Igbariam, Nigeria)
    Abstract: Amid Nigeria’s economic growth and energy challenges, the escalating public debt levels and persistent energy poverty raise critical questions about their potential impacts on the environment. Given the potential conflict between economic development, energy poverty alleviation, and ecological conservation, it becomes pertinent to understand whether increased public debt and efforts to address energy poverty inadvertently contribute to or alleviate ecological imbalances within the country. Hence, this research investigates the effect of public debt and energy poverty on the load capacity factor (LCF) in Nigeria. Using the STIRPAT model and annual data from 1990 to 2021, the study explores the relationships among total public debt, energy poverty, gross domestic product per capita, urbanization, and LCF. Descriptive analysis, correlation assessments, and unit-root tests precede the data analysis conducted with the autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) model and dynamic ARDL (DARDL) technique. Key findings reveal significant negative effects of urbanization and energy poverty on LCF. Additionally, the ARDL and DARDL procedure highlights a positive long-term relationship between public debt and LCF. Both ARDL and DARDL analyses show a negative short-term relationship between GDP growth per capita and LCF, signaling the need for sustainable economic practices. The study concludes with policy recommendations that aim to promote sustainable development and address ecological imbalances by tackling energy poverty and public debt challenges in Nigeria.
    Keywords: Public Debt, Energy Poverty, Load Capacity Factor, STIRPAT Model, Sustainability
    Date: 2023–01
  2. By: Pesando, Luca Maria (New York University); De Cao, Elisabetta (London School of Economics); La Mattina, Giulia (University of South Florida); Ciancio, Alberto (University of Glasgow)
    Abstract: Leveraging underused information on child discipline methods, this study explores the relationship between parental educational similarity and violent childrearing practices, testing a new potential pathway through which parental educational similarity may relate to child outcomes. The study uses data from Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) and Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) covering 27 sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. Results suggest that educationally similar couples are less likely to adopt violent childrearing practices relative to educationally dissimilar ones, with differences by age of the child, yet less so by sex and birth order. Homogamous couples where both partners share high levels of education are also less (more) likely to adopt physically violent (non-violent) practices relative to homogamous couples with low levels of education. Relationships are stronger in countries characterized by higher GDP per capita, Human Development Index, and female education, yet also in countries with higher income and gender inequalities. Besides stressing the importance of female education, these findings underscore the key role of status concordance vs discordance in SSA partnerships. Tested micro-level mechanisms and country-level moderators only weakly explain result heterogeneity, calling for more research on the topic.
    Keywords: education, assortative mating, child discipline, parenting, status consistency, sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: I21 J12 J13 O12 O15 O57
    Date: 2023–09
  3. By: Klein, Jordan D. (Princeton University); Rasoanomenjanahary, Anjarasoa
    Abstract: BACKGROUND Global climate change poses grave risks to population health, especially in low and middle income countries (LMICs). It both threatens the sustainability of nascent epidemiological transitions and raises prospects for counter transitions driven by indirect climate impacts on mortality such as those from reemerging infectious diseases and by direct impacts of extreme climatic events. OBJECTIVE We investigate how the relationship between climate and mortality has changed as Antananarivo, Madagascar progressed through the stages of the epidemiological transition focusing on enteric infection mortality in children under 5. METHODS Using death registration, precipitation, and temperature time series data spanning over four decades we model the climate-cause-specific mortality relationships during each stage of the epidemiological transition using generalized additive models. CONCLUSIONS While we find that childhood enteric infection mortality has become less sensitive to low rainfall and higher temperatures, it has become more sensitive to heavy rainfall. Mortality from other causes has also become less sensitive to high temperatures but has become slightly more sensitive to heavy rainfall while significantly more sensitive to low temperatures. CONTRIBUTION This is the first multidecade climate-mortality study of a city in Sub-Saharan Africa outside of South Africa.
    Date: 2023–09–22
  4. By: Musungu, Arnold L.; Kubik, Zaneta; Qaim, Matin
    Abstract: We study how rural households in Ethiopia adapt to droughts through labor reallocation. By using three waves of panel data and exploiting spatial-temporal variations in drought exposure, we find that households reduce on-farm work and increase off-farm self-employment in response to both short-term and persistent droughts, without abandoning family farming. Diversification into off-farm activities is driven by drought-related productivity declines in agriculture and contributes to consumption smoothing. Households with better access to markets and financial services find it easier to reallocate labor off-farm. Our results highlight the importance of strengthening the rural non-farm economy to enhance rural households’ climate resilience.
    Keywords: Labor and Human Capital
    Date: 2023–10–08

This nep-afr issue is ©2023 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.