nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2024‒02‒19
six papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong, Xiamen University Malaysia Campus

  1. Informal Sector, Competition and Labor Productivity in Africa: Evidence from Firm-Level Data By Sara Zouiri
  2. Trends in Temperatures in Sub-Saharan Africa. Is There Climate Warming?. By Luis Alberiko Gil-Alaña
  3. What Drives Attitudes toward Immigrants in Sub-Saharan Africa? Evidence from Uganda and Senegal By Becker, Malte; Krüger, Finja; Heidland, Tobias
  4. Digital divides among microenterprises: Evidence from sub‐Saharan Africa By Damien Girollet
  5. African Slavery and the Reckoning of Brazil By Nuno Palma; Guilherme Lambais
  6. Impact of Employment Support Programs on the Quality of Youth Employment: Evidence from Senegal's Internship Program By André D. Tsambou; Malick T. Diallo; Benjamin Fomba Kamga; Simplice A. Asongu

  1. By: Sara Zouiri (Mohammed V University in Rabat)
    Abstract: The informal sector, a key feature of African economies, can cause significant distortions that result in loss of growth and constrain countries’ development. Many papers have shown that at the firm level, the informal sector may impact the performance of the formal sector through competition. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between informal sector competition and labor productivity in the formal sector in Africa. To this end, we use data from the World Bank Enterprise Survey (WBES) conducted between 2009 and 2020 for 36 African countries. The regression results reveal a negative and statistically significant relationship between informal sector competition and labor productivity. The policy implications are twofold. First, policies to reduce the size of the informal sector and/or prevent negative spillovers from informal competition are required to improve productivity. Second, in order to stimulate the formal sector and promote its expansion, policy measures to improve the macroeconomic and institutional context of the region are needed.Length: 25
    Date: 2023–12–20
  2. By: Luis Alberiko Gil-Alaña
    Keywords: Climate change; time trends; long memory; temperatures; Sub-Saharan Africa.
    JEL: C12 C13 C22
    Date: 2023–11
  3. By: Becker, Malte (Kiel Institute for the World Economy); Krüger, Finja (Kiel Institute for the World Economy); Heidland, Tobias (Kiel Institute for the World Economy)
    Abstract: We explore whether attitudes toward immigration and their determinants known from well-studied high-income countries also hold in so far understudied low-income settings where the economic, societal, and geopolitical circumstances differ markedly. Using a causal framework based on experimental and survey data in Uganda and Senegal, we extend the literature by introducing a new concept - power concerns - to test whether perceptions of foreign influence in business and politics affect attitudes toward immigrants. Furthermore, we provide evidence of the perceptions of Chinese immigrants in Africa, whose increasing presence is highly controversial and politicized.
    Keywords: attitudes toward immigration, China in Africa, migration, experiment, conjoint
    JEL: F22 O15 O55
    Date: 2024–01
  4. By: Damien Girollet (BSE - Bordeaux Sciences Economiques - UB - Université de Bordeaux - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: AbstractThis paper investigates digital inequalities in usage within African informal sectors. In particular, we examine whether the uneven digital diffusion is embedded in pre‐existing socio‐economic inequalities. After identifying three segments of informal firms, we rely on multivariate and decomposition analyses to identify predictors of usage of digital technologies for business purposes and explain usage gaps between segments. Our findings suggest that digital inequalities are rooted in the vertical heterogeneity of informal sectors, with some firm characteristics significantly predicting professional use of digital technologies. In addition, we find that there are both common and segment‐specific levers for addressing digital inequalities between informal firms.
    Keywords: Africa, Digital divide, ICT, Digital technology, Informal sector
    Date: 2023–11–30
  5. By: Nuno Palma; Guilherme Lambais
    Abstract: More enslaved Africans disembarked in Brazil than in any other country in the New World. Using new archival data (over 12, 000 observations), we analyze the consequences of the slave trade. We build the first real wages and inequality series covering more than three centuries (1574 to 1920) in Brazil, and find that these were initially on a similar level to Europe, but as the slave trade increased, wages decreased and inequality increased. Real wages for unskilled workers became among the lowest in the world, and only recovered with the end of the slave trade. We use slave trade prohibition shocks (1808, 1831, and 1850) to estimate the causal effect of ending slave imports on wages and inequality. The first prohibition led to an average increase of 24% in unskilled wages and a decrease of 25% in wage inequality, while later prohibitions led to even larger wage increases. We propose a mechanism suggesting that the slave trade affected long-run development through a labor market supply channel.
    Keywords: historical living standards, real wages, welfare ratios, comparative development, inequality, slave trade, colonial Brazil, frontier settlement, synthetic control methods
    JEL: N36 N96 J31 J47
    Date: 2023–12
  6. By: André D. Tsambou (University of Yaoundé II, Cameroon); Malick T. Diallo (University of Gaston Berger, Senegal); Benjamin Fomba Kamga (University of Yaoundé II, Cameroon); Simplice A. Asongu (Johannesburg, South Africa)
    Abstract: Youth unemployment is major policy concern in Senegal. The country has in recent years, implemented several programs to combat unemployment and the precariousness of youth employment in the labor market. However, the results of these programs are to date hardly perceptible. The objective of this work is to assess the impact of employment support programs on the quality of youth employment. We provide empirical evidence of the effect of the apprenticeship program implemented by the National State-Employer Convention in facilitating youth access to quality employment. Job quality is determined using an index that captures multiple wage and non-wage dimensions of job quality. Using survey data on the improvement of employment policies from 2746 individuals, we use the endogenous switching regression method and the propensity score matching method to assess and compare the impact of the apprenticeship program on the quality of jobs held by young men and women. The results show that the apprenticeship program has a positive and significant impact on job quality. Indeed, we find that the quality of employment is better for young men and women who benefited from the internship program than for those who did not. We find, however, that there is a difference in job quality between males and females who received the program. The differences in job quality are explained more by differences in job characteristics but are not directly related to gender or age.
    Keywords: Youth, Labor market, quality of employment, Senegal, Apprenticeship
    JEL: J4 E24 O55 M53
    Date: 2023–01

This nep-afr issue is ©2024 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.