nep-afr New Economics Papers
on Africa
Issue of 2024‒03‒04
five papers chosen by
Sam Sarpong, Xiamen University Malaysia Campus

  1. Misinformation technology: Internet use and political misperceptions in Africa By Joël Cariolle; Yasmine Elkhateeb; Mathilde Maurel
  2. The Impact of China’s “Stadium Diplomacy” on Local Economic Development in Sub-Saharan Africa By Lindlacher Valentin; Gustav Pirich
  3. Fraying Threads: Exclusion and Conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa By Hany Abdel-Latif; Mr. Mahmoud El-Gamal
  4. Financial inclusion through digital channels and the growth-inequality-poverty triangle: Evidence from Africa By Wale-Awe, Olawale; Evans, Olaniyi
  5. Inherited Inequality: A General Framework and an Application to South Africa By Brunori, Paolo; Ferreira, Francisco H. G.; Salas-Rojo, Pedro

  1. By: Joël Cariolle (FERDI - Fondation pour les Etudes et Recherches sur le Développement International, CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - IRD - Institut de Recherche pour le Développement - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne); Yasmine Elkhateeb (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Department of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University); Mathilde Maurel (FERDI - Fondation pour les Etudes et Recherches sur le Développement International, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: The use of the Internet to access news has an impact on African citizens' perceptions of democracy. Using repeated cross-sectional data from the Afrobarometer survey across 35 African countries over the period 2011-2018, along with an instrumental variable approach, allows addressing potential endogeneity bias between Internet use and citizens' perceptions. The results indicate that using the Internet to obtain information has a significant negative effect on both the preference for and the perception of the extent of democracy. This negative effect is due to several factors. First, Internet use erodes trust in government institutions, mainly in the parliament and the ruling party. It increases the perception that parliament members are involved in corruption. In addition, the erosion of trust is correlated with more political mobilization, in the form of greater participation in demonstrations and voting. These results echo the existing literature and, in particular, hint at the risks of reversal of nascent democratization processes. Finally, the Internet seems to act as a misinformation channel. On the one hand, Internet users' perception of the extent of democracy and perception of the corruption of legislators diverge from experts' assessments. On the other hand, Internet use increases the likelihood of inconsistency in respondents' stances on their preference for democracy. The Internet is not a neutral information channel: it tends to undermine citizens' preference for democracy while also altering perceptions about political institutions.
    Keywords: Internet, Democracy, Misinformation, Africa, Media & democracy
    Date: 2024–01–29
  2. By: Lindlacher Valentin; Gustav Pirich
    Abstract: This study investigates the economic impact of China’s “stadium diplomacy” in Sub-Saharan Africa. Exploiting the staggered timing of the construction in a difference-in-differences framework, we analyze the effect of Chinese-built and financed stadiums on local economic development. Employing nighttime light satellite data, we provide both an aggregate and spatially disaggregated assessment of these investments. We find that a stadium’s city nighttime light intensity increases by 25 percent, on average, after stadium completion. The stadium’s direct surrounding increases by 34 percent, on average, in its nighttime light activity. The effects can be attributed to the stadiums but are not only visible close to the stadium’s location. The effect remains strong when controlling for other local Chinese investments. Thus, we find evidence for beneficial effects of Chinese-built and financed stadiums on local economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa, contrasting with the widely held notion that China’s development finance projects constitute “white elephants”.
    Keywords: stadium diplomacy, regional development, nighttime light, local public infrastructure, Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: O18 R11 O55 R53 Z20
    Date: 2024
  3. By: Hany Abdel-Latif; Mr. Mahmoud El-Gamal
    Abstract: This study investigates the factors leading to exclusion and their detrimental impacts in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). It employs two-levels of analysis: a macro-level estimation of the influence of exclusion and marginalization on violent conflict, and a micro-level investigation identifying the triggers of exclusion sentiments. We construct statistical summaries from multiple measures of exclusion, producing an overall exclusion index as well as social, economic, and political exclusion sub-indices. Our results show the importance of mitigating exclusion and marginalization within SSA nations, and pinpoint the most effective policy levers that governments may use to minimize destabilizing feelings of exclusion.
    Keywords: Sub-Saharan Africa; Conflict; Social exclusion; Political exclusion; Economic exclusion
    Date: 2024–01–12
  4. By: Wale-Awe, Olawale; Evans, Olaniyi
    Abstract: This study investigates the causal relationship between digital financial inclusion (DFI) and the growth-inequality-poverty triangle in a panel of 42 African countries for the period 1995 to 2018. Simultaneous-equations models, the two-step system generalized method of moments (GMM) versus the default one-step approach, and Toda Yamamoto causality test are used to investigate this relationship. The main results provide evidence that digital financial inclusion has significant negative effects on poverty and inequality, but significant positive effects on growth of GDP per capita, implying that increase in DFI is associated with reduction in poverty and inequality, but increase in economic growth. The implication is that DFI can promote economic growth, as well as alleviate poverty and stem the tide of inequality. The empirical results further show that there is unidirectional causality flowing from DFI to growth and inequality while bi-directional causality exists between DFI and poverty. Interestingly, there is bi-directional causality between growth and inequality, growth, and poverty, as well as between inequality and poverty. Overall, the findings imply that improving digital access to financial services across the continent is essential to increasing income levels, alleviating poverty, and aiding more even distribution of income. Future studies can improve on the extant literature by exploring whether the established findings withstand empirical analysis within country-specific settings.
    Keywords: Bitcoin returns, efficient market hypothesis, long memory in volatility, cryptocurrency
    JEL: G1 G10 O1 O12
    Date: 2023–01–06
  5. By: Brunori, Paolo; Ferreira, Francisco H. G.; Salas-Rojo, Pedro
    Abstract: Scholars have sought to quantify the extent of inequality which is inherited from past generations in many different ways, including a large body of work on intergenerational mobility and inequality of opportunity. This paper makes three contributions to that broad literature. First, we show that many of the most prominent approaches to measuring mobility or inequality of opportunity fit within a general framework which involves, as a first step, a calculation of the extent to which inherited circumstances can predict current incomes. The importance of prediction has led to recent applications of machine learning tools to solve the model selection challenge in the presence of competing upward and downward biases. Our second contribution is to apply transformation trees to the computation of inequality of opportunity. Because the algorithm is built on a likelihood maximization that involves splitting the sample into groups with the most salient differences between their conditional cumulative distributions, it is particularly well-suited to measuring ex-post inequality of opportunity, following Roemer (1998). Our third contribution is to apply the method to data from South Africa, arguably the world’s most unequal country, and find that almost three-quarters of its current inequality is inherited from predetermined circumstances, with race playing the largest role, but parental background also making an important contribution. (Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality Working Paper)
    Date: 2024–01–22

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