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  • Author: Samuel Kobina Annim
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper examines the combined effect of interest rates and poverty levels of microfinance clients on loan size. Cross section data on 2,691 clients and non-clients households from Ghana is used to test the hypothesis of loan price inelasticity. Quantile regression and variants of least squares methods that explore endogeneity are employed. We find the expected inverse relationship only for the 20th to 40th quantile range. The semi-elasticity of loan amount responsiveness to a unit change in interest rate is more than proportionate and significant for the poorest group only. Market segmentation based on poverty level is suggested in targeting and sustaining microfinance clients.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Markets, Poverty, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Danielle Resnick
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Electoral coalitions are becoming increasingly popular among opposition parties in Africa because they offer many advantages with respect to reducing party fragmentation and increasing incumbent turnovers. At the same time, however, they are often comprised of parties that are defined predominantly by their leaders' personalities and exhibit little differentiation in terms of their policy orientation. Based on a dataset spanning all opposition coalitions since 2000 in Africa's electoral democracies, this paper demonstrates not only that coalitions rarely defeat incumbents but also that they are only competitive when major opposition parties are involved. More significantly, the paper highlights that in many countries, a sizeable share of total electoral volatility is due to fluctuations in voting for opposition parties that have belonged to coalitions. The paper argues that such volatility reflects the inability of coalition members to build loyal constituency bases over time, which is critical for party development and broader consolidation.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Abdelrasaq Na-Allah
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Recent developments in policy initiatives as well as some current practical events have combined to put the spotlight on the issue of industrial embeddedness in sub-Saharan Africa. Though extant research documents some stylized facts, as determinants of its manifestations, their relevance to realities in the sub-continent, have until now been overlooked. Yet, it is difficult to ignore the fact that its constituent economies possess some peculiar attributes with potentially significant implications for embeddedness behaviour. Using data for the country of Lesotho, a probit model is estimated to ascertain the veracity of some of the widely acclaimed explanatory factors. We find, as we argue, that among all, the issue of supply potentials appears the most important.
  • Topic: Development, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Steve Onyeiwu
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper reviews the innovative capabilities and absorptive capacities of African countries, and investigates whether they have played significant roles in the region's slow and episodic economic growth. Results from cross-country regressions covering 31 Sub-Saharan African countries suggest that growth in Africa is not simply a question of capital accumulation, fertility rates, aid dependency, and stable macroeconomic environment. It is also about strengthening the capacity of African countries to assimilate and effectively use knowledge and technology. Contrary to the views held by many analysts, the growth of African economies does not depend so much on their ability to innovate, but rather on their capacity to absorb and effectively use new technologies. Beyond technological issues, the paper confirms the stylized facts that the size of the government and political stability are important for the growth performance of African countries.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Dominique van der Mensbrugghe, Maurizio Bussolo, Rafael E. De Hoyos, Denis Medvedev
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Over the past 20 years, aggregate measures of global inequality have changed little even if significant structural changes have been observed. High growth rates of China and India lifted millions out of poverty, while the stagnation in many African countries caused them to fall behind. Using the World Bank's LINKAGE global general equilibrium model and the newly developed Global Income Distribution Dynamics (GIDD) tool, this paper assesses the distribution and poverty effects of a scenario where these trends continue in the future. Even by anticipating a deceleration, growth in China and India is a key force behind the expected convergence of per capita incomes at the global level. Millions of Chinese and Indian consumers will enter into a rapidly emerging global middle class—a group of people who can afford, and demand access to, the standards of living previously reserved mainly for the residents of developed countries. Notwithstanding these positive developments, fast growth is often characterized by high urbanization and growing demand for skills, both of which result in a widening of income distribution within countries. These opposing distributional effects highlight the importance of analysing global disparities by taking into account—as the GIDD does—income dynamics between and within countries.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, India, Asia
  • Author: Mark McGillivray, Wim Naudé, Stephanié Rossouw
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: A small but growing literature has been concerned about the economic (and environmental) vulnerability on the level of countries. Less attention is paid to the economic vulnerability of different regions within countries. By focusing on the vulnerability of subnational regions, our paper contributes to the small literature on the 'vulnerability of place'. We see the vulnerability of place as being due to vulnerability in various domains, such as economic vulnerability, vulnerability of environment, and governance, demographic and health fragilities. We use a subnational dataset on 354 magisterial districts from South Africa, recognize the potential relevance of measuring vulnerability on a subnational level, and construct a local vulnerability index (LVI) for the various districts. We condition this index on district per capita income and term this a vulnerability intervention index (VII) interpreting this as an indicator of where higher income per capita, often seen in the literature as a measure of resilience, will in itself be unlikely to reduce vulnerability.
  • Topic: Security, Demographics, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: Christian Rogg
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper considers asset holdings in rural Ethiopia. It shows that households own mostly non-financial assets and that the composition of asset portfolios varies significantly with the household's overall wealth and its exposure to uncertainty. As regards the distribution of assets, inequality is lowest for land holdings and much higher for all other assets. More generally, asset inequality is higher than consumption inequality but, somewhat surprisingly, lower than income inequality. Less surprising is the finding that asset holdings are positively correlated with income and consumption. An analysis of how asset holdings vary with key demographic variables shows that assets increase with the size of the household and the education of the household head. Finally, the paper concludes by exploring the role that assets play in marriage markets in rural Ethiopia.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Frikkie Booysen, Ronelle Burger, Servaas van der Berg, Michael von Maltitz
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The study uses an asset index of consumer durables to track changes in household wealth in Ghana during the recent period of strong growth. Using the Ghana Living Standards Survey of 1998 that contains both wealth data and consumer durable data, the authors demonstrate that the asset index approximate marketable wealth adequately. Although asset index estimates of wealth cannot match the precision of wealth surveys, this approach can provide useful information on marketable wealth in countries where more appropriate sources are not available. The asset index analysis with the three demographic and health surveys for 1993, 1998 and 2003 suggests that the solid economic growth seen over this period has been accompanied by a strong rise in the average asset index scores.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Cheryl R. Doss, Carmen Diana Deere
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Only recently has it been recognized that women may not share in the wealth of men, even within the same household or family. Moreover, there is growing evidence that the gender distribution of wealth matters. This paper first reviews the available evidence for developing countries on the gender asset gap and finds that it is significant. It then considers the constraints on women's asset ownership with particular attention to the role of legal marital and inheritance regimes. The paper then turns to a more detailed examination of women's land ownership in Latin America and Africa. The final section considers the impact of women's land ownership on household income and welfare.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, International Political Economy, Third World
  • Political Geography: Africa, Latin America
  • Author: Alemayehu Geda
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Since 1992 Ethiopia has been engaged in liberalizing its financial sector. The hallmark of the strategy is gradualism. The approach is not without problems especially from Bretton Woods Institutions that saw the reform as a sluggish process. This study examines this liberalization program by analyzing the performance of the sector before and after the reform. The study notes that given the nascent development of the financial sector in the country, the relatively good shape in which the existing financial institutions find themselves, and given that supervision and regulation capacity of the regulating agency is weak, the government's strategy of gradualism and its over all reform direction is encouraging. However, we argue for charting out clearly defined time frame for liberalization and exploring the possibility of engaging with foreign banks to acquire new technology that enhance the efficiency of the financial sector in general and the banking sector in particular.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Esther Wiegers, John Curry, Alessandra Garbero, Shannon Stokes, John Hourihan
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: HIV/AIDS has a severe impact on food security, affecting all of its dimensions: availability, stability, access, utilization. FAO recognizes that HIV/AIDS is a determining factor for, as well as a consequence of, food insecurity. Although the relationships among gender, food security and rural livelihoods have been acknowledged in the growing literature on HIV/AIDS impacts, relatively few studies provide adequate focus and empirical evidence on the gender aspects of these interrelationships among vulnerable rural households. Such gender aspects of these relationships have been explored in detail by FAO in Namibia, Uganda and Zambia This paper presents the main findings of the four baseline studies and discusses the methodologies used to identify vulnerable households and document changes in resource availability, household labour force, livelihood strategies, coping strategies and food security status. These findings offer useful insights for policy formulation purposes and for the development of mitigation strategies that respond to the food security challenges of the epidemic.
  • Topic: Development, Gender Issues
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa, Zambia, Namibia
  • Author: Mina Baliamoune-Lutz
  • Publication Date: 09-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Using a vector error-correction model, I explore the short-run dynamics and long-run linkages between financial reform and the mobilization of domestic saving in Morocco. In the short run, financial depth (volume of intermediation) is shown to have a positive influence on private saving, while increases in real interest rates have a negative impact. The effectiveness of financial intermediation does not seem to have a direct effect on saving but has a significant influence on the volume of intermediation. In the long run, savings have a stable relationship with financial reform but the influence of interest rates remains negative, implying that the income effect dominates in the long run as well.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Morocco
  • Author: Johan Prinsloo, John Muellbauer, Janine Aron
  • Publication Date: 09-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Official balance sheet estimates for the household sector are not currently available in South Africa, yet, with the country's well developed financial sector and deep capital markets, asset market channels are likely to be important determinants of aggregate consumer spending and saving, consumer demand for credit and their broad money holdings. The current paper aims to produce comprehensive estimates of household balance sheets for South Africa. The paper draws, where feasible, on best practice from the Office of National Statistics of the UK and assesses the quality of the data sources and suggests areas where additional surveys or improvements in data collection procedures would be helpful to further improve the quality of the balance sheet estimates. Furthermore, quarterly balance sheet measures to 2003 are provided, and linked to quarterly measures. The main balance sheet categories are liquid assets, household debt and various categories of illiquid financial and tangible assets, including pension wealth, directly held shares and bonds, and housing. Revised debt estimates and new estimates of tangible assets for households and unincorporated businesses are provided. The paper describes the trends of the estimates of the household sector's balance sheets and of total net wealth. The paucity of data for developing and emerging market countries is illustrated by means of a survey, and lessons are drawn from the South African research for the compilation of household sector balance sheets.
  • Topic: Development, Emerging Markets, Third World
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Kingdom, South Africa
  • Author: Machiko Nissanke, Ernest Aryeetey
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper examines the source of financial market fragmentation in sub-Saharan Africa in the framework of institutional economics. Based on fieldwork data from Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, and Tanzania, it analyses financial risk management, the transaction costs for loan screening and monitoring, and contract enforcement. It shows how, faced with various institutional constraints, the range of clientele selected by formal and informal lenders becomes both narrow and at the extreme market-ends. It evaluates the prevailing state of managing risks for market structure, and binding institutional constraints for market transformation and deepening in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: Africa, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, Malawi
  • Author: Julius Kiiza
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between institution building and economic performance in Mauritius, Botswana and Uganda. The rationale for comparing these cases is simple. While the three have been super-economic stars in their own right, they have achieved substantially different outcomes. Mauritius has achieved Asia-type rapid growth, backed by the structural transformation of the economy from colonial commodity production (sugar) to postcolonial higher value-added industrial and information outcomes. Botswana has delivered rapid and sustained growth with no structural economic transformation. Uganda has attained rapid growth for a shorter postcolonial period (since 1992) and with no structural transformation. This paper contends that these cross-national differences largely arise from the presence of developmental nationalism plus Weberian bureaucracies in Mauritius and Botswana, and their absence in Uganda.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Nationalism
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa, Mauritius, Botswana
  • Author: Regina Laub, Yianna Lambrou
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper explores the linkages between gender, local knowledge systems and agrobiodiversity for food security by using the case study of LinKS, a regional FAO project in Mozambique, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Tanzania over a period of eight years and now concluded. The project aimed to raise awareness on how rural men and women use and manage agrobiodiversity, and to promote the importance of local knowledge for food security and sustainable agrobiodiversity at local, institutional and policy levels by working with a diverse range of stakeholders to strengthen their ability to recognize and value farmers' knowledge and to use gender-sensitive and participatory approaches in their work. This was done through three key activities: capacity building, research and communication. The results of the LinKS study show clearly that men and women farmers hold very specific local knowledge about the plants and animals they manage. Local knowledge, gender and agrobiodiversity are closely interrelated. If one of these elements is threatened, the risk of losing agrobiodiversity increases, having negative effects on food security. Increased productivity, economic growth and agricultural productivity are important elements in poverty reduction. The diverse and complex agroecological environment of Sub-Saharan Africa requires that future efforts be based on more localized solutions while maintaining a global outlook. Food security will have to build much more on local knowledge and agrobiodiversity with a clear understanding of gender implications while keeping in mind the continuously changing global socioeconomic and political conditions.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Gender Issues
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Swaziland
  • Author: Alemayehu Geda, Daniel Zerfu, Abebe Shimeles
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In this paper, using the rich household panel data of urban and rural Ethiopia that covers the period from 1994 to 2000, we attempted to establish the link between finance and poverty in Ethiopia. Our results show that access to finance is an important factor in consumption smoothing and hence poverty reduction. We also found evidence for a poverty trap due to liquidity constraints that limits the ability of the rural households from consumption smoothing. The empirical findings from this study could inform finance policies aimed at addressing issues of poverty reduction.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Stephen Klasen, David Lawson, Sudharshan Canagarajah, Mark Blackden
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The study suggests that gender inequality acts as a significant constraint to growth in sub-Saharan Africa, and that removing gender-based barriers to growth will make a substantial contribution to realizing Africa's economic potential. In particular we highlight gender gaps in education, related high fertility levels, gender gaps in formal sector employment, and gender gaps in access to assets and inputs in agricultural production as particular barriers reducing the ability of women to contribute to economic growth. By identifying some of the key factors that determine the ways in which men and women contribute to, and benefit (or lose) from, growth in Africa, we argue that looking at such issues through a gender lens is an essential step in identifying how policy can be shaped in a way that is explicitly gender-inclusive and beneficial to growth and the poor. We also argue that in some dimensions and channels of the gender-growth nexus, the evidence is only suggestive and needs further detailed research and analysis. Investigations of the linkage between gender inequality and growth should therefore be a priority for development economics research in coming years.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Gender Issues
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Annelies Zoomers
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This article aims to contribute to the discussion about how to make development interventions more effective by analyzing the factors contributing to the success or failure of rural development projects. We made an aggregate level analysis of 46 projects in the field of agricultural research (AR), water management (WM), natural resource management (NRM), and integrated rural development (IRD), financed by the Netherlands' Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS) and carried out between 1975-2005 in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Making a distinction between the successful projects and failures, we showed the possibilities and limitations of evaluating projects on the basis of the official criteria (relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, sustainability and impact and/or using criteria such as poverty, gender, institutional development, governance and environment). We learned that project performance very much depends on whether interventions 'keep track' with local priorities and trends. This is much more important than 'measuring output' (are results in line with the project goal?) which is wrongly presented as a priority in monitoring and evaluation practices.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia, Central America
  • Author: Ayodele Odusola
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Nigeria is governed by a federal system, hence its fiscal operations also adhere to the same principle, a fact which has serious implications on how the tax system is managed. The country's tax system is lopsided, and dominated by oil revenue. It is also characterized by unnecessarily complex, distortionary and largely inequitable taxation laws that have limited application in the informal sector that dominates the economy. The primary objective of this paper is to prepare a case study on tax policy reforms in Nigeria, with the specific objectives of examining the main tax reforms in the country; highlighting tax revenue profile and composition; analysing possible distributional impacts on the poor; discussing major problems that could prevent effective tax implementation in the country; and offering suggestions for reforms.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Peter Quartey
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper primarily investigates the interrelationship between financial sector development and poverty reduction in Ghana. This is done using time-series data from the World Development Indicators from 1970-2001. The main findings are, first, that even though financial sector development does not Granger-cause savings mobilization in Ghana, it induces poverty reduction; and second, that savings do Granger-cause poverty reduction in Ghana. Also, the effect of financial sector development on poverty reduction is positive but insignificant. This is due to the fact that financial intermediaries in Ghana have not adequately channelled savings to the pro-poor sectors of the economy because of government deficit financing, high default rate, lack of collateral and lack of proper business proposals. Another interesting finding is that there is a long-run co integration relationship between financial sector development and poverty reduction.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Stephen Njuguna Karingi, Bernadette Wanjal
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In evaluating tax reform in the developing countries, one first needs to determine what is the unique role of the tax system in each particular country. One of the key reasons for undertaking tax reforms in Kenya was to ad dress issues of in equality and to create a sustainable tax system that could generate adequate revenue to finance public expenditures. In this respect, the tax modernization programme introduced in the country was to achieve a tax system that was sustainable in the face of changing conditions domestically and internationally. Policy was shifted towards greater reliance on indirect taxes as opposed to direct taxes. Consumption taxes were seen to be more favourable to investments and hence growth. Trade taxes, instead of being used for protection or revenue-maximization purposes, were viewed more as instruments to foster export-led industrialization. Trade taxes were therefore used to create a competitive exports sector rather than protect the import-competing manufacturing sector, as had been done in the past.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Author: Peter Quartey, Robert Darko Osei
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Ghana's tax reforms constitute the major policy instrument needed to accelerate growth and poverty reduction. Over the past two decades, the government has consistently spent more revenue than it is able to generate and the gap is often financed with foreign aid which has perpetuated the country's aid dependency. Two options can be explored to reduce the gap between government revenue and expenditure; generate more revenue or reduce government expenditure. Although the latter sounds reasonable, the government needs to spend more on key sectors like education, health and infrastructure if the country is to significantly reduce poverty. The critical issue has been how to generate the needed resources domestically, using tax instruments that are least harmful to the poor. This will obviously involve reforming the tax system to ensure efficiency by widening the tax net without necessarily increasing the tax rate. This paper provides an assessment of the changing structure of the tax system in Ghana over the last two decades and suggests ways to improve tax administration in the country.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Robert Osei, Oliver Morrissey, Tim Lloyd
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: An important feature of aid to developing countries is that it is given to the government. As a result, aid should be expected to affect fiscal behaviour, although theory and existing evidence is ambiguous regarding the nature of these effects. This paper applies techniques developed in the 'macroeconometrics' literature to estimate the dynamic linkages between aid and fiscal aggregates. Vector autoregressive methods are applied to 34 years of annual data in Ghana to model the effect of aid on fiscal behaviour. Results suggest that aid to Ghana has been associated with reduced domestic borrowing and increased tax effort, combining to increase public spending. This constructive use of aid to maintain fiscal balance is evident since the mid-1980s, following Ghana's structural adjustment programme. The pa per provides evidence that aid has been associated with improved fiscal performance in Ghana, implying that the aid has been used sensibly (at least in fiscal terms).
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Oliver Morrissey, Karuna Gomanee, Sourafel Girma
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper is a contribution to the literature on aid and growth. Despite an extensive empirical literature in this area, existing studies have not addressed directly the mechanisms via which aid should affect growth. We identify investment as the most significant transmission mechanism, and also consider effects through financing imports and government consumption spending. With the use of residual generated regressors, we achieve a measure of the total effect of aid on growth, accounting for the effect via investment. Pooled panel results for a sample of 25 Sub-Saharan African countries over the period 1970 to 1997 point to a significant positive effect of foreign aid on growth, ceteris paribus. On average, each one percentage point increase in the aid/GNP ratio contributes one-quarter of one percentage point to the growth rate. Africa's poor growth record should not therefore be attributed to aid ineffectiveness.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Peter Quartey
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: There has been significant amount of aid inflow s to developing countries including Ghana, but these have been very volatile. Aid flows have been associated with low domestic resource mobilization and have reduced Ghana to a country heavily dependent on aid. The amount of official development assistance (ODA) inflow s has fallen in recent years and has become unpredictable. It is general knowledge that aid has not yielded the desired benefit. In an attempt to improve aid effectiveness donors have used tie d aid not just to promote commercial interests but also to target aid to particular projects that have direct links with poverty. However, this has not yielded the maximum benefits required. Recently, the government of Ghana and its development partners agreed on an aid package dubbed the multi-donor budgetary support (MDBS), which would ensure continuous flow of aid to finance the government's poverty related expenditures.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: W.F. Krugell, W.A. Naudé
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: South Africa is characterized by significant inequality in spatial economic activity. Whether future growth and development on a subnational level in South Africa will be such as to reduce this inequality may depend on the economic growth and development of South Africa's largest cities. Our local economic growth empirics show some indications of conditional convergence in output between poorer towns as well as overall between all cities and towns. Between 1990 and 2000 some limited sigma convergence was found but this was driven by declines in the standard deviation of per capita income amongst the poorest quintile of towns. An estimate of conditional beta convergence of 1.2 percent over the period 1990-2000 confirms that overall convergence has been taking place. From an estimation of the determinants of economic growth on a local level, using a dataset on 353 local areas in South Africa between 1990-2000 we found the most significant determinants to be stocks of human capital and distance from harbours and markets. The effect of human capital on economic growth was strongly associated with the presence of large cities, as one would predict from endogenous growth theory.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: David E. Sahn, David C. Stifel
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In this paper we examine the relative importance of rural versus urban areas in terms of monetary poverty and seven other related living standards indicators. We present the levels of urban-rural differences for several African countries for which we have data and find that living standards in rural areas lag far behind those in urban areas. Then we examine the relative and absolute rates of change for urban and rural areas and find no overall evidence of declining differences in the gaps between urban and rural living standards. Finally, we conduct urban-rural decompositions of inequality, examining the within versus between (urban and rural) group inequality for asset inequality, education inequality, and health (height) inequality.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Simon Appleton
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Absolute poverty lines are often derived from the cost of obtaining sufficient calories. Where staples vary across regions, such poverty lines may differ depending on whether they are set using national or regional food baskets. Regional poverty lines are open to the objection that they may be contaminated by income effects. This paper explores this issue by focussing on Uganda, a country where widening spatial inequalities in the 1990s have caused concern. Conflicting results from earlier studies have suggested that the spatial pattern of poverty in Uganda is very sensitive to whether national or regional food baskets are used in setting poverty lines. We confirm this suggestion by comparing the spatial profile of poverty in 1993 using national and regional poverty lines. However, since the regions consuming the more expensive staple sources of calories are also those with higher incomes, using simple regional poverty lines is problematic. Instead, a method of setting regional poverty lines is considered that adjusts for income differentials between regions. Even with this adjustment, the use of regional food baskets implies a markedly different.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Chris Elbers, Peter Lanjouw, Johan Mistiaen, Berk Ozler, Ken Simler
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Based on a statistical procedure that combines household survey data with population census data, this paper presents estimates of inequality for three developing countries at a level of disaggregation far below that allowed by household surveys alone. We show that while the share of within-community inequality in overall inequality is high, this does not necessarily imply that all communities in a given country are as unequal as the country as a whole. In fact, in all three countries there is considerable variation in inequality across communities. We also show that economic inequality is strongly correlated with geography, even after controlling for basic demographic and economic conditions.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Africa, South America
  • Author: Jon D. Haveman, Howard J. Shatz
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The Doha Ministerial Declaration emphasized that priority should be given to improving market access for products originating in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). In this paper, we analyze the importance of this proposition with respect to market access in the Triad economies. We first present a brief history of non-reciprocal preferences granted by the Triad. This covers Generalized System of Preference (GSP) programmes in each, and further preferences granted to African, Caribbean and Pacific countries by the EU and preferences granted to Caribbean Basin, Andean, and African countries by the US. This history is followed by an assessment of trade generated by these preferences in the year 2000, and of the extent to which LDC exports might be expected to increase should the preferences be made comprehensive. Preferences in 2000 are shown to have led to an increase of US$3.5 billion in LDC exports, while a complete duty-free treatment could expand LDC exports by as much as US$7.6 billion, 90 per cent of which will be absorbed by the US. As this represents a doubling of LDC exports to these countries, we interpret these results as an endorsement of this priority in the Doha Round of negotiations.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Caribbean
  • Author: Mark McGillivray, Bazoumana Ouattara
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper examines the impact of foreign aid on public sector fiscal behaviour in Côte d'Ivoire. A special interest is the relationship between aid, debt servicing and debt, given that Côte d'Ivoire is a highly indebted country. The theoretical model employed differs from those of previous studies by highlighting the interaction between debt servicing and the other fiscal variables. This model is estimated using 1975–99 time series data. Key findings are that the bulk of aid is allocated to debt servicing and that aid is associated with increases in the level of public debt.
  • Topic: Debt, Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: George Mavrotas, Bazoumana Ouattara
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The present paper examines the impact of different aid types, namely project aid, programme aid, technical assistance and food aid on the fiscal sector of the aid-recipient economy by using time-series data for Côte d'Ivoire over the period 1975–99. Empirical results obtained by estimating correctly the solution of the theoretical model show that when a single value (or aggregated) for aid is used, foreign aid is fully consumed in the case of Côte d'Ivoire. However, results obtained under the assumption of aid heterogeneity clearly suggest that the government responds differently according to the nature of the aid inflows. Our approach sheds plenty of light on how the aid-recipient government reacts to different categories of foreign aid inflows and the empirical findings clearly demonstrate the importance of the aid disaggregation approach for delving deeper into aid effectiveness issues.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Non-Governmental Organization
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: George Mavrotas, Samuel Manzele Maimbo
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper explores the relationship between financial sector reforms and savings mobilization in Zambia. Although there exists an extensive literature on financial sector development and savings levels in developing countries, there does not seem to exist satisfactory work on the above nexus for sub-Saharan African countries, particularly Zambia. Along these lines, the paper examines the linkages between the financial reforms of the early 1990s and savings mobilization. It considers the characteristics of banks and non-bank financial institutions, especially micro finance institutions, and savings levels and identifies problems associated with the relatively poor performance of savings in recent years and concludes with a set of policy guidelines for strengthening savings mobilization, highlighting the expected effect on povertyreducing growth.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nordic Nations
  • Author: George Mavrotas, Roger Kelly
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper uses different measures of financial sector development for a dynamic heterogeneous panel of 17 African countries to examine the impact of financial sector development on private savings. An innovative econometric methodology is also employed related to a series of cointegration tests within a panel. This is an important contribution since traditional panel data analysis adopted in previous studies suffers from serious heterogeneity bias problems. The empirical results obtained vary considerably among countries in the panel, thus highlighting the importance of using different measures of financial sector development rather than a single indicator. The evidence is rather inconclusive, although in most of the countries in the sample a positive relationship between financial sector development and private savings seems to hold. The empirical analysis also suggests that a change in government savings is offset by an opposite change in private savings in most of the countries in the panel, thus confirming the Ricardian equivalence hypothesis. Liquidity constraints do not seem to play a vital role in most of the African countries in the group, since the relevant coefficient is negative and significant in only a small group of countries
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Timothy Shaw
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Contemporary Africa reveals a range of causes, consequences and responses to conflicts which are increasingly interrelated as well as regional in character, as around the Great Lakes/Horn. Their economic and non-state features are undeniable, leading to some promising possibilities in terms of 'track-two' diplomacy both on and off the continent, such as the 'Kimberley Process' around 'blood' diamonds. Development corridors and trans-frontier peace-parks may also constitute innovative ways to moderate and contain conflict. As often, changeable African cases challenge established assumptions, analyses and policies, such as those around civil society, governance, regional and security studies.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Development, Peace Studies, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Stefan Dercon, Pramila Krishnan
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Households in developing countries use a variety of informal mechanisms to cope with risk, including mutual support and risk-sharing. These mechanisms cannot avoid that they remain vulnerable to shocks. Public programs in the form of food aid distribution and food-for-work programs are meant to protect vulnerable households from consumption and nutrition downturns by providing a safety net. In this paper we look into the extent to which food aid helps to smooth consumption by reducing the impact of negative shocks, taking into account informal risk-sharing arrangements. Using panel data from Ethiopia, we find that despite relatively poor targeting of the food aid, the programs contribute to better consumption outcomes, largely via intra-village risk sharing.
  • Topic: Development, Non-Governmental Organization, Poverty, Third World
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Stefan Dercon, John Hoddinott
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In this paper we review the evidence on the impact of large shocks, such as drought, on child and adult health, with particular emphasis on Zimbabwe and Ethiopia. Our focus is on the impact of shocks on long-term outcomes, and we ask whether there are intrahousehold differences in these effects. The evidence suggests substantial fluctuations in body weight and growth retardation in response to shocks. While there appears to be no differential impact between boys and girls, adult women are often worse affected by these shocks. For children, there is no full recovery from these losses, affecting adult health and education outcomes, as well as lifetime earnings. For adults, there is no evidence of persistent effects from transitory shocks in our data.
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, Science and Technology, Third World
  • Political Geography: Africa, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia
  • Author: Nancy Birdsall, Stijn Claessens, Ishac Diwan
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In this paper we focus on the question: will the HIPC debt reduction programme help in the transformation of the development assistance business and change the rules of the 'debt game' in Africa? We concentrate on the donor and official creditor side, by exploring how the growing debt of African countries, over the last two decades, has affected the provision of new resources by the donor community. Our results indicate that if debt levels are reduced sufficiently in high debt countries, donors can shift from the current pattern of non-selectivity and defensive lending to a low debt regime, a regime that has in the past allowed selectivity in lending in relation to levels of poverty and quality of policy.
  • Topic: Development, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Alemayehu Geda
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper attempts to answer the following question: If the HIPC Initiative is fully successful and managed to write-off all debt that is owed by Africa, will the debt problem be over? The answer is 'no'. This pessimist answer is arrived at by examining the historical origin of African debt and the structural problems the continent is confronted with. The literature about the origins of the African debt crisis lists a number of factors as its cause. The oil price shocks of 1973-74 and 1978-79, the expansion of the Eurodollar, a rise in public expenditure by African governments following rising commodity prices in early 1970s, the recession in industrial countries and the subsequent commodity price fall, and a rise in real world interest rate are usually mentioned as major factors. Surprisingly, almost all the literature starts its analysis either in the early 1970s or, at best, after independence in 1960s. The main argument in this paper is that one has to go beyond this period not only to adequately explain the current debt crisis but also to propose its possible solution. The conclusion that emerges from such analysis is that the African debt problem is essentially a trade problem. Thus, long-run solution to debt points to the importance of addressing trade and trade related structural problems in the continent.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Steve Kayizzi-Mugerwa
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: After more than a decade of economic decline and civil war, Uganda was able to return to economic growth thanks to the policies pursued by Museveni's National Resistance Movement which elicited considerable donor support. They include macroeconomic reforms, public sector restructuring, privatisation and decentralization, all with emphasis on poverty reduction. The government recognises that fiscal policy is the key to success and much effort has, in the past decade, gone towards fiscal reforms and the improvement of institutional capacities. Still, in a country with limited finances and a thin tax base the competition for resources has been stiff. While the government has been able to embark on initiatives such as universal primary education, thanks to an improved revenue base and donor support, the decentralization drive is hindered by serious fiscal constraints at the local level.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Clas Wihlborg
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Insolvency and debt recovery procedures are as crucial to a well-performing financial sector as credit provision itself. They are even more important in Africa, where attempts are underway to create fully-fledged financial markets. For the financial system to be credible, creditors must be ensured that lenders will meet their obligations and that cases against them will be brought to closure. A good legal framework for insolvency also ensures distressed firms a form of orderly exit, thereby enabling their owners to start afresh. However, institutions of this nature take time to take effect, and need to be supported politically and by reforms in other sectors of the economy.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Steve Kayizzi-Mugerwa
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Although privatization has been a key feature of economic policy in Africa since the early 1990s its sequencing and intensity have varied from country to country, with donor leverage being an important determinant of the pace of implementation. However, although many privatization schemes were undertaken in response to donor demands for reduced government participation in business, the process soon achieved its own dynamics. The positive view of privatization suggests that it went ahead, in spite of domestic opposition, because politicians and bureaucrats perceived real benefits to themselves and their supporters. They could influence the sales to their own benefit, while, on the other hand, a more focused public sector improved service delivery.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Oliver Morrissey
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper considers how the conditionality inherent in HIPC debt relief should be constituted to promote pro-poor policies. There are two dimensions to this. First, the extent to which the policies proposed are pro-poor. Second, the potential for releasing resources for pro-poor expenditures. The paper provides an analytical framework to describe the policy environment for poverty reduction, and identifies where donor effort and influence are most likely to be effective. The paper argues that the elements of debt relief conditionality should be tailored to the features of the poverty-reduction policy environment and provides guidelines for the design of conditionality.
  • Topic: Development, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Youssoufou Congo
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This study tests the performance of microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Burkina Faso using indicators such as the sustainable interest rate and the subsidy dependence index. The results indicate that MFIs outreach performance remains very low compared with potential demand, and the factors responsible appear to be both the refusal of most MFIs to mobilize local savings and the high costs of supply of microfinancial services. The results also show that MFIs are not viable and sustainable. Their interest rates are kept low and do not allow them to cover all the costs. In addition, the results indicate that MFIs are dependent on subsidies. However, the oldest MFIs and/or institutions providing deposit services have the lowest subsidy dependence index. It is suggested that more attention should be placed on savings mobilization and ceilings on interest rates should be removed in order to allow MFIs to charge sustainable interest rates.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Finn Tarp, Tarp Jensen Henning
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper makes use of a 1997 computable general equilibrium (CGE) model to analyse three potential strategies that Mozambique can pursue unilaterally with a view to initiating a sustainable development process. They include (i) an agriculture-first strategy, (ii) an agricultural-development led industrialization (ADLI) strategy, and (iii) a primary-sector export-oriented strategy. The ADLI strategy dominates the other development strategies since important synergy effects in aggregate welfare arise from including key agro-industry sectors into the agriculture-first development strategy. Moreover, the ADLI strategy can be designed so it has a relatively strong impact on the welfare of the poorest poverty-stricken households, and still maintain the politically sensitive factorial distribution of income.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Giovanni Cornia
  • Publication Date: 04-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Well before the introduction of adjustment-related Social Funds (SFs), many developing countries had developed a variety of safety nets comprising food subsidies, nutrition interventions, employment-based schemes and targeted transfers. Middle-income and a few low-income countries had also achieved extensive coverage in the field of social insurance. In countries committed to fighting poverty, these programmes absorbed considerable resources (2-5 per cent of GDP, excluding social insurance) and had a large impact on job creation, income support and nutrition: for instance, in 1983, Chile's public works programme absorbed 13 per cent of the labour force. Their ability to expand quickly depended on a permanent structure of experienced staff, good portfolios of projects, clear management rules, adequate allocation of domestic resources, supply-driven execution and, with the exception of food subsidies, fairly good targeting.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, South Asia, South America, Latin America, Central America, Caribbean, Chile
  • Author: Tony Addison
  • Publication Date: 10-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Reconstructing Africa's war damaged economies is an urgent task. This is especially so in a group of countries - Angola, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, and Mozambique - which must also complete their economic and political transition from state socialism. Somalia, which shares their common history, must eventually be rebuilt. All of these countries must address their deep problems of underdevelopment and poverty. The challenges are therefore three-fold: to overcome underdevelopment, to make the transition from state socialism, and to reconstruct economies and societies.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Somalia, Angola, Eritrea, Guinea-Bissau