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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: Mahvash Saeed Qureshi, Charalambos G. Tsangarides
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper revisits the link between exchange rate regimes and trade in the context of Africa's exchange rate arrangements. Applying an augmented gravity model that includes measures of currency unions and pegged regimes, the paper compares Africa's experience with that of the world. Our results suggest that both currency unions and direct pegs promote bilateral trade in Africa vis-à-vis more flexible exchange rate regimes,and that their effect is almost double for the region than that for an average country in the world sample. Further, we find evidence that the effect of conventional pegs is at least as large as that of currency unions in Africa, and that the benefits of fixed exchange rate regimes stem through channels in addition to reduced exchange rate volatility.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Channing Arndt, M. Azhar Hussain, E. Samuel Jones, Virgulino Nhate, Finn Tarp1, James Thurlow
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Measuring poverty remains a complex and contentious issue. This is particularly true in sub-Saharan Africa where poverty rates are higher, information bases typically weaker, and the underlying determinants of welfare relatively volatile. This paper employs recently collected data on household consumption in Mozambique to examine the evolution of consumption poverty with focus on the period 2002/03 to 2008/09. The paper contributes in four areas. First, the period in question was characterized by major movements in international commodity prices. Mozambique provides an illuminating case study of the implications of these world commodity price changes for living standards of poor people. Second, a novel 'backcasting' approach using a computable general equilibrium model of Mozambique, linked to a poverty module.
  • Topic: Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Markus Brückner
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: A common finding in the empirical civil war literature is that population size and per capita income are highly significant predictors of civil war incidence and onset. This paper shows that the common finding of population size and per capita income having a significant average effect on civil war risk in a world sample breaks down once country- and year-specific unobservables are accounted for. However, for Sub-Saharan Africa there continues to be a highly significant average effect of population size and per capita income on civil war risk that is robust to the use of country- and year-fixed effects and instrumental variable techniques.
  • Topic: Civil War, Demographics, Economics
  • 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: A. J. E. Charman
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper considers the impact of livelihoods oriented agricultural service provision for smallholder farmers on gender relationships and food security. The paper contents that the democratization and liberalization of agricultural services towards participatory, bottom-up approaches, from the early 1990s has brought favourable gender gains to women. The paper examines the background to this shift in agricultural service provision. The resulting gender gains, we argue, should be seen in terms of Sen's notion of entitlements. We examine evidence of these gains from developments and cases in Malawi and Zambia and draw supporting evidence from Zimbabwe and South Africa.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Gender Issues
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa, Zimbabwe
  • Author: Amelia U. Santos-Paulino
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper analyses the patterns of export productivity and trade specialization profiles in the China, Brazil, India and South Africa, and in other regional groupings. In doing so, the investigation calculates a time varying export productivity measure using highly disaggregated product categories. The findings indicate that export productivity is mainly determined by real income and human capital endowments. Importantly, the study reveals significant differences in the export productivity and specialization patterns of countries with comparable per capita income levels. For instance, China's export productivity and implied export sophistication is in line with that of countries with higher per capita incomes, including some OECD industrial economies.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, India, Asia, South Africa, Brazil, South America
  • Author: John Henley, Stefan Kratzsch, Tamer Tandogan, Mithat Külür
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The burgeoning literature on outward foreign direct investment from emerging markets has largely focused on analysing the motives of investors as reported by parent companies. This paper, instead, focuses on firm-level investments originating from China, India or South Africa in fifteen host countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The analysis is based on a sub-set of firms drawn from the overall sample of 1,216 foreign-owned firms participating in the UNIDO Africa Foreign Investor Survey, carried out in 2005. The sample of investments originating from China, India and South Africa is analysed in terms of firm characteristics, past and forecast performance in SSA over three years and management's perception of ongoing business conditions. Comparisons are made with foreign investors from the North. The paper concludes that while investors in SSA from the three countries are primarily using their investment to target specific markets, they are largely operating in different sub-sectors. While there appear to be specific features that firms from a given country of origin share, there are no obvious operating-level features they all share apart from market seeking.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, India, Asia, South 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: Marie-Claude Martin
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The interaction between available individual and collective resources in the determination of health is largely ignored in the literature on the relationship between poverty and health in developing countries. We analyse the role public resources play in the perception that rural women in Morocco have of their health. These resources are taken to contribute directly and indirectly to the improvement of individual health by, on the one hand, providing a health-promoting environment and, on the other, improving the individual's ability to produce health. The empirical results of multilevel models confirm the expected associations between socioeconomic status, individual vulnerability factors and health. Furthermore, the random part of the model suggests that variation in state of health is also associated with the presence of collective resources. However, the higher the level of women's individual wealth, the less the characteristics of the community in which they live seem to be associated with their health, and the less the potential vulnerability factors seem to constrain their ability to maintain or improve health. Our results suggest that collective investments derived from various areas of activity will be more favourable to improving health, insofar as they are adapted to the initial capacity of women to benefit from them.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Health, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Morocco
  • 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: Thomas Gries, Wim Naudé, Marianne Matthee
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Success in international trade depends, amongst other things, on distance from markets. Most new economic geography models focus on the distance between countries. In contrast much less theorizing and empirical analysis have focused on how distances within a country—for instance due to the location behaviour of exporting firms—matter to international trade. In this paper we contribute to the literature on the latter by offering a theoretical model to explain the optimal distance that an export-oriented firm would locate from a port. We present empirical evidence from South Africa in support of the model.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: Ghassan Dibeh
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper studies state failure and governance in two conflict-states in the Middle East: Iraq and Somalia. Iraq is currently undergoing a social experiment under which a new form of government is being constructed after the passage of autocratic rule. The government envisaged is a consociational democratic state designed a priori as a political mechanism for the redistribution of resources, mainly oil. Somalia represents a stateless society or anarchy. The paper argues that in resource-rich countries such as Iraq, the consociational project leads to an Olson-type rent-seeking confessional behaviour that hampers economic growth and development. The rent-seeking behaviour in Iraq is fuelling the insurgency that perceives the consociational system as a grabbing attempt of the country's resources by other ethnic groups. However, state construction is possible since there is a positive economic effect of combining government and resources. In Somalia, on the other hand, the developments and the evolution of anarchy since state collapse in 1991 exemplify the result of prolonged conflict in a resource-poor state. The lack of resources, direct access of producers to resources and low productivity and weak redistributional potential of combining resources and government offer no material incentives to the various groups for resurrecting central authority.
  • Topic: Oil, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Iraq, Middle East, Somalia
  • Author: Silvia Nenci
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The rise of the emerging southern economies – China, India, Brazil, and South Africa (CIBS) – as both economic and political actors, is having significant and far-reaching impact on the world economy. Notwithstanding the increasing amount of study and research, there are still important knowledge-gaps with respect to a range of likely consequences of the dynamism of the Southern Economies. One of these gaps concerns the implications for the WTO-multilateral trading system. The present paper proposes a review of the southern participation in the multilateral integration process and suggests a methodology to assess the impact of CIBS' rise on the future of the WTO system. Through the analysis of the trajectories of 'impact' of the trade channel, the paper draws some suggestive remarks.
  • Topic: International Organization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, India, Asia, South Africa, Brazil, South America
  • Author: Kate Bird, Martin Prowse
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper uses five life histories from three locations in Zimbabwe—one peri-urban, one urban and one rural—to provide a window on current processes of impoverishment and adverse coping. Each case and location highlight key aspects of Zimbabwe's recent economic and political turmoil. Together the cases suggest that, similar to Hoddinott's work on the persistence of the 1993-94 rainfall shock in rural Zimbabwe, above and beyond increased mortality rates and morbidity levels, current adverse forms of coping are creating widespread irreversible wellbeing losses. The persistent effects of the current crisis surely adds weight to arguments that the international community should be more, rather than less, proactive in delivering aid to the Zimbabwean people, despite the politicization of aid and logistical difficulties.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief, Humanitarian Aid, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Africa, Zimbabwe
  • Author: Colin Andrews, Margarita Flores
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper examines the imperative for improved classification and analysis of food crises in different fragile contexts. Recognizing the persistence and protracted nature of food crises, the paper questions how prevention and response mechanisms could be improved to help decisionmakers better address the underlying causes of vulnerability and hunger. The paper draws on case study information to examine real life opportunities and constraints in applying a recently developed food security classification system, named the analytical frameworks at country level, the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC). Developed originally in Somalia, this classification framework is now being applied in a range of country contexts within and outside of Africa by national governments, UN agencies, donors and NGO organizations. The paper draws on early applications of the IPC to consider opportunities and constraints in the application of common classification systems, taking into account issues of institutional adaptation, methodologies, data and analysis.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Non-Governmental Organization
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia
  • 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