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  • Author: Giorgia Giovannetti, Marco Sanfilippo, Arianna Vivoli
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper analyses the impact of trade liberalization on local labour markets in Ethiopia, with a focus on the gender dimension of employment. By exploiting rich micro-level data on Ethiopian workers, we evaluate the effect of the Ethiopian trade reforms on the changes and composition of employment, adopting as unit of analysis Ethiopian districts. We find that districts more exposed to trade liberalization experienced reductions in their employment levels, especially in female employment. We also show that reductions in (agricultural) input tariffs triggers a process of sectoral reallocation from agriculture to services and that this process is particularly pronounced for women. This in turns contributes to increase sectoral segregation.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Employment, Trade, Liberalization
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Annalena Oppel
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Community or interpersonal support as a critical source of livelihood sustenance in the Global South can exhibit unequal dynamics. An understanding of these practices is primarily tied to the conceptual space of poverty or small communities. Less is known about how social support systems might respond to structural inequalities. I address this by exploring how support practices might be shaped by inequalities in the Namibian context. I draw on primary network data to assess inequality as a social dynamic within the space of support and evaluate whether providing worse-off others corresponds to former discriminatory practices under the apartheid regime. My results suggest that inequality has normalized a sense of support as necessity for black but not white Namibians. More broadly, by recognizing differences in group practices, I evidence that exploring support practices across structural inequalities can enhance insights on the social replication of inter- and intragroup-based inequalities.
  • Topic: Economics, Race, Inequality, Social Networks
  • Political Geography: Africa, Namibia
  • Author: Josaphat Kweka, Julian Boys, Amrita Saha
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The private sector and enterprises have a key role to play in the development of the Tanzanian economy. This Policy Brief provides insights and solutions that could offer business sectors the vital policy support that they need to develop and grow.
  • Topic: Development, Economy, Economic Growth, Trade
  • Political Geography: Africa, Tanzania
  • Author: Oliver Morrissey, Milla Nyyssölä
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Diversifying income sources is an important livelihood strategy for households in low-income countries. Having several sources of income helps in increasing total income, and in spreading the risks. New findings on the benefits of income diversification from Tanzanian households can inform policy aiming to develop welfare at the grassroots level and beyond.
  • Topic: Labor Issues, Diversification, Livelihoods
  • Political Geography: Africa, Tanzania
  • Author: Johannes Hermanus Kemp, Hylton Hollander
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Despite the frequent use of fiscal policy for stabilization purposes, there remains significant uncertainty regarding the impact of fiscal policy decisions on macroeconomic outcomes. This impact is quantified by calculating fiscal multipliers. A fiscal multiplier measures the impact of government’s tax and spending decisions on economic output.
  • Topic: Macroeconomics, Fiscal Policy, Financial Stability
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: John Page, Finn Tarp
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: For a growing number of countries in Africa the discovery of natural resources is a great opportunity, but one accompanied by considerable risks. There is an extensive literature linking natural resource dependence to poor economic performance. One cause is that resource-abundant economies tend to have economic and export structures that are highly concentrated on only few export products. Most of Africa’s resource-rich economies experienced increases in export concentration during the first decade of the twenty-first century.
  • Topic: Industrial Policy, Natural Resources, Economic Growth, Mining, Inclusion
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Bethuel Kinyanjui Kinuthia
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper examines the impact of the government input subsidy—the National Agriculture Input Voucher—on farmers’ production and welfare in Tanzania as well as the factors that influence agricultural production in the country. The analysis is based on the Living Standards Measurement Study-Integrated Surveys on Agriculture for 2008–13. The study uses panel fixed effects and difference-in-difference and propensity score matching methods to examine the two objectives. The results show that the input subsidy programme resulted in an initial increase in maize and rice production but not in the long run and only in a few regions. In addition, there was a decrease in total production in the southern region and the programme had little effect on farmers’ welfare. The results show that this programme only partly met the expected outcomes in Tanzania due to mistargeting, inaccurate identification of households, and poor implementation.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Welfare, Farming, Subsidies
  • Political Geography: Africa, Tanzania
  • Author: Steve Kayizzi-Mugerwa
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper discusses the political economy of oil in Uganda since the announcement of its discovery in 2006. It focuses on the dynamics of oil revenue generation (pre-commercial production) and expenditure, investor-stakeholder contestation (i.e. between bureaucrats, investors/oil companies, and domestic stakeholders), and the role of public policy. Although the Government has created several institutional and regulatory frameworks to manage oil-related revenues and ensure that oil contributes to structural transformation, Uganda is already experiencing many of the stylized facts associated with natural resource exploitation, including macroeconomic instability, rent dissipation, and, more broadly, threats of adverse impact on the environment and on local livelihoods in the oil regions. Besides these, Uganda, and similarly endowed African countries, face the economic challenges related to the global shift in recent decades towards a low-carbon development paradigm and the threatening prospect of oil investments becoming ‘stranded assets’. The latter issues are not yet part of the policy conversation in Uganda.
  • Topic: Environment, Oil, Public Policy, Investment, Revenue Management
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Matteo Fiorini, Marco Sanfilippo
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: We look at how improving roads can affect jobs and structural transformation. We use a novel geocoded dataset covering the universe of Ethiopian roads and match this information with individual data to identify the effects of improvements in road infrastructure on the creation, quality, and sectoral distribution of jobs over the period 1994–2013. We find that, at the district level, higher market potential due to better roads contributes to the creation of new jobs, reduces the share of agricultural workers, and increases that of workers in the services sector but not in manufacturing. The latter experiences a relative increase in the share of informal workers. Finally, investigating the underlying mechanisms, we show that patterns of internal migration and changes in economic opportunities can help to rationalize our findings.
  • Topic: Markets, Infrastructure, Transportation, Roads
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Sam Hickey, Tom Laver, Miguel Niño-Zarazúa, Jeremy Seekings
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Since the mid-1990s, there has been in Africa something of a ‘quiet revolution’ in poverty reduction strategies with the proliferation of social assistance programmes that entail cash transfers to the poor. The past two decades have also been characterized by a series of important political developments that have reshaped both state–society relations within sub-Saharan Africa and its relationship with transnational actors. What lies behind these changes?​​​
  • Topic: Development, International Organization, Poverty, Social Services
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa, East Africa
  • Author: Ggombe Kasim Munyegera, Akampumuza Precious
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Rwanda is one of the countries with the best strategies for women empowerment and gender equality in Africa and globally. Nonetheless, some inequalities exist especially in education attainment. This study investigates the gender gaps in business performance using nationally representative household survey and establishment census data. Ordinary Least Squares results indicate that female-owned business enterprises employ fewer workers and are less productive than male-owned counterparts. Specifically, turnover and net revenue per worker are 20-22 per cent and 22-25 per cent lower among female-owned enterprises. The results are corroborated by propensity score matching estimates, implying that the estimated gender productivity gap is robust to observed heterogeneity between male- and female-owned enterprises. We investigate the potential mechanisms and find that female owners invest less capital, are less likely to seek and/or obtain credit and devote fewer hours per week to their businesses. Credit products targeting collateral-constrained and female-owned household enterprises could partially close the gender productivity gap.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Business , Economic Policy, Productivity
  • Political Geography: Africa, Rwanda, Global Focus
  • Author: Richard Newfarmer, John Page
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Our research shows that structural change in Africa is relying on a new set of economic activities, called ‘industries without smokestacks’, created by recent technological changes and a changing global market place. Adopting a broad concept of industrialization is crucial to recognizing that manufacturing, while important, is not everything. However, a lot needs to be done internationally, regionally and at the country-level to push these unique drivers of structural change.
  • Topic: Development, Economic Growth, Investment, Diversification, Industry
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Jean-Philippe Platteau
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: There are three main channels of women’s empowerment: legal or policy reforms, outside economic opportunities, and collective action. Legal (or policy) reforms are generally based on statutory laws that enact rules to be followed or prohibit certain practices. External economic opportunities for women represent alternative activities and places of working and living. Collective action brings women together to advance their collective interests.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Women, Discrimination, Equality, Empowerment
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Africa, China, Europe, Turkey, India, Asia, Senegal
  • Author: Vincent Leyaro, Pablo Selaya, Neda Trifković
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: We study the roots of violence against women, and propose that it partly originates in cultural norms that derive from (a) characteristics of the traditional subsistence problem in different societies, and (b) differences in the sexual division of labor for solving that problem in each society. We construct this hypothesis on economics and anthropology research showing the potential of traditional livelihoods to shape persistent cultural norms at the local level, and arguing that this concept can be extended to explain outcomes at the domestic level. We test our main hypothesis by examining differences in the incidence of domestic violence across areas with different historical livelihoods in modern-day Tanzania, where we observe a large degree of spatial variation in both attitudes and actions of violence against women. Using rich individual survey and high-resolution georeferenced data, we find systematically less violence against women in traditionally sea-fishing areas vis-à-vis traditionally lake-fishing, agricultural, and pastoralist ones. Our results are consistent with anthropological accounts of the idea that women in sea-fishing societies tend to be comparatively more independent in decision-making, and to acquire skills that are complementary to demands in non-agrarian sectors. We interpret this as evidence for direct mechanisms helping to sustain egalitarian gender norms in general, and less violence against women in particular. By exploiting sub-national variation, this research allows us to move beyond studying the socio-economic and institutional determinants of violence against women, and to analyse the formation of specific cultural traits that explain where and why some women tolerate less violence against them.
  • Topic: Natural Resources, Culture, Women, Violence, Fishing
  • Political Geography: Africa, Tanzania
  • Author: Joseph Deutsch, Jacques Silber
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In developing countries, women’s decisions concerning their children’s health depend on ‘empowerment’ concerning decision-making, husband/partner’s use of violence, woman’s attitude towards this violence, available information, and resources. We derive an empowerment indicator using the ‘fuzzy sets’ and Alkire and Foster approaches to multidimensional poverty measurement. The health of children is a latent variable; their height and weight are observed health indicators. We apply the ‘MIMIC’ approach to the 2009 Mozambique Demographic and Health Survey. Children’s health is better when the woman opposes her partner’s violence, the higher her education and body mass index, among female children, and in urban areas.
  • Topic: Demographics, Health, Poverty, Children, Women, Empowerment
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mozambique
  • Author: Ricardo Santos, Vincenzo Salvucci
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Poverty is a multidimensional phenomenon involving things other than consumption — such as access to and quality of health and education, housing, possession of durable goods, freedom, and many other factors. The consumption and multidimensional poverty approaches are complementary: it is possible for example that a family has consumption levels below the poverty line but lives in a good quality home, its members have a good level of education, and vice versa.
  • Topic: Education, Health, Poverty, Survey, Housing
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mozambique
  • Author: João Morgado, Vincenzo Salvucci
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In this study we analyze the gender gap in agricultural productivity in Mozambique applying the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition approach on data from four agricultural surveys between 2002 and 2012. We find that female-headed households are on average substantially less productive (about 20 per cent) than male-headed households, and that differences are more pronounced in the centre-north compared to the south. The gap persists even though female-headed households are disproportionally found in relatively smaller plots, and a pronounced inverse-size productivity relation exists. We could identify some of the most important drivers of this divide linked to differences in endowments. However, a larger proportion is accounted for by the structural part, potentially linked to technical efficiency, pure discrimination, or other unobservable characteristics.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Gender Issues, Inequality
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mozambique
  • Author: Yared Seid, Alemayehu Seyoum Taffesse, Seid Nuru Ali
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Ethiopia has experienced rapid economic growth since 2005. Real gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an average rate of 10.5 per cent per annum for the period between 2004–05 and 2013–14. Public investment in key infrastructure and interventions in the agriculture sector have made important contributions to GDP growth. This growth has been accompanied by a process of capital deepening and signs of structural shift away from traditional and primary sectors towards secondary and tertiary sectors. Both processes of high growth and structural shift have important implications for poverty reduction and income distribution. One potential channel through which these influences work is the labour market. The indications of structural transformation that Ethiopia has shown in the last decade, including a continuous decline in the role of agriculture and rise in that of services, have led to reallocation of jobs and labour from low-productivity agriculture to more productive industrial—in particular the construction sub-sector—and service sectors. The rise in total factor productivity, overall increase in labour force participation rate, and fall in the labour share of the agriculture sector are indicative of the nature and extent of structural shift in the Ethiopian economy. A more durable shift of economic activities towards the manufacturing sector is expected to follow the rising trend in investment in the sector. This study explores the impact of the high economic growth and slow but unmistakable structural change on a number of economic outcomes working through the labour market. The growth opportunities and challenges of the Ethiopian economy are also discussed.
  • Topic: Infrastructure, Economy, Economic Growth, Investment, Labor Market
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Augustin K. Fosu
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: What can the less well-off developing countries learn from the “successes” of other developing countries? This Policy Brief highlights successful development strategies and lessons from in-depth case studies of select countries from the developing world. The coverage includes East Asia and the Pacific, the emerging Asian giants, sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East and North Africa, along with respective regional syntheses. Although countries' experiences are not necessarily replicable, the recurrent themes across countries and regions provide the appropriate connectedness for a comprehensive global perspective on development strategies and lessons.
  • Topic: Development, Emerging Markets, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Israel, Latin America
  • Author: Kei Otsuki, Weena Gera, David Mungai
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Since the 2000s, African cities have witnessed a series of interventions to improve water and sanitation. This policy brief outlines key lessons learned from the intervention experience, drawing on the UNU research project Multi-level Urban Governance for Total Sanitation (2011-2013) under the Education for Sustainable Development in Africa (ESDA) Project. It highlights the importance of multi-actor approaches for promoting: (1) an institutional framework to coordinate civil society organizations, community-based organizations, and the state agencies across levels; (2) policy recognition of water and sanitation as socially embedded infrastructure with gendered dimensions; and (3) the relevance of scientific research and university education to ongoing policy interventions.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Health, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Danielle Resnick
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: When, why and how has foreign aid facilitated, or hindered, democracy in recipient countries? Focusing on sub-Saharan Africa, this policy brief examines the impact of foreign aid on supporting transitions from one-party to multi-party regimes, preventing democratic breakdown and the erosion of civil liberties, enhancing vertical and horizontal accountability, and enabling competitive political party systems. Particular attention is given to the trade-offs and complementarities between different types of foreign aid, namely democracy assistance and economic development aid. Select policy recommendations are offered to improve aid effectiveness at bolstering democratic trajectories within the region.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Development, Economics, Human Rights, Political Economy, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • 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