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  • 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: 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: 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: 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: Wim Naudé, Marianne Matthee
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The success of Africa's exports, as well as its spatial development, depends on lowering transport costs. In this Policy Brief, we address a number of pertinent questions on transport costs in Africa, such as 'what are transport costs?', 'do transport costs matter for trade?', 'how important are transport costs in practice?', and 'why are Africa's transport costs so high?' We present a case study of the firm location decisions of exporters in South Africa to illustrate the significance in particular of domestic transport costs for manufactured exports. The message from this Policy Brief is that Africa's international transport costs are significantly higher than that of other regions, and its domestic transport costs could be just as significant. Moreover we show how domestic transport costs influence the location, the quantity, and the diversity of manufactured exports. Various policy options to reduce transport costs in Africa are discussed.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: A.J.E. Charman, J. Hodge
  • Publication Date: 09-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This study aims to help identify how the Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) could potentially constrain government action to achieve food security in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The paper considers the proposed tariff and subsidy reduction modalities of the current round of WTO negotiations. The main focus is on the potential direct effects of the AoA, in terms of proposed reductions to domestic subsidies and tariffs, on food security policy in SADC countries. The study examines the argument that subsidy reductions and further liberalizing market access may pose constraints on the food security policy options of governments within the region.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Markets, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • 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: J. Andrew Grant
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This article examines the external and internal dimensions of post-conflict reconstruction in Sierra Leone. The United Nations, bilateral donors such as the United Kingdom, and transnational non-governmental organizations and aid agencies have been instrumental in providing much-needed external assistance to Sierra Leone during the latter stages of its civil war and in the immediate post-war period. Although foreign aid is a welcome source of external support for reconstruction efforts, it is finite like any other resource. Reconstruction must also address intangible issues such as corruption as well as the healing of society through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Diamond exports hold potential as an internal source to spur economic growth and reconstruction. However, as the article illustrates, many obstacles remain, ranging from governance weaknesses in terms of capacity and domestic regulatory schemes on diamonds to the existence of illicit mining and smuggling of diamonds to regional instability.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Debt, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Kingdom
  • Author: David Fielding, Kevin Lee, Kalvinder Shields
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In this paper we fit a VECM in output and prices to data from ten countries of the CFA Franc Zone. This model allows for various cross-country interactions in both the short run and the long run. The VECM parameters are used to estimate persistence profiles of different kinds, in order to identify the degree of homogeneity in the way in which the countries respond to macroeconomic shocks. In this way we can shed light on questions about the likely size of the costs incurred from these countries' membership of a monetary union.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Anja Shortland, David Stasavage
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper examines to what extent the central bank for the West African Economic and Monetary Union (BCEAO) has used interest rate policy in response to domestic economic developments. We show that while in the long run the BCEAO matches changes in French (Eurozone) interest rates one for one, in the short run it retains freedom to react to domestic economic variables, such as inflation, the output gap, its foreign exchange position and government borrowing.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa, France, West Africa
  • Author: Jean-Paul Azam
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper brings out that poverty increased massively in the wake of the 1994 devaluation of the CFA franc, despite a significant recovery of economic growth. Although this increase affected all the social groups, it fell mostly on the urban poor. An analytical model is presented, which explains this puzzle by the stratification of the labour market, assuming that the formal sector workers are at the same time the investors in the informal sector. Then, capital intensity in the latter increases as the former anticipate the cut in formal sector wages that the long-awaited devaluation brings about. Ex post, they run down their assets for consumption-smoothing purposes, thus de-capitalizing the informal sector firms, with a negative impact on incomes in the (urban) informal sector.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: David Fielding, Kalvinder Shields
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In this paper we use data from 17 African nations in order to investigate the hypothesis that monetary union – represented in this case by the CFA Franc Zone – augments the extent of macroeconomic integration. The paper covers a number of dimensions of integration including the volume of bilateral trade, real exchange rate volatility and the magnitude of cross-country business cycle correlation.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Anja Shortland, David Stasavage
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper examines whether the BCEAO has made use of the various policy instruments at its disposal for steering credit in the individual CFA zone member countries to complement interest rate policy at the zone level. We estimate whether private sector credit has responded systematically to different monetary policy variables using iterated 3-stage least squares regressions for Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Senegal and Togo. If we constrain the coefficient estimates there is some support for the hypothesis that the BCEAO has contracted private sector credit in response to a higher inflation differential with France. However, there seems to be no policy rule to restrict private sector credit in response to increasing government borrowing from the central bank or increased foreign borrowing. If the coefficient estimates are unconstrained, there does not appear to be any systematic policy to control credit expansion at the domestic level.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa, France
  • Author: Mireille Linjouom
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper determines an analytical framework defining the choice of an optimal exchange rate regime for a typical CFA country. The policymakers behave strategically to decide to adopt alternative exchange rate regime by minimizing their loss function under specific constraints like economic characteristics and political consideration. One concludes a CFA economy with less inflationary propensity and greater external shocks volatility will tend to select a flexible exchange rate regime. Moreover, the model suggests that a CFA country with a more unstable political system and a higher propensity to apply inflationary policies will prefer a flexible arrangement than a fixed one.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Simeon Coleman
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper investigates the impacts and responses of macroeconomic shocks in some domestic economies in Sub-Saharan Africa over the period 1961-99; more specifically, it seeks to answer the question of whether there are any systematic differences in the responses of the CFA franc zones and the non-CFA franc zone countries to macroeconomic shocks. Based on the Blanchard-Quah methodology, we identify shocks to the changes in real exchange rate and output using a structural VAR (SVAR) model for these small open economies. Our finding that the real exchange rate innovations in the CFA franc zones are largely independent of domestic variables suggests that external influence is more important in the CFA zones. There is also some evidence that money demand shocks are more significant in the non-CFA franc zone countries.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Michael Bleaney, Akira Nishiyama
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The causes of the slow growth of CFA countries are investigated. There is little difference in this respect between the CFA and other sub-Saharan African countries. Since 1970, GDP growth in the CFA countries has shown no significant trend but one or two medium-term fluctuations (positive in 1979-83 and negative in 1989-93). Internationally, the income share of the poorest 20 per cent of the population of any country has improved most in poor countries, and there is no evidence that this does not apply to CFA countries also.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: David Fielding
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) has a history of monetary stability and low inflation. Nevertheless, there is substantial variation in relative prices within some UEMOA countries, in particular in the price of food relative to other elements of the retail price index (IHPC). Using monthly time-series data for cities within the region, we analyze the impact of changes in monetary policy instruments on the relative prices of components of the IHPC. We are then able to explore how the burden of monetary policy innovations is likely to be shared between the rich and poor.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • 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: George Mavrotas
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper uses an aid disaggregation approach to examine the impact of different types of aid on the fiscal sector of the aid-recipient country. It uses time-series data on different types of aid (project aid, programme aid, technical assistance and food aid) for Uganda, an important aid recipient in recent years, to estimate a model of fiscal response in the presence of aid which combines aid disaggregation and endogenous aid. The empirical findings clearly suggest the importance of the above approach for delving deeper into aid effectiveness issues since different aid categories have different effects on key fiscal variables—an impact that could not be revealed if a single figure for aid was employed. More precisely, project aid and food aid appear to cause a reduction in public investment whereas programme aid and technical assistance are positively related to public investment. The same applies for government consumption. A negligible impact on government tax and non-tax revenues, and a strong displacement of government borrowing are also found.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa