The long-term effects of early-life exposure to weather shocks: Evidence from Tanzania

@STEVER via Twenty20

We examine whether early-life exposure to rainfall shocks has a long-term impact on health, education, and the socioeconomic statuses of individuals in rural Tanzania, where livelihoods heavily depend on rain-fed agriculture. We use a unique panel of data from a Kagera Health and Development Survey (KHDS) in which children were followed from childhood (1991) to […]

Access to micro – and informal loans: evaluating the impact on the quality of life of poor females in South Africa

Background: Since the early 1980s, many governments have investigated the possibility of utilising access to microloans as a pathway to grow economies out of unemployment and thereby improve people’s quality of life. Studies that have previously investigated the impact of microloans found a positive relationship to quality of life. Unfortunately, these studies mainly measure quality […]

Quality of life: Validation of an instrument and analysis of relationships between domains

Quality of life (QoL) is now widely recognised as a multidimensional concept. This study validates an instrument to measure multidimensional QoL, and investigates the relationships between the domains thereof. The domains analysed are: health, housing and infrastructure, socio-economic status, social relationships, governance and safety. We utilise a rich household-level dataset collected by the GCRO on […]

Impact of internal in- migration on income inequality in receiving areas: A district level study of South Africa

The impact of internal migration on regional income inequality of the receiving areas has hitherto gone largely unstudied. This dearth of literature is especially surprising because income inequality and in-migration into urban centers of growth are two issues that many developing economies are faced with and tackling these issues effectively involves understanding the interactions between […]

Non-Economic Quality of Life and Population Density in South Africa

The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between population density and non-economic quality of life. Popular opinion has generally been that population density can be seen as beneficial for economic growth, as it allows for greater productivity, greater incomes and can be translated into higher levels of quality of life. Recently though, […]

How Does Human Capital Shape the Social Contract?

This research brief presents the key findings and potential policy implications of an empirical paper on the link between education and institutions. Specifically, the paper seeks to examine the impact of education on corruption and law-and-order at different levels of political and economic development. In so doing, I attempt to investigate the contribution of aggregate […]

The expected well-being of urban refugees and asylum seekers in Johannesburg

The influx of asylum seekers and refugees from across Africa to democratic South Africa has increased significantly. The aim of this paper is to determine the factors that influence the ‘expected well-being’ of this unique group. ‘Expected well-being’ is an important determinant of both the decision to migrate and the choice of destination country. Therefore […]

Average and Heterogeneous Effects of Class Size on Educational Achievement in Lesotho

Understanding class size effects on educational achievement remains a preoccupation of many economists. But empirical results are, to this far, still inconclusive. I use the two-stage least squares and the instrumental variable quantile regression methods on Lesotho’s grade 6 students maths and reading test scores to estimate, respectively, the mean and distributional effects of class […]

Construction and analysis of a composite quality of life index for a region of South Africa

This study employs a novel approach to measure and analyse quality of life in the Gauteng City-Region of South Africa. A comprehensive composite index is constructed. Comparing the quality of life of different groups, groups such as Africans, residents in urban informal settlements and females scoring relatively low. The weighting of the dimensions of quality […]

Recurrent Property Rates – The Search for a Fair Tax Conducive to Economic Growth

The conflict between the need to attend to acute poverty in the present and the need to invest in longer-term poverty-reducing economic growth is a primary feature of the South African public policy landscape. Economic growth rates, while not alarmingly low (3.4% on average, annually, between 2000 and 2012, 1% from 2007-2012), have also not […]

Economic Growth and Inequality: Evidence from the Young Democracies of South America

We investigate in this paper whether income growth has played any role on inequality in all nine young South American democracies during 1970-2007. The results, based on dynamic panel time-series analysis, suggest that income growth has played a progressive role in reducing inequality during the period. Moreover, the results suggest that this negative relationship is […]

Effects of Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Education on Conflict Intensity in Africa

This study investigates the impact of different dimensions of schooling education (primary, secondary and tertiary enrolment) on the intensity of intra-state conflicts in Africa during 1989-2008. It uses fixed-effects regressions in a panel framework and annual data for 25 African countries. Parameter estimates provide clear evidence that schooling education (irrespective of the dimension considered) reduces […]

Does Famine Matter For Aggregate Adolescent Human Capital Acquisition In Sub-Saharan Africa?

To the extent that in utero and childhood malnutrition negatively affects later stage mental and physical health, it can possibly constrain later stage human capital acquisition, which is an important driver of economic growth. This paper considers the impact of famine on aggregate adolescent human capital formation in Sub-Saharan Africa. We parameterize a joint adolescent […]

Slave numeracy in the Cape Colony and comparative development in the eighteenth century

The lack of accurate measures of human capital formation often constrain investigations into the long-run determinants of growth and comparative economic development, especially in regions such as Africa. Using the reported age of criminals in the Courts of Justice records in the Cape Archive, this paper documents, for the first time, the levels of and […]

Does School Education Reduce the Likelihood of Societal Conflict in Africa?

This paper empirically tests the hypothesis that education, as measured by the average schooling years in the population aged 15 and above, reduces the likelihood of societal conflicts in Africa. It focuses on a sample of 31 African countries during 1960-2000 and uses both panel ordered probit and multinomial logistic estimation models. Using an aggregated […]

Climate Change Disaster Management: Mitigation and Adaptation in a Public Goods Framework

This paper explores the collective action problem as it relates to climate change and develops two models that capture the mitigation/adaptation trade-off. The first model presents climate change as a certain disaster, while the second models climate change as a stochastic event. A one-shot public goods experiment with students reveals a relatively low rate of […]

The Economic Origins of Twentieth Century Decolonisation in West Africa

This paper argues that the pattern of decolonisation in West Africa was a function of the nature of human capital transfers from the colonisers to the indigenous elites of the former colonies. Underpinning the nature of these human capital transfers is the colonial educational ideology. Where this ideology emphasized the notion of “assimilation”, the system […]

A theory of colonial goverance

This paper considers conditions of optimality in a co-optive strategy of colonial rule. It proposes a simple model of elite formation emanating from a coloniser’s quest to maximise extracted rents from its colonies. The results suggest multiple optimal solutions, depending on the specification of the production function, the governance technology chosen by the coloniser and […]

A regional perspective on Aid and FDI in Southern Africa

The global trend for official development assistance continues to decline in favour of philanthropic focussed and specific assistance on the one hand and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) on the other. A further development in the global development sees 2015 the introduction of the New Development Bank (NDB) (NDB, 2015). This multilateral bank sponsored by the […]

Characterizing Conflict Forms

This paper presents a model in which two groups in society are engaged in strategic interaction. Privileged members of society have the opportunity to allocate resources either to their own productive capacity, or to enhance the productive capacity of the disadvantaged. Redistribution to the disadvantaged can increase the productive capacity of society, but comes at […]

Does training benefit those who do not get any? Elasticities of complementarity and factor price in South Africa

Commentators claim a shortage of skills, particularly artisanal labour, in South Africa is constraining output and that a rise in skill supply would benefit less skilled occupations. This assumes/implies skilled and unskilled labour are q-complements. This paper estimates Hicks Elasticities of Complementarity and elasticities of factor price. Aggregate estimates suggest more skilled (white collar) labour […]

Schooling as a Lottery: Racial Differences in School Advancement in Urban South Africa

This paper develops a stochastic model of grade repetition to analyze the large racial differences in progress through secondary school in South Africa. The model predicts that a larger stochastic component in the link between learning and measured performance will generate higher enrollment, higher failure rates, and a weaker link between ability and grade progression. […]