- A-Z Publications
- Journal of Development Perspectives
- OA African Journal Archive
- Volume 2, Issue 1, 2006
Journal of Development Perspectives - Volume 2, Issue 1, 2006
Volume 2, Issue 1, 2006
Source: Journal of Development Perspectives 2, pp 7 –31 (2006)More Less
The paper provides a first systematic, comprehensive benchmarking of South Africa's infrastructure performance in four major sectors - electricity, water and sanitation, information and communication technology, and transportation - against the relevant group of comparator countries using a new World Bank international data base with objective and perception-based indicators of infrastructure performance from over 200 countries.
Source: Journal of Development Perspectives 2, pp 32 –62 (2006)More Less
This paper considers the impact of high costs and losses in reducing the productivity and competitiveness of African manufacturing, and the complications posed for reforms by having sparse business sectors heavily segmented by size, productivity and ethnicity. The conceptual framework is based on trade theories that see the evolution of comparative advantage as influenced by the business climate - a key public good - and by external economies between clusters of firms entering related sectors. Macroeconomic data from purchasing power parity (PPP) estimates, though imprecise, confirm that Africa is high-cost relative to its levels of income and productivity. Firm-level estimates using data from Investment Climate Surveys in 2000-2004 confirm the impact of high indirect costs and business environrnent-related losses in further depressing the performance of African firms relative to those in other countries, when performance is expanded from a 'factory-floor' concept towards a broader 'net productivity' measure. There are differences between African countries, however, with some showing evidence of a stronger business community and better business climate. Costs reflect poor infrastructure, business services and regulation. The paper adopts a political-economy perspective on the prospects for reform, considering common features of African economies: sparse, with small business sectors fractured along ethnic dimensions and with wide differences in the productivity of large and small firms. Minority and foreign investors have higher productivity and a greater propensity to export. The tendency to overcome difficult business climates by working in ethnic networks slows new entry and may decrease the incentives of key parts of the business community to form an aggressive pressure group for reform. This increases the possibility that countries settle into a low-productivity low-reform equilibrium. The paper concludes with a discussion of the findings for reforms to boost the competitiveness and diversification of African economies.
Author L. Alan WintersSource: Journal of Development Perspectives 2, pp 63 –85 (2006)More Less
This paper explores the effects of international trade, and in particular international trade policy, on poverty in Africa. It is based on a broad literature concerning these Jinks in general, which the author has written about elsewhere - especially McCulloch, et at.. (2001), and Winters (2002), Winters, et at.. (2004) - but it focuses on and draws examples from the set of issues most relevant to Sub-Saharan Africa.
Source: Journal of Development Perspectives 2, pp 86 –102 (2006)More Less
Shifts in agricultural policy over the past two decades, and fanners' reactions to these shifts, have not undennined national food security, yet many South Africans do not live lives free of food insecurity. A review of the empirical literature shows that agricultural production must develop beyond the subsistence level to have a significant impact on the food security and nutritional status of rural people. To this end, there are four conditions necessary for reaping benefits from agriculture in South Africa's rural communities. First, benefits from agriculture are most likely only to accrue if the supply of nontradables is price elastic. Second, incentives are needed to encourage households to participate in production of fann tradables. Third, it is necessary to ensure that markets exist for the sale of smallholder produce. Fourth, the nutritional benefits of agriculture will only remain positive if the dietary changes that do occur comply with dietary guidelines.
Author Zachary TambudzaiSource: Journal of Development Perspectives 2, pp 103 –120 (2006)More Less
A number of articles have been written on the detenninants of military expenditure in developing countries, which is important given the negative effect of military expenditure on economic development. There has been no such study for Zimbabwe. This paper tries to fill this gap by empirically testing the effects of economic factors, external factors, and geo-political factors on Zimbabwe's military expenditure. The empirical work is preceded by a survey of the trends in military expenditure since 1980. The paper applies a log-linear model specification based on the standard neoclassical theory to estimate the detenninants of military expenditure. It utilises OLS estimations on co-integrated variables and comes up with long run and short run (ECM) models. The empirical findings suggest that Zimbabwean military expenditure has been influenced by both external and internal factors. The significant factors include the regional wars, the military expenditure of neighbouring countries, income, the government's domestic borrowing ability and the trade balance. The model using milex as a share ofGDP data perfonned better than the one using real milex, both in the short run and long run.