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Policy Briefs

Can creditor bail-in trigger contagion? The experience of African Bank

Roy Havemann
The economic costs of bank failures can be substantial, and the resulting reprioritisation of government resources has long-lasting economic, political and social costs. To reduce the cost of failures to taxpayers, recent global regulatory reforms have focused on `burden-sharing arrangements', which aim to share the costs of bank failures between creditors and government. These reforms include `creditor bail-in', a mechanism to write-down the claims of creditors during the bank resolution process. The unintended consequences of bail-in are largely unknown and there are few successful examples.
Feb 2019
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Shaking Out or Shaking In: The Impact of Zimbabwe’s Economic Crisis on the Country’s Manufacturing Sector Allocative Efficiency

Nicholas Masiyandima and Lawrence Edwards
Following Zimbabwe's economic crisis between 1997 and 2009, a number severe policy reversals from the achievement of reforms and a more competitive manufacturing sector attained through the 1991 to 1995 IMF/World Bank supported Economic Structural Adjustment Programme, were instituted by the country's authorities in their quest to rescue the crisis. These included selective credit, selective foreign exchange allocation and at worst directed marketing of basic commodities at the height of the crisis. These firm and industry specific interventions complemented the already existing crisis induced idiosyncratic shocks on industry and firms.
Jan 2019
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‘The Prince and the Pauper’: The effect of inherited-wealth status on productivity in the lab

Sofia Monteiro, Justine Burns, Patrizio Piraino
This experiment contributes to the developing literature on the relationship between inherited-wealth status and effort provision in the labor market. This relationship is of interest beyond the lab the context of continuing national and global concern about intergenerational inequality. Inequality, and differences cultural and class backgrounds may be expected to dominate behavioral differences in South African workplaces and classrooms. This is suggested by lingering racial prejudice and patriarchal attitudes in the labor market and educational institutions. However, this experiment supports the behavioral economics literature that posits that individuals are highly susceptible to framing in ways that augment or mitigate differences in background. This phenomenon occurs even in the brief minutes spent in the artificially constructed context of the laboratory. The implications are profound for the manner in which workplace hierarchies are framed/constructed, and for South African educational institutions, in which the issue of ‘decolonizing’ education is currently being explored.
Jan 2019
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Effect of Financial Development on Economic Growth in sub-Saharan African: Does Sectoral Growth Matter?

Muazu Ibrahim and Paul Alagidede
The role of financial sector development in economic growth has received an extensive attention in the literature. Indeed, a well–developed domestic financial sector such as those of developed countries, can significantly contribute growth by increasing savings and investment, improves technological innovations and efficiently allocates resources. The development of the financial sector entails the institutionalization of policies governing the sector. Financial development in sub–Saharan Africa (SSA) remains low although the sector continues to grow in recent times with the hope that such improvement in the financial sector will enhance economic growth. Extant studies in the literature on finance–growth nexus remain inconclusive and little is also known on the overall effect on growth via the interaction of the real and financial sector. Given the relationship between financial development and economic growth, the central theme of this paper is that the extent to which finance helps growth depends crucially on the simultaneous growth of real and financial sectors. By relying on data spanning 1980–2014 for 29 SSA countries, this paper examines the effect on economic growth when credit growth outstrips the solvency needs of the real sector, and how this impacts on growth. We present crucial findings on the effect of disproportionate sectoral growth rates from the lenses of developing economies. Our evidence resolves the seemingly conflicting and highly contested findings in the finance–growth literature and provides crucial guidance for conducting effective monetary policy aimed at propelling growth.
Jan 2019
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The Comfort of the future: The role of Social Norms in Constructing the Ideal towards Sustainability – A Randomised Field Experiment

Love Idahosa
In the environmental sustainability (ES) movement, the challenge of modifying human behaviour for effective demand side management of resources has been highlighted. This challenge is peculiar in the Tourism Accommodation Industry (TAI) as managers struggle to balance the need to be sustainable with their objective of providing comfort for their guests. Consequently, the uptake of many sustainability initiatives in the industry is limited. To address this challenge, a solution to foster the uptake of ES practices in establishments in the industry is proposed. This solution is based on the argument put forward by Elizabeth Shove and some of her colleagues, that comfort is largely socially constructed, contradicting the positivist approach which emphasises the biological and psychological nature of comfort. Although Shove does not focus on tourism, her argument is adapted for the TAI context. The solution is targeted at reducing energy consumption from Heating, Ventilation, and Cooling (HVAC) in these TAEs, but with possibility for expansion to water saving initiatives as well.
Jan 2019
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A Longitudinal Analysis of the Demand for Cigarettes in South Africa

Alfred Mukong
Tobacco use is a major health problem, resulting in many millions of needless deaths every year, including many third-party innocent non-smokers (second-hand smokers). This has prompted most governments and many international organisations like World Health Organisation (WHO) to develop a Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), with the aim to reduce tobacco consumption and smoking-related morbidity and mortality. Among the various tobacco control policies, tobacco taxes are shown to be the most effective in reducing tobacco use. South Africa is noted to have used large excise taxes to reduce cigarette consumption by almost half per adult within 15 years after transition to democracy in 1994. In 2010, the tobacco market structure in South Africa changed substantial (from near monopoly to a more competitive market). From this period, cigarette prices and smoking prevalence have remained fairly constant. There is need to revisit the tobacco tax reform in this new market structure. However, this require new evidence on how the marginal changes in price within this period affect individual smoking behaviour.
Jan 2019
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Unveiling the energy saving role of banking performance in Sub-Sahara Africa

Amuakwa-Mensah, F, Klege, R.A, Adom, P.K., Hagan, E, Amoah, A
Most countries in Sub-Sahara Africa are on the path of becoming emerging economies with huge economic prospects and investment opportunities. Notwithstanding, energy insecurity and fragmented banking sector are the predominant features in the region. Thus, energy intensity is high in the region and the banking sector is under developed; this is an indication that more energy is required to produce a unit of output in the sub-region. Given the close link between energy consumption and climate change (Amuakwa-Mensah and Adom 2017; Ali et al., 2016; Shabaz et al., 2015), the current energy use pattern in Sub-Sahara Africa has important implications on the region's environment. Since the adverse effects of climate change have no geographic boundaries, the international community should be concerned about the energy use patterns in sub-Saharan Africa. Our study provides an important insight into global discussions on energy efficiency, climate change and political institutions.
Dec 2018
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Recreation Demand and Optimal Pricing for International Visitors to Kruger National Park

Samson Mukanjari, Edwin Muchapondwa, Eyoual Demeke
Even though most national parks are not wholly funded by the State, there has been a rise in calls for African governments to also focus on more people-oriented national objectives, such as access to education, energy, water and sanitation, and health, as well as tackling the high levels of unemployment and poverty. This has diminished the priority given to national parks and other protected areas in State funding models. In some cases, this disadvantage has been reinforced by the increasing contestation of the existence of national parks and other protected areas in land-scarce economies. The result has been a general decrease in funds for conservation. This threatens the existence of national parks and other protected areas, as well as the associated opportunities for social progress through job creation, enterprise development, infrastructure development, and export earnings.
Nov 2018
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The Measurement of Institutions and Instability in Democratic Republic of Congo, 1880-2010

Alain Pholo Bala
This paper attempts to provide measures of the institutions that characterize Democratic Republic of Congo. To do so we construct de jure indices of property rights, political rights and civil liberties and a de facto index of political stability for the period going from 1880 to 2010. The indices chosen represent the political and economic institutions, which are considered as crucial for economic growth. We construct indices with long time coverage as per the suggestion of Kaufmann et al. (2003): the likelihood of observing significant changes in institutional variables substantially increases with the length of time under consideration.
Nov 2018
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Imported inputs, Government Support and Performance of manufacturing exporters

Peter Chacha and Lawrence Edwards
Access to imported intermediate inputs has been hailed as crucial in enhancing firm productivity and performance in exports. Indeed, this is perhaps the greatest gain by countries through globalization. A cut in global tariffs has promoted access to a larger variety of higher quality and cheaper inputs, enabling firms to lower their marginal costs and overcome the fixed costs of serving foreign markets. In addition, most countries go a step further and grant duty relief and tax exemptions to exporters to encourage them to use more imported intermediate inputs in their production processes.
Nov 2018
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