nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2009‒03‒28
24 papers chosen by
Jeong-Joon Lee
Towson University

  1. Social Mobility and Colonial Legacy in Five African Countries By Thomas Bossuroy; Denis Cogneau
  2. Everyday forms of collective action in Bangladesh: Learning from Fifteen Cases By Davis, Peter
  3. Agglomeration, migration, and regional growth: A CGE analysis for Uganda By Dorosh, Paul; Thurlow, James
  4. Are returns to mothers' human capital realized in the next generation?: The impact of mothers' intellectual human capital and long-run nutritional status on children's human capital in Guatemala By Behrman, Jere R.; Murphy, Alexis; Quisumbing, Agnes R.; Yount, Kathryn
  5. Measuring agricultural innovation system properties and performance: Illustrations from Ethiopia and Vietnam By Spielman, David J.; Kelemework, Dawit
  6. Understanding farmers' perceptions and adaptations to climate change and variability: The case of the Limpopo Basin, South Africa By Gbetibouo, Glwadys Aymone
  7. Impact of soaring food price in Ethiopia: Does location matter? By Ulimwengu, John M.; Workneh, Sindu; Paulos, Zelekawork
  8. Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries By Zoltan Acs; Nicola Virgill
  9. IN THE SHADOW OF CHINA: TRADE AND GROWTH IN LAO PDR By Andersson, Magnus; Engvall, Anders; Kokko, Ari
  10. Miserly Developments By Lind, Jo Thori; Moene, Karl O.
  11. Are Capital Controls Effective in the 21st Century? The Recent Experience of Colombia By Herman Kamil; Benedict J. Clements
  12. Why Isn't South Africa Growing Faster? A Comparative Approach By Luc Eyraud
  13. The Macroeconomic Impact of Scaled-up Aid: The Case of Niger By Gonzalo Salinas; Abdikarim Farah; Emilio Sacerdoti
  14. How Can Burundi Raise Its Growth Rate?The Impact of Civil Conflicts and State Intervention on Burundi's Growth Performance By Olivier Basdevant
  16. Is South Sulawesi a Center of Growth in Eastern Indonesia? : Japanese ODA Strategy Revisited By Takahashi, Kazushi
  17. Impact of Infrastructure Spending in Mali: A CGE Modeling Approach By Antonio Estache; Jean-François Perrault; Luc Savard
  18. A Turning Point? Recent Developments on Inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean By Leonardo Gasparini; Guillermo Cruces; Leopoldo Tornarolli; Mariana Marchionni
  19. SME Access to Credit in Guatemala and Nicaragua: Challenging Conventional Wisdom with New Evidence By Ricardo Bebczuk
  20. Land Titles and Conflicts in Guatemala By Karen Macours
  21. Economic Restructuring and Retirement in Urban China By John Giles
  22. Immigration and Inequality By David Card
  23. Remittances and Temporary Migration By Christian Dustmann; Josep Mestres
  24. Intermarriage and Immigrant Employment: The Role of Networks By Delia Furtado; Nikolaos Theodoropoulos

  1. By: Thomas Bossuroy (EHESS, DIAL, IRD, Paris); Denis Cogneau (DIAL, IRD, Paris)
    Abstract: How fluid are African societies? This paper uses wide-sample nationally representative surveys to set down the first comparative measurement of the extent and features of the social mobility of men in five countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. Intergenerational as well as intra-generational mobility between the farm and non-farm sectors are examined, and are linked to migration patterns on the one hand, educational development and mobility on the other hand. Two former British colonies, Ghana and Uganda, stand out with the highest level of social fluidity. Two former French Western colonies, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, come next. Last, Madagascar exhibits specifically large and sustained inequalities of opportunity. Comparisons between countries reveal how occupational mobility is linked to spatial and educational mobility. In the former French colonies, these latter forms of mobility are much selective on the origin variables, and appear as pre-requisites for the access to non-agricultural jobs. In the former British colonies, the links between origin, migration, education and occupational achievement appear much looser. Historical evidence suggests that these different structures are the product of policies and investments implemented differently by the two former colonial powers. This article thus presents original evidence on social mobility in Africa and highlights how institutions and policies shape it. _________________________________ Quel est le degré de fluidité des sociétés africaines ? Cet article mobilise des enquêtes nationalement représentatives à larges échantillons pour établir une première mesure comparative du niveau et des caractéristiques de la mobilité sociale des hommes dans cinq pays d'Afrique Sub-Saharienne. Les mobilités intergénérationnelle ainsi qu'intra-générationnelle entre les secteurs agricole et non-agricole sont examinés, et mis en relation avec les caractéristiques de la migration d'une part, avec le développement de l'éducation et la mobilité scolaire intergénérationnelle d'autre part. Deux anciennes colonies britanniques, le Ghana et l'Ouganda, ressortent avec le plus haut degré de fluidité sociale. Deux anciennes colonies françaises d'Afrique de l'Ouest, la Côte d'Ivoire et la Guinée, viennent ensuite. Enfin, Madagascar montre une inégalité des chances particulièrement élevée et durable. Les comparaisons entre pays révèlent que la mobilité professionnelle est liée à la mobilité spatiale et à la mobilité scolaire. Dans les anciennes colonies françaises, ces deux dernières formes de mobilité sont plus sélectives en fonction des variables d'origine sociale, et apparaissent comme des préconditions pour l'accès aux professions non-agricoles. Dans les anciennes colonies britanniques, les liens entre origine sociale, migration, éducation et destination professionnelle apparaissent beaucoup plus lâches. L'analyse historique suggère que ces structures différentes sont les produits de politiques et d'investissements mis en oeuvre de façon différente par les deux puissances coloniales. Cet article présente ainsi une série de faits originaux sur la mobilité sociale en Afrique et met en lumière comment les institutions et les politiques lui confèrent ses formes.
    Keywords: Social Mobility, Education, Intergenerational Transmission, Colonization, Dualism,Africa, Mobilité sociale, éducation, transmission intergénérationnelle, colonisation, dualisme,Afrique.
    JEL: J62 N37 O15
    Date: 2008–12
  2. By: Davis, Peter
    Abstract: "This paper examines fifteen cases of collective action in six villages in rural Bangladesh. Collective action was defined broadly and identified from significant episodes in previous life-history research in the same villages. The types of collective action identified were catalyzed by marriage; dowry and domestic violence; disputes over land; illness, injury and death in accidents; and theft and cheating. The role of development NGOs was less significant than would be expected considering their visibility in rural Bangladesh. The study suggests that ‘everyday forms' (Scott 1985) of collective action often occur spontaneously and informally, with significant impact on peoples' wellbeing, but with ambiguous outcomes for some poor people involved. This is a different picture that is usually understood in Bangladesh – due to the visibility of NGOs – particularly by outsiders. Local government elected chairs and members play a key role in collective action events, which often include local arbitration, or shalish, hearings. A deeper understanding of how collective disputes and struggles are commonly managed in everyday life should help us to hold a more realistic view of the empowerment potential of interventions aimed at fostering collective action in rural Bangladesh." authors' abstract
    Keywords: Collective action, Disputes, Social norms, Gender, Poverty,
    Date: 2009
  3. By: Dorosh, Paul; Thurlow, James
    Abstract: "Uganda has experienced rapid economic growth and poverty reduction over the past decade but has failed to significantly improve incomes in its northern regions where prolonged conflict has hindered growth. We consider three strategies to close this regional divide: (1) develop a north-south corridor to encourage regional trade, (2) accelerate growth in the southern capital city and encourage north-south migration, and (3) improve agricultural productivity in rural areas. We examine these strategies using a regionalized computable general equilibrium model, accounting for internal migration and productivity gains from urban agglomeration effects. Simulation results indicate that a north-south corridor benefits northern households, but its benefits are limited by the small size of northern urban centers and the low productivity of northern producers. Investing in the capital city accelerates economic growth but has little effect on other regions' welfare because of the city's weak growth linkages with other regions and small migration effects. Improving agricultural productivity, however, though less effective at stimulating national economic growth, generates broad-based welfare improvements in both rural and urban areas. We therefore conclude that without significant gains in agricultural productivity in the next decade, out-migration and urban-led growth centered in Kampala will be insufficient to significantly reduce poverty in northern Uganda. " from authors' abstract
    Keywords: economic growth, Poverty, Agricultural development, Spatial economics, Development strategies,
    Date: 2009
  4. By: Behrman, Jere R.; Murphy, Alexis; Quisumbing, Agnes R.; Yount, Kathryn
    Abstract: "Many prior studies find significant cross-sectional positive ordinary least squares (OLS) associations between maternal human capital (usually maternal schooling attainment) and children's human capital (usually children's schooling, but in some cases children's nutritional status). This paper uses rich Guatemalan longitudinal data collected over 35 years to explore several limitations of these “standard” estimates. The preferred estimates developed herein suggest that (1) maternal human capital is more important than suggested by the standard estimates; (2) maternal cognitive skills have a greater impact than maternal schooling attainment on children's biological human capital; and (3) for some important indicators of children's human capital, maternal biological capital has larger effect sizes than maternal intellectual capital (schooling and cognitive skills). These results imply that breaking the intergenerational transmission of poverty, malnutrition, and intellectual deprivation through investments in women's human capital may be more effective than previously suggested, but it will require approaches that account for dimensions of women's human capital beyond just their schooling. Effective interventions to improve women's biological and intellectual human capital often begin in utero or in early childhood; thus, their realization will take longer than if more schooling were the only relevant channel." from authors' abstract
    Keywords: Maternal human capital, Cognitive skills, Nutritional status, Child outcomes, Poverty, Women,
    Date: 2009
  5. By: Spielman, David J.; Kelemework, Dawit
    Abstract: "The rapidly changing nature of the global food and agriculture system suggests the need to rethink how innovation can contribute to developing-country agriculture. While scientific and technological changes in agriculture can help foster productivity growth and poverty reduction, their contributions are incomplete without commensurate changes in the wider system of which they are a part. A more systems-oriented understanding of how innovation occurs in a society and economy is critical to promoting dynamism, responsiveness, and competitiveness in developing-country agriculture and, ultimately, to enhancing productivity and reducing poverty. However, without adequate measures of the properties and performance of an agricultural innovation system, it is difficult for policymakers, investors, donors, and practitioners to promote policies and investments that foster greater innovativeness in agriculture. This suggests the need for a measure of agricultural innovativeness that preferably extends beyond the “black box” approach of measuring only inputs and outputs, focusing on the underlying processes that contribute to building the capabilities needed to create an innovative agricultural sector. To this end, this paper attempts to provide a “proof of concept” that innovativeness in developing-country agriculture can be measured. It first identifies a set of indicators from secondary data sources that measure the key elements of an agricultural innovation system. Several hundred indicators are reviewed, validated, and aggregated into a unique Agriculture, Development, and Innovation Index (ADII). The paper then provides a toolkit for collecting and analyzing “systems-oriented” indicators that add more process-related nuances to the ADII with both attributional and relational data. This is illustrated with data collected in Ethiopia and Vietnam in 2007–08." from authors' abstract
    Keywords: Agriculture, Developing countries, Innovation, Science and technology,
    Date: 2009
  6. By: Gbetibouo, Glwadys Aymone
    Abstract: "Climate change is expected to have serious environmental, economic, and social impacts on South Africa. In particular, rural farmers, whose livelihoods depend on the use of natural resources, are likely to bear the brunt of adverse impacts. The extent to which these impacts are felt depends in large part on the extent of adaptation in response to climate change. This research uses a “bottom-up” approach, which seeks to gain insights from the farmers themselves based on a farm household survey. Farm-level data were collected from 794 households in the Limpopo River Basin of South Africa for the farming season 2004–2005. The study examines how farmer perceptions correspond with climate data recorded at meteorological stations in the Limpopo River Basin and analyzes farmers' adaptation responses to climate change and variability. A Heckman probit model and a multinomial logit (MNL) model are used to examine the determinants of adaptation to climate change and variability. The statistical analysis of the climate data shows that temperature has increased over the years. Rainfall is characterized by large interannual variability, with the previous three years being very dry. Indeed, the analysis shows that farmers' perceptions of climate change are in line with the climatic data records. However, only approximately half of the farmers have adjusted their farming practices to account for the impacts of climate change. Lack of access to credit was cited by respondents as the main factor inhibiting adaptation. The results of the multinomial logit and Heckman probit models highlighted that household size, farming experience, wealth, access to credit, access to water, tenure rights, off-farm activities, and access to extension are the main factors that enhance adaptive capacity. Thus, the government should design policies aimed at improving these factors. " from authors' abstract
    Keywords: Climate change, Climate variability, Perception, Adaptation, Agriculture,
    Date: 2009
  7. By: Ulimwengu, John M.; Workneh, Sindu; Paulos, Zelekawork
    Abstract: "Previous studies implicitly assume uniform price-effects across regions or provinces within countries. They also do not address the issue of integration between the world food market and local markets. Instead, they assume a complete transmission of changes in world food prices to local food prices. In this paper, we first establish evidence of regional price heterogeneity across Ethiopia. We also applied the Johansen test for market integration over 95 local maize markets and found that none of the Ethiopian regional markets for maize is integrated to the world market. However, there is significant short-term price effects between the world maize market and some Ethiopian regional markets. Using the Almost Ideal Demand System, we estimate loss in household consumption and calorie intake as induced by food price increases. The results suggest a great deal of heterogeneity across regions as well as between rural and urban areas. Studies that fail to account for the characteristics of household demand across locations are more likely to induce misleading policy recommendations. " from authors' abstract
    Keywords: Price, Integration, Demand, Elasticity, Poverty, Food prices, maize,
    Date: 2009
  8. By: Zoltan Acs (George Mason University); Nicola Virgill (George Mason University)
    Abstract: This paper reviews the literature on economic development from import substitution to export promotion. It then examines the literature on entrepreneurship and economic development creating a framework for promoting development through demonstration effects, knowledge and information externalities and network externalities. It finished with an examination of public policies.
    Keywords: Development, export substitution, export promotion, public policy
    JEL: L26 O10
    Date: 2009–03–25
  9. By: Andersson, Magnus (European Institute of Japanese Studies); Engvall, Anders (Department of Economics); Kokko, Ari (China Economic Research Center)
    Abstract: The rapid integration of China into the global economy has profoundly altered external economic conditions for its neighbors and the wider developing world. This study explores the effects on Laos, a small developing country on the fringe of the Chinese market. The Lao case captures both global effects transmitted across the world market and a regional impact that may be limited to countries located close to China. Based on unique trade and household data-sets, the study identifies three main effects of China’s growth on the Lao economy: (i) an increased demand for exports of primary commodities to the Chinese market; (ii) increased inflows of Chinese manufactured goods competing with domestic Lao production; and (iii) border effects in northern Laos where low transaction costs have allowed even the poorest households to participate in exports to China. The first and second of these effects are expected to apply to most developing countries, whereas the third is unique to developing countries located close to the Chinese market. In the long run, it is possible that increasing wages and a gradual reduction of the Chinese surplus of unskilled labor will create new opportunities for labor intensive industry in other developing countries, but the short run strategies of many countries should probably focus on gradual upgrading of resource based industries.
    Keywords: Laos; exports; FDI; income distribution
    JEL: F14 F15 F20 O10
    Date: 2009–03–01
  10. By: Lind, Jo Thori (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo); Moene, Karl O. (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)
    Abstract: In many countries extreme poverty is unnecessary. Yet it persists. We propose a simple index, denoted the Miser index, to measure the extent to which societies have poverty in the midst of affluence. It builds on the generalized Lorenz curve, but can also be seen as a measure of polarization between the rich and the poor. We calculate the index for a number of developing and emerging economies and rank them according to their revealed miserliness. We also identify important correlates of the Miser index. Countries that score high on the index tend to be socially fractionalized, bureaucratically inefficient, and politically corrupt. They provide their citizens with a low level of health care and education. Democracy and high growth rates do not moderate miserliness. Finally, considering the world as a single entity, we find a dramatic rise in global miserliness over the last 30 years.
    Keywords: Miser index; poverty; affluence; inequality; development
    JEL: D31 D63 F35 I32 O15
    Date: 2009–01–28
  11. By: Herman Kamil; Benedict J. Clements
    Abstract: This paper assesses the effects of capital controls imposed in Colombia in 2007 on capital flows and exchange rate dynamics. The results suggest that the controls were successful in reducing external borrowing, but had no statistically significant impact on the volume of non- FDI flows as a whole. We find no evidence that restrictions to capital mobility moderated the appreciation of Colombia's currency, or increased the degree of independence of monetary policy. We also find that controls have significantly increased the volatility of the exchange rate. Additional research is needed to assess the effects of capital controls on financial stability.
    Keywords: Capital controls , Colombia , Capital flows , Exchange rate appreciation , Exchange rate developments , Emerging markets , Economic models ,
    Date: 2009–02–19
  12. By: Luc Eyraud
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to examine factors that have constrained South Africa's growth since the end of apartheid by comparing its GDP components and its saving and investment performance with those of 10 faster-growing countries. The study finds that sluggish investment has undermined growth since 1996 and that the underinvestment is in part explained by limited saving. Thus, over the last decade, interactions between investment, saving, and production may have perpetuated slow growth in South Africa.
    Keywords: Economic growth , South Africa , Gross domestic product , Savings , Private savings , Investment , Labor productivity , Cross country analysis , Economic models ,
    Date: 2009–02–10
  13. By: Gonzalo Salinas; Abdikarim Farah; Emilio Sacerdoti
    Abstract: We develop a simple macroeconomic model that assesses the effects of higher foreign aid on output growth and other macroeconomic variables, including the real exchange rate. The model is easily tractable and requires estimation of only a few basic parameters. It takes into account the impact of aid on physical and human capital accumulation, while recognizing that the impact of the latter is more protracted. Application of the model to Niger-one of the poorest countries in the world-suggests that if foreign aid as a share of GDP were to be permanently increased from the equivalent of 10 percent of GDP in 2007 to 15 percent in 2008, annual economic growth would accelerate by more than 1 percentage point, without generating significant risks for macroeconomic stability. As a result, by 2020 Niger's income per capita would be 12.5 percent higher than it would be without increased foreign aid. Moreover, the higher growth would help Niger to cut the incidence of poverty by 25 percent by 2015, although the country will still be unable to reach the Millennium Development Goal of poverty reduction (MDG 1).
    Keywords: Development assistance , Niger , Low-income developing countries , Aid flows , Economic growth , Capital accumulation , Poverty reduction , Economic models ,
    Date: 2009–03–11
  14. By: Olivier Basdevant
    Abstract: Over the last thirty years Burundi's low economic growth has led to a significant decline in per capita GDP. The purpose of this paper is to shed light on supply-side constraints that prevented Burundi's economy from growing faster. Lack of investment, civil conflict, economic inefficiencies, state intervention in the economy, and regulatory restrictions explain a large part of the weak growth performance for the last thirty years.
    Keywords: Economic growth , Burundi , Gross domestic product , Economic indicators , Investment , Coffee , Agricultural commodities ,
    Date: 2009–01–23
  15. By: Paris, Thelma R.; Rola-Rubzen, Maria Fay; Luis, Joyce; Thi Ngoc Chi, Truong; Wongsanum, Chaicharn; Villanueva, Donald
    Abstract: Out migration from rural areas is increasingly becoming a strategy to get out of poverty. While rice–based agriculture remains to be the backbone in Southeast Asia, majority of the farming households particularly those who produce rice under rainfed conditions remain poor and insecure. This paper examines the relationship between migration and other socio-economic factors on household income using data from 1,874 rice sample farming households in Vietnam (north and south), Thailand (northeast) and Philippines (Luzon island). In the Philippines, remittances contribute about 60 per cent of household income of recipient families. In Thailand and Vietnam, these constitute about 40 per cent of total household income. International migration is most prevalent in the Philippines while rural to urban migration is more prevalent in Thailand and Vietnam due to rapid urbanization and industrialization as well as improved transport and communication networks. Migration has a positive and significant relationship on household income. Remittances both from internal and international migration are predominantly used to meet daily expenses including food, farm (inputs and payment of hired laborers) and children’s education. Given the stability and reliability of the flow or remittances, they play a significant role in consumption smoothing for the poor. Remittances partake the nature of insurance for use at times of need and ease credit constraints for investments in agriculture. Those who are left behind, the elderly and the women, manage to maintain rice yields at par with those households without migrants.
    Keywords: migration, remittances, income, rice, farming systems,
    Date: 2009
  16. By: Takahashi, Kazushi
    Abstract: Japanese ODA, especially that undertaken by JICA, has targeted South Sulawesi Province as a core area of development in eastern Indonesia, with hope that the economic growth of South Sulawesi will bring about spillover effects in other regions. This paper tests the validity of the strategy using a framework of Vector Autoregressive model. The results show that South Sulawesi’s economy Granger causes other regions in eastern Indonesia, but not vice versa, implying that South Sulawesi drives the development of other regions in eastern Indonesia. Further analysis shows that the development of the agricultural sector in South Sulawesi potentially has the highest spillover effects than other sectors and that the magnitude of spillover effect from South Sulawesi on eastern Indonesia is higher than other economically important regions, such as Eastern Java and Kalimantan.
    Keywords: Spillover Effect, Vector Autoregressive, Regional Disparity, Indonesia
    JEL: O10 R11 R12
    Date: 2009–03
  17. By: Antonio Estache; Jean-François Perrault; Luc Savard
    Abstract: In this paper we construct a standard CGE model to explore the impact of scaling up infrastructure in an African country. As the debate on the importance of scaling up infrastructure to stimulate growth and provide a push to African economies, some analyst raise concern on financing these infrastructures after construction and that external funding of these can create major distortion and have a negative impact on the trade balance of these countries. This study aims to provide so insight into this debate. It draws from the infrastructure productivity literature to postulate positive productive externalities of new infrastructure and Fay and Yepes (2003) for operating cost associated with new infrastructure. We compare various infrastructure investment funded with different fiscal tools. These investments scenarios are compared to non productive investment that can be interpreted as a business as usual scenario. Our results show that foreign aid does produce Dutch disease effects but the negative impacts are strongly dependent on the type of investments performed. Moreover, growth effects contribute to attenuate the negative effects.
    Keywords: Investment externalities, foreign aid, exchange rate, fiscal reforms
    JEL: C68 E62 F35 H54
    Date: 2009
  18. By: Leonardo Gasparini (Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) - Universidad Nacional de La Plata); Guillermo Cruces (Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) - Universidad Nacional de La Plata); Leopoldo Tornarolli (Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) - Universidad Nacional de La Plata); Mariana Marchionni (Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) - Universidad Nacional de La Plata)
    Abstract: This paper documents patterns and recent developments on different dimensions of inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). New comparative international evidence confirms that LAC is a region of high inequality, although maybe not the highest in the world. Income inequality has fallen in the 2000s, suggesting a turning point from the significant increases of the 1980s and 1990s. There have been some significant improvements toward the reduction in inequalities in the access to primary and secondary education, and to some services (water, sanitation, electricity, cell phones). However, there is an increasing gap between the rich and the poor in the access to tertiary education, and important differences in the access to new technologies.
    Keywords: inequality, distribution, education, Latin America, Caribbean
    JEL: C15 D31 I21 J23 J31
    Date: 2009–02
  19. By: Ricardo Bebczuk (Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) - Universidad Nacional de La Plata)
    Abstract: This paper develops a conceptual framework and offers new statistical evidence on the access to credit by micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Guatemala and Nicaragua. To this end, and after reviewing the existing literature on the topic, it produces new empirical evidence drawn from the official Household Survey and the World Bank’s Investment Climate Survey, conducted in both countries in 2006. The core contribution of the paper lies in the critical revision of three pieces of common knowledge, namely: (1) A large fraction of MSMEs has an excess demand for credit; (2) In the presence of credit market failures, governments must and actually do assist MSMEs in gaining access to loan facilities; and (3) Alternative credit instruments, such as leasing, factoring, microcredit, and third-party guarantee schemes, can be a suitable and massive solution for the lack of financing. Our analysis refutes to a large extent these assertions and advances some basic policy prescriptions that should help improve the resource allocation and impact of specific MSME financial programs.
    Date: 2009–01
  20. By: Karen Macours
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of formal property rights on plot use and credit access in 20 communities in Guatemala, and shows how these impacts differ depending on the community conflict context. The paper proposes a new instrument based on detailed information about the geographic location of the plots and historical titling processes to address the endogeneity concerns that are common in the property rights literature. The paper sheds light on whether the effect of land titles on plot use and credit access varies with the prevalence of conflicts and different types of conflict resolution mechanisms. The findings suggest that these factors might be crucial to understand the potential impacts on plot use of possible titling programs.
    Keywords: Land titling, Conflicts, Latin America
    JEL: O12 O13
    Date: 2009–03
  21. By: John Giles
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of changes in immigrant eligibility for Supplemental Security Income in 1996 on the employment and retirement behaviors of foreign-born elderly persons. I find that denial of SSI was associated with a 5 percentage point (15 percent) increase in the employment of non-citizen elderly men and a 5.6 percentage point (11 percent) decrease in their retirement rate. The estimated effects were higher for recent arrivals, a group most likely to be affected by the policy change. Further, while recent arrivals were more likely to increase part-time work, the earlier arrivals responded to the policy by increasing full-time employment. I find no consistent evidence that denial of SSI affected the employment of elderly immigrant women, but some evidence that it raised their retirement rate, specifically among those who immigrated in recent years.
    Date: 2008–12
  22. By: David Card (University of California Berkeley)
    Abstract: Immigration is often viewed as a proximate cause of the rising wage gap between high- and low-skilled workers. Nevertheless, there is controversy over the appropriate theoretical and empirical framework for measuring the presumed effect, and over the precise magnitudes involved. This paper offers an overview and synthesis of existing knowledge on the relationship between immigration and inequality, focusing on evidence from cross-city comparisons in the U.S. While some researchers have claimed that a cross-city research design is inherently flawed, I argue that the evidence from cross-city comparisons is remarkably consistent with recent findings based on aggregate time series data. In particular, cross-city and aggregate time series comparisons provide support for three key conclusions: (1) workers with below high school education are perfect substitutes for those with a high school education; (2) “high school equivalent” and “college equivalent” workers are imperfect substitutes, with an elasticity of substitution on the order of 2; (3) within education groups, immigrants and natives are imperfect substitutes. Together these results imply that the average impacts of recent immigrant inflows on the relative wages of U.S. natives are small. The effects on overall wage inequality (including natives and immigrants) are larger, reflecting the concentration of immigrants in the tails of the skill distribution and higher residual inequality among immigrants than natives. Even so, immigration accounts for a small share (5%) of the increase in U.S. wage inequality between 1980 and 2000.
    Date: 2009–01
  23. By: Christian Dustmann (Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration, Department of Economics, University College London); Josep Mestres (Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration, Department of Economics, University College London)
    Abstract: In this paper we study the remittance behavior of immigrants and how it relates to temporary versus permanent migration plans. We use a unique data source that provides unusual detail on remittances and return plans, and follows the same household over time. Our data allows us also to distinguish between different purposes of remittances. We analyze the association between individual and household characteristics and the geographic location of the family as well as return plans, and remittances. The panel nature of our data allows us to condition on household fixed effects. To address measurement error and reverse causality, we use an instrumental variable estimator. Our results show that changes in return plans are related to large changes in remittance flows.
    Date: 2009–02
  24. By: Delia Furtado (University of Connecticut and Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)); Nikolaos Theodoropoulos (University of Cyprus and Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM, UCL))
    Abstract: The social integration of immigrants is believed to be an important determinant of immigrants’ labor market outcomes. Using 2000 U.S. Census data, we examine how and why marriage to a native, one measure of social assimilation, affects immigrant employment rates. We show that even when controlling for a variety of human capital and assimilation measures, marriage to a native increases the probability that an immigrant is employed. An instrumental variables approach which exploits variation in marriage market conditions suggests that the relationship between marriage decisions and employment rates is not likely to arise from positive selection into marrying a native. We then present several pieces of evidence suggesting that networks obtained through marriage play an important part in explaining this effect.
    Date: 2009–01

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