nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2010‒03‒06
eighteen papers chosen by
Mark Lee
Towson University

  1. Trade Liberalization, Inequality and Poverty in Brazilian States By Marta Castilho; Marta Menéndez; Aude Sztulman
  2. The Impact of International Trade Flows on the Growth of Brazilian States By Marie Daumal; Selin Ozyurt
  3. Are Remittances More Effective Than Aid To Reduce Child Mortality? An Empirical Assessment using Inter and Intra-Country Data By Lisa Chauvet; Flore Gubert; Sandrine Mesplé-Somps
  4. Living Conditions in Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Western Africa 1925-1985: What Do Survey Data on Height Stature Tell Us? By Denis Cogneau; Léa Rouanet
  5. The impact of trade openness on regional inequality : the cases of India and Brazil By Marie Daumal
  6. Employment Vulnerability and Earnings in Urban West Africa By Philippe Bocquier; Christophe Nordman; Aude Vescovo
  7. SMEs and Regional Economic Growth in Brazil By Túlio A. Cravo; Adrian Gourlay; Bettina Becker
  8. The Analytical Returns to Measuring a Detailed Household Roster By Akresh, Richard; Edmonds, Eric V.
  9. Labor Market Rigidities and Informality in Colombia By Camilo Mondragón-Vélez; Ximena Peña; Daniel Wills
  10. Prevalence and Costs of Childhood Diarrhoea in the Slums of Dhaka By M. Jahangir Alam
  11. Female Work Participation and Gender Differential in Earning in West Bengal By Indrani Chakraborty; Achin Chakraborty
  12. Learning from the Chinese miracle : development lessons for Sub-Saharan Africa By Zafar, Ali
  13. Long-Term Economic Growth and the Standard of Living in Indonesia By Pierre van der Eng; Joerg Baten; Mojgan Stegl
  14. The Experience of the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) : Political Parties in Kenya from 1991 to 2007 By Tsuda, Miwa
  15. Financial Integration and Foreign Banks in Latin America: How Do They Impact the Transmission of External Financial Shocks? By Eduardo Cavallo; Andrew Powell; Oscar Becerra
  16. The Political Economy of Disaster Vulnerability: A Case Study of Pakistan Earthquake 2005 By Yasir, Agha
  17. Which Parts of Globalization Matter for Catch-up Growth? By Paul M. Romer
  18. Self-Selection and International Migration: New Evidence from Mexico By Robert Kaestner; Ofer Malamud

  1. By: Marta Castilho (Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil); Marta Menéndez (Université Paris-Dauphine, LEDa-DIAL, Paris - Paris School of Economics); Aude Sztulman (Université Paris-Dauphine, LEDa-DIAL, Paris)
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of trade liberalization and international trade on household income inequality and poverty using detailed micro-data across Brazilian states, from 1987 to 2005. Results suggest that Brazilian states that were more exposed to tariff cuts experienced smaller reductions in household poverty and inequality. If significance of results on Brazilian states depends on the choice of poverty and inequality indicators, robust and contrasting results emerge when we disaggregate into rural and urban areas within states. Trade liberalization contributes to poverty and inequality increases in urban areas and may be linked to inequality declines in rural areas (no significant effect is found for rural poverty). In terms of observed integration to world markets, import penetration plays a similar role as trade liberalization for Brazilian states as a whole. On the contrary, rising export exposure appears to have significantly reduced both measures of household welfare. _________________________________ Cet article étudie l’impact de la libéralisation commerciale et du commerce international sur les inégalités de revenu et le niveau de pauvreté des ménages au sein des états brésiliens, à partir de données individuelles sur la période 1987-2005. D’après l’étude économétrique, les états brésiliens, davantage touchés par la libéralisation commerciale, ont connu de plus faibles réductions des inégalités ou de la pauvreté. Pour les états brésiliens dans leur ensemble, la significativité des résultats dépend du choix des indicateurs de pauvreté et d’inégalité mais, dès lors que l’on distingue les zones rurales et urbaines au sein des états, les effets sont robustes et contrastés. En zone urbaine, la libéralisation commerciale aurait contribué à accroître les niveaux de pauvreté et d’inégalité, tandis qu’elle entraînerait une diminution des inégalités en zone rurale (aucun impact significatif n’est observé sur la pauvreté rurale). En termes d’insertion des états brésiliens dans le commerce international, une hausse du taux de pénétration des importations joue dans le même sens que la libéralisation commerciale. Mais la propension à exporter d’un état contribuerait à réduire tant la pauvreté que les inégalités de revenu.
    Keywords: Trade liberalization, poverty and inequality; Brazilian states, Libéralisation commerciale, pauvreté et inégalités, états brésiliens.
    JEL: D31 F16 F14
    Date: 2009–12
  2. By: Marie Daumal (Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis, Université Paris-Dauphine, LEDa, UMR DIAL); Selin Ozyurt (Université Paris-Dauphine)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to explore the impact of Brazil’s trade openness on regional inequalities by estimating the effect of international trade flows on growth of Brazilian states, depending on their income level. For this purpose, we run dynamic growth regressions, using the system GMM estimator, on a panel data set including 26 Brazilian states for the 1989 - 2002 period. Growth rates of Brazilian states are regressed on control variables and on Brazilian states’ trade openness variables. All variables vary across both states and year. The results indicate that trade openness benefits more the Brazilian states with higher levels of per capita income, thereby tending to increase regional inequalities in Brazil. Besides, we find that trade openness advantages more the states with a good level of human capital as well as the industrialized states rather than the states whose main activity is agriculture. The problem that this study reveals is that international trade seems to provide additional advantages to already well developed Brazilian states while one of the priorities of the Brazilian federal government is to achieve a better territorial balance in Brazil. _________________________________ Ce travail a pour objectif d’estimer l’impact des flux de commerce international sur la croissance des Etats brésiliens. A l’aide de l’estimateur GMM, le taux de croissance des Etats brésiliens est régressé sur divers déterminants de la croissance et sur leur taux d’ouverture commerciale. La base de données en panel contient les 26 Etats brésiliens sur la période 1989 - 2002. Les estimations de l’équation de croissance montrent que les flux de commerce international des Etats favorisent davantage la croissance des Etats riches que celle des Etats les moins développés. Nous montrons également qu’il existe au Brésil une convergence conditionnelle. Les Etats pauvres ont un taux de croissance plus élevé que les Etats riches mais il semble que leurs états stationnaires soient très différents les uns des autres, ce qui nous amène à penser que les inégalités régionales resteront importantes dans l’avenir.
    Keywords: International trade, growth equation, GMM estimator, Brazilian states, Commerce international, équation de croissance, estimateur GMM, Etats brésiliens.
    JEL: F43 R11
    Date: 2010–01
  3. By: Lisa Chauvet (DIAL, IRD, Paris); Flore Gubert (DIAL, IRD, Paris); Sandrine Mesplé-Somps (DIAL, IRD, Paris)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the respective impact of aid, remittances and medical brain drain on child mortality using panel and cross-country quintile-level data on respectively 84 and 46 developing countries. Our results show that remittances reduce child mortality and that the impact of health aid is non-linear, suggesting that health aid is more effective in the poorest countries. By contrast, medical brain drain is found to have a harmful impact on child mortality. Last, remittances seem to be more effective in reducing mortality for children belonging to the richest households, whereas neither propoor nor anti-poor effect is found for health aid.________________________________ Cet article examine l’impact respectif de l’aide, des transferts et du départ en migration du personnel médical sur la mortalité infantile à partir de données en panel et de données en coupe par quintile portant sur respectivement 84 et 46 pays en développement. Nos résultats suggèrent que les transferts contribuent à réduire la mortalité infantile et que l’impact de l’aide est non-linéaire, l’aide étant plus efficace dans les pays les plus pauvres. En revanche, le départ en migration du personnel médical paraît s’accompagner d’une augmentation des taux de mortalité infantile. Enfin, les analyses que nous avons conduites à partir de données par quintile montrent que l’impact des transferts sur la réduction de la mortalité infantile est plus fort pour les ménages les plus riches, tandis que l’impact de l’aide n’est ni pro-pauvres, ni pro-riches.
    Keywords: Child Mortality, Remittances, International Migration, Foreign Aid, Low and Middle Income Countries, Mortalité infantile, Transferts, Migration internationale, Aide, Pays à revenu faible et intermédiaire.
    JEL: I12 F22 F35
    Date: 2009–11
  4. By: Denis Cogneau (Paris School of Economics, DIAL, IRD, Paris); Léa Rouanet (Paris School of Economics, ENSAE)
    Abstract: We find with survey data that the increase in height stature experienced by successive cohorts born in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana during the late colonial period (1925-1960) is almost as high as the increase observed in France and Great-Britain over the 1875-1975 period, even when correcting for the bias arising from old-age shrinking. In contrast, the early post-colonial period (1960-1985) is characterized by stagnation or even reversion, not only in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana but also in other countries in Western Africa. We argue that the selection effects linked to the interactions between height and mortality cannot give account of these figures. We then disaggregate these national trends by parental background and district of birth, and match individual data with district-level historical data on export crop (cocoa) expansion, urban density and colonial investment in health and educations. We provide evidence that a significant share of the increase in height stature may be related to the progresses of urbanization and of cocoa production. _________________________________ A partir de données d’enquêtes, nous trouvons que l’accroissement de la stature de cohortes successives nées en Côte d’Ivoire et au Ghana pendant la période coloniale tardive (1925-1960) se compare à l’accroissement observé en France et en Grande-Bretagne sur la période 1875-1975, même après avoir corrigé des biais liés au tassement des âges élevés. En revanche, le début de la période post-coloniale (1960-1985) est caractérisé par une stagnation voire une régression, non seulement en Côte d’Ivoire et au Ghana mais aussi dans d’autres pays d’Afrique de l’Ouest. Nous argumentons que les effets de sélection liés aux interactions entre taille et mortalité ne peuvent rendre compte de ces faits. Nous désagrégeons ensuite ces tendances nationales par origine sociale et région de naissance, et apparions les données individuelles avec des données historiques régionales sur l’expansion de la culture d’exportation (cacao), la densité urbaine, et les investissements coloniaux en santé et en éducation. Une part importante de l’accroissement de la stature physique semble pouvoir être reliée aux progrès de l’urbanisation et de la production de cacao.
    Keywords: West Africa, Economic History, Anthropometry, Afrique de l’Ouest, Histoire économique, Anthropométrie.
    JEL: N3 O1
    Date: 2009–12
  5. By: Marie Daumal (Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis, Université Paris-Dauphine, LEDa, UMR DIAL)
    Abstract: Regional inequalities are large in India and Brazil and represent a development challenge. This paper aims to determine whether regional disparities are linked to countries’ trade openness. An annual indicator of regional inequalities is constructed for India over the period 1980-2003 and for Brazil over 1985-2003. Results from time series regressions show that Brazil’s trade openness contributes to the reduction in regional inequalities in Brazil. The opposite result is found for India. India’s trade openness is an important factor aggravating income inequality among Indian states. In both countries, the inflows of foreign direct investment are found to increase regional disparities. _________________________________ Dans les années 90, les inégalités régionales ont fortement augment´e en Inde. Les inégalités entre Etats brésiliens sont importantes et constituent un problème politique majeur pour la fédération brésilienne. En 1991, ces deux pays se sont progressivement ouverts au commerce international. L’objectif du papier est de déterminer s’il existe ou non un lien entre les inégalités régionales et l’ouverture commerciale dans les cas de l’Inde et du Brésil. J’ai construit un indicateur, l’index Gini, qui est une mesure des inégalités régionales, sur la période 1980-2004 pour l’Inde et sur la période 1985-2004 pour le Brésil. Cet indicateur des inégalités régionales est ensuite régressé sur divers déterminants dont l’ouverture commerciale des pays, en utilisant la technique des séries temporelles et des modèles vectoriels à correction d’erreur. Je trouve que l’ouverture commerciale de l’Inde a fortement aggravé les inégalités existant entre l’Inde du Nord, de plus en plus pauvre, et l’Inde du Sud de plus en plus riche. Or ces inégalités régionales croissantes sont maintenant une source de tension et de conflits au sein de la fédération indienne, les Etats du Sud ne voulant plus “payer” pour le Nord du pays. Au contraire, l’ouverture du Brésil semble avoir entraîné une diminution des inégalités entre Etats brésiliens.
    Keywords: Trade openness, regional inequality, India, Brazil, time series regression, Ouverture commerciale, inégalités régionales, Inde, Brésil, séries temporelles.
    JEL: F43 R11
    Date: 2010–02
  6. By: Philippe Bocquier (University of the Witwatersrand,Johannesburg, South Africa); Christophe Nordman (DIAL, IRD, Paris); Aude Vescovo (IRD, Centre de Recherche Appliquée CERA-AFRISTAT)
    Abstract: (english) In this article, we develop indicators of vulnerability in employment in seven economic capitals of West Africa and study their links with individual incomes from the main job. We draw on data from the 1-2-3 Surveys in 2002-2003 to make a cross-country comparison using rigorously the same variables and methodology for each country. The theory of compensating differentials states that workers may receive pecuniary compensation commensurate with the strenuous or hazardous nature of their tasks or adverse working conditions. Our interpretation of the link between employment status and incomes draws on these developments, applying them to both working conditions themselves and more broadly to vulnerability in employment. The main tested assumption is that high levels of employment vulnerability could be compensated by greater earnings. We allow for individual and job characteristics (the latter being used to construct the composite index of vulnerability) to be differentially valued for conditionally high and low income earners. Our composite index of employment vulnerability indicates that 85% of the private sector workers in all the economic capitals studied are vulnerable on the basis of at least one criterion. The results show that the average impact of vulnerability on earnings is generally negative for an average level of vulnerability. In the formal private sector of the West African cities, losses of income due to vulnerability are lower for high levels of vulnerability, but do not translate into gains. In the informal sector, however, the average predicted income for a high vulnerability level is higher than the average predicted income for a low vulnerability level. Quantitative, distributional and qualitative analyses show that vulnerability compensating mechanism is mainly seen in the informal sector, in the upper tail of the earnings distribution, and particularly in the circumstance of visible underemployment. Employment vulnerability is not compensated for the poorest workers in the private sector of these large west-African cities. _________________________________ (français) Dans cet article, nous construisons des indicateurs de la vulnérabilité au travail dans sept capitales économiques d’Afrique de l’Ouest et étudions leurs liens avec les revenus individuels de l’activité principale. Selon la théorie des salaires compensatoires, les travailleurs pourraient recevoir des compensations pécuniaires à hauteur de la pénibilité de leur tâche ou de leurs conditions de travail. Notre interprétation du lien entre le statut dans l’emploi et le revenu s’inspire de ces développements, en les appliquant non seulement aux conditions de travail proprement dites, mais plus largement à la vulnérabilité dans l’emploi (précarité contractuelle, conditions d’exercice, sous-emploi, emploi de secours inadapté aux caractéristiques individuelles). Notre indicateur composite de la vulnérabilité dans l’emploi révèle que 85% des travailleurs des secteurs privés de l'ensemble des capitales économiques étudiées sont vulnérables selon au moins un de nos critères de vulnérabilité (sur huit critères). L'effet moyen de la vulnérabilité sur les gains est généralement négatif pour un niveau moyen de vulnérabilité. Dans le secteur privé formel, les pertes de revenu causées par la vulnérabilité diminuent pour des hauts niveaux de vulnérabilité, mais ne se transforment pas en gains. Dans le secteur informel en revanche, le revenu prédit moyen pour une vulnérabilité élevée est supérieur à ce revenu pour une vulnérabilité faible. Finalement, nos analyses, qui sont tour à tour quantitative, distributive et « qualitative », montrent que des mécanismes compensatoires de la vulnérabilité dans l’emploi n’existeraient que dans le secteur informel, pour les travailleurs de la partie haute de la distribution des revenus, et en particulier dans le cas du sous-emploi visible. La vulnérabilité dans l’emploi n’est donc pas compensée pour les travailleurs les plus pauvres du secteur privé de ces grandes villes ouest-africaines.
    Keywords: Vulnerability, working conditions, compensating differentials, earnings, informal sector, West Africa, Vulnérabilité, conditions de travail, différentiels compensatoires, revenus, secteur informel,Afrique de l’Ouest.
    JEL: J24 J31 O12
    Date: 2010–02
  7. By: Túlio A. Cravo (Dept of Economics, Loughborough University); Adrian Gourlay (Dept of Economics, Loughborough University); Bettina Becker (Dept of Economics, Loughborough University)
    Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector and economic growth for an annual panel of Brazilian states for the period 1985-2004. We investigate the importance of the relative size of the SME sector measured by the share of the SME employment in total formal employment and the level of human capital in SMEs measured by the average years of schooling of SME employees. The empirical results indicate that the relative importance of SMEs is negatively correlated with economic growth, a result that is consistent with previous studies examining developing countries. In addition, our results also show that human capital embodied in SMEs may be more important for economic growth than the relative size of the SME sector.
    Keywords: Firm size, market structure, economic growth, human capital.
    JEL: O1 O15 L1
    Date: 2010–01
  8. By: Akresh, Richard (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign); Edmonds, Eric V. (Dartmouth College)
    Abstract: Households are dynamic while most surveys only collect information on individuals who are present at a single point in time. We exploit a unique and thorough household membership enumeration in Burkina Faso to consider the analytical costs of the typical static household roster. We document that households are extremely fluid with 10 percent of individuals spending sometime away over a three year period, averaging 16 of the 36 months away. The residency status of persons age 16 to 24 is most in flux. A more complete enumeration offers substantial analytical richness that is especially important for the analysis of issues that are intertwined with who is present in the household, such as the measurement of income inequality and the nature of sibling interactions in education decisions. We find that evidence of sibling rivalry in Burkina Faso appears to owe to the correlation between the presence of sisters in a household and nonagricultural income. We argue for more detailed and thorough measurement of household composition in future multi-purpose household surveys.
    Keywords: sibling rivalry, Lorenz curves, household composition, schooling
    JEL: O15 J12 I21 J13
    Date: 2010–02
  9. By: Camilo Mondragón-Vélez; Ximena Peña; Daniel Wills
    Abstract: Informality is at the center of the economic debate in Colombia, fueled by the high level prevalent in the country and its substantial increase during the 1990s. We study the effect of labor market rigidities, namely the increase in non-wage costs and the minimum wage on the size of the informal sector, the transition into and out of informality, and wages. Our results indicate that rises in non-wage costs and the minimum wage, increase the probability of transition into informality as well as the size of the informal sector. The analysis of these effects along the income distribution points towards strong exclusion motives for low skilled informal workers, mainly driven by labor demand adjustments in response to increasing hiring costs; and argues somehow in favor of exit motives for workers at the top of the wage distribution. Furthermore, there is strong indexation of salaries to the minimum wage, except for low skilled informal workers. In addition, firms adjust salaries in response to increasing non-wage costs for all workers within the labor force.
    Date: 2010–01–31
  10. By: M. Jahangir Alam
    Abstract: This study seeks to identify the engineering, behavioural and socio-economic determinants of childhood diarrhoea and its duration and to compute the resulting costs borne by slum dwellers. The study is based on a survey of 480 households in 32 slums in Dhaka.
    Keywords: households, Diarrhoea, behavioural, socio-economic, slum dwellers, water supply, Child, Cost, Behavioural factors, Hurdle Model, Dhaka, NGO hygiene,
    Date: 2010
  11. By: Indrani Chakraborty; Achin Chakraborty
    Abstract: Female work participation in West Bengal is one of the lowest among all the states in India. However, it varies widely across the state’s 341 blocks. An analysis of some block level characteristics based on Census 2001 data show that female work participation varies inversely with the female literacy rate and percentage of Muslim population, and is positively related to the overall work opportunity as reflected by male work participation. However, there are a few blocks with very high percentage of Muslim population where female work participation is rather high. These are the blocks where women are engaged in home-based work in large numbers. Surveys were conducted of households in two such areas in Murshidabad and South 24 Parganas, respectively. [IDSK OP 18].
    Keywords: men, women, India, census 2001, households, west bengal, female work participation, Muslim population, labour force, NSS,
    Date: 2010
  12. By: Zafar, Ali
    Abstract: A notable contrast in modern economic history has been the rapid economic growth of China and the slower and volatile economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa. As the engagement between the two continues to grows, there will be a greater cross-fertilization of experiences. Total factor productivity comparisons suggest that capital accumulation in China coupled with more efficient factor usage explains the differential with Africa. Although the two have similar populations and patterns of inequality, their growth trajectories have been divergent. What can Africa learn from China? Although the lessons vary depending on country location and resource endowment, seven basic lessons are visible. First, the political economy of Chinese reforms and the shared gains between political elites and the private sector can be partially transplanted to the African context. Second, the Chinese used diaspora capital and knowledge in the early reform years. Third, rural reforms in China helped accelerate economic takeoff through a restructuring of property rights and a boost to both savings rates and output. Fourth, Chinese growth has taken place in the context of a competitive exchange rate. Five, port governance in China has been exemplary, and African landlocked economies can benefit significantly from port reform in the coastal countries. Six, China has experimented with a degree of decentralization that could yield benefits for many Sub-Saharan African countries. Seventh, Africa can learn from China’s policies toward autonomous areas and ethnic minorities to stave off conflict. Africa can learn from China’s experiences and conduct developmental experiments for poverty alleviation goals.
    Keywords: Economic Theory&Research,Access to Finance,Debt Markets,Emerging Markets,Banks&Banking Reform
    Date: 2010–02–01
  13. By: Pierre van der Eng; Joerg Baten; Mojgan Stegl
    Abstract: This paper analyses the relationship between economic growth and improvements in the standard of living, indicated by average heights. It uses four sets of anthropometric data to construct time series of average human height since the 1770s. The paper observes a significant decline of heights in the 1870s, followed by only modest recovery during the next three decades. Both are related to a sequence of disasters. Average heights increased from the 1900s, accelerating after World War II. The Japanese occupation and war of independence in the 1940s were a set-back. Average height growth is related to improvements in food supply and the disease environment, particularly hygiene and medical care. GDP per capita and average height followed each other in broad terms, but the correlation is far from perfect. The paper offers several hypotheses to explain this fact.
    JEL: N35 O15 I31
    Date: 2010–02
  14. By: Tsuda, Miwa
    Abstract: This paper first examines splits and mergers among Kenya’s political parties (and inner-party factions) from the restoration of a multi-party system in 1991 until 2007, before the turbulent 10th general elections were conducted. It then considers what functions “political parties†have in Kenya with special reference to the period since 2002, the year in which President Moi announced his intention to retire. A look back at NARC’s five years of rule reveals that, although it succeeded in changing the government, NARC, as a “political party,†remained throughout an organization without any real substance. The paper looks at (1) NARC’s de facto split after its overwhelming win in the ninth general election, (2) malfunctions of the anti-defection laws that were introduced in the 1960s, and (3) Kenya’s election rules that require candidates to be nominated by registered political parties in general elections. The paper proceeds to argue that as a result of the operation of these three elements, Kenya’s political parties, and especially the victorious coalition sides, tend to end up being nothing more than temporary vehicles for political elites angling for post-election posts.
    Keywords: Kenya, Political Parties, Elections - Kenya, Democracy - Kenya, Kenya- Politics and Government
    Date: 2010–02
  15. By: Eduardo Cavallo; Andrew Powell; Oscar Becerra
    Abstract: This paper uses simple regression techniques to make an initial assessment of the monetary damages caused by the January 12, 2010 earthquake that struck Haiti. Damages are estimated for a disaster with both 200,000 and 250,000 total dead and missing (i.e., the range of mortality that the earthquake is estimated to have caused) using Haiti’s economic and demographic data. The base estimate is US$8.1bn for a death toll of 250,000, but for several reasons this may be a lower- bound estimate. An estimate of US$13.9bn for the same death toll is within statistical error. While the results are subject to many caveats, the implications of such an estimate are significant. Raising such a figure will require many donors—bilateral, multilateral and private. Hence excellent coordination of funding and execution will be the key to ensuring the efficient use of funds.
    Keywords: Natural disasters, direct economic damages, Haiti, earthquake, reconstruction, aid and development
    JEL: O11 O19 O54 Q54 F35
    Date: 2010–02
  16. By: Yasir, Agha
    Abstract: Literature on natural hazards typically perceives disasters to be acts of God (or nature) while restricting the examination of their causes to biophysical and geographical explanations. This paper takes a different approach; first, it argues that disasters are socially constructed and, second, it situates the interactions of large-scale natural forces with local political-economic conditions within the context of vulnerability to contend that disasters are consequences of unresolved development challenges. Using the Pressure and Release (PAR) Model the paper suggests the usefulness of the concept of vulnerability that shapes local geographies of risk and weak institutions which transform and enhance the negative impacts of ‘natural’ hazards into ‘man-made’ disasters.
    Keywords: Vulnerability; Natural Hazards; Disasters; Political Economy; Pakistan
    JEL: D73 Y40 H1 Q54 F54 P16 N55 Q58
    Date: 2009–08–23
  17. By: Paul M. Romer
    Abstract: Economists devote too much attention to international flows of goods and services and not enough to international flows of ideas. Traditional trade flows are an imperfect substitute for flows of the underlying ideas. The simplest textbook trade model shows that a welfare-enhancing move toward freer flows of ideas should be associated with a reduction in conventional trade. The large quantitative effect from the flow of ideas is evident in the second half of the 20th century as the life expectancies in poor and rich countries began to converge. Another example comes from China, where authorities dramatically reduced accident rates by adopting rules of civil aviation that were developed in the United States. All economists, including trade economists, would be better equipped to talk about international flows of technologies and rules if they adopted a consistent vocabulary based on the concepts of nonrivalry and excludability. An analysis of the interaction between rules and technologies may help explain important puzzles such as why private firms have successfully diffused some technologies (mobile telephony) but not others (safe municipal water.)
    JEL: F1 I1 O1 O33
    Date: 2010–02
  18. By: Robert Kaestner; Ofer Malamud
    Abstract: This paper uses data from the Mexican Family Life Survey (MxFLS) to examine the patterns of selection of male, Mexican migrants to the United States. We confirm previous findings that Mexican migrants are selected from the middle of the education distribution, but show that there is no evidence for selection of migrants on cognitive ability. We demonstrate that migrants are also selected from the middle of the observed skill distribution, as measured by predicted wages. However, controlling for proxies of the costs of migration, we find substantially less evidence of "intermediate selection" on observed skill. We find little evidence for selection on unobserved skill, with or without controls for the costs of migration. Finally, we show directly that the decision to migrate is highly correlated with differential returns to observable skill and the costs of migration. Overall, these findings are consistent with the predictions of the canonical model of migration.
    JEL: J24 J61
    Date: 2010–02

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