nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2013‒12‒06
seven papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Utrecht University

  1. Decentralized beneficiary targeting in large-scale development programs : insights from the Malawi farm input subsidy program By Kilic, Talip; Whitney, Edward; Winters, Paul
  2. Migrants' Home Town Associations and Local Development in Mali By Mesplé-Somps, Sandrine; Mercier, Marion; Gubert, Flore; Chauvet, Lisa
  3. Two Decades of Negative Educational Selectivity of Mexican Migrants to the United States By Michael S. Rendall; Susan W. Parker
  4. Rural transformation since 1970s in Dokur Village of Andhra Pradesh, India By Reddy, A Amarender
  5. Election Fraud and Post-Election Conflict: Evidence from the Philippines By Benjamin Crost; Joseph H. Felter; Hani Mansour; Daniel I. Rees
  6. Agricultural Productivity and Structural Transformation. Evidence from Brazil By Paula Bustos; Bruno Caprettini; Jacopo Ponticelli
  7. Informal Jobs and Trade Liberalisation in Argentina By Montes-Rojas, G.; Acosta, P.

  1. By: Kilic, Talip; Whitney, Edward; Winters, Paul
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the long-standing debate on the merits of decentralized beneficiary targeting in the administration of development programs, focusing on the large-scale Malawi Farm Input Subsidy Program. Nationally-representative household survey data are used to systematically analyze the decentralized targeting performance of the program during the 2009-2010 agricultural season. The analysis begins with a standard targeting assessment based on the rates of program participation and the benefit amounts among the eligible and non-eligible populations, and provides decompositions of the national targeting performance into the inter-district, intra-district inter-community, and intra-district intra-community components. This approach identifies the relative contributions of targeting at each level. The results show that the Farm Input Subsidy Program is not poverty targeted and that the national government, districts, and communities are nearly uniform in their failure to target the poor, with any minimal targeting (or mis-targeting) overwhelmingly materializing at the community level. The findings are robust to the choice of the eligibility indicator and the decomposition method. The multivariate analysis of household program participation reinforces these results and reveals that the relatively well-off, rather than the poor or the wealthiest, and the locally well-connected have a higher likelihood of program participation and, on average, receive a greater number of input coupons. Since a key program objective is to increase food security and income among resource-poor farmers, the lack of targeting is a concern and should underlie considerations of alternative targeting approaches that, in part or completely, rely on proxy means tests at the local level.
    Keywords: Rural Poverty Reduction,Poverty Monitoring&Analysis,Economic Theory&Research,Regional Economic Development,Services&Transfers to Poor
    Date: 2013–11–01
  2. By: Mesplé-Somps, Sandrine; Mercier, Marion; Gubert, Flore; Chauvet, Lisa
    Abstract: This paper explores the impact of Malian migrants' Home Town Associations (HTAs) located in France on the provision of local public goods in Mali. To this end, we compute an original dataset on all the HTAs that have been created by Malian migrants in France since 1981 and geo-localize their interventions on the Malian territory. Thanks to four waves of Malian census, we also build a panel dataset on the provision of a range of public goods in all Malian villages over the 1976-2009 period. These two sources of data allow us to implement a difference-in-differences strategy, and to compare villages with and without an HTA, before and after HTAs developed their activity in Mali. We find that Malian HTAs have significantly contributed to improve the provision of schools, health centers and water amenities over the 1987-2009 period. When looking at the timing of the treatment, we observe that the difference between treated and control villages in terms of water amenities is mainly driven by the second period of observation (1998-2009), while schools and health centers exhibit significant differences during the whole period.
    Keywords: Biens publics locaux; Local public goods; Migration; Mali;
    JEL: F22 H41 H75 O55
    Date: 2013–10
  3. By: Michael S. Rendall (University of Maryland); Susan W. Parker (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas)
    Abstract: Immigration is commonly considered to be selective of more able individuals. Studies comparing the educational attainment of Mexican immigrants in the United States to that of the Mexican resident population support this characterization. Upward educational attainment biases in both coverage and measurement, however, may be substantial in U.S. data sources. Moreover, differences in educational attainment by place size are very large within Mexico, and U.S. data sources provide no information on immigrants’ places of origin within Mexico. To address these problems, we use multiple sources of nationally-representative Mexican survey data to re-evaluate the educational selectivity of labor-force-age Mexican migrants to the United States over the 1990s and 2000s. We document disproportionately rural and small-urban-area origins of Mexican migrants and a steep positive gradient of educational attainment by place size. We show that together these conditions induced strongly negative educational selection of Mexican migrants throughout the 1990s and 2000s. We interpret this finding as consistent with low returns to the education of unauthorized migrants and few opportunities for authorized migration.
    Date: 2013–11
  4. By: Reddy, A Amarender
    Abstract: In the past two decades, there are significant changes in rural India. There is some significant progress in reduction of poverty. This study examines the pathways by the Dokur villagers of Andhra Pradesh in India to survive and improve livelihoods in the face of a decade of persistent drought. The study is based on quantitative and qualitative data collected by ICRISAT: (a) longitudinal household survey data for the period 1975 to 2009, and (b) information and data gathered through focus group discussions with the villagers. It has documented various types of livelihood strategies, government policies, programs, process and outcomes over the period. The changes in ownership of productive assets including land, cropping patterns, occupational structure, household income, food intake and nutrition, children’s education, and improvement in living standard are also examined. The per capita income of households has increased rapidly in the recent years. However, income inequality situation has worsened as high-income opportunities are favourable to resource endowed households. As a consequence of increased income from multiple sources, consumption level has gone up and consumption has been smoothened, and overall living standard has improved. Access to education particularly for girls and children from marginalized families has increased. Finally, the study identified enabling factors at household level and suggests development policy.
    Keywords: drought, coping mechanism, migration, livelihoods, income, inequality, poverty.
    JEL: J1 J12 Q1 Q12 Q18
    Date: 2013–11–30
  5. By: Benjamin Crost (University of Colorado Denver); Joseph H. Felter (Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University); Hani Mansour (University of Colorado Denver); Daniel I. Rees (University of Colorado Denver)
    Abstract: Previous studies have documented a positive association between election fraud and the intensity of civil conflict. It is not clear, however, whether this association is causal or due to unobserved institutional and cultural factors. This paper examines the relationship between election fraud and post-election violence in the 2007 Philippine mayoral elections. Using the density test developed by McCrary (2008), we find evidence that incumbents were able to win tightly contested elections through fraud. In addition, we show that narrow incumbent victories were associated with an increase in post-election casualties, which is consistent with the hypothesis that election fraud causes conflict. We conduct several robustness tests and find no evidence that incumbent victories increased violence for reasons unrelated to fraud.
    Date: 2013–11
  6. By: Paula Bustos; Bruno Caprettini; Jacopo Ponticelli
    Abstract: We study the effects of the adoption of new agricultural technologies on structural transformation. To guide empirical work, we present a simple model where the effect of agricultural productivity on industrial development depends on the factor bias of technical change. We test the predictions of the model by studying the introduction of genetically engineered soybean seeds in Brazil, which had heterogeneous effects on agricultural productivity across areas with different soil and weather characteristics. We find that technical change in soy production was strongly labor saving and lead to industrial growth, as predicted by the model.
    Keywords: agricultural productivity, structural transformation, industrial development, labor saving technical change, genetically engineered soy
    JEL: F16 F43 Q16
    Date: 2013–08
  7. By: Montes-Rojas, G.; Acosta, P.
    Abstract: Rapid trade liberalisation can exert profound effects on labour markets. Domestic firms, to sustain competitiveness for survival, could react through cutting labour benefits to achieve cost reductions. Alternatively, trade liberalisation may alter the industry composition of firms changing the aggregate formality rates. This paper studies the relationship between trade liberalisation and informality in Argentina. Using manufacturing industry-level data for 1992-2003, the results confirm the hypothesis that trade increases informality in industries that experience sudden foreign competition. This explains about a third of the increase in informality. Sectors with higher investment ratios are able to neutralize and reverse this effect.
    Keywords: informality; trade liberalization; Argentina
    Date: 2013

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