nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2014‒03‒01
nine papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Utrecht University

  1. "To Have and Have Not”: Migration, Remittances, Poverty and Inequality in Algeria By David Margolis; Luis Miotti; Mouhoud; Joël Oudinet
  2. Can Public Employment Schemes Increase Equilibrium Wages? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in India By Erlend Berg; Sambit Bhattacharyya; D Rajasekhar; R Manjula
  3. Does land titling matter? The role of land property rights in the war on illicit crops in Colombia By Juan Carlos Muñoz-Mora; Santiago Tobón-Zapata; Jesse d'Anjou
  4. Tariffs, Social Status, and Gender in India By Anukriti, S; Kumler, Todd J.
  5. Demand for Low-Skilled Labor and Parental Investment in Children's Education: Evidence from Mexico By Majlesi, Kaveh
  6. Does Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program Improve Child Nutrition? By Legesse Debela, Bethelhem; Shively, Gerald; Holden, Stein
  7. Factors that Matter for Financial Inclusion: Evidence from Peru By Noelia Camara; Ximena Pena; David Tuesta
  8. Life Satisfaction, Contract Farming and Property Rights: Evidence from Ghana By Susanne Väth; Simone Gobien
  9. Do return migrants transfer political norms to their origin country? Evidence from Mali By Mercier, Marion; Chauvet, Lisa

  1. By: David Margolis (Paris School of Economics, CNRS, IZA); Luis Miotti (CEPN-CNRS, Université Paris 13); Mouhoud (PSL, Université Paris Dauphine, LEDa, IRD, UMR DIAL); Joël Oudinet (CEPN-CNRS, Université Paris 13)
    Abstract: This article analyses the distributional impact of international migration across two regions of Algerian emigration (Nedroma and Idjeur) using an original survey we conducted of 1,200 households in 2011. The non-parametric technique of DiNardo, Fortin and Lemieux (1996) is used to analyse the effects of remittances on the distribution of household incomes. The analysis is then deepened with a parametric model, which allows for the estimation of counterfactual household income and the calculation of the impact of migration on the distribution of household income. Remittances, and especially foreign pensions, decrease the Gini index by nearly 4 % for the two Algerian regions combined, with the effect in Idjeur being twice as large as Nedroma. At the same time, they help reduce poverty by nearly 13 percentage points. Remittances have a strong positive impact on very poor families in Idjeur but much less in Nedroma, where poor families suffer from a “double loss” due to the absence of their migrants and the fact that the latter do not send money home. _________________________________ Cet article analyse l’impact des migrations internationales sur la distribution des revenus et la pauvreté dans deux régions algériennes d’émigration l’une située en Kabylie (Idjeur) l’autre dans l’Ouest de l’Algérie (Nedroma) en utilisant une enquête originale que nous avons conduit en 2011 auprès de 1200 ménages. Pour analyser les effets des transferts de fonds entre les ménages sur la répartition des revenus, l’approche non paramétrique de DiNardo, Fortin et Lemieux (1996) est utilisée. L'analyse est ensuite approfondie à l’aide d’un modèle contrefactuel paramétrique, qui permet d'estimer l'impact de la migration sur la répartition des revenus des ménages. Les envois de fonds, en particulier les retraites des migrants, diminuent l'indice de Gini de près de 4 % pour les deux régions algériennes, avec un impact étant deux fois plus grand pour les ménages d’Idjeur que ceux de Nedroma. Les envois de fonds favorisent aussi une réduction du seuil de pauvreté de près de 13 points de pourcentage. Ils ont un impact positif sur les familles très pauvres à Idjeur mais beaucoup moins à Nedroma, où les familles pauvres souffrent d'une «double perte » en raison de l'absence de leurs migrants qui ne leur envoient pas de transferts.
    Keywords: Remittances, Migration, Poverty, Inequality, Algeria, Transferts de fonds, Migration, Pauvreté, Inégalités, Algérie.
    JEL: F24 O15 O55
    Date: 2014–01
  2. By: Erlend Berg; Sambit Bhattacharyya; D Rajasekhar; R Manjula
    Abstract: We estimate the impact of the Indian government’s major rural public works programme, the National Rural Employment Guarantee (NREG), on agricultural wages. The rollout of NREG in three phases is used to identify difference-in-difference estimates of the programme effect. Using monthly wage data from the period 2000-2011 for a panel of 209 districts across 18 Indian states, we find that on average NREG boosts the growth rate of real daily agricultural wages 4.8 per cent per year. The effect is concentrated in some states and in the agricultural season. The effect appears to be gender-neutral and biased towards unskilled labour. We argue that rural public employment programmes constitute a potentially important anti-poverty policy tool.
    Keywords: public works; workfare; agricultural wages; NREG; India
    Date: 2014–01
  3. By: Juan Carlos Muñoz-Mora (Université Libre de Bruxelles); Santiago Tobón-Zapata (Fondo para el Financiamiento del Sector Agropecuario); Jesse d'Anjou (Université Libre de Bruxelles)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the role of formalization of land property rights in the war against illicit crops in Colombia. We argue that as a consequence of the increase of state presence and visibility during the period of 2000 and 2009, municipalities with a higher level of formalization of their land property rights saw a greater reduction in the area allocated to illicit crops. We hypothesize that this is due to the increased cost of growing illicit crops on formal land compared to informal, and due to the possibility of obtaining more benefits in the newly in- stalled institutional environment when land is formalized. We exploit the variation in the level of formalization of land property rights in a set of municipalities that had their first cadastral census collected in the period of 1994-2000; this selection procedure guarantees reliable data and an unbiased source of variation. Using fixed effects estimators, we found a significant negative relationship between the level of formalization of land property rights and the number of hectares allocated to coca crops per municipality. These results remain robust through a number of sensitivity analyses. Our findings contribute to the growing body of evidence on the positive effects of formal land property rights, and effective policies in the war on drugs in Colombia.
    Keywords: Land property rights; Coca crops; War on drugs.
    Date: 2014–02
  4. By: Anukriti, S (Boston College); Kumler, Todd J. (Columbia University)
    Abstract: This paper shows that trade policy can have significant intergenerational distributional effects across gender and social strata. We compare women and births in rural Indian districts more or less exposed to tariff cuts. For low socioeconomic status women, tariff cuts increase the likelihood of a female birth and these daughters are less likely to die during infancy and childhood. On the contrary, high-status women are less likely to give birth to girls and their daughters have higher mortality rates when more exposed to tariff declines. Consistent with the fertility-sex ratio trade-off in high son preference societies, fertility increases for low-status women and decreases for high-status women. An exploration of the mechanisms suggests that the labor market returns for low-status women (relative to men) and high-status men (relative to women) have increased in response to trade liberalization. Thus, altered expectations about future returns from daughters relative to sons seem to have caused families to change the sex-composition of and health investments in their children.
    Keywords: trade liberalization, India, gender, sex ratio, child mortality, fertility
    JEL: F13 I15 J12 J13 J16 J82 O15 O18 O19 O24
    Date: 2014–02
  5. By: Majlesi, Kaveh (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: Previous research has shown that school enrollment in developing countries responds to the changes in demand for low-skilled and high-skilled labor in the market. Using data from Mexico, I show that the negative effects of increases in relative demand for low-skilled labor are not limited to lower rates of school enrollment. Parents respond to the increases in labor market opportunities for low-skilled labor in the manufacturing sector by spending less time helping children with their studies and spending less on children's education while they are enrolled at school. This suggests that households respond along the intensive margin as well as on the extensive margin.
    Keywords: Low-skilled labor; Parental investment; Children’s education; Human capital
    JEL: I21 I25 J23 J24 O54
    Date: 2014–02–17
  6. By: Legesse Debela, Bethelhem (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences); Shively, Gerald (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences); Holden, Stein (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences)
    Abstract: We study the link between Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) and short-run nutrition outcomes among children age 5 years and younger. We use 2006 and 2010 survey data from Northern Ethiopia to estimate parameters of an exogenous switching regression. This allows us to measure the differential impacts of household characteristics on weight-for-height Z-score of children in member and non-member households in PSNP. We find that the magnitude and significance of household covariates differ in samples of children from PSNP and non-PSNP households. Controlling for a set of observable features of children and households we find that children in member households have weight-for-height Z-scores that are 0.55 points higher than those of children in non-member households. We conclude that the PSNP is providing positive short-term nutritional benefits for children, especially in those households that are able to leverage underemployed female labor.
    Keywords: anthropometrics; Ethiopia; food security; nutrition; safety net
    JEL: I15 I38
    Date: 2014–02–18
  7. By: Noelia Camara; Ximena Pena; David Tuesta
    Abstract: This study comprises a quantitative approach to the determinants of financial inclusion in Peru based on micro-data from surveys. Significant correlations are used to identify those socioeconomic characteristics that may affect financial inclusion (or exclusion) of households and enterprises. We also analyse the sensitivity to some barriers on the part of individuals who do not use banking services. The results show that the traditionally more vulnerable groups (women, individuals living in rural areas and young people) are those with the greatest difficulties in accessing the formal financial system. When it comes to financial products, loans and mortgages appear to be better drivers for financial inclusion than saving products. For enterprises, formality and education stand out as significant factors for financial inclusion. Finally, for individuals excluded from the financial system, factors such as age, gender, education and income level seem to affect perception of the barriers to financial inclusion. The identification of individual characteristics that could affect financial inclusion provides useful empirical evidence for designing policies that promote more inclusive financial systems.
    Keywords: financial inclusion, economic development, personal finance
    JEL: D14 G21
    Date: 2014–02
  8. By: Susanne Väth (University of Marburg); Simone Gobien (University of Marburg)
    Abstract: Large-scale land acquisition has increased dramatically in recent years. The question whether land deals can benefit both the local population and the investor is therefore high on the international agenda. Contract farming is discussed as a possible solution but studies identifying the causal effects are rare. Using data from a quasi-natural experiment in contract allocation, we compare the subjective well-being of outgrowers and independent farmers in the sphere of the biggest palm oil producer in Ghana. We identify a positive causal effect of the outgrower scheme which increases subjective well-being by 1.5 points on a scale of 0 to 10. We find a substitutive relationship between having an outgrower contract and having property rights, and thus we argue that by increasing security a contract increases well-being, as secure rights to land matter substantially for the overall life satisfaction of non-contract but not of contract farmers.
    Keywords: contract farming, property rights, quasi-natural experiment, subjective well-being, large-scale land acquisition
    JEL: D60 I31 Q13
    Date: 2014
  9. By: Mercier, Marion; Chauvet, Lisa
    Abstract: This paper explores the link between return migration and political outcomes in the origin country, using the case study of Mali. We use electoral and census data at the locality level to investigate the role of return migration on participation rates and electoral competitiveness. First, we run OLS and IV estimations for the 2009 municipal election, controlling for current emigration and using historical and distance variables as instruments for return migration and current emigration. Second, we build a panel dataset combining the 1998 and 2009 censuses and the electoral results for the municipal ballots of those two years to control for the potential time-invariant unobservable characteristics of the localities. We find a positive impact of the stock of return migrants on participation rates and on electoral competitiveness, which mainly stems from returnees from non-African countries. Finally, we show that the impact of returnees on turnout goes beyond their own participation, and that they affect more electoral outcomes in areas where non-migrants are poorly educated, which we interpret as evidence of a diffusion of political norms from returnees to non-migrants.
    Keywords: Return migration; Elections; Mali; Norms transfer;
    JEL: D72 F22 O15 O55
    Date: 2014

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