nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2014‒05‒04
ten papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Utrecht University

  1. Regime Change, Democracy, and Growth By Caroline Freund; Mélise Jaud
  2. Reversal of Gender Gaps in Child Development: Evidence from Young Children in India By Lopez Boo, Florencia; Canon, Maria E.
  3. What do people actually learn from public health education campaigns? Incorrect inferences about male circumcision and female HIV infection risk in a cluster randomized trial in Malawi By Brendan Maughan-Brown; Susan Godlonton; Rebecca L. Thornton; Atheendar S Venkataramani
  4. Social Assistance and Informality: Examining the link in Colombia By Monica Ospina Londoño; Fabiola Saavedra-Caballero
  5. Income Shocks and HIV in Africa By Burke, Marshall; Gong, Erick; Jones, Kelly M.
  6. Links between tenure security and food security: Evidence from Ethiopia: By Hagos, Hosaena Ghebru; Holden, Stein
  7. Does internal migration improve overall well-being in Ethiopia?: By de Brauw, Alan; Mueller, Valerie; Woldehanna, Tassew
  8. Land constraints and agricultural intensification in Ethiopia: A village-level analysis of high-potential areas: By Headey, Derek D.; Dereje, Mekdim; Ricker-Gilbert, Jacob; Josephson, Anna; Taffesse, Alemayehu Seyoum
  9. An approximation to the Informal-formal wage gap in Colombia 2008-2012 By Nancy Daza; Luis Fernando Gamboa
  10. The Impact of Philippines’ Conditional Cash Transfer Program on Consumption By Melba V. Tutor

  1. By: Caroline Freund (Peterson Institute for International Economics); Mélise Jaud (World Bank)
    Abstract: The empirical literature on the relationship between democracy and growth has yielded conflicting results. Cross-country studies have failed to identify a significant impact of democracy on growth, while within-country studies have found a strong positive effect of the transition to democracy on growth. We reconcile the conflicting evidence by showing that the positive effect of democratic transitions results from regime change as opposed to democratization. We identify over 100 transitions in the last half-century with various outcomes: to and from democracy, some partial, and some failed. The variety of experiences allows us to compare the growth outcome of democratic transitions with that of other transitions rather than with a no-transition counterfactual. Conditioning on regime change filters out selection effects and shows that transition to democracy yields no growth dividend compared to other types of regime change. We also show that countries that democratize slowly do not gain from regime change. These results suggest that the growth dividend from political transition results from swift regime change rather than from democratization.
    Keywords: political transition, autocracy, event study
    JEL: N40 O43
    Date: 2014–04
  2. By: Lopez Boo, Florencia (Inter-American DevelopmentBank/IZA); Canon, Maria E. (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)
    Abstract: This paper provides unique evidence of a reversal of gender gaps in cognitive development in early childhood. We find steep caste and gender gradients and few substantive changes once children enter school. The gender gap, however, reverses its sign for the upper caste, with girls performing better than boys at age 5 but thereafter following the general pattern in India of boys performing better.
    JEL: I2 J1 J7
    Date: 2014–04–01
  3. By: Brendan Maughan-Brown (SALDRU, School of Economics, University of Cape Town); Susan Godlonton (Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan); Rebecca L. Thornton (Department of Economics, University of Michigan); Atheendar S Venkataramani (Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University)
    Abstract: Objective: To examine whether individuals who learn that voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) partially reduces female-to-male HIV transmission erroneously infer a reduction in male-to-female HIV transmission risk. Design: Cluster randomised controlled trial. Methods: In 2008, information that VMMC reduces female-to-male HIV transmission risk was randomly disseminated to men in rural Malawi, with follow-up in 2009 (n=917). Data was collected on perceived male and female HIV-transmission risks. We assessed whether beliefs about male circumcision and female HIV-risk varied by receipt of VMMC information and by whether or not individuals believed that VMMC partially protects men from HIV-infection. Results: Men informed about VMMC were more likely to believe that sex with a circumcised male would confer lower transmission risk for women vis-à-vis sex with an uncircumcised male (38% versus 50%, p0.01). Multivariate regression analyses showed that incorrect inferences were most likely to be made by those who believed that circumcised men were partially protected from contracting HIV. Consistent with this, instrumental variable analyses indicated that those individuals who received information about VMMC, and consequently believed it, were 82 percentage points more likely to believe that male circumcision also protects women (p0.01). The inferred reduction in direct HIV infection risk for women due to male circumcision was approximately 50%. Conclusions: Our results suggest the need for VMMC campaigns to make explicit that male circumcision does not directly protect women from HIV-infection. It is also important to assess whether incorrect inferences lead to updated self-perceived HIV-risk and the adoption of riskier sexual behaviours.
    Keywords: Male circumcision, female HIV risk, risk compensation, Southern Africa, HIV/AIDS, prevention, information campaigns
    Date: 2013
  4. By: Monica Ospina Londoño; Fabiola Saavedra-Caballero
    Abstract: This paper presents evidence on the labor market effects of social assistance programs in the short and medium run. We evaluate the impacts of a Conditional Cash Transfer program (Familias en Acción) on informality in Colombia. We exploit an exogenous shock linked to cash transfer benefits that the government provides to poor people to evaluate the effect of these benefits on informality. We argue that being a beneficiary of social programs may create perverse incentives that drive people towards informality through a substitution effect. Survey data of “Familias en Acción” program was used to identify whether the program had any effect on workers’ labor decisions concerning participation (or the lack thereof) in the informal labor market in Colombia after one and four years after its implementation. We apply matching algorithms and difference-in-differences estimations to evaluate the effect of the program. We find that a worker’s informality condition may be affected by receiving CCT income and by the structure of the colombian health system.
    Keywords: informality; conditional cash transfers; evaluation
    JEL: E26 C14 H43
    Date: 2013–08–20
  5. By: Burke, Marshall; Gong, Erick; Jones, Kelly M.
    Abstract: We examine how variation in local economic conditions has shaped the AIDS epidemic in Africa. Using data from over 200,000 individuals across 19 countries, we match biomarker data on individuals' HIV status to information on local rainfall shocks, a large source of variation in income for rural households. We estimate that infection rates in HIV-endemic rural areas increase by 11% for every recent drought, an effect that is statistically and economically significant. Income shocks explain up to 20% of the variation in HIV prevalence across African countries, suggesting policy approaches for HIV prevention that are distinct from existing efforts.
    Keywords: income shocks; HIV/AIDS; Africa
    JEL: I15 O12 O55
    Date: 2013
  6. By: Hagos, Hosaena Ghebru; Holden, Stein
    Abstract: This study uses five rounds of household panel data from Tigray, Ethiopia, collected in the period 1998–2010 to assess the impacts of a land registration and certification program that aimed to strengthen tenure security and how it has contributed to increased food availability and, thus, food security in this food-deficit region. Results show that land certification appears to have contributed to enhanced calorie availability (calorie intake), and more so for female-headed households, either through enhanced land rental market participation or increased investment and productivity on owner-operated land. Results also show that members of households that accessed additional land through the land rental market had a significantly higher body mass index.
    Keywords: food security, Land tenure, Gender, Women, land registration, Nutritional status, households, land tenure reform, household data, tenure security, land certification, Land rental markets,
    Date: 2013
  7. By: de Brauw, Alan; Mueller, Valerie; Woldehanna, Tassew
    Abstract: In this paper, we use a unique panel dataset of tracked migrants and non-migrants that originate from 18 villages in Ethiopia to examine the welfare impacts of internal migration. Using a number of techniques and various objective and subjective measures, we measure the impacts of migration on the welfare of migrants versus non-migrants. We find large gains to objective welfare measures such as consumption, around 110 percent. Gains are larger among male and urban migrants. Howev-er, we also find that relative to household heads subjective welfare measures are similar for migrants. The large welfare gains to migration suggest that barriers exist, even within countries such as Ethiopia, against the free movement of people to places where they would be objectively better off.
    Keywords: Migration, Internal migration, Living standards., tracking survey,
    Date: 2013
  8. By: Headey, Derek D.; Dereje, Mekdim; Ricker-Gilbert, Jacob; Josephson, Anna; Taffesse, Alemayehu Seyoum
    Abstract: This paper explores the race between these two countervailing forces, with the goal of informing two important policy questions. First, how do rural Ethiopians adapt to land constraints? And second, do land constraints significantly influence welfare outcomes in rural Ethiopia? To answer these questions we use a recent household survey of high-potential areas. We first show that farm sizes are generally very small in the Ethiopian highlands and declining over time, with young rural households facing particularly severe land constraints. We then ask whether smaller and declining farm sizes are inducing agricultural intensification, and if so, how. We find strong evidence in favor of the Boserupian hypothesis that land-constrained villages typically use significantly more purchased input costs per hectare and more family labor, and achieve higher maize and teff yields and high gross income per hectare.
    Keywords: Land, Population density, Intensification, Farm size, Agricultural intensification, Land pressures,
    Date: 2013
  9. By: Nancy Daza; Luis Fernando Gamboa
    Abstract: Abstract: This document provides recent evidence about the persistency of wage gaps between formal and informal workers in Colombia by using a non-parametric method proposed by Ñopo (2008a). Over a rich dataset at a household level during 2008-2012, it is found that formal workers earn between 30 to 60 percent more, on average, than informal workers. Despite of the formality definition - structuralist or institucionalist- adopted, it is clear that formal workers have more economic advantages than informal ones, but after controlling by demographic and labor variables an important fraction of the gap still remains unexplained.
    Keywords: Wage gaps, non-parametric, Colombia, informality
    JEL: J31 C14 O17
    Date: 2013–06–03
  10. By: Melba V. Tutor (School of Economics, University of the Philippines Diliman)
    Abstract: Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program provides cash grants to poor households conditional on pre-determined investments in human capital. This study analyzed its impact on consumption using the 2011 Annual Poverty Indicators Survey. Average treatment effect on the treated (ATT) is estimated through propensity score matching methodology. Heterogeneous impacts are examined among the bottom 20% of income distribution. The study finds that among the total sample, per capita total expenditures is not affected by the program. In per capita monthly terms, only carbohydrates and clothing significantly increased. As expenditure shares, education and clothing registered significant positive impact. No impact is observed on health spending, both in per capita terms and as a share of expenditure. The impact of Pantawid Pamilya on consumption is more pronounced among the poorest fifth of households. Results show that households have responded to program conditionalities but there is very little room to improve consumption of other basic needs. The recent program modification of increasing education grants to older children and covering up to secondary school completion will help households sustain induced behavioral changes over time. Stronger impact on the poorest fifth of households underscores the need to improve the targeting mechanism to address leakage issues.
    Keywords: consumption, CCT, impact evaluation, propensity score matching
    JEL: I38 D12
    Date: 2014–04

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