nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2014‒05‒09
six papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Utrecht University

  1. Gender and public goods provision in Tamil Nadu's village governments By Gajwani, Kiran; Zhang, Xiaobo
  2. The effects of remittances on poverty and inequality: Evidence from rural southern Morocco By Bouoiyour, Jamal; Miftah, Amal
  3. Why don't remittances appear to affect growth ? By Clemens, Michael A.; McKenzie, David
  4. The Impact of Public Spending on the Performance of Microfinance Institutions By Janda, Karel; Zetek, Pavel
  5. Sub-Saharan Africa's recent growth spurt : an analysis of the sources of growth By Cho, Yoonyoung; Tien, Bienvenue N.
  6. CAN DREAMS COME TRUE? ELIMINATING EXTREME POVERTY IN AFRICA BY 2030 By Mthuli Ncube; Zuzana Brixiova; Zorobabel Bicaba

  1. By: Gajwani, Kiran; Zhang, Xiaobo
    Abstract: Using data from 144 village-level governments in India's Tamil Nadu state, this paper investigates political reservations for women and whether the gender of village government leaders influences the provision of village public goods. A knowledge test of village government presidents and a survey about the interaction between village presidents and higher-level officials reveal that female village government presidents have much lower knowledge of the village government system than do their male counterparts and have significantly less contact with higher-level government officials. Although male and female presidents provide similar amounts of some public goods, there is strong evidence that village governments led by a woman built fewer schools and roads—two public goods that require relatively more contact and coordination with higher-level officials.
    Keywords: Population Policies,Gender and Health,Agricultural Knowledge and Information Systems,Gender and Law,Rural Development Knowledge&Information Systems
    Date: 2014–05–01
  2. By: Bouoiyour, Jamal; Miftah, Amal
    Abstract: In this paper, we examine the effect of migrants’ remittances on poverty and inequality. The survey data were collected in Morocco, in the rural areas of the region Souss-Massa-Draa. By applying an original approach, we estimate the counterfactual income of remittance-recipient households corresponding to a hypothetical value of its average income calculated for a scenario without remittances; this is then compared with its current income. We find that the poverty rate and the vulnerability of non-poor households are significantly dropped due to remittances. Our findings also suggest that remittance inflows have increased income inequality compared to the no-migration counterfactual situation.
    Keywords: Remittances; Poverty; Income distribution; Morocco.
    JEL: F22 F24 I32
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Clemens, Michael A.; McKenzie, David
    Abstract: Although measured remittances by migrant workers have soared in recent years, macroeconomic studies have difficulty detecting their effect on economic growth. This paper reviews existing explanations for this puzzle and proposes three new ones. First, it offers evidence that a large majority of the recent rise in measured remittances may be illusory -- arising from changes in measurement, not changes in real financial flows. Second, it shows that even if these increases were correctly measured, cross-country regressions would have too little power to detect their effects on growth. Third, it points out that the greatest driver of rising remittances is rising migration, which has an opportunity cost to economic product at the origin. Net of that cost, there is little reason to expect large growth effects of remittances in the origin economy. Migration and remittances clearly have first-order effects on poverty at the origin, on the welfare of migrants and their families, and on global gross domestic product; but detecting their effects on growth of the origin economy is likely to remain elusive.
    Keywords: Population Policies,Remittances,Debt Markets,Access to Finance,Currencies and Exchange Rates
    Date: 2014–05–01
  4. By: Janda, Karel; Zetek, Pavel
    Abstract: This paper investigates the role of public expenditures and general government debt in microfinance performance. Our panel regression applied to the data of microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Latin America and the Caribbean confirms the high significance of public finance for the growth of MFIs, especially for the size of their total assets and for their yield on gross loan portfolio. Moreover, the results indicate that MFIs, operating in the country with higher growth of GDP, are characterized by higher rate of social efficiency. The positive influence on microfinance is besides public finance also associated with a growth of rural population or an economy openness of the given country.
    Keywords: public finance, government expenditure, microfinance, microcredit, poverty
    JEL: E62 G21 O11
    Date: 2014–05–03
  5. By: Cho, Yoonyoung; Tien, Bienvenue N.
    Abstract: Since the mid-1990s, Sub-Saharan Africa has experienced unprecedented levels of high economic growth. A key question follows: What accounts for the turnaround of the growth performance in the mid-1990s? The answer can provide insight into whether the recent growth spurt in Sub-Saharan Africa is merely temporary or the beginning of a sustainable takeoff. This paper examines the sources of growth of 32 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa in a growth accounting framework. The findings suggest that the recent growth spurt is largely associated with an increase in the share of working-age population, capital accumulation, and total factor productivity, unlike previous periods. Resources play a role by attracting capital inflows, particularly from foreign direct investment and shifting labor away from agriculture. However, the growth prospects for Sub-Saharan Africa seem promising beyond resources, with steady progress in decreased fertility, increased foreign direct investment, political stability, and structural transformation.
    Keywords: Economic Growth,Achieving Shared Growth,Economic Theory&Research,Emerging Markets,Population Policies
    Date: 2014–05–02
  6. By: Mthuli Ncube; Zuzana Brixiova; Zorobabel Bicaba
    Abstract: With the year 2015 – the MDG finishing line – approaching, post-2015 goals as they impact Africa need to be firmed. The goal of ending extreme poverty remains paramount. Globally, the World Bank set goals to end extreme poverty by 2030 and to promote shared prosperity in every society. We examine feasibility of these objectives for Sub-Saharan Africa, the world’s poorest but rapidly rising region. We find that under plausible assumptions on consumption growth and redistribution, eliminating poverty by 2030 is out of the region’s reach. Even under our ‘best case’ scenario of accelerated growth and redistribution from the richest 10 percent to the poorest 40 percent of the population, the poverty rate would still be around 10 percent in 2030. A more realistic goal for the region would be reducing poverty by a range from half to two thirds. At this rate, especially if in part achieved by lowering inequality, the Africa region would meaningfully contribute to the global agenda. Policies need to focus on mutually reinforcing objectives of making growth stronger, resilient to shocks, and inclusive.
    Keywords: Poverty reduction, inequality, inclusive growth, Africa, numerical simulations
    JEL: I32 E21 J11 C63
    Date: 2014–04–01

This nep-dev issue is ©2014 by Jacob A. Jordaan. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.