nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2014‒06‒28
twelve papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Utrecht University

  1. Saving More to Borrow Less: Experimental Evidence from Access to Formal Savings Accounts in Chile By Felipe Kast; Dina Pomeranz
  2. Business Literacy and Development: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial in Rural Mexico By Gabriela Calderón; Jesse M.Cunha ;; Giacomo De Giorgi      
  3. Adoption and Impact of Improved Cow Breeds on Household Welfare and Child Nutrition Outcomes: Empirical Evidence from Uganda By Kabunga, Nassul
  4. Does crop diversity contribute to dietary diversity? Evidence from integration of vegetables into maize based farming systems in Tanzania By Rajendran, Srinivasulu; Afari-Sefa, Victor; Bekunda, Mateete; Dominick, Inviolate; Lukumay, Philipo Joseph
  5. Determinants of Change and Household Responses to Food Insecurity: Empirical Evidence from Nigeria By Edeh, Hyacinth Onuorah; Gyimah-Brempong, Kwabena
  6. Does involvement of local NGOs enhance public service delivery ? cautionary evidence from a Malaria-prevention evaluation in India By Das, Ashis; Friedman, Jed; Kandpal, Eeshani
  7. Access to Credit: Awareness and Use of Formal and Informal Credit Institutions By Alejandra Campero; Karen Kaiser  
  8. Mexican Migration to the United States: Underlying Economic Factors and Possible Scenarios for Future Flows By Daniel Chiquiar; Alejandrina Salcedo
  9. Going Beyond Calories – Looking At Experiential Food Insecurity In Urban Slum Households In Kolkata By Chandana Maitra
  10. Economic development and female labor participation in the Middle East and North Africa : a test of the u-shape hypothesis By Verme, Paolo
  11. On the Conditional Effects of IMF Loan Program Participation on Output Growth By Binder, Michael; Bluhm, Marcel
  12. World Bank lending and the quality of economic policy By Smets, Lodewijk; Knack, Stephen

  1. By: Felipe Kast; Dina Pomeranz
    Abstract: Poverty is often characterized not only by low and unstable income, but also by heavy debt burdens. We find that reducing barriers to saving through access to free savings accounts decreases participants' short-term debt by about 20%. In addition, participants who experience an economic shock have less need to reduce consumption, and subjective well-being improves significantly. Precautionary savings and credit therefore act as substitutes in providing self-insurance, and participants prefer borrowing less when a free formal savings account is available. Take-up patterns suggest that requests by others for participants to share their resources may be a key obstacle to saving.
    JEL: D14 D91 G22 O16
    Date: 2014–06
  2. By: Gabriela Calderón; Jesse M.Cunha ;; Giacomo De Giorgi      
    Abstract: This paper explores whether the poor performance of many micro-enterprises can be explained by a lack of basic business skills. We randomized the offer of a free, 48-hour business skills course to female entrepreneurs in rural Mexico. We find that those assigned to treatment earn higher profits, have larger revenues, serve a greater number of clients, are more likely to use formal accounting techniques, and more likely to be registered with the government. Economically significant indirect treatment effects on those entrepreneurs randomized out of the program, yet living in treatment villages are observed. We present a simple model that helps interpret our results, and consistent with the theoretical predictions, we find that entrepreneurs with lower baseline profits are the most likely to quit their business post-treatment, and that the positive impacts of the treatment are increasing in entrepreneurial quality.
    Keywords: Business literacy, economic development, micro-enterprise
    JEL: I25 O12 O14
    Date: 2013–12
  3. By: Kabunga, Nassul
    Abstract: There is increasing evidence that improved agricultural technologies benefit smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. This evidence is however relatively clearer for innovations in smallholder crop production systems as compared to innovations in livestock production systems. Moreover, it is unclear whether the benefits of technology adoption in livestock systems are uniform across small and relatively large farmers. This study uses a national representative sample of 906 households to rigorously assess the impact of adoption of improved dairy cow breeds on enterprise-, household-, and individual child-level nutrition outcomes in Uganda. We find that adopting improved dairy cows significantly increases milk yield, household’s orientation to milk markets, and food expenditure. Consequently, adoption substantially reduces household poverty and stunting for children younger than age five. Considering heterogeneity, we find that adopting households with small farms increase milk yield, food expenditure and reduce poverty substantially while large farms increase not only ownmilk consumption and commercialization but also nutrition outcomes of children younger than age five.
    Keywords: improved dairy cows, milk productivity, child nutrition outcomes, poverty, propensity score matching, sub-Saharan Africa, Uganda, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty, International Relations/Trade, Livestock Production/Industries, Production Economics, D1, I15, O13, O33, Q12, Q18,
    Date: 2014–04
  4. By: Rajendran, Srinivasulu; Afari-Sefa, Victor; Bekunda, Mateete; Dominick, Inviolate; Lukumay, Philipo Joseph
    Abstract: Maize is one of the most important staple foods that is critical to food security and livelihoods of farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. Although maize is important staple crop for ensuring food security, it cannot ensure nutritional security. To provide and ensure an adequate supply and greater variety of nutritional foods within a farm household, cropping patterns and farming systems must be diversified to include micronutrient-rich vegetables and fruit crops, particularly traditional African species. Vegetables provide nutritional benefits and increase household incomes for smallholders, and are thus an excellent complement to staple crops for addressing food and nutritional security. The objective of this study is to ascertain if an increased diversity of crops in farmers’ fields leads to increased diversified diets or otherwise. This underlying objective is analyzed with a multiple linear regression model from a primary survey of 300 farm households selected from 10 villages in the Babati, Kongwa and Kiteto districts of Tanzania. Results show that farm diversity does not have a positive and significant effect on dietary diversity after controlling for other covariates. However, variables such as households size, level of education, monthly expenditure on food, irrigated area, proportion of vegetables consumed from own household production and control of household income by female decision makers were found to have strong association with dietary diversity.
    Keywords: Farm Diversity, Dietary Diversity, Vegetables, Maize, Agribusiness, Crop Production/Industries, Farm Management, Q10, Q180, I130,
    Date: 2014–04
  5. By: Edeh, Hyacinth Onuorah; Gyimah-Brempong, Kwabena
    Abstract: Limited economic and physical capacities as well as environmental and economic shocks have constrained the ability of many Nigerian households to feed themselves adequately. This has resulted in these households being faced with food shortages; and they have to adopt various consumption-related strategies to mitigate the effect of the shortfalls. Using the 2010/2011 Nigeria LSMS-ISA survey data and the reduced consumption coping strategy index (RCCSI), this paper examines the determinants of change in food (in)security of Nigerian households in the two major farming periods. Results show that there is a significant difference in the food insecurity status of households in the two periods. The likelihood of change in the food security status were determined by sex of the household head, farmland holdings, nature of livelihood, shocks associated with land loss, and climate change events. Coping strategies in the two periods were dietary change strategies and the rationing strategies. However, the frequency of use of these strategies is higher in the post-planting period and more among female-headed households. The use of high-yielding climate-resistant crops and reduction in post-harvest losses through processing and improved storage facilities are advocated.
    Keywords: Food Security, Food Consumption Score, Reduced Consumption Coping Strategy Index, Post-harvest, Post-planting, Consumer/Household Economics, Crop Production/Industries, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods, D120,
    Date: 2014–04
  6. By: Das, Ashis; Friedman, Jed; Kandpal, Eeshani
    Abstract: Using data from an experimental supportive intervention to India's malaria control program, this paper studies the impact of leveraging local non-state capacity to promote mosquito net usage and recommended fever care-seeking patterns. The supportive activities were conducted simultaneously by three nongovernmental organizations in two endemic districts in the state of Orissa. The study finds that program impact varied significantly by location. Examining three potential sources of this variation (differential population characteristics, differential health worker characteristics, and differential implementer characteristics), the analysis provides evidence that both population and nongovernmental organization characteristics significantly affected the success of the program. The paper discusses these findings as they relate to the external validity of development policy evaluations and, specifically, for the ability of the health system to benefit from limited non-state capacity in under-resourced areas.
    Keywords: Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Housing&Human Habitats,Disease Control&Prevention,Population Policies,Health Systems Development&Reform
    Date: 2014–06–01
  7. By: Alejandra Campero; Karen Kaiser  
    Abstract: In this paper we study the determinants of use of formal and informal credit sources. Given that awareness is a necessary step towards use of credit, in order to control for the possible selection bias we decompose the decision to use credit as a two stage decision process in which first, households form their choice set by deciding which type of institutions they want to consider as possible lenders (awareness), and then choose among them (use). Additionally, we allow for correlation between being aware of a specific source of credit and using it. We find evidence that supports the hypothesis that the formal and informal credit markets in Mexico attend different segments of the population. However, our results also show that informal lending sources' characteristics are valued per-se by consumers in certain situations, such as emergencies.
    Keywords: Credit demand, consideration set, informal credit, formal credit, Mexico
    JEL: D1 D14 G2
    Date: 2013–06
  8. By: Daniel Chiquiar; Alejandrina Salcedo
    Abstract: In this paper we examine some economic factors that have influenced migration flows from Mexico to the United States since 1990 for the purpose of constructing scenarios on how such flows could evolve in the near term. In particular, we link the behavior of migration to changes in sectoral growth in the US, as well as to a heterogeneous participation of Mexican workers in employment by sector. To forecast future migration flows, we propose and estimate a model of demand for Mexican labor by US sector and use it to construct possible scenarios for migration flows. While the estimation is subject to a high degree of uncertainty, the main conclusion is that net migration flows of Mexicans to the United States over the coming years are likely to increase compared to what was observed during the recent global economic crisis, but that such flows are very unlikely to reach the levels registered during the 1990s.
    Keywords: Migration flows, labor demand, US sectoral growth
    JEL: O15 J23 J61 J82
    Date: 2013–11
  9. By: Chandana Maitra (School of Economics, The University of Queensland)
    Abstract: This paper primarily addresses the issue of food access in urban India by investigating into the possibility of constructing an experience-based measure of food access following the U.S. Household Food Security Survey Module (US HFSSM), on the basis of a survey conducted in 500 households in the slums of Kolkata, India, in 2010-11. In past, National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) attempted to measure food insecurity, subjectively, by asking a single question based on whether or not a household gets two square meals a day but the survey apparently produced estimates too low to be believed. In the absence of reliable official data on self-reported hunger, it may be worthwhile to explore other methods of constructing such experiential measure of food access such as the US HFSSM. The questionnaire was administered in Bengali, based on which a nine-item food security scale was constructed according to which, 15.4% of the Kolkata slum households were food insecure including 2.6% severely food insecure. The finding has important implications for food security measurement and targeting in view of the fact that the experiential measure provides an alternative indicator of food access which can be used in conjunction with the existing indicators like calorie intake and nutritional status, for better identification of the food insecure households which makes targeting more cost-effective.
    Date: 2014–06–11
  10. By: Verme, Paolo
    Abstract: The Middle East and North Africa region is known for having low female labor market participation rates as compared with its level of economic development. A possible explanation is that these countries find themselves at the turning point of the U-shape hypothesis when countries transition from declining to rising female participation rates. This paper tests the U-shape hypothesis in countries in the Middle East and North Africa. It finds that the region has outperformed other world regions in terms of the main drivers of the U-shape hypothesis, including gross domestic product per capita, economic transformation away from the agricultural sector, female education, and fertility rates. These facts are consistent with nonparametric evidence that shows countries in the region are distributed over a U-shaped curve. However, parametric tests of the hypothesis point in a different direction. The region shows an inverted U-shape overall and great heterogeneity across countries and age cohorts that defies any law on the relation between gross domestic product and female participation rate. The explanation behind these findings may be economic and cultural. Jobless growth and the lack of growth in employment sectors such as manufacturing and services, which proved critical for female employment in other countries, weaken labor demand and strengthen the role of institutions that may discourage female participation, such as marriage, legislation, and gender norms.
    Keywords: Population Policies,Regional Economic Development,Economic Theory&Research,Labor Policies,Labor Markets
    Date: 2014–06–01
  11. By: Binder, Michael; Bluhm, Marcel
    Abstract: The empirical evidence currently available in the literature regarding the effects of a country's IMF program participation on its output growth is rather inconclusive. In this paper we propose and estimate a panel data sample selection model featuring state dependence. As in this model the output growth effects of program participation can be conditional on the realization of a state variable (conditional pooling), our framework may reconcile previous empirical evidence based on models without state-dependent effects. We find that the effects of IMF program participation on output growth vary systematically with an index reflecting a country's institutional record, and that output growth effects of program participation are significantly positive only if the program participation is coupled with sufficient improvement of the institutional record. --
    Keywords: Conditional Pooling,IMF Program Participation,Output Growth,Panel Sample Selection Models
    JEL: O11 O19 C33
    Date: 2014
  12. By: Smets, Lodewijk; Knack, Stephen
    Abstract: This study investigates the impact of World Bank development policy lending on the quality of economic policy. It finds that the quality of policy increases, but at a diminishing rate, with the cumulative number of policy loans. Similar results hold for the cumulative number of conditions attached to policy loans, although quadratic specifications indicate that additional conditions may even reduce the quality of policy beyond some point. The paper measures the quality of economic policy using the World Bank's Country Policy and Institutional Assessments of macro, debt, fiscal and structural policies, and considers only policy loans targeted at improvements in those areas. Previous studies finding weaker effects of policy lending on macro stability have failed to distinguish loans primarily intended to improve economic policy from other loans targeted at improvements in sector policies or in public management. The paper also shows that investing in economic policy does not"crowd out"policy improvements in other areas such as public sector governance or human development. The results are robust to using alternative indicators of policy quality, and correcting for endogeneity with system generalized methods of moments and cross-sectional two-stage least squares. The more positive results in the study relative to some previous studies based on earlier loans are consistent with claims by the World Bank that it has learned from its mistakes with traditional adjustment lending.
    Keywords: Banks&Banking Reform,Economic Adjustment and Lending,Economic Theory&Research,Debt Markets,Public Sector Corruption&Anticorruption Measures
    Date: 2014–06–01

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