nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2014‒07‒13
ten papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Utrecht University

  1. Remittances and Vulnerability in Developing Countries By Giulia Bettin; Andrea Presbitero; Nicola Spatafora
  2. Is aid for trade effective? A quantile regression approach By Martinez-Zarzoso, Inmaculada; Nowak-Lehmann D., Felicitas; Rehwald, Kai
  3. The Consequences of Increased Enforcement of Legal Minimum Wages in a Developing Country: An Evaluation of the Impact of the Campaña Nacional de Salarios Mínimos in Costa Rica By Gindling, T. H.; Mossaad, Nadwa; Trejos, Juan Diego
  4. Hybrid survey to improve the reliability of poverty statistics in a cost-effective manner By Ahmed, Faizuddin; Dorji, Cheku; Takamatsu, Shinya; Yoshida, Nobuo
  5. The anatomy of failure : an ethnography of a randomized trial to deepen democracy in rural India By Ananthpur, Kripa; Malik, Kabir; Rao, Vijayendra
  6. Workfare as "Collateral": The case of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) in India By Subhasish Dey; Katsushi S. Imai
  7. Child Work and Schooling in Pakistan— To What Extent Poverty and Other Demographic and Parental Background Matter? By Madeeha Gohar Qureshi; Saman Nazir; Hafsa Hina
  8. A Hybrid Approach to Estimating the Efficiency of Public Spending on Education in Emerging and Developing Economies By Francesco Grigoli
  9. Population Pressure, Rural-to-Rural Migration and Evolution of Land Tenure Institutions: The Case of Uganda By Francis Mwesigye; Tomoya Matsumoto; Keijiro Otsuka
  10. Parallel systems and human resource management in India's public health services : a view from the front lines By La Forgia, Gerard; Raha, Shomikho; Shaik, Shabbeer; Maheshwari, Sunil Kumar; Ali, Rabia

  1. By: Giulia Bettin; Andrea Presbitero; Nicola Spatafora
    Abstract: This paper examines how international remittances are affected by structural characteristics, macroeconomic conditions, and adverse shocks in both source and recipient economies. We exploit a novel, rich panel data set, covering bilateral remittances from 103 Italian provinces to 107 developing countries over the period 2005-2011. We find that remittances are negatively correlated with the business cycle in recipient countries, and increase in response to adverse exogenous shocks, such as natural disasters or large declines in the terms of trade. Remittances are positively correlated with economic conditions in the source province. Nevertheless, in the presence of similar negative shocks to both source and recipient economies, remittances remain counter-cyclical with respect to the recipient country.
    Keywords: Workers remittances;Italy;Developing countries;Business cycles;Economic models;Shocks, Vulnerability, Gravity model, migrant, bilateral remittances, official remittances, migration, workers ’ remittances, remittance inflows, capital flows, international remittances, remittance flows, data on remittances, migrant remittances, role of remittances, increase in remittances, migrants ’ remittances, global remittances, remittance outflows, impact of remittances, remittance data, effect of remittances, remittance corridor, effect of remittances on poverty, worker remittances, recipient of remittances, recipients of remittance, impact of remittances on growth, distribution of remittances, remitters, recipients of remittances, remittance transfers, data on remittance flows, emigrant remittances, specific remittance, barriers to remittances, remittance corridors, remittance channels, determinants of remittances, diaspora, send remittances, growth rate of remittances, outward remittances
    Date: 2014–01–27
  2. By: Martinez-Zarzoso, Inmaculada; Nowak-Lehmann D., Felicitas; Rehwald, Kai
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether Aid for Trade (AfT) improves export performance, i.e. does AfT lead to greater exports? Using panel data and panel quantile regression, our results suggest that overall AfT disbursements promote the export of goods and services mainly for the .50 and .75 quantiles. Our results also show that for some types of AfT this effect essentially vanishes at the lower tail of the conditional distribution of exports. Hence, countries that export more in volume are those benefiting most from AfT. We also investigate which types of AfT are effective. In particular, we find that aid used to build production capacity is effective. This type of aid is associated with higher exports for almost all quantiles, with the effect increasing at the upper tail of the conditional distribution. Aid used to build infrastructure is also found to affect exports at the upper tail of the distribution. In contrast, aid for trade policy and aid disbursed for general budget support (an untargeted type of aid) are not associated with greater export levels. This finding holds true irrespective of the quantile. --
    Keywords: development aid,North-South trade,aid for trade,panel data,aid effectiveness
    JEL: F10
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Gindling, T. H. (University of Maryland, Baltimore County); Mossaad, Nadwa (University of Maryland, Baltimore County); Trejos, Juan Diego (University of Costa Rica)
    Abstract: In August 2010 the Costa Rican government implemented a comprehensive program to increase compliance with legal minimum wages, the Campaign for Minimum Wages. To evaluate the impact of the Campaign, we use a regression discontinuity approach, which compares what happened to workers who before the campaign had been earning below the minimum wage to those who before the Campaign had been earning above the minimum wage. We analyze a panel data set with information on workers from before the Campaign began (July 2010) and after the Campaign had been in operation for some time (July 2011). We find evidence that the Campaign led to an increase in compliance with minimum wage laws in Costa Rica; the mean earnings of those earning less than the minimum wage in 2010 increased by approximately 10% more than the earnings of those who had been earning more than the minimum wage. The Campaign led to the largest increases in the wages of women, younger workers and less-educated workers. We find no evidence that the Campaign had a negative impact on the employment of full-time workers whose wages were increased. We find some weak evidence that the Campaign had a negative impact on the employment of part-time private sector employees. Although increased inspections were mainly targeting minimum wage violations, we also observe an increase in compliance with a broader set of labor standards and a positive spillover effect relative to other violations of labor laws.
    Keywords: Latin America, labor code enforcement, minimum wages, employment, wages
    JEL: J3 J33 J38
    Date: 2014–06
  4. By: Ahmed, Faizuddin; Dorji, Cheku; Takamatsu, Shinya; Yoshida, Nobuo
    Abstract: This paper studies the benefits, in terms of reliability and frequency of poverty statistics, of conducting a hybrid survey that collects non-consumption data from all surveyed households and consumption data from only a small subsample. Collecting detailed consumption or income data for the purpose of estimating poverty is costly and many low-income countries cannot afford to carry out such surveys on a regular basis. One option is to collect only non-consumption data and use consumption models developed from a previous round of household survey data to project poverty data. Although this approach is cost-effective because collection of non-consumption data is much cheaper than collection of consumption data, it is vulnerable to a structural change between the current and previous household surveys and might produce poverty estimates that are not comparable with the previous ones. Instead, the hybrid approach creates consumption models from a subsample of the current survey and applies them to the entire survey to project consumption data for all households in the sample. This paper examines the hybrid approach with data from the Bangladesh Household Income Expenditure Surveys of 2000 and 2005. Improvements in accuracy are achieved even with subsamples of just 320 or 640 households. Budget simulations confirm that the additional cost of collecting consumption data for such small subsamples is minimal.
    Keywords: Rural Poverty Reduction,E-Business,Consumption,Small Area Estimation Poverty Mapping
    Date: 2014–06–01
  5. By: Ananthpur, Kripa; Malik, Kabir; Rao, Vijayendra
    Abstract: Programs that induce citizen participation to improve the quality of government at the local level are the subjects of large amounts of funding and intense debate. This paper combines a randomized control trial of a citizenship training and facilitation program in rural India, with an in-depth, four-year ethnography of the intervention to understand the underlying mechanisms of change. The quantitative data show no impact from the intervention. Household and village survey data from 100 treatment and 100 control villages show considerable improvement across a wide variety of governance and participation indicators over time, but the differences in the changes between treatment and control villages are not statistically significant. The detailed qualitative data from a 10 percent subsample allow us to unpack the reasons why the intervention"failed,"highlighting the role of variations in the quality of facilitation, lack of top-down support, and difficulties with confronting the stubborn challenge of persistent inequality. However, the qualitative investigation also uncovered subtle treatment effects that are difficult to observe in structured surveys. The paper thus demonstrates that a concerted effort to use"thick description"to uncover the process of change using careful and detailed qualitative work can add value to standard impact evaluations.
    Keywords: Social Accountability,Housing&Human Habitats,Poverty Monitoring&Analysis,Governance Indicators,Public Sector Corruption&Anticorruption Measures
    Date: 2014–06–01
  6. By: Subhasish Dey (Economics, School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester, UK); Katsushi S. Imai (School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester (UK) and RIEB, Kobe University (Japan))
    Abstract: This paper argues that a major beneficial impact of workfare programmes is through their role in allowing participants to improve their access to "credit". Sustainable programme participation over many years serves as "collateral" for households' acquisition of informal credit, leading to the improvement in economic security and poverty reduction. A conceptual framework using an infinitely repeated trilateral stage game among lenders, workfare participants, and local politicians is developed. This is used to underscore how participation in NREGS matters for securing informal credit from the local shop owners or moneylenders to tackle temporal adverse income spells and smooth out consumption shocks. Using three rounds household panel data for 2009-2012 based on our primary surveys in West Bengal, we provide robust evidence that continuous programme participation significantly facilitates informal credit acquisition, increases income and consumption, and consumption smoothing.
    Keywords: NREGS, Panel data, Impact, Consumption, Income, Credit, West Bengal, India
    JEL: I38 O12
    Date: 2014–06
  7. By: Madeeha Gohar Qureshi (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad); Saman Nazir (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad); Hafsa Hina (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad)
    Abstract: Keeping into consideration the far-reaching social and economic impact of child work both for the children involved and society as a whole, in this study an attempt has been made to disentangle the child employment and schooling tradeoff with perspective to understand the effect of income deprivation measures and other non-income factors such as demographic and parental background information for Pakistan using Pakistan Panel Household Survey 2010 data set. At one level this research resolves empirically the debate that exist in literature whether child work is direct outcome of poverty or not in context of Pakistan through assessing the impact of the poverty channel for both likelihood of sending a child for paid work versus probability of enrolling a child into school and on other tries to connect the above line of reasoning with other non-income channels so as to build more enriching perspective. The consequences of household socioeconomic level in terms of its poor or non-poor status on child employment and child enrollment likelihood functions is assessed using both a direct measure of poverty based on household consumption expenditure information and also indirect measures based on access (or lack of it to be more specific) of household to electricity, sewerage system and to type of housing in terms of number of rooms and durability of house. In our empirical evidence, we do find strong support for poverty channel both directly and indirectly acting as defining force in decreasing his or her probability for school enrollment. However in context of effect of poverty on probability of child employment we do not find strong evidence through direct measure of poverty based on household consumption information, however the indirect proxies of poverty level of the household as child belonging to poor status in terms of access to certain type of living [living in house with no electricity, kaccha type of house (not bricked and hence vulnerable to fall), no sewerage system and with just one room] do provide strong evidence in support of poverty channel of impact on increasing the chances of child work. Further demographic information whether it is in form of increasing sibling size or impact of number of adult earners or parental background variables such as employment status of parents and their employment categories provides support for the significance of how being resource poor can be a binding constraint for the household and can act as an impetus to send a child towards paid work against schooling.
    Keywords: Child Employment, Child Schooling, Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models
    JEL: C24 C25 I21 J13 J16
    Date: 2014
  8. By: Francesco Grigoli
    Abstract: The measurement of the efficiency of public education expenditure using parametric and non-parametric methods has proven challenging. This paper seeks to overcome the difficulties of earlier studies by using a hybrid approach to measure the efficiency of secondary education spending in emerging and developing economies. The approach accounts for the impact of the level of development on education outcomes by constructing different efficiency frontiers for lower- and higher-income economies. We find evidence of large potential gains in enrollment rates by improving efficiency. These are largest in lower-income economies, especially in Africa. Reallocating expenditure to reduce student-to-teacher ratios (where these are high) and improving the quality of institutions (as measured by the "governance effectiveness" indicator in the World Bank's Governance Indicators database) could help improve the efficiency of education spending. Easing the access to education facilities and reducing income inequality (as measured by the Gini coefficient) could also help improve efficiency.
    Keywords: Government expenditures;Education;Africa;Emerging markets;Developing countries;Cross country analysis;education spending, educational outcomes, public education, public expenditure, education sector, school enrollment, education facilities, education outcomes, educational output, completion rates, access to education, educational efficiency, expenditure efficiency, schooling, education systems, efficiency of government expenditure, student educational outcomes, education indicators, public spending, school enrollments, health expenditure, returns to education, education services
    Date: 2014–01–30
  9. By: Francis Mwesigye (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies); Tomoya Matsumoto (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies); Keijiro Otsuka (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies)
    Abstract: While customary land tenure systems are still prevalent in most African countries, they are believed to be evolving to private land ownership. However, questions about how they are evolving and what determines this evolution remain un-answered. This study contributes to the literature by empirically analyzing the process of the evolution of land tenure systems in Uganda using community-, household-, and parcel-level data. By tracing rural-to-rural migration patterns, we found that immigrant-dominated and ethnically diverse communities have a higher incidence of private land ownership. As an implication of the evolution of land tenure system, we found that land markets are more active in immigrant communities, which enhances efficiency in land allocation through land transactions. In fact, we found a large and significant inverse relationship between farm size and productivity in communities with communal land ownership, and an insignificant relationship in communities with more privately owned land. These findings suggest that rural-to-rural migration, through weakening traditional social systems, promotes the shift from communal to individual land ownership which, in turn, boosts land transactions and efficient land use.
    Date: 2014–06
  10. By: La Forgia, Gerard; Raha, Shomikho; Shaik, Shabbeer; Maheshwari, Sunil Kumar; Ali, Rabia
    Abstract: There is building evidence in India that the delivery of health services suffers from an actual shortfall in trained health professionals, but also from unsatisfactory results of existing service providers working in the public and private sectors. This study focusses on the public sector and examines de facto institutional and governance arrangements that may give rise to well-documented provider behaviors such as absenteeism, which can adversely affect service delivery processes and outcomes. The paper considers four human resource management subsystems: postings, transfers, promotions, and disciplinary practices. The four subsystems are analyzed from the perspective of front line workers, that is, physicians working in rural health care facilities operated by two state governments. Physicians were sampled in one post-reform state that has instituted human resource management reforms and one pre-reform state that has not. The findings are based on quantitative and qualitative measurement. The results show that formal rules are undermined by a parallel modus operandi in which desirable posts are often determined by political connections and side payments. The evidence suggests an institutional environment in which formal rules of accountability are trumped by a parallel set of accountabilities. These systems appear so entrenched that reforms have borne no significant effect.
    Keywords: Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Health Systems Development&Reform,Population Policies,Public Sector Corruption&Anticorruption Measures,Health Economics&Finance
    Date: 2014–06–01

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