nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2014‒08‒25
ten papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universitiet Utrecht

  1. District Governance and Student Learning in Indonesia By Pradhan, Menno; de Ree, Joppe
  2. The Intensive Margin of Technology Adoption - Experimental Evidence on Improved Cooking Stoves in Rural Senegal By Gunther Bensch; Jörg Peters
  3. Are Cash Transfers a Silver Bullet? Evidence from the Zambian Child Grant By Sudhanshu Handa; David Seidenfeld; Benjamin Davis; Gelson Tembo; Zambia Cash Transfer Evaluation Team; UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre
  4. Manufacturing Growth and the Lives of Bangladeshi Women By Rachel Heath; A. Mushfiq Mobarak
  5. Kinship and Consumption: The Effect of Spouses' Outside Options on Household Productivity By Selma Telalagic
  6. Politics Before Pupils? Electoral Cycles and School Resources in India By Fagernäs, Sonja; Pelkonen, Panu
  7. How Has the Developing World Changed since the Late 1990s? A Dynamic and Multidimensional Taxonomy of Developing Countries - Working Paper 375 By Andy Sumner and Sergio Tezanos Vázquez
  8. Land Market Restrictions, Women's Labor Force Participation and Wages By Emran, M. Shahe; Shilpi, Forhad
  9. Bargaining power and biofortification: The role of gender in adoption of orange sweet potato in Uganda: By Gilligan, Daniel O.; Kumar, Neha; McNiven, Scott; Meenakshi, J.V.; Quisumbing, Agnes R.
  10. International remittances and financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa By Aga, Gemechu Ayana; Soledad Martinez Peria, Maria

  1. By: Pradhan, Menno (VU University Amsterdam); de Ree, Joppe (World Bank consultant)
    Abstract: We document the likely importance of district governance and teacher management policies in relation to student learning in Indonesian primary schools. As the responsibility to deliver primary education has been decentralized to district governments, we expect district specific variations in teacher management policies. Consequently, we also expect variations in learning trajectories across districts. We document substantial heterogeneity in learning gains across districts. Furthermore, we show that schools with more active teacher working groups and higher-qualified teachers achieve better learning gains. However, teacher management policy variables, including school budgets, participation rates in teacher working groups, or student–teacher ratios, can explain only a fraction of the differences in learning across districts. It is likely that the “quality” of operation matters. More detailed measurement is needed to further understanding of the heterogeneity in performance.
    Keywords: education; school governance; student learning
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2014–06–01
  2. By: Gunther Bensch; Jörg Peters
    Abstract: Today 2.6 billion people in developing countries rely on biomass as primary cooking fuel, with profound negative implications for their well-being. Improved biomass cooking stoves are alleged to counteract these adverse effects. This paper evaluates take-up and impacts of low-cost improved stoves through a randomized controlled trial. The randomized stove is primarily designed to curb firewood consumption but not smoke emissions. Nonetheless, we find considerable effects not only on firewood consumption, but also on smoke exposure and smoke-related disease symptoms – induced by behavioural changes at the intensive margin affecting outside cooking and cooking time due to the new stove.
    Keywords: Impact evaluation; randomized controlled trial; respiratory disease symptoms; energy access; technology adoption
    JEL: C93 O12 O13 Q53
    Date: 2014–07
  3. By: Sudhanshu Handa; David Seidenfeld; Benjamin Davis; Gelson Tembo; Zambia Cash Transfer Evaluation Team; UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre
    Abstract: We document the broad impacts of the Zambian Government’s Child Support Grant , including on consumption, livelihood strengthening, material welfare of children, young child feeding, investment in assets, productive activities and housing after two years, making this one of the first studies to demonstrate both protective and productive impacts of a national unconditional cash transfer programme. However impacts in areas such as child nutritional status and schooling depend on initial conditions of the household, suggesting that cash alone is not enough to solve all constraints faced by these poor, rural households.
    Keywords: cash transfers; zambia;
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Rachel Heath; A. Mushfiq Mobarak
    Abstract: We study the effects of explosive growth in the Bangladeshi ready-made garments industry on the lives on Bangladeshi women. We compare the marriage, childbearing, school enrollment and employment decisions of women who gain greater access to garment sector jobs to women living further away from factories, to years before the factories arrive close to some villages, and to the marriage and enrollment decisions of their male siblings. Girls exposed to the garment sector delay marriage and childbirth. This stems from (a) young girls becoming more likely to be enrolled in school after garment jobs (which reward literacy and numeracy) arrive, and (b) older girls becoming more likely to be employed outside the home in garment-proximate villages. The demand for education generated through manufacturing growth appears to have a much larger effect on female educational attainment compared to a large-scale government conditional cash transfer program to encourage female schooling.
    JEL: F16 I25 J12 J23 O12
    Date: 2014–08
  5. By: Selma Telalagic
    Abstract: This paper provides a causal reason for failure in productive efficiency in the household and explains why some households may be less efficient than others.� In the theoretical model, spouses make labour allocation decisions in each period to generate income, facing a threat of divorce in the next period.� This threat of divorce encourages spouses to invest in their outside options.� If decision-making is noncooperative, asymmetric outside options lead to lower productivity.� Using exogenous variation in inheritance rules in Malawi as a measure of outside options, the empirical results show that matrilineal households (where women have access to land) have 10% higher consumption than patrilineal households (where women have no access to land).� These resuls are robust to a wide variety of specifications and are corroborated by an analysis of labour allocation and income.� The results suggest that variation in spouses' outside options can help explain variation in household productivity.
    Keywords: Productive efficiency, Households, Land rights, Matriliny, Malawi
    JEL: D12 D13 J12 J16
    Date: 2014–08–15
  6. By: Fagernäs, Sonja (University of Sussex); Pelkonen, Panu (University of Sussex)
    Abstract: Primary education in India is a development question of a unique magnitude, and the delivery of education by Indian states is often suspected to be marred by political haggling and corruption. Using rich administrative school-level panel data across Indian states, we test for electoral cycles in the provision of school resources. The effects are identified using staggered timing of state elections. We find that rulers allocate more primary school resources in the years preceding and following elections, but there is only weak evidence that resources are targeted to marginal constituencies. The resources affected are visible ones, namely free school uniforms, classrooms, toilets, ramps for the disabled and medical inspections. We also show that around election years, teachers spend more time on "non-teaching" activities. The political cycles are not inevitable, as they are present only in districts characterised by low voter turnout and low female literacy. Finally, we show that electoral cycles affect human capital accumulation: The phase of the electoral cycle in which pupils begin their primary schooling, affects their learning outcomes.
    Keywords: institutions, school resources, political cycle, public goods, voter turnout, India
    JEL: H75 I25 O15 P16
    Date: 2014–08
  7. By: Andy Sumner and Sergio Tezanos Vázquez
    Abstract: Many existing classifications of developing countries are dominated by income per capita (such as the World Bank’s low, middle, and high income thresholds), thus neglecting the multidimensionality of the concept of ‘development’. Even those deemed to be the main ‘alternatives’ to the income-based classification have income per capita heavily weighted within a composite indicator. This paper provides an alternative perspective: clusters of developing countries. We take 4 ‘frames’ on the meaning of development: economic development, human development, better governance, and environmental sustainability. We then use a cluster procedure in order to build groups of countries that are to some extent internally ‘homogeneous’, but noticeably dissimilar to other groups. The advantage of this procedure is that it allows us identify the key development characteristics of each cluster of countries and where each country fits best. We then use this taxonomy to analyze how the developing world has since the late 1990s in terms of clusters of countries and the country groupings themselves.
    Keywords: economic development, human development, governance, environmental sustainability
    JEL: F01 N10 O1 O2
    Date: 2014–08
  8. By: Emran, M. Shahe; Shilpi, Forhad
    Abstract: We analyze the effects of land market restrictions on the rural labor market outcomes for women. The land restrictions can have a gender and age bias because of an ex-post asymmetry in migration costs arising from older women's comparative advantage in home goods production. For identification, we exploit a natural experiment in Sri Lanka where historical malaria played a unique role in land policy. We provide robust evidence of a positive effect of land restrictions on women's labor force participation, and negative effects on female wages. The empirical results suggest that the burden of land market restrictions falls disproportionately on older women.
    Keywords: Land Market Restrictions, Labor Market, Women's Labor Force Participation, Wage, Sri Lanka, Historical Malaria
    JEL: J3 J4 O1
    Date: 2014–08–17
  9. By: Gilligan, Daniel O.; Kumar, Neha; McNiven, Scott; Meenakshi, J.V.; Quisumbing, Agnes R.
    Abstract: We examine the role of gender in adoption and diffusion of orange sweet potato, a biofortified staple food crop being promoted as a strategy to increase dietary intakes of vitamin A among young children and adult women in Uganda. As an agricultural intervention with nutrition objectives, intrahousehold gender dynamics regarding decisions about crop choice and child feeding practices may play a role in adoption decisions. Also, most households access sweet potato vines through informal exchange, suggesting again that gender dimensions of networks may be important to diffusion of the crop. We use data from an experimental impact evaluation of the introduction of OSP in Uganda to study how female bargaining power, measured by share of land and nonland assets controlled by women, affect adoption and diffusion decisions.
    Keywords: Gender, Women, technology adoption, Biofortification, Nutrition, Vitamin A, Micronutrients, Sweet potato,
    Date: 2014
  10. By: Aga, Gemechu Ayana; Soledad Martinez Peria, Maria
    Abstract: This paper uses World Bank survey data, including about 10,000 households in five countries -- Burkina Faso, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, and Uganda -- to investigate the link between international remittances and households'financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa. The paper finds that receiving international remittances increases the probability that the household opens a bank account in all the five countries. This result is robust to controlling for the potential endogeneity of remittances, using as instruments indicators of the migrants'economic conditions in the destination countries.
    Keywords: Access to Finance,Population Policies,Remittances,Debt Markets,Banks&Banking Reform
    Date: 2014–07–01

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