nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2014‒08‒28
eleven papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universitiet Utrecht

  1. Mobile phone coverage and producer markets : evidence from West Africa By Aker, Jenny C.; Fafchamps, Marcel
  2. Aid is good for the poor By Hirano, Yumeka; Otsubo, Shigeru
  3. It's All in the Timing:Household Expenditure and Labor Supply Responses to Unconditional Cash Transfers. By Bazzi, Samuel; Sumarto, Sudarno; Suryahadi, Asep
  4. Seeing is believing ? evidence from an extension network experiment By Kondylis, Florence; Mueller, Valerie; Zhu, Siyao Jessica
  5. Food prices, road infrastructure, and market integration in Central and Eastern Africa By Brenton, Paul; Portugal-Perez, Alberto; Regolo, Julie
  6. Remittances after natural disasters: Evidence from the 2004 Indian tsunami By Mitrut, Andreea; Wolff, François-Charles
  7. Can Elected Minority Representatives Affect Health Worker Visits? Evidence from India By Kaletski, Elizabeth; Prakash, Nishith
  8. The impact of shocks on gender-differentiated asset dynamics in Bangladesh: By Rakib, Muntaha; Matz, Julia Anna
  9. Can market-based approaches to technology development and dissemination benefit women smallholder farmers? A qualitative assessment of gender dynamics in the ownership, purchase, and use of irrigation pumps in Kenya and Tanzania: By Njuki, Jemimah; Waithanji, Elizabeth; Sakwa, Beatrice; Kariuki, Juliet; Mukewa, Elizabeth; Ngige, John
  10. Changing Norms about Gender Inequality in Education: Evidence from Bangladesh By Blunch, Niels-Hugo; Das, Maitreyi Bordia
  11. Aid effectiveness in Ghana: How’s the L’Aquila food security initiative doing?: By Benin, Samuel; Makombe, Tsitsi; Johnson, Michael E.

  1. By: Aker, Jenny C.; Fafchamps, Marcel
    Abstract: Mobile phone coverage has expanded considerably throughout the developing world, particularly within sub-Saharan Africa. Existing evidence suggests that increased access to information technology has improved agricultural market efficiency for consumer markets and certain commodities, but there is less evidence of its impact on producer markets. Building on the work of Aker (2010), this paper estimates the impact of mobile phone coverage on producer price dispersion for three commodities in Niger. The results suggest that mobile phone coverage reduces spatial producer price dispersion by 6 percent for cowpea, a semi-perishable commodity. These effects are strongest for remote markets and during certain periods of the year. The introduction of mobile phone coverage has no effect on producer price dispersion for millet and sorghum, two staple grains that are less perishable and are commonly stored by farmers. There are no impacts of mobile phone coverage on traders'gross margins or producer price levels, but mobile phone coverage is associated witha reduction in the intra-annual price variation for cowpea. These results are potentially explained by the fact that farmers engage in greater storage for storable commodities such as millet and sorghum.
    Keywords: Markets and Market Access,E-Business,Access to Markets,Debt Markets,Emerging Markets
    Date: 2014–07–01
  2. By: Hirano, Yumeka; Otsubo, Shigeru
    Abstract: Aid is good for the poor. This paper uses detailed aid data spanning 60 developing countries over the past two decades to show that social aid significantly and directly benefits the poorest in society, while economic aid increases the income of the poor through growth. This new and unequivocal finding distinguishes the current study from past studies that only utilized aggregate aid data and returned ambiguous results. The paper also confirms that none of the elements of globalization (trade, foreign direct investment, remittances), policies (government expenditure, inflation management), institutional quality, nor other plausibly pro-poor factors have systematic effects on the poor or any other income group, beyond their effects on average incomes. The paper finds that trade and foreign direct investment tend to benefit the richest segments of society more than other income groups. Therefore, the presented evidence suggests that aid can play a crucial role in enabling the poor to benefit more from globalization. These discoveries underscore the need to assist developing countries to find the mix of economic and social aid that jointly promotes the participation of the poor in the development process under globalization. In this manner, aid can make greater strides in spurring development.
    Keywords: Achieving Shared Growth,Inequality,Development Economics&Aid Effectiveness,Economic Theory&Research,Services&Transfers to Poor
    Date: 2014–08–01
  3. By: Bazzi, Samuel; Sumarto, Sudarno; Suryahadi, Asep
    Abstract: Targeted cash transfer programs have been an important policy tool in developing countries. This paper considers (i) how the timing of transfers affects household expenditure and labor supply responses, and (ii) how household expectations shape our interpretation of those responses. We study these issues in the context of a short-term program that provided quarterly unconditional transfers of US$30 to over 19 million households in Indonesia. Our empirical strategy relies on nationally representative panel data, difference-in-difference re-weighting estimators, and the staggered rollout of the second quarterly transfer. On average, beneficiary households that received the two full transfers by early 2006 did not differ from comparable nonbeneficiaries in terms of per capita expenditure growth and changes in labor supply per adult. However, beneficiaries still awaiting their second transfer reported a 7 percentage point lower expenditure growth and a reduction in labor supply by an additional 1.5 hours per adult per week. The expenditure differences dissipated by early 2007, several months after the final transfer were received by all beneficiaries. We also exploit variation in transfers per capita to identify a small marginal propensity to consume out of transfer income (around 0.10). We reconcile the empirical results with the predictions of a simple permanent income model, consider rival (missing) data-driven explanations, and document similar household responses to other transitory changes in income.
    Keywords: Household expenditure, unconditional cash transfer, Indonesia
    JEL: D1 I3 I38
    Date: 2013–02–07
  4. By: Kondylis, Florence; Mueller, Valerie; Zhu, Siyao Jessica
    Abstract: Extension services are a keystone of information diffusion in agriculture. This paper exploits a large randomized controlled trial to track diffusion of a new technique in the classic Training and Visit (T&V) extension model, relative to a more direct training model. In both control and treatment communities, contact farmers (CFs) serve as points-of-contacts between agents and other farmers. The intervention (Treatment) aims to address two pitfalls of the T&V model: i) infrequent extension agent visits, and ii) poor quality information. Treatment CFs receive a direct, centralized training. Control communities are exposed to the classic T&V model. Information diffusion was tracked through two nodes: from agents to CFs, and from CFs to others. Directly training CFs leads to large gains in information diffusion and adoption, and CFs learn by doing. Diffusion to others is limited: other males adopt the technique perceived as labor saving, with an effect size of 75 percent.
    Keywords: Agricultural Knowledge and Information Systems,Rural Development Knowledge&Information Systems,Crops and Crop Management Systems,Population Policies,Housing&Human Habitats
    Date: 2014–08–01
  5. By: Brenton, Paul; Portugal-Perez, Alberto; Regolo, Julie
    Abstract: Market integration is key to ensuring sufficient and stable food supplies. This paper assesses the impediments to market integration in Central and Eastern Africa for three food staples: maize, rice, and sorghum. The paper uses a large database on monthly consumer prices for 150 towns in 13 African countries and detailed data on the length and quality of roads linking the towns. The analysis finds a substantial effect of distance and share of paved road on the level of market integration, as measured by relative prices. Furthermore, the paper evaluates the additional domestic and cross-border impediments to market integration in the region and represents them on a regional map. The analysis finds heterogeneous levels of domestic market integration across countries and significant"border effects"for the majority of contiguous countries in the sample, which reveal that markets are more integrated within than between countries. Countries that are members of the same regional trade agreement have substantially"thinner"borders with other members. Finally, the analysis shows that countries with less integrated domestic markets and"thicker"borders with their neighbors also have a higher prevalence of food insufficiency. These findings support policy efforts in tackling domestic and border impediments to transactions such as reforming customs, simplifying nontariff measures, addressing corruption, improving the quality of roads, and deepening regional trade agreements.
    Keywords: Markets and Market Access,Transport Economics Policy&Planning,Access to Markets,Food&Beverage Industry,Debt Markets
    Date: 2014–08–01
  6. By: Mitrut, Andreea (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Wolff, François-Charles (LEMNA, Université de Nantes and INED Paris)
    Abstract: We examine the impact of the 2004 Indian tsunami on international remittance transfers using aggregate country data and synthetic control methodology. This procedure implies identifying the causal impact of the disaster by comparing the share of remittances to GDP in Indonesia, the country most affected by the shock, with a counterfactual group constructed using synthetic controls of countries that were not affected by the tsunami but that had a very similar pre-shock trend in international remittance flows. Our results indicate a large impact on remittances in Indonesia just after the tsunami, with 1.35 additional points in share of remittances to GDP in 2005 (compared to the synthetic control group). However, the gap in remittances observed between Indonesia and the synthetic control decreased steadily over the succeeding years and amounted to 0.5 percentage points in 2011.
    Keywords: natural disasters; remittances; synthetic control; Indonesia
    JEL: F24 Q54
    Date: 2014–08
  7. By: Kaletski, Elizabeth (University of Connecticut); Prakash, Nishith (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between elected minority representatives, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, and health worker visits in rural India. We estimate the effect of minority representation on the frequency of visits to villages by health workers by exploiting the state variation in the share of seats reserved for the two groups in state legislative assemblies mandated by the Constitution of India. Using data from state and village level surveys on fifteen major Indian states, we find that Schedule Tribe representatives increase the frequency of visits by both doctors and mobile medical units. On the other hand, Scheduled Caste representatives have a tendency to decrease the frequency of visits by mobile medical units. Potential explanations for the differential impact of SC and ST representatives are also explored, including geographic isolation, support for the Congress Party, and relative population shares.
    Keywords: health, minorities, affirmative action, public goods provision, India
    JEL: I18 I38 J15
    Date: 2014–08
  8. By: Rakib, Muntaha; Matz, Julia Anna
    Abstract: Assets are an important means of coping with adverse events in developing countries but the role of gendered ownership is not yet fully understood. This paper investigates changes in assets owned by the household head, his spouse, or jointly by both of them in response to shocks in rural agricultural households in Bangladesh with the help of detailed household survey panel data. Land is owned mostly by men, who are wealthier than their spouses with respect to almost all types of assets, but relative ownership varies by type of asset.
    Keywords: Gender, Women, assets, Ownership, households, income, Economic development, Land ownership, Food production, shocks, coping strategies,
    Date: 2014
  9. By: Njuki, Jemimah; Waithanji, Elizabeth; Sakwa, Beatrice; Kariuki, Juliet; Mukewa, Elizabeth; Ngige, John
    Abstract: This paper reports findings from a qualitative study undertaken in Tanzania and Kenya to examine women’s access to and ownership of KickStart pumps and the implications for their ability to make major decisions on crop choices and use of income from irrigated crops. Results from sales-monitoring data show that women purchase less than 10 percent of the pumps and men continue to make most of the major decisions on crop choices and income use. These findings vary by type of crop, with men making major decisions on high-income crops such as tomatoes and women having relatively more autonomy on crops such as leafy vegetables.
    Keywords: Gender, Women, Irrigation, technology, households, decisionmaking, Smallholders, income, assets, Markets, farm inputs, income management, market approaches,
    Date: 2014
  10. By: Blunch, Niels-Hugo (Washington and Lee University); Das, Maitreyi Bordia (World Bank)
    Abstract: This paper examines norms about gender equality of the education of children and adults in Bangladesh using a recent household survey for two cohorts of married women. Education norms are found to differ substantially across cohorts, with women from the younger cohort being far more positive about female vs. male education of both children and adults. The effect of education in determining norms spans own and spousal education, as well as that of older educated females in the household, thus indicating sharing of education norms both within marriage and across generations. Detailed decompositions reveal that more than anything else it is the improvement in education across cohorts that has been driving the narrowing of the generational education norms gap in Bangladesh in recent years.
    Keywords: gender education inequality norms, human capital, decomposition analysis, Bangladesh
    JEL: D19 I29 J12 J16 J24
    Date: 2014–08
  11. By: Benin, Samuel; Makombe, Tsitsi; Johnson, Michael E.
    Abstract: This paper assesses the degree to which the L’Aquila Food Security Initiative (AFSI) has been implemented in Ghana within the framework of managing for development results (MfDR), and to evaluate progress in various outcomes, including economic governance, agricultural growth, poverty, and food and nutrition security. The MfDR approach, which has gained widespread support globally for obtaining results, is endorsed by the government of Ghana and reflected in the Ghana Aid Policy and Strategy.
    Keywords: Agricultural development, rural areas, food security, Poverty, Agricultural growth, Nutrition security, aid programmes, L’Aquila Food Security Initiative,
    Date: 2014

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