nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2014‒09‒25
nine papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universitiet Utrecht

  1. Benchmarking the financial performance, growth, and outreach of greenfield microfinance institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa By Cull, Robert; Harten, Sven; Nishida, Ippei; Bull, Greta
  2. Testing for Household Resilience to Food Insecurity: Evidence from Nicaragua By Ciani, Federico; Donato, Romano
  3. Inequality of opportunity among Egyptian children By Ersado, Lire; Aran, Meltem
  4. The African financial development and financial inclusion gaps By Allen, Franklin; Carletti, Elena; Cull, Robert; Jun Qian; Senbet, Lemma; Valenzuela, Patricio
  5. Estimating poverty in the absence of consumption data : the case of Liberia By Dabalen, Andrew; Graham, Errol; Himelein, Kristen; Mungai, Rose
  6. Patterns of Structural Change in Developing Countries By Vries, Gaaitzen de; Timmer, Marcel; Vries, Klaas de
  7. Designing Experiments to Measure Spillover Effects By Sarah Baird; Aislinn Bohren; Berk Ozler; Craig McIntosh
  8. Technology adoption and the multiple dimensions of food security: the case of maize in Tanzania By Magrini, Emiliano; Vigani, Mauro
  9. Not all that Glitters Is Gold: Gold Boom, Child Labor and Schooling in Colombia By Rafael José Santos

  1. By: Cull, Robert; Harten, Sven; Nishida, Ippei; Bull, Greta
    Abstract: In recent years there has been a rapid increase in the presence and growth of greenfield microfinance institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa. This paper uses regressions to benchmark those African greenfields relative to other microfinance providers and finds that greenfields grew faster in terms of deposits and lending, improved their profitability to levels comparable to the top microfinance institutions, and substantially increased their lending to women. The effects were especially strong for greenfields that followed a consultant-led model to establish a deep retail banking presence spanning multiple countries, including the creation of extensive branch networks. Although their loan sizes are somewhat larger than those of most African microfinance institutions, indicating less outreach to the poorest market segments, greenfields have achieved rapid gains in financial inclusion on a broad scale.
    Keywords: Access to Finance,Banks&Banking Reform,Debt Markets,Corporate Law,Bankruptcy and Resolution of Financial Distress
    Date: 2014–09–01
  2. By: Ciani, Federico; Donato, Romano
    Abstract: The main goal of this paper is to develop a methodology to quantitatively assess resilience to food insecurity. The developed methodology is applied to Nicaraguan rural households hit by Mitch Hurricane in 1999. The results show that the proposed resilience index is a good predictor of households’ food security. The proposed resilience index highlights small landowners and agricultural wage workers as less resilient vis-à-vis other livelihood groups. Moreover this paper shows how a resilience index can be used in policy impact evaluation.
    Keywords: Resilience, Agriculture, Food Security, Nicaragua, Agricultural and Food Policy, Consumer/Household Economics, Food Security and Poverty, Q12, Q18, I32, I38,
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Ersado, Lire; Aran, Meltem
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the level and trends in inequality of opportunity among Egyptian children during the 2000s. The analysis uses severall tools, including comparison of the distributions of early risks and outcomes across circumstance groups; estimation of the human opportunity index; measurement of the relative contributions of circumstances to inequality of opportunity; and decomposition of changes in inequality of opportunity and factors driving them over time. Egypt has made significant progress in the availability of and access to basic services for children and mothers, in some cases with an overall pro-poor effect. In particular, appreciable improvements have been made in healthcare utilization before and during pregnancy and immunizations. As a result, there has been a decline in inequality of opportunity over the past decade, largely attributable to increased coverage by basic services rather than through redistributive effects. However, there are areas of persistent and emerging concerns, including postnatal care utilization, nutrition, and schooling. Nutrition indicators have deteriorated during the 2000s, affecting a quarter of children regardless of their circumstances. Wide disparities in school enrollment persist, notably at the higher levels. Large regional disparities in access to basic infrastructure exist, with Upper Egypt and the Frontier Governorates lagging the rest of the country. Family background, especially parents'education and wealth, and geographic factors are key factors affecting child development outcomes in Egypt. While interventions targeted at the less advantaged circumstance groups may offer significant potential for enhancing overall equity in postnatal care utilization and schooling, a more inclusive approach would be needed to improve child nutrition outcomes.
    Keywords: Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Population Policies,Primary Education,Early Child and Children's Health,Adolescent Health
    Date: 2014–09–01
  4. By: Allen, Franklin; Carletti, Elena; Cull, Robert; Jun Qian; Senbet, Lemma; Valenzuela, Patricio
    Abstract: This paper investigates the African financial development and financial inclusion gaps relative to other peer developing countries. The paper uses a set of variables related to financial development and inclusion. It first estimates the gaps between African countries and other developing countries with similar degrees of economic development. Then, it explores the determinants of financial development and inclusion. The analysis finds that population density is considerably more important for financial development and inclusion in Africa than elsewhere. Finally, the paper shows evidence that a recent innovation in financial services, mobile banking, has helped to overcome infrastructural problems and improve financial access.
    Keywords: Economic Theory&Research,Access to Finance,Emerging Markets,Debt Markets,E-Business
    Date: 2014–09–01
  5. By: Dabalen, Andrew; Graham, Errol; Himelein, Kristen; Mungai, Rose
    Abstract: In much of the developing world, the demand for high frequency quality household data for poverty monitoring and program design far outstrips the capacity of the statistics bureau to provide such data. In these environments, all available data sources must be leveraged. Most surveys, however, do not collect the detailed consumption data necessary to construct aggregates and poverty lines to measure poverty directly. This paper benefits from a shared listing exercise for two large-scale national household surveys conducted in Liberia in 2007 to explore alternative methodologies to estimate poverty indirectly. The first is an asset-based model that is commonly used in Demographic and Health Surveys. The second is a survey-to-survey imputation that makes use of small area estimation techniques. In addition to a standard base model, separate models are estimated for urban and rural areas and an expanded model that includes climatic variables. Special attention is paid to the inclusion of cell phones, with implications for other assets whose cost and availability may be changing rapidly. The results demonstrate substantial limitations with asset-based indexes, but also leave questions as to the accuracy and stability of imputation models.
    Keywords: Rural Poverty Reduction,Regional Economic Development,E-Business,Statistical&Mathematical Sciences
    Date: 2014–09–01
  6. By: Vries, Gaaitzen de; Timmer, Marcel; Vries, Klaas de (Groningen University)
    Abstract: This paper introduces the updated and extended Groningen Growth and Development Centre (GGDC) 10-Sector database. The database includes annual time series of value added and persons employed for ten broad sectors of the economy from 1950 onwards. It now includes eleven countries in Asia (China has been added compared to the previous release), nine in Latin America and eleven in Sub-Saharan Africa. We use the GGDC 10-Sector database to document patterns of structural change in developing countries. We find that the expansion of manufacturing activities during the early post World War II period was related to a growth-enhancing reallocation of resources in most countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. This process of structural change stalled in many African and Latin American countries during the mid-1970s and 1980s. When growth rebounded in the 1990s, workers mainly relocated to market services industries, such as retail trade and distribution. Though such services have higher productivity than much of agriculture, they are not technologically dynamic and have been falling behind the world frontier.
    Date: 2014
  7. By: Sarah Baird (Department of Economics/Institute for International Economic Policy, George Washington University); Aislinn Bohren (University of Pennsylvania); Berk Ozler (World Bank and University of Otago); Craig McIntosh (University of California, San Diego)
    Abstract: This paper formalizes the design of experiments intended speciï¬cally to study spillover effects. . By ï¬rst randomizing the intensity of treatment within clusters and then randomly assigning individual treatment conditional on this cluster-level intensity, a novel set of treatment effects can be identiï¬ed. We develop a formal framework for consistent estimation of these effects, and provide explicit expressions for power. We show that the power to detect average treatment effects declines precisely with the quantity that identiï¬es the novel treatment effects. A demonstration of the technique is provided using a cash transfer program in Malawi.
    Keywords: Experimental Design, Networks, Cash Transfers
    JEL: C93 O22 I25
    Date: 2014–11
  8. By: Magrini, Emiliano; Vigani, Mauro
    Abstract: The paper analyses the impact of adopting new agricultural technologies on the multiple dimensions of food security for maize farmers in Tanzania. Relying on matching techniques, we use a nationally representative dataset collected over the period 2010/2011 to estimate the causal eects of using improved seeds and inorganic fertilizers on four dimensions: availability, access, utilization, and stability. We nd an overall positive and signicant impact on all the dimensions of food security even if substantial dierences are observed. In particular, improved seeds show a stronger eect on food availability and access while inorganic fertilizers guarantee higher stability. In terms of utilization, both technologies increase the diet diversity while only improved seeds reduce the dependence on staple food. The study supports the idea that the relationship between new agricultural technologies and food security is a complex phenomenon which requires a deeper and more thorough investigation.
    Keywords: Food Security, Technology Adoption, Propensity Score Matching, Tanzania, Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Security and Poverty, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy, Q12, Q16, Q18, O13,
    Date: 2014
  9. By: Rafael José Santos
    Abstract: This paper estimates the impact of the boom in international gold prices on child labor and schooling in Colombia. I first set up a simple agricultural household model of child labor and commodity prices hocks which guides the empirical analysis. Then, I use individual level information from the censuses of 1985, 1993 (when prices where stable) and 2005 (when prices surged) merged with regional data on gold production capabilities. I define Gold Boom as an interaction between regional gold production capabilities and the international price of gold. I find that child labor is increasing (0.3 standard deviations) and school attendance is decreasing (0.9 standard deviations) in the measure of gold boom. Accordingly, the gold boom decreases school attainment (0.2 standard deviations). This is consistent with the model when initial child labor is low and substitution effects dominate income effects. Finally, I find that the years of education of the head of the head of the household but not her ownership of assets mitigate the collateral effects of the gold boom.
    Keywords: Colombia, Natural Resources, Gold mining, Child Labor, Education
    JEL: D04 D13 I20 J22 O10 O12
    Date: 2014–08–11

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