nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2014‒11‒22
eight papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universitiet Utrecht

  1. Can conditional cash transfers improve education and nutrition outcomes for poor children in Bangladesh ? evidence from a pilot project By Ferre, Celine; Sharif, Iffath
  2. Evaluation of the Impact of School Canteen Programs on Internal Efficiency of Schools, Cognitive Acquisitions and Learning Capacities of Students in Rural Primary Schools in Senegal By Abdoulaye Diagne; Mouhamadou Moustapha Lô; Ousmane Sokhna; Fatoumata L. Diallo
  3. Benefit in the wake of disaster: Long-run effects of earthquakes on welfare in rural Indonesia By Jérémie Gignoux; Marta Menendez
  4. Investigating the Sensitivity of Household Food Security to Agriculture-related Shocks and the Implication of Informal Social Capital and Natural Resource Capital: The Case of Rural Households in Mpumalanga, South Africa By Byela Tibesigwa, Martine Visser and Wayne Twine
  5. The Effect of Cash Transfers to Schools on Voluntary Contributions By Rosangela Bando
  6. Do Organic Inputs in African Subsistence Agriculture Raise Productivity? Evidence from Plot Data of Malawi Household Surveys By Wouter Zant
  7. Female Managers in Hybrid Organizations: Evidence from Financial Cooperatives in Senegal By Anaïs PERILLEUX; Ariane SZAFARZ
  8. What Is the Equity-Efficiency Tradeoff when Maintaining Wells in Rural Haiti? By Aliprantis, Dionissi

  1. By: Ferre, Celine; Sharif, Iffath
    Abstract: There is an increasing recognition that investment in human development at an earlier age can have a significant impact on the lifetime earnings capacity of an individual. This notion is the basis for the popularity of conditional cash transfer programs to help boost child health and education outcomes. The evidence on the impact of conditional cash transfers on health and education outcomes, however, is mixed. This paper uses panel data from a pilot project and evaluates the impact of conditional cash transfers on consumption, education, and nutrition outcomes among poor rural families in Bangladesh. Given implementation challenges the intervention was not able to improve school attendance. However the analysis shows that the pilot had a significant impact on the incidence of wasting among children who were 10-22 months old when the program started, reducing the share of children with weight-for-height below two standard deviations from the World Health Organization benchmark by 40 percent. The pilot was also able to improve nutrition knowledge: there was a significant increase in the proportion of beneficiary mothers who knew about the importance of exclusively breastfeeding infants until the age of six months. The results also suggest a significant positive impact on food consumption, especially consumption of food with high protein content.
    Keywords: Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Housing&Human Habitats,Rural Poverty Reduction,Primary Education
    Date: 2014–10–01
  2. By: Abdoulaye Diagne; Mouhamadou Moustapha Lô; Ousmane Sokhna; Fatoumata L. Diallo
    Abstract: This study evaluates the impact of school canteen programs on the performance of rural primary schools in Senegal using a “randomized experiment”. 120 schools which had never had school canteens were selected in the four poorest regions of Senegal. They were randomly assigned to treatment and control groups. Students in the second (CP) and fourth (CE2) years of primary school were observed in each of the selected schools. Many tests (student, Kolmogorov-Smirnov, Mann-Whitney Levene, Chi2) were performed in order to verify the random nature of the treatment assignment. The results show that, at the school level, the two groups are relatively homogenous, but there are some differences at the individual level. Thus, the double difference methods used to estimate the impact of the meal program on academic performance. The results are as follows: the canteen has a positive and significant impact on the overall score of students in grade 2 (10.56 points). This result is confirmed in both mathematics (12.32 points) and French (8.72 points). However, the impact is not significant for older children (more than 10 years old) in CP. In terms of gender, the study shows a difference in the impact in favour of girls in the fourth grade. Looking at the cognitive impact, we find that, except for the level of knowledge, the canteen has a greater impact on the cognitive ability of the youngest (aged six and seven years). Competencies in memory (33.23 points) and reasoning (23.92 points) improved by more. These results are all significant at the 5% confidence level. However, school canteens do not improve the internal efficacy of public primary schools: dropouts and repeated grades have certainly decreased, but none of the results are statistically significant. By improving the nutritional intake of children who benefit from the meals supplied to the school, the canteens have positive externalities on the nutritional intake of children living with the beneficiary students. Moreover, there are interaction effects between the school canteen and two traditional schooling quality inputs: poverty and class size. Regarding these results, we can state that universalizing school canteens can be an effective method to accelerate progress towards quality education for all.
    Keywords: School canteens, primary education, rural areas, school dropouts, repeated grades, nutritional intake, evaluations, double difference.
    JEL: O1 I21 I28 I38
    Date: 2013
  3. By: Jérémie Gignoux (Paris School of Economics, INRA, Paris, France); Marta Menendez (PSL, Université Paris-Dauphine, LEDa, IRD UMR DIAL, Paris, France)
    Abstract: We examine the long-term effects on individual economic outcomes of a set of earthquakes – numerous, large, but mostly not extreme – that occurred in rural Indonesia since 1985. Using longitudinal individual-level data from large-scale household surveys, together with precise measures of local ground tremors obtained from a US Geological Survey database, we identify the effects of earthquakes, exploiting the quasi-random spatial and temporal nature of their distribution. Affected individuals experience short-term economic losses but recover in the medium-run (after two to five years), and even exhibit income and welfare gains in the long term (six to twelve years). The stocks of productive assets, notably in farms, get reconstituted and public infrastructures are improved, seemingly partly through external aid, allowing productivity to recover. These findings tend to discount the presence of poverty traps, and exhibit the potential long-term benefits from well-designed post-disaster interventions in context where disasters primarily affect physical assets. _________________________________ Nous examinons les effets économiques à long terme d’une série de tremblements de terre - nombreux, importants, mais pas dévastateurs- ayant eu lieu en Indonésie rurale depuis 1985. A partir des données individuelles longitudinales provenant d’enquêtes ménages largement représentatives, ainsi que des mesures précises de l’intensité des tremblements de terre calculées à partir de la base de données US Geological Survey, nous identifions les effets des tremblements de terre en exploitant leurs variations spatiales et temporelles quasi-aléatoires. Les individus ayant subi les tremblements accusent des pertes économiques à court terme, mais les compensent à moyen terme (après une période de deux à cinq ans), et présentent même des gains économiques à long terme (de six à douze ans). Les stocks de biens de production, notamment dans les exploitations agricoles, sont reconstitués et les infrastructures publiques améliorées, apparemment en partie grâce à l'aide extérieure, ce qui permet de rétablir les niveaux de productivité. Ces résultats tendent à rejeter la présence de trappes de pauvreté, et révèlent les bénéfices potentiels à long terme d'interventions post-catastrophe bien conçues dans un contexte où les catastrophes affectent principalement les actifs physiques.
    Keywords: Natural disasters, earthquakes, rural Indonesia, long-term effects, welfare, aid and reconstruction, Catastrophes naturelles, tremblements de terre, Indonésie rural, effets à long terme, bien-être, aide et reconstruction.
    JEL: I30 L26 O10 Q54
    Date: 2014–10
  4. By: Byela Tibesigwa, Martine Visser and Wayne Twine
    Abstract: Resource-poor rural South Africa is characterised by high human densities due to the historic settlement patterns imposed by apartheid, high levels of poverty, under-developed markets and substantially high food insecurity. This chronic food insecurity combined with climate and weather variability has led to the adoption of less conventional adaptation methods in resource-poor rural settings. This paper examines the impact of agriculture-related shocks on the consumption patterns of rural households. In our assessment we are particularly interested in the interplay between social capital (both formal and informal), natural resource capital and agriculture-related shocks. We use three years of data from a relatively new and unique panel of households from rural Mpumalanga Province, South Africa, who rely on small-scale homestead farming. Overall we make two key observations. First, the agriculture-related shocks (i.e. crop failure from poor rainfall and hailstorm) reduce households’ food availability and thus consumption. Second, natural resource capital (e.g. bushmeat, edible wild fruits, vegetables and insects) and informal social capital (ability to ask for food assistance from neighbours, friends and relatives) somewhat counteracts this reduction and sustains households dietary requirements. In general, our findings suggest the promotion of informal social capital and natural resource capital as they are easier, cheaper and more accessible coping strategies, in comparison to other more technical and capital-intensive strategies such as insurance, which remain unaffordable in most rural parts of sub-Saharan Africa. However, a lingering concern centers on the sustainability of these adaptation strategies.
    Keywords: agriculture-related shocks, caloric consumption, natural resource capital, informal social capital, formal social capital, weather-related crop failure, small-scale-subsistence farming households
    JEL: Q1 Q5
    Date: 2014
  5. By: Rosangela Bando
    Abstract: School-based management programs aim to improve education outcomes by involving parents in allocation decisions about external funds transferred to the school. This paper explores the effects of two school-based management programs on parental investment in schools via voluntary contributions. One program provides both a cash grant and a matching scheme for privately raised funds. Difference-in-differences estimation shows that parents in richer schools increased voluntary contributions by 28 percent, while parents in poorer schools decreased voluntary contributions by 11 percent. This implies that a matching scheme results in higher inequality in resources available to schools. The second program provides only a cash grant to poor schools. Based on a randomized control, estimation shows that parents use 83 percent of the grant to substitute for voluntary contributions. A cash grant alone for poor schools results in an increase in resources available to the school in less than the cash grant transfer.
    Keywords: Education management, Educational Assessment, School-based management programs, Parental investment, School based matching, School grants, Voluntary contributions, Mexico
    Date: 2014–09
  6. By: Wouter Zant (VU University Amsterdam)
    Abstract: We exploit plot data from the agricultural module of the third Malawi Integrated Household Survey (IHS-3) to investigate how organic cultivation techniques contribute to productivity of non-subsidized local maize and what to expect from using organic inputs on a larger scale. We approximate organic inputs with crop combinations and livestock, and use matching techniques for estimating impacts. Productivity of local maize–bean, local maize–groundnut and local maize–nkhwana, each combined with livestock and chemical fertilizer, is shown to be statistically similar to productivity of fertilized maize mono-cropping. Simulations show that large increases in total maize production are potentially feasible under conversion to organic cultivation techniques. Limited availability of labour and livestock are likely constraints.
    Keywords: crop productivity, soil fertility, organic inputs, Green Revolution, Malawi, Africa
    JEL: Q12 O13 O55
    Date: 2014–08–25
  7. By: Anaïs PERILLEUX (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES), CIRTES and CERMiI); Ariane SZAFARZ (Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), SBS-EM, CEB, and CERMi)
    Abstract: This paper brings new insights on gender interaction in the management of hybrid organizations. Our database comes from Union des Mutuelles du Partenariat pour la Mobilisation de l’Epargne et du Crédit au Sénégal (UM-PAMECAS), a Senegalese network made of 38 financial cooperatives providing 419,602 members with micro-loans. We use fixed-effect panel estimation to analyze the interplay of female/male-dominated boards with female/male managers. The regressions explain the average loan size and the proportion of loans granted to women. Our results show that male managers mitigate the social orientation of female-dominated boards. In contrast, female managers tend to enhance this orientation. More puzzling is the influence of female managers associated with male-dominated boards. In this case, the presence of a female manager increases the average loan size and reduces the proportion of loans granted to women. In sum, female managers tend to align their objectives on those of the local board even though their hierarchy is at the central level. They avoid as much as possible conflicts with their local board members.
    Keywords: Gender, Leadership, Board, Microfinance, Financial cooperative, Senegal
    JEL: G20 J54 O16 G34 O55 L31
    Date: 2014–10–24
  8. By: Aliprantis, Dionissi (Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland)
    Abstract: This paper quantitatively compares water infrastructure interventions that prioritize equity with those that prioritize efficiency. The community-based model developed by Haiti Outreach (HO) trains communities to operate and maintain wells, and has clear effi ciency gains over the status quo aid model in Haiti that gives communities wells: HO’s wells were 8.7 percentage points more likely to be functioning after one year than similarly-constructed wells managed under the status quo model. Because HO’s model includes user fees, which raise concerns about equity, I quantify the equity-efficiency tradeoff posed by community-based and aid interventions by determining the preferences of a social planner indifferent between these types of water infrastructure interventions. Since HO’s user fees are only 0.6 percent of median income in rural Haiti, under most specifications the efficiency gains of the community-based model outweigh the equity concerns addressed by the aid model.
    Keywords: Haiti; Haiti Outreach; Community-Based Water Intervention; Well Maintenance; Non-Governmental Organization (NGO); Water-Person-Year.
    JEL: I1 O1 O2 O3 Q2
    Date: 2014–10–27

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