nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2014‒12‒03
thirteen papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universitiet Utrecht

  1. Income diversification patterns in rural Sub-Saharan Africa : reassessing the evidence By Davis, Benjamin; Di Giuseppe, Stefania; Zezza, Alberto
  2. Effects of Protected Areas on Forest Cover Change and Local Communities By Miranda, Juan Jose; Corral, Leonardo; Blackman, Allen; Asner, Gregory; Lima, Eirivelthon
  3. Can agricultural households farm their way out of poverty ? By Oseni, Gbemisola; McGee, Kevin; Dabalen, Andrew
  4. Resistance to the Regulation of Common Resources in Rural Tunisia By Liu, Xiaoying; Sarr, Mare; Swanson, Timothy
  5. Daycare, Durables, and Credit Constraints: Evidence from Rio de Janeiro By Reimao, Maira Emy
  6. Food Price Subsidies and Nutrition: Evidence from State Reforms to India's Public Distribution System By Krishnamurthy, Prasad; Pathania, Vikram; Tandon, Sharad
  7. On the Impact of Weather Variability and Climate Change on Agriculture: Evidence from Ethiopia By Bezabih, Mintewab; Di Falco, Salvatore; Mekonnen, Alemu
  8. Role of Social Networks in Diversification o Income Sources in Rural India By Johny, Judit; Wichmann, Bruno; Swallow, Brent
  9. Protected areas and deforestation : new results from high resolution panel data By Blankespoor, Brian; Dasgupta, Susmita; Wheeler, David
  10. Child Labor, the Wealth Paradox, and Common Forest Management in Bolivia By Bluffstone, Randy
  11. Can Computers Increase Human Capital in Developing Countries? An Evaluation of Nepal’s One Laptop per Child Program By Sharma, Uttam
  12. Choosing to Be Trained: Do Behavioral Traits Matter? By Dasgupta, Utteeyo; Gangadharan, Lata; Maitra, Pushkar; Mani, Subha; Subramanian, Samyukta
  13. The effect of unconditional cash transfers on adult labour supply: A unitary discrete choice model for the case of Ecuador By Mideros A.; O'Donoghue C.

  1. By: Davis, Benjamin; Di Giuseppe, Stefania; Zezza, Alberto
    Abstract: Is Africa's rural economy transforming as its economies grow? This paper uses comparable income aggregates from 41 national household surveys from 22 countries to explore the extent of income diversification among rural households in Sub-Saharan Africa, and to look at how income diversification in Sub-Saharan Africa compares with other regions, taking into account differences in levels of development. The paper also seeks to understand how geography drives income diversification, focusing on the role of agricultural potential and distance to urban areas. The countries in the African sample have higher shares of on-farm income (63 versus 33 percent) and lower shares on nonagricultural wage income (8 and 21 percent) compared with countries of other regions. Specialization in on-farm activities continues to be the norm in rural Africa (52 percent of households, 21 percent in other regions). In terms of welfare, specialization in nonagricultural income-generating activities stochastically dominates farm-based strategies in all of the countries in our African sample. Crop income is still important for welfare, however, and even at higher levels of household income, crop activities continue to play an important complementary role. Regardless of distance and integration in the urban context, when agro-climatic conditions are favorable, farming remains the occupation of choice for most households in the African countries for which the study has geographically explicit information. When urban integration is low and agricultural conditions more difficult, the picture is mixed, with households more likely to engage more fully in nonfarm activities in Niger and Malawi, but less likely to do so in Uganda and Tanzania.
    Keywords: Rural Poverty Reduction,Regional Economic Development,Economic Theory&Research,Labor Policies
    Date: 2014–11–01
  2. By: Miranda, Juan Jose; Corral, Leonardo; Blackman, Allen (Resources for the Future); Asner, Gregory; Lima, Eirivelthon
    Abstract: Protected areas are a cornerstone of forest conservation in developing countries. Yet we know little about their effects on forest cover change or the socioeconomic status of local communities, and even less about the relationship between these effects. This paper assesses whether “win-win” scenarios are possible—that is, whether protected areas can both stem forest cover change and alleviate poverty. We examine protected areas in the Peruvian Amazon using high-resolution satellite images and household-level survey data for the early 2000s. To control for protected areas’ nonrandom siting, we rely on quasi-experimental (matching) methods. We find that the average protected area reduces forest cover change. We do not find a robust negative effect on local communities. Protected areas that allow sustainable extractive activities are more effective in reducing forest cover change but less effective in delivering win-win outcomes.
    Keywords: conservation, deforestation, protected areas, poverty, land use, land conservation
    JEL: Q56 Q23 Q24 R14 R52
    Date: 2014–06–11
  3. By: Oseni, Gbemisola; McGee, Kevin; Dabalen, Andrew
    Abstract: This paper examines the determinants of agricultural productivity and its link to poverty using nationally representative data from the Nigeria General Household Survey Panel, 2010/11. The findings indicate an elasticity of poverty reduction with respect to agricultural productivity of between 0.25 to 0.3 percent, implying that a 10 percent increase in agricultural productivity will decrease the likelihood of being poor by between 2.5 and 3 percent. To increase agricultural productivity, land, labor, fertilizer, agricultural advice, and diversification within agriculture are the most important factors. As commonly found in the literature, the results indicate the inverse-land size productivity relationship. More specifically, a 10 percent increase in harvested land size will decrease productivity by 6.6 percent, all else being equal. In a simulation exercise where land quality is assumed to be constant across small and large holdings, the results show that if farms in the top land quintile had half the median yield per hectare of farms in the lowest quintile, production of the top quintile would be 10 times higher. The higher overall values of harvests from larger land sizes are more likely because of cultivation of larger expanses of land, rather than from efficient production. It should be noted that having larger land sizes in itself is not positively correlated with a lower likelihood of being poor. This is not to say that having larger land sizes is not important for farming, but rather it indicates that increasing efficiency is the more important need that could lead to poverty reduction for agricultural households.
    Keywords: Rural Poverty Reduction,Regional Economic Development,Agricultural Research,Rural Development Knowledge&Information Systems
    Date: 2014–11–01
  4. By: Liu, Xiaoying; Sarr, Mare; Swanson, Timothy
    Abstract: We examine the effect of the introduction of uniform water-charging for aquifer management and provide evidence using a survey-based choice experiment of agricultural water users in rural Tunisia. Theoretically, we show that the implementation of the proposed second-best regulation would result both in efficiency gains and in distributional effects in favour of small landholders. Empirically, we find that resistance to the introduction of an effective water-charging regime is greatest amongst the largest landholders. Resistance to the regulation of common resources may be rooted in the manner in which heterogeneity might determine the distributional impact of different management regimes.
    Keywords: commons, water, aquifer, heterogeneity, Tunisia
    JEL: O13 Q11 Q24 Q25
    Date: 2014–07–31
  5. By: Reimao, Maira Emy
    Abstract: There is some empirical evidence that access to daycare increases the incomes of households with young children, particularly through the expansion of female labor force participation in the extensive and intensive margins. Whether this boost persists even as children grow and enroll in school, however, is less clear. This paper uses data from the extension of a public daycare program in Rio de Janeiro in 2008 to study the impact of access to daycare not only on income, but also on households’ living standards in the short- and long-term. We find evidence that while participation in daycare increases income only in the short-run, its effect on the ownership of durable goods persists even once focal children are no longer age-eligible for daycare. Using a credit constraint framework, the results in the paper indicate that the small, temporary income increase provided by access to daycare has a long-lasting effect on living conditions and, consequently, child development, as it fills in a gap left by a lack of access to credit.
    Keywords: daycare, credit, assets, child development, Brazil, Consumer/Household Economics, International Development, Public Economics, D12, D13, J13, D91,
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Krishnamurthy, Prasad; Pathania, Vikram; Tandon, Sharad
    Abstract: We investigate whether food price subsidies affect household nutrition using a dramatic expansion of the availability of subsidized rice in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh in the early 2000's. Households in Chhattisgarh increased their consumption of pulses, animal-based protein, and produce relative to households in districts bordering the state as the availability of subsidized rice expanded. This increase is driven by households eligible for rice subsidies, and we do not find evidence that ineligible households changed their diet. These results contrast with recent studies suggesting that food subsidies have little effect on nutrition.
    Keywords: Public Distribution System, Nutrition, India, Consumer/Household Economics, Demand and Price Analysis, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty, Health Economics and Policy, International Development, D12, I38, O12, O21, O53,
    Date: 2014
  7. By: Bezabih, Mintewab; Di Falco, Salvatore; Mekonnen, Alemu
    Abstract: Weather fluctuations tend to be as important as climate change in farmers’ decision making in countries such as Ethiopia that have virtually no weather insurance. This paper assesses the distinct impacts of weather and climate change measures on agricultural productivity of households, measured in terms of crop revenue, in the Amhara region of Ethiopia. Four waves of survey data, which included about 1500 households in each round, combined with interpolated daily temperature and monthly rainfall data from the meteorological stations, are employed in the analysis. The distinction between weather and climate is highlighted by observations in the temperature data, which show that the pattern of temperature for both short-term and long-term values follows a bell-shaped distribution, with the striking feature that the extreme ends of the distribution have fatter tails for the long term values. The analysis employs monthly rainfall and 14 temperature categories related to weather measures and four categories corresponding with the extreme ends of the long-term temperature distribution. The analysis also distinguishes between summer and spring seasons and different crops, in recognition that Ethiopia’s agriculture is multi-cropping and multi-season. The major findings show that temperature effects are distinctly non-linear, but only when the weather measures are combined with the extreme ends of the distribution of the climate measures. In addition, rainfall generally has a less important role to play than temperature, contrary to expectations for rainfed agriculture.
    Keywords: crop revenue, climate change, weather variability, Mundlak’s Fixed Effects method, Ricardian analysis, Ethiopia
    JEL: D2 Q12 Q15
    Date: 2014–07–18
  8. By: Johny, Judit; Wichmann, Bruno; Swallow, Brent
    Abstract: Rural households in developing countries adopt diversification of income sources as a common strategy to stabilize their income throughout the year. We view social networks as an important factor that influences diversification activities. Social interactions may help households to gain ideas, skills, services and information which could influence their decision to diversify their income sources.This paper examines whether household’s social networks influence income diversification in Wayanad District of South India. We develop a network econometric model based on a Spatial Autoregressive econometric approach by replacing the spatial matrix with a network matrix. Our results indicate that the diversification of a household’s social network has a statistically significant positive effect on its income diversification.
    Keywords: Income Diversification, Social Networks, Rural Housheholds, International Development,
    Date: 2014
  9. By: Blankespoor, Brian; Dasgupta, Susmita; Wheeler, David
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effectiveness of protected areas in slowing tropical forest clearing in 64 countries in Asia/Pacific, Africa, and Latin America for the period 2001-2012. The investigation compares deforestation rates inside and within 10 kilometers outside the boundary of protected areas. Annual time series of these deforestation rates were constructed from recently published high-resolution data on forest clearing. For 4,028 parks, panel estimation based on a variety of park characteristics was conducted to test if deforestation is lower in protected areas because of their protected status, or if other factors explain the difference. For a sample of 726 parks established since 2002, a test also was conducted to investigate the effect of park establishment on protection. The findings suggest park size, national park status, and management by indigenous people all have significant association with effective protection across regions. For the Asia/Pacific region, the test offers compelling evidence that park establishment has a near-immediate and powerful effect.
    Keywords: Wildlife Resources,Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases,Climate Change and Environment,Ecosystems and Natural Habitats,Forestry
    Date: 2014–11–01
  10. By: Bluffstone, Randy
    Abstract: That wealthier developing country households may rely more heavily on child labor than poorer households has come to be known as the “wealth paradox.” This paper tests for a wealth paradox with regard to common natural resource wealth by analyzing the relationship between child labor and improved common property forest management (CPFM) in Bolivia. Data are analyzed using several econometric methods and it is found that households experiencing more effective CPFM generally use more forest-based and total child labor. The analysis also confirms others’ findings of a private wealth paradox with regard to private land and extends the analysis to evaluate the effect of ownership of animals.Classification-JEL: Q23, Q56
    Keywords: forests, common property, Bolivia, child labor
    Date: 2014–07–18
  11. By: Sharma, Uttam
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the effectiveness of the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) initiative in Nepal’s primary and lower-secondary schools. This evaluation of the OLPC program in Nepal uses a pre-post test quasi-experimental design that consists of 26 program schools and 39 control schools that are spread across six different districts of the country. A low-cost laptop was provided to each student in grades two, three and six of the program schools at the beginning of the Nepali academic year (May 2009). At the same time, a round of tests in English and mathematics designed specifically for this program was administered to all students in grades two, three, four and six in both program and control schools. The same students were given similar tests in February 2010 and in June/July 2011. The impact of the OLPC program is estimated by analyzing how the program and control schools differ in terms of changes in test scores (double difference comparisons between schools and within schools), attendance rates and measures of non-cognitive skills. The exposure to computer-assisted learning in Nepal had no impact or a negative impact on student learning, non-cognitive skills and attendance. Students from grade 2 in treatment schools did particularly poorly in year-end English tests compared to control school students.
    Keywords: Economics of Education, ICT in education, International Development,
    Date: 2014
  12. By: Dasgupta, Utteeyo (Wagner College); Gangadharan, Lata (Monash University); Maitra, Pushkar (Monash University); Mani, Subha (Fordham University); Subramanian, Samyukta (Pratham)
    Abstract: In this paper, we examine the determinants of self-selection into a vocational training program in India. To do this we combine data from an artefactual field experiment with survey data collected from the targeted community. We find that applicants and non-applicants differ in terms of socio-economic characteristics (measured using a survey), as well as selected behavioral traits (elicited using an artefactual field experiment). Even after controlling for a range of socio-economic characteristics, we find that individuals who have higher tolerance for risk, and are more competitive, are more likely to apply to the training program. This suggests that focusing only on the socio-economic and demographic characteristics might not be sufficient to fully explain selection into the program. Participants' behavioral traits are also crucial in influencing take up rates in such programs. Our results suggest that as a methodology, there is valuable information to be gained by dissecting the black box of unobservables using data on behavioral traits.
    Keywords: selection, artefactual field experiment, behavioral traits, household survey, training program
    JEL: J24 C93 C81
    Date: 2014–10
  13. By: Mideros A.; O'Donoghue C. (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: We examine the effect of unconditional cash transfers by a unitary discrete labour supply model. We argue that there is no negative income effect of social transfers in the case of poor adults because leisure could not be assumed to be a normal good under such conditions. Using data from the national employment survey of Ecuador ENEMDUR we estimate the effect of the Bono de Desarrollo Humano BDH. Results show that cash transfers, unconditional in labour, do not produce labour disincentives in the case of household heads, but may be paying for housework and childcare provided by partners and single adults. However, labour market and care work gender inequality must be addressed by complementary policies.
    Keywords: Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies; includes inheritance and gift taxes; Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents: General; Time Allocation and Labor Supply; Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development;
    JEL: H24 H30 J22 O12
    Date: 2014

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