nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2015‒01‒09
nine papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universitiet Utrecht

  1. Health information, treatment, and worker productivity : experimental evidence from malaria testing and treatment among Nigerian sugarcane cutters By Dillon, Andrew; Friedman, Jed; Serneels, Pieter
  2. How Does Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program Affect Livestock Accumulation and Children’s Education? By Debela, Bethelhem Legesse; Holden , Stein
  3. Agricultural factor markets in Sub-Saharan Africa : an updated view with formal tests for market failure By Dillon, Brian; Barrett, Christopher B.
  4. Social Networks and Factor Markets: Panel Data Evidence from Ethiopia By Kibrom A. Abay; Goytom Abraha Kahsay; Guush Berhane
  5. Coping Strategies in Response to Rising Food Prices: Evidence From India By Tandon, Sharad; Landes, Maurice
  6. Impact of Ethiopia’s Community Based Health Insurance on household economic welfare By Debebe, Z.Y.; Mebratie, A.D.; Sparrow, R.A.; Dekker, M.; Alemu, G.; Bedi, A.S.
  7. Informality and Access to Finance : Evidence from India By Beck, T.H.L.; Hoseini, M.
  8. Voting and Peer Effects: Experimental Evidence from Mozambique By Marcel Fafchamps; Ana Vaz; Pedro C. Vicente
  9. Source and Use of Insecticide Treated Net and Malaria Prevalence By Orkoh, Emmanuel; Annim, Samuel Kobina

  1. By: Dillon, Andrew; Friedman, Jed; Serneels, Pieter
    Abstract: Agricultural and other physically demanding sectors are important sources of growth in developing countries but prevalent diseases such as malaria adversely impact the productivity, labor supply, and choice of job tasks among workers by reducing physical capacity. This study identifies the impact of malaria on worker earnings, labor supply, and daily productivity by randomizing the temporal order at which piece-rate workers at a large sugarcane plantation in Nigeria are offered malaria testing and treatment. The results indicate a significant and substantial intent to treat effect of the intervention -- the offer of a workplace-based malaria testing and treatment program increases worker earnings by approximately 10 percent over the weeks following the offer. The study further investigates theeffect of health information by contrasting program effects by workers'revealed health status. For workers who test positive for malaria, the treatment of illness increases labor supply, leading to higher earnings. For workers who test negative, and especially for those workers most likely to be surprised by the healthy diagnosis, the health information also leads to increased earnings via increased productivity. Possible mechanisms for this response include selection into higher return tasks within the plantation as a result of changes in the perceived cost of effort. A model of the worker labor decision that allows health expectations partly to determine the supply of effort suggests that, in endemic settings with poor quality health services, inaccurate health perceptions may lead workers to suboptimal labor allocation decisions. The results underline the importance of medical treatment, but also of access to improved information about one's health status, as the absence of either may lead workers to deliver lower effort in lower return jobs.
    Keywords: Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Disease Control&Prevention,Labor Markets,Labor Policies,Work&Working Conditions
    Date: 2014–11–01
  2. By: Debela, Bethelhem Legesse (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences); Holden , Stein (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences)
    Abstract: We use panel data from Northern Ethiopia to investigate the welfare impact of Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program. We assess whether the program raised livestock asset levels and children’s education among participant households. Using treatment effects models, we find that participants in the public work component invested more in livestock and children’s education than non-participant households after controlling for selection into the program. Participation in the program helps to protect beneficiaries from sacrificing their children’s education in response to shocks. Our conclusion remains the same when we control for the extent of down sale of livestock to avoid graduation from the program.
    Keywords: Social protection; safety net; asset accumulation; education; Ethiopia; Africa
    JEL: I32 I38
    Date: 2014–11–19
  3. By: Dillon, Brian; Barrett, Christopher B.
    Abstract: This paper uses the recently collected Living Standard Measurement Study-Integrated Surveys on Agriculture Initiative data sets from five countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to provide a comprehensive overview of land and labor market participation by agrarian households and to formally test for failures in factor markets. Under complete and competitive markets, households can solve their consumption and production problems separately, so that household factor endowments do not predict input demand. This paper implements a simple, theoretically grounded test of this separation hypothesis, which can be interpreted as a reduced form test of factor market failure. In all five study countries, the analysis finds strong evidence of factor market failure. Moreover, those failures appear general and structural, not specific to subpopulations defined by gender or geography.
    Date: 2014–11–01
  4. By: Kibrom A. Abay (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen); Goytom Abraha Kahsay (Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen); Guush Berhane (Development Strategies and Governance Division, International Food Policy Research Institute)
    Abstract: In the absence of well-established factor markets, the role of indigenous institutions and social networks can be substantial for mobilizing factors for agricultural production. We investigate the role of an indigenous social network in Ethiopia, the iddir, in facilitating factor market transactions among smallholder farmers. Using detailed longitudinal household survey data and employing a difference-in-differences approach, we find that iddir membership improves households’ access to factor markets. Specifically, we find that joining an iddir network improves households’ access to land, labor and credit transactions between 7 and 11 percentage points. Furthermore, our findings also indicate that iddir networks crowd-out borrowing from local moneylenders (locally referred as Arata Abedari), a relatively expensive credit source, virtually without affecting borrowing from formal credit sources. These results point out the roles non-market arrangements, such as social networks, can play in mitigating market inefficiencies in poor rural markets.
    Keywords: Social networks, iddir networks, factor market imperfections, factor market transactions, crowding-out
    JEL: D02 D13 D71 D83 D85 O17 Q12
    Date: 2014–11
  5. By: Tandon, Sharad; Landes, Maurice
    Abstract: Food prices across the world rose dramatically between 2006 and 2008. The causes of the price rise were complex, and the event has led to heightened concerns regarding the implications of rising food prices on the prevalence of food insecurity and household welfare, particularly in developing countries. Given widespread and chronic malnutrition in India and the country’s large share of the world’s total food-insecure population, this report estimates how Indian households coped with the rise in domestic food prices that accompanied global price patterns in 2006-08. Exploiting differential spikes in rice and wheat prices, we find that households affected the most by rising food prices significantly decreased dietary diversity, delayed medical expenditures, and delayed purchases of clothing and durable goods. Given the existence of significant food and nonfood coping mechanisms, findings suggest that the rise in food staple prices in India had wide-ranging effects on household welfare.
    Keywords: Food security, India, food price crisis, nutrition, Agricultural and Food Policy, Consumer/Household Economics, Food Security and Poverty, International Development,
    Date: 2014–11
  6. By: Debebe, Z.Y.; Mebratie, A.D.; Sparrow, R.A.; Dekker, M.; Alemu, G.; Bedi, A.S.
    Abstract: In 2011, the Government of Ethiopia launched a pilot Community-Based Health Insurance (CBHI) scheme. This paper uses three rounds of household survey data, collected before and after the introduction of the CBHI pilot, to assess the impact of the scheme on household consumption, income, indebtedness and livestock holdings. We find that enrolment leads to a 5 percentage point – or 13 percent – decline in the probability of borrowing and is associated with an increase in household income. There is no evidence that enrolling in the scheme affects consumption or livestock holdings. Our results show that the scheme reduces reliance on potentially harmful coping responses such as borrowing. This paper adds to the relatively small body of work which rigorously evaluates the impact of CBHI schemes on economic welfare.
    Date: 2014–08–08
  7. By: Beck, T.H.L. (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research); Hoseini, M. (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)
    Abstract: This paper gauges the effect of financial deepening and bank outreach on informality using micro data from the Indian manufacturing sector and exploiting cross-industry variation in the need for external finance. We distinguish between two channels through which access to finance can reduce informality: reducing the entry barrier to the formal sector and increasing productivity of formal firms. We find that bank outreach has a stronger effect on reducing the incidence of informality by cutting barriers to entering the formal economy, especially for smaller firms, and thus diminishing opportunistic informality. In comparison, financial deepening increases the productivity of formal sector firms while it has no significant impact on informal sector firms.
    Keywords: nformality; Financial Development; India
    JEL: G21 G28 O15 O16
    Date: 2014
  8. By: Marcel Fafchamps; Ana Vaz; Pedro C. Vicente
    Abstract: Voter education campaigns often aim to increase voter particpation and political accountability. We follow randomized interventions implemented nationwide during the 2009 Mozambican elections using a free newspaper, leaflets, and text messaging. We investigate whether treatment effects were transmitted through social networks (kinship and chatting) and geographical proximity. For individuals personally targeted by the campaign, we estimate the reinforcement effect of proximity to other targeted individuals. For untargeted individuals, we estimate the diffusion of the campaign depending on a proximity to targeted individuals. We find evidence for both effects, similar across the different treatments and across the different connectedness measures. We observe that the treatments worked through the networks by raising the levels of information and interest about the election, in line with the average treatment effects of voter education on voter participation. We interpret this result as a free riding effect, likely to occur for costly actions. JEL codes:
    Date: 2013
  9. By: Orkoh, Emmanuel; Annim, Samuel Kobina
    Abstract: This study argues that different practices of sources from which households obtain their Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs) determine the effect of ITN use on malaria prevalence. The study categorises the sources into those that include some sort of education about how to use the nets and those that do not and examines the effect of these sources on the relationship between ITN use and malaria prevalence in Ghana. A recursive bivariate probit estimation technique that addresses endogeneity between ITN use and malaria prevalence was used to analyse data on 2,908 under-five children from the 2011 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS). The descriptive results revealed that the proportion of ITN usage among children in households who acquired their ITNs from government, NGOs and Community Based Agents (CBAs) was higher than the proportion of usage among those who acquired their ITNs from private health centers, market, shops and street vendors that do not include education. The estimation shows that controlling for other socio-demographic factors, sleeping under ITN reduces the likelihood of experiencing malaria by 22 percent. Owners of ITNs will not use them to bring the expected reduction in malaria prevalence, unless the source includes education.
    Keywords: Insecticide Treated Net, Malaria prevalence, children under-five, endogeneity, recursive bivariate probit
    JEL: I12
    Date: 2014–06–30

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