nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2015‒01‒19
fourteen papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universitiet Utrecht

  1. Are the World’s Poorest Being Left Behind? By Martin Ravallion
  2. Agricultural production and children’s diets: Evidence from rural Ethiopia: By Hirvonen, Kalle; Hoddinott, John F.
  3. Household Shocks and Education Investment in Madagascar By Glick, Peter; Sahn, David E.; Walker, Thomas F.
  4. What Determines Access to Piped Water in Rural Areas?Evidence from Small-scale Supply Systems in Rural Brazil By Julia Alexa Barde
  5. Should Foreign Aid Fund Agricultural Training? Evidence from Armenia (Working Paper) By Randall Blair; Kenneth Fortson; Joanne Lee; Anu Rangarajan
  6. Gender and Climate Change in Latin America: An analysis of vulnerability, adaptation and resilience based on household surveys By Lykke E. Andersen; Dorte Verner; Manfred Wiebelt
  7. Education, HIV, and Early Fertility: Experimental Evidence from Kenya By Esther Duflo; Pascaline Dupas; Michael Kremer
  9. Historical Conflict and State Development By Mark Dincecco; James Fenske; Massimiliano Gaetano Onorato
  10. Facing the hungry tide : climate change, livelihood threats, and household responses in coastal Bangladesh By Dasgupta, Susmita; Hossain, Md. Moqbul; Huq, Mainul; Wheeler, David
  11. The aid-income link revisited. How plausible and robust are the results? By Felicitas Nowak-Lehmann D.; Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso; Stephan Klasen
  12. Return Migration, Self-Selection and Entrepreneurship in Mozambique By Catia Batista; Tara McIndoe-Calder; Pedro C. Vicente
  13. Fertility, agricultural labor supply, and production: Instrumental variable evidence from Uganda: By Van Campenhout, Bjorn
  14. Beyond agriculture versus nonagriculture: Decomposing sectoral growth–poverty linkages in five African countries: By Dorosh, Paul A.; Thurlow, James

  1. By: Martin Ravallion
    Abstract: The traditional approach to poverty measurement puts no explicit weight on success at increasing the typical level of living of the poorest—raising the consumption floor. To address this deficiency, the paper defines and measures the expected value of the floor, allowing for transient effects and measurement errors in survey data. On using all suitable and available surveys for the developing world over 1981-2011, the expected value of the floor is about half the $1.25 a day poverty line. There has been only modest progress in raising the floor, despite much progress in reducing the number living near the floor.
    JEL: I32 I38 O15
    Date: 2014–12
  2. By: Hirvonen, Kalle; Hoddinott, John F.
    Abstract: We study the relationship between pre-school children’s food consumption and household agricultural production. Using a large household survey from rural Ethiopia, we find that increasing household production diversity leads to considerable improvements in children’s diet diversity. However, we also document how this non-separability of consumption and production does not hold for households that have access to food markets. These findings imply that nutrition-sensitive agricultural interventions that push for market-integration are likely to be more effective in reducing undernutrition than those promoting production diversity.
    Keywords: households, Nutrition, Children, Diet, Markets, food consumption, Agricultural policies, child dietary diversity, agricultural household model, count data,
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Glick, Peter (RAND); Sahn, David E. (Cornell University); Walker, Thomas F. (World Bank)
    Abstract: This paper measured the extent to which households in Madagascar adjust children's school attendance in order to cope with exogenous shocks to household income, assets and labour supply. Our analysis was based on a unique data set with 10 years of recall data on school attendance and household shocks. We found that the probability of a child dropping out of school increased significantly when the household experienced an illness, death or asset shock. We proposed a test to distinguish whether the impact of shocks on school attendance could be attributed to credit constraints, labour market rigidities, or a combination of the two. The results of the test suggested that credit constraints, rather than labour market rigidities, explain the inability of households in Madagascar to keep their children in school during times of economic distress.
    Keywords: education, development, household shocks, time allocation, labor supply, Madagascar
    JEL: I25 J22 D13 E24
    Date: 2014–12
  4. By: Julia Alexa Barde (Institut für allgemeine Wirtschaftsforschung, Universität Freiburg)
    Abstract: This paper compares the increases in access rates to piped water in rural Brazil by localized water supply systems under two different management models. It finds that small-scale supply systems operated and maintained by user associations lead to signicantly higher increases in access rates than comparable systems implemented and operated by local governments. Additional results point towards higher accountability as the reason for better performance. This paper is the first to evaluate the success of community-based water supply projects in rural areas by comparing them to non-participatory projects and is based on a valid econometric identication strategy. As service delivery is decentralized in Brazil, the results also contribute to the discussion of the merits and risks of decentralized water supply. In order to overcome the endogeneity problem, I use a difference-in-difference estimator in combination with a kernel matching approach. Treatment effects are robust to various specication changes; tests show no structural differences between treatment and control groups.
    Keywords: Fiscal Policy, Monetary Union, Multiplier, International Policy Coordination, Monetary‐Fiscal Policy Interaction
    JEL: H4 O12 O18
    Date: 2014–12
  5. By: Randall Blair; Kenneth Fortson; Joanne Lee; Anu Rangarajan
    Abstract: This working paper used a randomized controlled trial to estimate the effectiveness of a U.S. government-funded farmer assistance program that trained more than 50,000 farmers throughout Armenia. Training did not increase household income or consumption, or affect mediating outcomes, such as adoption of agricultural practices or changes in cultivation of crops, suggesting that longer-term impacts are unlikely to materialize.
    Keywords: Foreign Aid, Agricultural, Armenia, International , Working paper
    JEL: F Z
    Date: 2013–08–30
  6. By: Lykke E. Andersen (Center for Environmental-Economic Modeling and Analysis, Institute for Advanced Development Studies); Dorte Verner (Office of Evaluation and Oversight, Inter-American Development Bank); Manfred Wiebelt (Kiel Institute for the World Economy)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes gender differences in vulnerability and resilience to shocks, including climate change and climate variability, for Peru, Brazil and Mexico, which together account for more than half the population in Latin America. Vulnerability and resilience indicators are measured by a combination of the level of household incomes per capita and the degree of diversification of these incomes. Thus, households which simultaneously have incomes which are below the national poverty line and which are poorly diversified (Diversification Index below 0.5) are classified as highly vulnerable, whereas households which have highly diversified incomes above the poverty line are classified as highly resilient. The analysis shows that female headed households in all three countries tend to be less vulnerable and more resilient than male headed households, despite the fact that the former usually have lower education levels.
    Keywords: Livelihood diversification, resilience, vulnerability, external shocks, Mexico, Brazil and Peru
    JEL: D13 I32 O54
    Date: 2014–11
  7. By: Esther Duflo; Pascaline Dupas; Michael Kremer
    Abstract: A seven-year randomized evaluation suggests education subsidies reduce adolescent girls' dropout, pregnancy, and marriage but not sexually transmitted infection (STI). The government's HIV curriculum, which stresses abstinence until marriage, does not reduce pregnancy or STI. Both programs combined reduce STI more, but cut dropout and pregnancy less, than education subsidies alone. These results are inconsistent with a model of schooling and sexual behavior in which both pregnancy and STI are determined by one factor (unprotected sex), but consistent with a two-factor model in which choices between committed and casual relationships also affect these outcomes.
    JEL: I12 I25 I38 O12
    Date: 2014–12
  8. By: Asadul Islam; Chandarany Ouch; Russell Smyth; Liang Choon Wang
    Abstract: This paper examines the long-term effects of exposure to civil war and genocide on the educational attainment and labor productivity of individuals in Cambodia. Given the well-documented causal links between schooling and labor productivity, it is surprising that past studies show that civil conflicts reduce educational attainment, but generally not earnings of individuals. Using variation in the degree of Cambodians’ exposure to civil conflicts during primary school age, we find that disruption to primary education during civil conflicts decreases educational attainment and earnings, increases fertility and has negligible effects on health of individuals several decades later. Our findings suggest that the effect of conflict on schooling disruption has adverse consequences on long-term labour productivity and economic development.
    Keywords: Civil Conflict, Khmer Rouge, Education, Wage, Fertility, Returns to schooling.
    JEL: I21 J24 O12 N35
    Date: 2014–09
  9. By: Mark Dincecco; James Fenske; Massimiliano Gaetano Onorato
    Abstract: We show that the long-run consequences of historical warfare are different for Sub-Saharan Africa than for the rest of the Old World. We identify the locations of over 1,750 conflicts in Africa, Asia, and Europe from 1400 to 1799. We find that historical warfare predicts greater state capacity today across the Old World, including in Sub-Saharan Africa. There is no significant correlation between historical warfare and current civil conflicts across the rest of the Old World. However, this correlation is strong and positive in Sub-Saharan Africa. Thus, while a history of conflict predicts higher per capita GDP for the rest of the Old World, this positive consequence is overturned for Sub-Saharan Africa.
    Date: 2014
  10. By: Dasgupta, Susmita; Hossain, Md. Moqbul; Huq, Mainul; Wheeler, David
    Abstract: This paper quantifies the impact of inundation risk and salinization on the family structure and economic welfare of coastal households in Bangladesh. These households are already on the"front line"of climate change, so their adaptation presages the future for hundreds of millions of families worldwide who will face similar threats by 2100. The analysis is based on a household decision model that relates spatial deployment of working-age, migration-capable members to inundation and salinization threats. The analysis uses appropriate estimation techniques, including adjustments for spatial autocorrelation, and finds that households subject to high inundation and salinization threats have significantly higher out-migration rates for working-age adults (particularly males), dependency ratios, and poverty incidence than their counterparts in non-threatened areas. The findings indicate that the critical zone for inundation risk lies within four kilometers of the coast, with attenuated impacts for coastal-zone households at higher elevations. The results paint a sobering picture of life at the coastal margin for Bangladeshi households threatened by inundation and salinization, particularly households that are relatively isolated from market centers. They respond by"hollowing out,"as economic necessity drives more working-age adults to seek outside earnings. Those left behind face a far greater likelihood of extreme poverty than their counterparts in less-threatened areas. The powerful results for market access, coupled with previous findings on salinity and road maintenance, suggest that infrastructure investment may offer a promising option. Road improvements that reduce travel times for isolated settlements compensate them for an increase in salinity. Thus, road improvement may warrant particular attention as an attractive adaptation investment in coastal Bangladesh.
    Keywords: Transport Economics Policy&Planning,Water Resources Assessment,Housing&Human Habitats,Scientific Research&Science Parks,Science Education
    Date: 2014–12–01
  11. By: Felicitas Nowak-Lehmann D. (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen); Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen / Germany); Stephan Klasen (Georg-August-Universität göttingen / Germany)
    Abstract: This study provides a re-examination of the aid-income link based on a panel data set which is downloadable at the Canadian Journal of Economics 45(1), 2012 issue. Longer time series data are available for a group of 58 countries and run from 1960 to 2007. In particular, the study aims at justifying the use of time series techniques and re-investigating whether the more recent finding that aid has an insignificant impact on per capita income is plausible and robust. Plausibility is checked by looking at the transmission channels of aid and by testing the direction of causality between aid and income and robustness is checked by investigating sub-samples of the 58 countries and by refining the model. In particular, we allow for threshold effects of aid, considering that aid might become effective after certain threshold values of other growth-determining factors have been achieved. Overall, we find that the result of an insignificant impact of aid on per capita income is robust taking a long-run perspective. Not being able to establish a significant impact of aid on income in the long run does not rule out that in the short to medium run significant positive (or negative) effects of aid can appear and, therefore, a positive short-run contribution of aid is a possible result and no counter-evidence for the findings related to the long run. In addition, we do not find any evidence that would justify the use of a model with interaction terms or with thresholds.
    Date: 2014–11–14
  12. By: Catia Batista; Tara McIndoe-Calder; Pedro C. Vicente
    Abstract: Does return migration affect entrepreneurship? This question has important implications for the debate on the economic development effects of migration for origin countries. The existing literature has, however, not addressed how the estimation of the impact of return migration on entrepreneurship is affected by double unobservable migrant self-selection, both at the initial outward migration and at the final inward return migration stages. This paper uses a representative household survey conducted in Mozambique in order to address this research question. We exploit variation provided by displacement caused by civil war in Mozambique, as well as social unrest and other shocks in migrant destination countries. The results lend support to negative unobservable self-selection at both and each of the initial and return stages of migration, which results in an under-estimation of the effects of return migration on entrepreneurial outcomes when using a ‘naïve’ estimator not controlling for self-selection. Indeed, ‘naïve’ estimates point to a 13 pp increase in the probability of owning a business when there is a return migrant in the household relative to non-migrants only, whereas excluding the double effect of unobservable self-selection, this effect becomes significantly larger - between 24 pp and 29 pp, depending on the method of estimation and source of variation used. JEL codes: F22, L26, O15
    Keywords: international migration, return migration, entrepreneurship, selfselection, business ownership, migration effects in origin countries, household survey, Mozambique, sub-Saharan Africa
    Date: 2014
  13. By: Van Campenhout, Bjorn
    Abstract: Human fertility is likely to affect agricultural production through its effect on the supply of agricultural labor. Using the fact that in traditional, patriarchal societies sons are often preferred to daughters, we isolated exogenous variation in the number of children born to a mother and related it to agricultural labor supply and production outcomes in Uganda—a country that combines a dominant agricultural sector with one of the highest fertility rates in the world. We found that fertility has a sizable negative effect on household labor allocation to subsistence agriculture. Households with lower fertility devote significantly more time to land preparation and weeding, while larger households grow less matooke and sweet potatoes. We found no significant effect on agricultural productivity as measured in terms of yield per land area.
    Keywords: Gender, households, Labor supply, Population growth, Sociology, fertility, instrumental variables, boy preference,
    Date: 2014
  14. By: Dorosh, Paul A.; Thurlow, James
    Abstract: The development debate in Africa south of the Sahara is often cast as “agriculture versus nonagriculture.†Yet this view overlooks the heterogeneity within these broad sectors and the synergies between them. We estimate sectoral poverty–growth elasticities using economywide models for five African countries. Our detailed treatment of nonagriculture complements an expanding literature disaggregating the growth–poverty relationship in agriculture. Although our estimated elasticities are higher for agriculture given the importance of farm incomes for the poor, the extent to which this is true varies by country. In fact, elasticities for certain nonagricultural sectors are much closer to those in agriculture. Overall, elasticities are typically higher for trade and transport services and manufacturing (agroprocessing).
    Keywords: economic growth, Agriculture, Agricultural policies, agricultural sector, Industrial sector, transportation, economic sectors, Poverty, income, poverty alleviation, economywide model, elasticity, nonagriculture, time allocation,
    Date: 2014

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