nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2015‒02‒11
nine papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universitiet Utrecht

  1. Does food aid disrupt local food market? Evidence from rural Ethiopia By Nathalie Ferrière; Akiko Suwa-Eisenmann
  2. A Colonial Legacy of African Gender Inequality? Evidence from Christian Kampala, 1895-2011 By Meier zu Selhausen, Felix; Weisdorf, Jacob
  3. Spatial Aid Spillovers During Transition By Zohid Askarov; Hristos Doucouliagos
  4. Social networks and farmer exposure to improved crop varieties in Tanzania By Muange, Elijah N.; Schwarze, Stefan; Qaim, Matin
  5. Increasing access by waiving tuition : evidence from Haiti By Adelman, Melissa A.; Holland, Peter A.
  6. Tradeoffs and Complementarities in the Adoption of Improved Seeds, Fertilizer, and Natural Resource Management Technologies in Kenya By Wainaina, Priscilla; Tongruksawattana, Songporne; Qaim, Matin
  7. Adaptation to climate change and economic growth in developing countries By Antony Millner; Simon Dietz
  8. Environmental and economic impacts of growing certified organic coffee in Colombia By Ibanez, Marcela; Blackmann, Allen
  9. What methods may be used in impact evaluations of humanitarian assistance? By Jyotsna Puri; Anastasia Aladysheva; Vegard Iversen; Yashodhan Ghorpade; Tilman Brück

  1. By: Nathalie Ferrière; Akiko Suwa-Eisenmann
    Abstract: Abstract:This paper analyses empirically the impact of food aid on wheat production,sales and purchases in rural Ethiopia between 1994 and 2009. We distinguish between the impact at the intensive margin(on quantities)and at the extensive margin(on the very decision to produce or go to the market to buy or sell).The panel dimension allows us to deal with food aid selection. We find that the impact of food aid goes through the extensive margin while pure quantity effects,once controlled for market participationand production choice,are not significant. Foodaid reduces the probability of being a producer albeit the size of the effect is small. It also increases the probability of being a seller and decreases the probability of being a buyer after 2004,the year when the rules of food aid allocation changed in Ethiopia. Other factors such as storage capacity,distance to the nearest market,and the frequency the market is held also matter in the decision to sell or buy.
    JEL: O12 O13 Q18
  2. By: Meier zu Selhausen, Felix; Weisdorf, Jacob
    Abstract: The colonial legacy of African underdevelopment is widely debated but hard to document. We use occupational statistics from Protestant marriage registers of historical Kampala to investigate the hypothesis that African gender inequality and female disempowerment are rooted in colonial times. We find that the arrival of Europeans in Uganda ignited a century-long transformation of Kampala involving a gender Kuznets curve. Men rapidly acquired literacy and quickly found their way into white-collar (high-status) employment in the wage economy built by the Europeans. Women took somewhat longer to obtain literacy and considerably longer to enter into white-collar and waged work. This led to increased gender inequality during the first half of the colonial period. But gender inequality gradually declined during the latter half of the colonial era, and after Uganda’s independence in 1962 its level was not significantly different from that of pre-colonial times. Our data also support Boserup’s view that gender inequality was rooted in indigenous social norms: daughters of African men who worked in the traditional, informal economy were less well educated, less frequently employed in formal work, and more often subjected to marital gender inequality than daughters of men employed in the modernized, formal economy created by the Europeans.
    Keywords: Africa; church books; colonialism; development; female disempowerment; gender discrimination; gender inequality; missionaries; Uganda
    JEL: J12 J16 N37
    Date: 2015–01
  3. By: Zohid Askarov; Hristos Doucouliagos
    Abstract: We investigate whether development aid stimulates growth in transition economies, paying particular attention to the possibility of spatial spillovers arising from aid. We find that aid has a positive impact on growth of the recipient country. However, aid also appears to generate adverse growth spillovers on other nations. In contrast, we find that growth in one transition economy tends to spillover to bordering countries and there are significant positive spatial spillovers from good policies. Spillovers are an important part of the growth experience of transitional economies.
    Keywords: aid effectiveness, spatial spillovers, transition economies
    JEL: O4 O5 F35
    Date: 2015–01–20
  4. By: Muange, Elijah N.; Schwarze, Stefan; Qaim, Matin
    Abstract: In Sub-Sahara Africa, adoption rates of improved crop varieties remain relatively low, which is partly due to farmers’ limited access to information. In smallholder settings, information often spreads through informal networks. Better understanding of such networks could potentially help to spur innovation and farmers’ exposure to new technologies. This study uses survey data from Tanzania to analyze social networks and their role for the spread of information about improved varieties of maize and sorghum. Regression models show that network links for the exchange of agricultural information are more likely between farmers who have similar educational but different wealth levels. Moreover, network links are more likely when farmers have direct contacts to extension officers, suggesting that information flows through informal channels can support but not replace formal channels. Social networks play a significant role for the spread of information about open-pollinated varieties. This is not the case for maize hybrids, which are sold by private seed companies.
    Keywords: social networks, exposure, improved varieties, sorghum, maize, gender, Community/Rural/Urban Development, International Development, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies, O12, O13, O31, Q12, Q16,
    Date: 2014–09
  5. By: Adelman, Melissa A.; Holland, Peter A.
    Abstract: Despite impressive gains in increasing access to school over the past 20 years, an estimated 57 million children worldwide do not go to school. Abolishing school fees has increased enrollment rates in several countries where enrollments were low and school fees were high. However, such policies may be less effective, or even have negative consequences, when supply-side responses are weak. This paper evaluates the school-level impacts of a tuition waiver program in Haiti, which provided public financing to nonpublic schools conditional on these schools not charging tuition. The paper concludes that a school's participation in the program results in having more students enrolled, more staff, and slightly higher student-teacher ratios. The program also reduces grade repetition and the share of students who are over-age. Although the increase in students at participating schools does not directly equate to a reduction in the number of children out of school, it does demonstrate strong demand from families for the program, and a correspondingly strong supply response from the nonpublic sector.
    Keywords: Tertiary Education,Education For All,Primary Education,Teaching and Learning,Secondary Education
    Date: 2015–01–01
  6. By: Wainaina, Priscilla; Tongruksawattana, Songporne; Qaim, Matin
    Abstract: There is widespread consensus that agricultural technology has an important role to play for poverty reduction and sustainable development. There is less consensus, however, about the types of technologies that are best suited for smallholder farmers in Africa. While some consider natural resource management (NRM) technologies as most appropriate, others propagate input intensification with a stronger role of the private sector. In the public debate, the two strategies are often perceived as incompatible. Most existing adoption studies focus on individual technologies, so that comparisons across technologies in the same context are not easily possible. We use representative data from maize-producing households in Kenya and a multivariate probit model to analyze the adoption of different types of technologies simultaneously. Results indicate that NRM technologies and strategies that build on external inputs are not incompatible. Interesting complementarities exist, which are not yet sufficiently exploited, because many organizations promote either one type of technology or the other, but rarely a combination of both.
    Keywords: Technology adoption, maize, small farms, sustainable agriculture, Africa, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Environmental Economics and Policy, International Development, Production Economics, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies, O13, O33, Q12, Q16,
    Date: 2014–11
  7. By: Antony Millner; Simon Dietz
    Abstract: Developing countries are vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, yet there is disagreement about what they should do to protect themselves from antic- ipated damages. In particular, it is unclear what the optimal balance is between investments in traditional productive capital (which increases output but is vulner- able to climate change), and investments in adaptive capital (which is unproductive in the absence of climate change, but ‘climate-proofs’ vulnerable capital). We show that, while it is unlikely that the optimal strategy involves no investment in adapta- tion, the scale and composition of optimal investments depends on empirical context. Our application to sub-Saharan Africa suggests, however, that in most contingencies it will be optimal to grow the adaptive sector more rapidly than the vulnerable sector over the coming decades, although it never exceeds 1% of the economy. Our sensi- tivity analysis goes well beyond the existing literature in evaluating the robustness of this finding.
    Keywords: economic growth; climate change; adaptation; development
    JEL: D61 O11 O40 Q54
    Date: 2014
  8. By: Ibanez, Marcela; Blackmann, Allen
    Abstract: According to advocates, eco-certification can improve developing country farmers’ environmental and economic performance. However, these notional benefits can be undercut by self-selection: the tendency of relatively wealthy farmers already meeting eco-certification standards to disproportionately participate. Empirical evidence on this matter is scarce. Using original farm-level survey data along with matching and difference-in-differences matching models, we analyze the producer-level effects of organic coffee certification in southeast Colombia. We find that certification improves coffee growers’ environmental performance. It significantly reduces sewage disposal in the fields and increases the adoption of organic fertilizer. However, we are not able to discern economic benefits.
    Keywords: organic certification, coffee, Colombia, difference-in-differences matching, Environmental Economics and Policy, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy, Risk and Uncertainty, Q13, Q20, O13, Q56,
    Date: 2015–01
  9. By: Jyotsna Puri (International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie)); Anastasia Aladysheva (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)); Vegard Iversen (University of Manchester); Yashodhan Ghorpade (Institute of Development Studies); Tilman Brück (SIPRI, ISDC and HICN)
    Abstract: Despite the widespread occurrence of humanitarian emergencies such as epidemics, earthquakes, droughts, floods and violent conflict and despite the significant financial resources devoted to humanitarian assistance, systematic learning from such interventions using rigorous theory-based impact evaluations are very rare. The objective of this paper is therefore to examine the extent to which scientific impact evaluation methods can provide evidence to help improve the effectiveness and efficiency in humanitarian action. This paper explores the methodological options and challenges associated with collecting and generating high quality evidence needed to answer key questions about the performance of humanitarian assistance, including whether assistance is reaching the right people, at the right time, is bringing about the desired changes in their lives (effectiveness) and is being delivered in the right doses, ways and with manageable costs (efficiency). With the help of six case studies and drawing on real-life examples from the small but growing academic literature, we demonstrate how impact evaluation methods be used successfully and in an ethical manner to learn about how to improve humanitarian assistance. A key lesson from our review is that it pays to be prepared. Much information is being collected these days about the risks of various emergencies unfolding, be they sudden onset or slow onset emergencies. Hence national actors and international donors can prepare for these events and for conducting meaningful impact evaluations. Given the overwhelming needs and the lack of funds, doing more with limited resources is a key challenge for humanitarian assistance and impact evaluation is one way of achieving this.
    Keywords: impact evaluation, methodology, research design, statistics, humanitarian emergency, humanitarian assistance, disaster, violent conflict, reconstruction, aid, development
    JEL: H84 C93 O12 Q54
    Date: 2014–12

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