nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2015‒03‒05
eleven papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Measuring Access to Food in Tanzania: A Food Basket Approach By Cochrane, Nancy; D’Souza, Anna
  2. Do Input Subsidy Programs Raise Incomes and Reduce Poverty among Smallholder Farm Households? Evidence from Zambia By Mason, Nicole M.; Tembo, Solomon T.
  3. Gender differentials and agricultural productivity in Niger By Backiny-Yetna, Prospere; McGee, Kevin
  4. Is increasing inorganic fertilizer use in Sub-Saharan Africa a profitable proposition ? evidence from Nigeria By Liverpool-Tasie, Lenis Saweda O.; Omonona, Bolarin T.; Sanou, Awa; Ogunleye, Wale
  5. Aid, Infrastructure, and FDI: Assessing the Transmission Channel with a New Index of Infrastructure By Julian Donaubauer; Birgit Meyer; Peter Nunnekamp
  6. Drinking water salinity and infant mortality in coastal Bangladesh By Dasgupta, Susmita; Huq, Mainul; Wheeler, David
  7. Does Gender Matter when Evaluating the Economic Impacts of Smallholder Land Titling in Zambia? By Hichaambwa, Munguzwe; Chamberlin, Jordan; Sitko, Nicholas
  8. To Have and Have Not”: Migration, Remittances, Poverty and Inequality in Algeria, By Margolis, David N.; Miotti, Luis; Mouhoud, El Mouhoub; Oudinet, Joël
  9. Of Donor Coordination, Free-Riding, Darlings, and Orphans: The dependence of bilateral aid on other bilateral giving By Ronald B. Davies; Stephan Klasen
  10. Does Minimum Tillage with Planting Basins or Ripping Raise Maize Yields? Meso-panel Data Evidence from Zambia. By Ngoma, Hambulo; Mason, Nicole M.; Sitko, Nicholas
  11. Your development or mine? Effects of donor-recipient cultural differences on the aid-growth nexus By Anna Minasyan

  1. By: Cochrane, Nancy; D’Souza, Anna
    Abstract: Household access to food over time in Tanzania is measured by comparing the cost of representative food baskets to household income. Consumption patterns, estimated using household data from the 2010/11 National Panel Survey conducted by Tanzania’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), show considerable diversity across the country. Maize (corn) dominates the diets in the surplus-maize-producing regions. Households in the maize-deficit regions in the north favor other sources of starch such as cassava and banana. The food baskets include 15 food groups that make up approximately 67 to 88 percent of average calorie intake. From 2008/09 to 2010/11, food basket costs rose rapidly in nominal terms but were stable in real terms. Combining food basket cost data and income data suggests that households in the bottom two income quintiles have significant difficulties with access to food.
    Keywords: household access to food, Tanzania, maize, cassava, National Panel Survey, food consumption, food security, dietary diversity, Agricultural and Food Policy, Consumer/Household Economics, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty, International Development,
    Date: 2015–02
  2. By: Mason, Nicole M.; Tembo, Solomon T.
    Abstract: Many of the agricultural input subsidy programs (ISPs) currently being implemented in Sub-Saharan Africa include among their objectives raising farm incomes and reducing rural poverty. However, there is a dearth of empirical evidence on the extent to which ISPs are achieving these objectives. Moreover, results from previous studies on ISPs in Zambia and Malawi, and stubbornly high rural poverty rates in both countries despite many years of large-scale ISPs, have raised doubts that ISPs are effectively reducing poverty.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Security and Poverty,
    Date: 2015–02
  3. By: Backiny-Yetna, Prospere; McGee, Kevin
    Abstract: Most of the poor in Sub-Saharan Africa live in rural areas where agriculture is the main income source. This agriculture is characterized by low performance and its productivity growth has been identified as a key driver of poverty reduction. In Niger, as in many other African countries, productivity is even lower among female peasants. To build policy interventions to improve agricultural productivity among women, it is important to measure the potential gap between men and women and understand the determinants that explain the gap. This paper uses the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition methodology at the aggregate and detailed levels to identify the factors that explain the productivity gap. The analysis finds that in Niger on average plots managed by women produce 19 percent less per hectare than plots managed by men. It also finds that the gender gap tends to be widest among Niger's most productive farmers. The primary factors that contribute to the gender productivity gap in Niger are: (i) farm labor, with women facing significant challenges in accessing, using, and supervising male farm labor; (ii) the quantity and quality of fertilizer use, with men using more inorganic fertilizer per hectare than women; and (iii) land ownership and characteristics, with men owning more land and enjoying higher returns to ownership than women.
    Keywords: Gender and Health,Housing&Human Habitats,Labor Policies,Gender and Law,Gender and Development
    Date: 2015–02–01
  4. By: Liverpool-Tasie, Lenis Saweda O.; Omonona, Bolarin T.; Sanou, Awa; Ogunleye, Wale
    Abstract: Inorganic fertilizer use across Sub-Saharan Africa is generally considered to be low. Yet, this belief is predicated on the assumption that it is profitable to use rates higher than currently observed. However, there is little rigorous empirical evidence to support this notion. Using a nationally representative panel data set, and with due recognition of the role of risk and uncertainty, this paper empirically estimates the profitability of fertilizer use for maize production in Nigeria. The analysis finds that inorganic fertilizer use in Nigeria is not as low as conventional wisdom suggests. Low marginal physical product and high transportation costs significantly reduce the profitability of fertilizer use. The paper finds evidence that strategies to reduce transportation costs are likely to have a much larger effect on the profitability of fertilizer use than fertilizer subsidies. Apart from reduced transportation costs, other constraints such as timely access to the product; availability of complementary inputs such as improved seeds, irrigation, and credit; as well as good management practices are also necessary for sustained agricultural productivity improvements.
    Keywords: Transport Economics Policy&Planning,Climate Change and Agriculture,Crops and Crop Management Systems,Fertilizers,Fertilizers&Agricultural Chemicals Industry
    Date: 2015–02–01
  5. By: Julian Donaubauer; Birgit Meyer; Peter Nunnekamp
    Abstract: We raise the hypothesis that aid specifically targeted at economic infrastructure helps developing countries attract higher FDI inflows through improving their endowment with infrastructure in transportation, communication, energy and finance. By performing 3SLS estimations we explicitly account for dependencies between three structural equations on the allocation of sector-specific aid, the determinants of infrastructure, and the determinants of FDI. We find fairly strong and robust evidence that targeted aid promotes FDI indirectly through the infrastructure channel. In addition, aid in infrastructure appears to have surprisingly strong direct effects on FDI.
    Keywords: aid effectiveness, sector-specific aid, foreign direct investment, infrastructure
    JEL: F21 F35 O18
    Date: 2015–02
  6. By: Dasgupta, Susmita; Huq, Mainul; Wheeler, David
    Abstract: Bangladesh, with two-thirds of its land area less than five meters above sea level, is one of the most climate-vulnerable countries in the world. Low-lying coastal districts along the Bay of Bengal are particularly vulnerable to sea level rise, tidal flooding, storm surges, and climate-induced increases in soil and water salinity. This paper investigates the impact of drinking water salinity on infant mortality in coastal Bangladesh. It focuses on the salinity of drinking water consumed during pregnancy, which extensive medical research has linked to maternal hypertension, preeclampsia, and post-partum morbidity and mortality. The study combines spatially-formatted salinity measures for 2001-09 provided by Bangladesh with individual and household survey information from the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Surveys for 2004 and 2007. It uses probit and logit analyses to estimate mortality probability for infants less than two months old. Controlling for many other determinants of infant mortality, the analysis finds high significance for salinity exposure during the last month of pregnancy and no significance for exposure during the preceding months. The estimated impact of salinity on infant mortality is comparable in magnitude to the estimated effects of traditionally-cited variables such as maternal age and education, gender of the household head, household wealth, toilet facilities, drinking water sources, and cooking fuels.
    Keywords: Population Policies,Water Conservation,Town Water Supply and Sanitation,Water and Industry,Water Supply and Sanitation Governance and Institutions
    Date: 2015–02–01
  7. By: Hichaambwa, Munguzwe; Chamberlin, Jordan; Sitko, Nicholas
    Abstract: Rural land titling has stronger impacts on farm investments for female title-holders than for male title-holders. This effect is particularly pronounced for investments which are less capital-intensive. The gendered impacts of smallholder ownership of land titles may have to do with systematic differences in tenure security under traditional systems. Policies and programmes aimed at encouraging female access to land titles can improve the economic impact of agricultural land titling through increases in productivity and land productivity enhancing investments.
    Keywords: Land Economics/Use,
    Date: 2015–01
  8. By: Margolis, David N.; Miotti, Luis; Mouhoud, El Mouhoub; Oudinet, Joël
    Abstract: In this paper, using an original survey, we analyze the distributional impact of international migration across two regions of Algeria. A semi-parametric descriptive analysis is comple- mented with a parametric model. Remittances do not significantly change the Gini coefficient in nearly any of the counterfactual scenarios. However, migration reduced poverty by 40 per- cent, with different effects across regions for extreme poverty. Foreign transfers, especially foreign pensions, have a strong positive impact on very poor families in one region. Poor families in the other region suffer from a “double loss”: their migrants do not provide local income and they do not send much money home.
    Keywords: Inequality; migration; pensions; poverty; remittances;
    JEL: F24 O15 O55
    Date: 2015–03
  9. By: Ronald B. Davies (University College Dublin); Stephan Klasen (Georg-August-University Göttingen)
    Abstract: Using data from 1988 to 2007, we examine to what extent bilateral aid flows of an individual donor to a country depend on aid flows from all other bilateral and multilateral donors to that country in that year. We thereby want to assess to what extent donor coordination, free-riding, selectivity, specialization, and common donor motivations drive bilateral aid allocation as these determinants would point to different dependence structures. Using approaches from spatial econometrics and controlling for endogeneity, we find that other bilateral flows lead to a significant increase in aid flows from a particular donor. The effects are particularly pronounced for recipients in Africa and the Middle East and so-called donor ‘orphans’ who seem to be collectively shunned by bilateral aid donors. The positive dependence also seems to be related to donors following the lead of the largest donors. Over time, the positive dependence has become smaller. Overall the results suggest that donor coordination and free-riding are quantitatively less important than common donor interests and selectivity.
    Keywords: aid; donor coordination; aid darlings; aid orphans
    JEL: F35 F42
    Date: 2015–02–25
  10. By: Ngoma, Hambulo; Mason, Nicole M.; Sitko, Nicholas
    Abstract: Raising agricultural productivity to meet growing food demands while increasing the resilience of rain-fed farm systems to climate variability is one of the most pressing contemporary development challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Anchored on the three core principles of minimum tillage (MT), crop residue retention, and crop rotation; conservation agriculture (CA) technologies have been actively promoted over nearly the last two decades as potential solutions to raise farm productivity in the context of increased climate variability.
    Keywords: Land Economics/Use, Productivity Analysis, Public Economics,
    Date: 2015–01
  11. By: Anna Minasyan (Georg-August-University Göttingen)
    Abstract: Development aid from the West may lead to adverse growth effects in the global South due to the neglected cultural context in the development framework. There is evidence that development agendas are mainly premised upon western thought and belief systems. Therefore, I hypothesize that the expected effect of development aid on the economic growth of recipients is impaired by cultural differences between western donors and aid recipients. I test this hypothesis empirically by augmenting an aid-growth model with proxy variables of cultural distance between donors and recipients. Namely, based on the theory of cultural transmission, I use donor-recipient weighted genetic distance, to capture vertical transmission of culture. Then, I use western education of the chief executive of the recipient country to capture horizontal transmission of culture. Results of OLS panel estimation in first differences for 1961-2010 period show that a one unit increase in donor-recipient genetic distance reduces the effect of aid on growth by 0.2 percentage points, if aid is increased by one percentage point. In turn, a one percentage point increase in aid yields, on average, 0.3 percentage point increase in growth after a decade, if the leader in power has western education.
    Keywords: aid effectiveness; cultural differences; genetic distance; western education
    JEL: O17 O19
    Date: 2015–02–25

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