nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2015‒04‒11
eleven papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Impacts of solar lanterns in geographically challenged locations : experimental evidence from Bangladesh By Kudo, Yuya; Shonchoy, Abu S.; Takahashi, Kazushi
  2. Falling Off the Map: The Impact of Formalizing (Some) Informal Settlements in Tanzania By Matthew Collin; Justin Sandefur; Andrew Zeitlin
  3. Decentralizing Education Resources: School Grants in Senegal By Carneiro, Pedro; Koussihouèdé, Oswald; Lahire, Nathalie; Meghir, Costas; Mommaerts, Corina
  4. Labor productivity and employment gaps in Sub-Saharan Africa By McCullough,Ellen B.
  5. The Impact of Financial Education for Youth in Ghana By James Berry; Dean Karlan; Menno Pradhan
  6. Expropriation, compensation and transitions to new livelihoods: Evidence from an expropriation in Ethiopia By Anthony Harris
  7. Welfare Transitions and its Correlates among Cocoa Farming Households in Nigeria: An Application of Ordered Prohibit Approach By Lawal, J.O.; Omonona, B.T.; Oluwatayo, I.B.; Oyekale, A.S.; Salimonou, K.K.
  8. Information, knowledge and behavior: evaluating alternative methods of delivering school information to parents By Cerdan-Infantes,Pedro; Filmer,Deon P.
  9. The Moral and Fiscal Implications of Anti-Retroviral Therapies for HIV in Africa By Paul Collier; Olivier Sterck; Richard Manning
  10. Financial Inclusion, Poverty, and Income Inequality in Developing Asia By Park, Cyn-Young; Mercado, Rogelio
  11. Can Farmers Create Efficient Information Networks? Experimental Evidence from Rural India By A. Stefano Caria; Marcel Fafchamps

  1. By: Kudo, Yuya; Shonchoy, Abu S.; Takahashi, Kazushi
    Abstract: Despite continuous efforts to improve the coverage, the access to electricity remains insufficient in many developing countries, particularly in geographically challenged locations, due mostly to the high cost of grid extension. To rigorously investigate the effectiveness of solar products as an alternative in remote areas, we conducted a randomized controlled trial in river islands of northern Bangladesh where no grid-based electricity is available. We found that solar lanterns significantly increased home study hours among schooled children, especially in the night and before exams. School attendance rate also initially increases due to the provision of solar lamps, although such effects fade away over time. The increased study time and initial school attendance rate, however, did not improve children's exam results. We also found marginal improvements on health-related indicators, such as eye redness and irritation, but negligible impacts on respiratory indicators. Households that received solar lanterns substituted the traditional lighting sources with modern technology, leading to a significant decrease in annual biomass fuel consumptions, particularly kerosene. Finally, treated households showed a greater self-reported willingness to purchase solar products compared with the control group.
    Keywords: Bangladesh, Solar energy, Electric power, Household, Children, Education, Poverty
    JEL: O13 O18 Q41
    Date: 2015–03
  2. By: Matthew Collin; Justin Sandefur; Andrew Zeitlin
    Abstract: When the Tanzanian government formalized over 200,000 informal land claims by granting leasehold titles to residents of unplanned settlements in Dar es Salaam in 2004, a few neighborhoods in the initial plan were excluded due to missing satellite photos. We examine the impact of this low-cost, large-scale titling intervention a decade later in a regression discontinuity design using new survey data collected on either side of the arbitrary boundary created by the missing photos. We find significant, positive effects on housing investment, and indicative but not statistically robust increases in tenure security and reductions in land sales. There is no evidence that titles improved access to credit markets.
    Keywords: land titling, formalization, natural experiment, Tanzania
    JEL: J16 K11 O12 O18 Q15
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Carneiro, Pedro (University College London); Koussihouèdé, Oswald (University Gaston Berger); Lahire, Nathalie (World Bank); Meghir, Costas (Yale University); Mommaerts, Corina (Yale University)
    Abstract: The impact of school resources on the quality of education in developing countries may depend crucially on whether resources are targeted efficiently. In this paper we use a randomized experiment to analyze the impact of a school grants program in Senegal, which decentralized a portion of the country's education budget. We find large positive effects on test scores at younger grades that persist at least two years. We show that these effects are concentrated among schools that focused funds on human resources improvements rather than school materials, suggesting that teachers and principals may be a central determinant of school quality.
    Keywords: quality of education, decentralization, school resources, child development, clustered randomized control trials
    JEL: H52 I20 I22 I25 O15
    Date: 2015–03
  4. By: McCullough,Ellen B.
    Abstract: Drawing on a new set of nationally representative, internationally comparable household surveys, this paper provides an overview of key features of structural transformation?labor allocation and labor productivity?in four African economies. New, micro-based measures of sector labor allocation and cross-sector productivity differentials describe the incentives households face when allocating their labor. These measures are similar to national accounts-based measures that are typically used to characterize structural changes in African economies. However, because agricultural workers supply far fewer hours of labor per year than do workers in other sectors, productivity gaps disappear almost entirely when expressed on a per-hour basis. What look like large productivity gaps in national accounts data could really be employment gaps, calling into question the prospective gains that laborers can achieve through structural transformation. These employment gaps, along with the strong linkages observed between rural non-farm activities and primary agricultural production, highlight agriculture's continued relevance to structural change in Sub-Saharan Africa.
    Keywords: Economic Theory&Research,Labor Markets,Work&Working Conditions,Labor Policies,Banks&Banking Reform
    Date: 2015–04–06
  5. By: James Berry; Dean Karlan; Menno Pradhan
    Abstract: We evaluate, using a randomized trial, two school-based financial literacy education programs in government-run primary and junior high schools in Ghana. One program integrated financial and social education, whereas the second program only offered financial education. Both programs included a voluntary after-school savings club that provided students with a locked money box. After nine months, both programs had significant impacts on savings behavior relative to the control group, mostly because children moved savings from home to school. We observed few other impacts. We do find that financial education, when not accompanied by social education, led children to work more compared to the control group, whereas no such effect is found for the integrated curriculum; however, the difference between the two treatment effects on child labor is not statistically significant.
    JEL: D14 J22 J24 O12
    Date: 2015–04
  6. By: Anthony Harris
    Abstract: Government intervention in land transactions is common in developing countries, especially where land markets function poorly. This is the case in Ethiopia, where expropriation of farmland from small-scale farmers has been used by all levels of government as a tool for providing new land for industrial investors, commercial agriculture and expanding cities. This paper evaluates the impact of such a policy on a group of small-scale farmers whose land has been taken to make room for a large factory. Baseline data was collected in the year before expropriation and a follow up survey was conducted 8 months after households lost their land and received payment. On average, household lose 70% of their land and receive compensation payments that are about 5 times the value of annual consumption expenditure. I find that households in the treatment group increase their consumption, start more businesses and participate more in non-farm activities than households that do not lose farmland. These households also reallocate their livestock portfolios away from oxen and towards small ruminants and cattle, reflecting a shift away from growing crops. However, all of these changes are relatively minor compared to the increase in savings: with the exception of a few households, most of the compensation payment is left in the bank.
    Keywords: Land expropriation, Ethiopia, agricultural investment
    Date: 2015
  7. By: Lawal, J.O.; Omonona, B.T.; Oluwatayo, I.B.; Oyekale, A.S.; Salimonou, K.K.
    Abstract: This study determined the correlates of welfare using panel data collected in heavy and light cocoa seasons through multistage sampling techniques from 366 cocoa farming households. Data collected were subjected to descriptive and Ordered Probit model of analysis using STATA. Welfare categories were based on the relative poverty line constructed from the mean per capita household expenditure for each season. Results revealed that male-headed households were more among the cocoa farming households, with mean age of 54 ±12.64 years, household size of 7 ±3.19 persons, farming experience 28 ± 14.41 years and mean age of the cocoa trees were 30 ± 19.21 years and this shows that the farmers and their cocoa trees are old, there by affecting the productivity and the welfare of the farmers. The ordered probit result corroborates this results because age of household head (p<0.5), gender of household head (p<0.1), age of cocoa (p<0.1), poor access to credit (p<0.1), poor collateral status (p<0.01) and unfavourable government policy (p<0.5) on cocoa production negatively affects welfare of Cocoa Farming Households while literacy (p<0.1), type of land tenure system used on cocoa farm (p<0.01), price stability of produce (p<0.01) and good harvest from plantations (p<0.01) enhanced cocoa farming households’ welfare.
    Keywords: Welfare transition, seasons, ordered Probit, cocoa farming households, Nigeria, Crop Production/Industries, International Development,
    Date: 2015
  8. By: Cerdan-Infantes,Pedro; Filmer,Deon P.
    Abstract: Improving education outcomes by disseminating information to parents and thereby encouraging them to become more actively engaged in school oversight is attractive, since it can be done relatively cheaply. This study evaluates the impact of alternative approaches to disseminating information about a school grants program in Indonesia on parents'knowledge about the program in general, knowledge about the implementation of the program in their child's school, and participation in school activities related to the program as well as beyond it. Not all dissemination approaches yielded impacts, and different modes of dissemination conveyed different types of information best, resulting in different impacts on behavior. Specifically, the low-intensity approaches that were tried?sending a letter from the principal home with the child, or sending a colorful pamphlet home with the child?had no impact on knowledge or participation. On the other hand, holding a facilitated meeting with a range of school stakeholders or sending targeted text messages to parents did increase knowledge and participation. Facilitated meetings mostly increased overall knowledge and fostered a feeling of transparency on the part of parents, which resulted in greater participation in formal channels for providing feedback to the school. The text messages increased knowledge about specific aspects of the program, such as the grant amount, and tended to increase participation through informal channels.
    Keywords: Primary Education,Education For All,Agricultural Knowledge and Information Systems,Tertiary Education,Effective Schools and Teachers
    Date: 2015–04–06
  9. By: Paul Collier; Olivier Sterck; Richard Manning
    Abstract: Thanks to anti-retroviral therapies, people living with HIV in developing countries can now have a near-normal life at a cost of a few hundred dollars per year. We postulate that given this newly low cost of maintaining lives, there is a moral duty to rescue those who are infected. The core of the paper quantifies a reasonable lower bound for the fiscal consequences of this duty, which we show creates a financial quasi-liability which for some African countries is comparable to their debt-to-GDP ratios. Expenditures on prevention can pre-empt some of these liabilities. We construct a model to show that in some countries expenditure on prevention would be cost-effective, reducing liabilities by more than its cost. In principle, prevention should be pursued at least up to the point at which expenditure on it reduces the quasi-liability sufficiently to minimize the overall cost of accepting the duty to rescue. However, we show that even with optimal prevention the quasi-liability is likely to remain too high to be affordable for a significant number of African countries. Extending the model to two players, we show that if the international community accepts part of the quasi-liability, (as it does), it should finance an equal share of prevention and treatment efforts. Any imbalance in this distribution would introduce moral hazard and lead to a sub-optimal level of prevention.
    Date: 2015
  10. By: Park, Cyn-Young (Asian Development Bank); Mercado, Rogelio (Trinity College Dublin)
    Abstract: Poverty and income inequality remain a stubborn challenge in Asia and the Pacific despite the region’s rapid economic expansion in previous decades, which lifted millions out of poverty. Financial inclusion is often considered as a critical element that makes growth inclusive as access to finance can enable economic agents to make longer-term consumption and investment decisions, participate in productive activities, and cope with unexpected short-term shocks. Understanding the link between financial inclusion, poverty, and income inequality at the country level will help policymakers design and implement programs that will broaden access to financial services, leading to reduction of poverty incidence and income equality. This paper extends the existing literature on financial inclusion by focusing on developing Asian economies. We construct our own financial inclusion indicator to assess various macroeconomic and country-specific factors affecting the degree of financial inclusion for 37 selected developing Asian economies. We also test the impact of financial inclusion, along with other control variables, on poverty and income inequality. Our results show that per capita income, rule of law, and demographic characteristics significantly affect financial inclusion in developing Asia. Furthermore, we find that financial inclusion significantly reduces poverty; and there is also evidence that it lowers income inequality. Our findings suggest that the provisions for young and old-age populations, e.g., retirement pensions; and stronger rule of law, including enforcement of financial contracts and financial regulatory oversight, will broaden financial inclusion, thereby contributing to poverty reduction and lower income inequality.
    Keywords: developing Asia; financial inclusion; income inequality; poverty
    JEL: G18 O11 O16
    Date: 2015–01–01
  11. By: A. Stefano Caria; Marcel Fafchamps
    Abstract: We run an artefactual field experiment in rural India which tests whether farmers can create efficient networks in a repeated link formation game, and whether group categorization results in homophily and loss of network efficiency. We find that the efficiency of the networks formed in the experiment is significantly lower than the efficiency which could be achieved under selfish, rational play. Many individual decisions are consistent with selfish rationality and with a concern for overall welfare, but the tendency to link with the ‘most popular’ farmer in the network causes large efficiency losses. When information about group membership is disclosed, social networks become more homophilous, but not significantly less efficient. Networks play an important role in the diffusion of innovations in developing countries. If they are inefficiently structured, there is scope for development policies that support diffusion.
    Date: 2015

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