nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2015‒04‒19
fourteen papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Aid For Trade as finance for the Poor By Jaime de MELO; Laurent WAGNER
  2. Effects of Protected Areas on Forest Cover Change and Local Communities: Evidence from the Peruvian Amazon By Juan José Miranda; Leonardo Corral; Allen Blackman; Gregory Asner; Eirivelthon Lima
  3. Managing Risk with Insurance and Savings: Experimental Evidence for Male and Female Farm Managers in the Sahel By Delavallade, Clara; Dizon, Felipe; Hill, Ruth; Petraud, Jean Paul
  4. Do Education and Health Conditions Matter in a Large Cash Transfer? Evidence from a Honduran Experiment By Fiorella Benedetti; Pablo Ibarrarán; Patrick J. McEwan
  5. Food Security and Productivity: Impacts of Technology Adoption in Small Subsistence Farmers in Bolivia By Lina Salazar; Julián Aramburu; Mario González; Paul Winters
  6. Quality Healthcare and Health Insurance Retention: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in the Kolkata Slums By Delavallade, Clara
  7. Fertility and rural electrification in Bangladesh By Fujii, Tomiki; Shonchoy, Abu S.
  8. The Bangladesh gender gap in education : biased intra-household educational expenditures By Shonchoy, Abu S.; Rabbani, Mehnaz
  9. The Impact of Financial Education for Youth in Ghana By Dean Karlan; James Berry; Menno Pradhan
  10. Decentralizing Education Resources: School Grants in Senegal By Costas Meghir; Corina Momaerts; Pedro Carneiro; Oswald Koussihouede; Nathalie Lahire
  11. Can Public Employment Schemes Increase Equilibrium Wages? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in India By Erlend Berg; Sambit Bhattacharyya; D Rajasekhar; R Manjula
  12. Progress in utilization of antenatal and delivery care services in Bangladesh: Where does the equity gap lie? By Pulok, Mohammad Habibullah; Sabah, Md Nasim-Us Sabah; Uddin, Jalal; Enemark, Ulrika
  13. Do We Need More Women in Power? Gender, Public Policy, and Development in Bolivia By Patricia Yáñez-Pagans
  14. The poverty and inequality nexus in Ghana: a decomposition analysis of household expenditure components By Novignon, Jacob; Nonvignon, Justice; Mussa, Richard

  1. By: Jaime de MELO (Ferdi); Laurent WAGNER (Ferdi)
    Abstract: The Aid for Trade (AFT) Initiative was announced at the 2005 Hong-Kong World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministerial. Then, Doha round talks were stalled as developing countries were disenchanted with the world trading system they had signed up to a decade earlier under the Single Undertaking, whereby all members signed up to the same rules even though differential treatment for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) provided some preferential market access to OECD markets and longer time periods to implement the obligations. So when the AFT was started, market access to OECD countries had not improved because of dirty tariffication in agriculture, technical assistance funding to help implement the WTO agreements (customs valuation, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights) was not forthcoming and for the LDCs preferential access was dwindling as preferential agreements signed by developed countries were proliferating.This paper focusses on channels through which AFT flows might help reduce poverty, the top priority-- under the MDGs (goal 1A is “Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people living on less than $1.25 a day”). It does not deal with the voluminous literature covering the aid-growth nexus. At around $30 billion a year, AFT is about 30% of Official Development Assistance (ODA) financial flows to developing countries (remittance flows are more than the combined ODA and FDI flows). So trying to isolate the effects of AFT from other financial flows is looking for a needle in a haystack. Hence the focus is about the channels linking AFT to poverty reduction through trickle down effects and a reduction in trade costs; as well as on multiple rather than single-country studies to emphasize generalizable results.[1]Section 1 reviews briefly the history of the AFT Initiative and the challenges it faces and section 2 discusses how the adding of objectives has complicated the evaluation of AFT. Section 3 contends that the evidence supports the view that trade is the engine of growth rather than the other way around and section 4 gives evidence of the trickle down effects of growth. Section 5 reports the evidence on the obstacles to trade caused by poor infrastructure and on the links between AFT disbursements and reduced trade costs. Section 6 concludes that the recently signed Trade Facilitation Agreement provides the opportunity to direct resources towards countries with the highest trade costs and highest poverty rates. [1]  Cadot et al (2014) and Cadot and de Melo (2014a, b, c) provide a critical survey of what we know (and don’t know) about the efficacy of aid-for-trade with a greater focus on lessons from case studies.
    JEL: F35 O19
    Date: 2015–04
  2. By: Juan José Miranda; Leonardo Corral; Allen Blackman; Gregory Asner; Eirivelthon Lima
    Abstract: Protected areas are a cornerstone of forest conservation in developing countries. Yet we know little about their effects on forest cover change or the socioeconomic status of local communities, and even less about the relationship between these effects. This paper assesses whether 'win-win' scenarios are possible-that is, whether protected areas can both stem forest cover change and alleviate poverty. We examine protected areas in the Peruvian Amazon using high-resolution satellite images and household-level survey data for the early 2000s. To control for protected areas nonrandom siting, we rely on quasi-experimental (matching) methods. We find that the average protected area reduces forest cover change. We do not find a robust effect on local communities. Protected areas that allow sustainable extractive activities are more effective in reducing forest cover change but less effective in delivering win-win outcomes.
    Keywords: Land management  & registration, Poverty, Biodiversity conservation, Environment & Natural Resources - Biodiversity & Natural Resources Management, Deforestation, Quasi-experimental methods
    Date: 2014–11
  3. By: Delavallade, Clara (SALDRU, School of Economics, University of Cape Town and IFPRI); Dizon, Felipe (University of California Davis); Hill, Ruth (The World Bank); Petraud, Jean Paul (IMPAQ International)
    Abstract: Although there is fast-growing policy interest in offering financial products to help rural households manage risk, the literature is still scant as to which products are the most effective. This paper uses a randomized field experiment in Senegal and Burkina Faso to compare male and female farmers who are offered index-based agricultural insurance with those who are offered a variety of savings instruments. The paper finds that female farm managers were less likely to purchase agricultural insurance and more likely to invest in savings for emergencies, even controlling for access to informal insurance and differences in crop choice. It is hypothesized that this finding results from the fact that, although men and women are equally exposed to yield risk, women face additional sources of lifecycle risk—particularly health risks associated with fertility and childcare—that men do not. In essence, the basis risk associated with agricultural insurance products is higher for women. Purchasing insurance increased input spending and use more than savings. Those who purchased more insurance realized higher average yields and were better able to manage food insecurity and shocks. This finding suggests that gender differences in demand for financial products can have an impact on productivity, resilience, and welfare.
    Keywords: risk, insurance, savings, gender
    JEL: O12
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Fiorella Benedetti; Pablo Ibarrarán; Patrick J. McEwan
    Abstract: The paper analyzes a new Honduran conditional cash transfer experiment (Bono 10,000) in which 150 poor villages (of 300) were treated. The transfers were much larger in size than an earlier experiment (Galiani & McEwan, 2013), but yielded smaller full-sample effects on school enrollment, child labor participation, and measures of health service use. One explanation is that Bono 10,000 did not apply conditions to children: only one child in eligible households was subject to the education condition, and young children and mothers were only subject to health conditions in the absence of older children. Consistent with this, we find a large effect on enrollment (and a nearly off-setting one on child labor) among only children, and smaller and insignificant effects on children in larger households. We only find significant effects on health service use among children and mothers in the absence of older children (despite a much smaller household transfer). The heterogeneity does not appear to be driven by correlated variables such as household size, child age, or poverty.
    Keywords: Labor, Youth & Children, Conditional cash transfers, Women, Health Care, Conditional cash transfers, Impact evaluation, Conditionalities, Honduras
    Date: 2015–02
  5. By: Lina Salazar; Julián Aramburu; Mario González; Paul Winters
    Abstract: This paper presents the impact evaluation of CRIAR program, implemented in rural areas in Bolivia. The objective of CRIAR is to increase smallholders' agricultural income and food security through productivity improvements triggered by technological adoption. In this study, we use data from a sample of 1,287 households-817 beneficiaries and 470 controls- interviewed specifically for this evaluation. The econometric approach to estimate the program's impact is an instrumental variable model. This approach addresses possible endogeneity and self-selection issues that might arise from program's implementation. The results present evidence that program participation increased agricultural productivity, household income and improved food security. Overall, this study confirms the importance of considering the role of productive programs as policy tools to address vulnerability to food insecurity.
    Keywords: Technology transfer, Agricultural productivity, CRIAR, Bolivia, Instrumental Variables, Productivity, Food Security, Technology Adoption
    Date: 2015–01
  6. By: Delavallade, Clara (SALDRU, School of Economics, University of Cape Town and IFPRI)
    Abstract: Health care in developing countries is often unreliable and of poor quality, reducing incentives to use quality health services. Using data from a field experiment in India, I show that providing initial quality care improves the demand for quality health care by raising intended health insurance renewal and subsequent use of quality services. Randomly offering insurance policyholders a free consultation with a qualified doctor has a twofold effect: receiving this additional benefit raises willingness to pay to renew health insurance by 56 percent, exposed individuals are 11 percentage points more likely to consult a qualified practitioner when ill after the consultation.
    Keywords: access to and demand for quality healthcare, micro health insurance retention, willingness to pay, trust, poverty, India
    JEL: I13 I15 O15
    Date: 2015
  7. By: Fujii, Tomiki; Shonchoy, Abu S.
    Abstract: We use a panel dataset from Bangladesh to examine the relationship between fertility and the adoption of electricity with the latter instrumented by infrastructure development and the quality of service delivery. We find that the adoption of electricity reduces fertility, and this impact is more pronounced when the household already has two or more children. This observation can be explained by a simple household model of time use, in which adoption of electricity affects only the optimal number of children but not necessarily current fertility behavior if the optimal number has not yet been reached.
    Keywords: Bangladesh, Fertility, Family planning, Electric power, Rural societies, Infrastructure, Time use, Panel data, Ordered probit regression
    JEL: J13 O20
    Date: 2015–03
  8. By: Shonchoy, Abu S.; Rabbani, Mehnaz
    Abstract: By investigating the educational expenditure of children over the ten years (2000 to 2010), we evaluate whether there exists any gender specific discrepancy at the household level and the trend of such discrepancy over the years. Using three rounds of nationally representative Household Income & Expenditure Surveys this study reveals that households spend less on education for their school-going girls compared to boys. By disaggregating the total expenditure into fixed and variable components, we find persistent gender imbalance in educational expenditure where households provide better quality of education for boys. Moreover, we find that gender based discrepancy has a very persistent trend and does not show any significant sign of narrowing the gap over the years. Cohort wise difference-in-difference estimation also reveals that the gap has initially widened and later converged but has not diminished beyond the initial level of discrepancy, which may warrant targeted policy intervention.
    Keywords: Bangladesh, Home economics, Household, Education, Gender, Intra-household, Expenditure, Discrepancy
    JEL: D13 J16 O15
    Date: 2015–03
  9. By: Dean Karlan (Economic Growth Center, Yale University); James Berry (Cornell University); Menno Pradhan (VU University Amsterdam)
    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.
    Keywords: financial literacy, youth finance, savings
    JEL: D14 J22 J24 O12
    Date: 2015–04
  10. By: Costas Meghir (Economics Deptartment, Yale University); Corina Momaerts (Economics Department, Yale University); Pedro Carneiro (University College London); Oswald Koussihouede (University Gaston Berger); Nathalie Lahire (World Bank)
    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 the 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 I22 I25 O15
    Date: 2015–04
  11. By: Erlend Berg; Sambit Bhattacharyya; D Rajasekhar; R Manjula
    Abstract: We estimate the impact of the Indian government’s major rural public works programme, the National Rural Employment Guarantee (NREG), on agricultural wages. The rollout of NREG in three phases is used to identify difference-in-difference estimates of the programme effect. Using monthly wage data from the period 2000-2011 for a panel of 209 districts across 18 Indian states, we find that on average NREG boosts the growth rate of real daily agricultural wages 4.8 per cent per year. The effect is concentrated in some states and in the agricultural season. The effect appears to be gender-neutral and biased towards unskilled labour. We argue that rural public employment programmes constitute a potentially important anti-poverty policy tool.
    Keywords: public works; workfare; agricultural wages; NREG; India
    Date: 2014–01
  12. By: Pulok, Mohammad Habibullah; Sabah, Md Nasim-Us Sabah; Uddin, Jalal; Enemark, Ulrika
    Abstract: Despite a central element of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the progress in making pregnancy and childbearing safer for women has been slow in many developing countries. Though Bangladesh has achieved commendable progress in reducing maternal mortality in recent decades, the country faces pervasive inequity in antennal (ANC) and delivery care services. The purpose of this study is to provide recent estimates of trend in inequity in antenatal and delivery care services in Bangladesh during 2004-2011. We employ rich-poor ratio, concentration curve and concentration index to examine the trends of inequities in ANC and delivery care services using the latest three waves of Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey. This study uses logistic regression analysis to investigate the relationship between socioeconomic factors and six indicators of ANC and delivery care. Concentration index for 4+ ANC visits dropped from 0.42 in 2004 to 0.31 in 2011 while it remained around 0.20 for receiving ANC from medically trained provider. Findings indicate that inequity in delivery at health facility and delivery by caesarean section decreased by about 33% in between 2004 and 2011. Women from the richest households were about 3 times more likely to have 4+ ANC visits (OR=2.91, 95% CI: 2.24-3.78), delivery at health facility (OR=3.16, 95% CI: 2.40-4.17), and skilled assistance at birth (OR=3.32, 95% CI: 2.51-4.38) compared to women from the poorest households. There was an overall progress in reducing inequity in utilization of maternal health care but rural area lagged behind to achieve equity compared to urban area. The evidence of inequity in maternal health care utilization highlights that the country faces not only a persistent equity gap between rich and poor women but also substantial rural-urban inequity. It is essential to design multi-sectoral and concerted interventions from an equity perspective to accelerate safe motherhood and childbirth in Bangladesh.
    Keywords: Antennal care, Bangladesh, delivery care, concentration index, inequity.
    JEL: I12 I14 I18
    Date: 2015–03–31
  13. By: Patricia Yáñez-Pagans
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the impacts of increasing female representation in Bolivian municipal councils on public policy choices and welfare outcomes. By combining detailed administrative panel data on municipal expenditures and revenues together with electoral data, an innovative regression discontinuity design (RDD) is applied. As opposed to previous studies, the RDD approach proposed is unique since it is implemented to systems of proportional representation. Findings indicate that municipalities with women councilors devote more resources to social investments. In particular, women politicians prioritize education, health, and environmental protection expenditures giving less attention to infrastructure investments. The impacts of higher female representation appear only some years after the elections, highlighting the importance of training and experience. Despite changes in public policy choices there is weak evidence on the links with final welfare outcomes.
    Keywords: Gender Equality, Women, Elections, Public expenditure, Public policy choices, Female representation, Municipal councils, Public policy choices, Gender equality, Bolivia
    Date: 2014–12
  14. By: Novignon, Jacob; Nonvignon, Justice; Mussa, Richard
    Abstract: The study examined the linkages between inequality in household expenditure components and total inequality and poverty in Ghana. Using micro data from the sixth round of the Ghana Living Standards Survey conducted in 2012/2013, marginal effects and elasticities were computed for both within-and between-component analysis. The results suggest that, in general, reducing within-component inequality significantly reduces overall poverty and inequality in Ghana, compared to between-component inequality. Specifically, inequality in education and health expenditure components were the largest contributors to overall poverty and inequality. The findings imply that policies directed towards reducing within-component inequality will be more effective than those directed towards between-component inequality. Specifically, the findings of the study corroborates with tax policies (such as Value Added Tax and National Health Insurance Levy in the case of Ghana) that provide exemptions for educational, health and agricultural inputs. This will lead to reduction in overall poverty and inequality by reducing inequality within these expenditure components. The results were robust to the choice of poverty line and consistent for both rural and urban locations.
    Keywords: Household expenditure, inequality, poverty, Ghana
    JEL: D63 I32 I38
    Date: 2015–02–14

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