nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2015‒04‒25
eleven papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. The Causal Links between Aid and Government Expenditures By Lukasz Marc
  2. Are women less productive farmers ? how markets and risk affect fertilizer use, productivity, and measured gender effects in Uganda By Larson,Donald F.; Savastano,Sara; Murray,Siobhan; Palacios-Lopez,Amparo
  3. How does Market Access affect Smallholder Behavior? The Case of Tobacco Marketing in Malawi By Wouter Zant
  4. Parental human capital and effective school management : evidence from The Gambia By Blimpo,Moussa P.; Evans,David; Lahire,Nathalie
  5. The Impact of Financial Education for Youth in Ghana By James Berry; Dean Karlan; Menno Pradhan
  6. Where does the money go? Assessing the expenditure and income effects of the Philippines' Conditional Cash Transfer Program By Stella Luz A. Quimbo; Joseph J. Capuno; Aleli D. Kraft; Rhea Molato; Carlos Tan, Jr.
  7. Electrification and Time Allocation:Experimental Evidence from Northern El Salvador By Barron, Manuel; Torero, Maximo
  8. Sugarcane outgrowers in Ethiopia: ’Forced’ to remain poor? By Mengistu Assefa Wendimu; Arne Henningsen; Peter Gibbon
  9. Climate Change, Agricultural Production and Civil Conflict: Evidence from the Philippines By Crost, Benjamin; Duquennois, Claire; Felter, Joseph; Rees, Daniel I.
  10. Estimation of Vulnerability to Poverty Using a Multilevel Longitudinal Model: Evidence from the Philippines By Christian D. Mina; Katsushi S. Imai
  11. Good countries or good projects ? comparing macro and micro correlates of World Bank and Asian Development Bank project performance By Bulman,David Janoff; Kolkma,Walter; Kraay,Aart C.

  1. By: Lukasz Marc (VU University Amsterdam)
    Abstract: The most recent literature on aid effectiveness finds a positive effect of aid on growth. To the extent that aid goes through the budget, this either reflects an aid-financed increase in government expenditures (quantity effect) or an improvement in the use of government resources as a result of donor involvement and lower taxes (quality effect). This study investigates the causal link between on-budget aid and government expenditures using a large cross-country panel data set for 53 countries and recent methodology to test Granger causality in heterogeneous panels. I find that in most countries donors do not change aid in response to changes in the level of government expenditures and that recipient governments react to aid by changing the way they use their own resources rather than by increasing spending. Contrary to conventional wisdom, there is little support for a quantity effect: aid Granger causes government expenditures in only eight countries. This suggests that aid substitutes for domestic government revenue and that aid is effective largely through the quality effect.
    Keywords: foreign aid, government expenditures, Granger causality, fungibility
    JEL: E62 F35 H50 O23
    Date: 2014–01–20
  2. By: Larson,Donald F.; Savastano,Sara; Murray,Siobhan; Palacios-Lopez,Amparo
    Abstract: African governments and international development groups see boosting productivity on smallholder farms as key to reducing rural poverty and safeguarding the food security of farming and non-farming households. Prompting smallholder farmers to use more fertilizer has been a key tactic. Closing the productivity gap between male and female farmers has been another avenue toward achieving the same goal. The results in this paper suggest the two are related. Fertilizer use and maize yields among smallholder farmers in Uganda are increased by improved access to markets and extension services, and reduced by ex ante risk-mitigating production decisions. Standard ordinary least squares regression results indicate that gender matters as well; however, the measured productivity gap between male and female farmers disappears when gender is included in a list of determinants meant to capture the indirect effects of market and extension access.
    Date: 2015–04–20
  3. By: Wouter Zant (VU University Amsterdam)
    Abstract: Transaction costs play a key role in the behaviour of smallholders in developing countries. We exploit the introduction of an additional tobacco auction floor in Malawi to investigate the impact of a reduction in transaction costs and improved market access on production per hectare and the underlying smallholder’s decisions on production and cultivated area of tobacco, the major cash crop in Malawi. Given the non-experimental nature of the data we use matching and potential outcome models to identify impact. Estimations are based on annual data by Extension Planning Area, 198 in total, fully covering Malawi, for the period 2003-04 to 2009-10. The estimation results support a statistically significant positive impact of the introduction of a new auction floor on smallholders’ behaviour: production per hectare, production and area of tobacco has increased in the long run with respectively 20-25%, 36-38% and 15-21%. This outcome, and the increase in cultivated area in articular, suggests that lower transaction costs trigger smallholder farmers to shift to commercial agriculture.
    Keywords: transaction costs, market access, subsistence, food & cash crops, Malawi, Africa
    JEL: D23 O13 O55 Q11 Q13
    Date: 2012–09–03
  4. By: Blimpo,Moussa P.; Evans,David; Lahire,Nathalie
    Abstract: Education systems in developing countries are often centrally managed in a top-down structure. In environments where schools have different needs and where localized information plays an important role, empowerment of the local community may be attractive, but low levels of human capital at the local level may offset gains from local information. This paper reports the results of a four-year, large-scale experiment that provided a grant and comprehensive school management training to principals, teachers, and community representatives in a set of schools. To separate the effect of the training from the grant, a second set of schools received the grant only with no training. A third set of schools served as a control group and received neither intervention. Each of 273 Gambian primary schools were randomized to one of the three groups. The program was implemented through the government education system. Three to four years into the program, the full intervention led to a 21 percent reduction in student absenteeism and a 23 percent reduction in teacher absenteeism, but produced no impact on student test scores. The effect of the full program on learning outcomes is strongly mediated by baseline local capacity, as measured by adult literacy. This result suggests that, in villages with high literacy, the program may yield gains on students'learning outcomes. Receiving the grant alone had no impact on either test scores or student participation.
    Keywords: Primary Education,Education For All,Secondary Education,Tertiary Education,Effective Schools and Teachers
    Date: 2015–04–13
  5. By: James Berry (Cornell University, United States); Dean Karlan (Yale University, United States); Menno Pradhan (VU University Amsterdam, University of 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: 2015–03–31
  6. By: Stella Luz A. Quimbo (School of Economics, University of the Philippines Diliman); Joseph J. Capuno (School of Economics, University of the Philippines Diliman); Aleli D. Kraft (School of Economics, University of the Philippines Diliman); Rhea Molato (School of Economics, University of the Philippines Diliman); Carlos Tan, Jr. (School of Economics, University of the Philippines Diliman)
    Abstract: Evaluation studies on conditional cash transfers (CCT) in the Philippines found small if not insignificantly different from zero effects on household consumption. We use propensity score matching to examine how recipients made use of the money they received, taking into account possible changes in recipient behavior. We find evidence of crowding in—CCT households receive higher transfers from other domestic sources as a positive spillover from becoming CCT beneficiaries Poor CCT households tend to lower their dissavings while non-poor beneficiaries become less indebted. We also find evidence of lower income, lower wages, and lower work-related expenses.
    Keywords: Conditional cash transfers, household income and consumption, Philippines
    JEL: D12 I38 H53
    Date: 2015–02
  7. By: Barron, Manuel; Torero, Maximo
    Abstract: We implemented an experimental study to better understand how electrification affects the economic lives of rural households. By randomly allocating incentives to get a grid connection we generate exogenous variation in the probability that households connect to the grid, which we exploit to study the effects of electrification on time allocation. We find that electrification leads to (i) increased investment in education among school-age children, in the form of a 78 percent higher participation in activities related to education (e.g. time studying, time at school); and (ii) higher participation in income generating activities among adult women: electrification led to a 46 percentage point increase in participation in non farm employment and 25 percentage point higher probability of operating a home business. These are mostly home production activities that don't require large monetary investments or the participation of the male head. However, average profits from these activities are around $1,000 per year, suggesting that income increases due to electrification are potentially important.
    Keywords: Rural electrification Time Allocation Education Non farm activities
    JEL: O13 O33
    Date: 2014–12
  8. By: Mengistu Assefa Wendimu (Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS), Natural Resources and Development; Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen); Arne Henningsen (Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen); Peter Gibbon (Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS), Global Transformations)
    Abstract: Contract farming is often seen as a panacea to many of the challenges faced by agricultural production in developing countries. Given the large heterogeneity of contract farming arrangements, it is debatable whether all kinds of contract farming arrangements offer benefits to participating smallholders. We apply matching methods to analyze the effects of a public sugarcane outgrower scheme in Ethiopia. Participation in the outgrower scheme significantly reduces the income and asset stocks of outgrowers who contributed irrigated land to the outgrower scheme, while the effect was insignificant for outgrowers who contributed rain-fed land. We provide several explanations and discuss policy implications.
    Keywords: Productivity, Outgrower scheme, contract farming, sugarcane, propensity score, genetic matching, Ethiopia
    JEL: Q12 Q13 O13 I31
    Date: 2015–04
  9. By: Crost, Benjamin (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign); Duquennois, Claire (University of Colorado Denver); Felter, Joseph (Stanford University); Rees, Daniel I. (University of Colorado Denver)
    Abstract: Climate change is predicted to affect global rainfall patterns, but there is mixed evidence with regard to the effect of rainfall on civil conflict. Even among researchers who argue that rainfall reduces civil conflict, there is disagreement as to the underlying mechanism. Using data from the Philippines for the period 2001-2009, we exploit seasonal variation in the relationship between rainfall and agricultural production to explore the connection between rainfall and civil conflict. In the Philippines, above-average rainfall during the wet season is harmful to agricultural production, while above-average rainfall during the dry season is beneficial. We show that the relationship between rainfall and civil conflict also exhibits seasonality, but in the opposite direction and with a one-year lag. Consistent with the hypothesis that rebel groups gain strength after a bad harvest, there is evidence that lagged rainfall affects the number of violent incidents initiated by insurgents but not the number of incidents initiated by government forces. Our results suggest that policies aimed at mitigating the effect of climate change on agricultural production could weaken the link between climate change and civil conflict.
    Keywords: climate change, civil conflict, rainfall
    JEL: H56 O13
    Date: 2015–04
  10. By: Christian D. Mina (Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), the Philippines); Katsushi S. Imai (School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester (UK) and RIEB, Kobe University (Japan))
    Abstract: This study estimates household vulnerability in the Philippines using a three-level and longitudinal linear random-coefficient model whereby vulnerability is decomposed into idiosyncratic and covariate components. Our three-wave panel data covering the period 2003-2009 allow us to analyse poverty situations in both vulnerability and poverty persistence dimensions. A majority of the poor and a third of the non-poor are found to be vulnerable to unobservable shocks, while more susceptible to unobservable idiosyncratic shocks than to covariate shocks. Adequate safety nets should be provided for vulnerable households with less-educated and agriculturally-engaged or jobless heads, rural dwellers, or with more members and/or dependents.
    Date: 2015–04
  11. By: Bulman,David Janoff; Kolkma,Walter; Kraay,Aart C.
    Abstract: This paper examines the micro and macro correlates of aid project outcomes in a sample of 3,821 World Bank projects and 1,342 Asian Development Bank projects. Project outcomes vary much more within countries than between countries: country-level characteristics explain only 10?25 percent of project outcomes. Among macro variables, country growth and the policy environment are significantly positively correlated with project outcomes. Among micro variables, shorter project duration and the presence of additional financing are significantly correlated with better project outcomes. In addition, the track record of the project manager in delivering successful projects is highly significantly correlated with project outcomes. There are few significant differences between the two institutions in the relationship between these variables and project outcomes.
    Keywords: Housing&Human Habitats,Development Economics&Aid Effectiveness,Rural Portfolio Improvement,Poverty Monitoring&Analysis,Banks&Banking Reform
    Date: 2015–04–21

This nep-dev issue is ©2015 by Jacob A. Jordaan. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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