nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2015‒05‒22
nine papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Retail Globalization and Household Welfare: Evidence from Mexico By David Atkin; Benjamin Faber; Marco Gonzalez-Navarro
  2. Impact of income shock on children’s schooling and labor in a West African country By Fatoke Dato, Mafaizath A.
  3. Demand for Diverse Diets: Evidence from Nigeria By Akerele, Dare; Odeiyi, Kehinde
  5. You are what (and where) you eat : capturing food away from home in welfare measures By Farfan,Gabriela; Genoni,Maria Eugenia; Vakis,Renos
  6. Social Networks, Reputation and Commitment: Evidence from a Savings Monitors Experiment By Emily Breza; Arun G. Chandrasekhar
  7. On Smallholder Farmers' Exposure to Risk and Adaptation Mechanisms: Panel Data Evidence from Ethiopia By Ayenew, Habtamu Yesigat; Sauer, Johannes; Abate-Kassa, Getachew
  8. Preference for Boys, Family Size, and Educational Attainment in India By Kugler, Adriana D.; Kumar, Santosh
  9. Do Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers reduce poverty and improve well-being? By Meg Elkins; Simon Feeny; David Prentice

  1. By: David Atkin; Benjamin Faber; Marco Gonzalez-Navarro
    Abstract: The arrival of global retail chains in developing countries is causing a radical transformation in the way that households source their consumption. This paper draws on a new collection of Mexican microdata to estimate the effect of foreign supermarket entry on household welfare. The richness of the microdata allows us to estimate a general expression for the gains from retail FDI, and to decompose these gains into several distinct channels. We find that foreign retail entry causes large and significant welfare gains for the average household that are mainly driven by a reduction in the cost of living. About one quarter of this price index effect is due to pro-competitive effects on the prices charged by domestic stores, with the remaining three quarters due to the direct consumer gains from shopping at the new foreign stores. We find little evidence of significant changes in average municipality-level incomes or employment. We do, however, find evidence of store exit, adverse effects on domestic store profits and reductions in the incomes of traditional retail sector workers. Finally, we show that the gains from retail FDI are on average positive for all income groups but regressive, and quantify the opposing forces that underlie this finding.
    JEL: F15 F23 O24
    Date: 2015–05
  2. By: Fatoke Dato, Mafaizath A.
    Abstract: This study measures the impact of a flood in 2010 in Benin on children’s schooling and labor. The data used are the National Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) of 2006 and 2012. The difference in differences estimates points out a significant decrease in income between farm households and non-farm households following the shock. Enrollment has also significantly decreased by 5.99% for girls in rural areas, by 4.45% for boys in rural areas, by 7.76% for girls in urban areas and by 6.17% for boys in urban areas. The likelihood to be a domestic worker or a farmer has also significantly increased. Robustness checks, on different other groups, are in concordance with the results. Despite the removal of school fees in 2006, households still withdrew their children from school after this income shock. These results imply that income shocks could be a threat to the Universal Primary Education.
    Keywords: Natural disasters, Education, Income shock, Child labor
    JEL: I24 O55 Q54
    Date: 2015–05–12
  3. By: Akerele, Dare; Odeiyi, Kehinde
    Abstract: Consumption of diverse diets is an important factor in promoting good health and nutrition. Most of the studies on food demand in developing countries focused largely on the quantity consumed of specific foods or food-groups with marginalized attention on dietary diversity. This study examines the extent of food consumption diversity and the factors influencing demand for diverse foods in Nigeria using micro-data on 18191 households. The transformed versions (logistic transformation) of Berry and Entropy measures of dietary diversity were used as regressands in the econometrics models employed for analysis. Low-income households and households whose heads are females or without formal education have lower than the norm in terms of diversity in food consumption. Income, food prices (captured by food price index), access to remittance, educational attainment up to secondary school, sex of household head and spatial factors are important determinants of demand for varied diets. Income improvement strategy, renewed emphasis on nutrition education especially in secondary schools, efforts to curtail food price inflation and sensitively-guided gender-based interventions are advocated, among others. Findings call for evaluation of the extent to which policy actions in agriculture and other relevant sectors weaken or advance diet diversity in order to devise holistic strategies for nutrition and health.
    Keywords: Food diversity, dietary quality, Berry and Entropy measures, food and nutrition interventions, Agricultural and Food Policy, D12,
    Date: 2015–04
  4. By: Wynand Carel Johannes Grobler (North West University Vaal Campus)
    Abstract: Heads of state attending the 1996 World Food Summit in 1996 signed the Rome Declaration on World Food Security re-affirming ”the right of everyone to have access to safe and nutritious food, consistent with the right to adequate food, and the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger (FAO,1996). Despite this more than 900 million people across the world were still food insecure in 2010 (FAO, 2010). Food Security is a critical problem facing policy makers in Sub Sahara Africa as more than 45 present of households have moderate to severe household food insecurity.. Research indicates that Africa’s population is moving to the cities and that by 2030 more than 50 percent of the population may reside in urban areas. Furthermore, food insecurity is becoming recognised as increasingly urban, with a lack of policy focus by governments to address the growing food insecurity problem in urban settings. Studies on the extent of poverty in South Africa show that almost half of its population lives in poverty. Food availability is not the only condition for food security in urban settings if households do not have financial resources to access food. Households rely on income for their food security, spend a large proportion of household s budget on food, and have little access to other safety nets like agriculture or land to ensure food access.. This paper examines the socio economic determinants of households which may impact on food insecurity in urban settings. A quantitative research method was deployed and a stratified random sample of 600 was used to determine which socio economic determinants determine food insecurity in an urban setting. Regression analyses were used to determine the effects of socio-economic determinants on household food insecurity. The results show that household food insecurity is influenced by the age of the head of the household, education of the head of the household, employment status of the head of the household, income of the head of the household, social grants received by the household and spending patterns of the household The study recommends that government should develop a more comprehensive strategy, focusing on urban areas in South Africa to increase access to food in the absence of available land to ensure access to food.
    Keywords: Food Security, Economic Development, Welfare Economics, Spending Patterns, Socio Economic Determinants.
    JEL: I15 O10 Q18
  5. By: Farfan,Gabriela; Genoni,Maria Eugenia; Vakis,Renos
    Abstract: Consumption of food away from home is rapidly growing across the developing world. Surprisingly, the majority of household surveys around the world haven not kept up with its pace and still collect limited information on it. The implications for poverty and inequality measurement are far from clear, and the direction of the impact cannot be established a priori, since consumption of food away from home affects both food consumption and the poverty line. This paper exploits rich data on food away from home collected as part of the National Household Survey in Peru, shedding light to the extent to which welfare measures differ depending on whether they properly account for food away from home. Peru is a relevant context, with the average Peruvian household spending 28 percent of their food budget on food away from home by 2010. The analysis indicates that failure to account for the consumption of food away from home has important implications for poverty and inequality measures as well as the understanding of who the poor are. First, accounting for food away from home results in extreme poverty rates that are 18 percent higher and moderate poverty rates that are 16 percent lower. These results are also consistent, in fact more pronounced, with poverty gap and severity measures. Second, consumption inequality measured by the Gini coefficient decreases by 1.3 points when food away from home is included, a significant reduction. Finally, inclusion of food away from home results in a reclassification of households from poor to non-poor status and vice versa: 20 percent of the poor are different when the analysis includes consumption of food away from home. This effect is large enough that a standard poverty profile analysis results in significant differences between the poverty classification based on whether food away from home is included or not. The differences cover many dimensions, including demographics, education, and labor market characteristics. Taken together, the results indicate that a serious rethinking of how to deal with the consumption of food away from home in measuring well-being is urgently needed to properly estimate and understand poverty around the world.
    Keywords: Rural Poverty Reduction,Regional Economic Development,Poverty Lines,Food&Beverage Industry
    Date: 2015–05–05
  6. By: Emily Breza; Arun G. Chandrasekhar
    Abstract: We conduct a field experiment with 1,300 participants in India to measure whether individuals save more when information about their savings is regularly shared with another member of their village (a “monitor”). We focus on whether the monitor's effectiveness depends on her social network position, as central monitors may be better able to disseminate information, and more proximate monitors may be more likely to pass information to individuals who interact with the saver most frequently. In 30 villages, we randomly assign monitors to a subset of savers. An average monitor increases total savings by 35%. Increasing the monitor’s network centrality by one standard deviation increases savings by 14%, and increasing proximity from social distance three to two increases savings by 16%. Supporting the information-based mechanism, 63% of monitors report telling others about the saver’s progress. Further, over a year later, villagers are more likely to know if the saver exceeded her goal and to think that the saver is responsible if the saver was randomly assigned to a more central monitor. We also provide evidence that the increase in savings persists over a year after the intervention’s end, and that monitored savers can better respond to shocks. In the remaining 30 villages, savers choose their own monitors. We find that savers choose monitors who are both proximate and central in the network. Finally, we find evidence of spillovers from monitored savers onto their non-monitored friends, suggesting another channel through which social networks influence savings decisions.
    JEL: D14 D83 L14 O16 Z13
    Date: 2015–05
  7. By: Ayenew, Habtamu Yesigat; Sauer, Johannes; Abate-Kassa, Getachew
    Abstract: Using a moment based approach, introduced by Antle for producers’ risk behavior elicitation, we develop an empirical model to evaluate the implication of risk preferences on farm level diversification. For the purpose, we use a household level panel data of years 2004 and 2009 from Ethiopia. The estimation is done in two stages; the first one for the elicitation of risk aversion behavior of farm households and the second one, for the inclusion of the first estimate on the factors that determine the level of on-farm diversification. To control for endogeneity problem in the estimation of diversification equation, we use efficient two stage least squares technique. We find that farmers with higher level of relative risk premium will more likely opt for more on-farm diversification. The engagement of farm households to off and non-farm income generating activities could likely reduce the on-farm diversification level. These could be due to the fact that households with income from off and non-farm activities use this income as a safety net and go for specialized farms.
    Keywords: Ethiopia, risk aversion, risk management, smallholder, Farm Management, Risk and Uncertainty,
    Date: 2015–04
  8. By: Kugler, Adriana D.; Kumar, Santosh
    Abstract: Using data from nationally representative household surveys, we test whether Indian parents make trade-offs between the number of children and investments in education and health of their children. To address the endogeneity due to the joint determination of quantity and quality of children by parents, we instrument family size with the gender of the first child which is plausibly random. Given a strong son-preference in India, parents tend to have more children if the first born is a girl. Our IV results show that children from larger families have lower educational attainment and are less likely to have ever been enrolled and to be currently enrolled in school, even after controlling for parents’ characteristics and birth-order of children. The effects are larger for rural, poorer and low-caste families and for families with less educated mothers. On the other hand, we find no evidence of a trade-off for health outcomes.
    Keywords: education; family size; health; India; quality-quantity trade-off
    JEL: I2 I21 J13 J18
    Date: 2015–05
  9. By: Meg Elkins; Simon Feeny; David Prentice
    Abstract: With almost 15 years passing since their introduction, quantitative evaluations of Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) have been surprisingly sparse. This paper examines whether a PRSP impacts on poverty reduction and well-being and whether PRSP alignment to development paradigms impacts upon the achievement of these outcomes. Specifically, it estimates the causal effect of having a PRSP on various targets of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. The sample is composed of a treatment group consisting of 51 developing countries undertaking PRSPs and 62 control countries determined through propensity score matching techniques, over the period 1999 to 2008. Results suggest that countries under PRSP treatment have achieved better well-being outcomes than those in the control group. PRSP alignment to different development paradigms is also shown to matter.
    Keywords: MDGs; PRSPs; programme evaluation; poverty reduction; well-being
    Date: 2015–02

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