nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2015‒06‒27
eleven papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Effects of social network structure on the diffusion and adoption of agricultural technology: Evidence from rural Ethiopia By Yasuyuki Todo; Petr Matous; Dagne Mojo
  2. Do improved biomass cookstoves reduce fuelwood consumption and carbon emissions ? evidence from rural Ethiopia using a randomized treatment trial with electronic monitoring By Beyene,Abebe; Bluffstone,Randy; Gebreegzhiaber,Zenebe; Martinsson,Peter; Mekonnen,Alemu; Vieider,Ferdinand
  3. Agricultural Extension and Technology Adoption for Food Security: Evidence from Uganda By Stephen C. Smith
  4. Women left behind ? poverty and headship in Africa By Milazzo,Annamaria; Van De Walle,Dominique
  5. Quality and accountability in healthcare delivery : audit evidence from primary care providers in India By Das,Jishnu; Holla,Alaka; Mohpal,Aakash; Muralidharan,Karthik
  6. Does Agricultural Growth Reduce Inequality and Poverty in Developing Countries? By Katsushi S. Imai; Raghav GAIHA
  7. Does collective action sequester carbon ? the case of the Nepal community forestry program By Bluffstone,Randy; Somanathan,Eswaran; Jha,Prakash; Luintel,Harisharan; Bista,Rajesh; Paudel,Naya; Adhikari,Bhim
  8. Financial Incentives are Counterproductive in Non-Profit Sectors: Evidence from a Health Experiment By Elise Huillery; Juliette Seban
  9. Quality of Higher Education and the Labor Market in Developing Countries: Evidence from an Education Reform in Senegal By Boccanfuso, Dorothée; Larouche, Alexandre; Trandafir, Mircea
  10. Estimating local poverty measures using satellite images : a pilot application to Central America By Klemens,Ben; Coppola,Andrea; Shron,Max
  11. The Long-Term Determinants of Female HIV Infection in Africa: The Slave Trade, Polygyny, and Sexual Behavior By Graziella Bertocchi; Arcangelo Dimico

  1. By: Yasuyuki Todo (Faculty of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University); Petr Matous (Complex Systems Research Group, School of Engineering, University of Sydney); Dagne Mojo (Holetta Agricultural Research Center, Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, Holetta, Ethiopia)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of social network structure on the diffusion of agricultural technologies using household-level panel data from Ethiopia. We correct for possible biases due to the endogeneity of social networks using a social experiment in which we provide mobile phones to randomly selected households. We find that the effect of social networks varies depending on the network structure and characteristics of the technologies considered. The diffusion of information on a simple technology is determined by whether farmers know an agricultural extension agent. However, the diffusion of information on a more complex technology is not promoted by simply knowing an extension agent but by knowing an agent that a particular household can rely on and by clustered networks in which most friends of the household are friends of each other. This finding suggests that knowing and understanding more complex technologies require strong external ties and flows of the same information from multiple sources.
    Keywords: knowledge diffusion, technology adoption, agriculture, social network, Ethiopia
    JEL: O13 O33 Q16
    Date: 2015–06
  2. By: Beyene,Abebe; Bluffstone,Randy; Gebreegzhiaber,Zenebe; Martinsson,Peter; Mekonnen,Alemu; Vieider,Ferdinand
    Abstract: This paper uses a randomized experimental design with real-time electronic stove temperature measurements and controlled cooking tests to estimate the fuelwood and carbon dioxide savings from an improved cookstove program in the process of being implemented in rural Ethiopia. Knowing more about how households interact with improved cookstoves is important, because cooking uses a majority of the fuelwood in the country and therefore is an important determinant of greenhouse gas emissions and indoor air pollution. Creating local networks among stove users generally appears to increase fuelwood savings, and among monetary treatments the most robust positive effects come from free distribution. The paper estimates that on average one improved stove saves approximately 634 kilograms of fuelwood per year or about 0.94 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, which is about half of previous estimates. Using the May 2015 California auction price of $13.39/ton, the carbon sequestration from each stove deployed is worth about $12.59. Such carbon market offset revenues would be sufficient to cover the cost of the stove within one year.
    Keywords: Oil Refining&Gas Industry,Urban Environment,Energy Production and Transportation,Energy Conservation&Efficiency,Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases
    Date: 2015–06–22
  3. By: Stephen C. Smith (George Washington University)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates causal impacts of a large-scale agricultural extension program for smallholder women farmers on food security in Uganda through a regression discontinuity design that exploits an arbitrary distance-to-branch threshold for village program eligibility. We find eligible farmers experienced significant increases in agricultural production, savings and wage income, which lead to improved food security. Given minimal changes in adoption of relatively expensive inputs including HYV seeds, these gains are mainly attributed to increased usage of improved cultivation methods that are relatively costless. These results highlight the role of improved basic methods in boosting agricultural productivity among poor farmers.
    JEL: O13 I30 I12 Q12
    Date: 2015–06
  4. By: Milazzo,Annamaria; Van De Walle,Dominique
    Abstract: This paper is motivated by two stylized facts about poverty in Africa: female-headed households tend to be poorer, and poverty has been falling in the aggregate since the 1990s. These facts raise two questions: How have female-headed households fared? And what role have they played in Africa's impressive recent aggregate growth and poverty reduction? Using data covering the entire region, the paper reexamines the current prevalence and characteristics of female-headed households, and asks whether their prevalence has been rising over time, what factors have been associated with such changes since the mid-1990s, and whether poverty has fallen equi-proportionately for male- and female-headed households. Rising gross domestic product has dampened rising female headship. However, other subtle transformations occurring across Africa?changes in marriage behavior, family formation, health, and education?have put upward pressure on female headship, with the result that the share of female-headed households has been growing. This has been happening alongside declining aggregate poverty incidence. However, rather than being left behind, female-headed households have generally seen faster poverty reduction. As a whole, this group has contributed almost as much to the reduction in poverty as male-headed households, despite the smaller share of female-headed households in the population.
    Keywords: Housing&Human Habitats,Population Policies,Regional Economic Development,Rural Poverty Reduction
    Date: 2015–06–23
  5. By: Das,Jishnu; Holla,Alaka; Mohpal,Aakash; Muralidharan,Karthik
    Abstract: This paper presents direct evidence on the quality of health care in low-income settings using a unique and original set of audit studies, where standardized patients were presented to a nearly representative sample of rural public and private primary care providers in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Three main findings are reported. First, private providers are mostly unqualified, but they spent more time with patients and completed more items on a checklist of essential history and examination items than public providers, while being no different in their diagnostic and treatment accuracy. Second, the private practices of qualified public sector doctors were identified and the same doctors exerted higher effort and were more likely to provide correct treatment in their private practices. Third, there is a strong positive correlation between provider effort and prices charged in the private sector, whereas there is no correlation between effort and wages in the public sector. The results suggest that market-based accountability in the unregulated private sector may be providing better incentives for provider effort than administrative accountability in the public sector in this setting. While the overall quality of care is low both sectors, the differences in provider effort may partly explain the dominant market share of fee-charging private providers even in the presence of a system of free public healthcare.
    Keywords: Gender and Health,Disease Control&Prevention,Health Systems Development&Reform,Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Markets and Market Access
    Date: 2015–06–23
  6. By: Katsushi S. Imai (Economics, School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester, UK and Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration, Kobe University); Raghav GAIHA (Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi, India and Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University Boston, USA)
    Abstract: Drawing upon cross-country panel data for developing countries, the present study examines the role of agricultural growth in reducing inequality and poverty by modelling the dynamic linkage between agricultural and non-agricultural sectors. For this purpose, we have compared the role of agricultural growth and that of non-agricultural growth and have found that agricultural growth is more important in reducing inequality and poverty. The role of agricultural growth in reducing inequality is, however, undermined by ethnic fractionalisation which tends to make inequality more persistent. Our analysis reinforces the case for revival of agriculture in the post-2015 discourse, contrary to the much emphasised roles of rural-urban migration and urbanisation as main drivers of growth and elimination of extreme poverty.
    Keywords: Inequality, Poverty, Growth, Agriculture, Non-agriculture, MDG
    JEL: C20 I15 I39 O13
    Date: 2015–06
  7. By: Bluffstone,Randy; Somanathan,Eswaran; Jha,Prakash; Luintel,Harisharan; Bista,Rajesh; Paudel,Naya; Adhikari,Bhim
    Abstract: This paper estimate the effects of collective action in Nepal?s community forests on four ecological measures of forest quality. Forest user group collective action is identified through membership in the Nepal Community Forestry Programme, pending membership in the program, and existence of a forest user group whose leaders can identify the year the group was formed. This last, broad category is important, because many community forest user groups outside the program show significant evidence of important collective action. The study finds that presumed open access forests have only 21 to 57 percent of the carbon of forests governed under collective action. In several models, program forests sequester more carbon than communities outside the program. This implies that paying new program groups for carbon sequestration credits under the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation in Developing may be especially appropriate. However, marginal carbon sequestration effects of program participation are smaller and less consistent than those from two broader measures of collective action. The main finding is that within the existing institutional environment, collective action broadly defined has very important, positive, and large effects on carbon stocks and, in some models, on other aspects of forest quality.
    Keywords: Common Property Resource Development,Forestry Management,Wildlife Resources,Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases,Climate Change and Environment
    Date: 2015–06–22
  8. By: Elise Huillery (Département d'économie); Juliette Seban (Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne)
    Abstract: Financial incentives for service providers are becoming a common strategy to improve service delivery. However, this strategy will only work if demand for the service responds as expected. Using a eld experiment in the Democratic Republic of Congo, we show that introducing a performance-based financing mechanism in the health sector has counterproductive effects because demand is non-standard: despite reduced prices and eased access, demand for health decreased, child health deteriorated, workers' revenue dropped. Ironically, expected perverse effects of incentives on worker behavior were not realized: incentives led to more effort from health workers on rewarded activities without deterring effort on non-rewarded activities, nor inducing significant score manipulation or free-riding. We also find a decline in worker motivation following the removal of the incentives, below what it would have been in the absence of exposure to the incentives. Management tools used in for-pro t sectors are thus inappropriate in non-pro t sectors such as health where user and worker rationalities are specific.
    JEL: H51 I18 O12
    Date: 2015–03
  9. By: Boccanfuso, Dorothée (University of Sherbrooke); Larouche, Alexandre (Del Degan, Massé); Trandafir, Mircea (University of Southern Denmark)
    Abstract: While many studies examine the effect of primary education quality on labor market outcomes in developing countries, little is known about the effects at higher levels. We exploit the quasi-experiment provided by a large-scale education reform launched in Senegal in 2000 to investigate how quality improvements at the university level affect employment. Our difference-in-difference estimates suggest that young high-skilled workers experienced a nine percentage-point employment gain relative to older workers. They are also more likely to have "better" jobs (in the service industry or government), suggesting a reduction in the mismatch between the quality of high-skill labor demanded and supplied.
    Keywords: higher education, employment, impact analysis, quality mismatch
    JEL: I21 O15 O55
    Date: 2015–06
  10. By: Klemens,Ben; Coppola,Andrea; Shron,Max
    Abstract: Several studies have used satellite measures of human activity to complement measures of economic production. This paper builds on those studies by considering satellite measures for improving poverty measures. The paper uses local-scale census and survey data from Guatemala to test at how fine a scale satellite measures are useful. Results show that supplementing survey data with satellite data leads to improvements in the estimates.
    Keywords: E-Business,Language&Communication,Statistical&Mathematical Sciences,Rural Poverty Reduction,Information and Communication Technologies
    Date: 2015–06–23
  11. By: Graziella Bertocchi; Arcangelo Dimico
    Abstract: We study the long-term determinants of the high rates of HIV infection in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly among women, with a focus on family structure and sexual behavior as shaped by the demographic shock following the transatlantic slave trade. First we show that, in clusters where polygyny is more widespread, HIV infection rates are higher. By instrumenting polygyny with the demographic shock we can also establish that this link is causal. Next we turn to the channels through which polygyny is likely to affect HIV infection by focusing on sexual behavior, as captured by the intensity of sexual activity and the frequency of extramarital partnerships. We document relevant gender differences in behavior: in clusters affected by a larger demographic shock men (but not women) display a more intense sexual activity, while women (but not men) are more likely to engage in extramarital partnerships. We employ these findings to instrument sexual behavior when estimating its influence on HIV infection and we show that clusters exhibiting more frequent female extramarital partnerships are affected by significantly higher infection rates. We interpret our results as follows. The demographic shock induced by the slave trade represents a “primordial” risk factor which is still shaping contemporary family structure and sexual behavior. Polygyny is associated with unsatisfying marital relationships, particularly for women, with consequent female infidelity and an increased risk of infection, which is further multiplied for women co-habiting within polygynous households.
    Keywords: HIV, polygyny, slave trade, sexual behavior
    JEL: I15 J12 N37 O10
    Date: 2015–06

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