nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2015‒08‒07
fourteen papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Improving Educational Outcomes in Developing Countries: Lessons from Rigorous Evaluations By Murnane, RJ; Ganimian, A. J.
  2. Unconditional cash transfers in China : an analysis of the rural minimum living standard guarantee program By Golan,Jennifer; Sicular,Terry; Umapathi,Nithin
  3. The impact of expanding access to early childhood services in rural Indonesia : evidence from two cohorts of children By Brinkman,Sally Anne; Hasan,Amer; Jung,Haeil; Kinnell,Angela; Pradhan,Menno Prasad
  4. Assessing the impact of migration and remittances on technology adoption in rural Senegal By Kaninda Tshikala, Sam; Fonsah, Esendugue Greg
  5. Contract Farming and Food Security By Bellemare, Marc F.; Novak, Lindsey
  6. Adaptation and Adoption of Improved Seeds through Extension: Evidence from Farmer-Led Groundnut Multiplication in Uganda By Jelliffe, Jeremy L.; Bravo-Ureta, Boris E.; Deom, C. Michael
  7. Climate Change, Agricultural Production and Civil Conflict: Evidence from the Philippines By Crost, Benjamin; Duquennois, Claire; Felter, Joseph H.; Rees, Daniel I.
  8. Decentralization of Social Assistance Programs and the Poverty Reducing Impacts of Earnings Potential Equivalence Scales By Simons, Andrew M.
  9. Participation in Informal Off-farm Labor Market and its Impact on Household Income and Food Security in Malawi By Sitienei, Isaac; Mishra, Ashok K.; Gillespie, Jeffrey; Khanal, Aditya R.
  10. Nonfarm Work and Fertilizer Use Among Smallholder Farmers in Kenya: A Cross-Crop Comparison By Smale, Melinda; Mathenge, Mary K.; Opiyo, Joseph
  11. Contract-farming in staple food chains: the case of rice in Benin By Vande Velde, Katrien; Maertens, Miet
  12. Explaining Cropping Choices under Extreme Uncertainty: Evidence from Conflict Prone North Kivu, DR Congo By Fatema, Naureen; Kibriya, Shahriar
  13. Abandoning Coffee under the Threat of Violence and the Presence of Illicit Crops. Evidence from Colombia By Ibáñez, Ana María; Muñoz, Juan Carlos; Verwimp, Philip
  14. Climate Change Adaptation: The case of the Coffee Sector in Nicaragua By Zuluaga, Victor; Labarta, Ricardo; Läderach, Peter

  1. By: Murnane, RJ; Ganimian, A. J.
    Abstract: This paper describes four lessons derived from 115 rigorous impact evaluations of educational initiatives in 33 low- and middle-income countries. First, reducing the costs of going to school and providing alternatives to traditional public schools increase attendance and attainment, but do not consistently increase student achievement. Second, providing information about school quality and returns to schooling generally improves student attainment and achievement, but building parents? capacity works only when focused on tasks they can easily learn to perform. Third, more or better resources do not improve student achievement unless they change children?s daily experiences at school. Finally, well-designed incentives for teachers increase their effort and improve the achievement of students in very low performance settings, but low-skilled teachers need specific guidance to reach minimally acceptable levels of instruction.
    Date: 2014–01
  2. By: Golan,Jennifer; Sicular,Terry; Umapathi,Nithin
    Abstract: This paper examines China?s rural minimum living standard guarantee (dibao) program, one of the largest minimum income cash transfer schemes in the world. Using household survey data matched with published administrative data, the paper describes the dibao program, estimates the program?s impact on poverty, and carries out targeting analysis. The analysis finds that the program provides sufficient income to poor beneficiaries but does not substantially reduce the overall level of poverty, in part because the number of beneficiaries is small relative to the number of poor. Conventional targeting analysis reveals rather large inclusionary and exclusionary targeting errors; propensity score targeting analysis yields smaller but still large targeting errors. Simulations of possible reforms to the dibao program indicate that expanding coverage can potentially yield greater poverty reduction than increasing transfer amounts. In addition, replacing locally diverse dibao lines with a nationally uniform dibao threshold could in theory reduce poverty. The potential gains in poverty reduction, however, depend on the effectiveness of targeting.
    Keywords: Poverty Monitoring&Analysis,Regional Economic Development,Services&Transfers to Poor,Rural Poverty Reduction
    Date: 2015–07–21
  3. By: Brinkman,Sally Anne; Hasan,Amer; Jung,Haeil; Kinnell,Angela; Pradhan,Menno Prasad
    Abstract: This paper uses three waves of longitudinal data to examine the impact of expanding access to preschool services in rural areas of Indonesia on two cohorts of children. One cohort was children aged 4 at the start of the project and was immediately eligible for project-provided services when they began operation in 2009. The other cohort was children aged 1 at the start of the project and became eligible for project-provided services two years later. The paper presents intent-to-treat estimates of impact in the short term (first year of the project) and medium term (three years after the project started), using experimental and quasi-experimental methods. For the cohort of 4-year-olds, while the magnitude of the enrollment impact is similar across children from different backgrounds, the impact on child outcomes is larger for children from more disadvantaged backgrounds in the short and medium terms. However, for this cohort of children, it seems that project-provided playgroups encouraged substitution away from existing kindergartens, suggesting that future interventions should incorporate such possibilities into their design. For the average child in the younger cohort, the project led to improvements in physical health and well-being as well as language and cognitive development. For this cohort, there is little evidence of differential impact. This can be explained by the fact that children who enrolled soon after the centers opened (the older cohort) were generally poorer, compared with children who enrolled later (the younger cohort). This may be because of fee increases in project centers as project funding ended.
    Keywords: Housing&Human Habitats,Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Educational Sciences,Youth and Government,Primary Education
    Date: 2015–07–21
  4. By: Kaninda Tshikala, Sam; Fonsah, Esendugue Greg
    Abstract: Remittances are viewed by the new economics of labor migration theory as a substitute for formal or informal credit that may enable households to overcome liquidity constraints and invest in new technologies and activities. To test this hypothesis, this paper analyzes the impact of migration and remittances on the adoption of modern agricultural technologies in rural Senegal. Survey data were analyzed using a three stage least squared model. The results reveal that both internal and international migrations have a positive impact on the adoption of new technologies. However, only households with international remittances were more likely to adopt modern technologies
    Keywords: Migration, remittances, Technology adoption, 3SLS, Senegal, Community/Rural/Urban Development,
    Date: 2014
  5. By: Bellemare, Marc F.; Novak, Lindsey
    Abstract: Contract farming has often been associated with an increase in the income of participating households. It is unclear, however, whether contract farming increases other aspects of household welfare. Using data from six regions of Madagascar and a selection-on-observables design in which we control for a household's marginal utility of participating in contract farming, which we elicited via a contingent valuation experiment, we show that participating in contract farming reduces the duration of a household's hungry season by about ten days on average, and that it makes participating households about 20 percent more likely to see their hungry season end at any point in time. Further, we find that these effects are more pronounced for households with a larger number of children, and for households with a larger number of girls. This is an important result as children---especially girls---often bear the burden of food insecurity.
    Keywords: Contract Farming, Outgrower Schemes, Grower-Processor Contracts, Agricultural Value Chains, Food Security
    JEL: L24 O13 O14 Q12
    Date: 2015–07–28
  6. By: Jelliffe, Jeremy L.; Bravo-Ureta, Boris E.; Deom, C. Michael
    Abstract: In sub-Saharan Africa, reliance on subsistence-level farming is a significant source of risk since farmers face protracted periods of drought and the frequent incidence and expanding reach of diseases and pests. It is likely that such occurrences will be exacerbated by global climate change, given recent forecasts and scientific findings. One strategy to mitigate these effects is through the adoption of new technologies. Following the established literature on technology adoption and productivity, this work is a reassessment of a 2004 AT Uganda farmer-led seed multiplication and dissemination project for groundnut growers. The major objective of this research is to determine the lasting impact of the project with respect to the adoption of rosette resistant varieties of groundnuts (RRVs). Panel data for the 2004 and 2013 growing seasons are used and include a set of participating farm households (HHs) and non-participating (control) HHs. The control sample is composed of both a neighboring and a non-neighboring farm group, which makes it possible to account for spillover effects and selection bias. In order to further control for possible biases, our identification strategy employs propensity score matching and instrumental variables methods. In this way, we examine the sustainability and lasting impact of the original intervention a decade after the fact.
    Keywords: Farm Management, Production Economics, Risk and Uncertainty,
    Date: 2015–05
  7. By: Crost, Benjamin; Duquennois, Claire; Felter, Joseph H.; Rees, Daniel I.
    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, International Development, O13, H56, D74,
    Date: 2015
  8. By: Simons, Andrew M.
    Abstract: Who receives aid and how much he or she receives are questions of central importance for any well-functioning social protection program. We investigate community-based processes for allocating aid within Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program. We document local governments’ noncompliance with federal implementation mandates; instead of distributing aid via the federally mandated uniform per capita payment schedule, communities distribute aid based on locally determined equivalence scales. Rather than equalizing consumption, it appears that local communities allocate aid based on an earnings potential equivalence scale by assigning higher payments to cohorts that have lower wage earnings potential (e.g., teenage girls vs. teenage boys, adult women vs. adult men, elderly vs. working age adults). The decentralized implementation approach reduces head count poverty more than if communities followed central implementation mandates. However, poverty gap and poverty gap squared measures would be lower under central implementation mandates. The choice of distribution rules at the intensive margin does not materially affect poverty measures, suggesting that targeting efforts might be best focused on eligibility at the extensive margin.
    Keywords: decentralization, equivalence scales, social protection, targeting, safety nets, Ethiopia, Food Security and Poverty, International Development, Public Economics,
    Date: 2015–05–26
  9. By: Sitienei, Isaac; Mishra, Ashok K.; Gillespie, Jeffrey; Khanal, Aditya R.
    Abstract: Most rural households in Malawi often opt to supplement their farm income with additional casual work on the farms of others (“ganyu” labor). However, there is a growing concern that such informal off-farm work will eventually drive rural households into absolute poverty. Using data from a 2010 Malawi household survey, this study seeks to explore this conjecture, first by examining the factors that motivate rural households to participate in informal off-farm work (ganyu) and later evaluate its outcome. Results from the average treatment effect indicate that participating in ganyu increases an individual‟s annual total off-farm income. On the other hand, it has a negative effect on own-farm income.
    Keywords: farm labor, ganyu, food security, poverty, matching estimator, treatment effect, off-farm income, Consumer/Household Economics, Labor and Human Capital,
    Date: 2014–01
  10. By: Smale, Melinda; Mathenge, Mary K.; Opiyo, Joseph
    Abstract: We use panel data from a sample of smallholder farmers in Kenya to test how the effects of nonfarm earnings on demand for fertilizer vary across different crops, namely: a major food staple (maize), an emerging cash crop (vegetables), and a traditional export crop (tea). We find that, holding other factors constant, nonfarm earnings from either business or salaried work detract from fertilizer application rates on maize and vegetables. While nonfarm salaried earnings appear to have no effect, business income positively affects fertilizer use and application rates on tea. Results suggest competition for household resources between farm and nonfarm sectors among growers of Kenya’s main staple and emerging cash crops, but possible complementarity among tea growers, who farm a traditional perennial export crop with longer planning horizons.
    Keywords: nonfarm income, fertilizer, maize, cash crops, Agricultural and Food Policy, International Development,
    Date: 2015–08–18
  11. By: Vande Velde, Katrien; Maertens, Miet
    Abstract: Supply chain upgrading in domestic and staple food chains in developing countries is important for a more efficient supply to growing urban markets. Little research is done on institutional innovations, such as contract-farming, in these chains. Research on the impact of smallholder contract-farming largely focuses on export-oriented high-value commodities. In this paper, we assess the welfare implications of smallholder contract-farming in the rice sector in Benin, using farm-household survey data and applying propensity score matching and difference-in-difference estimation. We find that contract-farming is associated with higher rice incomes, higher yields, higher input use, increased commercialization and higher farm-gate prices.
    Keywords: contract-farming, vertical coordination, staple food chains, rice, Benin, Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Food Security and Poverty, Q13, O12, D13, L32,
    Date: 2014–11
  12. By: Fatema, Naureen; Kibriya, Shahriar
    Abstract: Much of the literature on developing countries has investigated ways in which farming households choose different cropping systems to hedge against uncertainty caused by weather and production shocks (e.g. Dercon, 1996 and Morduch, 1990). Very few studies have extended the analysis to examine the effects of uncertainty arising from violence or prevailing socioeconomic challenges. In this study we test whether cropping decisions of small stakeholder farmers living in the conflict prone agrarian province of North Kivu are rational and can be explained by the level of exposure to conflict, social empowerment and access to markets and information. We further investigate if contracts or guaranty from buyers through market access can partially act as a buffer against the uncertainty brought upon by conflict. We find that increased exposure to social conflict increases cultivation of conflict-resistant crops and crop diversification; low access to markets and information as well as the lack of contracts reduces cultivation of conflict-resistant crops and crop diversification; we find mixed results for social empowerment.
    Keywords: Food Security and Poverty, International Development, Risk and Uncertainty,
    Date: 2015–05–26
  13. By: Ibáñez, Ana María; Muñoz, Juan Carlos; Verwimp, Philip
    Abstract: This paper explores the importance of the risk of violence on the decision making of rural households, using a unique panel data set for Colombian coffee-growers. We identify two channels. First, we examine the direct impact of conflict on agricultural production through the change in the percentage of the farm allocated to coffee. Second, we explore how conflict generates incentives to substitute from legal agricultural production to illegal crops. Following Dercon and Christiaensen (2011), we develop a dynamic consumption model where economic risk and the risk of violence are explicitly included. Theoretical results are tested using a parametric and semi-parametric approach. We find a significant negative effect of the risk of violence and the presence of illegal crops on the decision to continue coffee production and on the percentage of the farm allocated to coffee. Results are robust after controlling for endogeneity bias and after relaxing the normality assumption.
    Keywords: selection model, armed conflict, and agricultural production, Land Economics/Use, Production Economics, C21, C34, D13, D74,
    Date: 2013–08–08
  14. By: Zuluaga, Victor; Labarta, Ricardo; Läderach, Peter
    Abstract: This article studies Nicaraguan coffee growers’ perceptions on long term changes in climate, the adaptation strategies implemented and its determinants. Using a household level sample, this study estimates probabilistic models where climate change adaptation is explained by household and farm characteristics, perceptions about changes in climate, measurement of exposure to climate change and geographical fixed effects. Results suggest that household age and years of education, number of household members, level of wealth, having received technical assistance, participation in farmer groups, off farm work, perceptions about changes in climate and exposure to climate change, affect the coffee growers’ decision to adapt to climate change. However, the magnitude and significance of the effect of these explanatory variables varies across adaptation strategies.
    Keywords: Adaptation, Climate Change, Nicaragua, Coffee, Crop Production/Industries, Environmental Economics and Policy, Farm Management, Production Economics, Q12, Q18, Q54,
    Date: 2015

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