nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2015‒08‒25
eight papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. The Impact of Early Childbearing on Schooling and Cognitive Skills among Young Women in Madagascar By Catalina HERRERA; David Sahn
  2. Price Shocks, Vulnerability and Food and Nutrition Security among Rural and Urban Households in Tanzania By Romano, Donato; Carraro, Alessandro
  3. The price effects of cash versus in-kind transfers By Cunha, Jesse M.; De Giorgi, Giacomo; Jayachandran, Seema
  4. Estimating the economic value of the national cultivar trials in South Africa: A case for sorghum, sunflower, soybeans and dry beans By Dlamini, Thula Sizwe; Magingxa, Litha; Liebenberg, Frikkie
  5. Long-Term Effects of Access to Health Care: Medical Missions in Colonial India By Rossella Calvi; Federico G. Mantovanelli
  6. The Nutrition-Learning Nexus: Evidence from Indonesia By Maria C. Lo Bue
  7. Property Rights and Labour Supply in Ethiopia By Kenneth Houngbedji
  8. Rural Electrification and Household Labor Supply: Evidence from Nigeria By Claire Salmon; Jérémy Tanguy

  1. By: Catalina HERRERA (Cornell University - Cornell University - Cornell University); David Sahn (Cornell University - Cornell University - Cornell University)
    Abstract: Female secondary school attendance has recently increased in Sub-Saharan Africa; however, the higher likelihood of attending school after puberty has put girls at risk of becoming pregnant while attending school. Using a panel survey designed to capture the transition from adolescence to early adulthood, we analyze whether teenage pregnancy contributes to lower school attainment and cognitive skills among young women in Madagascar. We address the endogeneity between fertility and education decisions by instrumenting early pregnancy with the young woman’s access to condoms at the community level, and her exposure to condoms since she was 15 years old. We control for an extensive set of community social infrastructure characteristics to deal with the endogeneity of program placement. Our instrumental variable results show that having a child increases by 42% the likelihood of dropping out of school and decreases the chances of completing lower secondary school by 44%. This school-pregnancy related dropout is associated with a reduction of 1.1 standard deviations in the Math and French test scores. These results are consistent with hazard model estimations: delaying the first birth by a year increases the probability of current enrollment by 5% and the Math and French test scores by 0.2 standard deviations.
    Date: 2015–01–06
  2. By: Romano, Donato; Carraro, Alessandro
    Abstract: Global food price fluctuations have increased substantially over the last decade leading to significantly high prices within the developing countries. Tanzania is not an exception, since the recent food price surges made it one of the most affected countries in SSA. This paper investigates the impact of the recent food price crisis on the quantity and quality of the dietary composition of rural and urban households in Tanzania, since excessive food price movements are likely to harm most vulnerable households. Results using household data from the 2008/09, 2010/11 and 2012/13 waves of the Tanzania National Panel Survey show that urban households are more vulnerable than rural households to food price shocks. Moreover, we find evidence that price movements negatively affected also the quality of the diet, in particular, looking at the regional distribution, fats, calcium and vitamin A were the most cutback macro and micronutrients. Short-term policy measures, such as food fortification or micro-nutrient supplementation programmes are needed to strengthen diet diversity and micronutrient intake of Tanzanian vulnerable households and to improve the ability of poor to cope better with food price instability.
    Keywords: VER, food-price shocks, Tanzania, food security, nutrient intake, Agricultural and Food Policy, D12, I12, I32, Q12,
    Date: 2015–06
  3. By: Cunha, Jesse M. (Naval Postgraduate School); De Giorgi, Giacomo (Federal Reserve Bank of New York); Jayachandran, Seema (Northwestern University)
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of cash versus in-kind transfers on local prices. Both types of transfers increase the demand for normal goods; in-kind transfers also increase supply in recipient communities, which should cause prices to fall relative to cash transfers. We test and confirm this prediction using a program in Mexico that randomly assigned villages to receive boxes of food (trucked into the village), equivalently valued cash transfers, or no transfers. We find that prices are significantly lower under in-kind transfers compared with cash transfers; relative to the control group, in-kind transfers lead to a 4 percent fall in prices while cash transfers lead to a positive but negligible increase in prices. Prices of goods other than those transferred are also affected, but by a small amount. Thus, households' purchasing power is only modestly affected by these price effects, even in this setting where program eligibility is high, the transfer per household is sizeable, and hence the supply influx is large. The exception is in remote villages, where the price effects (both the negative effects of in-kind transfers and the positive effects of cash transfers) are larger in magnitude. The effects do not dissipate over the two years of program duration we observe.
    Keywords: price; policy
    JEL: O00 O12
    Date: 2015–08–01
  4. By: Dlamini, Thula Sizwe; Magingxa, Litha; Liebenberg, Frikkie
    Abstract: This study assesses the economic impacts of the national cultivar trials in South Africa over the period 1978 - 2012. The study uses experimental yield data to estimate the yield losses that have been prevented by providing farmers with information that has facilitated the selection of adapted cultivars on their localities. Using attribution methods, the study estimates the contribution of the programme to yield growth, along a range of assumed plausible yield gain estimates attributable to the trials. It finds that the yield benefits are equivalent to 13.10kg and 7.67kg for sunflower and sorghum output per hectare per year, respectively, whilst the soybean and dry bean trials contributed yields equivalent to 16.42 kg and 17.13 kg per hectare per year, respectively, at the assumed plausible yield gain estimate attributable to the trials of 5 percent. In present value terms, the estimated total economic benefits that have accrued to South Africa over the period 1978 – 2012 amounted to R200 million in 2012 prices, which is equivalent to 4 percent of the total gross value of production for these crops in 2012. Of these benefits, about R23.2 million came from the evaluation of sunflower cultivars, R84.7 million from dry beans, R85. 7 million from soybeans and R6.6 million from the evaluation of sorghum cultivars. Overall, the results imply a benefit-cost ratio of 1.90, using a real discount rate of 7.8% per annum and a modified internal rate of return of 16% per annum. These results confirm that investment in the national cultivar trials at the ARC has been a profitable undertaking for South Africa and that continuing with the trials would be justified.
    Keywords: cultivars, evaluation, benefits, costs, MIRR, Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy, Q160,
    Date: 2015–06
  5. By: Rossella Calvi (Boston College); Federico G. Mantovanelli (The Analysis Group)
    Abstract: We study the long-term effect of access to health care on individuals' health status by investigating the relationship between the proximity to a Protestant medical mission in colonial India and current health outcomes. We use individuals' anthropometric indicators to measure health status and geocoding tools to calculate the distance between the location of individuals today and Protestant health facilities founded in the nineteenth century. We exploit variation in activities of missionary societies and use an instrumental variable approach to show that proximity to a Protestant medical mission has a causal effect on individuals' health status. We find that a 50 percent reduction in the distance from a historical medical facility increases current individuals' body mass index by 0.4. We investigate some potential transmission channels and we find that the long-run effect of access to health care is not driven by persistence of infrastructure, but by improvements in individuals' health potential and changes in hygiene and health habits.
    Keywords: India, health, body mass index, historical persistence, Protestant missions.
    JEL: I15 N35 O12 O15 Z12 Z13
    Date: 2015–08–01
  6. By: Maria C. Lo Bue (Georg-August-University Göttingen)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of nutritional status on subsequent educational achievements for a large sample of Indonesians children. I use a long term panel data set and apply a maternal fixed effect plus an instrumental variables estimator in order to control for possible correlation between some of the components of the error term and the main independent variable which will likely to cause a bias in the estimates. Differences in nutritional status between siblings are identified by using exposure in the earliest months of life to the drought associated with the Indonesian wildfires of late 1997. Estimation results show that health capital (measured by height-for-age z-scores at childhood) significantly and positively affects the number of completed grades of schooling and the score on cognitive test. Nevertheless, I only find little robust evidence of an effect on the readiness to enter school.
    Keywords: Educational achievement; child nutrition; siblings’ difference models; environmental shocks; Indonesia
    JEL: I12 I20 O15 O53
    Date: 2015–08–06
  7. By: Kenneth Houngbedji (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA) - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC), EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the change in labour supply patterns by agricultural households as a result of formalization of their land-use rights. The findings are based on panel data collected before and after a land registration programme which demarcated and provided legal recognition of the landholdings of households in the Amhara region in Ethiopia. Using a semi-parametric difference-in-difference strategy, we find that the provision of documentary evidence of land rights freed household time otherwise allocated to safeguard their landholdings from encroachment. The reduction in labour supply is driven by a decrease of time allocated to pre-planting activities requiring households to leave their land vacant until the most suitable time for planting. Indeed disputes over land boundaries are associated with neighbouring landholders pushing the boundaries of their holdings during ploughing.
    Date: 2015–04
  8. By: Claire Salmon (IREGE - Institut de Recherche en Gestion et en Economie - Université de Savoie); Jérémy Tanguy (GAINS - Groupe d'Analyse des Itinéraires et des Niveaux Salariaux - UM - Université du Maine, TEPP - Travail, Emploi et Politiques Publiques - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée - CNRS)
    Abstract: Using recent household survey data, this paper investigates how electrification affects female and male labor supply decisions within rural households in Nigeria. Focusing on matched husband-wife data, we propose to consider dependence in spouses’ labor supply decisions and to address adequately zero hours of work using a copula-based bivariate hurdle model. In parallel, we opt for an instrumental variable strategy to identify the causal effect of electrification. Our findings show that such dependence is strongly at work and critical to consider when assessing the impact of electrification on spouses’ labor supply outcomes. Electrification is found to increase the working time of both spouses in a separate examination of their labor supply, while the joint analysis emphasizes only a positive effect of electrification on husbands’ working time. However, whatever the econometric specification, we find no significant effect of electricity on spouses’ employment probability.
    Date: 2014

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