nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2015‒09‒26
seven papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. "Roots of Autocracy" By Oded Galor; Marc Klemp
  2. Income diversification and working children By Vimefall, Elin
  3. Aid and Growth at the Regional Level By Axel Dreher; Steffen Lohmann
  4. Land Certification and Schooling in Rural Ethiopia By Congdon Fors, Heather; Houngbedji, Kenneth; Lindskog, Annika
  5. The national solidarity program : assessing the effects of community-driven development in Afghanistan By Beath,Andrew; Christia,Fotini; Enikolopov,Ruben
  6. Migration, remittances and educational levels of household members left behind: Evidence from rural Morocco By Jamal BOUOIYOUR; Amal MIFTAH
  7. The value of democracy: evidence from road building in Kenya By Robin Burgess; Remi Jedwab; Edward Miguel; Ameet Morjaria; Gerard Padró i Miquel

  1. By: Oded Galor; Marc Klemp
    Abstract: This research explores the origins of the variation in the prevalence and nature of political institutions across globe. It advances the hypothesis and establishes empirically that variation in the inherent diversity across human societies, as determined in the course of the exodus of Homo sapiens from Africa tens of thousands of years ago, shaped the nature of political institutions across regions and societies. The study establishes that, while human diversity has amplified the beneficial e?ects of institutions, mitigating the adverse e?ects of non-cohesiveness, its simultaneous contribution to heterogeneity in cognitive and physical traits has fostered the scope for domination, leading to the formation and persistence of autocratic institutions. A larger degree of human diversity within societies diminished cohesiveness and therefore stimulated the emergence of institutions that have mitigated the adverse e?ects of non-cohesiveness on productivity. However, the dual impact of human diversity on the emergence of inequality and class stratification have diverted the nature of the emerging institutions towards extractive, autocratic ones. Developing a novel geo-referenced dataset of genetic diversity and ethnographic characteristics among ethnic groups across the globe, the analysis establishes that genetic diversity contributed to the emergence of autocratic pre-colonial institutions. Moreover, the findings suggest that the contribution of diversity to these pre-colonial autocratic institutions has plausibly operated through its dual e?ect on the formation of institutions and class stratification. Furthermore, reflecting the persistence of institutional, cultural, and genetic characteristics, the spatial distribution of genetic diversity across the globe has contributed to the contemporary variation in the degree of autocracy across countries.
    Keywords: Autocracy, Economic Growth, Genetic Diversity, Institutions, Out-of-Africa Hypothesis of Comparative Development
    Date: 2015
  2. By: Vimefall, Elin (Örebro University School of Business)
    Abstract: During recent years (2004-2008) the proportion of working children in sub-Saharan Africa has increased (Diallo et al. 2010). At the same time, there has been a shift in the patterns of livelihoods, whereby households rely more on sources of income from outside their own farms. When the adult in the household diversifies away from production on their own farm, this is expected to influence the children’s time allocation in several ways. In this paper, we investigate how households’ income diversification strategy influences children’s probabilities of working and going to school among children living in farming households in Kenya, using data from the Kenya Integrated Household Budget Survey 2005/2006. Furthermore, we also analyse child labor at the intensive margin by investigating if the households income diversifications strategy influences the number of hours worked. We find that children living in households that rely solely on the production of their own farms are about 3 percent points more likely to work and about 2 percent points less likely to be in school than children from more diversified households. Furthermore, children living in household who rely only on farming for their income does also work more hours than other children. However, we do not find any differences in the proportions of working children across a number of different income diversification strategies.
    Keywords: Income diversification; Child labor; Work; Schooling; Kenya
    JEL: I25 J13 O12 O15 O55
    Date: 2015–09–14
  3. By: Axel Dreher; Steffen Lohmann
    Abstract: This paper brings the aid effectiveness debate to the sub-national level. We hypothesize the nonrobust results regarding the effects of aid on development in the previous literature to arise due to the effects of aid being insufficiently large to measurably affect aggregate outcomes. Using geocoded data for World Bank aid to a maximum of 2,221 first-level administrative regions (ADM1) and 54,167 second-level administrative regions (ADM2) in 130 countries over the 2000-2011 period, we test whether aid affects development, measured as nighttime light growth. Our preferred identification strategy exploits variation arising from interacting a variable that indicates whether or not a country has passed the threshold for receiving IDA's concessional aid with a recipient region's probability to receive aid, in a sample of 478 ADM1 regions and almost 8,400 ADM2 regions from 21 countries. Controlling for the levels of the interacted variables, the interaction provides a powerful and excludable instrument. Overall, we find significant correlations between aid and growth in ADM2 regions, but no causal effects.
    Date: 2015–09–03
  4. By: Congdon Fors, Heather (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Houngbedji, Kenneth (Paris School of Economics); Lindskog, Annika (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of a rural Ethiopian land certification program on schooling. Our hypothesis is that formal property rights facilitate land inheritance, reducing the net benefit of schooling for children who will inherit the land. Formal rights also decrease the need for activities to secure continued access to the land, reducing the cost of schooling for all children. The results suggest a positive overall effect on school enrollment. However, grade progress of oldest sons, who are most likely to inherit the land, worsens. Our complementary analysis on child labor suggests a differential impact in the two zones studied.
    Keywords: Schooling; Child labor; Land administration; Property rights; Ethiopia
    JEL: J22 O15 Q15
    Date: 2015–09
  5. By: Beath,Andrew; Christia,Fotini; Enikolopov,Ruben
    Abstract: Over the past two decades, community-based approaches to project delivery have become a popular means for governments and development agencies to improve the alignment of projects with the needs of rural communities and increase the participation of villagers in project design and implementation. This paper briefly summarizes the results of an impact evaluation of the National Solidarity Program, a community-driven development program in Afghanistan that created democratically elected community development councils and funded small-scale development projects. Using a randomized controlled trial across 500 villages, the evaluation finds that the National Solidarity Program had a positive effect on access to drinking water and electricity, acceptance of democratic processes, perceptions of economic wellbeing, and attitudes toward women. Effects on perceptions of local and national government performance and material economic outcomes were, however, more limited or short-lived.
    Keywords: Housing&Human Habitats,Poverty Monitoring&Analysis,Banks&Banking Reform,ICT Policy and Strategies,Governance Indicators
    Date: 2015–09–18
  6. By: Jamal BOUOIYOUR; Amal MIFTAH
    Abstract: In this paper, we empirically investigate the relationship between international migration and education attainment levels. We ask whether rural children who live in households that experience migration or/and receiving remittances are more likely to complete school at a given age than children who live in non-migrant households. Higher secondary and higher education levels are examined separately. Our results clearly show that children in remittance-receiving households complete significantly more years of schooling. In particular, remittances increase the probability of a male child completing high school. However, the evidence suggests that the international migration lowers deeply the chances of children completing higher education. Evidence also indicates the utmost importance of households' socio-economic status in determining to what extent the household mitigates the possible detrimental effects of migration on their children's educational outcomes.
    Keywords: International migration; Education; Remittances; Morocco
    JEL: F24 I22 O15 O55
    Date: 2015–09
  7. By: Robin Burgess; Remi Jedwab; Edward Miguel; Ameet Morjaria; Gerard Padró i Miquel
    Abstract: Ethnic favoritism is seen as antithetical to development. This paper provides credible quantification of the extent of ethnic favoritism using data on road building in Kenyan districts across the 1963–2011 period. Guided by a model it then examines whether the transition in and out of democracy under the same president constrains or exacerbates ethnic favoritism. Across the post-independence period, we find strong evidence of ethnic favoritism: districts that share the ethnicity of the president receive twice as much expenditure on roads and have five times the length of paved roads built. This favoritism disappears during periods of democracy.
    JEL: D72 H54 J15 O15 O17 O22 R42
    Date: 2015–06

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