nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2015‒10‒17
nine papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Large-scale health interventions and education: Evidence from Roll Back Malaria in Africa By Maria Kuecken; Josselin Thuilliez; Marie-Anne Valfort
  2. Formalizing rural land rights in West Africa : early evidence from a randomized impact evaluation in Benin By Goldstein,Markus P.; Houngbedji,Kenneth; Kondylis,Florence; O'Sullivan,Michael B.; Selod,Harris
  3. Does Economic Growth Reduce Child Malnutrition in Egypt? New Evidence from National Demographic and Health Survey By Rashad, Ahmed; Sharaf, Mesbah
  4. The Impact of Food Price Shocks on Consumption and Nutritional Patterns of Urban Mexican Households By Juárez-Torres Miriam
  5. The Effect of a Transfer Program for the Elderly in Mexico City on Co-Residing Children's School Enrollment By Gutierrez Emilio; Juárez González Laura; Rubli Adrian
  6. Remittances, finance and growth: does financial development foster remittances and their impact on economic growth By Izabela Sobiech
  7. Planting the Seeds: The Impact of Training on Mango Producers in Haiti By Irani Arráiz; Carla Calero; Songqing Jin; Alexandra Peralta
  9. Civil conflicts in Africa: Climate, economic shocks, nighttime lights and spill-over effects By Achim Ahrens

  1. By: Maria Kuecken (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne - Paris School of Economics); Josselin Thuilliez (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne - Paris School of Economics); Marie-Anne Valfort (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: Replying on microeconomic data, we examine the impact of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) campaigns on the educational attainment of primary schoolchildren across 14 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Combining a difference-in-differences approach with an instrumental variables analysis, we exploit exogenous variation in pre-campaign malaria risk and exogenous variation in exposure to the timing and disbursements of the RBM campaign. In 13 of 14 countries, the RBM campaign substantially improved schooling attainment at an average cost of $ 13.19 per additional year, which is highly cost-effective as compared to standard educational interventions
    Keywords: Health; education; Africa; spillovers; quasi-experiment; Roll Back Malaria
    JEL: I15 I21 O15
    Date: 2013–10
  2. By: Goldstein,Markus P.; Houngbedji,Kenneth; Kondylis,Florence; O'Sullivan,Michael B.; Selod,Harris
    Abstract: This paper presents early evidence from the first large-scale randomized-controlled trial of a land formalization program. The study examines the links between land demarcation and investment in rural Benin in light of a model of agricultural production under insecure tenure. The demarcation process involved communities in the mapping and attribution of land rights; cornerstones marked parcel boundaries and offered lasting landmarks. Consistent with the model, improved tenure security under demarcation induces a shift toward long-term investment on treated parcels. This investment does not yet coincide with gains in agricultural productivity. The analysis also identifies significant gender-specific effects. Female-managed landholdings in treated villages are more likely to be left fallow?an important soil fertility investment. Women further respond to an exogenous tenure security change by moving production away from relatively secure, demarcated land and toward less secure land outside the village to guard those parcels.
    Keywords: Municipal Housing and Land,Common Property Resource Development,Urban Housing,Rural Development Knowledge&Information Systems,Political Economy
    Date: 2015–10–08
  3. By: Rashad, Ahmed (Philipps-Universität Marburg); Sharaf, Mesbah (University of Alberta, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Economic growth has been widely considered an effective instrument to combat poverty, and child malnutrition. Though there is a substantial literature on the relationship between economic growth and child malnutrition in a wide range of countries, empirical evidence on this relationship is sparse in the case of Egypt. Using repeated cross sectional data from the National Demographic and Health Survey, we examine the association between income per-capita growth, at the governorate level, and child malnutrition outcomes; stunting, wasting, and underweight, in Egypt during the period 1992-2008. The association between child malnutrition and economic growth is examined within a multivariate framework using a logistic multilevel modeling approach to account for the multilevel structure of the data, and the clustering of observations. Statistics show that 29% of the children-under-5 years were stunted, 7.2% were wasted, and 6% were underweight in 2008. Results reveal that child, and household-level characteristics are more important than aggregate economic conditions (as proxied by economic growth and Gini index of income inequality) in explaining malnutrition rates in Egypt. In particular, Child age, sex, birth interval of the child, parent’s education, and household economic status are particularly important determinants of malnutrition outcomes. Results show a modest reductive effect of economic growth on child underweight and wasting rates, while the effect on stunting rates was not statistically significant. Though economic growth could be a necessary condition for combating child malnutrition, this paper shows that economic growth by itself is not sufficient and has to be complemented by other intervention measures that aim directly at improving child health and nutrition.
    Keywords: Economic growth; Malnutrition; Stunting; Egypt
    JEL: I14 I15
    Date: 2015–10–14
  4. By: Juárez-Torres Miriam
    Abstract: During the 2000s, recurrent food price shocks due to volatility in international markets and extreme weather events affected consumption and nutritional patterns of Mexican urban households. This research quantifies the impacts of food price shocks on the purchase of nutrients and on the weight gain of children in urban Mexican households. We find differentiated patterns of food consumption across income quintiles, which result in heterogeneous effects of price shocks on the purchase of nutrients and on weight gain according to age and sex in children. In particular, cereal price shocks are more detrimental and more regressive than price shocks on other categories like meats or beverages.
    Keywords: Food price elasticities; Nutrient elasticities; Food security; Nutrition; Welfare
    JEL: D12 C31 O12
    Date: 2015–08
  5. By: Gutierrez Emilio; Juárez González Laura; Rubli Adrian
    Abstract: This paper studies whether the increase in government transfers, induced by an old-age pension program for individuals age 70 and older in Mexico, affects co-residing children's school enrollment, using a regression discontinuity analysis. Results suggest that while household composition and other household-level characteristics do not change significantly at the cutoff age for program eligibility, co-residing children's school enrollment increases significantly. This suggests that public resources for older adults might generate benefits for other age groups. An additional finding is that the increase in school enrollment takes places mostly at the program eligibility cutoff and not before. Given that the program transfer is known and potentially anticipated by individuals who are only a few years away from being eligible, this suggests that households might have credit constraints.
    Keywords: Government transfers; school enrollment.
    JEL: J14 I25
    Date: 2015–04
  6. By: Izabela Sobiech
    Abstract: In this paper, I measure the importance of remittances and financial development for developing countries. I estimate an index of overall financial conditions and use it to determine the relevance of the financial sector as a transmission channel for remittances to affect economic growth. The index brings together information from existing measures, reflecting size, depth and efficiency of the financial sector. It is created by means of an unobserved components model. I show that the more financial development in a country, the smaller becomes the impact of remittances on economic growth and it can even turn negative. For countries with weaker financial markets there is a positive effect, but significant only at the earliest stages of financial development. The effect becomes negative in the third quartile of financial development. These results hold irrespective of the measure of financial development included, but are most profound in case of the created index. This means that estimates based on proxies might be slightly biased. I also show that countries with both low levels of remittances and financial development should first focus on developing the latter, while migrants' transfers become important for growth if the country has a moderate level of financial development.
    Keywords: remittances, economic growth, financial development, unobserved components model, dynamic panel data analysis
    JEL: F24 O11 O15 O16
    Date: 2015–10
  7. By: Irani Arráiz; Carla Calero; Songqing Jin; Alexandra Peralta
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the short-term impacts of a development project that aims to increase mango yields, sales of mango products, and the income of small mango farmers in rural Haiti. Various matching methods, in combination with difference-in-difference (DID), are used to deal with the potential selection bias associated with nonrandom treatment assignment. Robustness checks are conducted to investigate whether and to what extent the results are affected by the coexistence of other similar projects in the same sites. Rosenbaum bounds analysis is carried out to check the sensitivity of the estimated impacts---based on matching methods---to deviations from the conditional independence assumptions; the relative importance of unobserved factors in the decision to participate. Our results show that in a 16-month period, the project increased the number of young Francique trees planted---a type that has greater market and export potential than traditional mango varieties---and likely encouraged the adoption of best practices. But the project has not yet led to a noticeable increase in total sales. The adoption of improved production practices is too recent to translate into significant changes in production and sales. While the robustness check suggests that the results are not caused by the presence of other similar programs on the same sites, the Rosenbaum bounds sensitivity analysis suggests that the matching results are robust against potential "hidden bias" arising from unobserved outcome variables in some but not all cases.
    Keywords: Agricultural technology transfer, Agricultural productivity, Impact evaluation, Agriculture, impact evaluation, extension services
    Date: 2015–08
  8. By: Ayenew, Habtamu Yesigat; Sauer, Johannes; Abate-Kassa, Getachew; Schickramm, Lena
    Abstract: This paper systematically investigates the role of the quality of rural employment on agricultural production efficiency in developing countries, taking Ethiopia and Tanzania as cases. We use data of the Living Standards Measurement Study-Integrated Surveys on Agriculture (LSMS-ISA) collected in 2011. In the analysis, an output-oriented distance function approach that accounts for different technological, demographic, socio-economic, institutional and quality of rural employment indicators is applied. The findings of the analysis support the idea that the quality of rural employment could be seen as an effective element of rural development policies and strategies in sub-Saharan Africa. Better integration of quality rural employment aspects (creation of jobs, improving quality of jobs, promoting public employment programs etc.) contribute to improve technical efficiency in agricultural production.
    Keywords: Quality of rural employment, distance function, efficiency, poverty reduction, Food Security and Poverty, Labor and Human Capital, Productivity Analysis,
    Date: 2015
  9. By: Achim Ahrens (Heriot-Watt University)
    Abstract: This study examines the relationship between weather conditions, economic shocks and civil conflicts in Africa. While most studies rely on country-level data sets, this study exploits a panel data set of African first-order administrative units covering 1992-2010. Since sub-national gross domestic product for Africa is either unavailable or of poor quality, nighttime light data from satellites is exploited to predict economic growth at the sub-national level. In addition to IV/GMM estimation, the Lasso estimator is employed in order to generate optimal instruments for economic growth from rainfall and temperature variables. It is demonstrated that the Lasso estimator successfully addresses the challenges arising from non-linearities, heterogeneity across climate regions and weak identification. Furthermore, spatial econometric methods account for conflict spill-overs via political, geographical and ethnic ties. Estimation results provide no evidence that economic growth shocks have a significant causal impact on violence, but prices of capital-intensive commodities seem to be associated with civil conflicts.
    Keywords: Civil conflict; Africa; economic growth; nighttime lights; spatial econometrics; Lasso; many instruments;
    JEL: C23 C26 Q34 D74 C52
    Date: 2015

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