nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2015‒10‒25
ten papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Crop diversification and child health: Empirical evidence from Tanzania By Stefania Lovo; Marcella Veronesi
  2. Worms at work: Long-run impacts of a child health investment By Sarah Baird; Joan Hamory Hicks; Michael Kremer; Edward Miguel
  3. The causal impacts of child labor law in Brazil : some preliminary findings By Piza,Caio; Portela Souza,André
  4. Higher education and fertility: Evidence from a natural experiment in Ethiopia By Miron Tequame; Nyasha Tirivayi
  5. Microfinance and Moneylenders: Long-run Effects of MFIs on Informal Credit Market in Bangladesh By Berg, Claudia; Emran, Shahe; Shilpi, Forhad
  6. Person Equivalent Headcount Measures of Poverty By Castleman, Tony; Foster, James; Smith, Stephen C.
  7. Understanding poverty reduction in Sri Lanka : evidence from 2002 to 2012/13 By Ceriani,Lidia; Inchauste Comboni,Maria Gabriela; Olivieri,Sergio Daniel
  8. Gender inequality and the empowerment of women in rural Viet Nam By Newman Carol
  9. Ethnic disadvantage in Vietnam : Evidence using panel data By Singhal Saurabh; Beck Ulrik
  10. Income and Malaria : Evidence from an agricultural intervention in Uganda By Singhal Saurabh; Pan Yao

  1. By: Stefania Lovo; Marcella Veronesi
    Abstract: Malnutrition is recognized as a major issue among low-income households in developing countries with long-term implications for economic development. Recently, crop diversification has been recognized as a strategy to improve nutrition and health, and as a risk coping strategy used by farmers in the face of climate change. However, there is no systematic empirical evidence on the role played by crop diversification in improving human health. We use the Tanzania National Panel Survey to investigate the effects of crop diversification on child health. We use fixed effects panel estimation to control for unobserved heterogeneity, and perform several robustness checks including placebo tests to test the validity of our findings. We find a positive and significant effect of crop diversification on long-term child nutritional status, in particular for very young children and children living in households with limited market access.
    Date: 2015–10
  2. By: Sarah Baird (George Washington University); Joan Hamory Hicks (University of California, Berkeley); Michael Kremer (Harvard University); Edward Miguel (University of California, Berkeley)
    Abstract: This study estimates long-run impacts of a child health investment, exploiting community-wide experimental variation in school-based deworming. The program increased education among women and labor supply among men, with accompanying shifts in labor market specialization. Ten years after deworming treatment, women who were eligible as girls are 25% more likely to have attended secondary school, halving the gender gap. They reallocate time from traditional agriculture into cash crops and entrepreneurship. Men who were eligible as boys stay enrolled for more years of primary school, work 17% more hours each week, spend more time in entrepreneurship, are more likely to hold manufacturing jobs, and miss one fewer meal per week. We estimate an annualized financial internal rate of return of at least 32.2%.
    Date: 2015–07
  3. By: Piza,Caio; Portela Souza,André
    Abstract: This paper investigates the causal impact of the change in Brazil?s child labor law of December 1998. The change increased the minimum legal age of entry into the labor force from 14 to 16 years. The analysis uses a difference-in-differences approach to estimate the impact of this change in the law on labor force participation rates as a whole, as well as for the formal and informal sectors separately. The results show that the ban reduced participation rates for boys by 4 percentage points and that this effect was mostly driven by the informal sector. No effect is found for girls.
    Keywords: Children and Youth,Labor Markets,Street Children,Labor Policies,Youth and Government
    Date: 2015–10–19
  4. By: Miron Tequame; Nyasha Tirivayi (University of Maastricht)
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect of womens higher education on fertility outcomes in Ethiopia. We exploit an abrupt increase in the supply of tertiary education induced by a liberalisation policy. Using an age discontinuity in the exposure to higher education reform, we find that education lowers fertility by 8 and increases the likelihood of never giving birth by 25. We explore the role of potential underlying mechanisms and find that this negative effect on fertility is channelled through positive assortative mating and the postponement of marriage and motherhood.
    Keywords: Fertility, Higher Education, Assortative Matching, Marriage, Policy Evaluation
    JEL: O12 I23 I25 I38 J12 J13
    Date: 2015–08
  5. By: Berg, Claudia; Emran, Shahe; Shilpi, Forhad
    Abstract: Using two surveys from Bangladesh, this paper provides evidence on the effects of microfinance competition on village moneylender interest rates and households’ dependence on informal credit. The views among practitioners diverge sharply: proponents claim that MFI competition reduces both the moneylender interest rate and households’ reliance on informal credit, while critics argue the opposite. Taking advantage of recent econometric approaches that address selection on unobservables without imposing standard exclusion restrictions, we find that the MFI competition does not reduce moneylender interest rates, thus partially repudiating the proponents. The effects are heterogeneous; there is no perceptible effect at low levels of MFI coverage, but when MFI coverage is high enough, the moneylender interest rate increases significantly. In contrast, households’ dependence on informal credit tends to go down after becoming MFI member, which contradicts part of the critic’s argument. The evidence is consistent with a model where either MFIs or moneylenders engage in cream skimming, and fixed costs are important in informal lending.
    Keywords: Microfinance, Moneylenders, Microcredit, Interest Rates, Informal Borrowing, Long-run Effects, Bangladesh, Identification through Heteroskedasticity
    JEL: C3 O12 O17
    Date: 2015–10–20
  6. By: Castleman, Tony (George Washington University); Foster, James (George Washington University); Smith, Stephen C. (George Washington University)
    Abstract: Headcount measures of poverty are by far the most common tools for evaluating poverty and gauging progress in global development goals. The headcount ratio, or the prevalence of poverty, and the headcount, or the number of the poor, both convey tangible information about poverty. But both ignore the depth of poverty, so they arguably present distorted views of the spatial distribution of poverty as well as the extent of progress against poverty over time. Additionally, headcount measures can provide incentives for policymakers and NGOs to focus their efforts on the least poor, an observation well understood among policymakers themselves. While other poverty measures mitigate these problems by capturing the intensity as well as the prevalence of poverty, they are often not central to policy discourse because they are perceived to be too "unintuitive" to have traction. There is a need for poverty measures that go beyond traditional headcount measures, but retain their direct interpretation. This paper presents person equivalent (p. e.) headcount measures, which do just that. Our approach draws on the logic of full‐time equivalent jobs, adult equivalent incomes, and other constructs in economics. An initial period is used to calibrate the average depth of poverty among the poor, which then becomes the "person equivalent" underlying the p. e. headcount and the p. e. headcount ratio. We illustrate our methods using $1.25 a day poverty data from 78 countries as provided by the World Bank, and show how the new measures map out different pictures of poverty and progress than traditional headcount measures. Overall, the picture is one of a more rapid decline in global poverty, but with significant redistributions of its burden across regions and countries. For example, p. e. headcounts are much higher than traditional headcounts in Latin America and the Caribbean and Sub Saharan Africa; in South Asia and East Asia and the Pacific the reverse is true. In Kenya the traditional headcount rose by 8 million and the p. e. headcount rose by 11 million; in South Africa the p. e. headcount fell by more than the traditional headcount. We discuss properties of the new measures, outline some generalizations and conclude with recommendations for using this approach in development goals to track progress and direct policy.
    Keywords: poverty measurement, headcount, poverty gap, FGT indices, development goals, inclusive growth, multidimensional poverty
    JEL: I32 O15 D63
    Date: 2015–10
  7. By: Ceriani,Lidia; Inchauste Comboni,Maria Gabriela; Olivieri,Sergio Daniel
    Abstract: This paper quantifies the contributions to poverty reduction observed in Sri Lanka between 2002 and 2012/13. The methods adopted for the analysis generate entire counterfactual distributions to account for the contributions of demographics, labor, and non-labor incomes in explaining poverty reduction. The findings show that the most important contributor to poverty reduction was growth in labor income, stemming from an increase in the returns to salaried nonfarm workers and higher returns to self-employed farm workers. Although some of this increase in earnings may point to improvements in productivity, defined as higher units of output per worker, some of it may simply reflect increases in food and commodity prices, which have increased the marginal revenue product of labor. To the extent that there have been no increases in the volumes being produced, the observed changes in poverty are vulnerable to reversals if commodity prices were to decline significantly. Finally, although private transfers (domestic and foreign) helped to reduce poverty over the period, public transfers were not as effective. In particular, the reduction in the real value of transfers of the Samurdhi program during 2002 to 2012/13 slowed down poverty reduction.
    Keywords: Economic Theory&Research,Regional Economic Development,Services&Transfers to Poor,Rural Poverty Reduction
    Date: 2015–10–19
  8. By: Newman Carol
    Abstract: This paper examines gender inequality and female empowerment in rural Viet Nam. Using an extensive panel dataset on 2,181 households, we examine how the welfare of women living in rural areas has evolved during a period of dramatic rural transformation, 2
    Keywords: Economic development, Households, Microeconomics, Women
    Date: 2015
  9. By: Singhal Saurabh; Beck Ulrik
    Abstract: This study investigates the ethnic disadvantage in rural Vietnam, focusing on the magnitude of the majority.minority gap and the constraints on ethnic minority households that contribute to the gap. Using a biannual panel dataset spanning the period 200
    Keywords: Equality and inequality, Ethnic relations, Households, Income, Minorities
    Date: 2015
  10. By: Singhal Saurabh; Pan Yao
    Abstract: We exploit a spatial discontinuity in the coverage of an agricultural extension program in Uganda to causally identify its effects on malaria. We find that eligibility for the program reduced the incidence of malaria by 8.8 percentage points, with childre
    Keywords: Administrative law, Agriculture, Economic development, Health, Income, Microeconomics, Regression analysis
    Date: 2015

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