nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2015‒11‒15
six papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. The Long-Term Impacts of International Migration: Evidence from a Lottery By Gibson, John; McKenzie, David; Rohorua, Halahingano; Stillman, Steven
  2. Can intense exposure to hand-washing and hygiene information campaigns affect children's socio-emotional skills ? evidence from Senegal By Borja-Vega,Christian; Briceno,Bertha; Garcia Vicente,Fernando
  3. What effect does development aid have on productivity in recipient countries? An analysis using quantiles and thresholds By Felicitas Nowak-Lehmann D.; Elena Gross
  4. Regional Migration, Insurance and Economic Shocks: Evidence from Nicaragua By Molina Millán, Teresa
  5. Measuring progress towards universal health coverage: with an application to 24 developing countries By Wagstaff,Adam; Cotlear,Daniel; Eozenou,Patrick Hoang-Vu; Buisman,Leander Robert
  6. Workfare and Human Capital Investment: Evidence from India By Shah, Manisha; Millett Steinberg, Bryce

  1. By: Gibson, John (University of Waikato); McKenzie, David (World Bank); Rohorua, Halahingano (University of Waikato); Stillman, Steven (University of Otago)
    Abstract: We examine the long-term impacts of international migration by comparing immigrants who had successful ballot entries in a migration lottery program, and first moved almost a decade ago, with people who had unsuccessful entries into those same ballots. The long-term gain in income is found to be similar in magnitude to the gain in the first year, despite migrants upgrading their education and changing their locations and occupations. This results in large sustained benefits to their immediate family, who have substantially higher consumption, durable asset ownership, savings, and dietary diversity. In contrast we find no measureable impact on extended family.
    Keywords: international migration, natural experiment, assimilation, household well-being
    JEL: F22 O15
    Date: 2015–11
  2. By: Borja-Vega,Christian; Briceno,Bertha; Garcia Vicente,Fernando
    Abstract: Hygiene information and practices play a critical role in preventing diseases, particularly among children. Hygiene behaviors practiced in the household have been linked to development outcomes such as socio-emotional skills. This paper exploits data from impact evaluation surveys of a hygiene information campaign conducted in Senegal, where the randomized design suffered from contamination between comparison groups. The variations in exposure and intensity to hygiene information campaigns captured in the surveys were used to understand contamination biases. Such variations were interacted with the presence of household communication assets to explore potential effects on children?s socio-emotional scores. In the presence of contamination biases, the study exploited the longitudinal sample of children in the surveys to reduce time-dependent biases. For robustness, statistical matching was applied between the impact evaluation surveys and Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in 2008 and 2011. Socio-emotional outcomes were the imputed into Demographic and Health surveys to expand sample sizes. By applying matching techniques and imputing outcomes into a larger sample, impacts were non-negligible. Double-difference estimates showed that children?s socio-emotional scores were higher when intervention status was interacted with the presence of communication assets within households. Without the presence of communication assets in the households the impacts were close to zero. Evaluating the effect of hygiene campaigns on children?s socio-emotional skills is challenging because of the biases from contamination that exist when information flows between comparison groups. Targeted hygiene information to the poorest households is relevant for reducing risks of recurrent infections and enables better conditions for socio-emotional development of children.
    Keywords: Economic Theory&Research,Trade Policy,Emerging Markets,Labor Policies,Markets and Market Access
    Date: 2015–11–03
  3. By: Felicitas Nowak-Lehmann D. (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen / Germany); Elena Gross (University of Bayreuth / Germany)
    Abstract: Development aid does not always exert the desired positive effect on economic growth in recipient countries and it is even feared that it may reduce total factor productivity (TFP) and may discourage recipient countries’ efforts. This study seeks to contribute to the research on aid transmission channels, in particular on macroeconomic channels such as private investment, domestic savings and the real exchange rate. By using panel data from 27 recipient countries over a 25-year period (1985-2009) this study aims to analyze the impact of the different forms of aid (grants, loans, bilateral and multilateral) on productivity, controlling for institutional factors and economic policy, using time-series panel techniques and focusing solely on the aid-productivity link. In order to examine possible vicious circles of aid, we run quantile regressions to ascertain whether aid is less effective in countries from the lowest TFP quantiles. To check for TFP-impeding conditions that are supposedly present in those quantiles, threshold regressions are performed to detect the ineffectiveness of aid below certain thresholds, including those of institutional quality, investment-to-GDP ratio, or domestic savings-to-GDP ratio. We find differences between the impact of aid in the form of grants and loans and the impact of bilateral and multilateral aid, with evidence that aid reduces TFP growth in the 0.1 and 0.25 quantiles. The search for sensible threshold values of aid impeding factors (institutional quality or key macroeconomic variables) was without result.
    Keywords: TFP growth, foreign aid, quantile regression, smooth transition models
    JEL: O4 O11 F35 C21 C22
    Date: 2015–10–20
  4. By: Molina Millán, Teresa (Universidade Nova de Lisboa)
    Abstract: To test whether transfers sent and received by regional migrants serve an insurance role, this paper estimates the causal impact of income shocks at a migrant's origin and destination location on the bilateral transfer of funds. Using rainfall shocks in rural Nicaragua, I find that migrants aged 15-21 years provide unilateral insurance to their origin household. Distinguishing by destination and economic activity I show that the level of insurance increases when migrants and households are exposed to less correlated shocks. In addition, I find evidence of bilateral insurance among rural migrants exposed to rainfall shocks with low levels of correlation with respect to shocks occurring at origin.
    Keywords: internal migration, remittances, risk, insurance, inter-households transfers, weather shocks
    JEL: O12 O15 F24 R23
    Date: 2015–11
  5. By: Wagstaff,Adam; Cotlear,Daniel; Eozenou,Patrick Hoang-Vu; Buisman,Leander Robert
    Abstract: The last few years have seen a growing commitment worldwide to universal health coverage (UHC). Yet there is a lack of clarity on how to measure progress towards UHC. This paper proposes a ?mashup? index that captures both aspects of UHC: that everyone?irrespective of their ability-to-pay?gets the health services they need; and that nobody suffers undue financial hardship as a result of receiving care. Service coverage is broken down into prevention and treatment, and financial protection into impoverishment and catastrophic spending; nationally representative household survey data are used to adjust population averages to capture inequalities between the poor and better off; nonlinear tradeoffs are allowed between and within the two dimensions of the UHC index; and all indicators are expressed such that scores run from 0 to 100, and higher scores are better. In a sample of 24 countries for which there are detailed information on UHC-inspired reforms, a cluster of high-performing countries emerges with UHC scores of between 79 and 84 (Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and South Africa) and a cluster of low-performing countries emerges with UHC scores in the range 35?57 (Ethiopia, Guatemala, India, Indonesia and Vietnam). Countries have mostly improved their UHC scores between the earliest and latest years for which there are data?by about 5 points on average; however, the improvement has come from increases in receipt of key health interventions, not from reductions in the incidence of out-of-pocket payments on welfare.
    Keywords: Health Systems Development&Reform,Housing&Human Habitats,Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Health Economics&Finance,Health Law
    Date: 2015–11–03
  6. By: Shah, Manisha (University of California, Los Angeles); Millett Steinberg, Bryce (Harvard University)
    Abstract: We examine the effect of India's National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), one of the largest workfare programs in the world, on human capital investment. Since NREGS increases labor demand, it could increase the opportunity cost of schooling, lowering human capital investment even as incomes increase. We exploit the staged rollout of the program across districts for causal identification. Using a household survey of test scores and schooling outcomes for approximately 2.5 million rural children in India, we show that each year of exposure to NREGS decreases school enrollment by 2 percentage points and math scores by 2% of a standard deviation amongst children aged 13-16. In addition, while the impacts of NREGS on human capital are similar for boys and girls, adolescent boys are primarily substituting into market work when they leave school while adolescent girls are substituting into unpaid domestic work. We find mixed results for younger children. We conclude that anti-poverty programs which raise wages could have the unintended effect of lowering human capital investment.
    Keywords: human capital investment, workfare programs
    JEL: O12 I2 I38 J1
    Date: 2015–11

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