nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2015‒11‒21
eight papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Climate change impacts on rural poverty in low-elevation coastal zones By Barbier,Edward B.
  2. Climate shocks, cash crops and resilience: Evidence from colonial tropical Africa By Kostadis J. Papaioannou; Michiel de Haas
  3. Gender-based violence and gender bias in schooling decision: Evidence from sub-Saharan Africa By Sandrine A. Koissy-Kpein
  4. The impact of the use of new technologies on farmers’ wheat yield in Ethiopia: Evidence from a randomized controlled trial: By Abate, Gashaw T.; de Brauw, Alan; Minot, Nicholas; Bernard, Tanguy
  5. Patterns of Manufacturing Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa: From Colonization to the Present By Gareth Austin; Ewout Frankema; Ewout Morten Jerven
  6. The more the merrier? Adjusting fertility to weather shocks By Olivia Bertelli
  7. Education and HIV incidence among young women: causation or selection? By Durevall, Dick; Lindskog, Annika; George, Gavin
  8. When do in-service teacher training and books improve student achievement ? experimental evidence from Mongolia By Fuje,Habtamu Neda; Tandon,Prateek

  1. By: Barbier,Edward B.
    Abstract: This paper identifies the low-elevation coastal zone populations and developing regions most vulnerable to sea-level rise and other coastal hazards, such as storm surges, coastal erosion, and salt-water intrusion. The focus is on the rural poor in the low-elevation coastal zone, as their economic livelihoods are especially endangered directly by coastal hazards and indirectly through the impacts of climate change on key coastal and near-shore ecosystems. Using geo-spatially referenced malnutrition and infant mortality data for 2000 as a proxy for poverty, this study finds that just 15 developing countries contain over 90 percent of the world?s low-elevation coastal zone rural poor. Low-income countries as a group have the highest incidence of poverty, which declines somewhat for lower-middle-income countries, and then is much lower for upper-middle-income economies. South Asia, East Asia and the Pacific, and Sub-Saharan Africa account for most of the world?s low-elevation coastal zone rural poor, and have a high incidence of poverty among their rural low-elevation coastal zone populations. Although fostering growth, especially in coastal areas, may reduce rural poverty in the low-elevation coastal zone, additional policy actions will be required to protect vulnerable communities from disasters, to conserve and restore key coastal and near-shore ecosystems, and to promote key infrastructure investments and coastal community response capability.
    Keywords: Population Policies,Regional Economic Development,Wetlands,Coastal and Marine Environment,Rural Poverty Reduction
    Date: 2015–11–05
  2. By: Kostadis J. Papaioannou; Michiel de Haas
    Abstract: A rapidly growing body of research examines how weather variability, anomalies and shocks influence economic and societal outcomes. This study investigates the effects of weather shocks on African smallholder farmers in British colonial Africa and intervenes in the debate on the mediating effect of cash crops on resilience to shocks. We employ a dual research strategy, involving both qualitative and econometric analysis. We analyse original primary evidence retrieved from annual administrative records and construct a panel dataset of 151 districts across West, South-central and East Africa in the Interwar Era (1920-1939). Our findings are twofold. First, we qualitatively expose a range of mechanisms leading from drought and excessive rainfall to harvest failure and social upheaval. We then test the link econometrically and find a robust U-shaped relation between rainfall deviation and social upheaval, proxied by annual imprisonment. Second, we review a long-standing and unsettled debate on the impact of cash crop cultivation on farmersÕ resilience to environmental shocks and find that cash crop districts experienced lower levels of social tension and distress in years of extreme rainfall variability.
    Keywords: Environmental and economic history, Africa, colonialism, tropical agriculture, social upheaval
    Date: 2015–11
  3. By: Sandrine A. Koissy-Kpein
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of gender based violence against women and girls(GBV), in the environment the children live in, on school attendance, school achievement, aswell as boys. and girls. dropouts. Based on the sixth phase of the Demographic and HealthSurveys from 18 sub-Saharan African countries, it appears that the acts of GBV.measuredthrough intimate partner violence, early marriage, and female genital mutilations.negativelyaffect the schooling of boys and girls. Obviously, significant heterogeneities exist amongcountries. However, the effect of GBV seems more important for girls.
    Keywords: education, gender-based violence, female genital mutilation, early marriage, intimate partner violence, collective household models
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Abate, Gashaw T.; de Brauw, Alan; Minot, Nicholas; Bernard, Tanguy
    Abstract: This study examines the impact of the Wheat Initiative technology package promoted by the research and extension systems in Ethiopia on wheat growers in the highlands of the country. The package includes improved wheat seed, a lower seeding density, row planting, fertilizer recommendations, and marketing assistance. The sample of 482 wheat growers was randomly assigned to one of three groups: the full-package intervention group, a marketing-assistance-only group, and a control group. The results suggest that the full-package farmers had 12–13 percent higher yields after controlling for the type of farmer and household characteristics. Implementation of the Wheat Initiative was successful in terms of the distribution of improved seed and fertilizer, though only 61 percent of the intervention group adopted row planting and few farmers received marketing assistance. The measured yield difference may underestimate the true yield difference associated with the technology because of incomplete adoption of the recommended practices by intervention farmers and adoption of some practices by control farmers.
    Keywords: wheats, yields, varieties, wheat technology package, randomized controlled trial, yield impact,
    Date: 2015
  5. By: Gareth Austin; Ewout Frankema; Ewout Morten Jerven
    Abstract: This paper reviews the Ôlong twentieth-centuryÕ development of ÔmodernÕ manufacturing in Sub-Saharan Africa from colonization to the present. We argue that classifying Africa generically as a Ôlate industrializerÕ is inaccurate. To understand the distinctively African pattern of manufacturing growth, we focus our discussion on the dynamic interplay between the regionÕs specific endowment structures, global economic relationships and government policies. We conclude that the case of Sub-Saharan Africa is best characterized as interrupted industrial growth instead of sustained convergence on world industrial leaders. This is partly because, until very recently, the factor endowments made it very costly for states to pursue industrialization; and partly because successive rulers, colonial and post-colonial, have rarely had both the capacity to adopt and the dedication to sustain policies that modified the regionÕs existing comparative advantage in primary production, by using their fiscal and regulatory powers effectively to promote industrialization.
    Keywords: Manufacturing, Sub-Saharan Africa, Colonial institutions, Economic History
    Date: 2015–11
  6. By: Olivia Bertelli (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: Despite the worldwide decrease in fertility rates, Sub-Saharan Africa is still an exception, showing an almost non-declining trend over the past 50 years. In a high child mortality context parents might prefer a larger number of children, anticipating the risk of child mortality. This paper tests the short-term impact of an exogenous decrease in child mortality on household fertility. By exploiting positive exogenous weather shocks together with household panel data, I find that abundant rainfall increases child survival in the Nigerian context. Large households are the ones who benefit the most from this, and they are also the ones who respond by decreasing their fertility the most. Conversely, small households only slightly benefit from a decrease in child mortality and they continue to increase their birth rate. For a household with the average number of three children, mortality decreases by 0.013 while fertility increases by 0.046 children. When positive shocks occur, households get on average larger, as more children survive and parents only partially reduce their fertility. Consistent with such partial adjustment, household food security and children's anthropometric measures deteriorate. This matches the predictions of the theoretical framework, which shows that the magnitude of the fertility adjustment depends on the number of children alive at the moment of the shock. The empirical analysis tests this prediction, by using the gender of the first-born as instrument for the initial number of children.
    Keywords: Weather shocks,Child mortality,Fertility,Gender bias,Sub-Saharan Africa,Food security
    Date: 2015–11
  7. By: Durevall, Dick (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Lindskog, Annika (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); George, Gavin (HEARD, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville Campus, Private Bag X54001, Durban 4000 South Africa)
    Abstract: Several studies report that schooling protects against HIV infection in Sub-Saharan Africa. This study examines the effect of secondary school attendance on the probability of HIV incidence among young women aged 15-24, using panel data from rural KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. Three approaches are used to distinguish causation from selection: instrumentation to identify the causal effect, a fixed effects model to control for constant unobserved factors and assessments of the bias from selection on unobserved variables. Although there is a strong negative association between secondary school attendance and HIV incidence, we are not able to find support for a causal effect. Thus, there is no evidence that interventions that increase secondary school attendance in KwaZulu-Natal would mechanically reduce HIV risk for young women. Our focus on school attendance, in contrast to studies that analyze school attainment, might explain the negative finding.<p>
    Keywords: HIV/AIDS; Education; Schooling; South Africa
    JEL: I12 I29 O12
    Date: 2015–11
  8. By: Fuje,Habtamu Neda; Tandon,Prateek
    Abstract: This study presents evidence from a randomized control trial (RCT) in Mongolia on the impact of in-service teacher training and books, both as separate educational inputs and as a package. The study tests for the complementarity of inputs and non-linearity of returns from investment in education as measured by students'test scores in five subjects. It takes advantage of a national-scale RCT conducted under the Rural Education and Development project. The results suggest that the provision of books, in addition to teacher training, raises student achievement substantially. However, teacher training and books weakly improve test scores when provided individually. Students whose teachers have received training and whose classrooms have acquired books improved their cumulative score (totaled across five tests) by 34.9 percent of a standard deviation, relative to a control group. Students treated only with books improved their total score by 20.6 percent of a standard deviation relative to a control group of students. On the other hand, extra teacher training did not have a statistically significant effect on the total test score. In addition, providing both inputs jointly improved test scores in most subjects, which was not the case when either input was provided individually. This study sheds light on the relevance of supplementing teacher training schemes with appropriate teaching materials in resource-poor settings. The policy implication is that isolated education investments, in settings where complementary inputs are missing, could deliver minimal or no return.
    Keywords: Education For All,Secondary Education,Tertiary Education,Effective Schools and Teachers,Primary Education
    Date: 2015–11–09

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