nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2015‒12‒08
nine papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Mass Media and Social Change: Can We Use Television to Fight Poverty? By La Ferrara, Eliana
  2. Informality and Segmentation in the Mexican Labor Market By Alcaraz Carlo; Chiquiar Daniel; Salcedo Alejandrina
  3. Direct and indirect effects of Malawi?s public works program on food security By Beegle,Kathleen G.; Galasso,Emanuela; Goldberg,Jessica Ann
  4. Are We Counting all the Poor ?Reporting under-and Overestimations in the Headcount By Marion Mercier; Rama Lionel Ngenzebuke; Philip Verwimp
  5. The Long-Term Effects of Conflict on Welfare: Evidence from Burundi By Marion Mercier; Rama Lionel Ngenzebuke; Philip Verwimp
  6. Participation of smallholders in carbon-certified small-scale agroforestry: A lesson from the rural Mount Kenyan region By Emmanuel Benjamin; Matthias Blum
  7. How Income Segmentation Affects Income Mobility: Evidence from Panel Data in the Philippines By Arturo Martinez Jr.; Mark Western; Michele Haynes; Wojtek Tomaszewski
  8. Human Capital Development and Parental Investment in India By Orazio Attanasio; Costas Meghir; Emily Nix
  9. Informality in Non-Cultivation Labour market in India with Special Reference to North-East India By Neog, Bhaskar Jyoti; Sahoo, Bimal

  1. By: La Ferrara, Eliana
    Abstract: This paper explores the potential use of entertainment media programs for achieving development goals. I propose a simple framework for interpreting media effects that hinges on three channels: (i) information provision, (ii) role modeling and preference change, and (iii) time use. I then review the existing evidence on how exposure to commercial television and radio affects outcomes such as fertility preferences, gender norms, education, migration and social capital. I complement these individual country studies with cross-country evidence from Africa and with a more in-depth analysis for Nigeria, using the Demographic Health Surveys. I then consider the potential educational role of entertainment media, starting with a discussion of the psychological underpinnings and then reviewing recent rigorous evaluations of edutainment programs. I conclude by highlighting open questions and avenues for future research.
    Keywords: edutainment; soap operas; television
    JEL: J13 O12
    Date: 2015–11
  2. By: Alcaraz Carlo; Chiquiar Daniel; Salcedo Alejandrina
    Abstract: In developing countries, some workers have formal jobs while others are occupied in informal positions. One view regarding this duality suggests that sectors are segmented, which means that a worker in the informal sector identical to another in the formal sector cannot get a formal position due to entry barriers. A second view states that workers self-select into informal jobs. Previous research suggests that these two situations may coexist in the same labor market. In this paper we identify the proportion of informal workers who are in each situation for the case of Mexico. Using a simple model of self-selection with entry barriers into the formal sector, we estimate that between 10 and 20 percent of informal workers would prefer to have a formal job. While this result provides evidence of the presence of some segmentation in the Mexican labor market, it suggests that an important proportion of workers in the informal sector self-select into it.
    Keywords: Informality; Segmentation; Mexico; Labor Market.
    JEL: J42
    Date: 2015–12
  3. By: Beegle,Kathleen G.; Galasso,Emanuela; Goldberg,Jessica Ann
    Abstract: Labor-intensive public works programs are important social protection tools in low-income settings, intended to supplement income of poor households and improve public infrastructure. In this evaluation of the Malawi Social Action Fund, an at-scale, government-operated program, across- and within-village randomization is used to estimate effects on food security and use of fertilizer. There is no evidence that the program improves food security, and some negative spillovers to untreated households. These disappointing results hold even under modifications to the design of the program to offer work during the lean rather than harvest season or increase the frequency of payments.
    Keywords: Food Security,Small Area Estimation Poverty Mapping,Regional Economic Development,Rural Poverty Reduction,Food&Beverage Industry
    Date: 2015–12–02
  4. By: Marion Mercier; Rama Lionel Ngenzebuke; Philip Verwimp
    Abstract: Having accurate poverty statistics is of primary importance for both researchers and policy-makers. Based on original data on Burundi, we investigate the sensitivity of poverty headcount calculations to methodological choices along two dimensions: (1) the vector of prices that is used to value consumption, and (2) the level of consumption that is considered (household versus individual). We find different numbers of poor when these dimensions are accounted for. In our context, it translates into a larger number of poor when country-level instead of local prices are used, and when intra-household allocation of consumption is accounted for – the latter being mainly driven by poor children living in households considered as non-poor.
    Keywords: poverty; headcount; prices; intra-household allocation; Burundi
    Date: 2015–09
  5. By: Marion Mercier; Rama Lionel Ngenzebuke; Philip Verwimp
    Keywords: deprivation; poverty dynamics; civil war; panel data; Burundi
    JEL: C81 I32 O12 O15 N47
    Date: 2015–09
  6. By: Emmanuel Benjamin; Matthias Blum
    Abstract: This study examines factors that determine the participation of smallholder farmers in certified agroforestry programs involving payments for ecosystem services (PES) in the mount Kenyan region, Kenya. A random utility model and logit regression was used to test a set of nonmonetary and monetary factors that influence participation in the international small group tree planting programme (TIST). This study employs survey data compiled in 2013 on 210 randomly selected smallholders; equally split between TIST and non-TIST members. The findings suggest that the spread of information via formal and informal networks as well as credit constraints are three important drivers of participating in the TIST program. Conversely, participation in TIST is not influenced by farm size, proximity to market, and level of education. Given the importance of smallholder poverty alleviation and credit market accessibility in the presence of climate change, our findings suggest that sustainable development policies should focus on strengthening the social capital and informal networks.
    Keywords: Agroforestry program, Network, Spillover, Payment for ecosystem services (PES), Adoption, Information, Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: D8 O1 O3 Q1 Q2
    Date: 2015–05
  7. By: Arturo Martinez Jr.; Mark Western; Michele Haynes; Wojtek Tomaszewski
    Abstract: Despite vibrant economic growth, the Philippines confronts persistently high income inequality. Using household-level panel data collected for the years 2003, 2006 and 2009, we investigate how income segmentation affects Filipinos' income mobility prospects. The results of the multinomial logistic models suggest that if households are grouped according to initial income (in 2003), richer households had the lowest propensity to experience slow to moderate income changes and were most likely to experience consistently downward mobility from 2003 to 2009, while initially poorer households had the highest propensity to experience consistently upward mobility. On the other hand, if households are grouped according to permanent income, we still find that lower income households experienced (slightly) better income mobility outcomes; however, their edge over higher income households was much smaller than when initial income was used. This result could indicate that convergence on the basis of initial income may be in part random variation. The findings are robust to heuristic and model-based methods of grouping households into different income segments.
    Keywords: income inequality;income mobility;economic growth;pro-poor growth;the Philippines
    Date: 2015–09–09
  8. By: Orazio Attanasio (University College London, IFS, NBER); Costas Meghir (Cowles Foundation, Yale University); Emily Nix (Dept. of Economics, Yale University)
    Abstract: In this paper we estimate production functions for cognition and health throughout four stages of childhood from 5-15 years of age using two cohorts of children drawn from the Young Lives Survey for India. The inputs into the production function include parental background, prior child cognition and health and child investments. We allow investments to be endogenous and they depend on local prices and household income, as well as on the exogenous determinants of cognition and health. We find that investments are very important determinants of child cognition and of health at an earlier age. We also find that inputs are complementary and crucially that health is very important in determining cognition. Our paper contributes in understanding how early health outcomes are important in child development.
    Keywords: Early childhood development, Human capital, India, Nonlinear factor models, Young lives survey, Health, Cognition
    JEL: I14 I15 I25 I32 J13 J24 O15
    Date: 2015–12
  9. By: Neog, Bhaskar Jyoti; Sahoo, Bimal
    Abstract: Recent estimate of central statistics office for 2014-15 indicates that share of agriculture in GDP (market price) is about only 14.9 per cent, whereas it employs about 49.5 per cent of India’s total workforce. So moving out of agriculture is itself a desirable outcome for improving productivity in agriculture and also of the economy. But the question is “where will the workers of agriculture sector move to?” given the fact that Indian labour market is becoming more and more informal. Therefore, creation of decent jobs outside agriculture is one of the biggest challenges that confront policymakers. The present paper examines the trend and patterns of informal and formal employment in organised and unorganised non-agriculture sectors with special reference to North-East India. The paper, following National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganized Sector (NCEUS) defined organised and unorganised sector by taking into account enterprise type and number of workers in enterprise. However, where both these information are missing, social security was taken as a yard stick to measure organised or unorganised sector. We applied logit regressions to find out what are the personal characteristics, household characteristics, and sectoral characteristics to determine the participation in informal sector, and examine whether these determinants are changing over time or not. The study is based on NSSO 2004-05 and 2011-12 employment and unemployment unit level data. The initial result suggests that in the non-agriculture sector, informal employment in unorganised sectors has declined from about 87 per cent to 85 per cent. Thereby it is suggesting, a rise in formal employment within non-cultivation sector. In addition, it is interesting to note that within informal employment in 2004-05 about 29 per cent are female but the corresponding figure for 2011-12 is about 24 per cent. This indicates that proportion of female participation in the informal economy has declined over the years. Similarly it is observed that informality for poorer household has declined for the study period. The logit regression result indicated that being a male reduced the odd of informality by more than 20 per cent in both the periods. Given the slow economic growth in the first half of the new millennium, married female labours were forced to join the informal sector; however, because of rising income in recent past they are not so keen to join the informal employment. Looking at the sectors, it is observed that, being a worker in construction sector and trade, hotel and transport sector increased the odd of joining informal sector many fold. This paper also examines these trends, patterns and determinants, with special reference to North-East region. Finally, the paper looks at the determinants of informality at the macro-level using panel data of the Indian states. The study finds a multitude of factors driving informality thereby implying that a multi-pronged strategy would be required to tackle the problem.
    Keywords: Labour, Informality, Manufacturing, Social Security, Gender
    JEL: C35 J80
    Date: 2015–09–01

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