nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2015‒12‒20
nine papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Blending top-down federalism with bottom-up engagement to reduce inequality in Ethiopia By Khan,Qaiser M.; Faguet,Jean-Paul; Ambel,Alemayehu A.
  2. Prevention or treatment? The introduction of a new antimalarial drug in Angola By Jean-Claude Berthélemy; Victor Doubliez; Josselin Thuilliez
  3. The Impact of Extreme Weather Events on Education By Valeria Groppo; Kati Krähnert
  4. Measuring and Changing Control: Women's Empowerment and Targeted Transfers By Almas, Ingvild; Armand, Alex; Attanasio, Orazio; Carneiro, Pedro
  5. Asset index, child nutritional status and pro-poor growth analysis in Malawi By Anderson Sawira Gondwe
  6. Microcredit and Poverty Reduction in Bangladesh: Beyond Publication Bias, Does Genuine Effect Exist? By Awaworyi Churchill, Sefa; Korankye Danso, Jeffrey; Appau, Samuelson
  7. Maternal and child health inequalities in Ethiopia By Ambel,Alemayehu A.; Andrews,Colin; Bakilana,Anne Margreth; Foster,Elizabeth; Khan,Qaiser M.; Wang,Huihui
  8. Social norms and information diffusion in water-saving programs: Evidence from a randomisedfield experiment in Colombia By Marcela Jaime Torres
  9. Social transfers and women’s labour supply in Kyrgyzstan By Armando Barrientos; Alma Kudebayeva

  1. By: Khan,Qaiser M.; Faguet,Jean-Paul; Ambel,Alemayehu A.
    Abstract: Donors increasingly fund interventions to counteract inequality in developing countries, where they fear it can foment instability and undermine nation-building efforts. To succeed, aid relies on the principle of upward accountability to donors. But federalism shifts the accountability of subnational officials downward to regional and local voters. What happens when aid agencies fund anti-inequality programs in federal countries? Does federalism undermine aid? Does aid undermine federalism? Or can the political and fiscal relations that define a federal system resolve the contradiction internally? This study explores this paradox via the Promotion of Basic Services program in Ethiopia, the largest donor-financed investment program in the world. Using an original panel database comprising the universe of Ethiopian woredas (districts), the study finds that horizontal (geographic) inequality decreased substantially. Donor-financed block grants to woredas increased the availability of primary education and health care services in the bottom 20 percent of woredas. Weaker evidence from household surveys suggests that vertical inequality across wealth groups (within woredas) also declined, implying that individuals from the poorest households benefit disproportionately from increasing access to and utilization of such services. The evidence suggests that by combining strong upward accountability over public investment with extensive citizen engagement on local issues, Ethiopia?s federal system resolves the instrumental dissonance posed by aid-funded programs to combat inequality in a federation.
    Keywords: Access to Finance,Population Policies,Banks&Banking Reform,Subnational Economic Development,Public Sector Corruption&Anticorruption Measures
    Date: 2015–12–11
  2. By: Jean-Claude Berthélemy (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne); Victor Doubliez (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne); Josselin Thuilliez (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne)
    Abstract: This article estimates the effect of the introduction of an effective treatment on prevention behaviors in the case of malaria. We rely on microeconomic data and build up a difference-in-differences analysis of individuals prevention behaviors following the introduction of Artemisinin Combination Therapies (ACTs) in Angola. We exploit differences in terms of treatment intensity across geographic areas and differences in individuals exposure to the introduction of ACTs. Our results suggest that the increase in access to treatment for malaria in Angola may have had a negative impact on the use of Insecticide Treated Nets even though the two were jointly promoted over the period
    Keywords: Malaria; Treatment; Prevention
    JEL: O12 I15 I25
    Date: 2015–10
  3. By: Valeria Groppo; Kati Krähnert
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the short- and long-term impact of extreme weather events on educational outcomes in Mongolia. Our focus is on two extremely severe winters that caused mass livestock mortality. We use household panel data with comprehensive retrospective information on households’ historic experience with weather shocks. Exposure to the weather shock significantly reduces the likelihood of being enrolled in mandatory school two to three years after the shock. Similarly, it significantly reduces the probability of completing basic education ten to eleven years after the shock. Both effects are driven by children from herding households. Results are robust to measuring shock intensity with district-level livestock mortality and climate data as well as household-level livestock losses. Exposure to weather shocks during preschool age (as opposed to exposure during primary and secondary school age) yields the worst consequences for educational attainment. Overall, the evidence points toward income effects as the channel through which the shock impacts education.
    Keywords: human capital accumulation, weather shocks, Mongolia
    JEL: I25 Q54 O12
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Almas, Ingvild; Armand, Alex; Attanasio, Orazio; Carneiro, Pedro
    Abstract: This paper studies how targeted cash transfers to women affect their empowerment. We use a novel identification strategy to measure women's willingness to pay to receive cash transfers instead of their partner receiving it. We apply this among women living in poor households in urban Macedonia. We match experimental data with a unique policy intervention (CCT) in Macedonia offering poor households cash transfers conditional on having their children attending secondary school. The program randomized whether the transfer was offered to household heads or mothers at municipality level, providing us with an exogenous source of variation in (offered) transfers. We show that women who were offered the transfer reveal a lower willingness to pay, and we show that this is in line with theoretical predictions.
    Keywords: cash transfers; empowerment; gender; intra-household
    JEL: D13 J16 O12
    Date: 2015–12
  5. By: Anderson Sawira Gondwe (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
    Abstract: This paper contains spatial and intertemporal comparisons of multidimensional poverty and inequality in Malawi using two non-monetary dimensions, namely an asset index and child nutritional status. Through stochastic dominance tests, we establish that poverty and inequality are unambiguously higher in rural areas, the Southern region and households headed by females. We find, using decomposition analysis, that most poor people live in rural areas which make up 85% of total population. Poverty comparisons over time, between 1992 and 2010, show that poverty has significantly declined in Malawi and that these gains have largely been pro-poor in both absolute and relative terms. The paper shows that Malawi’s poverty profile is a ‘bad picture’ in the sense that almost half of the population is still poor but a ‘good movie’ in that the incidence of poverty has fallen from as high as 80%. Interestingly, we find that poverty and inequality estimates do not vary much across regions and areas with respect to child nutritional status but large differences exist when assets are used. We also find that stunting is a bigger problem among under-5 children in Malawi than wasting and being underweight. Econometric analysis shows that asset ownership is positively associated with household size (suggesting economies of scale), age of household head and education attainment. Age dependency ratio and shocks to sickness are negatively associated with asset ownership. Multivariate analysis of child nutrition reveals that malnutrition first worsens before improvement begins to take place at some critical age. This is consistent with possible recovery from malnutrition as has been found in some of the studies that track children over time. Also consistent with some literature is the finding that boys have weaker nutritional status than girls.
    Keywords: Pro-poor growth analysis, asset index, child nutritional status, Malawi
    JEL: D D3 D31
    Date: 2015
  6. By: Awaworyi Churchill, Sefa; Korankye Danso, Jeffrey; Appau, Samuelson
    Abstract: We review the empirical evidence on the impact of microcredit on poverty in Bangladesh. Drawing on evidence from seven empirical studies with 306 estimates, we examine the impact of microcredit on three proxies of poverty – income, assets and consumption/expenditure. After addressing issues of publication selection bias, we find that microcredit has a statistically insignificant effect on income, and also on assets. Evidence shows a positive but weak effect of microcredit on consumption/expenditure. Meta-regression analysis reveals that sources of variations in the existing literature such as study design, data characteristics and empirical methodology can explain the differences in reported estimates.
    Keywords: Microfinance,Poverty,Bangladesh,Meta-analysis
    JEL: G21 I32 I38
    Date: 2015–12–07
  7. By: Ambel,Alemayehu A.; Andrews,Colin; Bakilana,Anne Margreth; Foster,Elizabeth; Khan,Qaiser M.; Wang,Huihui
    Abstract: Recent surveys show considerable progress in maternal and child health in Ethiopia. The improvement has been in health outcomes and health services coverage. The study examines how different groups have fared in this progress. It tracked 11 health outcome indicators and health interventions related to Millennium Development Goals 1, 4, and 5. These are stunting, underweight, wasting, neonatal mortality, infant mortality, under-five mortality, measles vaccination, full immunization, modern contraceptive use by currently married women, antenatal care visits, and skilled birth attendance. The study explores trends in inequalities by household wealth status, mothers? education, and place of residence. It is based on four Demographic and Health Surveys implemented in 2000, 2005, 2011, and 2014. Trends in rate differences and rate ratios are analyzed. The study also investigates the dynamics of inequalities, using concentration curves for different years. In addition, a decomposition analysis is conducted to identify the role of proximate determinants. The study finds substantial improvements in health outcomes and health services. Although there still exists a considerable gap between the rich and the poor, the study finds some reductions in inequalities of health services. However, some of the improvements in selected health outcomes appear to be pro-rich.
    Keywords: Health Systems Development&Reform,Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Population Policies,Early Child and Children's Health,Early Child and Children',Adolescent Health
    Date: 2015–12–09
  8. By: Marcela Jaime Torres (University of Gothenburg – University of Concepcion)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of an information campaign aimed at encouraging residential water-savings in Colombia. The experiment was organized as a randomised control trial, consisting of monthly delivery of consumption reports including normative messages during one year. We first evaluate the direct and indirect effects of the campaign, and then we investigate whether indirect effects are due to social networks. Results indicate that social information and appeal to norm-based behaviour has decreased water use by 5.4% during the first year following the intervention. We also find significant but short-term evidence of spillover effects. Nevertheless, these effects cannot be explained by social networks alone when social connectedness is proxied by both social and geographic proximity.
    Date: 2014
  9. By: Armando Barrientos; Alma Kudebayeva
    Abstract: Abstract The paper examines social transfers and their influence on the labour supply of women in Kyrgyzstan. Social transfers in cash and in kind in place in Kyrgyzstan absorbed 5.7% of GDP in 2012. They include subsidies to social insurance pensioners, transfers to population groups considered vulnerable or deserving, and transfers to families with children in extreme poverty. Social transfers are generally pro-old and maternalist in orientation, and therefore strongly gendered. Using data from the Life in Kyrgyzstan survey, the paper throws light on whether social transfers are associated with labour supply decisions of women at the extensive and intensive margins, and with birth spacing. The results indicate that social assistance transfers are associated with lower probabilities of participation and hours for women and marginally increase the relative risk giving birth.
    Date: 2015

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