nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2016‒01‒03
eleven papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. The Effect of Remittances on Labour Supply in the Republic of Haiti By Jadotte, Evans; Ramos, Xavi
  2. Mass Media and Social Change: Can We Use Television to Fight Poverty? By Eliana La Ferrara
  3. Informal Fee Elimination and Student Performance: Evidence from The Gambia By Giordono, Leanne; Pugatch, Todd
  4. Girls' Schooling Choices and Home Production: Evidence from Pakistan By Reis, Hugo
  5. Emigration, Remittances and the Education of Children Staying Behind: Evidence from Tajikistan By Barbara Dietz; Kseniia Gatskova; Artjoms Ivlevs
  6. Food Intake and the Role of Food Self-Provisioning By Katharina Lehmann-Uschner; Kati Krähnert
  7. Initial Conditions Matter: Social Capital and Participatory Development By Cameron, Lisa A.; Olivia, Susan; Shah, Manisha
  8. Development economics as taught in developing countries By Mckenzie,David J.; Paffhausen,Anna Luisa
  9. The Effect of Public Health Expenditure on Infant Mortality: Evidence from a Panel of Indian States, 1983-84 to 2011-12 By Barenberg, Andrew J.; Basu, Deepankar; Soylu, Ceren
  10. Income diversification among female-headed farming households By Vimefall, Elin
  11. Educational expansion and the role of education in expenditure inequality in Indonesia since the 1997 financial crisis By Takahiro Akita

  1. By: Jadotte, Evans (World Bank); Ramos, Xavi (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
    Abstract: We examine the labour supply effect of remittances in the Republic of Haiti, the prime international remittances recipient country in the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region relative to its GDP. Unlike previous empirical literature we address three econometric issues that may bias the estimates. We account for endogeneity of the remittances with respect to labour supply, for the zero-inflated nature of our dependent variable, hours of work, and for the self-selection of the migrant sample. Our results are in line with previous literature, and point to a decline of labour supply in the presence of remittances. However, contrary to previous findings, the labour market response to remittances of female household heads is not as sensitive as male's.
    Keywords: international migration, remittances, labour supply, Republic of Haiti
    JEL: C39 F22 F24 J22
    Date: 2015–12
  2. By: Eliana La Ferrara
    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.
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Giordono, Leanne (Oregon State University); Pugatch, Todd (Oregon State University)
    Abstract: Informal school fees – for uniforms, books, and other supplies – are substantial in developing countries, often several times formal tuition. We evaluate a scholarship program that alleviated informal fees for girls in a subset of Gambian secondary schools. The program is unique because it overlapped with a government policy that had already eliminated formal school fees for girls, allowing for a comparison between program recipients and students who paid no tuition fees but were responsible for other expenses. We analyze the program using difference-in-differences, an identification strategy we support by documenting common pre-treatment outcome trends between treated and untreated schools. We find that informal fee alleviation increased female enrollment by 13% and the share of enrolled students who took the 9th grade exit exam by 11 percentage points. These results highlight the importance of informal fees in secondary school outcomes, even in settings where formal fees have been lifted.
    Keywords: school fee elimination, informal fees, secondary school, gender gap, Gambia
    JEL: O15 I21 I25
    Date: 2015–12
  4. By: Reis, Hugo (Banco de Portugal)
    Abstract: The paper develops and estimates a dynamic structural model that allows for the interrelations between girls' schooling and mothers' labor market participation decision, in a rural area of Pakistan where drop-out rates are considerably high. The model incorporates home production, which is critical for understanding the behavior of mothers when deciding girls' schooling. Results suggest that monetary incentives are a good mechanism to increase girls' school enrollment, but not the most cost effective. The impact of the conditional cash transfer program on secondary school enrollment rate was only one third of the impact of the school building program. Regarding welfare, the difference between schemes is smaller. Results also highlight the effectiveness of the role of conditionality.
    Keywords: girls' schooling, home production, development economics, structural model, discrete choice dynamic programming models
    JEL: I25 I28
    Date: 2015–12
  5. By: Barbara Dietz (IZA Bonn); Kseniia Gatskova; Artjoms Ivlevs
    Abstract: We study the relationship between migration and children’s education in Tajikistan – one of the poorest and most remittance-dependent economies in the world. The analysis of a unique three-wave household panel survey reveals that emigration of family members is negatively associated with children’s school attendance. Receiving remittances does not offset this negative effect. Migration of non-parent family members (such as siblings) is particularly detrimental to school attendance, especially among older children and children from less educated households. This supports a conjecture that emigration in Tajikistan has a negative signaling effect on the education of children staying behind.
    Keywords: migration, remittances, schooling, Tajikistan
    Date: 2015–11
  6. By: Katharina Lehmann-Uschner; Kati Krähnert
    Abstract: This paper investigates the role of food self-provisioning for the intake of macro- and micronutrients of households in Mongolia. Our analysis is based on rich household survey data that collected food consumption through consumption diaries. We analyze nutritional outcomes within and across the three prevalent Mongolian livelihoods that derive food from different sources: urban wave employees, rural households with small herds, and pastoralists with large herds. Results show that food consumption patterns differ strongly across the three livelihoods, with herding households having a better nutrition situation. Moreover, food self-provisioning significantly affects dietary quality and quantity. Farming food crops improves the nutrient intake of small herders. In contrast, the provision of food through animal husbandry activities has ambivalent effects on households’ diet. It increases the intake of calories and nutrients from animal sources, while it decreases the intake of carbohydrates and nutrients from vegetal sources. This finding suggests household-specific market failures due to remoteness exist. Last, exposure to a severe weather event did not negatively affect households’ energy intake, but it reduces the intake of nutrient from animal sources.
    Keywords: food-self provisioning, herding, nutrition, Mongolia, shock
    JEL: O12 I32
    Date: 2015
  7. By: Cameron, Lisa A. (Monash University); Olivia, Susan (Monash University); Shah, Manisha (University of California, Los Angeles)
    Abstract: Billions of dollars have been spent on participatory development programs in the developing world. These programs give community members an active decision-making role. Given the emphasis on community involvement, one might expect that the effectiveness of this approach would depend on communities' pre-existing social capital stocks. Using data from a large randomised field experiment of Community-Led Total Sanitation in Indonesia, we find that villages with high initial social capital built toilets and reduced open defecation, resulting in substantial health benefits. In villages with low initial stocks of social capital, the approach was counterproductive – fewer toilets were built than in control communities and social capital suffered.
    Keywords: participatory development, social capital, sanitation, economic development, Indonesia
    JEL: O12 O22 I15
    Date: 2015–12
  8. By: Mckenzie,David J.; Paffhausen,Anna Luisa
    Abstract: This paper uses a combination of survey questions to instructors and data collected from course syllabi and examinations to examine how the subject of development economics is taught at the undergraduate and masters levels in developing countries, and benchmark this against undergraduate classes in the United States. The study finds that there is considerable heterogeneity in what is considered development economics: there is a narrow core of only a small set of topics such as growth theory, poverty and inequality, human capital, and institutions taught in at least half the classes, with substantial variation in other topics covered. In developing countries, development economics is taught largely as a theoretical subject coupled with case studies, with few courses emphasizing data or empirical methods and findings. This approach contrasts with the approach taken in leading U.S. economics departments and with the evolution of development economics research. The analysis finds that country income per capita, the role of the state in the economy, the education level in the country, and the involvement of the instructor in research are associated with how close a course is to the frontier. The results suggest there are important gaps in how development economics is taught.
    Keywords: Pro-Poor Growth,Economic Theory&Research,Labor Policies,Tertiary Education,Effective Schools and Teachers
    Date: 2015–12–21
  9. By: Barenberg, Andrew J.; Basu, Deepankar; Soylu, Ceren (Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
    Abstract: Using a panel data set of Indian states between 1983-84 and 2011-12, this paper studies the impact of public health expenditure on the infant mortality rate (IMR), after controlling for other relevant covariates like per capita income, female literacy, and urbanization. We find that public expenditure on health care reduces IMR. Our baseline specification shows that an increase in public health expenditure by 1 percent of state-level GDP is associated with a reduction in the IMR by about 8 infant deaths per 1000 live births. We also find that female literacy and urbanization reduces the IMR.
    Keywords: infant mortality rate, public health expenditure, female literacy, India
    JEL: E12 E20
    Date: 2015
  10. By: Vimefall, Elin (Örebro University School of Business)
    Abstract: In most rural parts of sub-Saharan Africa, production on one’s own farm is still the main source of income. However, other sources are becoming more important and obtaining income from outside the agricultural sector has been identified as an important path out of poverty. To take advantage of these more attractive livelihood strategies, households need to overcome several barriers to entry. Female-headed households have been found to have less education, less productive resources, and less access to credit than male-headed households; thus, they have limited options. Using data from the RIGA database, we analyze income diversification among female-headed households in rural Kenya. Using a multinomial logit model, we find that households headed by a married woman are approximately 12 percentage points more likely to rely only on income from their own farms compared to households headed by monogamously married man. Female-headed households are also less likely to diversify into non-agricultural wage work than male-headed households.
    Keywords: Income diversification; Livelihood; Female-headed households; Kenya
    JEL: J16 O12 O15 O55
    Date: 2015–12–23
  11. By: Takahiro Akita (Rikkyo University)
    Abstract: Based on the National Socio-Economic Survey (Susenas) from 1997 to 2011, this study examines the role of education in expenditure inequality in Indonesia under educational expansion since the 1997 financial crisis. This is achieved using the three decomposition methods: the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition; the decomposition of the Gini coefficient; and the hierarchical decomposition of the Theil index. The expansion of education, particularly basic education in rural areas, appears to have not only lowered educational disparity between the urban and rural sectors but also educational inequality within the rural sector. Due in large part to the declining educational disparity between the urban and rural sectors, the urban-rural expenditure disparity has narrowed since the mid-2000s. On the other hand, the expansion of higher education in urban areas appears to have played an important role in the recent rise in overall expenditure inequality by raising not only disparity between educational groups but also inequality within the tertiary education group. Basic education policies would still serve as an effective means to mitigate expenditure inequality, as they could reduce not only educational gap between the urban and rural sectors but also educational inequality within the rural sector by raising general educational levels. Since the expansion of higher education in urban areas seems to be one of the main factors of the recent rise in overall expenditure inequality, higher education policies would also be crucial.
    Keywords: educational expansion, expenditure inequality, decomposition of education Gini, hierarchical decomposition of Theil index, Indonesia
    Date: 2015–12

This nep-dev issue is ©2016 by Jacob A. Jordaan. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.