nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2016‒02‒12
eight papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Why Give Aid to Resource-Rich Autocrats? By Mare Sarr; Chiara Ravetti; Tim Swanson
  2. How much teachers know and how much it matters in class : analyzing three rounds of subject-specific test score data of Indonesian students and teachers By De Ree,Joppe Jaitze
  3. Working Paper 231 - Gender productivity differentials among smallholder farmers in Africa: A cross-country comparison By Adeleke Oluwole Salami; Mukasa Adamon N.
  4. The distribution of consumption expenditure in Sub-Saharan Africa : the inequality among all Africans By Jirasavetakul,La-Bhus Fah; Lakner,Christoph
  5. Climate, Shocks, Weather and Maize Intensification Decisions in Rural Kenya By Martina Bozzola; Melinda Smale; Salvatore Di Falco
  6. How Can Community Participation Improve Educational Outcomes? Experimental Evidence from a School-Based Management Project in Burkina Faso By Kozuka, Eiji; Sawada, Yasuyuki; Todo, Yasuyuki
  8. Working Paper 229 - Structural change, economic growth and poverty reduction – Micro-evidence from Uganda By Luc Christiaensen; Kaminski Jonathan

  1. By: Mare Sarr; Chiara Ravetti; Tim Swanson
    Abstract: Why give aid to resource-rich autocrats? We find that the interaction between natural resources and most forms of international aid results in enhanced political instability in most autocratic countries. Interestingly, some types of government aid (notably humanitarian aid) do not have this effect, indicating that the impact of aid varies with its form. Furthermore, we find that only aid structured in the form of loans (rather than grants) is more likely to flow toward resource-rich autocracies. This combination of loans with any political instability they may induce, can create speculative rights (for the donor) in the resource-riches of the recipient country. This potential claim on resources provides one important strategic reason to give aid to resource-rich autocrats. Aid can act as a form of foreign intervention in the pursuit of regime change, and claims on resources.
    Keywords: Foreign Aid; Resource Curse; Economic Growth; Dictatorship; Looting.
    JEL: O11 O13 F35
    Date: 2015–11–23
  2. By: De Ree,Joppe Jaitze
    Abstract: Improving the quality of education is one of today's main challenges for governments in the developing world. Based on a unique matched student-to-teacher panel data set on test scores this paper presents two empirical results for Indonesia. First, through detailed inspection of teacher-level responses to test questions, the paper concludes that subject matter knowledge of primary school teachers in Indonesia is low on average and that a 1.0, but also a 2.0 standard deviation increase in teachers'subject matter knowledge seem to be achievable medium-term goals for education policy making in Indonesia. Second, the paper presents the results of three types of value-added regressions, a (standard) level specification, a school fixed-effects specification, and a flexible student-teacher fixed-effects specification. The student-teacher fixed-effects approach estimates the parameters of a value-added model using test score variation within each student-teacher pair across three different subjects, mathematics, science and Indonesian language. The results suggest that a 1.0 (and 2.0) standard deviation increase in teachers'subject matter knowledge across-the-board can yield increases in student achievement by 0.25 (and 0.50) student-level standard deviations by the time students complete the six-year primary school cycle.
    Keywords: Education For All,Effective Schools and Teachers,Secondary Education,Tertiary Education,Primary Education
    Date: 2016–02–02
  3. By: Adeleke Oluwole Salami (African Development Bank); Mukasa Adamon N. (African Development Bank)
    Abstract: This article investigates gender inequality in agricultural productivity, highlights its key determinants, and approximates the potential production, consumption, and poverty gains from reducing or closing the gender productivity gap. The analysis is performed on the basis of representative household survey datasets recently collected in Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda. In these countries, agriculture remains the mainstay of the economy and understanding the extent and sources of gender productivity gaps is crucial for building policy interventions and empowering women. Our econometric approach consists initially in estimating a model of agricultural productivity to uncover the impact of gender of the land manager. Then, mean and quantile-based decomposition approaches are applied to each country separately to underscore the sources of gender differences in agriculture. Using the estimated productivity differentials, we finally measure the potential benefits that each country could obtain from closing or gradually reducing these gaps.The results reveal that female-managed plots have clear endowment disadvantages in farm size, use and intensity of non-labor inputs. The findings show that on average female-managed agricultural lands are 18.6, 27.4, and 30.6% less productive than their male counterparts in Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda, respectively. The decomposition of the sources of gender productivity differences indicates that in the three countries, endowment and structural disadvantages of female managers in land size, land quality, labor inputs, and household characteristics are the main drivers of gender gaps. Finally, closing gender productivity differentials is estimated to yield production gains of 2.8% in Nigeria, 8.1% in Tanzania, and 10.3% in Uganda; to raise monthly consumption by 2.9%, 1.4%, and 10.7% in Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda; and to help around 1.2%, 4.9%, and 13% households with female-managed lands climb out of poverty in Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda, respectively.
    Date: 2016–01–29
  4. By: Jirasavetakul,La-Bhus Fah; Lakner,Christoph
    Abstract: This paper uses a set of national household surveys to study the regional Sub-Saharan Africa distribution of consumption expenditure among individuals during 1993 to 2008. The analysis puts the disparities in living standards that exist among persons in Africa into context with the disparities that exist within and between African countries. Regional interpersonal inequality has increased (from a Gini index of 52 percent in 1993 to 56 percent in 2008), driven by increasing disparities in living standards across countries, while there has been no systematic increase in within-country inequality. For the African distribution as a whole, growth of consumption expenditure (from household surveys) has been low (around 1 percent per year). This growth has been uneven and as a result the richest 5 percent of Africans received around 40 percent of the total gains, while the bottom third stagnated.
    Keywords: Regional Economic Development,Poverty Impact Evaluation,Inequality,Economic Theory&Research,Trade Policy
    Date: 2016–02–03
  5. By: Martina Bozzola; Melinda Smale; Salvatore Di Falco
    Abstract: We explore how climate, climate risk and weather affect maize intensification among smallholders in Kenya. We find that they all play an important role in maize intensification choice. The economic implications of this choice are also analyzed. We find that the share of maize area planted to hybrid seeds contributes positively to expected crop income, without increasing exposure to income variability or downside risk. The promotion of maize intensification is potentially a valuable adaptation strategy to support the well-being of smallholder farmers.
    Keywords: Climate Change, Maize, Smallholder farmer, Vulnerability, Kenya.
    JEL: D81 O13 Q12 Q18
    Date: 2016–01–08
  6. By: Kozuka, Eiji; Sawada, Yasuyuki; Todo, Yasuyuki
    Abstract: Promoting community participation in school management is a widely found intervention in the developing world. While this type of program is generally believed to be effective, the actual evidence is not sufficient to inform policy makers on how community participation works in improving educational outcomes. To shed more light on this question, we conducted a randomized evaluation of an education program in Burkina Faso. The program was designed to build trust among community members and teachers, and encourage them to work together in school management. The results show that the intervention increased student enrollment, decreased student repetition, and lowered teacher absence. The results also indicate that it had a strong impact on class repetition by 6th grade boys, presumably reflecting parental priorities. This suggests that community participation can improve educational outcomes through empowering the community and enhancing social capital, but whether idealized results can be gained depends on the perception and the knowledge of the community members.
    Keywords: school-based management , community participation , randomized controlled trial (RCT) , education , impact evaluation
    Date: 2016–02–01
  7. By: Ashwini Deshpande, Alain Desrochers, Christopher Ksoll, and Abu S. Shonchoy (Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, India)
    Abstract: With over 700 million illiterate adults in the world, many governments have implemented adult literacy programs across the world, although typically with low rates of success partly because the quality of teaching is low. One solution may lie in the standardization of teaching provided by computer-aided instruction. We present the first rigorous evidence of the effectiveness of a computer-based adult literacy program. A randomized control trial study of TARA Akshar Plus, an Indian adult literacy program, was implemented in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. We find large, significant impacts of this computer-aided program on literacy and numeracy outcomes. We compare the improvement in learning to that of other traditional adult literacy programs and conclude that TARA Akshar Plus is effective in increasing literacy and numeracy for illiterate adult women.
    Date: 2016–01
  8. By: Luc Christiaensen (World Bank); Kaminski Jonathan (Noble Agri)
    Abstract: This paper proposes a micro-level decomposition approach of consumption growth and poverty reduction with a focus on the role of sectoral growth and structural transformation. Taking the case of Uganda with available household-level panel data over the 2005-2010 period, we examine the within-sectoral growth and sectoral changes that were associated with a 8 percent point reduction in the poverty headcount ratio and an annual average consumption growth rate of 3 percent. Since those surveys contain a tracking instrument of both households and individuals, it is therefore possible to examine occupational, spatial, institutional, and demographic mobility of the original households and their members over time. Those different dynamics can then be related to micro-level welfare dynamics through panel-based descriptive and regression-based decompositions, aside the more standard cross-sectional approaches such as the Ravallion-Huppi one.Our results highlight some duality between poverty dynamics and consumption growth patterns. It was found that about two thirds of poverty reduction was driven by those households continuing to spend most of their time in agriculture, another third by those diversifying into the rural non-farm economy. In contrast, 65 percent of total consumption growth was driven by nonagricultural households (most of them non-poor to begin with), about evenly split between rural and city households. Another 30% was contributed to by structural transformation.Our results also indicate heterogeneous and gradual but reversible structural transformation over a five-year period with 13% of total population having moved out of agriculture (but two thirds of them having stayed in rural areas) but 8% back with the agricultural sector remaining an important reservoir of lower but significant growth and poverty reduction, 6% having diversified their occupational portfolio, and additional 2% in the non-agricultural sector having moved from rural areas to city. Overall, labor market participation has increased substantially while the share of household labor time allocated to agriculture has followed a fast decreasing pattern. In addition, 60% of micro-level agricultural-non agricultural occupational transformation occurred through non-farm enterprises and self-employed jobs while the remaining 40% did so through wage jobs. There were significantly contrasting dynamics across regions in all of the above patterns, with a specialization of some regions in wage (central) and self-employed jobs (east) in the non-agricultural sector and diversification of economic activities in rural areas for the others.Regression-based decomposition results show that those welfare changes having occurred within and between occupational categories were mainly channeled through an accumulation of productive assets, especially labor and employment, as well as household capital, rather than any specific increases in factor productivity. Intra-sectoral employment growth and reduction in household size, especially among the split-off households, were the most important drivers at the national level, while they also played an important role through structural transformation (in addition to human capital).
    Date: 2016–01–29

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