nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2016‒03‒23
eleven papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Making Money Work: Unconditional cash transfers allow women to save and re-invest in rural Zambia By Luisa Natali; Sudhanshu Handa; David Seidenfeld; Gelson Tembo; Amber Peterman; UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti
  2. "The Influence of Ancestral Lifeways on Individual Economic Outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa" By Stelios Michalopoulos; Louis Putterman; David Weil
  3. Does greater autonomy among women provide the key to better child nutrition? By Arulampalam , Wiji
  4. Farm production diversity and dietary quality: Linkages and measurement issues By Sibhatu, Kibrom T.; Qaim, Matin
  5. Teacher supply and the quality of schooling in South Africa. Patterns over space and time By Martin Gustafsson
  6. Election, Implementation, and Social Capital in SchoolBased Management: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment on the COGES Project in Burkina Faso By Sawada, Yasuyuki; Aida, Takeshi; Griffen, Andrew S; Kozuka, Eiji; Noguchi, Haruko; Todo, Yasuyuki
  7. Tax Incentives and Job Creation in the Tourism Industry of Brazil By Grégoire Garsous; David Corderi; Mercedes Velasco; Andrea Colombo
  8. Dust and Death: Evidence from the West African Harmattan By Achyuta Adhvaryu; Prashant Bharadwaj; James Fenske; Anant Nyshadham; Richard Stanley
  9. Regional Inequalities in Child Malnutrition in Egypt, Jordan, and Yemen: A Blinder-Oaxaca Decomposition Analysis By Rashad, Ahmed; Sharaf, Mesbah
  10. The Long Run Effects of Labor Migration on Human Capital Formation in Communities of Origin By Taryn Dinkelman; Martine Mariotti
  11. Intrageneration Poverty Dynamics in Indonesia: Households’ Welfare Mobility Before, During, and After the Asian Financial Crisis By Dartanto, Teguh; Otsubo, Shigeru

  1. By: Luisa Natali; Sudhanshu Handa; David Seidenfeld; Gelson Tembo; Amber Peterman; UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti
    Abstract: Savings play a crucial role in faciliating investment in income-generating activities and the pathway out of poverty for low-income households in developing settings. Yet, there is little evidence of successful programmes that increase savings, particularly those that are simultaneously cost effective, scaleable and address gender inequalities. This paper examines the impact of the Government of Zambia’s Child Grant Programme (CGP), an unconditional cash transfer targeted to women in households with young children, on women’s savings and participation in non-farm enterprises. Findings show that the CGP enabled poor women to save more cash and that the impact is larger for women who had lower decision-making power at baseline. The results support the proposition that cash transfers have the potential for long-term sustainable improvements in women’s financial position and household well-being by promoting savings and facilitating productive investments among low-income rural households.
    Keywords: cash transfers; savings; small farms; small scale enterprises; social benefits; women in development; women's empowerment; zambia;
    JEL: O22
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Stelios Michalopoulos; Louis Putterman; David Weil
    Abstract: We explore the role of an individual's historical lienage in determining economic status, holding constant his or her current location. This is complementary to the more common approachto studying how history shapes economic outcomes across locations. Motivated by a large literature in social sciences stressing the beneficial influence of agricultural transition on contemporary economic perfromance at the level of countries, we examine the relative status of descendants of agriculturalists vs. pastoralists. We match individual-level survey data with information on the historical lifeways of ancestors, focusing in Africa, where the transition away from such modes of production began only recently. Within enumeration areas and occupational groups, we find that individuals from ethnicities that derived a larger share of subsistence from agriculture in the pre-colonial era are today more educated and wealthy. A tentative exploration of channels suggests that differences in attitudes and beliefs as well as differential treatment by others, including less political power, may contribute to these divergent outcomes.
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Arulampalam , Wiji (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)
    Abstract: We examine the link between a mother’s autonomy - the freedom and ability to think, express, act and make decisions independently - and the nutritional status of her children. We design a novel statistical framework that accounts for cultural and traditional environment, to create a measure of maternal autonomy, a concept that has rarely been examined previously as a factor in children’s nutritional outcomes. Using data from the Third Round of the National Family Health Survey for India, supplemented with our qualitative survey, and accounting for “son preference” by limiting analysis to first-born children under 18 months of age, we document that maternal autonomy has a positive impact on the long-term nutritional status of rural children.
    Keywords: Child Nutrition, Maternal Autonomy, Latent Factor Models, Empirical Bayes, India, National Family Health Survey
    JEL: C38 I14 I18
    Date: 2016
  4. By: Sibhatu, Kibrom T.; Qaim, Matin
    Abstract: Recent research has analyzed whether higher levels of farm production diversity contribute to improved dietary quality in smallholder households. We add to this literature by using different indicators, thus testing the robustness of previous findings and helping to better understand the underlying linkages. The analysis builds on data from Indonesia, Kenya, and Uganda. Farm diversity measured through a simple species count has a small positive effect on dietary quality, either expressed in terms of dietary diversity scores or micronutrient consumption levels. However, when measuring production diversity in terms of the number of food groups produced, the effect turns insignificant in most cases. Further analysis suggests that diverse subsistence production contributes less to dietary quality than cash income generated through market sales. Much of the food diversity consumed in farm households is purchased from the market. If farm diversification responds to market incentives and builds on comparative advantage, it can contribute to improved income and nutrition. This may also involve cash crop production. On the other hand, increasing the number of food groups produced on the farm independent of market incentives will foster subsistence, reduce cash incomes, and thus rather worsen dietary quality. We conclude that from a nutrition perspective improving market access is more important than farm diversification as such.
    Keywords: dietary diversity, micronutrients, nutrition-sensitive agriculture, smallholder farm households, developing countries, Agricultural and Food Policy, Consumer/Household Economics, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, International Development, D13, I15, O13, Q12,
    Date: 2016–03
  5. By: Martin Gustafsson (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
    Abstract: The paper addresses policy questions in South Africa’s education system using a newly merged 1999 to 2013 panel of data that includes school enrolments by grade, staff details from the payroll system, examination and test results and the geo-coordinates of schools. This combination of data, which is seldom used, at least in developing countries, permits new and important knowledge about a schooling system to be uncovered. Whilst policy conclusions are South Africa-specific, the methods would be largely transferable to other contexts. It is shown that school data can complement official population data with respect to the monitoring of within-country migration and in determining the rate of urbanisation. An approach for calculating the viability of small schools in a context of migration out of rural areas is presented, using assumptions around maximum distance to be travelled by pupils and the degree to which multi-grade teaching by teachers should be permitted. Cost reductions associated with a reduced presence of small schools, and greater economies of scale associated with larger schools are found to be smaller than what is generally assumed. Correlations between pupil under-performance and the under-staffing of schools are found to be higher at the primary than the secondary level, apparently confirming the greater importance of personal interaction with a teacher for younger pupils. Between-school movements of pupils other than those associated with urbanisation are found to be high, and highly variable across districts. This further complicates the allocation of publicly paid teachers. An approach to gauging whether teachers avoid moving to schools on the other side of provincial boundaries is presented. It is confirmed that movement across provinces, which are the employers of teachers, is restricted, creating further obstacles to efficient teacher allocation. It is confirmed that teachers tend to move to better performing schools, but that the performance signals that influence this movement are often inaccurate and a few years old.
    Keywords: South Africa, teacher supply, education planning, spatial analysis
    JEL: C21 D73 I28
    Date: 2016
  6. By: Sawada, Yasuyuki; Aida, Takeshi; Griffen, Andrew S; Kozuka, Eiji; Noguchi, Haruko; Todo, Yasuyuki
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate the role of School Management Committees (COGES) in Burkina Faso. These committees include elected members of each community, and are tasked with setting and implementing annual school plans. The study adopted a hybrid evaluation method incorporating a randomized controlled trial and a large-scale artefactual field experiment a la Levitt and List (2007) on public goods with monetary rewards, to closely examine unexplored issues impacting on the sustainability of community-driven projects, and to identify at least partially the mechanisms of this sustainability. We found that the COGES project significantly increased social capital in the form of voluntary contributions to public goods, especially by linking those that people can be connected to vertically. On average, the direct increase in voluntary contributions to public goods from the implementation of the COGES project was between 8.0 and 10.2%. For groups composed of school principals, teachers, and parents, the average contribution increased by between 12.7 and 24.1% through the democratic election of school management committee members, and by between 11.0 and 17.2% through the implementation of the COGES project. These results suggest that community management projects can improve local cost recovery by increasing local contributions of public goods, potentially leading to better fiscal sustainability in community-driven projects. Moreover, the results based on our hybrid experiments are largely in line with real-world decisions observed in the schools under our investigation. As a byproduct, our findings are supportive of models of other-regarding preferences.
    Keywords: school-based management , randomized controlled trials , artefactual field experiments , public goods game , social capital , sustainability of development project
    Date: 2016–03–10
  7. By: Grégoire Garsous; David Corderi; Mercedes Velasco; Andrea Colombo
    Abstract: In recent decades, a significant number of developing countries have implemented fiscal incentives programs for the tourism industry as part of their regional development policies. The main objective of these programs is to increase local investment and employment, as tourism activities are labor intensive. However, little evidence is available to assess the effect of these policies on job creation in emerging markets. In this paper, we analyze a program of fiscal incentives introduced by the Brazilian federal government in the SUDENE area in 2002 and in which tourism firms were eligible to participate. Through a difference-in-difference estimation, we compare before and after 2002 the change in the logarithm of local employment in the SUDENE municipalities (the treatment group) to the change in the same outcome in a group of municipalities that were not affected by the program (the control group). Our empirical analysis provides robust evidence that the fiscal incentives led to a substantial increase in tourism employment in the SUDENE region. In particular, we find that local employment in the tourism industry was on average 34 percent higher in the treatment group. This result does not seem to be affected by either displacement effect or job destruction in those neighboring municipalities that had not benefited from the same tax incentives.
    Keywords: employment; public economics; regional development; tax incentives; tourism
    JEL: H25 H71 J20 L83 R58
    Date: 2016–03
  8. By: Achyuta Adhvaryu; Prashant Bharadwaj; James Fenske; Anant Nyshadham; Richard Stanley
    Abstract: Dust pollution in West Africa increases infant and child mortality. Employing differences in differences, we make three contributions. First, using data from 12 poor countries, we highlight the vulnerability of people with few resources, fragile health, and limited capacity to adopt avoidance behavior. Second, we examine prenatal and post-natal parental investment responses, and show evidence consistent with compensating behaviors. However, despite these efforts, the health of surviving children is still adversely affected. Third, we investigate differential impacts over time and across countries. We find declining effects over time, implying in the absence of reductions in dust itself that societies are adapting in some way. Using national-level measures of macroeconomic conditions and public health resources, we find suggestive evidence that both economic development and public health improvements have contributed to this adaptation, with health improvements seemingly playing a stronger role.
    Keywords: Dust; Infant Mortality; West Africa; Adaptation
    Date: 2016
  9. By: Rashad, Ahmed (Philipps University Marburg); Sharaf, Mesbah (University of Alberta, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: There is substantial evidence that on average, urban children have better health outcomes than rural children. This paper investigates the underlying factors that account for the regional disparities in child malnutrition in three Arab countries, namely; Egypt, Jordan, and Yemen. We use data on a nationally representative sample from the most recent waves of the Demographic and Health Survey. A Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition analysis is conducted to decompose the rural-urban differences in child nutrition outcomes into two components; one that is explained by regional differences in the level of the determinants (co-variate effects), and another component that is explained by differences in the effect of the determinants on the child nutritional status (coefficient effects). Results show that the under-five stunting rates are 20% in Egypt, 46.5 % in Yemen, and 7.7% in Jordan. The rural- urban gap in child malnutrition was minor in the case of Egypt (2.3%) and Jordan (1.5%), while the regional gap was significant in the case of Yemen (17.7%). Results of the Blinder- Oaxaca decomposition show that the co-variate effect is dominant in the case of Yemen while the coefficients effect dominates in the case of Jordan. Income inequality between urban and rural households explains most of the malnutrition gap. Results were robust to the different decomposition weighting schemes. By identifying the underlying factors behind the rural-urban health disparities, the findings of this paper help in designing effective intervention measures aimed at reducing regional inequalities and improving population health outcomes.
    Keywords: Child Malnutrition; Rural-Urban Inequality; Blinder-Oaxaca Decomposition; Egypt; Jordan; Yemen
    JEL: I14 J13
    Date: 2016–02–29
  10. By: Taryn Dinkelman; Martine Mariotti
    Abstract: We provide new evidence of one channel through which circular labor migration has long run effects on origin communities: by raising completed human capital of the next generation. We estimate the net effects of migration from Malawi to South African mines using newly digitized Census and administrative data on access to mine jobs, a difference-in-differences strategy and two opposite-signed and plausibly exogenous shocks to the option to migrate. Twenty years after these shocks, human capital is 4.8-6.9% higher among cohorts who were eligible for schooling in communities with the easiest access to migrant jobs.
    JEL: F22 F24 N37 O12 O15 O55
    Date: 2016–02
  11. By: Dartanto, Teguh; Otsubo, Shigeru
    Abstract: When the economic crisis hit in 1998, and economic growth dropped by 13.7 percent; exacerbated by domestic political turbulence, poverty figures sharply rose from 17.47 percent to 24.20 percent. It began to decline again as the economy quickly recovered from the crisis. The above details demonstrate that poverty is not a pure static phenomenon, but rather is dependent on dynamic characteristics that easily change over time. Households could move into (or out of) poverty in response to fluctuations in the economy. This study then aims to analyze the determinants of households’ shifting welfare during the periods before, during and after the Asian financial crisis in Indonesia. Applying the spell approach of poverty experience and observing four waves of IFLS (Indonesian Family Life Survey) balanced panel datasets, we find that during 1993-1997 (pre-crisis) households could be classified as chronically poor (6.14 percent), transient poor (-) (6.31 percent), transient poor (+) (10.58 percent) and never poor (76.96 percent). However, during 1997-2000 (crisis), the probability of being transient poor (-) had jumped drastically from 5 percent (pre-crisis) to 14 percent (during the crisis). In the post crisis period, roughly 86 percent of the previously poor households could move out of poverty. This study also confirmed that the probability of being poor in the next period highly depends on past experiences with poverty. Moreover, reducing probability of being chronically poor by about half from 4.6 percent to 2.2 percent needs almost fifteen years. Furthermore, our estimations using the ordered logit model confirm that determinants of poverty dynamics include educational attainment, size of the household, share of education expenditure, distance to public transportation, ownership of livestock and liquid assets, and the impact suffered from earthquakes.
    Keywords: chronic poor , transient poor , poverty dynamics , panel data , Asian financial , crisis , Indonesia
    Date: 2016–03–08

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