nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2016‒05‒08
twelve papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. The impact of farm input subsidies on household welfare in Malawi By Sibande, Lonester; Bailey, Alastair; Davidova, Sophia
  2. Diversification, Climate Risk and Vulnerability to Poverty: Evidence from Rural Malawi By Asfaw, Solomon; McCarthy, Nancy; Paolantonio, Adriana; Cavatassi, Romina; Amare, Mulubrhan; Lipper, Leslie
  3. Technology adoption and the multiple dimensions of food security: the case of maize in Tanzania By Magrini, Emiliano; Vigani, Mauro
  4. Political Economy of Healthcare Provision: Evidence from India By Subham Kailthya; Uma Kambhampati
  5. The Impact of Piped Water on Household Welfare: Evidence from Vietnam By Nguyen Viet Cuong; Vu Thieu; Pham Minh Thu; Nguyen Xuan Truong
  6. Do Input Subsidies reduce Poverty among Smallholder Farm Households? Panel Survey Evidence from Zambia By Mason, Nicole; Tembo, Solomon
  7. Welfare Impacts of Climate Shocks: Evidence from Uganda By Asfaw, Solomon; Mortari, Andrea Piano; Arslan, Aslihan; Karfakis, Panagiotis; Lipper, Leslie
  8. Are Banks Bad for Boys? Estimating the Effect of Banks on Child Mortality, Education, and Fertility in Rural India By Daniel Rosenblum
  9. Public Distribution System vs. Market: Analysis of Wheat and Rice Consumption in India By Marta Kozicka; Regine Weber; Matthias Kalkuhl
  10. A Gender Gap in Agricultural Productivity? Evidence from the Dairy Sector in India By Sneyers, Astrid; Vandeplas, Anneleen
  11. Measuring poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean : methodological considerations when estimating an empirical regional poverty line By Castaneda Aguilar,Raul Andres; Gasparini,Leonardo Carlos; Garriga,Santiago; Lucchetti,Leonardo Ramiro; Valderrama Gonzalez,Daniel
  12. Economic and Social Linkages Between Malaria Illness and Crop Production in Yobe State, Nigeria By Ochi, John; Madaki, Musa; Murtala, Nasiru

  1. By: Sibande, Lonester; Bailey, Alastair; Davidova, Sophia
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of a fertilizer subsidy program in Malawi on household food security and the total annual per capita consumption expenditure. The study uses the nationally representative two-wave Integrated Household Panel Survey (IHPS) data of 2010 and 2013. Fixed effect and correlated random effect quantile regression models are employed to estimate the conditional mean and heterogeneous effects of subsidized fertilizer. The study finds a positive effect of subsidized fertilizer on the availability of kilocalories per capita per day, the number of months of household food security, and the probability of a household being food secure over the whole year. The study also finds heterogeneous effects of the program with relatively higher impact on food secure households. However, the study finds no evidence of effects on annual per capita consumption expenditure. These results suggests that farm input subsidy programs could be beneficial for the improvement of food security, particularly of larger food crop producers, but such programs are less useful when the main policy objective is to decrease poverty.
    Keywords: Farm Input Subsidies, Food Security, Quantile Regression, Malawi, Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Security and Poverty, Q1, Q18,
    Date: 2015–10
  2. By: Asfaw, Solomon; McCarthy, Nancy; Paolantonio, Adriana; Cavatassi, Romina; Amare, Mulubrhan; Lipper, Leslie
    Abstract: This paper investigates factors that impact cropland, labour and income diversification decisions and subsequent impacts on welfare. We use geo-referenced household data collected in 2011 from Malawi. The results show that measures of climate risk generally increase diversification across labour, cropland and income indicating that rainfall riskiness is a “push” factor for these indices. Our results also reveal that “pull” factors such as household wealth and education status of the household generally increase diversification across labour, land and income. Results also show that vulnerability to poverty is lower in environments with greater climate variability. Availability of services and support from rural institutions tends to increase diversification and reduce vulnerability to poverty. Looking at welfare measures as a function of diversification indices, all three measures of diversification increase consumption per capita, but income diversification has the strongest impacts on current consumption per capita and in reducing vulnerability to poverty.
    Keywords: Climate change, diversification, impact, Malawi, Environmental Economics and Policy, International Development, Q01, Q12, Q16, Q18,
    Date: 2015–08
  3. By: Magrini, Emiliano; Vigani, Mauro
    Abstract: The paper analyses the impact of agricultural technologies on the four pillars of food security for maize farmers in Tanzania. Relying on matching techniques, we use a nationally representative dataset collected over the period 2010/2011 to estimate the causal effects of using improved seeds and inorganic fertilizers on food availability, access, utilization, and stability. Overall, the technologies have a positive and significant impact on food security, but substantial differences between the pillars are observed. Improved seeds show a stronger effect on food availability and access, while - in terms of utilization - both technologies increase the diet diversity and only improved seeds reduce the dependence on staple food. Finally, improved seeds reduce the household vulnerability while inorganic fertilizers guarantee higher resilience. The study supports the idea that the relationship between agricultural technologies and food security is a complex phenomenon, which cannot be limited to the use of welfare indexes as proxy for food security.
    Keywords: Food Security and Poverty, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies,
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Subham Kailthya (Department of Economics, University of Reading); Uma Kambhampati (Department of Economics, University of Reading)
    Abstract: The public provision of healthcare is common in democracies. Yet very little is known as to how political-economic factors are related to healthcare service delivery. In this paper, we examine the role of electoral participation and political competition in affecting healthcare service delivery at the sub-national level in India. However, examining this issue is less than straightforward for many reasons: first, systematic biases in health perceptions and priming of the electorate to ambient health means that existing health conditions affect expectations of the electorate from the government regarding healthcare provision; secondly, elected leaders favor providing more visible public goods vis-a-vis less visible ones to increase their chances of electoral success. And third, weak enforcement mechanisms perpetuate conditions conducive to rent-seeking. All these factors, create conditions for the presence of multiple equilibria in public provision. A least squares approach that focuses on the conditional mean alone misses this important point. We therefore employ a quantile regression method that examines the impact of political-economic factors at different points along the conditional distribution to yield a more comprehensive picture. We find signiffcant differences in the impact of political-economic variables along the conditional distributions of healthcare access and system capacity variables. Our results are also consistent with the 'visibility-effect' hypothesis in public provision: elected leaders respond differently to political-market characteristics when the public good is more, rather than less, visible. We find that health care access improves with greater electoral participation and diminishes with political competition whereas, it is the opposite for system capacity. The combined effect however limits access and increases provision of system capacity.
    Keywords: local government spending, healthcare, quantile regressions, India
    Date: 2016–04–21
  5. By: Nguyen Viet Cuong (Institute of Public Policy and Management, National Economics University); Vu Thieu (Vietnam); Pham Minh Thu (Vietnam); Nguyen Xuan Truong (Ministry of Health of Vietnam)
    Abstract: Clean water is essential for human survival, yet many people do not have access to clean water in Vietnam. Only around 23 percent of the population had access to piped water in 2006. Other households have to use water from wells, rivers, and ponds without any purification. This study measured the effect of piped water on household welfare using difference-in-differences estimators on panel data from the Vietnam Household Living Standard Surveys. Results showed a positive effect of piped water on household income and labor supply, but these were not statistically significant. Piped water showed a negative effect on sickness of household members, but this was also not statistically significant.
    Keywords: piped water, welfare, Vietnam
    Date: 2016–04
  6. By: Mason, Nicole; Tembo, Solomon
    Abstract: Many of the ‘new’ agricultural input subsidy programs (ISPs) in sub-Saharan Africa include among their objectives raising farm incomes and reducing rural poverty, but there is a dearth of empirical evidence on whether ISPs are achieving these objectives. Focusing on the case of Zambia, where ISPs account for approximately 50% of all agricultural sector poverty reduction program expenditures, we use nationally-representative panel survey data to estimate the effects of ISP fertilizer on smallholder farm household incomes, poverty incidence, and poverty severity based on the US$2 and US$1.25/capita/day poverty lines. Panel data (fixed effects and correlated random effects) and instrumental variables/control function methods are used to correct for the potential endogeneity of subsidized fertilizer to household incomes and poverty status. Results suggest that although ISP fertilizer raises incomes, the increase is not large enough or widely distributed enough to substantively reduce poverty incidence or severity among smallholder farm households in Zambia.
    Keywords: Consumer/Household Economics, Farm Management,
    Date: 2015
  7. By: Asfaw, Solomon; Mortari, Andrea Piano; Arslan, Aslihan; Karfakis, Panagiotis; Lipper, Leslie
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the effects of weather/climate shocks on household welfare using a nationally representative panel data from Uganda together with a set of novel climate variation indicators. Where the effect of climate/weather variability has a significantly negative effect on household welfare, we further test the hypotheses that policy-relevant mechanisms can be effective means of mitigating the negative welfare effects. In general we obtain very few significant results with respect to climate/weather shock variables which might point towards a consumption and income smoothing behavior by the households, whose welfare level is not affected by the weather shocks. With regards to the different shocks definition, the reference period used to define the shock does not matter since the coefficients and the signs do not change with the reference period. Different policy action variables have also heterogeneous impact across different outcome variables in terms of mitigating the negative impact of climate/weather shocks.
    Keywords: Climate shock, welfare, Uganda, Africa, Environmental Economics and Policy, International Development, Q01, Q12, Q16, Q18,
    Date: 2015
  8. By: Daniel Rosenblum
    Abstract: I investigate whether a large-scale bank expansion program affected parents' decisions to invest in the health and education of their children. From 1977 to 1990, the Indian government implemented a new licensing program to encourage the construction of banks in underserved rural communities. The timing of the bank expansion program is used as an instrument to account for the possible reverse causality of child mortality or education rates affecting bank expansion. An empirical analysis using large-scale Indian surveys finds that states with a more rapid expansion of rural banks did not have significantly lower child mortality overall. However, in households with a first-born daughter, in which discrimination against daughters and in favor of sons is exacerbated, excess female mortality declines with an increase in banks. This occurs through higher male mortality rather than lower female mortality. Similarly, an increase in banks has no effect on daughters' education, but it reduces sons' years of education. Both of these effects occur in a context of more banks causing lower fertility and a reduction in poverty rates, which if anything should lead to reduced child mortality and higher education levels.
    Keywords: gender discrimination, child mortality, education, credit constraints, rural banking, India
    JEL: J13 K11 O12
    Date: 2016–04
  9. By: Marta Kozicka; Regine Weber; Matthias Kalkuhl
    Abstract: Despite the large-scale antipoverty programs, especially food and nutrition programs, 15 per cent of Indian population is undernourished. The National Food Security Act (NFSA) aims at reducing food insecurity by granting a right to food to a large share of the population. The implementation of the world largest food aid program, however, is controversially debated: While historically, rationed highly subsidizes staple food have been used to improve the access to food for poor people, cash transfers are considered as an alternative with lower market distortions, leakages and fiscal costs. This study analyzes consumption patterns of wheat and rice delivered through the Public Distribution System in India and investigates targeting errors as well as reasons for leakage, self-selection and under-supply of staples using cross-sectional household data on all-India level. Our findings indicate some serious targeting errors of the current distribution system as migrant workers and female-led households are not well covered. We find that leakage rates are in general very low for poor households and regions with high poverty rates, implying that higher market prices have negative consequences for the poor excluded from the system. Further, wealthier households restrain from consuming subsidized grains. This negative self-selection of wealthier households implies a high potential for cost savings that would be lost under a cash-transfer scheme. Thus, or study provides a subtle and differentiated analysis that is highly useful for improving the current distribution system as well as design and targeting issues relevant for an alternative cash-transfer system.
    JEL: D12 D45 H53 I38
    Date: 2016–04
  10. By: Sneyers, Astrid; Vandeplas, Anneleen
    Abstract: In agriculture, women have been found to be less productive than men for a variety of reasons. Most of the studies in this domain focus on crop production, and so far there has been little evidence on the impact of gender on productivity in dairy. This paper provides empirical evidence of the impact of female decision-making power on dairy productivity in India, based on a unique household-level dataset collected in 2010 in 50 villages in Andhra Pradesh, a state in the South of India. Our analysis suggests that higher productivity is achieved in households where women take dairy production-related decisions. While caution is due in drawing overly strong conclusions, our results provide a more nuanced view on the impact of gender on agricultural productivity than the one usually put forward in the literature.
    Keywords: agricultural productivity, dairy sector, gender, female decision-making power, Agribusiness, Livestock Production/Industries, Q18, O13,
    Date: 2015
  11. By: Castaneda Aguilar,Raul Andres; Gasparini,Leonardo Carlos; Garriga,Santiago; Lucchetti,Leonardo Ramiro; Valderrama Gonzalez,Daniel
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the methodological literature on the estimation of poverty lines for country poverty comparisons in Latin America and the Caribbean. The paper exploits a unique, comprehensive data set of 86 up-to-date urban official extreme and moderate poverty lines across 18 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as the recent values of the national purchasing power parity conversion factors from the 2011 International Comparison Program and a set of harmonized household surveys that are part of the Socio-Economic Database for Latin America and the Caribbean project. Because of the dispersion of country-specific poverty lines, the paper concludes that the value of a regional poverty line largely depends on the selected aggregation method, which ends up having a direct impact on the estimation of regional extreme and moderate poverty headcounts.
    Keywords: Regional Economic Development,ICT Applications,Pro-Poor Growth,Rural Poverty Reduction
    Date: 2016–04–04
  12. By: Ochi, John; Madaki, Musa; Murtala, Nasiru
    Abstract: The purpose of this article is to stimulate discussion about the links between malaria pandemic and crop production, and to broaden our understanding of the effect of malaria in terms of its economic burden on households and national economic development of endemic economies. It begins with a theoretical framework, emphasising economic development imperative of malaria, and the implication for agricultural development. Using propensity score matching, the likelihood of malaria infection was evaluated in relation to key socioeconomic variables among infected and uninfected households in agricultural communities of Yobe State. Similarly, the linear regression provides empirical evidence to suggest that the instrumented malaria indices significantly reduce crop production among malaria infected households. The economic loss approach further stresses the economic imperative of the opportunity cost of labor among malaria infected households. The empirical results suggest targeting farmers with malaria-specific control and prevention programs in the state.
    Keywords: Crop production, Malaria illness, household income, Propensity score matching, economic development, Consumer/Household Economics, Crop Production/Industries,
    Date: 2015

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