nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2016‒05‒21
23 papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. How Common Crop Yield Measures Misrepresent Productivity among Smallholder Farmers By Reynolds, Travis W.; Anderson, C. Leigh; Slakie, Elysia; Gugerty, Mary Kay
  2. Iron Deficiency and Schooling Attainment in Peru By Chong, Alberto; Cohen, Isabelle; Field, Erica; Nakasone, Eduardo; Torero, Maximo
  3. Let it Rain: Weather Extremes and Household Welfare in Rural Kenya By Wineman, Ayala; Mason, Nicole M.; Ochieng, Justus; Kirimi, Lilian
  4. Promoting Growth-Enhancing Structural Change: Evidence from a Panel of African, Asian, and Latin American Countries By Jan Trenczek
  5. Impact of Cash Grants on Multidimensional Poverty in South Africa By Atika Pasha
  6. How Does Composition of Household Income Affect Child Nutrition Outcomes? Evidence from Uganda By Kirk, Angeli; Kilic, Talip; Carletto, Calogero
  7. Land Access, Land Rental and Food Security: Evidence from Kenya By Muraoka, Rie; Jin, Songqing; Jayne, Thomas S.
  8. “Cursed is the ground because of you”: Religion, Ethnicity, and the Adoption of Fertilizers in Rural Ethiopia By Guerzoni, Marco; Jordan, Alexander
  9. Family Networks and Distributive Politics By Fafchamps, Marcel
  10. Milk Marketing Channel Choices for Enhanced Competitiveness in The Kenya Dairy Supply Chain: A multinomial Logit Approach By Moturi, Walter; Obare, Gideon; Kahi, Alexander
  11. The role of training programs for youth employment in Nepal : impact evaluation report on the employment fund By Chakravarty,Shubha; Lundberg,Mattias K. A.; Danchev,Plamen Nikolov; Zenker,Juliane
  12. Development and Exclusion: Intergenerational Stickiness in India By Majumder, Rajarshi; Ray, Jhilam
  13. Decomposing response errors in food consumption measurement : implications for survey design from a survey experiment in Tanzania By Friedman,Jed; Beegle,Kathleen G.; De Weerdt,Joachim; Gibson,John
  14. Private Sustainability Standards in the Ugandan Coffee Sector: Empty Promises or Catalysts for Development? By AKOYI, Kevin Teopista; MAERTENS, Miet
  15. The impact of a community development and poverty reduction program on early childhood development in Morocco By El-Kogali,Safaa El Tayeb; Krafft,Caroline Gould; Abdelkhalek,Touhami; Benkassmi,Mohamed; Chavez,Monica I.; Bassett,Lucy Katherine; Ejjanoui,Fouzia
  16. Household Responses to cash Transfers By Denni Tommasi
  17. Adaptation to Climate Change and its Impacts on Food Security: Evidence from Niger By Asfaw, Solomon; Lipper, Leslie
  18. Short-term effects of India's employment guarantee program on labor markets and agricultural productivity By Deininger,Klaus W.; Nagarajan,Hari Krishnan; Singh,Sudhir K.
  19. More than an Urban Legend: The long-term socioeconomic effects of unplanned fertility shocks By Fetzer, Thiemo; Pardo, Oliver; Shanghavi, Amar
  20. Female Employment reduces Fertility in Rural Senegal By Van den Broeck, Goedele; Maertens, Miet
  21. Participation in farmer's cooperatives and its effects on agricultural incomes : evidence from vegetable-producing areas in China By Hoken, Hisatoshi
  22. Can Business Owners Form Accurate Counterfactuals? Eliciting Treatment and Control Beliefs about Their Outcomes in the Alternative Treatment Status By McKenzie, David J.
  23. Cash-on-hand in Developing Countries and the Value of Social Insurance: Evidence from Brazil By D. G. C. Britto

  1. By: Reynolds, Travis W.; Anderson, C. Leigh; Slakie, Elysia; Gugerty, Mary Kay
    Abstract: Common estimates of agricultural productivity rely upon crude measures of crop yield, typically defined as the weight of a crop harvested divided by the area harvested. But this common yield measure poorly reflects performance among farm systems combining multiple crops in one area (e.g., intercropping), and also ignores the possibility that farmers might lose crop area between planting and harvest (e.g., partial crop failure). Drawing on detailed plot-level data from Tanzania’s National Panel Survey, this paper contrasts measures of smallholder productivity using production per hectare harvested and production per hectare planted. Yield by area planted differs significantly from yield by area harvested, particularly for smaller farms and female-headed households. OLS regression further reveals different demographic and management-related drivers of variability in yield gains – and thus different implications for policy and development interventions – depending on the yield measurement used. Findings suggest a need to better specify “yield” to more effectively guide agricultural development efforts.
    Keywords: Crop Production/Industries, Farm Management,
    Date: 2015
  2. By: Chong, Alberto; Cohen, Isabelle; Field, Erica; Nakasone, Eduardo; Torero, Maximo
    Abstract: A key question in development economics is whether nutritional deficiencies generate intergenerational poverty traps by reducing the earnings potential of children born into poverty. To assess the causal influence on human capital of one of the most widespread micronutrient deficiencies, supplemental iron pills were made available at a local health center in rural Peru and adolescents were encouraged to take them up via classroom media messages. Results from school administrative records provide novel evidence that reducing iron deficiency results almost immediately in a large and significant improvement in school performance. For anemic students, an average of 10 100mg iron pills over three months improves average test scores by 0.4 standard deviations and increases the likelihood of grade progression by 11%. Supplementation also raises anemic students’ aspirations for the future. Both results indicate that cognitive deficits from iron-deficiency anemia contribute to a nutrition-based poverty trap. Our findings also demonstrate that, with low-cost outreach efforts in schools, supplementation programs offered through a public clinic can be both affordable and effective in reducing rates of adolescent IDA.
    Keywords: Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty,
    Date: 2015–05–08
  3. By: Wineman, Ayala; Mason, Nicole M.; Ochieng, Justus; Kirimi, Lilian
    Abstract: Households in rural Kenya are sensitive to weather shocks through their reliance on rain-fed agriculture and livestock. Yet the extent of vulnerability is poorly understood, particularly in reference to extreme weather. This paper uses temporally and spatially disaggregated weather data and three waves of household panel survey data to understand the impact of weather extremes –including periods of high and low rainfall, heat, and wind– on household welfare. Particular attention is paid to heterogeneous effects across agro-ecological regions. We find that all types of extreme weather affect household well-being, although effects sometimes differ for income and calorie estimates. Periods of drought are the most consistently negative weather shock across various regions. An examination of the channels through which weather affects welfare reveals that drought conditions reduce income from both on- and off-farm sources, though households compensate for diminished on-farm production with food purchases. The paper further explores the household and community characteristics that mitigate the adverse effects of drought. In particular, access to credit and a more diverse income base seem to render a household more resilient.
    Keywords: food security, household welfare, Kenya, resilience, weather shocks, Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Security and Poverty, International Development, Production Economics, D60, I32, O13, Q12,
    Date: 2016–02
  4. By: Jan Trenczek (University of Mainz)
    Abstract: In what the authors name “a first pass through the data”, McMillan et al. (2014) have recently addressed the question: what determines the magnitude of growth-enhancing structural change - defined as gains to average labor productivity resulting from a reallocation of labor across sectors? This paper extends their cross-section work to a panel data set of 5- and 10-year intervals from 1970 to 2010 for 29 (mostly developing) countries. Controlling for a wide range of control variables and time-invariant unobserved heterogeneity, the results present support for growth-enhancing structural change to be the outcome of a conditional domestic convergence process towards, what I term, a country’s idiosyncratic state of efficient allocation. The regressions further indicate that the removal of labor market rigidities and improvements in gender equality in education correlate with larger gains from structural change in a statistical and economical meaningful way. However, these relationships are not found in countries with large (gender) inequality in education or strong labor market rigidities, respectively. The study also shines some light on the channels through which the variables potentially affect gains from structural change.
    Keywords: Structural change; productivity growth; labor market rigidity; educational inequality
    JEL: O10 O14 O47
    Date: 2016–04–28
  5. By: Atika Pasha (Georg-August University Göttingen)
    Abstract: South Africa is estimated to allocate approximately US $12 billion for the 2014/15 fiscal year for social grants (Bhorat and Cassim, 2014). With an extensive coverage and budget, it is one of the most progressive social security schemes among low and even middle income countries. It helps mitigate income poverty and inequality, and has been shown to have a positive effect on household socioeconomic outcomes such as health and education, employment and other demographic outcomes. However, no study has thus far examined the impact of these grants on the overall or associative deprivation across households. This paper uses the National Income Dynamics Survey (NIDS) to derive the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) and Correlation Sensitive Poverty Index (CSPI) for South Africa, and then estimate the impact that social assistance grants have on both of these composite indices of poverty measurement. The results show that increases in the income from a cash grant, leads to lower multidimensional poverty level in households. Another meaningful result is that cash grants seem to have reduced the multidimensional inequality as well. Using an instrument and a fuzzy Regression Discontinuity Design (RDD) to account for the issue of endogeneity in child and old age grants respectively, health and standard of living are found to be the major channels through which these grants work in reducing multidimensional poverty and inequality.
    Keywords: Social Assistance Grants; Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI); Correlation Sensitive Poverty Index (CSPI); National Income Dynamics Survey (NIDS)
    JEL: H55 I38
    Date: 2016–05–11
  6. By: Kirk, Angeli; Kilic, Talip; Carletto, Calogero
    Abstract: This study attempts to fill the knowledge gap between the cross-country analyses that explore the links between income and nutrition without insights on micro-level determinants, and the numerous microeconomic studies that suggest mechanisms of impact but are hindered by some combination of small sample size, incomplete data, and questionable approaches to impact estimation. The analysis uses the three annual waves of the Uganda National Panel Survey, and features panel regressions of child anthropometric outcomes controlling for time-invariant childlevel heterogeneity and other time-variant observables. The paper starts by looking at how the outcomes correlate with short-term changes in rural household income. The impact is subsequently differentiated by sector of income, first between agricultural and non-agricultural sectors, and by type of agriculture. The analysis documents no impact of short-term changes in total gross income on weight-related measures but documents positive effects on height-related outcomes. Sector-differentiated analyses indicate that only the share of income originating from non-farm self-employment exerts positive and statistically significant effects on both height and weight measures. For height, the income shares pertaining to (i) consumption of own crop production and (ii) low-protein crop production appear to be underlining the negative effect of the share of income originating from crop production. The results suggest stickiness of crop production to own consumption, and while this may be nutrition-supporting in some contexts, income growth in the production of low-nutrient crops in Uganda may crowd out consumption of other goods and services that have the potential to serve as better nutritional investments.
    Keywords: Child Nutrition, Anthropometrics, Household Income, Agriculture, Nutrition- Sensitive Agricultural Production, Uganda, Sub-Saharan Africa, Consumer/Household Economics, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, International Development, C23, I12, O12, O15, Q12,
    Date: 2015
  7. By: Muraoka, Rie; Jin, Songqing; Jayne, Thomas S.
    Abstract: Constrained access to land is increasingly recognized as a problem impeding rural household welfare in densely populated areas of Africa. This study utilizes household and parcel level data from rural Kenya to explore the linkage between land access and food security. We find that a 10% increase in operated land size would increase household total food consumption per capita, cereal consumption per capita, non-cereal consumption, and home produced food consumption by 2.6%, 2.1%, 2.7% and 5.4%, respectively. We also find that land rental is the dominant mechanism that poor rural farmers use to access additional land for cultivation. However, the levels of long-term land investment and land productivity are significantly lower for rented parcels than for own parcels even after household fixed-effect and parcel level observed characteristics are controlled for. Furthermore, land rental markets do not allow farmers to fully adjust their operated land size to their desired level.
    Keywords: Land Economics/Use,
    Date: 2015
  8. By: Guerzoni, Marco; Jordan, Alexander (University of Turin)
    Abstract: This paper analyses culture as a determinant of technology adoption in a developing country. While the literature extensively discusses the influence of culture upon economic growth, little attention has been paid to the mechanisms that can explain this link at the micro level. In this paper, we postulate that culture may play a crucial role in hindering or fostering the adoption and diffusion of innovation, a key trigger of the engine of growth. We thus borrow from the literature on the economics of innovation, and we model the impact of culture upon households’ decision to adopt innovation. We focus on developing countries and specifically on the adoption of fertilizer in Ethiopian rural areas. This empirical study uses the Ethiopia Rural Household Survey† to attempt to differentiate between individual cultural traits, namely, ethnicity and religion, and the cultural homogeneity of the environment as co-determinants of fertilizer adoption. We thus apply a multivariate survival model for clustered and correlated observations and find a positive effect on the diffusion of fertilizer. Firstly, habits and social norms, proxied by ethnicity, provide a better explanation for the role of culture, than religious beliefs, as usually posited in the literature. Secondly, the cultural environment plays a decisive role. While a homogeneous ethnic environment accelerates the diffusion of fertilizer, a diverse religious background in a community creates an environment conducive to initial adoption. While the direct contribution of this paper relates to technology adoption at the micro level, we believe it represents a first step in gaining a better understanding of the relation between culture and growth at the micro level.
    Date: 2016–04
  9. By: Fafchamps, Marcel
    Abstract: We argue that incumbents share rents with central players to build and sustain coalitions. Using an unusually rich dataset, we show that households with high betweenness centrality - a measure of brokerage potential - receive more public services from their local government. This result is robust to the inclusion of controls for program eligibility, family ties with politicians, and other measures of centrality - which are not significant once betweenness is included. We provide further corroboration from indirect evidence from variation in size and electoral competition across municipalities. Finally, we show that in municipalities where politicians provide more goods and services to their relatives they target fewer goods to households with high betweenness centrality. The evidence supports the hypothesis that incumbent municipal politicians offer favorable access to public services to households most able to play a brokerage role in the formation of coalitions of families for electoral support.
    Date: 2016–04
  10. By: Moturi, Walter; Obare, Gideon; Kahi, Alexander
    Abstract: This paper uses data from a survey of one hundred and eighty four dairy households in two divisional administrative zones in the Kenya highlands to empirically analyze the factors that influence the choice of a milk marketing channel. Multinomial logit econometric estimation results show that distance to milk collection centre, education level, membership of the household head to farmers' group/organization, the number of cows ownedn by the household, and the coefficiency of variation in prices significantly influenced the choice of a marketing channel. Private channel players are yet to focus on tapping the production potential of farmers with small herd sizes and encouraging group formation to exploit the social capital. The study demonstrates the need for the private sector to enhance milk collection at the unexplored areas to exploit the milk supply potentials. The implications for policy are provide.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Marketing,
    Date: 2015
  11. By: Chakravarty,Shubha; Lundberg,Mattias K. A.; Danchev,Plamen Nikolov; Zenker,Juliane
    Abstract: The youth unemployment rate is exceptionally high in developing countries. Because the quality of education is arguably one of the most important determinants of youth's labor force participation, governments worldwide have responded by creating job training and placement services programs. Despite the rapid expansion of skill-enhancement employment programs across the world and the long history of training program evaluations, debates about the causal impact of training-based labor market policies on employment outcomes still persist. Using a quasi-experimental approach, this report presents the short-run effects of skills training and employment placement services in Nepal. Launched in 2009, the intervention provided skills training and employment placement services for more than 40,000 Nepalese youth over a three-year period, including a specialized adolescent girls'initiative that reached 4,410 women ages 16 to 24. The report finds that after three years of the program, the Employment Fund intervention positively improved employment outcomes. Participation in the Employment Fund training program generated an increase in non-farm employment of 15 to 16 percentage points for an overall gain of about 50 percent. The program also generated an average monthly earnings gain of about 72 percent. The report finds significantly larger employment impacts for women than for men, but younger women ages 16 to 24 experienced the same improvements as older females. These employment estimates are comparable, although somewhat higher, than other recent experimental interventions in developing countries.
    Keywords: Financial Literacy,Education For All,Access&Equity in Basic Education,Population Policies,Primary Education
    Date: 2016–04–27
  12. By: Majumder, Rajarshi; Ray, Jhilam
    Abstract: The concept of development has matured from being indicative of aggregative progress to being sensitive to inequality and exclusion within the whole, giving rise to the coinage Inclusive Development. This notion speaks of bridging gap between ethnic/social groups within a nation in domains like livelihood, social status, political empowerment, cultural freedom, among others. This would depend on temporal movement of different groups and intergenerational mobility can act as a mechanism to achieve social fluidity and greater inclusion. Present paper explores the role of intergenerational stickiness in perpetuating such disparity across social groups in India. We argue that economic status is intricately linked to what a person does for livelihood, i.e. her occupation, and what remuneration she receives for it, i.e. her wages. In present world system, occupation and wages are also critically determined by the human capital quotient of the individual, marked generally by her educational level. Therefore, the socioeconomic structure of a country and its temporal movement would be shaped by intergenerational mobility in education, occupation and income for different social groups. Higher (upward) mobility for the lagging classes would lead to catching up and convergence while lower mobility for them would lead to widening gaps. It is our contention that persistence of economic inequality across social groups in India is associated with high parental impact and low intergenerational mobility for the historically lagging and excluded social groups. Technically both Transitional Matrix and Regression based econometric techniques are used to estimate parental impact on respondent’s status as well as the role of social background in influencing the magnitude of the parental impact itself in Indian context during the last two decades. Relative strength of Structural and Exchange Mobility have also been estimated. Interlinkage between the three types of mobility and that between mobility and other socioeconomic parameters have been explored.
    Keywords: Intergenerational Mobility; Social Exclusion; Transition Matrix; Poverty; India
    JEL: I24 I25 I28 I30 J24 J31 J62 J71
    Date: 2016–05–01
  13. By: Friedman,Jed; Beegle,Kathleen G.; De Weerdt,Joachim; Gibson,John
    Abstract: There is wide variation in how consumption is measured in household surveys both across countries and over time. This variation may confound welfare comparisons in part because these alternative survey designs produce consumption estimates that are differentially influenced by contrasting types of survey response error. Although previous studies have documented the extent of net error in alternative survey designs, little is known about the relative influence of the different response errors that underpin a survey estimate. This study leverages a recent randomized food consumption survey experiment in Tanzania to shed light on the relative influence of these various error types. The observed deviation of measured household consumption from a benchmark is decomposed into item-specific consumption incidence and consumption value so as to investigate effects related to (a) the omission of any consumption and then (b) the error in value reporting conditional on positive consumption. The results show that various survey designs exhibit widely differing error decompositions, and hence a simple summary comparison of the total recorded consumption across surveys will obscure specific error patterns and inhibit the lessons for improved consumption survey design. In light of these findings, the relative performance of common survey designs is discussed, and design lessons are drawn to enhance the accuracy of item-specific consumption reporting and, consequently, the measures of total household food consumption.
    Keywords: Consumption,Regional Economic Development,Food&Beverage Industry,Economic Theory&Research,Rural Poverty Reduction
    Date: 2016–04–19
  14. By: AKOYI, Kevin Teopista; MAERTENS, Miet
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate whether private sustainability standards in the coffee sector in Uganda live up to the promises they make to consumers to improve the welfare and productivity of smallholder farmers. We use cross-sectional household survey data from Eastern Uganda and instrumental variable methods to reveal how participation in two different coffee certification schemes affects smallholders. We find that smallholder participation in a double Fairtrade - Organic certification scheme neither increases producer income, nor reduces poverty. While certified producers do receive higher coffee prices, the certificate results in lower land and labour productivity and the price premium does not compensate for that. For participation in a triple Utz - Rainforest Alliance - 4C certification scheme, we find increases in coffee income, in land and labour productivity but no significant impact on poverty reduction. The results imply that almost a decade after their introduction, the certification schemes have failed to contribute to poverty reduction in a region that is faced with a high incidence of poverty. The results indicate that a price premium to producers is neither necessary, nor sufficient, for private sustainability standards to contribute to rural incomes, and that yields are more important than prices in increasing net returns to coffee farmers. In areas with degraded soils and low average yields, FT certification focusing on fair producer prices, might be better for smallholder coffee farmers when combined with standards that focus on good agricultural practices and productivity growth, such as Utz, than when combined with Organic standards. The results put doubt on the sincerity of private sustainability standards and the justification of the price premium consumers pay for certified products, as standards may not always live up to the expectations they create.
    Keywords: Coffee certification, Private sustainability standards, Global value chains, Poverty reduction, Smallholder farmers, Uganda, Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy, International Development, Production Economics, F14, I32, L15, O12, O13, O17, O18, Q12, Q13, Q17, Q18,
    Date: 2016–05
  15. By: El-Kogali,Safaa El Tayeb; Krafft,Caroline Gould; Abdelkhalek,Touhami; Benkassmi,Mohamed; Chavez,Monica I.; Bassett,Lucy Katherine; Ejjanoui,Fouzia
    Abstract: Participatory community development programs are designed to match government investments with local needs. In Morocco, where issues of inequality and poverty are high on the national agenda, a community development program, the National Initiative for Human Development, targeted high-poverty areas for additional investments. This paper examines whether, in addition to reducing poverty, such programs can also promote human development, specifically early childhood development. Early childhood development forms a critical foundation for later human development and plays a key role in the intergenerational transmission of socioeconomic status. Using panel data on communities just above and below the cutoff for National Initiative for Human Development inclusion in rural areas, regression discontinuity and fixed effect models are applied to identify the impact of the program on economic outcomes and early childhood development. Although the analysis finds some transitory impacts of the program on economic outcomes, it finds no impacts on early childhood development. Reducing inequality and promoting human development through early childhood development is likely to require specific, targeted, and sustained initiatives.
    Keywords: Regional Economic Development,Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Poverty Monitoring&Analysis,Rural Poverty Reduction
    Date: 2016–05–12
  16. By: Denni Tommasi
    Abstract: This paper estimates a collective model of the household and investigates how parents reach decisions to allocate household resources. Using data from PROGRESA, we test the restrictions of collective rationality on a large variety of specifications and show that, contrary to previous results, this modeling approach cannot rationalize the household decision process. We provide some evidence that the observed inefficiency is driven by the group receiving the cash transfers. These results are consistent with the idea that a possible indirect effect of CCT programs may be to enhance disagreements between the spouses which trigger an inefficient allocation of their resources.
    Keywords: collective model; bargaining power; efficiency; PROGRESA; conditional cash transfers
    JEL: D13 I38 J12 J16 O15
    Date: 2016–05
  17. By: Asfaw, Solomon; Lipper, Leslie
    Abstract: We assess farmers' incentives and the conditioning factors for adoption of agricultural technologies under climate risk and evaluate its impact on food security in Niger. Results show that while the use of modern inputs and organic fertilizers improves productivity, results are unclear for crop residues. Results also show that factors driving modern input use are different than those of crop residues and organic fertilizer which can be characterized at low capital requirements, higher labour requirements and longer time for results versus modern inputs which can be characterized as higher capital requirements, less labour requirement and shorter time for returns. Results show that greater climate variability increases use of risk-reducing inputs, but reduce the use of modern inputs. Results presented have implications for understanding and overcoming barriers to adoption, distinguishing structural aspects such as exposure and sensitivity from potential interventions at the household or system levels linked to adaptive capacity.
    Keywords: Climate change, adaptation, food security, multivariate probit, instrumental variable, Niger, Africa, Environmental Economics and Policy, Food Security and Poverty, Q01, Q12, Q16, Q18,
    Date: 2015
  18. By: Deininger,Klaus W.; Nagarajan,Hari Krishnan; Singh,Sudhir K.
    Abstract: This paper uses a large national household panel from 1999/2000 and 2007/08 to analyze the short-term effects of India's Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme on wages, labor supply, agricultural labor use, and productivity. The scheme prompted a 10-point wage increase and higher labor supply to nonagricultural casual work and agricultural self-employment. Program-induced drops in hired labor demand were more than outweighed by more intensive use of family labor, machinery, fertilizer, and diversification to crops with higher risk-return profiles, especially by small farmers. Although the aggregate productivity effects were modest, total employment generated by the program (but not employment in irrigation-related activities) significantly increased productivity, suggesting alleviation of liquidity constraints and implicit insurance provision rather than quality of works undertaken as a main channel for program-induced productivity effects.
    Keywords: Economic Theory&Research,Labor Policies,Labor Markets,Rural Poverty Reduction
    Date: 2016–05–09
  19. By: Fetzer, Thiemo (University of Warwick); Pardo, Oliver (Universidad Icesi); Shanghavi, Amar (London School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper exploits a nearly year-long period of power rationing that took place in Colombia in 1992, to shed light on three interrelated questions. First, we show that power shortages can lead to higher fertility, causing mini baby booms. Second, we show that the increase in fertility had not been offset by having fewer children over the following 12 years. Third, we show that the fertility shock caused mothers worse socioeconomic outcomes 12 years later. Taken together, the results suggest that there are significant indirect social costs to poor public infrastructure.
    Keywords: fertility, infrastructure, blackouts, unplanned parenthood. JEL Classification: J13, J16, O18, H41
    Date: 2016
  20. By: Van den Broeck, Goedele; Maertens, Miet
    Abstract: The recent horticultural export boom in Senegal has created new off-farm wage employment opportunities for the rural population, especially for women. We hypothesise that female wage employment may lower fertility rates through an income effect, an empowerment effect and a substitution effect, and address this question empirically using household survey data and two different regression techniques (a Difference-in-Differences estimator and an Instrumental Variable approach). We find that besides education, female employment has a significant negative effect on fertility rates. Reducing fertility rates is considered as a prerequisite for reaching the MDGs, and our finding implies that the horticultural export boom and associated employment may indirectly contribute to this.
    Keywords: horticultural export, female labour market participation, female empowerment, fertility rate, Senegal JEL codes:, International Development, Labor and Human Capital, J43, Q12, Q17,
    Date: 2015
  21. By: Hoken, Hisatoshi
    Abstract: Chinese agricultural cooperatives, called Farmer's Professional Cooperatives (FPCs), are expected to become a major tool to facilitate agro-industrialization for small farmers through the diffusion of new technologies, the supply of high-quality agricultural inputs and the marketing of their products. This study compares FPC participants with vegetable-producing non-participants and grain farmers in vegetable-producing areas in rural China to investigate the treatment effect of participation in FPCs as well as implementation of vegetable cultivation. I adopt parametric and nonparametric approaches to precisely estimate the treatment effects. Estimated results indicate no significant difference between participants and non-participants of FPCs on agricultural net income in both parametric and non-parametric estimations. In contrast, the comparison between vegetable and grain farmers using propensity score matching (PSM) reveals that the treatment effect of vegetable cultivation is significantly positive for total and agricultural incomes, although vegetable cultivation involves more labor-intensive efforts. These results indicate that it is the implementation of vegetable cultivation rather than the participation in an FPC that enhances the economic welfare of farmers, due to the non-excludability of FPCs' services as well as the risks involved in vegetable cultivation.
    Keywords: Farmers, Agricultural cooperative, Agricultural economies, Agriculture, Small farmers, Propensity score matching, Treatment effect
    JEL: O13 Q12 Q13
    Date: 2016–03
  22. By: McKenzie, David J.
    Abstract: A survey of participants in a large-scale business plan competition experiment, in which winners received an average of US$50,000 each, is used to elicit beliefs about what the outcomes would have been in the alternative treatment status. Participants are asked the percent chance they would be operating a firm, and the number of employees and monthly sales they would have, had their treatment status been reversed. The study finds the control group to have reasonably accurate expectations of the large treatment effect they would experience on the likelihood of operating a firm, although this may reflect the treatment effect being close to an upper bound. The control group dramatically overestimates how much winning would help them grow the size of their firm. The treatment group overestimates how much winning helps their chance of running a business, and also overestimates how much winning helps them grow their firms. In addition, these counterfactual expectations appear unable to generate accurate relative rankings of which groups of participants benefit most from treatment.
    Keywords: business growth; counterfactual elicitation; randomized experiment; subjective expectations
    JEL: C31 C80 C93 D22 O12
    Date: 2016–05
  23. By: D. G. C. Britto
    Abstract: This paper first exploits a "bonus" policy providing low-income workers with cash grants in Brazil to study the effect of liquidity provision on unemployment outcomes. Based on a RD Design, I find that granting unemployed workers with a bonus equal to half of their previous monthly earnings decreases the probability of exiting unemployment within 8 weeks by around 0.65%. Second, by exploiting the UI potential duration schedule, I find that granting workers with an extra month of unemployment benefits decreases the same outcome by 1.9%. Then, theoretical results from Landais (2014) are used to combine these estimates and disentangle liquidity and moral hazard effects of UI. Based on these, I estimate the liquidity-to-moral hazard ratio in Brazil to be as large as 98%, similarly to values previously found in the US. It suggests that, contrary to common belief, providing UI in developing countries with large informal labor markets may yield substantial welfare gains.
    JEL: I38 J65
    Date: 2016–02

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