nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2016‒06‒18
seventeen papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Measuring and Changing Control: Women's Empowerment and Targeted Transfers By Ingvild Almås; Alex Armand; Orazio Attanasio; Pedro Carneiro
  2. Income growth and malnutrition in Africa: Is there a need for region-specific policies? By Melo, P. C.; Abdul-Salam, Yakubu; Roberts, D.; Colen, L.; Mary, S.; Gomez Y Paloma, S.
  3. Results of the Process and Impact Evaluation for Selected Government Water Supply and Sanitation Programs By Porciuncula, Alma D.; Erfe, Doreen Carla E.; Navarro, Adoracion M.
  4. Quasi-experimental evidence on the effects of mother tongue-based education on reading skills and early labour market outcomes By Bethlehem A. Argaw
  5. Incentive of risk sharing and trust formation: Experimental and survey evidence from Bangladesh By Shoji, Masahiro
  6. Natural Resources, Redistribution and Human Capital Formation By Jorge M. Agüero; Carlos Felipe Balcázar; Stanislao Maldonado; Hugo Ñopo
  7. Using administrative data to assess the impact and sustainability of Rwanda's land tenure regularization By Ali,Daniel Ayalew; Deininger,Klaus W.; Duponchel,Marguerite Felicienne
  8. Up or Down? Intergenerational Mental Health Transmission and Cash Transfers in South Africa By Katherine Eyal; Justine Burns
  9. Delayed marriage, contraceptive use, and breastfeeding : Fertility patterns over time and wealth quintiles in sub-Saharan Africa By Yoko Akachi; Jocelyn Finlay; Iván Mejía-Guevara
  10. Household resilience to food insecurity: evidence from Tanzania and Uganda By d'Errico, Marco; Pietrelli, Rebecca; Romano, Donato
  11. Agricultural Production, Weather Variability, and Technical Change: 40 Years of Evidence from Indi By Michler, Jeffrey; Shively, Gerald
  12. Gender bias in education during conflict Evidence from Assam By Prakarsh Singh; Sutanuka Roy
  13. Aspirations and income, food security and subjective well-being in rural Ethiopia By Daniel Ayalew Mekonnen; Nicolas Gerber
  14. How the Black Swan damages the harvest: statistical modelling of extreme events in weather and crop production in Africa, Asia, and Latin America By Marmai, Nadin; Franco Villoria, Maria; Guerzoni, Marco
  15. The Short-Term Impact of Crime on School Enrollment and School Choice: Evidence from El Salvador By Juan Nelson Martinez Dahbura
  16. Mineral Fertilizer Quality: Implications for Markets and Small Farmers in Tanzania By Fairbairn, Anna; Michelson, Hope; Ellison, Brenna; Manyong, Victor
  17. Analysis of Farmland Value Systems and Productivity of Cassava in Ecologically Vulnerable Areas of Imo State, Nigeria By Ohajianya, D. O.; Asiabaka, C. C.

  1. By: Ingvild Almås (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for International Economic Studies Stockholm University); Alex Armand (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London); Orazio Attanasio (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London); Pedro Carneiro (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London)
    Abstract: This paper studies how targeted cash transfers to women a ffect their empowerment. We use a novel identi cation strategy to measure women's willingness to pay to receive cash transfers instead of their partner receiving it. We apply this among women living in poor households in urban Macedonia. We match experimental data with a unique policy intervention (CCT) in Macedonia o ffering poor households cash transfers conditional on having their children attending secondary school. The program randomized whether the transfer was off ered to household heads or mothers at municipality level, providing us with an exogenous source of variation in (off ered) transfers. We show that women who were o ffered the transfer reveal a lower willingness to pay, and we show that this is in line with theoretical predictions.
    Keywords: gender, empowerment, cash transfers, intra-household
    JEL: D13 O12 J16
    Date: 2016–03–02
  2. By: Melo, P. C.; Abdul-Salam, Yakubu; Roberts, D.; Colen, L.; Mary, S.; Gomez Y Paloma, S.
    Abstract: Regional differences in dietary patterns, food supply, and food culture can influence the relationship between income and food demand and thus the impact of income-oriented policies on undernutrition across Africa. In order to test for evidence of regional differences in income elasticities for food demand in Africa, we conduct a meta-analysis using 1,768 food-income elasticity estimates for different categories of food, 324 nutrient-income elasticity estimates, and 103 calorie-income elasticity estimates, extracted from 66 studies covering 48 African countries. One key contribution of this study is that it considers nutrient- and food-income elasticities besides calorie-income elasticities, allowing us to explore issues relating to calorie (i.e. energy) deficiency as well as malnutrition. We find that heterogeneity in the income elasticities can be explained by both differences in primary study characteristics (e.g. data, methodology) and the characteristics of the countries to which the income elasticities refer. The findings for food groups suggest there are significant regional differences in the size of the income elasticities. Some of the regional differences can be related to differences in diet and food supply structures across Africa but there may be other factors captured by the geographic variables (e.g. socio-cultural practices). In terms of country-level characteristics, the demand for calories, nutrients, and food becomes less responsive to changes in income as countries become more urbanised. The effect of economic growth is complex and appears to vary according to the type of income elasticity. The overall food-income elasticity appears to decline with income growth, and the relation holds for cereals, dairy and fruit and vegetables, although it is weaker for the other main food groups. Interestingly, we find a positive relation between a country’s economic growth and the magnitude of the nutrient-income elasticity and that economic growth is associated with increased demand for foods with greater nutrient content but fewer, or no additional, calories. Further country-specific analysis is needed to ensure that income-based policies targeting undernourishment and malnutrition in Africa achieve their goals.
    Keywords: Food demand, malnutrition, income elasticities, meta-analysis, Africa, Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty, Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis (D12), Agricultural Policy, Food Policy (Q18),
    Date: 2016–04
  3. By: Porciuncula, Alma D.; Erfe, Doreen Carla E.; Navarro, Adoracion M.
    Abstract: Past and present administrations have implemented water supply and sanitation (WSS) programs to increase the number of households with access to safe drinking water and sanitary toilet facilities. This study examines the President's Priority Program for Water and the Sagana at Ligtas na Tubig Para sa Lahat Program. It finds underachievement of targets, which was a result of institutional framework weaknesses, capacity and governance constraints, and fundamental gaps in program implementation. Given the remaining unmet needs in WSS, the study recommends that an improved successor program that also has a nationwide scope be designed. It also provides recommendations on how to improve the overall implementation of the successor program, the grant allocation and prioritization, the stakeholder participation, and funds management and disbursement. In addition, it presents a possible framework for a monitoring and evaluation plan of future WSS programs and a database that can be used in the future for ranking and prioritization, monitoring, and estimation of investment requirements.
    Keywords: Philippines, impact evaluation, water supply, sanitation, process evaluation, water supply and sanitation (WSS), Salintubig
    Date: 2016
  4. By: Bethlehem A. Argaw
    Abstract: Prior to the introduction of mother tongue-based education in 1994, the language of instruction for most subjects in Ethiopia's primary schools was the official language (Amharic)- the mother tongue of only one third of the population. This paper uses the variation in individual's exposure to the policy change across birth cohorts and mother tongues to estimate the effects of language of instruction on reading skills and early labour market outcomes. The results indicate that the reading skills of birth cohorts that gained access to mother tongue-based primary education after 1994 improved significantly by about 11 percentage points. The provision of primary education in mother tongue halved the reading skills gap between Amharic and non-Amharic mother tongue users. The improved reading skills seem to translate into gains in the labour market in terms of the skill contents of jobs held and the type of payment individuals receive for their work. An increase in school enrolment and enhanced parental educational investment at home are identified as potential channels linking mother-tongue instruction and an improvement in reading skills.
    Keywords: language of instruction, mother tongue, reading skills, labour market, policy evaluation
    Date: 2016
  5. By: Shoji, Masahiro
    Abstract: Using data from a unique household survey and an artefactual field experiment conducted in rural Bangladesh, this study evaluates the impact on trust in community members of an incentive to maintain a risk-sharing arrangement between villagers. Risk sharing is a major opportunity for cooperation in rural economies, and the experience of cooperation could facilitate trust. In order to test this hypothesis, this study characterizes the incentive for risk sharing by the patterns of exogenous income shocks in the real world and risk preference, and trust in community members is elicited experimentally. The empirical results from dyadic regression demonstrate that villagers connected by a stronger incentive form higher level of trust. It is also found that villagers are more likely to share risks in villages that have stronger incentives. These findings suggest that the introduction of formal insurance, which reduces the incentive of risk sharing, could break down trust.
    Keywords: Trust formation; risk sharing; experiment; Bangladesh
    JEL: C91 D12
    Date: 2016–06–13
  6. By: Jorge M. Agüero; Carlos Felipe Balcázar; Stanislao Maldonado; Hugo Ñopo
    Abstract: How do resource booms affect human capital accumulation? We exploit time and spatial variation generated by the commodity boom across local governments in Peru to measure the effect of natural resources on human capital formation. We explore the effect of both mining production and tax revenues on test scores, finding a substantial and statistically significant effect for the latter. Transfers to local governments from mining tax revenues are linked to an increase in math test scores of around 0.23 standard deviations. We find that the hiring of permanent teachers as well as the increases in parental employment and improvements in health outcomes of adults and children are plausible mechanisms for such large effect on learning. These findings suggest that redistributive policies could facilitate the accumulation of human capital in resource abundant developing countries as a way to avoid the natural resources curse.
    Keywords: Resource booms, academic achievement, intergovernmental transfers.
    JEL: H23 I25 O15
    Date: 2016–05–27
  7. By: Ali,Daniel Ayalew; Deininger,Klaus W.; Duponchel,Marguerite Felicienne
    Abstract: Rwanda's completion, in 2012/13, of a land tenure regularization program covering the entire country allows the use of administrative data to describe initial performance and combine the data with household surveys to quantify to what extent and why subsequent transfers remain informal, and how to address this. In 2014/15, annual volumes of registered sales ranged between 5.6 percent for residential land in Kigali and 0.1 percent for agricultural land in the rest of the country; and US$2.6 billion worth of mortgages were secured against land and property. Yet, informality of transfers in rural areas remains high. Decentralized service provision and information campaigns help reduce but not eliminate the extent of informality. A strategy to test the efficacy of different approaches to ensure full registration, scale up promising ones, and rigorously monitor the effect of doing so is described.
    Keywords: Rural Land Policies for Poverty Reduction,Land Use and Policies,Municipal Housing and Land,Common Property Resource Development,Land and Real Estate Development
    Date: 2016–06–16
  8. By: Katherine Eyal (SALDRU, School of Economics, University of Cape Town); Justine Burns (School of Economics, University of Cape Town)
    Abstract: We investigate the intergenerational transmission of depression in South Africa from parents to teens, and the positive role income shocks (in the form of cash transfers) can play to reduce this transmission effect. South Africa is characterised by high levels of mental illness, concurrent with poor access to the appropriate care. The consequences of untreated psychiatric disorders are profound, especially in the formative period of adolescence. A dearth of research and data exists in South Africa in this area. We use the National Income Dynamics Survey, the only recent nationally representative survey which collects data both on mental illness and socio-economic factors. Cash transfers are found to be particularly important as a protective factor against teens developing mental illness, and specifically for those teens with parents who themselves suffer from mental illnesses. Pensions are also found to be a positive factor for teen mental health. Using a number of methods, we find that the impact of parental depression on child depression is high - one third of children (adult or teen) who have parents who suffer from depression will themselves suffer from depression. We investigate the temporal nature of this relationship and find that it is mainly current parental depression and current CSG receipt which are important - gaining the grant between waves, and having a parent who suffers from depression in previous waves does not significantly impact on one's current mental health status.
    Keywords: Intergenerational transmission, Depression, Cash Transfers, Mental Illness, National Income Dynamics Study, South Africa
    Date: 2016
  9. By: Yoko Akachi; Jocelyn Finlay; Iván Mejía-Guevara
    Abstract: The rate of fertility decline has been slow in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Using the Demographic and Health Surveys for 21 SSA countries between 1990 and 2014, we examine the within-country fertility patterns by wealth, applying the Bongaarts (2015) proximate determinants model.We find that overall, fertility has declined in SSA for the richest, but not for the poorest, and this translates to a slow decline in the national-level total fertility rate. We find that breastfeeding periods are generally declining, putting upward pressure on the fertility rate. Contraceptive use is increasing, particularly for the richest, reducing fertility for these quintiles alone.
    Keywords: Families, Fertility, Human, Population
    Date: 2016
  10. By: d'Errico, Marco; Pietrelli, Rebecca; Romano, Donato
    Abstract: Resilience has become one of the keywords in the recent scholarly and policy debates on food security. However, household resilience to food insecurity is unobservable ex ante. Therefore, the two key issues in empirical research and program implementation are how to estimate a proxy index of household resilience on the basis of observable variables and assess whether this index is a good indicator of the construct it intends to measure, i.e. household resilience. This paper contributes to this literature providing evidence based on two case studies: Tanzania and Uganda. Specifically, the paper: (i) proposes a method to estimate a resilience index and analyses what are the most important components of household resilience, (ii) tests whether the household resilience index is a good predictor of future food security status and food security recovery capacity after a shock, and (iii) explores how idiosyncratic and covariate shocks affects resilience and household food security. The analysis shows that: (i) in both countries adaptive capacity is the most important dimension contributing to household resilience, (ii) the resilience index positively influences future household food security status, decreases the probability of suffering a food security loss should a shock occur and speeds up the recovery after the loss occurrence, and (iii) shocks have a negative effect on food security and resilience contributes to reduce the negative impacts of these shocks, though this is not proven for self-reported and idiosyncratic shocks.
    Keywords: Resilience, food security, structural equation model, panel data, Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Security and Poverty, D10, Q18, I32, O55,
    Date: 2016–04
  11. By: Michler, Jeffrey; Shively, Gerald
    Abstract: We pose the simple question: how large of a role does the weather play in determining variability of agricultural production in India? Despite the long standing interest in agricultural economics of estimating the effect of weather on crop output, few quantitative measures of impact exist. We use a long panel of parcel level data from six villages in India that covers $44$ seasons from 1976 to 2011. Estimation the impact of weather variability on yield is complicated by the role of technological change over this period. In our descriptive analysis we generate several stylized facts about how agricultural production in the subcontinent has changed over the last $40$ years. Most importantly, mean yields have increased and the variance in crop production, measured relative to the mean, has decreased. In a regression context, using a multilevel model, we find strong evidence of technical change and that weather variability makes up only a small share of total variability in yield. We conclude that Green Revolution technologies have reduced the amount of weather related risk faced by farmers, even when we account for greater amounts of variation in weather due to climate change
    Keywords: Weather Risk, Agricultural Production, Technical Change, Multilevel Models, Rural India, Agricultural and Food Policy, Crop Production/Industries, International Development, Production Economics, Risk and Uncertainty, C11, D81, O12, O13, Q16, Q12,
    Date: 2016
  12. By: Prakarsh Singh; Sutanuka Roy
    Abstract: Using a large-scale novel panel dataset (2005.14) on schools from the Indian state of Assam, we test for the impact of violent conflict on female students. enrollment rates. We find that a doubling of average killings in a district-year leads to a 13 per cent drop in girls. enrollment rate with school fixed effects.Additionally, results remain similar when using an alternative definition of conflict from a different dataset. Gender differential responses are more negative for lower grades, rural schools, poorer districts, and for schools run by local and private unaided bodies.
    Keywords: Education, Equality and inequality, Human capital, Social conflict
    Date: 2016
  13. By: Daniel Ayalew Mekonnen; Nicolas Gerber
    Abstract: Despite some improvements in recent years, poverty and food insecurity remain widespread and the main challenges in Ethiopia. Using individual and household level data collected in rural Ethiopia, we examine if aspirations are strongly associated with well-being outcomes, as posited in the aspirations failure framework articulated by Ray (2006) and others. We employ both bivariate and multivariate analyses. We find that aspirations (particularly that of the household head) are indeed strongly associated with the household per-capita income and expenditure and with various triangulating measures of household food (in)security including per-capita calorie consumption, the food consumption score (FCS), the household dietary diversity score (HDDS), and the household food insecurity access scale (HFIAS). Contrary to a few other studies, we also find strong evidence that, in rural Ethiopia, aspirations are positively associated with satisfaction in life and/or happiness. Findings in this study provide suggestive evidence that policies aimed at improving well-being outcomes might benefit from multiple effects (both direct and indirect) if they incorporate aspirations raising strategies.
    JEL: D1 O1 Q1 Q12 Q16
    Date: 2016–05
  14. By: Marmai, Nadin; Franco Villoria, Maria; Guerzoni, Marco (University of Turin)
    Abstract: Climate change constitutes a rising challenge to the agricultural base of developing countries. Most of the literature has focused on the impact of changes in the means of weather variables on mean changes in production and has found very little impact of weather upon agricultural production. Instead, a more recent stream of literature showed that we can assess the impact of weather on production by looking at extreme weather events. Based on this evidence, we surmise that there is a missing link in the literature consisting of relating the extreme events in weather with extreme losses in crop production. Indeed, extreme events are of the greatest interest for scholars and policy makers only when they carry extraordinary negative effects. We build on this idea and for the first time, we adapt a conditional dependence model for multivariate extreme values to understand the impact of extreme weather on agricultural production. Specifically, we look at the probability that an extreme event drastically reduces the harvest of any of the major crops. This analysis, which is run on data for six different crops and four different weather variables in a vast array of countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, shows that extremes in weather and yield losses of major staples are associated events.
    Date: 2016–05
  15. By: Juan Nelson Martinez Dahbura (Faculty of Economics, Keio University)
    Abstract: This research employs household survey data from El Salvador to evaluate the short-term impact of several measures of crime and a truce between gangs during 2012 on school enrollment and the choice between public and private education for individuals 7 to 22 years old in 2013. The results show that homicides, thefts, robberies and extortions are significantly associated with lower school enrollment and higher attendance to public schools among boys in several age brackets. A robust positive impact of homicide rates and school enrollment for girls under 15 years old, and a positive association between property crimes and the choice of private schools for older girls is observed, possibly reflecting selective investment choices of parents.
    JEL: D13 I24 I25
    Date: 2016–05–16
  16. By: Fairbairn, Anna; Michelson, Hope; Ellison, Brenna; Manyong, Victor
    Abstract: Small farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa exhibit low adoption rates for mineral fertilizers. A promising hypothesis explaining these puzzlingly low rates remains untested: a perception among farmers that fertilizer in the market has been compromised in ways that raise concerns about its effectiveness. Information about fertilizer quality problems is anecdotal rather than backed by reliable evidence. A challenge: little research to date has focused on understanding the relationships between input supply chains and product quality. To achieve a clearer understanding of this problem, this research links results from tests of the quality of 661 samples of fertilizers for sale in the markets of the Morogoro Region of Tanzania with data from a survey of the region’s 225 input dealers. Fertilizer nutrient and moisture content tests are performed on the same samples in multiple laboratories located in East Africa and in the United States. Results from our research provide the first assessments of market-available fertilizer quality in the region, as well as the first analysis of relationships between fertilizer quality and mineral fertilizer supplier characteristics.
    Keywords: Fertilizer, Small Farmers, Agricultural Inputs, Tanzania, East Africa, Poverty, Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Security and Poverty, International Development,
    Date: 2016–05
  17. By: Ohajianya, D. O.; Asiabaka, C. C.
    Abstract: This study analyzed farmland value systems and productivity of cassava in ecologically vulnerable areas of Imo State, Nigeria. The study estimated productivity of farmland systems and factors affecting them, and farmland suitability. Data were collected with questionnaire from 360 randomly selected cassava farmers and analyzed using descriptive statistics, suitability model, productivity model, and multiple regression techniques. Farmland suitability index ranges from 0.107 to 0.712 with a mean of 0.493. Majority (62.4%) of the cassava farmers cultivate on non-suitable farmlands, 33.7% of them cultivate on marginally suitable farmlands, while 3.9% of them cultivate on suitable farmlands. Productivity of farmland were 1.38, 2.00 and 3.16 for non-suitable, marginally suitable and suitable value systems respectively, indicating that marginally suitable and suitable farmlands were higher in productivity than non-suitable farmlands. Land rent, quantity of fertilizer, and household size have significant and negative effect on non-suitable farmland productivity. Farm size, land rent, fertilizer applied, education and extension have significant effect on marginally suitable farmlands productivity. Farm size, fertilizer, farming experience and household size significantly affect suitable farmland productivity. Farmers cultivating suitable farmlands should increase their cassava output and improve their farm income through allocation of more production resources to cassava production in an optimal manner.
    Keywords: Farmland, Suitability, Productivity, Ecologically Vulnerable, Cassava, Farmers, Agricultural and Food Policy, Environmental Economics and Policy, Agricultural Economics, Q1,
    Date: 2016–04

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