nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2016‒09‒04
eight papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Africa's Prospects for Enjoying a Demographic Dividend By Bloom, David E.; Kuhn, Michael; Prettner, Klaus
  2. Low Test Scores in Latin America: Poor Schools, Poor Families, or Something Else? By Theodore R. Breton; Gustavo Canavire-Bacarreza
  3. Can Unconditional Cash Transfers Lead to Sustainable Poverty Reduction? Evidence from two government-led programmes in Zambia By Luisa Natali; Sudhanshu Handa; David Seidenfeld; Benjamin Davis; Gelson Tembo; UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti
  4. Stuck at a Crossroad: A Microeconometric Analysis of Fertility and Married Female Labor Force Supply in the Philippines By Ingco, Katrina Nicole; Pilitro, Ver Lyon Yojie
  5. Does Mass Deworming Affect Child Nutrition? Meta-analysis, Cost-Effectiveness, and Statistical Power By Croke, Kevin; Hicks, Joan Hamory; Hsu, Eric; Kremer, Michael; Miguel, Edward
  6. The Effect of Gender-Targeted Conditional Cash Transfers on Household Expenditures: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment By Armand, Alex; Attanasio, Orazio; Carneiro, Pedro; Lechene, Valérie
  7. Effect of gold mining on income distribution in Ghana By George Adu; Franklin Amuakwa-Mensah; George Marbuah; Justice Tei Mensah
  8. The Changing Landscape of International Migration : Evidence from Rural Households in Bangladesh, 2000-2014 By Aiko Kikkawa; Keijiro Otsuka

  1. By: Bloom, David E. (Harvard University); Kuhn, Michael (Vienna Institute of Demography); Prettner, Klaus (University of Hohenheim)
    Abstract: We assess Africa's prospects for enjoying a demographic dividend. While fertility rates and dependency ratios in Africa remain high, they have started to decline. According to UN projections, they will fall further in the coming decades such that by the mid-21st century the ratio of the working-age to dependent population will be greater than in Asia, Europe, and Northern America. This projection suggests Africa has considerable potential to enjoy a demographic dividend. Whether and when it actually materializes, and also its magnitude, hinges on policies and institutions in key realms that include macroeconomic management, human capital, trade, governance, and labor and capital markets. Given strong complementarities among these areas, coordinated policies will likely be most effective in generating the momentum needed to pull Africa's economies out of a development trap.
    Keywords: Africa, declining fertility, demographic dividend, development, education, health, infrastructure
    JEL: J11 J13 J16 O10
    Date: 2016–08
  2. By: Theodore R. Breton; Gustavo Canavire-Bacarreza
    Abstract: Latin American students consistently score low on international tests of cognitive skills. In the PISA 2012 results, students in seven Latin American countries had an average score of 395, or about 100 points lower than the average score of 497 in four Scandinavian countries. We examine why Latin American scores are lower and conclude that 50 points are explained by Latin American families’ lower average educational and socioeconomic characteristics, 25 points are explained by Latin America’s weak cultural orientation toward reading books, and the remaining 25 points are explained by the lower effectiveness of educational systems in teaching cognitive skills.
    Keywords: Latin America; test scores; PISA; books; school quality
    Date: 2016–06–19
  3. By: Luisa Natali; Sudhanshu Handa; David Seidenfeld; Benjamin Davis; Gelson Tembo; UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti
    Abstract: In sub-Saharan Africa, the poorest region in the world, the number of cash transfer programmes has doubled in the last five years and reaches close to 50 million people. What is the impact of these programmes, and do they offer a sustained pathway out of ultra-poverty? In this paper we examine these questions using experimental data from two unconditional cash transfer programmes implemented by the Government of Zambia. We find far-reaching effects of these two programmes, not just on their primary objective, food security and consumption, but also on a range of productive and economic outcomes. After three years, we observe that household spending is 59 per cent larger than the value of the transfer received, implying a sizeable multiplier effect. These multipliers work through increased non-farm business activity and agricultural production.
    Keywords: cash transfers; poverty reduction; production increase;
    Date: 2016
  4. By: Ingco, Katrina Nicole; Pilitro, Ver Lyon Yojie
    Abstract: This study investigated the link between fertility and married female labor supply of Filipino women using instrumental variable (IV) probit regression using microeconomic data from the National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) published in 2013 with 7,628 married women respondents. The first stage regression results showed that couple’s age has a direct relationship on fertility. On the other hand, variables such as secondary education of married female’s husband as compared to non-educated husband, household wealth of all classes relative to the poorest household, and age of female at first marriage has an inverse relationship with the number of children. Second-stage regression results showed that fertility increases the probability of a married female to look for employment. Married female’s age, higher educational attainment relative to non-educated married female, and household wealth as opposed to the household class with the least wealth have direct relationship with married female employment. Lastly, marginal effects showed that additional children will increase the likelihood of a married female to participate in the labor force by 3 percentage points. Increase in married female’s age also increases her probability of getting employed by 0.9 percent. The chances of having labor market activity is higher by 13 percentage points if a married female attains higher education as compared to a married female that has no formal education. If a married female belongs to a household belonging to the highest wealth quintile among all classes in terms of wealth, she has the greatest chance to be employed by 16 percentage points relative to a married female who is a member of a household belonging to the lowest wealth quintile.
    Keywords: Fertility, Married Female Labor Supply, Endogeneity, IV Probit
    JEL: D13 J13 J21 J22
    Date: 2016–08–27
  5. By: Croke, Kevin; Hicks, Joan Hamory; Hsu, Eric; Kremer, Michael; Miguel, Edward
    Abstract: The WHO has recently debated whether to reaffirm its long-standing recommendation of mass drug administration (MDA) in areas with more than 20% prevalence of soil-transmitted helminths (hookworm, whipworm, and roundworm). There is consensus that the relevant deworming drugs are safe and effective, so the key question facing policymakers is whether the expected benefits of MDA exceed the roughly $0.30 per treatment cost. The literature on long run educational and economic impacts of deworming suggests that this is the case. However, a recent meta-analysis by Taylor-Robinson et al. (2015) (hereafter TMSDG), disputes these findings. The authors conclude that while treatment of children known to be infected increases weight by 0.75 kg (95% CI: 0.24, 1.26; p=0.0038), there is substantial evidence that MDA has no impact on weight or other child outcomes. We update the TMSDG analysis by including studies omitted from that analysis and extracting additional data from included studies, such as deriving standard errors from p-values when the standard errors are not reported in the original article. The updated sample includes twice as many trials as analyzed by TMSDG, substantially improving statistical power. We find that the TMSDG analysis is underpowered: it would conclude that MDA has no effect even if the true effect were (1) large enough to be cost-effective relative to other interventions in similar populations, or (2) of a size that is consistent with results from studies of children known to be infected. The hypothesis of a common zero effect of multiple-dose MDA deworming on child weight at longest follow-up is rejected at the 10% level using the TMSDG dataset, and with a p-value
    Keywords: meta-analysis; weight gain; worms
    JEL: C49 I15 I18 O15
    Date: 2016–08
  6. By: Armand, Alex; Attanasio, Orazio; Carneiro, Pedro; Lechene, Valérie
    Abstract: This paper studies the differential effect of targeting cash transfers to men or women on the structure of household expenditures on non-durables. We study a policy intervention in the Republic of Macedonia, offering cash transfers to poor households, conditional on having their children attending secondary school. The recipient of the transfer is randomized across municipalities to be either the household head or the mother. Using data collected to evaluate the conditional cash transfer program, we show that the gender of the recipient has an effect on the structure of expenditure shares. Targeting transfers to women increases the expenditure share on food by about 4 to 5%. To study the allocation of expenditures within the food basket, we estimate a demand system for food and we find that targeting payments to mothers induces, for different food categories, not only a significant intercept shift, but also a change in the slope of the Engel curve.
    Keywords: CCT; expenditure.; Gender; intra-household
    JEL: D12 D13 E21 O12
    Date: 2016–08
  7. By: George Adu (The Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala University); Franklin Amuakwa-Mensah (Department of Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences); George Marbuah (Department of Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences); Justice Tei Mensah (Department of Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences)
    Abstract: This paper examined the effect of mining on household income and welfare and how such effects are distributed over different quantiles of income and welfare. Using the three most recent rounds of the Ghana Living Standards Surveys together with information on the location of gold mines during the survey years, we estimated effects of living in a mining area on real gross income, employment income, and real per capita household expenditure (a proxy for welfare) using average and quantile treatment effect models. We find robust evidence of negative effect of mining on household income and welfare. Our results also indicate that the income reducing effect of mining activity falls heavily on households at bottom of the income distribution. In the case of household welfare, the interesting revelation from our result is that the negative effect of mining falls largely on both the lower and upper ends of the welfare distribution, with much heavier burden at the lower relative to the upper tail. Our paper, thus, provides ample evidence that mining activity does not only reduce income and welfare, but further increases inequality in the distribution of income and welfare.
    Keywords: Gold mining, Income and welfare distribution, Quantile treatment effect, Ghana
    JEL: C31 O13
    Date: 2016–07
  8. By: Aiko Kikkawa (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies); Keijiro Otsuka (Kobe University, and National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies)
    Abstract: Using unique data on rural households in Bangladesh for the periond 2000-2014, this study aims to explore whether the socio-economic characteristics of the beneficiary households of international migration have changed over time. Our analysis shows that household education and asset levels are important determinants of international migration, particularly in earlier years. We also find that less educated and less wealthy households did take part in migration, albeit slowly, in recent time. In addition, social network facilitating migration within community is a key contributor to migration, but its predictive power declines over time. These findings suggest that entry barriers to international migration, resulting from paucity of financial, human and social capital endowment, have decreased over time. We also explore possible causes for such changes, including persistent demand for low-skilled workers in major destination countries, increasing domestic demand for educated workers, and increasing access to loans and grants to finance migration.
    Date: 2016–08

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