nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2016‒09‒18
nine papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Malaria Risk and Civil Violence By Cervellati, Matteo; Esposito, Elena; Sunde, Uwe; Valmori, Simona
  2. An Empirical Investigation of Risk Sharing among Indonesian Households By Parantap Basu; Sigit Sulistiyo Wibowo
  3. The impact of piped water supply on household welfare By Tsukada, Rachel; Hailu, Degol
  4. The Implications of Agricultural Trade and Market Developments for Food Security By Grégoire Tallard; Peter Liapis; Graham Pilgrim
  5. Powering education By Fadi Hassan; Paolo Lucchino
  6. Heterogeneous Impact Dynamics of a Rural Business Development Program in Nicaragua By Michael R. Carter; Emilia Tjernström; Patricia Toledo
  7. The impact of rainwater harvesting on household labor supply By Tsukada, Rachel; Lehmann, Christian
  8. Welfare Implications of the Indian Employment Guarantee Programme with a Wage Payment Delay By Parantap Basu; Kunal Sen
  9. Can microcredit impact the activity of small and medium enterprises? New evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design in Panama By Nènè Oumou; Jonathan Goyette

  1. By: Cervellati, Matteo; Esposito, Elena; Sunde, Uwe; Valmori, Simona
    Abstract: Using high-resolution data from Africa over the period 1998-2012, this paper investigates the hypothesis that a higher exposure to malaria increases the incidence of civil violence. The econometric identification exploits exogenous monthly within-grid-cell variation in weather conditions that are particularly suitable for malaria transmission and compares the effect across cells with different latent malaria exposure, which affects the resistance and immunity of the population. By conditioning on cell-year and month fixed effects, the empirical specification accounts for most complementary determinants of violence that have been identified in the existing literature. The results document a robust effect of the occurrence of suitable conditions for malaria on civil violence. The effect is shown to be highest in areas with low levels of immunity and to affect unorganized violence in terms of riots and protests and confrontations between militias and civilians, instead of geo-strategic violence. The effect spikes during short harvesting periods of staple crops that are particularly important for the subsistence of the population. The paper ends with an exploration of the role of anti-malarial policies.
    Keywords: Malaria Risk; Civil Violence; Weather Shocks; Immunity; Cell-level Data; Africa
    Date: 2016–09
  2. By: Parantap Basu (Durham Business School); Sigit Sulistiyo Wibowo (Universitas Indonesia Depok)
    Abstract: This study investigates the formation of risk-sharing group in circumstances where households face barriers to insurance. We test alternative risk sharing models which include full risk sharing, borrowing-saving and private information about income and e↵orts. Using the Indonesia Family Life Survey (IFLS) dataset, this study provides evidence that the full risk-sharing hypothesis fails. There is some evidence that IFLS households smooth consumption using the credit market. No evidence is found in favor of risk sharing models with private information about e↵ort and productivity. We then explore the possibility of Indonesian households forming stable informal risk sharing groups to mitigate idiosyncratic consumption risks. We find strong evidence of such endogenous group formation among IFLS households as a vehicle of informal risk sharing.
    Keywords: credit access, risk sharing, endogenous group formation
    Date: 2015–02
  3. By: Tsukada, Rachel (UNU-MERIT); Hailu, Degol (United Nations Development Programme)
    Abstract: In the absence of piped water from a utility company, households rely on alternative supply from small-scale private providers. We quantify losses of wellbeing associated with using small-scale private providers instead of piped water from the utility company. We measure welfare in three dimensions: health, wealth (income), and time available for education, work, or leisure. An empirical application to Burkina Faso reveals that households' greatest welfare losses are in terms of time availability. The opportunity cost of collecting water is estimated to be 23 hours per week, which is comparable to half of a full weekly working period of an employed person. This loss is often borne by women. In terms of health and affordability of water, paradoxically, households using alternative sources of water are slightly better off.
    Keywords: piped water, small-scale private provision, welfare loss, synthetic index
    JEL: D13 L95 L33 O15 I18
    Date: 2016–08–30
  4. By: Grégoire Tallard; Peter Liapis; Graham Pilgrim
    Abstract: Reducing hunger and undernourishment is a global priority and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have the ambitious target of eradicating hunger entirely by 2030. Using the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook to 2024, this paper provides projections on the availability of calories at the national level, for the number of persons undernourished, and for the proportion of undernourishment (PoU) that are consistent with the market projections of the Outlook’s baseline. It also considers the impact on undernourishment of four alternative scenarios: faster income growth relative to the baseline in developing countries; stronger growth in agricultural productivity; a combination of a faster income growth with a stronger productivity growth; and finally a more equitable access to available food supplies. Under the baseline, the global PoU is projected to fall from 11% to 8% over ten years, with Latin America as a whole dipping under the 5% threshold at which the FAO considers hunger to be effectively eradicated. The PoU falls from 12% to 8% in Asia and the Pacific and from 23% to 19% in Sub-Saharan Africa. The global total of undernourished people declines from 788 million to 636 million. The number of undernourished individuals fall the most in Asia. Higher income growth or more productive agriculture removes more people from the ranks of the undernourished, but in most cases, more equitable access to food leads to the biggest reductions. The analysis confirms that it is not lack of available food that is the fundamental problem, but rather effective access to that food. Trade plays an increasing role in ensuring national food availability for many countries.
    Keywords: food security, development goals, hunger, Prevalence of undernourishment, sustainable development goals millennium, scenarios
    JEL: I31 O13 Q10 Q18
    Date: 2016–09–17
  5. By: Fadi Hassan; Paolo Lucchino
    Abstract: More than 1.3 billion people worldwide have no access to electricity and this has first-order effects on several development dimensions. In this paper we focus on the link between access to light and education. We randomly distribute solar lamps to 7th grade pupils in rural Kenya and monitor their educational outcomes throughout the year at quarterly frequency. We find that access to lights through solar lamps is a relevant and effective input to education. Our identification strategy accounts for spillovers by exploiting the variation in treatment at the pupil level and in treatment intensity across classes. We find a positive and significant intention-to-treat effect as well as a positive and significant spillover effect on control students. In a class with the average treatment intensity of our sample (43%), treated students experience an increase in math grades of 0.88 standard deviations. Moreover, we find a positive marginal effect of treatment intensity on control students: raising the share of treated students in a class by 10% increases grades of control students by 0.22 standard deviations. We exploit household geolocation to disentangle within-class and geographical spillovers. We show that geographical spillovers do not have a significant impact and within-school interaction is the main source of spillovers. Finally, we provide suggestive evidence that the mechanism through which lamps affect students is by increasing co-studying at school especially after sunset.
    Keywords: Randomised controlled trial; solar lamps; education; energy access; spillover effects; randomised saturation design
    JEL: C93 O12
    Date: 2016–07
  6. By: Michael R. Carter; Emilia Tjernström; Patricia Toledo
    Abstract: We study the impacts of a rural development program designed to boost the income of the small-farm sector in Nicaragua. Exploiting the random assignment of treatment, we find statistically and economically significant impacts on farm incomes and investment in farm capital. Using continuous treatment estimation techniques, we examine the evolution of program impacts over time and find that incomes in the activities targeted by the program as well as farm capital rise significantly over time, even after the expiration of the program. Because of the temporal pattern of impacts, shorter-term binary treatment estimators do not fully capture the impacts of the program. Additionally, panel quantile methods reveal striking heterogeneity of program impacts on both income and investment. We show that this heterogeneity is not random, and that there are some low-performing households that simply do not benefit from this program that tried to engage them as agricultural entrepreneurs. While the benefit-cost ratio of the program is on average highly positive, these findings on impact heterogeneity signal limitations of business development programs as a way to eliminate rural poverty.
    JEL: I32 O12 O13 Q12 Q13
    Date: 2016–09
  7. By: Tsukada, Rachel (UNU-MERIT); Lehmann, Christian (Universidade de Brasilia)
    Abstract: This paper explores the effects of rainwater harvesting (RWH) on aggregate household labor supply in areas prone to droughts. Using a Brazilian survey on rainwater harvesting, we find that having a RWH infrastructure at the homestead increases household wellbeing through three channels: (i) a direct time allocation effect - since households spend less time fetching water from distant sources, the time saved is allocated to other productive activities; (ii) a direct input effect - since water is an essential input for agricultural households and more labor hours are available, the cistern technology may contribute to increase the household's agricultural production. Both direct effects associate the labor-saving technology with an increase in productive labor supply. Finally, there is (iii) an indirect consumption effect - as a consequence of larger production, households can exchange larger quantities of own production against market goods, further increasing the household wellbeing.
    Keywords: poverty, access to water, risk coping, labor supply
    JEL: I32 I38 L95 O15 Q25
    Date: 2016–08–30
  8. By: Parantap Basu (Durham Business School); Kunal Sen (University of Manchester)
    Abstract: We examine the e¢ cacy of a popular anti-poverty programme namely, the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) of the Government of India. We argue that a chronic friction of wage payment delay in this áagship programme could adversely a§ect the welfare of the poor through two channels. First, it causes deferred consumption. Second, it turns labour into a credit good which makes the indebted household work harder to clear o§ his existing debt. The loss of welfare persists even when the worker has an outside employment option. If a programme of Önancial inclusion increases the indebtedness of the poor, a wage payment delay in the NREGA programme could escalate this welfare loss although the o¢ cial indicator of success (i.e. participation) may not reveal this friction.
    Keywords: NREGA, Employment Guarantee, Credit Good, Financial Inclusion.
    Date: 2015–02
  9. By: Nènè Oumou (Département d'économique, Université de Sherbrooke); Jonathan Goyette (Département d'économique, Université de Sherbrooke)
    Abstract: In this paper, we conduct an impact analysis of microcredit on entrepreneurial activity using a new data-set collected among 740 entrepreneurs located in Panama. Our focus is on a new type of microfinance institution which grants loans to enterprises falling in what we call the financial missing middle, i.e., enterprises which are too big for traditional microcredit but not big enough for commercial banks. We collected an unbalanced panel of data on enterprise's business and credit history. Using our partner's rules of credit attribution, we build a regression discontinuity design to evaluate the effect of loan's obtainment on the activity of financed enterprises. Our results show a limited impact of access to credit on firm's revenues despite a significant impact on investment in equipment and immobilization. The magnitude of the positive effect is higher on micro-enterprises while auto-enterprises are negatively impacted by microcredit as is usually documented in the literature. We emphasize that the cost of credit is one of the major determinants of the limited impact of microcredit on entrepreneurial activity.
    Keywords: Microfinance Institutions, firm’s performance, Regression Discontinuity, Panama
    JEL: D22 G21 L26 O12 O16
    Date: 2016–08

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