nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2016‒10‒09
fourteen papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Every Stitch You Make: The Divergent Effects of Monitoring Technology by Employee's Level of Identification with Their Work By Ranganathan, Aruna
  2. (Managerial) Style over Substance: Determinants of Devaluation for Female Supervisors in an Indian Garment Factory By Ranganathan, Aruna; Shivaram, Ranjitha
  3. Measuring the effect of informal work and domestic activities on poverty and income inequality in Turkey By Armagan Tuna Aktuna Gunes
  4. Health Shocks and the Long-Lasting Change in Health Behaviors: Evidence from Mexico By Jorge M. Agüero; Trinidad Beleche
  5. Do political regime transitions in Africa Matter for Citizens’ Health Status By Díaz Serrano, Lluís; Sackey, Frank G.
  6. Assessing the Impact of U.S. Food Assistance Delivery Policies on Child Mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa By Nikulkov, Alex; Barrett, Christopher B.; Mude, Andrew G.; Wein, Lawrence M.
  7. Financing Smallholder Agriculture: An Experiment wth Agent-Intermediated Microloans in India By Maitra, Pushkar; Mitra, Sandip; Mookherjee, Dilip; Motta, Alberto; Visaria, Sujata
  8. Estimating the economic effects of remittances on the left-behind in Cambodia By Vutha Hing; PHANN Dalis; Roth T.M.S Vathana; Sreymom Sum
  9. Increasing Rural Health Clinic Utilization with SMS Updates: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Uganda By Chicoine, Luke E.; Guzman, Juan Carlos
  10. Climatic Factors as Determinants of International Migration: Redux By Michel Beine; Christopher R. Parsons
  11. Does development aid increase military expenditure? By Langlotz, Sarah; Potrafke, Niklas
  12. Is microfinance truly useless for poverty reduction and women empowerment? A Bayesian spatial-propensity score matching evaluation in Bolivia By Rolando Gonzales; Joel Mendizabal; Patricia Aranda
  13. War and the Stock of Human Capital By Jorge M. Agüero; Muhammad F. Majid
  14. Losing health insurance when young: Impacts on usage of medical services and health in Colombia By Gaviria Garcés, Carlos Felipe; De la Mata, Dolores

  1. By: Ranganathan, Aruna (Stanford University)
    Abstract: Scholars of work have long been interested in the effect of monitoring technologies on worker productivity, but the empirical evidence on this question is mixed. Classic studies including the Hawthorne experiments suggest that the simple act of observing employees increases productivity, but more recent studies have found that reduced monitoring increases worker productivity because workers value their privacy. I argue that while existing studies have carefully estimated the effect of monitoring technologies on productivity, the mixed empirical findings could result from a lack of attention to the work being performed by the employees subject to monitoring. In this paper, I study the introduction of RFID monitoring technology in a garment factory in India, exploiting a natural experiment where this technology was introduced in some, but not all, lines in the factory. Using unique longitudinal personnel records on line productivity along with qualitative data from ethnographic observation, I find that monitoring technologies are only effective in increasing worker productivity when workers do not identify with their work and see work as a chore; on the contrary, when monitoring technologies are implemented in settings where workers already identify with their work, these technologies are counterproductive and result in reduced worker productivity. In this way, the paper uncovers conditions under which monitoring can be effective in increasing labor productivity.
    Date: 2015
  2. By: Ranganathan, Aruna (Stanford University); Shivaram, Ranjitha (MIT)
    Abstract: Despite the rising representation of women in management, female managers continue to be devalued compared to male managers, presenting a challenge for gender inequality in organizations. This study helps address a significant gap in the literature by investigating if the devaluation of female managers can be explained by their lower effectiveness in motivating worker performance. We investigate this question by leveraging unique personnel records, ethnographic and field-experimental data in the context of a large Indian garment factory where female supervisors are devalued and paid 15% less than their male counterparts to manage a female workforce. First, we demonstrate that the devaluation of female supervisors cannot be explained by their lower managerial effectiveness. By exploiting within-worker changes in supervisor gender in the personnel data, we find that female supervisors elicit 5% higher worker performance than male supervisors. Second, we ethnographically and experimentally show that female supervisors outperform their male counterparts by adopting a "non-authoritative managerial style," and further suggest that this style could lead to devaluation by upper management. Combined, these results rule out managerial substance as an explanation for the devaluation of female managers, pointing instead to managerial style as a novel determinant of gender inequality in the workplace.
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Armagan Tuna Aktuna Gunes (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: In this article, we propose to calculate the size of the population living in poverty, measured through uni- and multidimensional poverty indices, and the Gini coefficient using extended full (time plus money and informal earnings) incomes, from cross-sectional data covering 2003-2006 in Turkey. Thus monetary incomes are corrected by adding the earnings gathered from informal activities and the monetary values of time spent in domestic activities into declared incomes, producing an error-free estimate of the size of the population living in poverty and the Gini ratio overall. To show the effect informal activities with the domestic ones have on poverty, changes in the joint probability of being in informal activity while being considered poor is measured by means of a bivariate probit model using extended (money plus informal earnings) income and extended full incomes.
    Abstract: Dans cet article, nous proposons de calculer la taille de la pauvreté, mesurée par l'indice de pauvreté uni- et multidimensionnelle, et le coefficient de Gini en se basant sur les revenus complets-élargis (le temps plus les revenus monétaires et informels) à partir de données transversales couvrant les années 2003-2006 en Turquie. Ainsi, les revenus monétaires sont corrigés en ajoutant les ressources monétaires obtenus grâce aux activités informelles et les valeurs monétaires du temps consacré aux activités domestiques dans les revenus déclarés, ce qui permet une estimation sans erreur pour la taille de la population vivant dans la pauvreté et le coefficient de Gini global. Afin de mieux montrer l'effet des activités informelles avec celles domestiques sur la pauvreté, les changements dans la distribution conjointe de probabilité de travailler dans le secteur informel et d'être considérés comme pauvres sont mesurés par un modèle probit bidimensionnel en utilisant les revenus élargis (les revenus monétaires plus informels) et les revenus complets-élargis.
    Keywords: informal earnings,domestic actvities,poverty,Gini coefficient,revenus informels,activités domestiques,pauvreté,coefficient de Gini
    Date: 2015–02
  4. By: Jorge M. Agüero (University of Connecticut); Trinidad Beleche (RAND Corporation)
    Abstract: Worldwide, the leading causes of death could be avoided with health behaviors that are low-cost but also difficult to adopt. We show that exogenous health shocks could facilitate the adoption of these behaviors and provide long-lasting effects on health outcomes. Specifically, we exploit the spatial and temporal variation of the 2009 H1N1 influenza outbreak in Mexico and show that areas with a higher incidence of H1N1 experienced larger reductions in diarrhea-related cases. These reductions continue even three years after the shock ended. Changes in hand washing behaviors are behind these health improvements. Several robustness checks validate our findings and mechanism.
    Keywords: health shocks; health behaviors; hand washing; children; diarrhea
    JEL: I12 I15
    Date: 2016–10
  5. By: Díaz Serrano, Lluís; Sackey, Frank G.
    Abstract: Africa’s quest to achieving improved health status and meeting the Millennium Development Goals targets cannot be effectively achieved without examining the quality of leadership, transitions and regimes and how they impact on the decisions and the policy effectiveness that bring about improved health and living standards of the citizenry. In this paper, we study the importance of regime transitions on government’s expenditure in health and on infant mortality, as a development indicator. A unique panel dataset comprising 44 sub-Saharan African countries spanning from 1970 t0 2010 containing information on political regime and leaders was used for the study. To account for the relevance of leader characteristics in regime transitions in our study we control for leader fixed-effects. The overall results are suggestive of a democratic advantage in the process of achieving effective health policy outcomes for promoting health, and hence the wellbeing of the citizens in contemporary sub-Saharan Africa in the long run. Keywords: Africa, health policy, public health, private health, child mortality, democracy, autocracy, political leaders. JEL Codes: I15, H51, O55
    Keywords: Àfrica -- Política sanitària, 338 - Situació econòmica. Política econòmica. Gestió, control i planificació de l'economia. Producció. Serveis. Turisme. Preus,
    Date: 2016
  6. By: Nikulkov, Alex (Stanford University); Barrett, Christopher B. (Cornell University); Mude, Andrew G. (International Livestock Research Institute, Nairobi); Wein, Lawrence M. (Stanford University)
    Abstract: The U.S. is one of the few countries in the world that delivers its food assistance mainly via transoceanic shipments of commodity-based in-kind food. This approach is more costly and less timely than cash-based assistance, which includes cash transfers, food vouchers, and local and regional procurement, where food is bought in or nearby the recipient country. The U.S.'s approach is exacerbated by a requirement that half of its transoceanic food shipments need to be sent on U.S.-flag vessels. Assuming that all cash-based assistance has the same cost and timeliness characteristics as local and regional procurement, we estimate the effect of these U.S. food assistance distribution policies on child mortality in sub-Saharan Africa by formulating and optimizing a supply chain model where monthly orders of transoceanic shipments and cash-based interventions are chosen to minimize child mortality subject to an annual budget constraint and to policy constraints on the allowable proportions of cash-based interventions and non-US-flag shipments; by varying the restrictiveness of these policy constraints, we assess the impact of possible changes in U.S. food aid policies on child mortality. The model includes an existing regression model that uses household survey data and geospatial data to forecast the mean mid-upper-arm circumference Z scores among children in a community, and allows food assistance to increase Z scores, and Z scores to influence mortality rates. We find that cash-based interventions are a much more powerful policy lever than the U.S.-flag vessel requirement: switching entirely to cash-based interventions reduces child mortality from 4.4% to 3.7% (a 16.2% relative reduction), whereas eliminating the U.S.-flag vessel restriction without increasing the use of cash-based interventions generates a relative reduction in child mortality of only 1.1%. The great majority of the gains achieved by cash-based interventions are due to their reduced cost, not their reduced delivery lead times.
    Date: 2015–11
  7. By: Maitra, Pushkar; Mitra, Sandip; Mookherjee, Dilip; Motta, Alberto; Visaria, Sujata
    Abstract: Recent evaluations have found that traditional microloans have iinsignificant impacts on incomes and output. Randomly selected villages in West Bengal, India participated in a field experiment with a novel variant of microcredit called TRAIL, where the selection of borrowers of individual liability loans was delegated to local trader-lender agents incentivized by repayment-based commissions. Other randomly selected villages participated in a group-based microcredit program called GBL. TRAIL loans increased the production of the leading cash crop and farm incomes by 27-37%, but GBL loans had insignificant effects. To understand underlying mechanisms, we develop and test a theoretical model that explains borrower selection into the two schemes as well as borrower incentives to invest the loans for productive purposes. We find that borrowers selected by the TRAIL agents were more able farmers than those who self-selected into the GBL scheme; this pattern of selection explains about a third of the observed di fference in income impacts.
    Keywords: Agent-based Lending; Agricultural Finance; Group Lending; Repayment; selection
    JEL: D82 O16
    Date: 2016–09
  8. By: Vutha Hing; PHANN Dalis; Roth T.M.S Vathana; Sreymom Sum
    Abstract: Using propensity score matching with the 2009 Cambodia Socio-Economic Survey of households, this study examines the effects of remittances on indicators of household wellbeing: poverty, consumption and labour participation of non-migrant members. The theoretical framework is built upon a “new economics of labour migration”, hypothesising that the emigration decision is jointly determined by households and individual migrants and that remittances basically represent a form of contractual arrangements between them. The results indicate that households with at least one migrant member and which receive remittances could reduce their poverty headcount rate by 3-7 percentage points vis-à-vis their matched controls. Remittances also reduce depth and severity of poverty of treated households. On the contrary, remittances generate a 5-9 percent “dependency effect” on working age adults who are employed due to reduced weekly hours worked. The impact of remittances on labour participation and salary income is, however, vulnerable to unobservable factors.
    Keywords: Remittances, Propensity Score Matching, Cambodia, Poverty, Labour Participation, New Economics of Labour Migration, Migrant-sending households
    Date: 2015
  9. By: Chicoine, Luke E. (DePaul University); Guzman, Juan Carlos (University of Notre Dame)
    Abstract: This paper examines an alternative to monitoring staff at a public health clinic in rural Uganda. The program sent SMS updates regarding confirmed attendance of clinic staff and activities to randomly selected cell phone-owning households in the local community. A difference-in-difference approach is used to evaluate the impact of the SMS program, and finds the messages led to an increase in clinic attendance, the receipt of medicine, and reduced duration of illness for young children aged six and under. However, these benefits are only seen for children who are the same sex as the cell phone owner, suggesting favoritism towards the health of these children. These benefits are found to be similar for both boys and girls.
    Keywords: mobile technology, parental favoritism, children's healthcare, Uganda
    JEL: I15 J13 O22
    Date: 2016–09
  10. By: Michel Beine (CREA, Université du Luxembourg); Christopher R. Parsons (University of Western Australia)
    Abstract: In this paper, we revisit the issue of environmental change as a potential determinant of international migration, thereby providing an extension of our earlier paper. In contrast to Beine and Parsons (2015) and in light of recent empirical contributions, we adopt an alternative identification strategy in which we only include fixed effects together with our measures of climatic change in order to quantify the net partial effect of climatic change on bilateral migration. Again drawing on panel data from 1960-2000, we further exploit the dyadic dimension of our data to highlight the importance of neighbouring countries and former colonial powers in determining the direction of climate-induced emigration. We additionally highlight the importance of how differences in modelling climate change can lead to differing results. Our baseline results suggest that climatic change affects individuals’ credit constraints more than their desire to move. Our key findings are that natural disasters deter emigration from all origin countries but importantly spur emigration to neighbouring countries while for middle income origins, natural disasters while deterring migration, foster emigration to former colonial powers.
    Keywords: International Migration, Environmental change; Natural disasters
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2016
  11. By: Langlotz, Sarah; Potrafke, Niklas
    Abstract: The diversion of development aid to the recipient’s military may be one explanation why aid is often found to be ineffective in promoting economic growth and development. Previous studies have not derived the causal effects of development aid on military expenditure. Using a new instrumental variable strategy, we examine whether bilateral development aid increases military expenditure in recipient countries. The instrument is the interaction of donor government fractionalization and the probability of receiving aid. The dataset includes new data on military expenditure for 124 recipient countries over the 1975-2012 period. While development aid has a positive effect on military expenditure in the full sample, the effect vanishes when we exclude outliers. However, we find that aid provided by coordinated market economies increases military expenditure in the full sample of recipient countries, even after controlling for outliers. Coordinated market economies have been found to deliver more government-to-government aid, which has a higher risk of capture compared to aid delivered through non-state development actors.
    Keywords: aid; military expenditure; fungibility; instrumental variables; causality
    Date: 2016–09–27
  12. By: Rolando Gonzales; Joel Mendizabal; Patricia Aranda
    Abstract: Banerjee et al. (2015) presented the results of six randomized evaluations that led them to conclude that micro-credit does not have a transformative impact on poverty and that little evidence of substantial effects on women's empowerment exist. We argue that even if no effects of micro-finance exist at the household/individual level, there still may be observable effects at the regional level due to the wider impacts of microfinance. A Bayesian Spatial-Propensity Score Matching estimator is proposed to measure these regional (spatial) treatment effects. The regional effects of microfinance in Bolivia were tested with this estimator, using census and household survey data. The results – conditional on the assumptions of the study– showed that microfinance was useful for poverty reduction and women’s-empowerment at the municipal level in Bolivia, thus suggesting that microfinance can be used to promote socio-economic development at the regional level.
    Keywords: Microfinance, spillover effects, Bayesian methods, spatial statistics, matching
    JEL: C11 C31 G21
    Date: 2016
  13. By: Jorge M. Agüero (University of Connecticut); Muhammad F. Majid (McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy)
    Abstract: We expand the literature on the costs of conflict by studying how wars affect the stock of human capital. Applying a “missing people” approach to censuses before and after the 1994 Rwandan genocide, we show that the size of the educated cohort shrunk by 39 percent. This effect contrasts with the demographic trends observed in other African countries during the same period and in Rwanda pre-genocide where the less educated are more likely to be missing. We show that excess missing rate of the educated found after the genocide is driven by deaths of educated Hutus, rather than refugee flows or even the ethnic targeting of Tutsis. We discuss how this loss affects labor markets post-conflict, the returns to education and we document the bias of studies that focus on impact of wars on the accumulation of human capital.
    Keywords: Costs of War, Genocide, Education, Mortality, Rwanda
    JEL: J10 J24 I15
    Date: 2016–10
  14. By: Gaviria Garcés, Carlos Felipe; De la Mata, Dolores
    Abstract: Abstract: Nearly 8 percent of the young adults in Colombia are “aged out" from their parents' health insurance coverage when they turn 18 years old, making them the group with the lowest health insurance coverage among all age groups. In this study we exploit a regulation in Colombia that exogenously changes health insurance coverage of young adult dependents to analyze the effects on their usage of medical services and health status. We assess this effect using a regression discontinuity design (RDD) and data from the Encuesta Nacional de Calidad de Vida Survey for Colombia from 2010 to 2013. Losing health insurance coverage implies a change in usage within the pool of different medical services, led by a change in their relative prices. As a result, some medical services are prone to be less used (i.e. preventive services), while other medical services are more consumed (i.e. private medical services and emergency department [ED] visits). Additionally, since under Colombian regulation, ED care cannot be denied to anyone if their life is at risk, regardless of health insurance status, uninsured young adults tend to use this service more instead of regular medical services (such as preventive healthcare or visits to physicians or specialists). We find, consistent with the change in relative prices, that losing health insurance when turning 18 years old increases visits to the ED, reduces preventive care visits with a physician, and increases the usage of private medical services (outof-pocket) for this age group. These results imply a substitution of cheaper medical services for more expensive ones when individuals turn 18 years old in Colombia.
    Keywords: Health Insurance, Young Adults, Healthcare Usage, Emergency Department Visits, Colombia's Healthcare System, Regression Discontinuity, Developing Country.
    JEL: G22 I13 I18
    Date: 2016–09–27

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