nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2016‒10‒30
twenty papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Does malaria control impact education? Evidence from Roll Back Malaria in Africa By Maria Kuecken; Josselin Thuilliez; Marie-Anne Valfort
  2. Property Rights and Labour Supply in Ethiopia By Kenneth Houngbedji
  3. Fiscal Policy, Inequality and the Poor in the Developing World By Nora Lustig
  4. Mainstreaming an Effective Intervention: Evidence from Randomized Evaluations of “Teaching at the Right Level” in India By Abhijit Banerjee; Rukmini Banerji; James Berry; Esther Duflo; Harini Kannan; Shobhini Mukherji; Marc Shotland; Michael Walton
  5. Fiscal Policy, Inequality and Poverty in Iran: Assessing the Impact and Effectiveness of Taxes and Transfer By Ali Enami
  7. Demand-side determinants of access to healthcare service: Empirical evidence from Africa By Wa Ntita Serge Kabongo; Josue Mbonigaba
  8. The Impact of Taxes, Transfers, and Subsidies on Inequality and Poverty in Uganda By Jon Jellema; Nora Lustig; Astrid Haas; Sebastian Wolf
  9. Benefit in the wake of disaster: Long-run effects of earthquakes on welfare in rural Indonesia By Jérémie Gignoux; Marta Menéndez
  10. "DVD-based Distance-learning Program for University Entrance Exams: Experimental Evidence from Rural Bangladesh" By Hisaki Kono; Yasuyuki Sawada; Abu S. Shonchoy
  11. Land Certification and Schooling in Rural Ethiopia By Heather Congdon Fors; Kenneth Houngbedji; Annika Lindskog
  12. Mobile Phones, Civic Engagement, and School Performance in Pakistan By Minahil Asim; Thomas Dee
  13. Civil Conflict and Voting Behavior: Evidence By Jorge Gallego
  14. The Political Economy of Foreign Aid Effectiveness By Ieva Skarda
  15. Inequality and Fiscal Redistribution in Middle Income Countries: Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Indonesia, Mexico, Peru and South Africa By Nora Lustig
  16. Impact of Rainfall Shocks on Child Health: Evidence from India By Vibhuti Mendiratta
  17. Do contracts increase farmers’ incomes and food security? Evidence from the rice value chain in Senegal. By Soullier, Guillaume; Moustier, Paule
  18. Working Paper 243 - Selling crops early to pay for school: A large-scale natural experiment in Malawi By AfDB AfDB
  19. Mortality and urbanization: An African tragedy By Markus Brueckner
  20. The role of Fairtrade certification for wages and job satisfaction of plantation workers By Krumbiegel, Katharina; Maertens, Miet; Wollni, Meike

  1. By: Maria Kuecken (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics); Josselin Thuilliez (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Marie-Anne Valfort (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Relying on microeconomic data, we examine the impact of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) control campaigns on the educational attainment of primary school children in 14 Sub-Saharan African countries. Combining a difference-in-differences approach with an IV analysis, we exploit exogenous variation in pre-campaign malaria prevalence and exogenous variation in exposure to the timing and disbursements of the RBM campaign. In all 14 countries, the RBM campaign reveals itself as a particularly cost-effective strategy to improve primary school children’s educational attainment.
    Keywords: Malaria,Education,Roll-Back-Malaria
    Date: 2015–01–04
  2. By: Kenneth Houngbedji (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC), PSE - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the change in labour supply patterns by agricultural households as a result of formalization of their land-use rights. The findings are based on panel data collected before and after a land registration programme which demarcated and provided legal recognition of the landholdings of households in the Amhara region in Ethiopia. Using a semi-parametric difference-in-difference strategy, we find that the provision of documentary evidence of land rights freed household time otherwise allocated to safeguard their landholdings from encroachment. The reduction in labour supply is driven by a decrease of time allocated to pre-planting activities requiring households to leave their land vacant until the most suitable time for planting. Indeed disputes over land boundaries are associated with neighbouring landholders pushing the boundaries of their holdings during ploughing.
    Keywords: Land administration,Time allocation,Agricultural investment,Ethiopia,Property rights
    Date: 2015–04
  3. By: Nora Lustig (Department of Economics, Tulane University)
    Abstract: Using comparable fiscal incidence analysis, this paper examines the impact of fiscal policy on inequality and poverty in twenty-five countries for around 2010. Success in fiscal redistribution is driven primarily by redistributive effort (share of social spending to GDP in each country) and the extent to which transfers/subsidies are targeted to the poor and direct taxes targeted to the rich. While fiscal policy always reduces inequality, this is not the case with poverty. Fiscal policy increases poverty in four countries using US$1.25/day PPP poverty line, in 8 countries using US$2.50/day line, and 15 countries using the US$4/day line (over and above market income poverty). While spending on pre-school and primary school is pro-poor (i.e., the per capita transfer declines with income) in almost all countries, pro-poor secondary school spending is less prevalent, and tertiary education spending tends to be progressive only in relative terms (i.e., equalizing but not pro-poor). Health spending is always equalizing except for Jordan.
    Keywords: fiscal incidence, social spending, inequality, poverty, Developing Countries.
    JEL: H22 H5 D31 I3
    Date: 2016
  4. By: Abhijit Banerjee; Rukmini Banerji; James Berry; Esther Duflo; Harini Kannan; Shobhini Mukherji; Marc Shotland; Michael Walton
    Abstract: Previous randomized studies have shown that addressing children’s current learning gaps, rather than following an over-ambitious uniform curriculum, can lead to significant learning gains. In this study, we evaluate a series of efforts to scale up the NGO Pratham’s approach to teaching children according to their actual learning level, in four Indian States. While this approach was previously shown to be extremely effective when implemented with community volunteers outside of school, the objective of these new scale-up evaluations was to develop a model that could be implemented within the government school system. In the first two instances (Bihar and Uttarakhand), the methodology was not adopted by government schoolteachers, despite well-received training sessions and Pratham support. Motivated by the quantitative and qualitative analysis of these early attempts, we adapted the approach and designed large-scale experiments in the states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to test two new scale-up models. In Haryana, teachers received support from government resource persons trained by Pratham, and implemented the approach during a dedicated hour. In Uttar Pradesh, Pratham volunteers implemented high-intensity, short-burst “learning camps” for 40 days, in school and during school hours, with additional 10-day summer camps. Both models proved effective, with gains in language of 0.15 standard deviation in Haryana, and 0.70 standard deviations in Uttar Pradesh, on all students enrolled in these schools at baseline. These two models provide blueprints that can be replicated inside other government systems.
    JEL: I20 I21 O12 O35
    Date: 2016–10
  5. By: Ali Enami (Department of Economics, Tulane University.; Department of Economics, Tulane University and Commitment to Equity Institute; University of Akron, OH, USA)
    Abstract: Using the Iranian Household Expenditure and Income Survey (HEIS) for 2011/12, we apply the marginal contribution approach to determine the impact and effectiveness of each fiscal intervention, and the fiscal system as a whole, on inequality and poverty. Net direct and indirect taxes combined reduce the Gini coefficient by 0.0644 points and the headcount ratio by 61 percent. When the monetized value of in-kind benefits in education and health are included, the reduction in inequality is 0.0919 Gini points. Based on the magnitudes of the marginal contributions, we find that the main driver of these reductions is the Targeted Subsidy Program, a universal cash transfer program implemented in 2010 to compensate individuals for the elimination of energy subsidies. The main reduction in poverty occurs in rural areas, where the headcount ratio declines from 44 to 23 percent. In urban areas, fiscally-induced poverty reduction is more modest: the headcount ratio declines from 13 to 5 percent. Taxes and transfers are similar in their effectiveness in achieving their inequality-reducing potential. By achieving 40 percent of its inequality-reducing potential, the income tax is the most effective intervention on the revenue side. On the spending side, Social Assistance transfers are the most effective and they achieve 45 percent of their potential. Taxes are especially effective in raising revenue without causing poverty to rise, indicating that the poor are largely spared from being taxed. In contrast, since the bulk of transfers are not targeted to the poor, they are not very effective: the most effective ones achieve 20 percent of their poverty reduction potential. The effectiveness of the Targeted Subsidy Program could be improved by eliminating the transfer to top deciles and re-allocating the freed funds to the poor.
    Keywords: Inequality, poverty, marginal contribution, CEQ framework, policy simulation
    JEL: D31 H22 I38
    Date: 2016
  6. By: Ayenew, Habtamu Yesigat; Sauer, Johannes; Abate-Kassa, Getachew
    Abstract: This paper explores the implication of the rural non-farm employment and waged agricultural employment for income and risk mitigation of agricultural households in Ethiopia. We use a nationally representative panel dataset, and employ endogenous switching mixed multinomial logit model. After we control the selection bias that can arise from employment selection in rural households stemming both from observed and unobserved characteristics, we do find an evidence that the non-farm sector improves the income of the agricultural households, and serve as risk mitigation tool in rural Ethiopia. Combining the non-farm sector with hiring labor for agricultural activities at times of labor shortage increases the variance and contributes to positive skewness of income. Finally, we suggest that the rural non-farm sector could serve as a key development pathway for improving livelihood in the predominantly smallholder production system in Ethiopia.
    Keywords: Ethiopia, non-farm sector, self-employment, risk, wage, Food Security and Poverty, Labor and Human Capital, Risk and Uncertainty,
    Date: 2016
  7. By: Wa Ntita Serge Kabongo; Josue Mbonigaba
    Abstract: This study identifies the key determinants of access to healthcare in Africa and estimates the short-run and long-run effects of these determinants. Panel data from 37 African countries, collected from the World Bank Development Indicators and World Health Organisation databases for the period 1995-2012, were analysed using the pooled mean group estimators. Income appeared the strongest determinant of access in the long run in countries in Africa included in the sample. Access to healthcare was a necessity with the long-run income elasticity for access to healthcare being 0.1149. The short-run effects of income on access were, however, only significant in four of the countries in the sample. The difference in the effects of income in the short run and the long run was generally applicable to other variables. These findings imply that policy makers should focus on income to increase access to healthcare while taking cognisance of country-specific conditions in the short run to mitigate varying levels of shocks.
    Keywords: Access to healthcare, Dynamic panel data, Africa
    JEL: I11 I15 I18 C23
    Date: 2016–10
  8. By: Jon Jellema (Commitment to Equity Institute); Nora Lustig (Department of Economics, Tulane University); Astrid Haas (International Growth Centre, Uganda); Sebastian Wolf (International Growth Centre, Uganda)
    Abstract: This paper uses the 2012/13 Uganda National Household Survey to analyze the redistributive effectiveness and impact on poverty and inequality of Uganda’s revenue collection instruments and social spending programs. Fiscal policy – including many of its constituent tax and spending elements – is inequality-reducing in Uganda, but the reduction of inequality due to fiscal policy in Uganda is lower than other countries with similar levels of initial inequality, a result tied to low levels of spending in Uganda generally. The impact of fiscal policy on poverty is negligible, while the combination of very sparse coverage of direct transfer programs and nearly complete coverage of indirect tax instruments means that many poor households are net payers into, rather than net recipients from, the fiscal system. As Uganda looks ahead to increased revenues from taxation and concurrent investments in productive infrastructure, it should take care to protect the poorest households from further impoverishment from the fiscal system.
    Keywords: Fiscal incidence, poverty, inequality, fiscal policy, Uganda.
    JEL: D31 D63 H22 H23 I38
    Date: 2016–08
  9. By: Jérémie Gignoux (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC), PSE - Paris School of Economics); Marta Menéndez (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC), PSE - Paris School of Economics, DIAL - Développement, institutions et analyses de long terme, UP9 - Université Paris 9, Dauphine - Université Paris-Dauphine)
    Abstract: We examine the long-term effects on individual economic outcomes of a set of earthquakes - numerous, large, but mostly not extreme - that occurred in rural Indonesia since 1985. Using longitudinal individual-level data from large-scale household surveys, together with precise measures of local ground tremors obtained from a US Geological Survey database, we identify the effects of earthquakes, exploiting the quasi-random spatial and temporal nature of their distribution. Affected individuals experience short-term economic losses but recover in the medium-run (after two to five years), and even exhibit income and welfare gains in the long term (six to 12 years). The stocks of productive assets, notably in farms, get reconstituted and public infrastructures are reconstructed with some improvements, seemingly partly through external aid, allowing productivity to recover. These findings tend to discount the presence of poverty traps, and exhibit the potential long-term benefits from post-disaster interventions in context where disasters primarily affect physical assets.
    Keywords: Natural disasters,Earthquakes,Rural Indonesia,Long-term effects,Welfare,Aid and reconstruction
    Date: 2014–11
  10. By: Hisaki Kono (Faculty of Economics, Kyoto University); Yasuyuki Sawada (Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo); Abu S. Shonchoy (New York University and Institute of Developing Economies)
    Abstract: In contrast to the remarkable improvement in basic education globally, access to higher education remains limited in many developing countries, particularly in rural areas where the quantity and quality of supply is inadequate. In this study, we evaluate a unique DVD-based distance-learning program, targeting students who aim to take university entrance exams in rural Bangladesh, by conducting two experiments: one to evaluate the impact of the program and the second to examine its price sensitivity. Our findings demonstrated that the DVD program had a considerable positive effect on the probability of students passing entrance exams. This effect does not depend on students’ cognitive scores, but does depend on non-cognitive attributes―particularly self-control abilities―indicating the importance of a commitment mechanism in applying the DVD program. In the second experiment, we offered a randomized subsidy to interested participants; however, price sensitivity was not correlated with students' socio-economic status, suggesting that imposing a cost for such a program may not disproportionately exclude poor students. We also found evidence that a higher price induced a greater attendance rate due to the sunk cost effect.
    Date: 2016–10
  11. By: Heather Congdon Fors (School of Business, Economics and Law - Gothenburg University); Kenneth Houngbedji (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC)); Annika Lindskog (School of Business, Economics and Law - Gothenburg University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of a rural Ethiopian land certification program on schooling. Our hypothesis is that formal property rights facilitate land inheritance, reducing the net benefit of schooling for children who will inherit the land. Formal rights also decrease the need for activities to secure continued access to the land, reducing the cost of schooling for all children. The results suggest a positive overall effect on school enrollment. However, grade progress of oldest sons, who are most likely to inherit the land, worsens. Our complementary analysis on child labor suggests a differential impact in the two zones studied.
    Keywords: Ethiopia,Property rights,Schooling,Child labor,Land administration
    Date: 2015–09
  12. By: Minahil Asim; Thomas Dee
    Abstract: The effective governance of local public services depends critically on the civic engagement of local citizens. However, recent efforts to promote effective citizen oversight of the public-sector services in developing countries have had mixed results. This study discusses and evaluates a uniquely designed, low-cost, scalable program designed to improve the governance and performance of primary and middle schools in the Punjab province of Pakistan. The School Council Mobilization Program (SCMP) used mobile-phone calls to provide sustained and targeted guidance to local school-council members on their responsibilities and authority. We examine the effects of the SCMP on school enrollment, student and teacher attendance, and school facilities using a “difference in difference in differences” (DDD) design based on the targeted implementation of the SCMP. We find that this initiative led to meaningful increases in primary-school enrollment, particularly for young girls (i.e., a 12.4 percent increase), as well as targeted improvements in teacher attendance and school facilities, most of which were sustained in the months after the program concluded.
    JEL: I2 O1
    Date: 2016–10
  13. By: Jorge Gallego
    Abstract: What are the effects of war on political behavior? Colombia is an interesting case in which conflict and elections coexist, and illegal armed groups intentionally affect electoral outcomes. Nonetheless, groups use different strategies to alter these results. This paper argues that differential effects of violence on electoral outcomes are the result of deliberate strategies followed by illegal groups, which in turn, are a consequence of military conditions that differ between them. Using panel data from Senate elections from 1994 to 2006 and an instrumental variable approach to address potential endogeneity concerns, this paper shows that guerrilla violence decreases turnout, while paramilitary violence has no effect on participation, but reduces electoral competition and benefits non-traditional third parties. FARC violence is significantly higher during election years, while paramilitary violence is lower. This is consistent with the hypothesis that the guerrilla’s strategy is to sabotage elections, while paramilitaries establish alliances with certain candidates
    Keywords: Conflicto armado, Elecciones, Grupos armados ilegales
    Date: 2016–09–24
  14. By: Ieva Skarda
    Abstract: When resource allocation in a recipient country is characterized by an economic contest between the rent-seeking elite and economically active masses, foreign aid is more effective when there is lower economic inequality. This finding is supported by empirical evidence: increasing the aid/GDP ratio by one standard deviation is estimated to boost recipient growth by 0.25 points in the most equal aid recipients but reduce growth by 2.30 points in the least equal recipients; similarly, it is estimated to decrease the Gini coeficient by 0.35 points in the most equal recipients but increase it by 1.45 points in the least equal recipients.
    Keywords: Foreign aid; Aid effectiveness; Growth; Inequality; Contest; Elite
    Date: 2016–10
  15. By: Nora Lustig (Department of Economics, Tulane University)
    Abstract: This paper examines the redistributive impact of fiscal policy for Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Indonesia, Mexico, Peru and South Africa using comparable fiscal incidence analysis with data from around 2010. The largest redistributive effect is in South Africa and the smallest in Indonesia. Success in fiscal redistribution is driven primarily by redistributive effort (share of social spending to GDP in each country) and the extent to which transfers/subsidies are targeted to the poor and direct taxes targeted to the rich. While fiscal policy always reduces inequality, this is not the case with poverty. Fiscal policy increases poverty in Brazil and Colombia (over and above market income poverty) due to high consumption taxes on basic goods. The marginal contribution of direct taxes, direct transfers and in- kind transfers is always equalizing. The marginal effect of net indirect taxes is unequalizing in Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia and South Africa. Total spending on education is pro-poor except for Indonesia, where it is neutral in absolute terms. Health spending is pro-poor in Brazil, Chile, Colombia and South Africa, roughly neutral in absolute terms in Mexico, and not pro-poor in Indonesia and Peru. Length: 34 pages
    Keywords: fiscal incidence, social spending, inequality, developing countries
    JEL: H22 D31 I3
    Date: 2015
  16. By: Vibhuti Mendiratta (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC), PSE - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: While there is evidence of discrimination against girls in the allocation of resources within a household under normal circumstances, it would be worthwhile to explore the effect of extreme conditions such as rainfall shocks on the outcomes of surviving girls and boys. In this paper, I estimate the impact of rainfall shocks in early childhood on the anthropometric outcomes of girls and boys aged 13-36 months in rural India. I find that adverse negative rainfall shocks (in utero and first year after birth) negatively impact height for age and weight for age for both girls and boys. Further, I explore two channels through which rainfall affects child health: by affecting the relative price of parent's time in childcare and through income (as rainfall generates variation in income through its effect on agricultural output). I find that positive rainfall has a positive effect on agricultural yield and arguably income in India. This is further supported by the finding that negative shocks are harder to insure in poorer states and poorer households as reflected by the poor anthropometric outcomes of children.
    Keywords: Anthropometric outcomes,Rainfall,India
    Date: 2015–10
  17. By: Soullier, Guillaume; Moustier, Paule
    Abstract: The Quiet Revolution in Asia’s domestic food supply chains (Reardon et al., 2012) seems to be on-going in Africa, with more integrated chains and new investments in food processing. In the Senegalese rice value chain, millers are implementing production and marketing contracts with small-scale producers. Numerous studies find that contracts increase incomes, but there is a need for further research, especially in the case of domestic grain chains. The purpose of this paper is to assess the impact of contracts implemented in the Senegalese rice value chain on farmer incomes and food security. We conducted a cross-sectional survey and obtained 550 valid questionnaires. We use propensity score matching and instrumental variables to correct for selection bias and to compare contracts and spot transactions. We find (1) no impact from marketing contracts on farmer incomes since there is no upgrading compared to the traditional value chain; (2) a significant negative impact from production contracts on farmer incomes due to an implicit insurance cost of credit; (3) contracted farmers engaging in spot transactions, which increase their profit; (4) marketing contracts having a positive impact on food security since they mitigate price seasonality.
    Keywords: Contract farming, vertical coordination, value chain, small-holder farmers, Africa, Senegal, Agricultural and Food Policy, Farm Management, Food Security and Poverty,
    Date: 2016
  18. By: AfDB AfDB
    Date: 2016–10–20
  19. By: Markus Brueckner
    Abstract: Since the 1980s, no significant negative relationship exists in sub-Saharan Africa between adult mortality and urbanization. In the rest of the world, the relationship between adult mortality and urbanization is significantly negative. High prevalence of HIV likely explains the absence of a significant negative relationship between adult mortality and urbanization in sub-Saharan Africa. HIV can spread more rapidly in the city than in the countryside because the costs of finding multiple sexual partners are lower in the city than in the countryside. During the 1960s and 1970s, i.e. prior to the HIV pandemic, adult mortality and urbanization are significantly negatively correlated in sub-Saharan Africa.
    Date: 2016–10
  20. By: Krumbiegel, Katharina; Maertens, Miet; Wollni, Meike
    Abstract: Worker welfare and employment conditions in the agri-food producing and processing sectors in the global south have become an increasing concern for consumers. Sustainability standards, such as Fairtrade, play an important role in agri-food markets of horticultural produce and may be a tool to address these concerns. However, so far the implications of Fairtrade certification for extrinsic and intrinsic employment factors of hired labor on large-scale plantations remain hardly understood. In this paper we assess its effect on workers’ hourly wages and their level of job satisfaction with primary survey data from 325 randomly sampled workers from eight different export-oriented pineapple companies in Ghana. We apply a linear, linear mixed model and instrumental variable approach to take into account the multilevel characteristics of our data and possible selection bias. Our findings show that both hourly wages and job satisfaction are indeed higher on Fairtrade certified plantations. Factors of increased job satisfaction are likely driven by higher wages, permanent employment contracts, training opportunities, company services such as medical care and paid leave as well as established labor unions on Fairtrade certified plantations.
    Keywords: Fairtrade certification, horticultural employment, worker wages, job satisfaction, Agribusiness, Farm Management, Labor and Human Capital, J28, J31, Q13,
    Date: 2016–10

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