nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2016‒11‒06
nine papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Does Crime Deter South Africans from Self-Employment? By Grabrucker, Katharina; Grimm, Michael
  2. Intra-Household Behavioral Responses to Cash Transfer Programs: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design By Bergolo, Marcelo; Galvan, Estefania
  4. Schooling Infrastructure and Female Educational Outcomes in Nepal By Animesh Giri; Vinish Shrestha
  5. Do remittances impact gender equality ? Evidence from Africa By Hamed Sambo
  6. Consumption and Leisure: The Welfare Impact of Migration on Family Left Behind By Murard, Elie
  7. Effects of Adult Health Interventions at Scale on Children's Schooling: Evidence from Antiretroviral Therapy in Zambia By Adrienne M. Lucas; Margaret Chidothe; Nicholas L. Wilson
  8. Subnational Diversity in Sub-Saharan Africa: Insights from a New Dataset By Boris Gershman; Diego Rivera
  9. Conditional Cash Transfers: Do They Change Time Preferences and Educational Aspirations? By Contreras Suarez, Diana; Cameron, Lisa A.

  1. By: Grabrucker, Katharina (University of Passau); Grimm, Michael (University of Passau)
    Abstract: An often-heard argument is that South Africa's very high crime rate is the main reason for the country's small share of business ownership. Combining a fixed-effects model with an instrumental variable approach, we estimate the effect of crime on self-employment and business performance using a matched data set of census, survey and police data. In contrast to previous studies, which focus on perceived rather than actual crime and often deal with geographically limited areas, we do not find robust evidence that high crime rates have a negative impact on self-employment. Although the impact of crime is statistically significant and negative, it is economically small. Moreover, our results suggest a positive rather than a negative relationship between robbery and burglary and sales and average business profits. These results suggest that crime may not be in general a serious threat for small businesses in low and middle-income countries.
    Keywords: crime, self-employment, microenterprises, South Africa, informal sector
    JEL: D22 J24 J46 K40 L26 O12
    Date: 2016–10
  2. By: Bergolo, Marcelo (IECON, Universidad de la República); Galvan, Estefania (Aix-Marseille University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the behavioral responses of coupled men and women to a cash transfer program in Uruguay – Asignaciones Familiares-Plan de Equidad (AFAM-PE) –, by analyzing its effect on labor market responses, marital dissolution, and the decision-making process regarding the use of money. The identification strategy exploits both the fact that the monetary transfer is targeted to women and a local random assignment into the AFAM-PE which exogenously changed the intra-household distribution of resources across applicant households. Based on a regression discontinuity design and on a follow-up survey matched with administrative records of applicant households to the program, the insights of this study may be summarized in four broad results. First, while no significant effects are found for men, the program has significant negative effects on the formality choice of women at the eligibility cut-off, but no robust effect on the margin of employment. Secondly, these responses seem to be associated with a decline in women's movement into formal labor from unregistered jobs. These responses do not depend on their partner's labor supply. Third, contrary to findings for various welfare programs in developed countries, no effect on marital dissolution is found. Fourth, we find suggestive evidence that the AFAM-PE results in women taking greater (perceived) responsibility for decisions in specific spheres of household expenditures. In conclusion, considering the overall effects, these results suggest that conditional cash transfer programs (CCTs) do not necessary imply an increase in women's control over household resources, offering suggestive considerations for the ongoing debate in developing countries and suggesting the need to discuss new designs for social assistance.
    Keywords: conditional cash transfer program, intra-household allocations, labor market behavior, women´s decision-making
    JEL: H31 O15 D13 J22
    Date: 2016–10
  3. By: Jeremy Jelliffe (University of Connecticut); Boris E. Bravo-Ureta (University of Connecticut); C. Michael Deom (University of Georgia); David Kalule Okello (National Semi-Arid Resources Research Institute)
    Abstract: The major objective of this study is to evaluate the adoption of groundnut varieties that are high yielding, drought tolerant, and groundnut rosette disease (GRD) resistant in eastern Uganda. In particular, this study examines differences in adoption and farm-level productivity associated with participation in the project entitled “Farmer-Led Multiplication of Rosette Resistant Groundnut Varieties for Eastern Uganda” (FGSM), which was carried out during the early 2000s following the prior diagnostic work under the LIFE project (Tino, Laker-Ojok, and Namisi 2004). We are particularly interested in the sustainability of the project outcomes 10-years after the end of the original intervention. The impact of the Multiplication Project is examined with respect to increased productivity (higher expected yields) and risk-reduction (improved disease resistance and drought tolerance). We also examine current levels of aflatoxin awareness, prevalence, and the use of mitigation practices in the study region. We find that participating farmers allocated 21% more of their available land to improved groundnut varieties. The results also show that, for improved varieties, beneficiaries produce 32% higher yields than the non-participating neighbor controls, and 55% higher yields relative to non-neighbor controls. This implies that the project led to a sustained significant increase in profitability for participating farmers. In addition, we observe significant spillover effects from the project, which is clearly revealed by the yield difference between non-participating neighboring control households and non-neighbor control households. These results imply that project beneficiaries transferred some benefits to the neighbor control group over the course of the 10-year period following the project. This is an important result suggesting that farmer-led programs offer significant advantages to developing communities and may provide a cost-effective means of information and technology dissemination.
    Keywords: groundnut, agricultural productivity, technology adoption, extension, impact evaluation, instrumental variables, propensity score matching, Uganda
    Date: 2016–07
  4. By: Animesh Giri (Cornerstone Research, Washington DC); Vinish Shrestha (Department of Economics, Towson University)
    Abstract: We estimate the impact of increases in schools constructed during the late 1980s and early 1990s on educational outcomes in Nepal. We use a difference-in-differences framework by combining the across- district differences in the number of new schools with variation in exposure to these schools created by the virtue of individuals being of school-going-age. Our results indicate that an additional school constructed (per 1,000 kilometer square) increased the probability to read and write among females by 1.5 percentage points and increased the highest level of schooling attained by 0.12 units but did not affect basic literacy skills among males. Back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that on average the increase in the number of schools can explain about a fourth of the total differences in the reading and writing outcomes between the treated and control groups of women. These results underscore the continued importance of increasing access to schooling in developing countries like Nepal.
    Keywords: School construction, access to education, female education, female literacy.
    JEL: I2 O1 H52
    Date: 2016–10
  5. By: Hamed Sambo (Centre d'Economie de l'Université de Paris Nord (CEPN))
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of remittances on gender equality in Africa using panel data from 21 African countries spanning the years 2006-2014. The two-step IV-GMM method was considered after taking into account the potential endogeneity of remittances. We found that remittances have a positive effect on gender equality in general but this effect is only significant in Sub-Saharan Africa. Furthermore, we found that remittances positively impact women’s economic and women’s political empowerment. They also have a positive e↵ect on women’s education attainment and women’s health and survival. However, theses impacts are only significant in Sub-Saharan Africa, except for women’s health and survival.
    Keywords: Remittances, Gender equality, Economic empowerment, Education attainmenent, Health and Survival, Political empowerment, IV-GMM, Africa
    Date: 2016–08
  6. By: Murard, Elie (IZA)
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of international migration on the welfare of family members left behind at the origin. Previous literature has produced inconclusive evidence, with some studies suggesting that migration reduces income poverty while others show that non-migrants bear a larger work burden to compensate for the loss of migrants' earnings. This paper provides a new unified framework that generates testable predictions of whether migration increases non-migrants' welfare in terms of both consumption and leisure time. Drawing on household panel data in rural Mexico, I find that migration increases non-migrants' consumption, but that this consumption gain cannot be explained by labor supply adjustments. Migration improves left-behinds' welfare through two different channels: (i) migrants' remittances exceed their forgone income contribution to the origin household; and (ii) the out-migration of a farmer increases the marginal productivity of agricultural labor for those left behind in the farm.
    Keywords: migration, remittances, welfare, labor supply, consumption, Mexico
    JEL: J22 F22
    Date: 2016–10
  7. By: Adrienne M. Lucas; Margaret Chidothe; Nicholas L. Wilson
    Abstract: In 2007, approximately one in five children in Zambia lived with an HIV positive adult. We identify the effect of adult antiretroviral therapy (ART) availability at scale on children's educational outcomes by combining data on the expansion of ART availability with two national household surveys that include HIV testing. Through a triple difference specification, we find that the availability of ART increased the likelihood that children in households with HIV positive household heads started school on time and were the appropriate grade-for-age. The mechanisms were likely decreased opportunistic infections in the household and related care giving duties.
    JEL: I15 I18 J13 O15 O18
    Date: 2016–10
  8. By: Boris Gershman; Diego Rivera
    Abstract: This paper presents a new dataset on subnational ethnolinguistic diversity in Sub-Saharan Africa covering 36 countries and almost 400 first-level administrative units. We compile detailed data on the ethnolinguistic composition of each region using population censuses and large-scale household surveys and match all reported ethnicities to Ethnologue, the most complete classifier of world languages. This matching allows to standardize the notion of an ethnolinguistic group and account for the relatedness between language pairs when calculating diversity indices. We exploit this high-quality dataset to investigate the connection between diversity, as captured by fractionalization and polarization indices, and development indicators at the subnational level. Educational and health outcomes, electricity access, and nighttime luminosity are all negatively related to diversity, even after controlling for country fixed effects and a rich set of regional characteristics, but only if the underlying ethnolinguistic groups are sufficiently aggregated into more basic language families or if linguistic similarities between them are taken into account. In other words, only deep-rooted diversity based on cleavages formed in the distant past is strongly inversely associated with regional development. Furthermore, we show that subnational diversity is remarkably persistent over time implying that reverse causality is unlikely to bias our main findings.
    Keywords: African development, ethnolinguistic diversity, public goods, subnational analysis
    JEL: H41 O10 O15 Z13
    Date: 2016
  9. By: Contreras Suarez, Diana (Monash University); Cameron, Lisa A. (Monash University)
    Abstract: Conditional Cash Transfer programs are designed to increase human capital in poorer families. They do this directly through incentives and conditions. A further way these programs may influence household decisions is through impacts on preferences. Preferences may change as a result of new habit formation, information received through the program or by the relaxation of budget constraints which gives households a greater ability to look beyond their daily needs to plan for the future. Using a regression discontinuity design we test whether a large CCT program in Colombia affects the time preferences of participating households and aspirations for their children's education. We find that it does not. Thus, the positive impacts identified in previous studies appear to be driven by the ongoing receipt of the cash transfers and the associated conditions. Hence if the transfers were to stop, program benefits would likely be limited to those obtained during the program.
    Keywords: conditional cash transfers, time preferences, educational aspirations, regression discontinuity design, Colombia
    JEL: O15 I25 I38 D91
    Date: 2016–10

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