nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2016‒11‒20
nineteen papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. The contribution of female health to economic development By David E. Bloom; Michael Kuhn; Klaus Prettner
  2. Welfare Effect of Farm Input Subsidy Program in the Context of Climate Change: Evidence from Malawi By Asfaw, Solomon; Carraro, Alessandro
  3. Do Leaders' Characteristics and Regime Transitions in Africa Matter for Citizens' Health Status? By Diaz-Serrano, Luis; Sackey, Frank Gyimah
  4. Children of Drought: Rainfall Shocks and Early Child Health in Rural India By Santosh Kumar; Ramona Molitor; Sebastian Vollmer
  5. Do Pro-Poor Schools Reach Out to the Poor? Location Choice of BRAC and ROSC Schools in Bangladesh By Asadullah, Niaz
  6. Growth-enhancing Effect of Openness to Trade and Migrations: What is the Effective Transmission Channel for Africa By Dramane Coulibaly; Blaise Gnimassoun; Valérie Mignon
  7. The Medium-Term Impacts of Girl-Friendly Schools: Seven-Year Evidence from School Construction in Burkina Faso By Harounan Kazianga; Leigh Linden; Ali Protik; Matt Sloan
  8. Mobile Phone Innovation and Inclusive Human Development: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa By Asongu, Simplice; Boateng, Agyenim; Akamavi, Raphael
  9. Mobile Phone Technologies, Agricultural Production Patterns, and Market access in Uganda By Sekabira, Haruna; Qaim, Matin
  10. Gender differences in child investment behaviour among agricultural households: Evidence from the Lesotho Child Grants Programme By Ashwini Sebastian; Ana Paula de la O Campos; Silvio Daidone; 2 Benjamin Davis; Ousmane Niang; Luca Pellerano4
  11. The nutrition transition and indicators of child malnutrition By Kimenju, Simon C.; Qaim, Matin
  12. Linkages between Formal Institutions, ICT Adoption and Inclusive Human Development in Sub Saharan Africa By Andrés, Antonio R.; Amavilah, Voxi; Asongu, Simplice A
  13. The effect of improved storage innovations on food security and welfare in Ethiopia By Tesfaye, Wondimagegn; Tirivayi, Nyasha
  14. Factors influencing smallholder farmers’ participation in domestic high value markets for African Indigenous Vegetables in rural Kenya By Jalang'o, Dorcas Anyango; Otieno, David Jakinda; Kosura, Willis-Oluoch
  15. Value Addition and Processing by Farmers in Developing Countries: Evidence From the Coffee Sector in Ethiopia By Tamru, Seneshaw; Minten, Bart
  16. Lessons from Effective Poverty Alleviation in Indonesia: the Role of Women Empowerment and Community Participation By Armida Alisjahbana; Pipit Pitriyan
  17. Factors affecting differences in livestock asset ownership between male and female-headed households in northern Ethiopia By Debela, Bethelhem Legesse
  18. Impact of land degradation on household poverty: evidence from a panel data simultaneous equation model By Kirui, Oliver K.
  19. Small-scale farming and food security: the enabling role of cash transfers in South Africa’s former homelands By Dieter von Fintel; Louw Pienaar

  1. By: David E. Bloom (Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health); Michael Kuhn (Vienna Institute of Demography); Klaus Prettner (Institute of Statistics and Mathematical Methods in EconomicsAuthor-Email:
    Abstract: We analyze the economic consequences for less developed countries of investing in female health. In so doing we introduce a novel micro-founded dynamic general equilibrium framework in which parents trade off the number of children against investments in their education and in which we allow for health-related gender differences in productivity. We show that better female health speeds up the demographic transition and thereby the take-off toward sustained economic growth. By contrast, male health improvements delay the transition and the take-off because ceteris paribus they raise fertility. According to our results, investing in female health is therefore an important lever for development policies. However, and without having to assume anti-female bias, we also show that households prefer male health improvements over female health improvements because they imply a larger static utility gain. This highlights the existence of a dynamic trade-off between the short-run interests of households and long-run development goals. Our numerical analysis shows that even small changes in female health can have a strong impact on the transition process to a higher income level in the long run. Our results are robust with regard to a number of extensions, most notably endogenous investment in health care. JEL Codes: O11, I15, I25, J13, J16
    Keywords: economic development, educational transition, female health, fertility transition, quality-quantity trade-off
    Date: 2016–10
  2. By: Asfaw, Solomon; Carraro, Alessandro
    Abstract: The Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP) in Malawi was introduced in 2005/06 season against the background of bad weather affecting production, prolonged food shortages and high input prices in the absence of soft farm input loans for smallholder farmers. The primary purpose of the program was to increase resource-poor smallholder farmers’ access to improved agricultural farm inputs to achieve food self-sufficiency and increased income through increased maize and legume production. This paper uses a recently released panel data of nationally representative sample households combined with geo-referenced climate and administrative data to analyze FISP targeting effectiveness and the program’s impact on a broad set of welfare outcome variables including consumption, caloric intake, marketed surplus and crop productivity, within a context of climate variability. Our study finds that Malawi’s FISP targeting needs to improve if the primary target is to reach resource-poor and climate-constrained households. Moreover, results show that the program is positively associated with household welfare, food security and productivity. Heterogeneity analysis also suggests that the program benefits households residing in areas characterized by higher climate variability, with a stronger impact for a larger level of treatment.
    Keywords: Farm Input Subsidy Program, program evaluation, targeting, climate change, Malawi, Africa, Agricultural Finance, Environmental Economics and Policy, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies, O13, O22, Q18, Q54,
    Date: 2016–09
  3. By: Diaz-Serrano, Luis (Universitat Rovira i Virgili); Sackey, Frank Gyimah (Universitat Rovira i Virgili)
    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 leader characteristics and regime transitions on government's expenditure in health, and hence on infant mortality, as a development indicator. A unique dataset comprising 44 sub-Saharan African countries spanning from 1970 to 2010 was used for the study. To effectively analyze the impact of leader characteristics and regime transitions on the citizens' health status we control for leader fixed-effects since different leaders, among other things impact on outcomes differently and changes in policy to a large extent depend on the leader characteristics. The overall results are suggestive of a democratic advantage in the process of achieving effective health policy outcomes for promoting health and the wellbeing of the citizens in contemporary sub-Saharan Africa, at least in the long run. Whilst there is evidence of more private and public investments in the health sector under democratic leadership, Government's health policy is virtually non-existent under dictatorships and public sector investment in the health sector is on the decadence.
    Keywords: Africa, health policy, public health, private health, child mortality, democracy, autocracy, political leaders
    JEL: I15 H51 O55
    Date: 2016–10
  4. By: Santosh Kumar (; Ramona Molitor (University of Passau); Sebastian Vollmer (Center for Modern Indian Studies, Göttingen)
    Abstract: Barker’s fetal origins hypothesis suggests a strong relationship between in utero conditions, health and overall child development after birth. Using nationally representative population survey, this paper analyzes the impact of rainfall on early child health in rural India. We find that drought experienced in utero has detrimental effects on nutritional status of children. Effects appear to be stronger for boys, low caste children, and children exposed to drought in the first trimester. Results are robust to alternative definitions of drought. Our estimates speculate that policies aimed at reducing vulnerability to negative rainfall shock may result into improved health and higher human capital accumulation in rain-dependent agrarian countries. JEL Codes: I25; J1; O12
    Keywords: Fetal origins hypothesis, undernutrition, rainfall, India
    Date: 2016–10
  5. By: Asadullah, Niaz (University of Malaya)
    Abstract: Non-formal schools play an increasingly important role in the delivery of educational services in poor communities, but little systematic evidence is available about their placement choices. We study location choice of "one teacher, one classroom" non-formal primary schools pioneered by BRAC vis-a-vis its first large scale replication under the government managed Reaching-Out-of-School (ROSC) project using school census data. Comparison is also made to another pro-poor educational institution – state recognized madrasas. We find that all three types of schools have a statistically significant presence in poor sub-districts within a district. However BRAC schools avoid pockets that lack public infrastructure and suffer from low female literacy rate while ROSC schools better target regions that have poor access to cities and roads, are less urbanized, more vulnerable to natural disasters, have fewer banks and working toilets. ROSC schools also have greater presence in regions that are under-served by government and government supported formal primary schools. On the contrary, the supply of BRAC schools and madrasas is significantly and positively linked to the presence of formal primary schools. Concerns over operational viability may explain why BRAC often leaves out remote regions where socio-economic circumstances are most likely to keep children out of school.
    Keywords: poverty, NGO, non-formal school, madrasa, Bangladesh
    JEL: I21 L31
    Date: 2016–10
  6. By: Dramane Coulibaly; Blaise Gnimassoun; Valérie Mignon
    Abstract: This paper investigates the growth-enhancing effect of openness to trade and to migration by focusing on African countries. Relying on robust estimation techniques dealing with both endogeneity and omitted variables issues, our results show a varying impact of openness for Africa depending on the type of the partner country. Specifically, while trade between Africa and industrialized countries has a clear and robust positive impact on Africa's standards of living, trade with developing countries fails to be growth-enhancing. Moreover, our findings show that migration has no significant effect on per capita income in Africa regardless of the partner. Finally, exploring the trade openness transmission channel, we establish that the growth-enhancing effect of Africa's trade with industrialized countries mainly occurs through an improvement in total factor productivity.
    Keywords: Trade;International migration;Income per person;Africa
    JEL: F22 F4 O4 O55
    Date: 2016–11
  7. By: Harounan Kazianga (Oklahoma State University); Leigh Linden (University of Texas at Austin); Ali Protik (Mathematica Policy Research); Matt Sloan (Mathematica Policy Research)
    Abstract: We evaluate the long-term effect of a “girl-friendly†primary school program in Burkina Faso, using a regression discontinuity design. The intervention consisted of upgrading existing three-classroom schools to six-classroom schools to accommodate more grades. After six years, the program increased enrollment by 15.5 percentage points and increased test scores by 0.29 standard deviations. Students in treatment schools progress further through the grades, compared to students in non-selected schools. These upgraded schools are effective at getting children into school, getting children to start school on time, and keeping children in school longer. Overall, we find that the schools sustain the large impacts observed about three years earlier, with enrollment declining slightly from 18.5 to 14.9 for the cohorts of children who were exposed to both the first and second phases of the intervention.
    Keywords: Africa, Education, Gender Inequality, Infrastructures
    JEL: I24 I25 I28 O15
    Date: 2016–11–11
  8. By: Asongu, Simplice; Boateng, Agyenim; Akamavi, Raphael
    Abstract: A recent World Bank report reveals that poverty has been decreasing in all regions of the world with the exception of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) as more than 45% of countries in the sub-region are off-track from achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) extreme poverty target. This paper investigates the effects of mobile phone technology, knowledge creation and diffusion on inclusive human development in 49 SSA countries for the period 2000-2012 using Tobit model. The study finds that mobile phone penetration in SSA is pivotal to sustainable and inclusive human development irrespective of the country’s level of income, legal origins, religious orientation and the state of the nation. However, the pupil-teacher ratio exerts a negative influence on inclusive human development. The net effects of interactions between the mobile phone and knowledge diffusion variables are positive.
    Keywords: Mobile phones; inclusive human development; Africa
    JEL: G20 I10 I32 O40 O55
    Date: 2016–03
  9. By: Sekabira, Haruna; Qaim, Matin
    Abstract: Through various applications, the importance of mobile technologies has been more evident in developing economies since the late 1990s. One such application has been mobile money services, where mobile network subscribers transfer money electronically via a mobile phone, thus eliminating some of the developing countries’ persistent barriers to financial services for instance financial market exclusion and remoteness. Despite mobile technologies’ anticipated potential towards rural socio-economic development, there is however yet a very limited empirical focus on their welfare impacts. Using regression models and a panel data of 874 observations collected from predominantly coffee farmers in central Uganda, we argue that mobile money use has a positive impact on several income-enhancing mechanisms along the income pathway to smallholder household welfare. Compared to non-users, rural households using mobile money sell more of their coffee produce in a high-value form as shelled beans, receive higher prices for these shelled beans, and earn more off-farm income, with or without remittances. All these mechanisms enhance incomes, thus welfare.
    Keywords: Marketing, Production Economics, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies,
    Date: 2016–09
  10. By: Ashwini Sebastian; Ana Paula de la O Campos; Silvio Daidone; 2 Benjamin Davis; Ousmane Niang; Luca Pellerano4
    Abstract: We examine the impacts of an unconditional cash transfer in Lesotho using an experimental impact evaluation design. We find that the cash transfer led to different outcomes for girls and boys, overall favouring secondary school-aged girls. Girls in this age group were less likely to miss school, spent more time at school, and faced a reduced time burden in household chores. While the general results are maintained in households with a married couple present, in de jure female-headed households, outcomes improved among secondary school-aged boys relative to secondary school-aged girls. By contrast, having the father as recipient was more likely to have positive impacts on girls’ schooling, decrease boys’ labour in farming while simultaneously increasing boys’ labour input in household chores. This puts into question the existence of gender preferences in schooling in Lesotho and suggests that impacts on child welfare are influenced by time and labour constraints and by gender-based differences in opportunity costs of a child’s time.
    Keywords: cash transfers, gender, child schooling, child time use, child farm labour, female- headed households
  11. By: Kimenju, Simon C.; Qaim, Matin
    Abstract: We analyze how the nutrition transition, which involves a westernization of diets and increased consumption of calorie-dense, processed foods, affects child malnutrition in developing countries. It is often assumed that the nutrition transition affects child weight but not child growth, which could be one reason why child underweight decreases faster than child stunting. But these effects have hardly been analyzed empirically. Our cross-country panel regressions show that the nutrition transition reduces child underweight, while no consistent effect on child overweight is found. Against common views, our results also suggest that the nutrition transition reduces child stunting. Further research is required to confirm these findings.
    Keywords: Nutrition transition, malnutrition, stunting, underweight, obesity, Consumer/Household Economics, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Health Economics and Policy,
  12. By: Andrés, Antonio R.; Amavilah, Voxi; Asongu, Simplice A
    Abstract: Using data for 49 African countries over the years spanning 2000-2012, and controlling for a wide range of factors, this study empirically assesses the effects of formal institutions on ICT adoption in developing countries. It deploys 2SLS and FE regression models, (a) to estimate what determines ICT adoption and (b) to trace how ICT adoption affects inclusive development. The results show that formal institutions affect ICT adoption in this group of countries, with government effectiveness having the largest positive effect and regulations the largest negative effect. Generally, formal institutions appear more important to ICT adoption in low income countries than middle income countries, whereas population and economic growth tend to constrain ICT adoption with low income countries more negatively affected than middle income countries. The results further demonstrate that ICT adoption affects development strongly, and that such effects are comparable to those of domestic credit and foreign direct investment. Ceteris paribus, external factors like foreign aid are more limiting to inclusive development than internal factors. This suggests that developing countries can enhance their ICT adoption for development by improving formal institutions and by strengthening domestic determinants of ICT adoption. Both represent opportunities for further research.
    Keywords: Formal institutions, ICT adoption, panel data models, cross-country analysis
    JEL: G20 I10 I32 O40 O55
    Date: 2016–08
  13. By: Tesfaye, Wondimagegn (UNU-MERIT); Tirivayi, Nyasha (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: Postharvest loss exacerbates the food insecurity and welfare loss of farming households in developing countries. This paper analyses the effect of improved storage, a climate-smart crop management technology, on household food and nutrition security, market participation and welfare using nationally representative data from Ethiopia. Endogenous switching regression models are employed to control for selection bias and unobserved heterogeneity. The results show that improved storage use is mainly associated with climatic factors, access to extension service, liquidity constraints, infrastructure and market access. Improved storage significantly increases the dietary diversity, reduces child malnutrition and negative changes in diet. In addition, use of improved storage technologies increases farmers' participation in output markets as sellers, the proportion of harvest sold and their marketing flexibility by altering the choice of market outlets. Further, the paper provides evidence that households that did not use improved storage would have benefited significantly had they decided to adopt. Overall, the study suggests that improved storage technologies are effective tools for risk coping and enhancing food security and would play a key role in the current debate of feeding a growing population in the face of climate change.
    Keywords: storage, innovations, economics of innovation, postharvest loss, food security, climate-smart technology, endogenous switching regression, Ethiopia
    JEL: Q12 Q16 Q18 O33 D13
    Date: 2016–11–14
  14. By: Jalang'o, Dorcas Anyango; Otieno, David Jakinda; Kosura, Willis-Oluoch
    Abstract: Participation in high value markets holds potential for raising smallholder farmers’ income and reducing poverty in the rural areas. Despite a growing literature on farmers’ participation in supermarkets, there is no documented analysis of smallholder African Indigenous Vegetables (AIVs) farmers’ involvement in other emerging high value domestic markets such as hospitals, schools and hotels. In order to address this critical knowledge gap, this study examined the factors that influence smallholder AIV farmers’ participation in such markets in rural Kenya. Results showed that the traditional marketing system is still dominated by less than 13% of farmers selling their vegetables in high value markets. The results of the logit model show that the years of formal education, household income, price, quantity of output and access to credit had significant positive influence on smallholder farmers’ participation in high value markets particularly hotels, hospitals and schools. These findings necessitate urgent policy interventions targeting investments on; access to quality farm information and skills, non-restricted credit especially from group-based informal member schemes, production methods and inputs and timely price information.
    Keywords: AIVs, smallholder farmers, high value markets, Kenya, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Marketing,
    Date: 2016–09
  15. By: Tamru, Seneshaw; Minten, Bart
    Abstract: Washed coffee is being sold in international markets with a premium of more than 20%. However, only about 30% of Ethiopia’s coffee export is washed and the small-scale coffee farmers, processors, exporters, and the country are missing out on sizable opportunity of commanding higher rewards. Relying on unique datasets and using a double hurdle technique, we examined factors affecting the decision and amount of selling coffee in red berries -the primary input for washing coffee- instead of the dried type. Results show that lack of access to wet mills, lack of enough red berry buyers, and bad quality coffee harvest reduce the likelihood of coffee sales in red berries form and hence a subsequent lower level of washed coffee. On the other hand, government’s action of deciding designated selling dates, membership to a cooperative, and access to advances and loans increase the likelihood of selling coffee in red berries form.
    Keywords: Value addition, Coffee, Ethiopia, Demand and Price Analysis, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies,
    Date: 2016–09
  16. By: Armida Alisjahbana (Department of Economics, Padjadjaran University); Pipit Pitriyan (Department of Economics, Padjadjaran University)
    Abstract: Many literatures suggest that eliminating poverty especially in less developed and developing countries is strongly correlated with many factors such as household’s human capital endowment, its accessibility to basic services and sources of funding. This study puts special attention to spouse (women) as the key agent in household poverty eradication. It is hypothesized that women’s human capital directly determines household’s ability in escaping poverty through its own efforts as well as through its ability to better access and utilize resources. A Multinomial Logit Analysis using the Indonesian Family Life Survey (IFLS5) 2014 is utilized to capture the determinants of household poverty status. The dependent variables are household poverty status 2014, i.e. “poor and near poor”, “vulnerable” or “non-poor”. Our main estimator is Spouse Education as proxy of Women Human Capital. The model is controlled by variables representing household socioeconomic characteristics, district’s economic characteristics, poverty related government programs, community participation and community facilities. By performing interaction between women human capital level with community participation variable expected to bring household out of poverty. It is found that women’s human capital and its interaction with community participation has increased the probability of household’s in escaping poverty. Several policy implications related to women human capital improvement and empowerment together with poverty alleviation program follow.
    Keywords: Poverty alleviation; Women education; Women empowerment
    JEL: I32 I38 O15
    Date: 2016–11
  17. By: Debela, Bethelhem Legesse
    Abstract: Empirical studies that analyze the gender gap in livestock ownership are scarce. This paper investigates gender differences in livestock holding using five waves of survey data (1998-2010) from Northern Ethiopia. By employing decomposition analysis, we find that female-headed households (FHHs) own significantly fewer livestock compared to male-headed households (MHHs). Differences in observed characteristics and returns to characteristics account for 29 and 51 percent of the gender difference, respectively. Lower endowment of land area, male labor and children (aged 6 to 14) in FHHs are the observed factors causing the disparity. Gender difference is more pronounced in the ownership of large animals than in the ownership of small animals. Findings are relevant for gender-sensitive public interventions that aim to promote livestock accumulation.
    Keywords: Ethiopia, female-headed household, livestock, accumulation, gender, Consumer/Household Economics, Livestock Production/Industries, I21, I32, J16,
    Date: 2016–09
  18. By: Kirui, Oliver K.
    Abstract: The debate on the land degradation – poverty linkages is inconclusive. However, the inter-linkages between land degradation and poverty are thought to be strong in the rural areas of low income countries where livelihoods predominantly depend on agriculture. This study seeks to contribute to the existing literature by establishing the causal relationships between poverty and land degradation and examines its magnitude using nationally representative panel data in Malawi and Tanzania. While using a simultaneous equation model and controlling for unobserved heterogeneity, the findings suggest that poverty contributes to land degradation as a result of poor households’ inability to invest in natural resource conservation and improvement. Land degradation in turn contributes to low and declining agricultural productivity, which in turn contributes to worsening poverty. Specifically, land degradation significantly increases the probability of household poverty by 35% in Malawi and 48% in Tanzania. Poor households have 69% and 67% more likelihood to experience land degradation in Malawi and Tanzania respectively. These findings suggest the importance of including land degradation perspective in poverty analysis among the rural households who heavily depend on land resources for their livelihoods. The pathways through which land degradation influence poverty should be explored so as to improving household welfare.
    Keywords: Land degradation, poverty, panel data, simultaneous equation model, eastern Africa, Food Security and Poverty, Land Economics/Use, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods,
    Date: 2016–09
  19. By: Dieter von Fintel; Louw Pienaar
    Abstract: Cash transfers successfully alleviate poverty in many developing countries. South Africa is a case in point, implementing one of the largest unconditional cash transfer programmes internationally, and with substantial benefits to household well-being along multiple dimensions. Yet, grants discourage formal labour market attachment, creating dependencies on the fiscus. This study uses a fuzzy regression discontinuity design to establish that state-funded Old Age Pensions encourage non-market economic activity (in the form of small-scale farming), and improve the self-reported food security of rural households that farm, vis-Ã -vis those that do not. However, only non-farming households increase market food expenditure and consume more diverse diets from market-sourced foods: diet quality improves with greater spending, while food sufficiency remains unaffected. Farmers, on the other hand, do not change food spending patterns, but self-rated food sufficiency improves due to greater levels and diversity in home production. The role of small-scale farming is of broader interest in rural development, given the context of the 1913 and 1936 Land Acts that constrained this form of livelihood in former apartheid homelands. This paper’s contribution is two-fold: grants are an effective channel to actively promote rural development through small-scale farming, and they improve food security by non-market mechanisms.
    Keywords: Cash transfers; Small-scale farming; Food Security; South Africa; Apartheid homelands; Regression Discontinuity Design
    JEL: Q12 Q18 Q15 D13 C26
    Date: 2016–11

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