nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2017‒01‒22
six papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. From Proof of Concept to Scalable Policies: Challenges and Solutions, with an Application By Banerjee, Abhijit; Banerji, Rukmini; Berry, James; Duflo, Esther; Kannan, Harini; Mukerji, Shobhini; Shotland, Marc; Walton, Michael
  2. Short and long-term effects of a child-labor ban By Piza, Caio; Souza, André Portela Fernandes de
  3. Hidden Human Capital: Psychological Empowerment & Adolescent Girls’ Aspirations in India By Sanchari Roy; Matthew Morton; Shryana Bhattacharya
  4. The Impact of Legal Minimum Wages on Employment, Income, and Poverty Incidence in the Philippines By Paqueo, Vicente B.; Orbeta, Aniceto Jr. C.; Lanzona, Leonardo A.
  5. The Influence of Gender Budgeting in Indian States on Gender Inequality and Fiscal Spending By Janet Gale Stotsky; Asad Zaman
  6. On the Relationship between Globalisation and the Economic Participation of Women in Sub-Saharan Africa By Simplice Asongu; Uchenna R. Efobi; Belmondo V. Tanankem

  1. By: Banerjee, Abhijit; Banerji, Rukmini; Berry, James; Duflo, Esther; Kannan, Harini; Mukerji, Shobhini; Shotland, Marc; Walton, Michael
    Abstract: The promise of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) is that evidence gathered through the evaluation of a specific program helps us -possibly after several rounds of fine-tuning and multiple replications in different contexts - to inform policy. However, critics have pointed out that a potential constraint in this agenda is that results from small, NGO-run 'proof-of-concept' studies may not apply to policies that can be implemented by governments on a large scale. After discussing the potential issues, this paper describes the journey from the original concept to the design and evaluation of scalable policy. We do so by evaluating a series of strategies that aim to integrate the NGO Pratham's 'Teaching at the Right Level' methodology into elementary schools in India. The methodology consists of re-organizing instruction based on children's actual learning levels, rather than on a prescribed syllabus, and has previously been shown to be very effective when properly implemented. We present RCT evidence on the designs that failed to produce impacts within the regular schooling system but helped shape subsequent versions of the program. As a result of this process, two versions of the programs were developed that successfully raised children's learning levels using scalable models in government schools.
    Keywords: education; India
    JEL: I20 I21 O12 O35
    Date: 2017–01
  2. By: Piza, Caio; Souza, André Portela Fernandes de
    Abstract: This is the first study that investigates the short and long-term causal effects of a child-labor ban. We explore the law that increased minimum employment age from 14 to 16 in Brazil in 1998 and uncover its impact on time allocated to schooling and work in the short term and on school attainment and labor-market outcomes in the long term. We use cross-sectional data from 1998 to 2014 and apply a fuzzy regression discontinuity design to estimate the impact of the ban at different points of individuals’ life-cycles. Our estimates show that the ban reduced incidence of boys in paid work activities by 4 percentage points or 46 percent. We find that the fall in child labor is mostly explained by the change in the proportions of boys working for pay and studying and observe an increase in the proportion of boys only studying as a consequence. The results suggest that the ban reduced boys’ participation in the labor force. We follow the same cohort affected by the ban over the years and find that these short-term effects persisted until 2003 when they turned 18. We pooled data from 2007 to 2014 to check whether the ban affected individuals’ stock of human capital and labor-market outcomes. Our estimates suggest that the ban did not have long-term effects for the whole cohort, but found some indication that it did negatively affect the log earnings of individuals at the lower tail of earnings distributions and those more likely to be affected by the law
    Date: 2016–10–19
  3. By: Sanchari Roy (Department of Economics, University of Sussex); Matthew Morton (World Bank); Shryana Bhattacharya (World Bank)
    Abstract: This paper studies the role of social-emotional or psychological capital in determining education and employment aspirations of adolescent girls and young women in India. We find that girls’ self-efficacy and mental health are important determinants of their educational and employment aspirations, suggesting that these hidden forms of human capital may serve as critical targets for interventions aiming to alter girls’ educational and economic trajectories. We also identify factors that correlate with girls’ level of self-efficacy, and find that an “enabling” and supportive family and community environment appears to be important
    Keywords: social-emotional skills, self-efficacy, aspirations, adolescents, youth, gender, labor market, education
    JEL: I20 I31 Z00
    Date: 2016–08
  4. By: Paqueo, Vicente B.; Orbeta, Aniceto Jr. C.; Lanzona, Leonardo A.
    Abstract: It is commonly believed that mandating higher legal minimum wages (LMWs) is needed to help the poor earn a level of income that would allow them healthy and dignified lives. It is also seen as a tool to protect the weak against exploitation. This popular belief motivates and justifies the recurrent demands for hefty increases in LMW. But what is the empirical evidence behind this? This article seeks to address this question. It finds that in the Philippines, higher LMWs: (i) are likely to reduce the work hours of average workers; (ii) can be disadvantageous against the very groups that LMWs are intended to protect; (iii) decrease the employment probability of the young, inexperienced, less educated, and women laborers; and (iv) tend to ironically reduce average income and raise household poverty rate. These results illustrate how rapid rises in LMWs can be counter-productive and can go against the spirit of equal protection principle of the Constitution. If the goal is to help the poor and protect the weak, then these findings warrant the need to think more deeply and prudently about the use of LMWs and to consider other tools for achieving decent wages.
    Keywords: Philippines, poverty, employment, jobs, minimum wages, labor market policy, legal minimum wages (LMWs), labor
    Date: 2016
  5. By: Janet Gale Stotsky; Asad Zaman
    Abstract: This study investigates the effect of gender budgeting in India on gender inequality and fiscal spending. Gender budgeting is an approach to budgeting in which governments use fiscal policies and administration to address gender inequality and women’s advancement. There is little quantitative study of its impact. Indian states offer a relatively unique framework for assessing the effect of gender budgeting. States with gender budgeting efforts have made more progress on gender equality in primary school enrollment than those without, though economic growth appears insufficient to generate equality on its own. The implications of gender budgeting for fiscal spending were more ambiguous.
    Keywords: Fiscal policy;India;Gender;Budgeting;Income inequality;Women's economic conditions;Government expenditures;Cross country analysis;fiscal policy, gender budgeting, gender inequality, Indian states
    Date: 2016–11–16
  6. By: Simplice Asongu (Yaoundé/Cameroun); Uchenna R. Efobi (Covenant University, Nigeria); Belmondo V. Tanankem (MINEPAT, Cameroon)
    Abstract: This study assesses the relationship between globalisation and the economic participation of women (EPW) in 47 Sub-Saharan African countries for the period 1990-2013. Two indicators are used to measure EPW, namely, the: female labour force participation and employment rates. The empirical evidence is based on Panel-corrected Standard Errors and Fixed Effects regressions. The findings show that the positive effect of the overall globalisation index on EPW is dampened by its political component and driven by its economic and social components, with a higher positive magnitude from the former or economic globalisation. For the most part, the findings are robust to the control for several structural and institutional characteristics: varying conditioning information sets, changes in the growth of urban population, government consumption, legal systems, resource wealth, health, technological advancement, political strife and conflicts, income levels and levels of industrialisation. An extended analysis by unbundling globalisation shows that the positive incidence of social globalisation is driven by information flow (compared to personal contact and cultural proximity) while the positive effect of economic globalisation is driven by actual flows (relative to restrictions). Policy implications are discussed.
    Keywords: Globalisation; inequality; inclusive development; Africa
    JEL: E60 F40 F59 D60 O55
    Date: 2017–01

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