nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2017‒02‒12
twelve papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. The Recent Growth Boom in Developing Economies: A Structural-Change Perspective By Diao, Xinshen; McMillan, Margaret; Rodrik, Dani
  2. Fueling Conflict? (De)Escalation and Bilateral Aid By Gassebner, Martin; Bluhm, Richard; Langlotz, Sarah; Schaudt, Paul
  3. Gender Differentials and Determinants of Female- Male Holders Revenue Efficiency during the implementation of the GTP plan in Ethiopia: A Panel Data Study By Contreras, Sandra
  4. Public Distribution System in India - Leakage, Self-Selection and Targeting Errors By Kozicka, Marta; Weber, Regine; Kalkuhl, Matthias
  5. Working Paper 247 - Credit constraints and farm productivity: Micro-level evidence from smallholder farmers in Ethiopia By AfDB AfDB
  6. The Occupational Selection of Emigrants By Patt, Alexander; Flores, Miguel; Ruhose, Jens; Wiederhold, Simon
  7. Measuring Prevalence, Profiling and Evaluating the Potential of Policy Impacts using Two Food Security Indicators in Guatemala By Sandoval, Luis; Carpio, Carlos E
  8. Paying for performance for health care in low- and middle-income countries: an economic perspective By Martin Chalkley; Andrew Mirelman; Luigi Siciliani; Marc Suhrcke
  9. Institutionalizing segregation Conditional cash transfers and employment choices By María Gabriela Palacio
  10. Contributing to Economic and Social Development in Sub-Saharan Africa through Value-Added Agriculture By N'DEDE HOURIZENE, CYNTHIA B.; WILSON, NORBERT
  11. Temporary transfers of land and risk-coping mechanisms in Thailand By Gwendoline Promsopha
  12. Public policies in dangerous places: the Unified Educational Centers (CEU) in the city of São Paulo By Rômullo Carvalho; Marcos Ki Hyung Lee

  1. By: Diao, Xinshen; McMillan, Margaret; Rodrik, Dani
    Abstract: Growth has accelerated in a wide range of developing countries over the last couple of decades, resulting in an extraordinary period of convergence with the advanced economies. We analyze this experience from the lens of structural change - the reallocation of labor from low- to high-productivity sectors. Patterns of structural change differ greatly in the recent growth experience. In contrast to the East Asian experience, none of the recent growth accelerations in Latin America, Africa, or South Asia was driven by rapid industrialization. Beyond that, we document that recent growth accelerations were based on either rapid within-sector labor productivity growth (Latin America) or growth-increasing structural change (Africa), but rarely both at the same time. The African experience is particularly intriguing, as growth-enhancing structural change appears to have come typically at the expense of declining labor productivity growth in the more modern sectors of the economy. We explain this anomaly by arguing that the forces that promoted structural change in Africa originated on the demand side, through either external transfers or increase in agricultural incomes. In contrast to Asia, structural change was the result of increased demand for goods and services produced in the modern sectors of the economy rather than productivity improvements in these sectors.
    Date: 2017–01
  2. By: Gassebner, Martin; Bluhm, Richard; Langlotz, Sarah; Schaudt, Paul
    Abstract: Civil conflicts undergo cycles of escalation. Beginning with riots, purges, and other violent acts of aggression, they escalate further and often culminate in outright civil war. This paper studies the effects of foreign aid on the escalation and de-escalation of conflict. We make three major contributions. First, we combine data on civil wars with data on low level conflicts in a new ordinal measure that captures the two-sided nature of conflict. Second, we study the effect of development aid on escalation and de-escalation. This allows us to give a rich description of how conflicts evolve dynamically, and to highlight the different roles played by bilateral aid in these transitions. We stress that low level conflicts matter since they are a violent expression of discontent over the distribution of rents (including aid) or of repression by the state. Third, we employ a new instrumental variable, which we then use to predict bilateral aid of DAC donor countries to 125 recipient countries over the period of 1975 to 2010. This solves the endogeneity concerns which have so far plagued the aid-conflict relationship. Our results show that the effect of foreign aid on the various transition probabilities is heterogeneous and sometimes very large. For example, receiving bilateral aid raises the chances of escalating from peace to small conflict, and from small conflict to armed conflict, but does not affect the transition from peace to civil war. Our main findings are robust to different estimation methods, controls and measures of conflict or foreign aid.
    JEL: O11 F35 D74
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Contreras, Sandra
    Abstract: In Ethiopia, the participation of women in agriculture is high, women farmers provide around 50 percent of the total labor time required for crop production in most parts of the country (Ahmed, 2013). Even though, the presence of the women in the agriculture sector in Ethiopia is very significant in numbers, a 2014 World Bank report affirms that female farmers benefit less from economic growth because they are less productive than their male counter parts. According to the report the gender productivity gap in Ethiopia is one of the highest in sub-Sahara Africa (World Bank 2014). Therefore, the need to have a closer look to the female holder farms, to locate the sources of inefficiency in hopes to contribute to the alleviation of the poverty conditions that the country faces by improved economic performance. The hypothesis I test in the paper is that in Ethiopia, women are more efficient than men in terms of revenue efficiency in absence of price discrimination in the markets. This study used a two-stage performance assessment across 581 farm holders’ information obtained from the comparable Living Standard Measurement Study-Integrated Surveys (LSMS-ISA) from 2011-2012 and 2013-2014. In the first stage of the study, the revenue efficiency scores, and scale efficiency scores of female and male headed households were calculated by using Data Envelop Analysis (DEA). In the second stage we employed a Panel Tobit Analysis to identify possible determinants of the farms’ inefficiency by including in the model variables related to the farmers' personal characteristics, farms’ characteristics, households’ characteristics, and managerial characteristics.
    Keywords: gender, revenue efficiency analysis, international development, myth about gender issues in Ethiopia, Ethiopia GTP plan, International Development, Production Economics,
    Date: 2017–02–04
  4. By: Kozicka, Marta; Weber, Regine; Kalkuhl, Matthias
    Abstract: Despite the large-scale antipoverty programs, especially food and nutrition programs, 15 per cent of Indian population is undernourished. India’s current implementation of the world largest food aid program, the National Food Security Act (NFSA), experiences many challenges and needs rigorous analysis. Current study analyzes consumption patterns of wheat and rice delivered through the Public Distribution System in India. Further, impact of the subsidy on market grain consumption is quantified. The household consumption analysis using cross-sectional econometric techniques reveals targeting errors of the Public Distribution System. There is a negative self-selection of the richer households; however the migrant workers and female-led households are not well covered. The Above Poverty Line quota seems to have higher leakage rate, which strongly affects consumption of the subsidized grains. For the Below Poverty Line cardholders, subsidized grains are imperfect substitutes for the market grains. Further, subsidized grains are found to increase total consumption of wheat and rice. Because of high targeting errors, higher total demand for wheat and rice might result in higher market prices and have negative consequences for the poor excluded from the system. To our knowledge, this is the first empirical analysis of the various targeting errors and reasons for under-purchase on all India level. The results further contribute to the growing evidence that the PDS crowds in consumption of wheat and rice.
    JEL: D12 D45 I38
    Date: 2016
  5. By: AfDB AfDB
    Date: 2017–02–06
  6. By: Patt, Alexander; Flores, Miguel; Ruhose, Jens; Wiederhold, Simon
    Abstract: The current literature that investigates the selection of Mexican migrants to the United States focuses on selectivity in educational attainment and earnings. Notably absent from the literature is evidence on occupational selection, because it is unclear how to measure the skill content of Mexican occupations. However, any such research would yield important insights regarding the selection on labor-market skills that Mexicans carry with them to the United States. We use data from a representative Mexican worker survey—equivalent to the U.S. O*NET—to develop novel measures of cognitive and manual skills for migrants based on their pre-migration occupational history, and compare them to the skills of Mexicans who do not migrate. Using detailed longitudinal micro-level data from two Mexican labor surveys, the Mexican Migration Project, and the Mexican Family Life Survey, our analysis consistently shows that migrants have lower cognitive and higher manual skills than non-migrants. This finding is robust to controlling for age, gender, and educational attainment and also holds within broader occupational groups. Despite substantial changes in emigration rates over time, we also document that occupational selection is highly persistent.
    JEL: F22 O15 J61
    Date: 2016
  7. By: Sandoval, Luis; Carpio, Carlos E
    Abstract: Food security is a multi-dimensional concept and requires a set of indicators to properly measure it. However, single food security indicators are often used without any attention to the food security dimension in which they operate. The misuse of individual food security indicators can have important implications for policy design and implementation. The main objective of this study is to compare two alternative food security indicators: 1) to measure the prevalence of food insecurity in a country, 2) to conduct food security profiling assessments, and 3) to evaluate the potential impact of a cash transfer policy. The two food security indicators considered are the Latin America and Caribbean Food Security Scale, and a food security indicator based on daily per capita food energy available calculated using household expenditure surveys. Data for the study comes from the 2011 Survey of Living Standards from Guatemala. Our results indicate large discrepancies in the estimated prevalence of food insecurity in the country. The regions with the highest levels of incidence of food insecurity, the profile of food insecure households, and the simulated potential impact of a cash transfer policy also differ depending on the indicator used.
    Keywords: ELCSA, Household Expenditure Surveys, Food security, Guatemala, undernourishment, Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty,
    Date: 2017–02
  8. By: Martin Chalkley (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, York, UK.); Andrew Mirelman (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, York, UK.); Luigi Siciliani (Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York, York, UK.); Marc Suhrcke (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, York, UK.)
    Abstract: Pay for Performance (P4P) arrangements, which are fixtures of health systems in high-income countries (HIC), have been deployed across many low- and middle-income country (LMIC) settings as well. P4P programs in HICs have typically addressed the challenge of ‘over delivery’, controlling costs while maintaining adequate services and getting the best clinical practice, or quality of care. In LMICs, health systems are similarly concerned with issues of quality, but they may also grapple with problems of low demand, lack of resources and poor governance. By revisiting the overall framework for understanding P4P arrangements, their benefits and their risks in the context of healthcare delivery, this paper draws on experiences with P4P in HIC to assess how the insights from economic theory apply in practice in LMICs. Issues of programme design and unintended consequences are summarized and LMIC case examples of where these concepts apply and are missing from the evidence of P4P programs in LMIC settings are also reviewed. The evidence on P4P in LMICs is still in its infancy, both in terms of evidence of impact (especially as far as health outcomes are concerned), and in in terms of the attention to potential unintended consequences. However, it is critical to return to basic economic understanding of how the contractual arrangements and incentives of P4P inform program design and ultimately impact health outcomes and service delivery.
    Date: 2016–12
  9. By: María Gabriela Palacio
    Abstract: Some claim that certain forms of social protection, conditional cash transfers in particular, result in perverse incentives for recipients in order to stay eligible for receiving benefits. This notion has a bearing on the design of social protection programmes and may undermine the political support for these programmes. This paper analyses Ecuador.s conditional cash transfer programme, the Bono de Desarrollo Humano. The key finding is that concerns about perverse incentives appear largely misplaced. By examining broader patterns of institutionalization of occupational gender segregation, the role of cash transfers is found to be trivial to the deepening of informality and inactivity among recipients.
    Keywords: cash transfers, informality, employment, segregation, Ecuador
    Date: 2016
    Abstract: Primary commodity production and exports are the primary drivers of growth in SSA. Thus, value-added agriculture and the resulting market linkages to other sectors are limited. These limitations constrain the ability of SSA to lift its population out of poverty. To evaluate the contributors to growth, we apply the augmented Solow growth model using a system GMM approach. The two findings of this analysis are value-added agriculture contributes substantially to GDP and overall human development in SSA and the total effect of the agricultural sector exceeds that of the non-agricultural sector, suggesting the need for developing countries in SSA to promote market linkages for economic transformation.
    Keywords: Value-added Agriculture, Economic growth, Human Development, Sub-Saharan Africa, International Development, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods, O11, O15, O55, Q19,
    Date: 2016
  11. By: Gwendoline Promsopha (LEST - Laboratoire d'économie et de sociologie du travail - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This paper uses data collected in Thailand among permanent rural-urban migrants to analyse the motivations in land temporary transfers such as free loans or rentals. Land transfers are here looked at in a continuum and categorized according to three characteristics: the nature of the relationship between the parties of the exchange, the monetary nature of the payment as well as its explicit or imlicit nature. This methodology allows a richer typology than traditionnally used in empiric literature, and distinguishes between various loans that are not always free. The empirical results show that land loans are frequently chosen by households who rely heavily on traditional risk-sharing networks and credit land with a high safety net value. Morevore, the statistical analysis reveal the significance of hybrid transfers such as disguised rental, that combine both rent-seeking and risk-coping motivations. Overall, the paper underlines the importance of risk-coping motivations in the design of land temporary transfers.
    Keywords: Land tenure, land markets, Thailand, rural economy, non-market transfer
    Date: 2016–12–05
  12. By: Rômullo Carvalho; Marcos Ki Hyung Lee
    Abstract: Since 2003, São Paulo municipal government has started a public policy construction of “Centros Educacionais Unificados (CEUs)”, a complex with schools, sport, leisure and cultural facilities, in the most socially peripherical areas of the city. To the best of our knowledge, this paper is the first to investigate some effects related to the introduction of CEUs in these regions. Through a methodology of Differences-in-Differences with Propensity Score Matching and exploiting a criminal data from Public Security Secretariat, our results suggest that the areas affected by the program had - on average - from 6 to 9 homicides less, in comparison with areas that have not received CEU. This analysis, although preliminary, supports the idea that CEUs had a positive impact on welfare of its surrounding communities in different dimensions
    Keywords: public policy; crime; education; development economics
    JEL: D04 D61 I28 I38
    Date: 2016–12–20

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