nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2017‒03‒12
nine papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Contracting out the Last-Mile of Service Delivery: Subsidized Food Distribution in Indonesia By Banerjee, Abhijit; Hanna, Rema; Kyle, Jordan; Olken, Benjamin; Sumarto, Sudarno
  2. Reverting to Informality: Unregistered Property Transactions and the Erosion of the Titling Reform in Peru By Gutierrez, Italo A.; Molina, Oswaldo
  3. The Equity Impacts of Targeted Smallholder Agricultural Credit By Pushkar Maitra; Sandip Mitra; Dilip Mookherjee; Sujata Visaria
  4. Assessing the Distributive Effects of Minimum Wage By Borraz, Fernando; González Pampillón
  5. Adoption of System of Rice Intensification and its Impact on Rice Yields and Household Income: An Analysis for India By Varma, Poornima
  6. Farmers’ investments in innovative technologies in times of precipitation extremes: A statistical analysis for rural Tanzania. By Marmai, Nadine
  7. Missing from the Market: Purdah Norm and Women’s Paid Work Participation in Bangladesh By Asadullah, M Niaz; Wahhaj, Zaki
  8. Efforts and inequality of opportunity in the Bolivian labor market. By Cristian Ricardo Nogales Carvajal; Fátima Rico Encinas
  9. Characteristics and determinants of child malnutrition in Mozambique, 2003–11 By José Cardoso; Lindsey Allwright; Vincenzo Salvucci

  1. By: Banerjee, Abhijit; Hanna, Rema; Kyle, Jordan; Olken, Benjamin; Sumarto, Sudarno
    Abstract: Should government service delivery be outsourced to the private sector? In a randomized field experiment across 572 Indonesian localities, we show that allowing for outsourcing reduced the operating costs of a subsidized food program without sacrificing quality. However, citizens only reaped the gains from efficiency in terms of lower prices in areas where we exogenously increased the level of competition in the bidding process. We find that while the selection among bids during the procurement process appears broadly sensible, elites were sometimes able to block the process entirely, either ex-ante or ex-post, limiting the magnitude of the gains from outsourcing.
    Date: 2017–02
  2. By: Gutierrez, Italo A.; Molina, Oswaldo
    Abstract: Titling programs have focused mostly on providing initial tenure security and have not properly addressed maintaining the formality of future property transactions. Our data indicates that properties become de-regularized due to unregistered transactions in urban slums, which threatens to undo the success of the titling program in the long run. We exploit a natural experiment provided by the elimination of a streamlined registration system targeted for the poor residents in Peru to identify how costly and burdensome registration policies can increase de-regularization. Our analysis indicated that the elimination of such a system led to a significant reduction in the probability of registering transactions, including those that involved a change in ownership. Overall, our findings stress the necessity of building specific components aimed at maintaining properties formal into the design of urban titling programs.
    Keywords: titling programs, registration, property transactions, property rights, natural experiment, Peru
    JEL: P14 O18 R20 R28 K0
    Date: 2016–09
  3. By: Pushkar Maitra; Sandip Mitra (Sampling and Official Statistics Unit, Indian Statistical Institute); Dilip Mookherjee; Sujata Visaria (HKUST Institute for Emerging Market Studies (IEMS); Department of Economics, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
    Abstract: We examine the distributive impacts of two alternative approaches to deliver agricultural credit to smallholders: TRAIL (or trader-agent intermediated lending), where local traders recommend village residents for individual liability micro-leans, and GBL (or group-based lending), where households self-select into groups and receive joint liability loans. We use data from a field experiment in eastern India to estimate how the effects of these schemes differ by economic (proxied by landownership) and social (proxied by caste and religion) status of households. Our method accounts for endogenous selection frequencies in each group and the treatment effects on farm income conditional on selection, to estimate the impacts of each scheme on Atkinson-based measures of welfare and inequality. We find that TRAIL loans increased farm incomes for all land groups, but particularly for landless households. As a result, across land groups, the TRAIL scheme generated significantly greater welfare than the GBL scheme, irrespective of inequality aversion. The GBL scheme generated larger effects among the socially disadvantaged minority groups. This suggests that the efficiency and equity implications of the two schemes might be different depending on how we partition households.
    Keywords: agricultural finance, agent based lending, group lending, distributive impacts
    Date: 2017–03
  4. By: Borraz, Fernando; González Pampillón
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the role of Uruguay’s sharp minimum wage increases after 2004 amidst the country’s slight wage inequality decrease. We found that the minimum wage increase has contributed to the reduction of wage inequality for formal workers mainly. However, we also found a negative impact on employment outside the capital city, Montevideo, and observed a reduction in working hours. These results raise doubts about the effectiveness of minimum wage as a redistribution instrument in developing countries.
    Keywords: minimum wage,wage inequality,instrumental variables,employment effect,difference in difference
    JEL: J20 J31 J38
    Date: 2017
  5. By: Varma, Poornima
    Abstract: Natural resource management (NRM) technologies, such as the system of rice intensification (SRI) are recognized as a promising systemic approach to enhance rice production at affordable costs without harming the environment. Yet there is no consensus in the literature with respect to the factors influencing the adoption as well as the welfare outcomes of adoption. This paper identifies the factors that affect farmers’ decisions to adopt SRI in major rice producing States of India and its impact on rice yield and household income. The multinomial endogenous treatment effects model adopted in the present study analyses the factors influencing the adoption and the impact of adoption in a joint framework. Results suggest that household assets, irrigation, access to information etc. increased the likelihood of household adopting SRI whereas the size of landholding, the number of years household stayed in rice cultivation, fear of poor yield, etc. decreased the likelihood of adopting SRI. The welfare impacts of SRI adoption revealed that all combinations of SRI individually and as a group (plant management, water management and soil management) had an impact on yield. However, the impact of SRI adoption on household income was quite mixed.
  6. By: Marmai, Nadine (University of Turin)
    Abstract: The paper shifts the focus from the exclusively devastating character of weather extremes on socio-economic outcomes to the possibility that positive side effects may occur. Positive side effects such as higher investments in improved agricultural technologies in years of weather extremes are crucial especially in rural developing areas to overcome the negative consequences of the shocks. For that purpose, out of all households that invest in improved seeds in rural Tanzania, we model the probability of high investments in improved seeds when a year of extreme high or low precipitation occurs. We apply a conditional dependence model for multivariate extreme values that so far does not ?nd application in this context. Our appraisal of re?ection on the current situation is based on recent data published by the World Bank’s LSMS-ISA data between 2008 and 2013. Results suggest that extreme precipitation events and high investments in improved seeds with respect to overall investments are dependent events in rural Tanzania.
    Date: 2016–11
  7. By: Asadullah, M Niaz; Wahhaj, Zaki
    Abstract: Despite significant improvement in female schooling over the last two decades, only a small proportion of women in South Asia are in wage employment. We revisit this puzzle using a nationally representative data set from Bangladesh. Probit regression results show that even after accounting for human capital endowments, women are systematically less likely to participate in paid work than men. Oaxaca decomposition of the gender gap confirms that most of it (i.e. 95%) is unexplained by endowment differences. Instead, community norms such as the practice of purdah (i.e. female seclusion) have a statistically significant and negative effect on women’s participation in paid work. We do not find any evidence that purdah norm variable affect paid work participation indirectly, via determining the labor force participation decision. The correlation between current work participation and purdah norm in natal household is insignificant confirming that the result is not driven by omitted individual-specific socioeconomic factors. We also use data on past purdah practice of the current community to estimate an instrumental variable Probit regression model and rule out the possibility of reverse causality. Detailed decomposition analysis reveals that community purdah norm accounts for a quarter of the total unexplained gap. The findings are robust to controls for the influence of co-resident inlaws, household structure, marital status, and a wide range of community characteristics such as ecological factors, presence of NGOs, provision of public infrastructure, remoteness and local labor market conditions including the norm of unacceptability of unmarried women's outside work in the community.
    Keywords: Purdah norm,gender inequality,labor market participation,poverty,Bangladesh
    JEL: I26 I28 J12 J16 O12
    Date: 2017
  8. By: Cristian Ricardo Nogales Carvajal (Centro de Investigaciones Económicas y Empresariales, Universidad Privada Boliviana); Fátima Rico Encinas (Centro de Investigaciones Económicas y Empresariales, Universidad Privada Boliviana)
    Abstract: The equitable distribution of income and the level of human development are key differentiating characteristics of developed and developing countries. In this paper, efforts and other variables related to circumstances of individuals are quantified and simultaneously analyzed alongside traditional determinants of income in order to provide novel explanations of inequality among workers in Bolivia. Our contribution is the estimation and analysis of traditional Mincer equations combined with John Roemer’s Inequality of Opportunity approach. We find that efforts are important determinants of wage inequality in the country as well as regional development and informality. Thus we separate the portion of wage inequality that may be attributed to situations that are beyond the control of individuals and can be attributed to willingly taken decisions. Microsimulations show that it is possible to reduce inequality up to 21 percentage points if people are given chances to make similar efforts to improve their labor outocomes.
    Keywords: Inequality, labor markets, opportunities
    JEL: C10 O10
    Date: 2015–06
  9. By: José Cardoso; Lindsey Allwright; Vincenzo Salvucci
    Abstract: Child malnutrition continues to be a serious impediment to development both at the individual and national levels in many developing countries. In Mozambique, despite a high and sustained GDP growth, child malnutrition has been decreasing at a rather slow pace over the past 15 years. In this study, using the Mozambican Demographic and Health Surveys 2003 and 2011 we find that household wealth, mother’s education, area of residence, and access to safe water and improved sanitation facilities have a strong relation with different measures of chronic child malnutrition. Also, the relative importance of these variables remained mostly unchanged over time. We conclude that continued and more focused and effective interventions aimed at directly reducing child malnutrition should be undertaken by all public and private actors involved.
    Keywords: child malnutrition, stunting, Demographic and Health Survey data, Mozambique
    Date: 2016

This nep-dev issue is ©2017 by Jacob A. Jordaan. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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