nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2017‒03‒19
twelve papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Turning the paradigm of aid allocation on its head By Olivier Sterck; Max Roser; Stefan Thewissen
  2. Fertility and women’s work in a demographic transition: evidence from Peru By Miguel Jaramillo-Baanante
  3. Month of Birth and Child Height in 40 Countries By Joseph Cummins; Neha Agarwal; Anaka Aiyar; Arpita Bhattacharjee; Christian Gunadi; Deepak Singhania; Matthew Taylor; Evan Wigton-Jones
  4. Lights, Camera,... Income! Estimating Poverty Using National Accounts, Survey Means and Lights By Maxim Pinkovskiy; Xavier Sala-i-Martin
  5. Underage Brides and Grooms' Education By Dessy, Sylvain; Diarra, Setou; Pongou, Roland
  6. Trading off nutrition and education? A panel data analysis of the dissimilar welfare effects of Organic and Fairtrade standards By Meemken, Eva-Marie; Spielman, David J.; Qaim, Matin
  7. Does Microcredit Reduce Gender Gap in Employment? An Application of Decomposition Analysis to Egypt By Mohamed El Hedi Arouri; Nguyen Viet Cuong
  8. Weather and income: effect on household saving and well-being in South Africa. By Helena Ting; Martina Bozzola; Timothy Swanson
  9. Adoption of Drought Tolerant Maize Varieties under Rainfall Stress in Malawi By Katengeza, Samson P.; Holden , Stein T.; Lunduka, Rodney W.
  10. Adding fuel to fire? Social spillovers and spatial disparities in the adoption of LPG in India. By Suchita Srinivasan; Stefano Carattini
  11. Where's the Teacher? How Teacher Workplace Segregation Impedes Teacher Allocation in India By Fagernäs, Sonja; Pelkonen, Panu
  12. Teacher Gender, Student Gender, and Primary School Achievement: Evidence from Ten Francophone African Countries By Lee, Jieun; Rhee, Dong-eun; Rudolf, Robert

  1. By: Olivier Sterck; Max Roser; Stefan Thewissen
    Abstract: How should aid be allocated among countries? Past research efforts to answer this question followed three steps: (1) the definition of an objective function; (2) the characterization of its functional form; and (3) the estimation of its parameters. Each step has been heavily criticized. While thought provoking, all attempts to refine the objective function and its functional form have increased complexity, overburdening the already too fragile parameterization step. We argue that a complete rethinking and reversal of this paradigm is needed. We start by examining what can be estimated with “sufficient” credibility. We then define five key properties or axioms which are justified in terms of fairness, proportionality, and encouragement domestic investments. Finally, we combine these elements into an allocation formula. The framework is applied to the allocation of development assistance for health
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Miguel Jaramillo-Baanante (Group for the Analysis of Development - GRADE)
    Abstract: As in other developing countries, Peru’s demographic transition is well underway. Concurrently, women’s labor market participation and employment rates have substantially increased. In this paper we estimate the causal effect that the reduction in fertility rates has on women’s employment using instrumental variables already tested in developed countries—twins in the first birth and the sex composition of the two oldest children. We also analyze the heterogeneity of the effects along three lines: marriage status of the mother, age of the first (second) child, and mother’s education. We find strong effects of fertility. According to our results, 29 percent of the total increase in women’s rate of employment between 1993 and 2007 can be attributed to the reduction in fertility rates. This is a considerable magnitude, more than four times as large as the estimate for US by Jacobsen et al. (1999). Effects are largest in women with children 2 years old or younger and decline inversely as the first child increases in age, but are still significant when she reaches 10. Effects also vary with the mother’s education level, tending to be stronger as women have more education. Finally, these effects are smaller for married women than for all women.
    Keywords: Fertility, labor market decisions, female labor, instrumental variables
    JEL: J13 J22
    Date: 2017–03
  3. By: Joseph Cummins (Department of Economics, University of California Riverside); Neha Agarwal (University of California, Riverside); Anaka Aiyar (Cornell University); Arpita Bhattacharjee (University of California, Riverside); Christian Gunadi (University of California, Riverside); Deepak Singhania (University of California, Riverside); Matthew Taylor (University of California, Riverside); Evan Wigton-Jones (University of California, Riverside)
    Abstract: Lokshin and Radyakin (2012) present evidence that month of birth affects child physical growth in India. We replicate these correlations using the same data and demonstrate that they are the result of spurious correlations between month of birth, age-at-measurement and child growth patterns in developing countries. We repeat the analysis on 39 additional countries and show that there is no evidence of seasonal birth effects in child height-for-age z-score in any country. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the Demographic and Health Survey data used to estimate the correlation is not suitable for the task due to a previously unrecognized source of measurement error in child month of birth. We document results from several papers that should be re-interpreted in light of this issue.
    Keywords: child health; month of birth; anthropometrics; Demographic & Health Survey
    JEL: I15 J13 O15
    Date: 2017–03
  4. By: Maxim Pinkovskiy; Xavier Sala-i-Martin
    Abstract: In this paper we try to understand whether national accounts GDP per capita or survey mean income or consumption better proxy for true income per capita. We propose a data-driven method to assess the relative quality of GDP per capita versus survey means by comparing the evolution of each series to the evolution of satellite-recorded nighttime lights. Our main assumption, which is robust to a variety of specification checks, is that the measurement error in nighttime lights is unrelated to the measurement errors in either national accounts or survey means. We obtain estimates of weights on national accounts and survey means in an optimal proxy for true income; these weights are very large for national accounts and very modest for survey means. We conclusively reject the null hypothesis that the optimal weight on surveys is greater than the optimal weight on national accounts, and we generally fail to reject the null hypothesis that the optimal weight on surveys is zero. Using the estimated optimal weights, we compute estimates of true income per capita and $1/day poverty rates for the developing world and its regions. We get poverty estimates that are substantially lower and fall substantially faster than those of Chen and Ravallion (2010) or of the survey-based poverty literature more generally. Our result is mainly driven by the finding that economic growth has been higher in poor countries than the surveys suggest. We also find that developing world living standards have grown faster, and the world income distribution has become more equal than would be suggested by surveys alone. Additionally, we provide evidence that national accounts are good indicators of desirable outcomes for the poor (such as longer life expectancy, better education and access to safe water), and we show that surveys appear to perform worse in developing countries that are richer and that are growing faster.
    Date: 2015–09
  5. By: Dessy, Sylvain; Diarra, Setou; Pongou, Roland
    Abstract: Public intervention addressing the issue of underage marriage emphasizes policies such as girls' education and enforcement of age-of-consent laws as promising avenues for ending this harmful practice. It has been argued, however, that such policies will work better in societies where there are supported by men. Yet, there is no study analyzing the role of males' characteristics in relation to early marriage. This paper examines the causal effect of a male's education on the likelihood that he marries an underage girl. Using micro-level data from Nigeria in combination with plausible instrumental variables that address potential endogeneity issues, we find that having more years of schooling significantly reduces the probability of marrying an underage girl. Importantly, we show that this negative relationship is not a mere mechanical effect reflecting the endogeneity between schooling and marriage-timing decisions. Moreover, we find that this relationship is weaker in communities where norms that cast women in submissive roles are stronger. We develop a model that explains this causal effect as resulting from the complementarity between father's and mother's education in the production of child quality.
    Keywords: Underage Marriage; Male Education; Nigeria; Patriarchal Norms.
    JEL: J12 J13 O12
    Date: 2017–02
  6. By: Meemken, Eva-Marie; Spielman, David J.; Qaim, Matin
    Abstract: Millions of smallholder farmers in developing countries participate in different types of sustainability standards. A growing body of literature has analyzed the welfare effects of such participation, with mixed results. Yet, there are important knowledge gaps. First, most existing studies look at the effects of one standard in one country. When comparing between studies it is not clear whether dissimilar outcomes are driven by differences in standards or local conditions. Second, most studies use cross-section, observational data, so that selectivity issues remain a challenge. Third, the existing work has primarily analyzed effects in terms of purely economic indicators, such as income, ignoring other dimensions of household welfare. We address these shortcomings using panel data from small-scale coffee producers in Uganda and comparing the effects of two of the most popular sustainability standards, namely Organic and Fairtrade. Welfare effects are analyzed in terms of household expenditures, child education, and nutrition. Results show that Organic and Fairtrade both have positive effects on total consumption expenditures. However, notable differences are observed in terms of the other outcomes. Organic contributes to improved nutrition but has no effect on education. For Fairtrade it is exactly the other way around. We explore the mechanisms behind these differences.
    Keywords: certification, education, food standards, nutrition, panel data, welfare, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Consumer/Household Economics, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty, International Development, International Relations/Trade, Q01, Q12, Q13, Q18,
    Date: 2017–02
  7. By: Mohamed El Hedi Arouri (Université d'Auvergne & EDHEC Business School, France); Nguyen Viet Cuong
    Abstract: In this paper, we examine the impact of microcredit on labor supply of men and women and subsequently investigate whether microcredit can reduce employment gap between men and women in Egypt. Overall, we show no significant effects of microcredit on labor supply of men. Yet, we find a strong effect on employment of women aged 22 to 65. Borrowing from a microcredit source increases the probability of working for women by 0.071. Since the proportion of working of women was around 2.1%, it implies microcredit can increase the proportion of working of women by around 30 percent. Using decomposition analysis, we find that micro-credit can reduce the employment gap between men and women by 0.43 percentage points. If 20 percent of women obtain microcredit, the employment gap between men and women would be decreased by 4.3 percentage points.
    Date: 2016–06
  8. By: Helena Ting; Martina Bozzola; Timothy Swanson
    Abstract: In countries where rain-fed agriculture constitutes a significant portion of household livelihood, increased weather variability represents a source of vulnerability to stable consumption, food security and household well-being. Weather induced income changes affect household consumption and saving decisions. We evaluate saving and consumption responses to weather variation in South Africa, leveraging a newly available panel of nationally representative households covering the period from 2008 to 2014 and long term climate data. We test our data against predictions of the standard rational consumption model and some of its main extensions (i.e., precautionary saving and myopic consumption), and compare differences among households engaged in agriculture activities versus those that do not. Furthermore, we evaluate the impact of saving on household life satisfaction and health behavior. In accordance with previous literature, we find that households save in response to both transitory and permanent income change, although the proportion saved from transitory income is significantly higher. We find signs of precautionary saving driven by non-agriculture households, while we find stronger evidences of myopic consumption for agriculture households. In addition, we show that a one-unit increase in log-saving from transitory income increases the odds of a unit increase in self-reported life satisfaction of the household head by 14%, and a one unit increase in log-saving from permanent income leads to a 6% increase in hazard ratio of having taken an HIV test. This latter result may indicate that preventative health behavior such as HIV testing requires a stronger inducement than a transitory injection of income. Further research is needed to identify the mechanisms by which saving affect life satisfaction and health seeking behavior in developing countries.
    Keywords: consumption and saving; health behavior; agriculture; climate; Africa; South Africa.
    JEL: D14 I14 Q12 Q56
    Date: 2017–02–02
  9. By: Katengeza, Samson P. (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences); Holden , Stein T. (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences); Lunduka, Rodney W. (CIMMYT- Southern Africa Regional Office (SARO))
    Abstract: This paper examines adoption of drought tolerant (DT) maize varieties under rainfall stress in Malawi using a Mundlak-Chamberlain panel Probit model with a Control Function approach. DT maize varieties is a promising technology that has the capacity to help smallholder farmers adapt to drought risks. Using a four-round panel data spanning nine years from six districts, results show an increase in adoption from 2% in 2006 to 41% in 2015. The paper finds a positive impact of one year and two years lag of longest early dry spells and two years lag of late dry spells on the likelihood of adoption but a negative impact of one year lag of late dry spell. The positive findings imply that farmers learn from previous exposure to drought and respond by adopting weather riskreducing technologies such as DT maize. Furthermore, the impact of lagged early droughts suggests that farmers show a high preference for early maturing DT maize. However, the conflicting results of late dry spells with one year lag reporting negative and two years lag positive suggest that farmers do not immediately respond to late drought shock by adopting DT maize but rather take time to appreciate the significance of the varieties as a technology that survive better under drought during maize flowering phase. These findings could imply that there is still limited awareness among smallholder farmers in Malawi on the benefits of DT maize. There is a need therefore to improve on good extension messages to allow farmers make better-informed decisions.
    Keywords: Drought tolerant (DT) maize; drought exposure; early and late droughts; Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP); Mundlak-Chamberlain; Malawi
    JEL: Q12 Q18
    Date: 2017–03–10
  10. By: Suchita Srinivasan; Stefano Carattini
    Abstract: The Indian population is still heavily reliant on solid biomass as a cooking fuel, especially in the rural areas, despite its negative health implications. Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is a clean alternative, but its higher cost implies that its use is often limited to the richer, urban areas of the country. This paper investigates whether social spillovers might play a role in a household’s decision to use LPG, how these effects vary across different subpopulations, and whether they exacerbate or ameliorate existing spatial disparities in LPG use. Using data from the National Sample Survey (NSS) and the India Human Development Survey (IHDS), this paper provides multiples strands of evidence, which when analysed in conjunction, suggest the presence of positive social spillovers. Hence, households are more likely to adopt LPG if other households residing in the same village or urban block do so. We find divergence in the strength of this effect between rural and urban households, with more persistent spillovers amongst rural households. We also find that spillovers are stronger in states that have previously had low rates of adoption, supporting the idea of an S-shaped pattern of technological adoption. Spillovers are also found to be stronger for households that are members of associations or social networks such as caste associations. Our results provide evidence on convergence in LPG use rates across subgroups of the Indian population, and have strong implications for policymakers who could leverage lessons from social learning to encourage consumers to switch to cleaner sources of energy in developing countries.
    Keywords: Clean cooking fuels; LPG; Technological adoption; Social learning; India.
    JEL: D83 Q48 Q53 R12 R23 R29
    Date: 2016–12–20
  11. By: Fagernäs, Sonja (University of Sussex); Pelkonen, Panu (University of Sussex)
    Abstract: Social or ethnic segregation can impede the equitable allocation of public resources in developing countries. We study an under-explored dimension; the allocation of public sector teachers in India. Using a register database for 2006-12, we construct indicators for the equality of teacher allocation and workplace segregation of teachers by gender and caste within districts. While pupil-teacher ratios have improved, the equality of teacher allocation has not. We show that allocation and segregation are connected; in districts with a higher degree of initial teacher segregation, a lower share of schools met pupil-teacher norms imposed by the Right to Education Act (2009).
    Keywords: teachers, public service delivery, segregation, caste, India, right to education
    JEL: H75 I24 J45 M54
    Date: 2017–02
  12. By: Lee, Jieun; Rhee, Dong-eun; Rudolf, Robert
    Abstract: Using an exceptionally rich dataset comprising over 1,800 primary schools and nearly 40,000 students from ten francophone Sub-Saharan African countries, this study analyzes the relationship between teacher gender, student gender, and student achievement in mathematics and reading. Findings indicate that being taught by a female teacher increases academic achievements and that both performance and subject appreciation rise when taught by a same-gender teacher. Traditional academic gender stereotypes are prevalent among both male and female teachers. Our findings suggest that hiring more female teachers in Western and Central Africa can reduce educational gender gaps without hurting boys.
    Keywords: Gender; Educational quality; Female education; Sub-Saharan Africa; Same-gender teacher; PASEC.
    JEL: I21 I26 J16 O55
    Date: 2017–02–14

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