nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2017‒04‒09
eighteen papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Books or Laptops? The Cost-Effectiveness of Shifting from Printed to Digital Delivery of Educational Content By Rosangela Bando; Francisco Gallego; Paul Gertler; Dario Romero Fonseca
  2. Untangling Disability and Poverty: A Matching Approach Using Large-scale Data in South Africa By Igei, Kengo
  3. Short-term impacts of solar lanterns on child health : experimental evidence from Bangladesh By Kudo, Yuya; Shonchoy, Abu S.; Takahashi, Kazushi
  4. The dynamics of poverty in Mexico: A multinomial logistic regression analysis By Garza-Rodriguez, Jorge; Fernández-Ramos, Jennifer; Garcia-Guerra, Ana K.; Morales-Ramirez, Gabriela
  5. Urban Water Disinfection and Mortality Decline in Developing Countries By Bhalotra, Sonia; Venkataramani, Atheendar S.; Diaz-Cayeros, Alberto; Miller, Grant; Miranda, Alfonso
  6. Intensive and Extensive Margins of Mining and Development: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa By Nemera Mamo; Sambit Bhattacharyya; Alexander Moradi; Rabah Arezki
  7. State History and Contemporary Conflict: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa By Emilio Depetris-Chauvin
  8. Is the Allocation of Time Gender Sensitive to Food Price Changes? An Investigation of Hours of Work in Uganda By Daniela Campus; Gianna Giannelli
  9. Does Public Health Insurance Increase Maternal Health Care Utilization in Egypt By Mesbah Sharaf; Ahmed Rashad; Elhussien I. Mansour
  10. Does a Rural Road Improvement Project Contribute to Inclusive Growth??A Case Study from Bangladesh By Fujita, Yasuo
  11. The sustainable land management program in the Ethiopian highlands: An evaluation of its impact on crop production: By Schmidt, Emily; Tadesse, Fanaye
  12. The impact of climate change on crop production in Ghana: A Structural Ricardian analysis By Prince Etwire; David Fielding; Victoria Kahui
  13. Energy Consumption, Weather Variability, and Gender in the Philippines: A Discrete/Continuous Approach By Dacuycuy, Connie B.
  14. How should rural financial cooperatives be best organized? Evidence from Ethiopia By Abay, Kibrom A.; Koru, Bethlehem; Abate, Gashaw T.; Berhane, Guush
  15. The impact of Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme on the nutritional status of children: 2008–2012 By Berhane, Guush; Hoddinott, John F.; Kumar, Neha
  16. Building the integrated inequality database and the seven sins of inequality measurement in Sub-Saharan Africa By Giovanni Andrea Cornia; Bruno Martorano
  17. The Nexus between Infrastructure (Quantity and Quality) and Economic Growth By Chengete Chakamera; Paul Alagidede
  18. The Nexus Between Informal Credit and Informal Labor for Micro and Small Enterprises in Egypt: Sources of Finance and Enterprises Informality: Evidence from MSE Surveys in Two Governorates By Mohamed El Komi; Mona Said

  1. By: Rosangela Bando; Francisco Gallego; Paul Gertler; Dario Romero Fonseca
    Abstract: Information and communication technologies, such as laptops, can be used for educational purposes as they provide users with computational tools, information storage and communication opportunities, but these devices may also pose as distractors that tamper with the learning process. This paper presents results from a randomized controlled trial in which laptops replaced traditional textbook provision in elementary schools in high poverty communities in Honduras in 2013 through the program Educatracho. We show that at the end of one school year, the substitution of laptops for textbooks did not make a significant difference in student learning. We additionally conducted a cost-effectiveness analysis, which demonstrated that given the low marginal costs of digital textbook provision, the substitution of three additional textbooks in the program (for a total of five) would guarantee computers to be more cost-effective than textbooks. Therefore, textbook substitution by laptops may be a cost-effective manner to provide classroom learning content.
    JEL: I21 I28 J24 O15
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Igei, Kengo
    Abstract: Disability and poverty are interconnected with each other. This entangled relationship and the complexity of disability itself have hampered our understanding of poverty among persons with disabilities. This paper attempts to estimate the more accurate gap in multidimensional poverty between persons with and without disabilities in South Africa using a matching method and large-scale household survey data. This paper also decomposes the gap in multidimensional poverty between persons with and without disabilities using a matching-based decomposition method, in which it is mathematically shown that the decomposition method embraces the average treatment effect on the treated. The results reveal that persons with disabilities are more deprived in multidimensional poverty than matched persons without disabilities, particularly in terms of the breadth of poverty. The gap between them is larger for the subgroups of persons with difficulties in intellectual functionings and with mu ltiple difficulties, and among adult males, Africans, Coloureds, or residents in rural areas. While a large part of the gap is attributable to disability for the younger group, the gap for the older group is explained not only by disability but also other factors, indicating the existence of multiple discrimination in South Africa.
    Keywords: Disability,Multidimensional poverty,South Africa,Matching,Decomposition analysis
    Date: 2017–03
  3. By: Kudo, Yuya; Shonchoy, Abu S.; Takahashi, Kazushi
    Abstract: We implemented a 16-month randomized field experiment in unelectrified areas of Bangladesh to identify health impacts of solar lanterns among school-aged children. Our analysis of various health-related indicators?self-reporting, spirometers, and professional medical checkups?showed modest improvements in eye redness and irritation but no noticeable improvement in respiratory symptoms among treated students. Varying the number of solar products received within treatment households did not alter these results. This limited health benefit was not caused by nonutilization of the products by treated children, spillover effects from treated to control students, or treatment heterogeneity resulting from unfavorable family cooking environments.
    Keywords: Health and hygiene, Children, Energy, Clean energy, Indoor air pollution, Randomized control trials, Solar light
    JEL: O13 Q42 I15
    Date: 2017–03
  4. By: Garza-Rodriguez, Jorge; Fernández-Ramos, Jennifer; Garcia-Guerra, Ana K.; Morales-Ramirez, Gabriela
    Abstract: Using panel data from the Mexican Family Life Survey, this paper estimates a multinomial logistic regression model to analyze the dynamics of chronic and transient poverty in Mexico. Based on the spells approach, transition matrices are constructed to observe households’ entry into and exit from poverty and multinomial logistic regression is used to analyze which factors explain the dynamics of poverty in Mexico. It was found that 36% of households are chronically poor and 64% are transiently poor. Also, we found that the variables directly related to chronic poverty are: belonging to an ethnic group, living in a rural area, a large family size, having a high percentage of older adults and children in the household and having a female household head. On the other hand, it was found that having more education, the age of the household head and having access to potable water and electricity in the household are positively related with the probability of escaping poverty.
    Keywords: Mexico, Poverty, Chronic poverty, Transient poverty
    JEL: I30 I32
    Date: 2015–04–06
  5. By: Bhalotra, Sonia; Venkataramani, Atheendar S.; Diaz-Cayeros, Alberto; Miller, Grant; Miranda, Alfonso
    Abstract: Historically, improvements municipal drinking water quality contributed significantly to mortality decline in wealthy countries. However, water disinfection has not produced equivalent benefits in developing countries today. We investigate this puzzle by analyzing a large-scale municipal water disinfection program in Mexico in 1991 that dramatically increased access to chlorinated water. On average, we find that the program led to a 37 to 48% decline in diarrheal mortality among children and was highly cost-effective ($1,310 per life-year saved). However, age (degradation) of water pipes and insufficient complementary sanitation infrastructure attenuated these benefits. Countervailing behavioral responses, although present, appear to be less important.
    Date: 2017–03–22
  6. By: Nemera Mamo (Department of Economics, University of Sussex); Sambit Bhattacharyya (Department of Economics, University of Sussex); Alexander Moradi (Department of Economics, University of Sussex; Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford); Rabah Arezki (Research Department, IMF)
    Abstract: What are the economic consequences of mining in Sub-Saharan Africa? Using a panel of 3,635 districts from 42 Sub-Saharan African countries for the period 1992 to 2012 we investigate the effects of mining on living standards measured by night-lights. Night-lights increase in mining districts when mineral production expands (intensive margin), but large effects approximately equivalent to 16% increase in GDP are mainly associated with new discoveries and new production (extensive margin). We identify the effect by carefully choosing feasible but not yet mined districts as a control group. In addition, we exploit giant and major mineral discoveries as exogenous news shocks. In spite of the within district large effects, there is little evidence of significant spillovers to other districts reinforcing the enclave nature of mines in Africa. Furthermore, the local effects disappear after mining activities come to an end which is consistent with the ’resource curse’ view.
    Keywords: mineral discovery; mineral production; night-time lights
    JEL: O11 O13 Q32
    Date: 2017–03
  7. By: Emilio Depetris-Chauvin
    Abstract: I examine empirically the role of historical political centralization on the likelihood of contemporary civil conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa. I combine a wide variety of historical sources to construct an original measure of long-run exposure to statehood at the sub-national level. I then exploit variation in this new measure along with geo-referenced conflict data to document a robust negative relationship between long-run exposure to statehood and contemporary conflict. From a variety of identification strategies, I provide evidence suggesting that the relationship is causal. I argue that regions with long histories of statehood are better equipped with mechanisms to establish and preserve order. I provide two pieces of evidence consistent with this hypothesis. First, regions with relatively long historical exposure to statehood are less prone to experience conflict when hit by a negative economic shock. Second, exploiting contemporary individual-level survey data, I show that within-country long historical statehood experience is linked to people’s positive attitudes toward state institutions and traditional leaders.
    JEL: D74 N47 O10 O17 Z10
    Date: 2016
  8. By: Daniela Campus; Gianna Giannelli (Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa)
    Abstract: Dramatic spikes in food prices, like those observed over the last years, represent a real threat to food security in developing countries with severe consequences for many aspects of human life. Price instability can also affect the intra-household allocation of time, thus changing the labour supply of women, who traditionally play the role of ‘shock absorbers’. This paper explores the nature of time poverty by examining how changes in the prices of the two major staples consumed, matooke and cassava, have affected the paid and unpaid labour time allocation in Ugandan households. We exploit the panel nature of the Uganda National Household Survey by adopting a Tobit-hybrid model. Our results show that gender differentials in the intra-household allocation of labour actually occur in correspondence with changes in food prices. We find that, overall, women work significantly more, since the additional hours women work in the labour market are not counterbalanced by a relevant reduction in their other labour activities. For men, we do not find any significant effect of price changes on hours of work.
    Keywords: food prices, labour supply, gender, Uganda
    JEL: J16 J22 J43 Q11
    Date: 2016
  9. By: Mesbah Sharaf; Ahmed Rashad (Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, Germany); Elhussien I. Mansour
    Abstract: We assess the impact of health insurance on the utilization of maternal health care services in Egypt. A propensity score matching is used to control for baseline differences in the characteristics of the insured and uninsured women, to determine the difference in health care utilization between the two groups that is attributed solely to the health insurance coverage. The results yield that the national health insurance has a strong positive impact on most of the maternal healthcare indicators. Public health insurance coverage increases the likelihood of receiving antenatal care by about 7%, delivering in a public health facility by 8%, and the likelihood that a newborn receive vitamin A dose after delivery by 8.2%. However, women who are less educated, from a poor household, and rural regions, are less likely to be covered by a health insurance. The findings of this study would guide intervention measures that aim at improving health care utilization especially among the poor and other vulnerable groups.
    Date: 2017–03–30
  10. By: Fujita, Yasuo
    Abstract: The concept of “Inclusive growth,” which has increasingly been used in the international arena, is concerned with both the pace and pattern of growth (i.e., the income growth of both poor and non-poor, non-income poverty and inequality). Developing countries and donors have often considered rural roads to have a positive impact on the growth of the rural economy and poverty reduction, through the promotion of better connectivity. This paper analyzes the impact of a rural road improvement project on inclusive growth in Bangladesh using a difference-in-difference method based on panel data from a large household survey. The results show that the project did contribute to the growth of the average income in the project area, and therefore to the inclusive growth at the national level. However this was mainly because of the income growth of households other than the poorest. In particular, the poor households with inferior initial resource endowments in landholding and househol d occupation did not benefit from the project. Thus, rural road projects are not necessarily inclusive at household level, though project specific factors should carefully be considered. A policy implication is that a rural road project in a poor rural area does not always benefit the poorest; hence complimentary interventions for these poorest households are needed.
    Keywords: inclusive growth,impact analysis,rural infrastructure,Bangladesh
    Date: 2017–02
  11. By: Schmidt, Emily; Tadesse, Fanaye
    Abstract: Agricultural productivity in the highlands of Ethiopia is threatened by severe land degradation, resulting in significant reductions in agricultural GDP. In order to mitigate ongoing erosion and soil nutrient loss in the productive agricultural highlands of the country, the government of Ethiopia initiated a Sustainable Land Management Program (SLMP) targeting 209 woredas (districts) in six regions of the country. This study evaluates the impact of SLMP on the value of agricultural production in select woredas by using a panel survey from 2010 to 2014. Whereas previous studies have used cross-sectional data and short timeframe field trials to measure sustainable land management (SLM) effects on agricultural productivity, this analysis exploits data collected over four years to assess impact. The results of this analysis show that participation by farmers in SLMP, regardless of the number of years of participation in the program, is not associated with significant increases in value of production. This may be due to several reasons. First, similar to previous studies, it is possible that longer term maintenance is necessary in order to experience significant benefits. For example, Schmidt and Tadesse (2014) report that farmers must maintain SLM for a minimum of seven years to reap benefits in value of production. Second, this analysis finds that value of production, as well as SLM investments, increased significantly in both treatment and non-treatment areas over the study period. Previous research has found that non-treatment neighbors learn from nearby program areas, and adopt technologies similar to programmed areas, which would dilute the impact measurement of program effects (Bernard et al. 2007; Angelucci and DiMaro 2010). Finally, it is important to note that kebeles that were not selected in the SLMP, but are downstream relative to a targeted kebele may receive indirect benefits through reduced flooding, increased water tables, etc. Thus, the impact of the SLMP may be underestimated in this analysis if non-program kebeles are benefiting indirectly from the program.
    Keywords: ETHIOPIA; EAST AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA, sustainability; land management; land degradation; productivity; agricultural development; water management
    Date: 2017
  12. By: Prince Etwire (Department of Economics, University of Otago, New Zealand); David Fielding (Department of Economics, University of Otago, New Zealand); Victoria Kahui (Department of Economics, University of Otago, New Zealand)
    Abstract: We apply a Structural Ricardian Model (SRM) to farm-level data from Ghana in order to estimate the impact of climate change on crop production. The SRM explicitly incorporates changes in farmers’ crop selection in response to variation in climate, a feature lacking in many existing models of climate change response in Africa. Two other novel features of our model are an estimate of the response of agricultural profits to differences in land tenure, and a comprehensive investigation of the appropriate functional form with which to model farmers’ responses. This final feature turns out to be important, since estimates of the effect of climate change turn out to be sensitive to the choice of functional form.
    Keywords: Structural Ricardian Model; climate change; Ghana
    JEL: O13 O55 Q12 Q54
    Date: 2017–04
  13. By: Dacuycuy, Connie B.
    Abstract: Using a discrete/continuous modeling approach, this paper analyzes energy use and consumption in the Philippines within the context of weather variability and gender. Consistent with energy stacking strategy where households use a combination of traditional and modern energy sources, this paper finds that households use multiple energy sources in different weather fluctuation scenarios. It also finds that weather variability has the highest effects on the electricity consumption of balanced and female-majority households that are female headed and in rural areas. Several policies are suggested.
    Keywords: Philippines, discrete/continuous approach, weather variability, gender, energy choice, energy consumption
    Date: 2017
  14. By: Abay, Kibrom A.; Koru, Bethlehem; Abate, Gashaw T.; Berhane, Guush
    Abstract: What is the optimal size and composition of Rural Financial Cooperatives (RFCs)? With this broad question in mind, we characterize alternative formation of RFCs and their implications in improving the access of rural households to financial services, including savings, credit, and insurance services. We find that some features of RFCs have varying implications for delivering various financial services. The size of RFCs is found to have a nonlinear relationship with the various financial services RFCs provide. We also show that compositional heterogeneity among members, including diversity in wealth, is associated with higher access to credit services, while this has little implication on households’ savings behavior. Similarly, social cohesion among members is strongly associated with higher access to financial services. These empirical descriptions suggest that the optimal size and composition of RFCs may vary across the domains of financial services they are designed to facilitate. This evidence provides suggestive insights on how to ensure financial inclusion among smallholders, a pressing agenda and priority of policy makers in developing countries, including Ethiopia. The results also provide some insights into rural microfinance operations which are striving to satisfy members’ demand for financial services.
    Keywords: ETHIOPIA, EAST AFRICA, AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA, AFRICA,finance, economic development, rural finance, Rural financial cooperatives, compositional heterogeneity, wealth diversity, social cohesion
    Date: 2017
  15. By: Berhane, Guush; Hoddinott, John F.; Kumar, Neha
    Abstract: Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) is a large-scale social protection intervention aimed at improving food security and stabilizing asset levels. The PSNP contains a mix of public works employment and unconditional cash and food transfers. It is a well-targeted program; however, several years passed before payment levels reached the intended amounts. The PSNP has been successful in improving household food security. However, children’s nutritional status in the localities where the PSNP operates is poor, with 48 percent of children stunted in 2012. This leads to the question of whether the PSNP could improve child nutrition. In this paper, we examine the impact of the PSNP on children’s nutritional status over the period 2008–2012. Doing so requires paying particular attention to the targeting of the PSNP and how payment levels have evolved over time. Using inverse-probability-weighted regression-adjustment estimators, we find no evidence that the PSNP reduces either chronic undernutrition (height-for-age z-scores, stunting) or acute undernutrition (weight-for-height z-scores, wasting). While we cannot definitively identify the reason for this non-result, we note that child diet quality is poor. We find no evidence that the PSNP improves child consumption of pulses, oils, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, or animal-source proteins. Most mothers have not had contact with health extension workers nor have they received information on good feeding practices. Water practices, as captured by the likelihood that mothers boil drinking water, are poor. These findings, along with work by other researchers, have informed revisions to the PSNP. Future research will assess whether these revisions have led to improvements in the diets and anthropometric status of preschool children in Ethiopia.
    Keywords: ETHIOPIA, EAST AFRICA, AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA, AFRICA, nutrition; children; nutritional status; stunting; food security; diet; health; malnutrition; anthropometry; social protection; social safety nets; resilience
    Date: 2017
  16. By: Giovanni Andrea Cornia (Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa); Bruno Martorano
    Date: 2017
  17. By: Chengete Chakamera; Paul Alagidede
    Abstract: This paper examines the growth effects of infrastructure stock and quality in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA). While previous studies established that the poor state of infrastructure in SSA slows economic growth, there is little evidence on infrastructure quality and a robust analysis on the causal links between infrastructure and economic growth. Using principal components analysis to cluster different infrastructure measures and examining the infrastructure-growth nexus in a Generalized Method of Moments while accounting for heterogeneity in a panel setting, our results reveal strong evidence of a positive effect of infrastructure development on economic growth with most contribution coming from infrastructure stock. The quality-growth effect is weak, thus giving credence to the combined effects of infrastructure stock and quality on growth, especially in regions with moderately high quality, and smaller in those with poorer quality. Among the disaggregated infrastructure components, electricity supply exerted the greatest downward pressure on growth in SSA. Lastly, we find evidence for a unidirectional causality from aggregate infrastructure to growth. A number of policy implications are discussed.
    Keywords: Infrastructure stock, Infrastructure quality, economic growth, Nexus, causality
    Date: 2017–03
  18. By: Mohamed El Komi (Durham University); Mona Said (American University in Egypt)
    Abstract: As a result of the economic meltdown in 2008, the hardest hit sector of the economy was the micro and small enterprises (MSE’s) sector. MSEs’ access to formal finance has been facing increasing restrictions, due to the adoption of more cautious lending strategies by both public and private banks. Hence, MSEs in Egypt still heavily rely on informal credit to finance their operations. This paper identifies the linkages between different sources of finance and their impact on informality of MSEs based on small scale surveys on credit and labor use in household businesses in villages in two governorates in Egypt. Preliminary analysis of this new data confirms that relying on self-finance is associated with increased informality of the surveyed enterprises in both governorate subsamples, whereas access to formal loans is associated with formalization through enterprise registration in non-agricultural enterprises surveyed in one of the governorates. These results provide preliminary evidence that policies that enhance access to formal credit and attempts to formalize informal sources of credit, such as RoSCAs, are likely to impact MSE’s formalization positively in Egypt.
    Date: 2017–03–30

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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