nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2017‒04‒16
seventeen papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Legal Status and Deprivation in India's Urban Slums: An Analysis of Two Decades of National Sample Survey Data By Nolan, Laura B.; Bloom, David E.; Subbaraman, Ramnath
  2. The Effects of Female Education on Adolescent Pregnancy and Child Health: Evidence from Uganda fs Universal Primary Education for Fully Treated Cohorts By Kazuya Masuda; Chikako Yamauchi
  3. Washing with Hope: Evidence from a hand-washing pilot study among children in South Africa By Justine Burns; Brendan Maughan-Brown; Âurea Mouzinho
  4. Forced off Farm? Labor Allocation Response to Land Requisition in Rural China By Ma, Shuang; Mu, Ren
  5. Are Conditional Cash Transfers Fulfilling Their Promise? Schooling, Learning, and Earnings After 10 Years By Barham, Tania; Macours, Karen; Maluccio, John
  6. Institutional versus noninstitutional credit to agricultural households in India: Evidence on impact from a national farmers’ survey: By Kumar, Anjani; Mishra, Ashok K.; Saroj, Sunil; Joshi, Pramod Kumar
  7. How Sustainable Are Benefits from Extension for Smallholder Farmers? Evidence from a Randomized Phase-Out of the BRAC Program in Uganda By Fishman, Ram; Smith, Stephen C.; Bobić, Vida; Sulaiman, Munshi
  8. Public Goods and Ethnic Diversity: Evidence from Deforestation in Indonesia By Alberto Alesina; Caterina Gennaioli; Stefania Lovo
  9. The Intergenerational Transmission of Depression in South African Adolescents By Katherine Eyal; Justine Burns
  10. Does It Pour When it Rains? Capital Flows and Economic Growth in Developing Countries By Jean-Louis Combes; Tidiane Kinda; Rasmané Ouedraogo; Patrick Plane
  11. The returns to empowerment in diversified rural household: Evidence from Niger: By Wouterse, Fleur Stephanie
  12. Local corruption and support for fuel subsidy reform: Evidence from Indonesia: By Kyle, Jordan
  13. Malaria Risk and Civil Violence By Cervellati, Matteo; Esposito, Elena; Sunde, Uwe; Valmori, Simona
  14. Stimulating agricultural technology adoption: Lessons from fertilizer use among Ugandan potato farmers: By Nazziwa-Nviiri, Lydia; Van Campenhout, Bjorn; Amwonya, David
  15. Do conditional cash transfers (CCT) raise educational attainment? A case study of Juntos in Peru By Gaentzsch, Anja
  16. Cost-effectiveness of community-based gendered advisory services to farmers: Analysis in Mozambique and Tanzania: By Mogues, Tewodaj; Mueller, Valerie; Kondylis, Florence
  17. Food Price Shocks and Government Expenditure Composition: Evidence from African Countries By Carine Meyimdjui

  1. By: Nolan, Laura B. (Mathematica Policy Research); Bloom, David E. (Harvard University); Subbaraman, Ramnath (Harvard Medical School)
    Abstract: In India, 52–98 million people live in urban slums, and 59% of slums are "non-notified" or lack legal recognition by the government. In this paper, we use data on 2,901 slums from four waves of the National Sample Survey (NSS) spanning almost 20 years to test the hypothesis that non-notified status is associated with greater deprivation in access to basic services, thereby increasing vulnerability to poor health outcomes. To quantify deprivation for each slum, we construct a basic services deprivation score (BSDS), which includes variables that affect health, such as access to piped water, latrines, solid waste disposal, schools, and health centers. In a regression analysis, we find a robust association between non-notified status and greater deprivation after controlling for other variables. Our analysis reveals a progressive reduction in deprivation the longer a slum has been notified. In addition, data from the 2012 NSS show that, despite suffering from greater deprivation, non-notified slums were much less likely to receive financial aid from government slum improvement schemes. Our findings suggest that legally recognizing non-notified slums and targeting government aid to these settlements may be crucial for improving health outcomes and diminishing urban disparities.
    Keywords: slums, legal status, notified, deprivation, basic services, health, water, sanitation, India
    JEL: I14 I15 I18 I19
    Date: 2017–03
  2. By: Kazuya Masuda (Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University); Chikako Yamauchi (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Tokyo, Japan)
    Abstract: Early pregnancy poses serious medical risk and economic burden to mother and neonatal children. While Economics literature generally explains negative relationship between female schooling and early fertility, it remains unclear whether this reflects a causal relationship. To fill in such a gap in literature, this paper examines the impact of female education on adolescent fertility, health investment behavior and the health status of their children in Uganda, focusing on the fully treated cohorts whose fees were abolished by Universal Primary Education policy (UPE) just before they entered schools. Education is instrumented by the interaction between across-cohorts differences in exposure to UPE and the differences in its effective benefits across districts with varying pre-program rates of completing primary education. We show that attending an additional year of schooling reduces the probability of marriage and that of giving birth before age 18 by 7.0-7.2 percentage points. Among those who become mothers, educated women use maternal care and infant immunization more often, and had lower probability that their child dies before 12 months after the birth. These results indicate that promoting the access to primary education among girls is an effective program to reduce adolescent pregnancy. It also shows the important role of maternal education in breaking the cycle of intergenerational transmission of the poor health in least developing countries by reducing child mortality. This in turn underscores the importance of considering the widespread benefits of female education in shaping the policy and institution influencing educational attainment.
    Date: 2017–04
  3. By: Justine Burns (School of Economics, University of Cape Town); Brendan Maughan-Brown (Southern Africa Labour Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town); Âurea Mouzinho (Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, Africa, University of Cape Town)
    Abstract: This paper reports the results of a randomised-control pilot study in which children in treatment households received a bi-monthly delivery of HOPE SOAP© , a colourful, translucent bar of soap with a toy embedded in its centre. In contrast, children in control households received a colourful, translucent bar or soap with the toy alongside it. Whilst many of our findings lack statistical power, the pilot certainly suggests that HOPE SOAP© has positive effects on child handwashing behaviour. At endline, HOPE SOAP© children are directly observed as being more likely to wash their hands unprompted prior to eating a snack. They are also more likely to wash their hands after using the toilet, are significantly more likely to use soap to wash their hands as opposed to just rinsing with water, and enjoy significantly better health outcomes.
    Keywords: Hand-washing intervention, Childhood health, Pilot randomised controlled trial, Behavioural economics, Development economics, Habit formation
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Ma, Shuang (Southwestern University of Finance and Economics); Mu, Ren (Texas A&M University)
    Abstract: Land requisition has been an important process by which Chinese local governments promote urbanization and generate revenue. This study investigates the impacts of land requisition on farmers' decisions of labor allocation between agricultural and non-agricultural sectors. We argue that, conditional on village fixed effects, land requisition can be explored as a quasi-natural experiment to identify the relationship between land rights and labor allocation of farmers. We find that young farmers (age 16-44) are not affected in their migration decisions by land loss through requisition, while some older farmers (age 45-55) are affected. In response to land loss through requisition, the probability that older farmers living beyond the mean distance from the county seat migrates to cities increases by 8.5 percentage points. An econometric test confirms that the finding is unlikely to be driven by unobserved variables associated with household experience of land loss. This finding raises concerns about the wellbeing of the farmers who may not be competitive in the urban labor market and therefore unlikely to leave farming unless they have to.
    Keywords: land institution, land requisition, migration, urbanization, farmers, China
    JEL: O12 O15 J61 Q15 R28
    Date: 2017–03
  5. By: Barham, Tania; Macours, Karen; Maluccio, John
    Abstract: Interventions aimed at improving the nutrition, health, and education of young children are often motivated by their potential to break the intergenerational transmission of poverty. A prominent example, conditional cash transfers (CCTs), has become the anti-poverty program of choice in many developing countries. Evidence is inconclusive as to whether the demonstrated short-term gains translate into the longer-term educational and labor market benefits needed to fully justify them. This paper uses the randomized phase-in of a 3-year CCT program in Nicaragua to estimate long-term effects. We estimate these effects using experimental variation, complemented by two alternative non-experimental identification strategies. We focus on boys aged 9-12 years at the start of the program who, due to the program's eligibility criteria and prior school dropout patterns, were more likely to have been exposed to the program in the early treatment than in the late treatment group. Previously demonstrated short-term increases in schooling are sustained after 10 years, and there are substantial gains in learning. These improvements in human capital coincide with positive labor market returns - the young men are more likely to engage in wage work, migrate temporarily for better paying jobs, and have higher earnings. In Nicaragua, schooling and learning gains hence translate into earning gains for these young men, implying important long-term returns to CCT programs.
    Keywords: CCT; education; labor markets; learning; long-term effects
    JEL: I25 I28 I38 O12
    Date: 2017–03
  6. By: Kumar, Anjani; Mishra, Ashok K.; Saroj, Sunil; Joshi, Pramod Kumar
    Abstract: A goal of agricultural policy in India has been to reduce farmers’ dependence on informal credit. To that end, recent initiatives have been focused explicitly on rural areas and have had a positive impact on the flow of agricultural credit. But despite the significance of these initiatives in enhancing the flow of institutional credit to agriculture, the links between institutional credit and net farm income and consumption expenditures in India are not very well documented. Using a large national farm household–level dataset and instrumental variables two-stage least squares estimation methods, we investigate the impact of institutional farm credit on farm income and farm household consumption expenditures. Our findings show that in India, formal credit is indeed playing a critical role in increasing both the net farm income and per capita monthly household expenditures of Indian farm families. We also find that, in the presence of formal credit, social safety net programs such as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) may have unintended consequences. In particular, MGNREGA reduces both net farm income and per capita monthly household consumption expenditures. In contrast, in the presence of formal credit, the Public Distribution System may increase both net farm income and per capita monthly household consumption expenditures.
    Keywords: INDIA; SOUTH ASIA; ASIA, credit; agricultural policies; rural areas; households; income; families; family farms, institutional credit; instrumental variable; 2SLS; net farm income; consumption expenditures; social safety net,
    Date: 2017
  7. By: Fishman, Ram (Tel Aviv University); Smith, Stephen C. (George Washington University); Bobić, Vida (George Washington University); Sulaiman, Munshi (Save the Children)
    Abstract: Many development programs are based on short-term interventions, either because of external funding constraints or because it is assumed that impacts persist post program termination ("sustainability"). Using a novel randomized phase-out research method, we provide experimental tests of the effects of program phase-out in the context of a large-scale agricultural input subsidy and extension program operated by the NGO BRAC to increase the use of improved seed varieties and basic farming practices among women smallholders in Uganda. We find that while supply of improved seeds through local, BRAC trained women declined, demand does not diminish, and farmers shift purchases from BRAC to market sources, indicating a persistent learning effect. We also find no evidence of declines in the practice of improved and less costly cultivation techniques taught by the program. These results have implications for both efficient program design and for models of technology adoption.
    Keywords: agricultural extension, agricultural technology adoption, food security, supply chain, subsidies, randomized phase-out, Uganda
    JEL: O13 O33 I32 Q12
    Date: 2017–03
  8. By: Alberto Alesina; Caterina Gennaioli; Stefania Lovo
    Abstract: This paper shows that the level of deforestation in Indonesia is positively related to the degree of ethnic fractionalization at the district level. To identify a casual relation we exploit the exogenous timing of variations in the level of ethnic heterogeneity due to the creation of new jurisdictions. We provide evidence consistent with a lower control of politicians, through electoral punishment, in more ethnically fragmented districts. Our results bring a new perspective on the political economy of deforestation. They are consistent with the literature on (under) provision of public goods and social capital in ethnically diverse societies and suggest that when the underlying communities are ethnically fractionalized decentralisation can reduce deforestation by delegating powers to more homogeneous communities.
    Keywords: Deforestation, Ethnic Diversity, Corruption, Indonesia.
    JEL: D73 H0 L73
    Date: 2016–12
  9. By: Katherine Eyal (School of Economics, University of Cape Tow); Justine Burns (School of Economics, University of Cape Town)
    Abstract: Nationally representative data to measure mental health is rare in South Africa. Estimates of the size of the intergenerational transmission of depression in Africa, and in South Africa, are not numerous, in particular using recent nationally representative data, or in the adolescent sample. South Africa has high rates of depression compared to other countries, in particular among adolescents. Very little mental health treatment is available to adolescents, and the results of poor mental health during adolescence are many - including earlier child bearing, poor education, higher levels of HIV infection and low rates of future employment, among others.
    Keywords: Mental health, depression, adolescents, National Income Dynamic Study, South Africa
    Date: 2017
  10. By: Jean-Louis Combes (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - UdA - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Tidiane Kinda (IMF - IMF - International Monetary Fund); Rasmané Ouedraogo (IMF - IMF - International Monetary Fund); Patrick Plane (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - UdA - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This paper assesses the impact of capital inflows and their composition on the real exchange rate and economic growth in developing countries. Capital inflows can directly support economic growth by relaxing constraints on domestic resources, but can also indirectly weaken growth through the appreciation of the real exchange rate. We employ the Generalized Method of Moments (GMM) for dynamic panel data to deal with the endogeneity bias. Using a large sample of 77 low- and middle-income countries over the period 1980-2012, the results clearly show that capital inflows affect directly and indirectly economic growth. Our main findings are as follows: (i) a 1 percent increase in total net capital inflows appreciates the real exchange rate by 0.5 percent; (ii) the real exchange rate appreciation effect of remittances is twice as big as the effect of aid, and ten times bigger than the effect of FDI; (iii) overall, capital inflows are associated with higher economic growth after netting out the negative impact of real exchange rate appreciation. Doubling capital inflows per capita would increase growth by about 50 percent, resulting in a gain of roughly 2 additional percentage points on top of the 3.7 percent annual growth rate observed within the sample over the period 1980-2012.
    Keywords: Capital inflows,Real exchange rate dynamics,Economic growth.
    Date: 2017–02–03
  11. By: Wouterse, Fleur Stephanie
    Abstract: Niger is a landlocked Sahelian country, two-thirds of which is in the Sahara Desert. Although only one-eighth of the land considered arable, the overwhelming majority of Niger’s households is involved in rain-fed agriculture largely for subsistence. Given erratic rainfall and low soil fertility, most smallholders fail to produce enough food to meet household requirements. Income diversification is thus the norm among these rural households and different income-generating activities offer alternative pathways out of poverty for households as well as a mechanism for managing risk in an uncertain environment. Empowerment is likely to be an important factor affecting the ability of households to diversity their activity portfolio and may also affect activity-incomes and thereby household welfare. In this study, I use new household- and individual-level empowerment data from the Tahoua region of Niger and regression analysis to quantify the effects of a range of human capital measures including empowerment on the activity portfolio and activity incomes of rural households. My findings reveal that empowerment in particular plays an important role in enabling households to engage in mixed diversification strategy, which combines staple cropping with nonfarm activities and migration. This is a “last resort†strategy for households in lower landholding quintiles to ensure food security and complement an inadequate resource base. Controlling for activity choice, three empowerment indicators in particular—confidence, group membership, and tenure security—strongly and positively affect income from staple and cash cropping, which on average makes up about 90 percent of household income. In fact, empowerment is the only human capital variable that strongly and positively affects total household income, opening up interesting avenues for policy interventions aimed at augmenting a household’s noncognitive ability through, for example, leadership training or encouraging producer group membership—to increase incomes of the rural poor.
    Keywords: NIGER; WEST AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA, households; empowerment; regression analysis; livelihood diversification; economic development; diversification; gender; women; smallholders, rural households,
    Date: 2017
  12. By: Kyle, Jordan
    Abstract: There is an urgent need to phase out global petroleum subsidies, due to the severe strain they impose on government expenditures and on the environment. However, reform efforts are often stymied by popular resistance to subsidy reform. This article examines the role played by local governments in shaping resistance to reforming fiscally and environmentally disastrous fuel subsidies. Shifting from universalaccess social programs, such as fuel subsidies, to targeted programs requires vesting authority with local politicians and bureaucrats, whom the state relies on to identify poor households and to deliver benefits. Where local governments are corrupt, citizens find promises to replace fuel subsidies with targeted spending less credible, and resistance to reform is higher. Using household survey data from Indonesia, this paper finds that corruption in the implementation of targeted transfer programs increases resistance to fuel subsidy reform among the poor citizens who consume the least fuel and who stand to benefit the most from targeted programs. Matching methods are employed to reduce endogeneity concerns. The findings suggest that improving capacity within subnational governments to deliver social programs is important in developing public support for reform.
    Keywords: INDONESIA; SOUTH EAST ASIA; SOUTHEAST ASIA; ASIA, petroleum; subsidies; public expenditure; fuels; environment; environmental protection; households; surveys; support measures; reforms; delinquent behavior, fuel subsidies; corruption; service delivery,
    Date: 2017
  13. By: Cervellati, Matteo; Esposito, Elena; Sunde, Uwe; Valmori, Simona
    Abstract: Using high-resolution data from Africa over the period 1998-2012, this paper investigates the hypothesis that a higher exposure to malaria increases the incidence of civil violence. The analysis uses panel data at the 1° grid cell level at monthly frequency. The econometric identification exploits exogenous monthly within-grid-cell variation in weather conditions that are particularly suitable for malaria transmission. The analysis compares the effect across cells with different malaria exposure, which affects the resistance and immunity of the population to malaria outbreaks. The results document a robust effect of the occurrence of suitable conditions for malaria on civil violence. The effect is highest in areas with low levels of immunities to malaria. Malaria shocks mostly affect unorganized violence in terms of riots, protests, and confrontations between militias and civilians, rather than geo-strategic violence, and the effect spikes during short, labor-intensive harvesting periods of staple crops that are particularly important for the subsistence of the population. The paper ends with an evaluation of anti-malaria interventions.
    Keywords: Malaria Risk; Civil Violence; Weather Shocks; Immunity; Cell-level Data; Africa
    JEL: D74 J1
    Date: 2017–03–10
  14. By: Nazziwa-Nviiri, Lydia; Van Campenhout, Bjorn; Amwonya, David
    Abstract: In the context of a growing population in an already densely populated area, agricultural yields will need to increase without putting additional stress on the environment. The adoption of modern inputs by smallholders is an important ingredient of agricultural transformation. In this study we explore plot-level, household-level, and institutional-level characteristics associated with agricultural technology adoption behavior among smallholder farmers. The aim is to uncover correlations that can guide the design of policies and incentives that are likely to increase adoption. We explicitly differentiate between fixed costs that are likely to affect the decision to use the technology and variable costs that are more relevant for the decision regarding use intensity. In addition, we examine how the importance of each of these characteristics differs with asset status. To do so, we use data from about 1,880 potato plots cultivated by 500 randomly selected potato growers in southwestern Uganda. We first categorize households into poorly endowed and well-endowed asset classes based on their access to productive assets. We then estimate double-hurdle models for take-up and use intensity of fertilizer for each group. The results show that the factors associated with the decision to use fertilizer are often different from those associated with the decision about how much fertilizer to use and that the characteristics correlated with fertilizer adoption differ between asset-poor and asset-rich farmers. For instance, asset-poor female-headed households are less likely to use fertilizer, but if they do, they use more of it than male-headed households. Our results also suggest fertilizer packaging and distribution are important factors in fertilizer adoption decisions due to their impact on costs related to both indivisibilities and uncertainty about the quality. We derive a range of policy recommendations.
    Keywords: UGANDA; EAST AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA, potatoes; fertilizers; farm inputs; technology; yields; smallholders; households; gender; assets; food production; marketing; packaging; technological changes, double-hurdle model; technology adoption,
    Date: 2017
  15. By: Gaentzsch, Anja
    Abstract: This paper empirically investigates the impacts of Peru's Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programme JUNTOS upon educational outcomes of beneficiary children. The findings associate Juntos participation with higher overall enrolment rates and grades of schooling for children aged 12 to 18 years. This effect translates into a higher probability of finishing primary school and entering secondary school for the same age group. Evidence suggests that this is linked to a faster progression through grades rather than final years of schooling. We find no impact on enrolment or school progression for younger children aged 6 to 11 years. Further, Juntos participation does not have a positive impact upon scores of receptive vocabulary and mathematics tests. Rather, children aged 7-9 years seem to make less progress over time compared to children from non-beneficiary families, while there is no impact upon older children. Evidence on the underlying reasons for this is inconclusive and merits further analysis.
    Keywords: conditional cash transfer,human capital investment,social assistance,educational attainment
    JEL: I24 I25 I38
    Date: 2017
  16. By: Mogues, Tewodaj; Mueller, Valerie; Kondylis, Florence
    Abstract: Rigorous impact evaluations on agricultural interventions have proliferated in research of recent years. Whereas increased care in causal identification in such analyses is beneficial and has improved the quality of research in this field, much of the literature still fails to investigate the costs needed to achieve any benefits identified. Such understanding, however, would be crucial for drawing policy and programmatic conclusions from such research and for informing the allocation of public investments. Cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) subjects both the cost side and the effects side of agricultural and rural interventions to technical scrutiny and unifies both sides in order to compare the relative cost-effectiveness of different modalities of a program, of efforts to reach different target groups, or of efforts to achieve different outcomes. CEAs, while present in the health and education sectors, remain rare in agricultural and rural development research. This study conducts CEAs in a particular type of programmatic work in the sector—namely, interventions that bring a gender lens to community-based advisory services in rural areas. Specifically, we consider two such programs—one in Mozambique in which such advisory services aim to improve sustainable land management (SLM) practices in agricultural production, and the other in Tanzania to advise farmers on their land rights. The former enables the comparison of two modalities in delivering SLM through community leaders: a gender-sensitive modality and a basic modality. We find that the gendered modality is consistently more cost-effective than the basic modality when considering varied outcomes and target groups. However, for any given modality, it is more cost-effective to improve outcomes for men than for women—a finding that also pertains to the Tanzania land advisory services program. The structure of costs in the agricultural extension program further allowed for a simulation of how cost-effectiveness would change if the program were scaled up geographically. The results show that expansion of the basic modality of the SLM program leads to improvements in cost-effectiveness, while the gendered modality displays nonlinear changes in cost-effectiveness along the expansion path, first worsening with initial scale-up and subsequently improving with further expansion.
    Keywords: TANZANIA; EAST AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA; MOZAMBIQUE; SOUTHERN AFRICA, sustainability; sustainable land management; agricultural extension; impact assessment; public investment; production; gender; land rights, cost-effectiveness analysis; paralegal services,
    Date: 2017
  17. By: Carine Meyimdjui (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - UdA - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: The delicacy of socio-political consequences during the recent commodities’ prices spikes has given rise to stabilising measures that might have had repercussions on public policy alternatives. This effect may be worrying for developing countries, which because of the importance of the share of imports in their households’ basket, have observed a remarkable increase of their food import bills. This paper attempts to evaluate the effect of food price shocks on public expenditure in level and composition on 47 African countries between 1980 and 2011. After solving for endogeneity issues, our results show that food price shocks positively and significantly affect total government expenditure and the share of current government consumption in the total government expenditure. More precisely, an additional one standard deviation of the food price shock increase is associated to an increase of 0.06 standard deviation of the percentage of current government consumption in the total government expenditure. Interestingly, this effect highly depends on the vulnerability level. Future studies will use more disaggregated data of fiscal variables, including those on revenue, to better assess food security policies.
    Keywords: Vulnerability,Expenditure composition,Price shock,Africa.
    Date: 2017–02–06

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