nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2017‒05‒28
nine papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. The Education Motive for Migrant Remittances: Theory and Evidence from India By Delpierre, Matthieu; Dupuy, Arnaud; Tenikue, Michel; Verheyden, Bertrand
  2. Conservation of Genetic Resources of Crops: Farmer Preferences for Banana Diversity in Sri Lanka By Wasantha Athukorala; Muditha Karunarathna
  3. Causal Impact of the Adoption of Soil Conservation Measures on Farm Profit, Revenue and Variable Cost in Darjeeling District, India By Ch; an Singha
  4. Inequality of Opportunity in Health in Indonesia By Sabine Mage-Bertomeu; Marta Menéndez; Florence Jusot
  5. Are All Shifting Cultivators poor? Evidence from Sri Lanka's Dry zones By Prabath Nishantha Edirisinghe
  6. Excess female mortality in Africa By Siwan Anderson; Debraj Ray
  7. An Empirical Investigation of Risk Sharing among Indonesian Households By Parantap Basu; Sigit S. Wibowo
  8. Fiscal policy, inequality, and the poor in the developing world By Nora Lustig
  9. Where gathering firewood matters: Proximity and forest management effects in hedonic pricing models for rural Nepal By Mani Nepal

  1. By: Delpierre, Matthieu (IWEPS, Belgium); Dupuy, Arnaud (University of Luxembourg); Tenikue, Michel (LISER (CEPS/INSTEAD)); Verheyden, Bertrand (LISER (CEPS/INSTEAD))
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of anticipated old age support, provided by children to parents, on intra-family transfers and education. We highlight an education motive for remittances, according to which migrants have an incentive to invest in their siblings' education via transfers to parents, in order to better share the burden of old age support. Our theory shows that in rich families, selfish parents invest optimally in children education, while in poor families, liquidity constraints are binding and education is fostered by migrant remittances. We test these hypotheses on Indian panel data. Identification is based on within variation in household composition. We find that remittances received from migrants significantly increase with the number of school age children in the household. Retrieving the effects of household characteristics shows that more remittances tend to be sent to poorer and older household heads, confirming the old age support hypothesis.
    Keywords: migration, remittances, education, old age support
    JEL: D13
    Date: 2017–05
  2. By: Wasantha Athukorala; Muditha Karunarathna
    Abstract: This study investigates farmer preferences for banana diversity in Sri Lanka. First, we investigate farmers' attitudes towards banana cultivation in the country. Secondly, we estimate diversity selection models to identify the important factors that contribute to the conservation of banana diversity. The analysis uses survey data covering 450 banana growers in three different districts representing different climatic zones in the country. It employs the Poisson model and OLS for the Shannon Diversity Index to determine the key household, market and other characteristics that are important for the conservation of banana diversity. The studyindicates that maintaining on-farm diversity is receiving increased attention from farmers as a strategy for mitigating production risk and protecting food security in the rural areas of Sri Lanka. The results of the study show that family size, education, experience, method of marketing, and attitude of farmers are the major determinants of banana diversity maintenance on farms. The study recommends a subsidy to farmers to cultivate traditional varieties for the purpose of maintaining farm diversity since farmers are attracted to new varieties for their productivity.
  3. By: Ch; an Singha
    Abstract: This study attempts to evaluate the effects of on-farm soil conservation practices on farm profit and its components, revenue, and variable cost. Since farmers self-select themselves as adopters of a particular type of conservation measure, there could be a problem of selection bias in evaluating their soil conservation practices. We address the selection bias by using propensity score matching. The comparison includes not merely adoption status but also adoption intensity, to see if the adoption of multiple conservation measures results in higher estimates of impact than the adoption of fewer conservation measures. We use the logit and conditional logit model to determine propensity scores. We use primary survey data from the Darjeeling district of the Eastern Himalayan region for the year 2013. Our resultsfrom the binary adoption case suggest that there is no difference in the profits for the winter and monsoon seasons taken separately. Although revenues from adoption are higher, these appear to be associated with higher variable costs, thus resulting in no difference in profits. Furthermore, while the joint adoption of contour, afforestation, and bamboo plantation, or even just two of these measures, can lead to a significant gain in revenues, they also increase costs. The causal impact of the simultaneous adoption of soil conservation measures on per acre total revenue varies between INR 4560 and 5302 in the winter season and between INR 3469 and 5115 in the monsoon season. The causal impact of these soil conservation measures onthe per acre variable cost ranges from INR 3209 to 5345 during the winter season and from INR 2969 to 3657 in the monsoon season.
  4. By: Sabine Mage-Bertomeu (LEDa - Laboratoire d'Economie de Dauphine - Université Paris-Dauphine); Marta Menéndez (LEDa - Laboratoire d'Economie de Dauphine - Université Paris-Dauphine); Florence Jusot (LEDa - Laboratoire d'Economie de Dauphine - Université Paris-Dauphine)
    Abstract: Whereas health equity issues are undoubtedly more relevant in developing countries, research on healthinequalities and, more specifically, on inequality of opportunity in the health dimension, remains scarce in this context. This paper explores the degree of inequality of opportunity in health in a developing country, using the 2007 Indonesian Family Life Survey, a large-scale survey with extremely rich information about individualhealth outcomes (biomarkers and self-reports) and individual circumstances.We compute a continuous synthetic index of global health status based on a comprehensive set of healthindicators and subsequently implement non-parametric and parametric methods in order to quantify the level ofinequality of opportunity in the health dimension. Our results show large inequality of opportunities in health inIndonesia, compared to European countries. Concerning transmission mechanisms, parental (particularly maternal) vital status appears as the main channel. Compared to what has been observed in more developed countries, the effect of parental education on health is relatively smaller, and mainly indirect (passing through descendants’ socioeconomic, marital and migration statuses), while the existence of long-term differences in health related to religion, language spoken and particularly province of location suggest a relatively higher relevance of community belonging variables for health equity in the context of a developing country asIndonesia.
    Abstract: Les pays en développement sont particulièrement concernés par la question des inégalités de santé et notamment celle de l’inégalité des chances. Néanmoins, très peu de travaux sont proposés dans le cadre des économies endéveloppement. Cet article étudie l’ampleur des inégalités des chances en matière de santé en Indonésie à partir de données recueillies par l’enquête IFLS (Indonesian Family Life Survey) de 2007 qui propose une information individuelle détaillée sur l’état de santé (bio-marqueurs et auto-évaluation) mais aussi sur l’environnement socioéconomique.Un indicateur synthétique continu de l’état de santé global calculé à partir d’un ensemble complet d’informations sur la santé est dans un premier temps proposé. Des méthodes paramétriques et non paramétriques sont ensuitemobilisées pour mesurer le niveau de l’inégalité des chances dans le domaine de la santé. Les résultats mettenten évidence une importante inégalité des chances relative à l’état de santé en Indonésie par rapport au niveau d’inégalité observée dans les pays européens. Le principal vecteur de transmission de l’inégalité est le statut de santé des parents (statut vital) et en particulier celui de la mère. L’impact du niveau d’éducation des parents estindirect (agissant sur l’environnement socio-économique, le statut marital et la migration des descendants) et est beaucoup plus faible que celui généralement observé dans des économies plus développées. Les disparités à long terme de l’état de santé liées à la religion, à la langue pratiquée et plus encore à la région d’habitation suggèrentque les variables d’appartenance communautaire sont prépondérantes pour analyser la question de l’équité en santé dans un pays en développement comme l’Indonésie.
    Keywords: health,Indonesia,Equality of opportunity,continuous health index,stochastic dominance,santé,indicateur continu de santé,dominance stochastique,Indonésie,Egalité des chances
    Date: 2017–04–13
  5. By: Prabath Nishantha Edirisinghe
    Abstract: Shifting cultivation is one of the main causes of deforestation and forest degradation in Sri Lanka. This study uses household data and satellite images to investigate the determinants of shifting cultivation and the potential to control the intensity of this practice. Some 50% of households studied in Monaragala district of Sri Lanka practiced shifting cultivation during the 2011/2012 cultivation season. This practice is largely characterized by a short fallow period, mono cropping and high input use and repeated annual use of the same plot of land.Households practicing shifting cultivation, on average, use less than 1 hectare every year for this activity. Some 59% of shifting cultivation farmers indicated that they had cultivated the same piece of land every year during the 2006-2011 period. The practice is not restricted to poor landless farmers. Regression results show that households that possess more private land and other assets tend to cultivate larger areas of land. Therefore, the contribution of relatively wealthy households to shifting cultivation is more than that of poor households. Furthermore,households with more adult family members in a family tend to cultivate larger areas of shifting cultivation lands. Full-time non-farm occupations are a deterrent to this practice. To reduce the area of shifting cultivation, the study recommends an integrated plan with alternate income generation options for people who may have to give up existing swidden lands.
  6. By: Siwan Anderson; Debraj Ray
    Abstract: o developed countries, there are far fewer women than men in parts of the developing world. Estimates suggest that more than 200 million women are demographically missing’ worldwide. To explain the global ‘missing women’ phenomenon, research has mainly ocused on excess female mortality in Asia. However, as emphasized in our earlier research, at least 0 per cent of the missing women are ‘missing’ from Africa. This paper employs a novel ethodology to determine how the phenomenon of missing women is distributed across Africa. oreover, it provides estimates of the extent of excess female mortality within different age groups nd by disease category. The empirical results reiterate the importance of excess female mortality or women in Africa.
    Date: 2017
  7. By: Parantap Basu (Durham University, Durham University Business School); Sigit S. Wibowo (Universitas Indonesia, Depok)
    Abstract: This study investigates the barriers to risk-sharing among Indonesian households. We test alternative risk sharing models, namely full risk sharing, borrowing-saving, saving only, hidden income, moral hazard and limited commitment among households. Based on three waves of the Indonesia Family Life Survey (IFLS) dataset, we nd that the full risk-sharing hypothesis fails. A nested regression framework suggested by Kinnan (2014) provides evidence in favor of the hidden income hypothesis. However, such a nested framework is unable to discriminate between moral hazard and limited commitment. This motivates us to resort to a non-nested framework. Within this non-nested framework, we test two risk sharing models: (i) the Kocherlakota-Pistaferri (2010) moral hazard model with full commitment and (ii) the Ligon et al. (2002) dynamic limited commitment model. IFLS data reject (i) but there is weak evidence of (ii). Based on this, we conclude that there are two hidden barriers to risk sharing among the IFLS households, namely hidden income and limited commitment.
    Date: 2017–05
  8. By: Nora Lustig
    Abstract: Using comparable fiscal incidence analysis, this paper examines the impact of fiscal policy on inequality and poverty in 25 countries for around 2010. Success in fiscal redistribution is driven primarily by redistributive effort (share of social spending to GDP in each country) and the extent to which transfers/subsidies are targeted at the poor and direct taxes targeted at the rich. While fiscal policy always reduces inequality, this is not the case with poverty. Fiscal policy increases poverty in 4 countries using a US$1.25/day PPP poverty line, in 8 countries using a US$2.50/day line, and in 15 countries using a US$4/day line (over and above market income poverty). Net direct taxes are always equalizing and net indirect taxes are equalizing in 17 of the 25 countries. While spending on pre-school and primary school is pro-poor (i.e. the per capita transfer declines with income) in almost all countries, pro-poor secondary school spending is less prevalent, and tertiary education spending tends to be progressive only in relative terms (i.e. equalizing but not pro-poor). Health spending is always equalizing.
    Date: 2016
  9. By: Mani Nepal
    Abstract: A majority of rural, agricultural households in Nepal rely on forests for firewood and fodder. Access to the forest clearly matters, but might not be as simple as proximity if quality varies by management and property regime. Using two rounds (2003/2004 and 2010/2011) of nationally representative survey data for rural Nepal, we analyze the impacts of forest proximity and the type of management regimes on housing values. Results from hedonic pricing modelsindicate that when different property rights regimes are ignored, the implicit price of proximity to the forest from where household collects firewood is positive. However, proximity is no longer a significant determinant when the property regime from where a household gathers firewood is considered. Relative to a housing unit that uses a private forest as its primary firewood source, the value of a similar housing unit using a government forest has a 10 percent (2010/11) to 20 percent (2003/04) lower value; the respective percentage reductions for a similar housing unit with community forest source is about 7 to 10 percent. Given limited private forest lands, results offer a measure of support for newly-adopted collaborative and leasehold programs. In the first, government forests are collaboratively managed by local communities with the government, where revenues are shared equally. In the second, degraded government forests are transferred to the rural poor for 40-year terms so that households can conserve and use forest products privately.

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.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.