nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2017‒06‒11
nine papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. How Sustainable Are Benefits from Extension for Smallholder Farmers? Evidence from a Randomised Phase-Out of the BRAC Program in Uganda By Stephen C. Smith; Ram Fishman; Vida BobicÌ; Munshi Sulaiman
  2. Impact of Natural Disasters on Income Inequality in Sri Lanka By Subhani Keerthiratne
  3. Impact of Universal Primary Education Policy on Out of School Children in Uganda By Lamichhane, Kamal; Tsujimoto, Takahiro
  4. Managing the Impact of Climate Change on Migration: Evidence from Mexico By Chort, Isabelle; de la Rupelle, Maëlys
  5. Myth-busting? Confronting Six Common Perceptions about Unconditional Cash Transfers as a Poverty Reduction Strategy in Africa By Sudhanshu Handa; Silvio Daidone; Amber Peterman; Benjamin Davis; Audrey Pereira; Tia Palermo; Jennifer Yablonski
  6. The impact of exposure to cash transfers on education and labor market outcomes By Paredes-Torres, Tatiana
  7. Protests and Trust in the State: Evidence from African Countries By Marc Sangnier; Yanos Zylberberg
  8. Foreign Aid and responsiveness of bilateral refugee inflows By Marina Murat
  9. Increasing foreign aid for inclusive human development in Africa By Simplice Asongu; Jacinta C. Nwachukwu

  1. By: Stephen C. Smith (George Washington University); Ram Fishman (Tel Aviv University); Vida BobicÌ (George Washington University); Munshi Sulaiman (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 (“sus- tainability†). 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 im- proved 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
  2. By: Subhani Keerthiratne (Department of Economics, University of Sussex; Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Colombo, Sri Lanka)
    Abstract: We explore the relationship between natural disasters and income inequality in Sri Lanka as the first study of this nature for the country. The analysis uses a unique panel data set constructed for the purpose of this paper. It contains district inequality measures based on household income reported in six waves of the Household Income and Expenditure Survey of Sri Lanka during the period between 1990 and 2013, data on disaster affected population and other economic and social indicators. Employing a panel fixed effects estimator, we find that contemporaneous natural disasters and their immediate lags significantly and substantially decrease inequality in per adult equivalent household income as measured by the Theil index. Findings are robust across various inequality metrics, sub-samples and alternative estimators such as Ordinary Least Squares and System GMM. However, natural disasters do not affect household expenditure inequality. Either households behave as if they have a permanent income or all households reduce their expenditure proportionately irrespective of their income level in responding to natural disasters. Natural disasters decrease non-seasonal agricultural and non-agricultural income inequality but increase seasonal agricultural income inequality. Income of richer households is mainly derived from non-agricultural sources such as manufacturing and business activities and non-seasonal agricultural activities. Poorer households have a higher share of agricultural income.
    Keywords: Natural disasters, economic impact, income inequality
    JEL: Q54 O11 O15
    Date: 2017–05
  3. By: Lamichhane, Kamal; Tsujimoto, Takahiro
    Abstract: Despite the recognition of the importance of providing quality education to all children in several international declarations, still majority of children with disabilities are likely to face barriers to quality education particularly in developing countries. Numerous existing studies examine the education of female as out of school children, yet only few studies exists on children with disabilities. To bridge the knowledge gap in the existing studies, using the nationally representative demographic and health survey dataset, we estimate the effect of Universal Primary Education (UPE) policy on educational attainments of out of school children in Uganda. Following the identification strategies in previous literatures, we compare two cohorts (pre- and post- UPE) for those with and without disabilities. While UPE was found effective to bridge the gender gap, we observe no significant improvements between children with and without disabilities in poor households. This finding suggests the difficulty of parents with financial constraints to invest in education regardless of whether their children are disabled or not. Additionally, for the samples with disabilities only, we observe positive effect of UPE on years of schooling for full and female samples but not for poor households. These findings suggest that simply waiving of tuition fee as UPE policy does is not sufficient to increase the school enrollment and years of schooling of persons with disabilities, especially in poor households.
    Keywords: Universal primary education policy,persons with disabilities,Gender,out of school children,Uganda
    Date: 2017–04
  4. By: Chort, Isabelle; de la Rupelle, Maëlys
    Abstract: This paper uses state-level migration ow data between Mexico and the U.S. from 1999 to 2011 to investigate the migration response to climate shocks and the mitigating impact of an agricultural cash-transfer program (PROCAMPO) and a disaster fund (Fonden). Our results suggest that lower than average precipitations increase undocumented migration, especially from the most agricultural states. Fonden amounts are found to mitigate the effect of climate shocks on migration by lowering the undocumented migration response to precipitation anomalies. Similarly an increase in the state-level share of PROCAMPO funds to non-irrigated plots in the ejido sector decreases migration after a shock.
    Keywords: International migration,Climate change,Public policies,Weather variability,Natural disasters,Mexico-U.S. migration
    JEL: F22 Q54 Q18 J61
    Date: 2017
  5. By: Sudhanshu Handa; Silvio Daidone; Amber Peterman; Benjamin Davis; Audrey Pereira; Tia Palermo; Jennifer Yablonski
    Abstract: In this paper we summarize evidence on six perceptions associated with cash transfer programming, using eight rigorous evaluations conducted on large-scale government unconditional cash transfers in sub-Saharan Africa, under the Transfer Project. Specifically, we investigate if transfers: 1) induce higher spending on alcohol or tobacco; 2) are fully consumed (rather than invested); 3) create dependency (reduce participation in productive activities); 4) increase fertility; 5) lead to negative community-level economic impacts (including price distortion and inflation), and 6) are fiscally unsustainable. We present evidence refuting each claim, leading to the conclusion that these perceptions – insofar as they are utilized in policy debates – undercut potential improvements in well-being and livelihood strengthening among the poor, which these programmes can bring about in sub-Saharan Africa, and globally. We conclude by underscoring outstanding research gaps and policy implications for the continued expansion of unconditional cash transfers in the region and beyond.
    Keywords: africa; cash transfers; social safety nets;
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Paredes-Torres, Tatiana
    Abstract: This paper studies the short and long-term effects of exposure to Bono de Desarrollo Humano (BDH), the main unconditional cash transfer program in Ecuador, on young people’s education and labor market outcomes. Using individual administrative panel data and a regression discontinuity design, I estimate the short-term impact of BDH, as well as the differential impact of a long exposure (10 years) versus a short exposure to BDH (five years). In the short-run, treated children experienced gains in enrollment and schooling, but those gains dissipated after five more years of treatment. This explains why after ten years of exposure, treated children aged 18-21 were not more likely to finish high school when compared to similar children who were only treated during the first five years of the program. Regarding labor market outcomes, BDH had a negative but not statistically significant impact on the probability of working among the young children who were treated either during five or ten years and did not increase job opportunities among young adults.
    Keywords: cash transfers, regression discontinuity, Ecuador, education, labor market outcomes, long-term effects, short-term effects, Bono de Desarrollo Humano, human capital, poverty, developing countries, regression discontinuity
    JEL: H23 I22 I24 I25 I28 I38 J24 O15
    Date: 2017–05
  7. By: Marc Sangnier; Yanos Zylberberg
    Abstract: This paper provides empirical evidence that, after protests, citizens substantially revise their views on the current leader, but also their trust in the country's institutions. The empirical strategy exploits variation in the timing of an individual level survey and the proximity to social protests in 13 African countries. First, we find that trust in political leaders strongly and abruptly decreases after protests. Second, trust in the country monitoring institutions plunges as well. Both effects are much stronger when protests are repressed by the government. As no signs of distrust are recorded even a couple of days before the social conflicts, protests can be interpreted as sudden signals sent on a leaders' actions from which citizens extract information on their country fundamentals.
    Keywords: Protests, trust, institutions, leaders.
    JEL: D74 D83 H41 O17
    Date: 2017–05–29
  8. By: Marina Murat
    Abstract: This paper tests the effects of Aid from 14 OECD donor economies on bilateral asylum seeker inflows from 113 developing countries during 1993-2013. Results are that Aid affects asylum seeker inflows nonlinearly in the pc income of the origin country, in a ‘U’ shaped fashion, with a turning point at 9,150 pcGDP, PPP2011$. Aid has also cross-donor negative spillovers and regional effects. Overall, deterring effects concern especially Sub Saharan countries. Moreover, Aid does not influence bilateral voluntary migration. Making Aid transfers conditional on improvements in political and economic institutions in recipient countries can strengthen their effects on asylum seeker inflows.
    Keywords: foreign Aid, asylum seekers and refugees, Aid policy
    JEL: F35 F22 I38 J15
    Date: 2017–05
  9. By: Simplice Asongu (Yaoundé/Cameroun); Jacinta C. Nwachukwu (Coventry University, UK)
    Abstract: In the light of evidence that poverty has been decreasing in all regions of the World with the exception of Africa, where about 45 percent of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa did not achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) extreme poverty target. Therefore, this study assesses whether increasing foreign aid improves inclusive human development. The investigation is on 53 African countries for the period 2005-2012. The empirical analysis is based on (i) the Generalised Method of Moments (GMM) to control for persistence in inclusive human development, simultaneity and time-invariant omitted variables and (ii) Instrumental Variable Tobit Regressions to control for simultaneity and the limited range in the dependent variable. The adopted foreign aid variables are: ‘humanitarian assistance’, ‘action on debt’ ‘aid for social infrastructure’, ‘aid to the productive sector’, ‘aid to the multi sector’, ‘aid for economic infrastructure’ and ‘programme assistance’. The following findings are established. From the GMM specifications, there are (i) synergy effects from ‘aid to the productive sector’ and a positive net effect from ‘programme assistance’ and (ii) negative net impacts from ‘aid to social infrastructure’ and human assistance, albeit with positive marginal effects. From Instrumental Variable Tobit regressions (i) there is a synergy effect from ‘aid for economic infrastructure’ and (ii) there are negative net impacts from ‘aid for social infrastructure’, ‘aid to the productive sector’ and human assistance, albeit with positive marginal effects. Policy implications are discussed.
    Keywords: Foreign Aid; Sustainable Development; Africa
    JEL: B20 F35 F50 O10 O55
    Date: 2017–01

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