nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2017‒07‒09
ten papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Aid and growth.New evidence using an excludable instrument By Dreher, Axel; Langlotz, Sarah
  2. The Effect of Antimalarial Campaigns on Child Mortality and Fertility in Sub-Saharan Africa By Joshua Wilde; Bénédicte H. Apouey; Gabriel Picone; Joseph Coleman
  3. The differential impact of economic crisis on men and women, and its connection to intrahousehold bargaining By Sarah Xue Dong
  4. In Search of a Spatial Equilibrium in the Developing World By Douglas Gollin; Martina Kirchberger; David Lagakos
  5. Are caste categories misleading? The relationship between gender and jati in three Indian states By Shareen Joshi; Nishtha Kochhar; Vijayendra Rao
  6. The donor footprint and gender gaps By Maria Perrotta Berlin; Evelina Bonnier; Anders Olofsgård
  7. More oil, less quality of education? New empirical evidence By Farzanegan, Mohammad Reza; Thum, Marcel
  8. Reducing early pregnancy in low-income countries: A literature review and new evidence By Lars Ivar Oppedal Berge; Kjetil Bjorvatn; Amina Mohamed Maalim; Vincent Somville; Bertil Tungodden
  9. Electricity supply reliability and households decision to connect to the grid By Arnaud Millien
  10. Mobile Phone Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa By Simplice Asongu; Nicholas Biekpe

  1. By: Dreher, Axel; Langlotz, Sarah
    Abstract: We use an excludable instrument to test the effect of bilateral foreign aid on economic growth in a sample of 96 recipient countries over the 1974-2009 period. We interact donor government fractionalization with a recipient country’s probability of receiving aid. The results show that fractionalization increases donors’ aid budgets, representing the over-time variation of our instrument, while the probability of receiving aid introduces variation across recipient countries. Controlling for country- and period-specific effects that capture the levels of the interacted variables, the interaction provides a powerful and excludable instrument. Making use of the instrument, our results show no significant effect of aid on growth in the overall sample. We also investigate the effect of aid on consumption, savings, and investments, and split the sample according to the quality of economic policy, democracy, and the Cold War period. With the exception of the post-Cold War period (where abundant aid reduces growth), we find no significant effect of aid on growth in any of these sub-samples. None of the other outcomes are affected by aid.
    Keywords: aid effectiveness; government fractionalization; economic growth
    Date: 2017–06–28
  2. By: Joshua Wilde (Department of Economics, University of South Florida); Bénédicte H. Apouey (Paris School of Economics); Gabriel Picone (Department of Economics, University of South Florida); Joseph Coleman (Department of Economics, University of South Florida)
    Abstract: We examine to what extent recent declines in mortality and fertility in sub-Saharan Africa can be attributed to insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs). Exploiting the rapid increase in ITNs during the mid-2000s, we employ a difference-in-differences estimation strategy to identify the causal effect of ITNs on mortality and fertility. We show that ITNs reduced all-cause child mortality, but surprisingly increased total fertility rates in spite of reduced desire for children and increased contraceptive use. We explain this paradox by showing evidence for an unexpected increase in fecundity and sexual activity due to the better health environment after the ITN distribution.
    Keywords: Malaria, Bed nets, Child mortality, Fertility, Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: I15 J13 O10
    Date: 2017–06
  3. By: Sarah Xue Dong
    Abstract: This paper discusses whether the Asian financial crisis affected men and women differently in Indonesia by estimating the effect of district consumption shock during the crisis on changes in men’s and women’s working status and assets. I found that in rural areas there seems to be no effect of district consumption shock. In urban areas the fall in district consumption increases women’s employment and decreases men’s non-business assets. The effect is both cases is large. I also found that intra-household bargaining may be related to the effect of crises on men and women. Specifically, women who have sole decision-making power on employment prior to the crisis do not need to increase employment as much as a response to the fall in district consumption compared with women without sole decision-making power on employment prior to the crisis.
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Douglas Gollin; Martina Kirchberger; David Lagakos
    Abstract: In most developing countries, there is a large gap in income per head between urban and rural areas. One appealing interpretation of this gap is that it reflects a spatial equilibrium, in which the higher incomes of urban areas are offset by lower non-monetary amenities. In this paper, we draw on new high-resolution evidence to document how amenities vary across space within twenty developing countries. We focus on measures of health, housing quality, crime and pollution. These vary substantially across space, and they can be carefully measured with highly comparable data. We find that in almost all countries, and for almost all measures, amenities are constant or increasing in population density. In addition, net internal migration flows are directed toward denser areas in every country. These findings are hard to reconcile with a spatial equilibrium. Instead, they suggest that developing countries are undergoing a reallocation of workers to densely populated areas, which offer higher living standards on average.
    Keywords: spatial equilibrium; urban-rural income gaps; agricultural productivity gap; living standards; population density
    Date: 2017
  5. By: Shareen Joshi; Nishtha Kochhar; Vijayendra Rao
    Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between caste and gender inequality in three states in India. When households are grouped using conventional, government-defined categories of caste we find patterns that are consistent with existing literature: lower-caste women are more likely to participate in the labour market, have greater decision-making autonomy within their households, and experience greater freedom of movement. When households are grouped by the narrower sub-caste categories of jati, where caste is lived and experienced, we find that the relationships are far more varied and nuanced. These results suggest that focusing on broad caste categories such as ‘scheduled castes’ and ‘scheduled tribes’ can be misleading for an understanding of the relationship between caste and gender, and for the targeting of anti-poverty programmes.
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Maria Perrotta Berlin; Evelina Bonnier; Anders Olofsgård
    Abstract: In this paper we analyse the impact of foreign aid on gender outcomes and attitudes. We do this by matching geocoded household surveys with aid projects. This offers a middle way between project evaluations and aggregated cross-country comparisons, measuring an average community effect around projects. We find increased opportunities for women to work outside the household, which could strengthen their bargaining power. However, we find mixed results in terms of the impact on women’s control over other key areas of their lives. We argue this is related to differences in what is required for change to happen at the community level.
    Date: 2017
  7. By: Farzanegan, Mohammad Reza; Thum, Marcel
    Abstract: The resource curse hypothesis suggests that resource-rich countries show lower economic growth rates compared to resource-poor countries. We add to this literature by providing empirical evidence on a new transmission channel of the resource curse, namely, the negative effect of rents on the quality of education. The cross-country analysis for more than 70 countries shows a significantly positive effect of oil rents on the quantity of education measured by government spending on primary and secondary education. Hence, the underspending hypothesis championed by Gylfason (2001) no longer holds with newer data. However, we find a robust and negative effect of oil rents dependency on the current objective and subjective indicators of quality of education, controlling for a set of other drivers of education quality and regional dummies. Despite pending significant shares of GDP on education, oil-rich countries still suffer from an insuficient quality of primary and secondary education,which may hamper their growth potentials. The significant negative effect of oil rents dependency on education quality can be explained by both the demand (e.g., skill acquisition) and supply (e.g., teacher quality) side channels.
    Keywords: oil rents,resource curse,quality of education,quantity of education
    JEL: H52 I25 Q32
    Date: 2017
  8. By: Lars Ivar Oppedal Berge; Kjetil Bjorvatn; Amina Mohamed Maalim; Vincent Somville; Bertil Tungodden
    Abstract: Many adolescent girls in low-income countries face the challenge of early pregnancy and lifelong dependence upon family and partners. In this paper, we review the literature on field interventions aimed at reducing early pregnancies in low-income countries and report from a randomized control trial in rural Tanzania. From an analysis of more than 3,000 essays written by adolescent girls about their hopes for the future, we find that health training and entrepreneurship training affect two key mechanisms determining early pregnancy, namely internal locus of control and economic opportunity.
    Date: 2017
  9. By: Arnaud Millien (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: The 7th Sustainable Development Goal aims to "ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all". Because the cost to increase electrical capacity in Africa alone has been estimated at $800bn, this article investigates the extent to which electricity reliability could contribute to a reduction in the marginal cost of grid extension by attracting more customers. Using lightning as an instrument for outages severity, the article evaluates the assumption that less uncertainty about electricity availability would lead to a larger number of connected households. The article finds that a one percentage point increase in electricity reliability would yield a 0.67 percentage point increase in connections. Therefore, delivering fully reliable electrical power would allow an electricity company to achieve its targeted growth of customer base 15 months earlier than planned. The effect of reliability is highest for middle-rich households, which are the most reluctant to subscribe in the presence of total, severe or partial outages. A one-percentage-point upgrade in reliability increase the likelihood that these households will be connected by 1.28 percentage points. This article also finds that households are more sensitive to outages in areas where outages are less frequent. In addiction, the impact of reliability on households decision to connect could be at least 5% greater than the effect of poverty; if the frequency of outages is too high, the wealth or poverty effect might vanish and households would respond only to the excessively low reliability. These results confirm the uncertainty assumption, that is, regular and severe outages yield an uninsurable context that deters households from subscribing to the electric service.
    Keywords: Kenya,instrumental variable,electrification,reliability,outages
    Date: 2017–05
  10. By: Simplice Asongu (Yaoundé/Cameroun); Nicholas Biekpe (Cape Town, South Africa.)
    Abstract: This study assesses how knowledge diffusion modulates the effect of the mobile phone on entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa with data for the period 2000-2012.The empirical evidence is based on interactive Generalised Method of Moments in which mobile phones are interacted with three knowledge diffusion variables, namely: education, internet penetration and scientific output. Ten variables of entrepreneurship are used. The following three main findings are established. First, the net effects from interacting mobile phones with the internet and scientific publications are negative whereas the corresponding net impact from the interaction between mobile phones and education is positive on the cost of doing business. Second, the mobile phone interacts with education (the internet) to have a positive (negative) net effect on the time needed to construct a warehouse whereas, the corresponding interaction with the internet yields a net negative effect on the time to enforce a contract. Third, there is a positive net effect from the interaction of mobile phones with education on the time to start a business. Given the construction of the education variable, the positive net effects from education are consistent with corresponding negative net effects from the other knowledge diffusion variables. The main policy implication is that mobile phone innovation (by means of internet penetration, scientific output and quality education) decreases constraints of entrepreneurship. Suggestions on how to boost these knowledge diffusion channels are discussed. Other practical and theoretical implications are also covered. To the best our knowledge, this is the first inquiry to assess the relevance of mobile phone innovation in entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; the Mobile Phone; Knowledge Diffusion; Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: L59 L98 O10 O30 O55
    Date: 2017–05

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