nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2017‒09‒03
fourteen papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. The education motive for migrant remittances - Theory and evidence from India By Matthieu Delpierre; Arnaud Dupuy; Michel Tenikue; Bertrand Verheyden
  2. The Joint Effects of a Health Insurance and a Public Works Scheme in Rural Ethiopia By Shigute, Zemzem; Strupat, Christoph; Burchi, Francesco; Alemu, Getnet; Bedi, Arjun S.
  3. Modeling under-5 mortality through multilevel structured additive regression with varying coefficients for Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa By Kenneth Harttgen; Stefan Lang; Judith Santer; Johannes Seiler
  4. Malaria Control and Infant Mortality in Africa By Denis Cogneau; Pauline Rossi
  5. Multidimensional poverty in Indonesia: How inclusive has economic growth been? By Arief Anshory Yusuf; Andy Sumner
  6. Fertility and Rural Electrification in Bangladesh By Fujii, Tomoki; Shonchoy, Abu S.
  7. First and Second Generation Impacts of the Biafran War By Akresh, Richard; Bhalotra, Sonia R.; Leone, Marinella; Osili, Una O.
  8. The importance of government effectiveness for transitions toward greater electrification in developing countries By Rohan Best; Paul J Burke
  9. Targeting Poverty under Complementarities: Evidence from Indonesia's Unified Targeting System By Tohari, Achmad; Parsons, Christopher; Rammohan, Anu
  10. Is there really a trade-off? Family Size and Investment in Child Quality in India By Mehtabul Azam; Chan Hang Saing
  11. Social stratification, life chances and vulnerability to poverty in South Africa By Simone Schotte; Rocco Zizzamia; Murray Leibbrandt
  12. Smarter through Social Protection? Evaluating the Impact of Ethiopia's Safety-Net on Child Cognitive Abilities By Favara, Marta; Porter, Catherine; Woldehanna, Tassew
  13. Decomposing Well-being Measures in South Africa: The Contribution of Residential Segregation to Income Distribution By Florent Dubois; Christophe Muller
  14. The Impact of the Action Plan for Promoting Employment and Combating Unemployment on Employment Informality in Algeria By Souag, Ali; Assaad, Ragui

  1. By: Matthieu Delpierre (IWEPS, Belgium); Arnaud Dupuy (CREA, Université du Luxembourg); Michel Tenikue (LISER, Luxembourg); Bertrand Verheyden (LISER, Luxembourg)
    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
  2. By: Shigute, Zemzem (ISS, Erasmus University Rotterdam); Strupat, Christoph (German Development Institute); Burchi, Francesco (German Development Institute); Alemu, Getnet (University of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia); Bedi, Arjun S. (ISS, Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    Abstract: Rural households in Ethiopia are exposed to a variety of covariate and idiosyncratic risks. In 2005, the Ethiopian government introduced the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) and in 2011 launched the Community Based Health Insurance Scheme (CBHI). This paper analyses the interaction between the two schemes and their joint effect on health care utilization, labor supply, asset accumulation and borrowing. The empirical analysis relies on three rounds of individual-level panel data collected in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and on several rounds of qualitative work. We find that individuals covered by both programs, as opposed to neither, are 5 percentage points more likely to use outpatient care and are 21 percentage points more likely to participate in off-farm work. Furthermore, participation in both programs is associated with a 5 percent increase in livestock, the main household asset, and a 27 percent decline in debt. These results suggest that at least in Ethiopia bundling of interventions enhances protection against multiple risks and shows the potential of linked social protection schemes.
    Keywords: Ethiopia, Productive Safety Net Program, Community Based Health Insurance Scheme, joint effect
    JEL: J22 I15
    Date: 2017–08
  3. By: Kenneth Harttgen; Stefan Lang; Judith Santer; Johannes Seiler
    Abstract: Despite improvements in global child health within the last three decades, under-5 mortality remains significantly high in Sub-Saharan and Asia. Both regions did not achieve the MDG target of reducing under-5 mortality by two thirds by 2015. The underlying causes of under-5 mortality differ significantly between countries and between regions, which highlights the need to expand our understanding of the determinants of child health in developing countries. By comparing the two geographic regions of the world with the highest under-5 mortality rates, we aim to gain new insights, and bring out potential differences between these regions and the causes of under-5 mortality. In addition, we aim to identify non-linear relationships between under-5 mortality and specific explanatory variables. We analyze a large data set consisting of 35 Sub-Saharan-African countries, and 13 Asian countries, using a multilevel discrete time survival model that takes advantage of a recently developed multilevel framework with structured additive predictor in a Bayesian setting. We analyze data from 131 individual surveys from 1992 to 2015, allowing for potential non-linear effects and cluster specific heterogeneity within models. We find strong non-linear effects for the baseline hazard, the household size, the age of the mother, the BMI of the mother, and the birth order of the child. Additionally, we find considerable differences in determinants between Asian and Sub-Saharan Asian countries.
    Keywords: Child mortality, Asia, Sub-Sahara Africa, multilevel STAR models, Bayesian inference
    JEL: Z1 A13 J12 J13 J43 N33
    Date: 2017–08–22
  4. By: Denis Cogneau (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD)); Pauline Rossi (PSE - Paris School of Economics, CREST - Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique - INSEE - ENSAE ParisTech - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique)
    Abstract: Have malaria control efforts contributed to the reduction in infant mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa over the past 15 years? Using large household surveys collected in 19 countries between 2000 and 2015, we estimate the correlation between the distribution of bednets and the progress in child survival. We find that the large increase in bednets ownership observed between 2000 and 2015 is associated with a decrease in infant mortality by 1.3pp, which amounts to one third of the total decrease in infant mortality over the period. We further discuss to which extent this correlation might be interpreted as a causal impact.
    Keywords: Child mortality,Malaria,Africa,Foreign aid
    Date: 2017–01
  5. By: Arief Anshory Yusuf; Andy Sumner
    Abstract: In this paper, we consider different approaches to assessing inclusive growth in Indonesia since 1994. We discuss the growth incidence curve, changes in the poverty headcount by the national monetary/consumption poverty line, and changes in inequality indicators. We then develop a measure of inclusive growth based on multidimensional poverty that expands the lens to include not only education, health and household assets, but also employment. We find that the reduction of poverty measured by the national poverty line is matched by the impressive reduction in education and health poverty, and expansion of household assets. However, some basic problems remain in terms of school completion and vaccination coverage, and progress on employment-related poverty in our assessment of inclusive growth has been minimal in the last decade. We argue that the use of multidimensional poverty to assess the inclusivity of growth draws attention to the successes of administrations in providing public goods, and the enormous remaining challenge of providing sufficient employment opportunities.
    Keywords: inclusive growth, multidimensional poverty, inequality, Indonesia
    JEL: O1 O15 I3
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Fujii, Tomoki (School of Economics, Singapore Management University); Shonchoy, Abu S. (Institute for Developing Economies, IDE-JETRO)
    Abstract: We use a household-level panel dataset from Bangladesh to examine the household-level relationship between fertility and the access to electricity. We find that the household's access to electricity reduces the change in the number of children by about 0.1 to 0.25 children in a period of five years in most estimates. This finding also applies to retrospective panel data and is robust to the choice of covariates and estimation methods. Our finding passes falsication test and corroborates with the predictions of our theoretical model on the households' time use and consumption pattern.
    Keywords: Bangladesh; infrastructure; television; difference in differences; propensity score matching; retrospective panel data.
    JEL: J13 O20
    Date: 2017–07–11
  7. By: Akresh, Richard (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign); Bhalotra, Sonia R. (University of Essex); Leone, Marinella (University of Sussex); Osili, Una O. (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis)
    Abstract: We analyze long-term impacts of the 1967-1970 Nigerian Civil War, providing the first evidence of intergenerational impacts. Women exposed to the war in their growing years exhibit reduced adult stature, increased likelihood of being overweight, earlier age at first birth, and lower educational attainment. Exposure to a primary education program mitigates impacts of war exposure on education. War exposed men marry later and have fewer children. War exposure of mothers (but not fathers) has adverse impacts on child growth, survival, and education. Impacts vary with age of exposure. For mother and child health, the largest impacts stem from adolescent exposure.
    Keywords: intergenerational, conflict, human capital, fetal origins, Africa
    JEL: I12 I25 J13 O12
    Date: 2017–08
  8. By: Rohan Best; Paul J Burke
    Abstract: Electricity is a vital factor underlying modern living standards, but there are many developing countries with low levels of electricity access and use. We seek to systematically identify the crucial elements underlying transitions toward greater electrification in developing countries. We use a cross-sectional regression approach with national-level data up to 2012 for 135 low- and middle-income countries. The paper finds that the effectiveness of governments is the most important governance attribute for encouraging the transition to increased electrification in developing countries, on average. The results add to the growing evidence on the importance of governance for development outcomes. Donors seeking to make more successful contributions to electrification may wish to target countries with more effective governments.
    Keywords: electricity transitions, developing countries, government effectiveness
    JEL: O13 O20 Q40
    Date: 2017
  9. By: Tohari, Achmad (Airlangga University); Parsons, Christopher (University of Western Australia); Rammohan, Anu (University of Western Australia)
    Abstract: Combining nationally representative administrative and survey data with official proxy means testing models and coefficients, we evaluate Indonesia's three largest social programs. The setting for our evaluation is the launch of Indonesia's Unified Targeting system, an innovation developed to reduce targeting errors and increase program complementarities. Introducing a new method of evaluation under the condition of multiple programs, we show that households receiving all three programs are at least 30 percentage points better off than those receiving none. Importantly, the bias from failing to account for program complementarities is greater in magnitude than the benefits of receiving a single program.
    Keywords: poverty, targeting, Indonesia, complementarities
    JEL: D04 I32 I38 O12
    Date: 2017–08
  10. By: Mehtabul Azam (Oklahoma State University); Chan Hang Saing (Cambodia Development Resource Institute)
    Abstract: We address the relationship between number of children and investment in child quality, known as Quantity-Quality (Q-Q) trade-off, for India. Using a number of investment and outcome measures, we find that the OLS estimates suggest presence of Q-Q trade-offs in 9 out of 10 measures considered. Using the gender of the first-born child as an instrument, the trade-offs in all measures disappear. Given the concerns about the exogeneity of the instrument, we apply Oster (2016) bounds to assess sensitivity of OLS estimates to omitted variables. We find robust trade-off estimates in only 3 measures---enrollment, years of schooling, and height-for-age. However, we find more robust trade-offs in rural areas. Trade- offs appear in ever enrolled, private school attendance, expenditure on education and private coaching in addition to the trade-offs in the 3 measures for all India sample.
    Keywords: Quantity-Quality trade-off, Investment, Educational Outcomes, India
    JEL: O11 J13
    Date: 2017–08
  11. By: Simone Schotte (German Institute of Global and Area Studies and the Georg-August-University Göttingen); Rocco Zizzamia (Department of International Development, University of Oxford and SALDRU, University of Cape Town); Murray Leibbrandt (SALDRU, University of Cape Town)
    Abstract: The wave of upbeat stories on the developing world's emerging middle class has reinvigorated a debate on how social class in general and the middle class in particular ought to be defined and empirically measured. The contribution this paper makes to this literature is both conceptual and empirical. The conceptual contribution consists in proposing a schema of social stratification with particular relevance for the emerging and developing country context marked by high economic insecurity. Building on a recently developed framework that defines the middle class in relation to their (in)vulnerability to poverty, in this paper, we propose a multi-layered class model that differentiates five social classes: (i) the chronic poor, characterised by high poverty persistence, (ii) the transient poor, who have above average chances of escaping poverty, (iii) the non-poor but vulnerable, whose basic needs are currently being met but who face above average risks of slipping into poverty, (iv) the middle class, who are in a better position to maintain a non-poor standard of living even in the event of negative shocks, and (v) the elite, whose living standards situate them far above the average. The empirical contribution consists in the application of this conceptual innovation to the South African case using a model of poverty transitions that is fitted to four waves of panel data from the National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS) covering 2008 through to 2014/15. Given the classification derived in this paper, we find that only about 20 per cent of the South African population can be considered as stably middle class. Africans remain underrepresented in the middle class, and race is still one of the strongest predictors of poverty in South Africa. Members of larger, female headed, or rural households face a higher risk of poverty, and are less likely to enter the ranks of the middle class. Having access to stable labour market income, by contrast, is a key determinant for households to achieve economic stability in South Africa.
    Keywords: South Africa; social class; poverty dynamics; vulnerability
    JEL: D31 I32 C32 C35
    Date: 2017
  12. By: Favara, Marta (University of Oxford); Porter, Catherine (Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh); Woldehanna, Tassew (University of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)
    Abstract: We provide new estimates of the impact of Ethiopia's Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) in Ethiopia on child cognitive achievement in the medium term. The programme is the second largest in Africa, and has been rolled out to almost 10 million beneficiaries since 2005. We exploit four rounds of the Young Lives panel data spanning 2002-2013. We find a small but significant effect of the programme on cognitive achievement as measured by numeracy skills. We examine heterogeneity of impacts via "graduation" from the scheme, and find a positive effect on children in households that graduated just before 2013, but none for children in households that remain in the programme.
    Keywords: Ethiopia, social protection, children, cognitive development
    JEL: I38 O22
    Date: 2017–08
  13. By: Florent Dubois (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ECM - Ecole Centrale de Marseille, UM - Université du Maine); Christophe Muller (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ECM - Ecole Centrale de Marseille)
    Abstract: Despite the influential work of Cutler and Glaeser [13], whether ghettos are good or bad is still an open and debatable question. In this paper, we provide evidence that, in South Africa, ghettos can be good or bad for income depending on the studied quantile of the income distribution. Segregation tends to be beneficial for rich Whites while it is detrimental for poor Blacks. Even when we find it to be also detrimental for Whites, it is still more detrimental for Blacks. We further show that the multitude of results fuelling this debate can come from misspecification issues and selecting the appropriate sample for the analysis. Finally, we quantify the importance of segregation in the income gap between Blacks and Whites in the post-Apartheid South Africa. We find that segregation can account for up to 40 percent of the income gap at the median. It is even often a larger contribution than education all across the income distribution.
    Keywords: post-apartheid South Africa,generalized decompositions,income distribution,residential segregation
    Date: 2017–05
  14. By: Souag, Ali (University of Mascara); Assaad, Ragui (University of Minnesota)
    Abstract: This paper examines whether the Action Plan for Promoting Employment and Combating Unemployment, a labor market intermediation program adopted by the Algerian government in 2008, reduced the informality of employment in Algeria. Using repeated cross-section data from the Household Survey on Employment for the period from 1997 to 2013, and a difference-in-difference methodology, we estimate whether the Action Plan has reduced the probability that workers are employed informally in enterprises of more than 5 workers – the type of enterprise that is most likely to be directly affected by the Action Plan. Our results show that the Action Plan has in fact contributed to reducing employment informality in such enterprises, but with heterogeneous effects. More precisely, it reduced informality for employees of establishments of 10 workers or more but had no significant effects on informality for those working in enterprises of 5 to 9 workers. Furthermore, when we restrict our estimates to new entrants only, we do not find statistically significant effects.
    Keywords: Algeria, informal employment, labor market programs
    JEL: J08 J48 O17
    Date: 2017–08

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