nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2017‒10‒01
seven papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Child Schooling and Child Work in the Presence of a Partial Education Subsidy By de Hoop, Jacobus; Friedman, Jed; Kandpal, Eeshani; Rosati, Furio C.
  2. Optimal Data Collection for Randomized Control Trials By Pedro Carneiro; Sokbae Lee; Daniel Wilhelm
  3. ducational inequality and intergenerational mobility in Latin America: A new database By Guido Neidhöfer; Joaquín Serrano; Leonardo Gasparini
  4. Spatial Differences in Stunting and Household Agricultural Production in South Africa: (Re-)Examining the Links Using National Panel Survey Data By Otterbach, Steffen; Rogan, Michael
  5. Rural Electrification and Household Labor Supply: Evidence from Nigeria By Claire Salmon; Jeremy Tanguy
  6. Women’s Political Reservation, Early Childhood Development, and Learning in India By Yuvraj Pathak; Karen Macours
  7. Policies and Programs to Improve Secondary Education in Developing Countries: A Review of the Evidence By Clair Null; Clemencia Cosentino; Swetha Sridharan; Laura Meyer

  1. By: de Hoop, Jacobus (UNICEF Office of Research, Innocenti); Friedman, Jed (World Bank); Kandpal, Eeshani (World Bank); Rosati, Furio C. (University of Rome Tor Vergata)
    Abstract: Could a partial subsidy for child education increase children's participation in paid work? In contrast to much of the theoretical and empirical child labor literature, this paper shows that child work and school participation can be complements under certain conditions. Using data from the randomized evaluation of a conditional cash transfer program in the Philippines, the analysis finds that some children, who were in neither school nor work before the program, increased participation in school and work-for-pay after the program. Earlier cash transfer programs, notably those in Mexico, Brazil, and Ecuador, increased school attendance while reducing child labor. Those programs fully offset schooling costs, while the transfers under the Philippine transfers fall short of the full costs of schooling for a typical child. As a result, some beneficiary children from poor Philippine households increased work to support their schooling. The additional earnings from this work represent a substantive share of the shortfall in the schooling costs net of transfer. The paper rules out several potential alternative explanations for the increase in child labor, including changes in household productive activities, adult labor supply, and household expenditure patterns that, in principle, can arise after a cash transfer and may also affect the supply of or demand for child labor.
    Keywords: cash transfers, child labor, education, education subsidy, Philippines
    JEL: C93 I21 J22 O22
    Date: 2017–09
  2. By: Pedro Carneiro; Sokbae Lee; Daniel Wilhelm
    Abstract: In a randomized control trial, the precision of an average treatment effect estimator can be improved either by collecting data on additional individuals, or by collecting additional covariates that predict the outcome variable. We propose the use of pre-experimental data such as a census, or a household survey, to inform the choice of both the sample size and the covariates to be collected. Our procedure seeks to minimize the resulting average treatment effect estimator's mean squared error, subject to the researcher's budget constraint. We rely on a modification of an orthogonal greedy algorithm that is conceptually simple and easy to implement in the presence of a large number of potential covariates, and does not require any tuning parameters. In two empirical applications, we show that our procedure can lead to substantial gains of up to 58%, measured either in terms of reductions in data collection costs or in terms of improvements in the precision of the treatment effect estimator.
    Date: 2016–03
  3. By: Guido Neidhöfer (Freie Universität Berlin, Germany); Joaquín Serrano (CEDLAS Universidad Nacional de La Plata and CONICET, Argentina); Leonardo Gasparini (CEDLAS Universidad Nacional de La Plata and CONICET, Argentina)
    Abstract: The causes and consequences of the intergenerational persistence of inequality are a topic of great interest among various fields in economics. However, until now, issues of data availability have restricted a broader and cross-national perspective on the topic. Based on rich sets of harmonized household survey data, we contribute to filling this gap computing time series for several indexes of relative and absolute intergenerational education mobility for 18 Latin American countries over 50 years, and making them publicly available. We find that intergenerational mobility has been rising in Latin America, on average. This pattern seems to be driven by the high upward mobility of children from low-educated families; at the same time, there is substantial immobility at the top of the distribution. Significant cross-country differences are observed and are associated with income inequality, poverty, economic growth, public educational expenditures and assortative mating.
    Keywords: Inequality, Intergenerational Mobility, Equality of Opportunity, Transition Probabilities, Assortative Mating, Education, Human Capital, Latin America.
    JEL: D63 I24 J62 O15
    Date: 2017–08
  4. By: Otterbach, Steffen (University of Hohenheim); Rogan, Michael (Rhodes University)
    Abstract: South Africa is one of only a handful of countries in which the prevalence of child stunting has increased over the period during which progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has been monitored. One explanation for this reversal is that Big Food retail chains have been contributing to a low quality diet across the country, particularly in poor urban households. To examine this claim, we use nationally representative longitudinal data (2008–2014) to trace 6 years of stunting's evolution among South African children and adolescents aged 0–19, with particular attention to how the prevalence of stunting differs between urban (14.9%) and rural (19.6%) areas and how the drivers of poor nutrition vary spatially. The results suggest that, conditional on household income, subsistence farming is associated with a lower probability of stunting. Even more important, although under-nutrition retains a strong spatial component, once observable differences in living standards are controlled for, the higher tendency for children in deep rural households to suffer from (severe) stunting reverses.
    Keywords: stunting, height for age, malnutrition, anthropometric measures, subsistence farming, nutritional inequality, South Africa
    JEL: I14 I15 O15 O18 O55
    Date: 2017–09
  5. By: Claire Salmon (IREGE - Institut de Recherche en Gestion et en Economie - USMB [Université de Savoie] [Université de Chambéry] - Université Savoie Mont Blanc); Jeremy Tanguy (GAINS-TEPP - UM - Le Mans Université)
    Abstract: In Nigeria, the most populated African country, rural electrification is a critical issue because of the low household electrification rate and the poor quality of the grid. This energy poverty has harmful economic and social consequences in rural areas, such as low productivity , lack of income-generating opportunities and poor housing conditions. In this paper, we consider electrification as a technical shock that may affect household time allocation. Using the 2010-2011 General Household Survey, we investigate how electrification affects female and male labor supply decisions within rural households in Nigeria. Focusing on husband-wife data, we consider potential dependence in spouses' labor supply decisions and address the challenge of zero hours of work using a recent copula-based bivariate hurdle model (Deb et al. 2013). In addition, an instrumental variable strategy helps identify the causal effect of elec-trification. Our results underline that this dependence in spouses' labor supply decisions is critical to consider when assessing the impact of electrification on these outcomes. Electrifi-cation increases the working time of both spouses in the separate assessments, but the joint analysis emphasizes only a positive effect of electrification on husbands' working time. In line with the household labor supply approach, our findings highlight that, within the household, the labor supply decisions of one spouse significantly affect those of the other spouse. Thus, if we neglect the effect of electrification on the spouse of the individual examined, we may fail to assess how this individual has been actually affected by this common shock on both spouses. Our results suggest that these within-household relationships promote husbands' working time at the expense of wives' working time.
    Keywords: rural electrification,labor supply,developing countries,joint decision making,bi- variate hurdle model,copulas
    Date: 2016
  6. By: Yuvraj Pathak (University of Chicago); Karen Macours (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, PSE - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the long-term impacts of reservation of local political seats for women on children's learning and nutritional outcomes in rural Andhra Pradesh. Using the random rotation of seats reserved for women over different election cycles, and three rounds of a panel dataset, we analyze the impact of exposure to political reservation during critical periods in early childhood. The paper shows that the reservation policy for female leaders had the largest impact on learning outcomes in primary school when children were exposed to reservation in utero and very early in life.
    Keywords: Nutrition
    Date: 2017
  7. By: Clair Null; Clemencia Cosentino; Swetha Sridharan; Laura Meyer
    Abstract: This white paper summarizes rigorous evidence on approaches to increasing participation, improving learning, and enhancing the relevance of secondary education in developing countries. It should be of particular interest to policymakers and implementers seeking to improve secondary school enrollment, quality and relevance.
    Keywords: Education, Secondary education, International education, Rigorous evidence, PSIPSE
    JEL: I F Z

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