nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2017‒11‒05
twelve papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Urban Water Disinfection and Mortality Decline in Developing Countries By Sonia R. Bhalotra; Alberto Diaz-Cayeros; Grant Miller; Alfonso Miranda; Atheendar S. Venkataramani
  2. International Emigrant Selection on Occupational Skills By Alexander Patt; Jens Ruhose; Simon Wiederhold; Miguel Flores
  3. Political Agency and Public Health Care: Evidence from India By Joan Costa-i-Font; Divya Parmar
  4. Population sex ratios and violence against women: the long-run effects of sex selection in India By Amaral, S.; Bhalotra, Sonia
  5. The long-term impact of U.S. aid on poverty alleviation: the role of a seat in the Security Council of the United Nations By Juliana Yael Milovich
  6. Constrained School Choice in Egypt By Krafft, Caroline; Elbadawy, Asmaa; Sieverding, Maia
  7. Private Capital, Public Goods: Forest Plantations' Investment in Local Infrastructure and Social Services in Rural Tanzania By Mohammed B. Degnet; Edwin van der Werf; Verina Ingram; Justus Wesseler
  8. Do improved property rights decrease violence against women in India? By Amaral, S.
  9. Household Responses to Cash Transfers By Bram De Rock; Tom Potoms; Denni Tommasi
  10. The gender gap in intergenerational mobility: Evidence of educational persistence in Brazil By Leone, Tharcisio
  11. The Agricultural Wage Gap: Evidence from Brazilian Micro-data By Jorge Alvarez
  12. The Cost of Being Under the Weather: Droughts, Floods, and Health Care Costs in Sri Lanka By Diana De Alwis; Ilan Noy

  1. By: Sonia R. Bhalotra (University of Essex); Alberto Diaz-Cayeros (Stanford University); Grant Miller (Stanford University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)); Alfonso Miranda (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE)); Atheendar S. Venkataramani (University of Pennsylvania)
    Abstract: Historically, improvements in the quality of municipal drinking water made important contributions to mortality decline in wealthy countries. However, water disinfection has not produced equivalent benefits in developing countries today. We investigate this puzzle by analyzing a large-scale municipal water disinfection program in Mexico in 1991 that rapidly increased access to chlorinated water. On average, the program led to a 37–48 percent decline in child diarrheal disease mortality and was highly cost-effective. However, age (degradation) of water pipes and lack of complementary sanitation infrastructure attenuate these benefits. Our results suggest that childhood diarrheal disease mortality in Mexico would have declined by 86 percent if all municipalities had good quality infrastructure—a decline consistent with historical experience.
    Keywords: clean water, chlorination, child mortality, infectious disease, diarrhea, Mexico, cost-effectiveness, sanitation, behavioral responses
    Date: 2017–10–23
  2. By: Alexander Patt; Jens Ruhose; Simon Wiederhold; Miguel Flores
    Abstract: We present the first evidence that international emigrant selection on education and earnings materializes through occupational skills. Combining novel data from a representative Mexican task survey with rich individual-level worker data, we find that Mexican migrants to the United States have higher manual skills and lower cognitive skills than non-migrants. Conditional on occupational skills, education and earnings no longer predict migration decisions. Differential labor-market returns to occupational skills explain the observed selection pattern and significantly outperform previously used returns-to-skills measures in predicting migration. Results are persistent over time and hold within narrowly defined regional, sectoral, and occupational labor markets.
    JEL: F22 O15 J61 J24
    Date: 2017
  3. By: Joan Costa-i-Font; Divya Parmar
    Abstract: A growing literature studies the effect of enhancing the agency relationship between political incumbents and constituents on the use of health care, and specifically maternal and preventive care services. We examine the development of institutions of self-governance in India, and specifically the 2005 reform—the National Rural Health Mission that introduced village health and sanitation committees—to study the effects of the strengthening of the political agency on collective health care decision-making in rural areas. We examine maternal and preventative child health care use, before and after the introduction of village health and sanitation committees. Our results suggest that the introduction of village health and sanitation committees increases access to several maternal health care and some but not all immunisation services. The effect size is larger in larger villages and those closer to district headquarters. Part of the effect is driven by an increase in the utilization of the public healthcare network.
    Keywords: decentralization, direct democracy, India, immunization, maternal healthcare, public health care, preventative health care
    JEL: H70 I18
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Amaral, S.; Bhalotra, Sonia
    Abstract: This paper investigates the consequences of sex imbalance in India's population for violence against women. We match district level administrative crime data by category to age- specific sex ratios in census data across four decades and, to analyse mechanisms, we also use administrative data on marriage rates and household survey data on attitudes to violence against women and marriage quality. We estimate that the elasticity of violence against women with respect to the surplus of men age 20-24 is unity, and that this explains about 35% of the rise in gender-based violence since 1995. Although less robust, there is some evidence that the youth sex ratio also raises non-gendered forms of violence, but we find no discernible impact upon property and economic crime. In probing mechanisms we argue that men are more prone to crime than women, that the share of unmarried men is increasing in the youth sex ratio, that attitudes to violence against women are evolving as a function of the sex ratio at birth and marriage quality measures, including self-reported domestic violence, are negatively related to sex ratios.
    Date: 2017–10–24
  5. By: Juliana Yael Milovich
    Abstract: Fifty years of literature on aid-effectiveness has been inconclusive so far. The main challenges that remain are to properly identify the causal effect of aid on poverty alleviation and to dispose of reliable data on poverty. To confront the first problem we use the number of years a country has spent at the Security Council of the United Nations (UNSC) as the instrumental variable to explain the amount of U.S. economic aid received (Kuziemko and Werker, 2006). We also use multidimensional poverty data (OPHI, 2016), which is highly reliable. We estimate, for a sample of 64 developing countries, the impact of average aid received between 1946 and 1999 in reducing poverty between 2000 and 2014. Our results suggest that, despite the low transparency of these flows, a country that has spent at least two mandates at the UNSC between 1946 and 1999 has succeeded to significantly reduce the percentage of population living in multidimensional poverty by 0.33 % in the long run. The highest positive effect is observed through the increase in years of schooling (0.71 %) and, to a lesser extent, through the improvement of living standards (0.41 % on average).
    Keywords: Multidimensional Poverty, Aid, Sustainable Development, Security Council
    JEL: O11 F35 I3 H5
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Krafft, Caroline; Elbadawy, Asmaa; Sieverding, Maia
    Abstract: This paper examines patterns of school choice in Egypt from primary through higher education. We use a mixed-methods approach that combines survey data with qualitative in-depth interviews to explore schooling decisions. Some private and religious schools exist, but we find that in most geographic areas school “choice” at the pre-university level is effectively limited to public schools—despite their inadequate quality. Although there has not been much change in the attendance of private schools at the pre-university level, we find that attendance of private higher education institutions has increased over time. Azhari (Islamic religious) school attendance at the pre-university level has increased over time as well, possibly indicating a reaction to the low quality of public schools. Overall, when choices are available, families still tend to prefer public schools due to their low cost, though private and religious schools are generally perceived to be of higher quality.
    Keywords: education,school choice,private schooling,religious education,inequality of opportunity,Egypt
    JEL: I21 I22 I23 I24 N35
    Date: 2017
  7. By: Mohammed B. Degnet; Edwin van der Werf; Verina Ingram; Justus Wesseler
    Abstract: With the rapid expansion of private forest plantations worldwide, their impacts on local development are under scrutiny by NGOs and researchers alike. This study investigates the impacts of private forest plantations on local infrastructure and social services in rural Tanzania. We take a comparative approach involving households living in villages adjacent to private forest plantations and households in villages adjacent to a state-owned plantation. We use survey data from 338 households to analyze their perceptions about the impacts of the plantations on the number and quality of roads, bridges, and health centers, as well as on school enrolment and quality of education. We triangulate the results from a logistic regression model with observations of the size and quality of infrastructure and social services in the villages and with findings from focus group discussions. The results show that the private forest plantations have positively affected local infrastructure and social services in adjacent villages. The results suggest that large-scale private forest plantations can contribute to rural development in developing countries. We highlight the importance of taking into account the perceptions of various groups in society when assessing the sustainability of forestry investments and their impacts on local communities.
    Keywords: private forest plantations, infrastructure, public goods, perceptions, socio-economic impacts, Tanzania
    JEL: H41 M14 Q01 Q15 Q23
    Date: 2017
  8. By: Amaral, S.
    Abstract: This paper uses the staggered implementation of a legal change in inheritance law in India to estimate the effect of women's improved access to inheritance on violence against women. I find that the aggregate rate of violence against women ( including female suicides) fell. This fall is due to changes in police-reported violence as well as in female mortality. The law did not change male mortality or other forms of non-gender based crime. Further, at the individual level I find that spouses eligible for inheritance are 17 percent less likely to be victims of domestic violence. These findings are explained by an improvement in marriage market negotiations and this led to women marrying partners that consume less alcohol.
    Date: 2017–10–24
  9. By: Bram De Rock; Tom Potoms; Denni Tommasi
    Abstract: This paper exploits the experimental set-up of the cash transfer program PROGRESA in rural Mexico to estimate a collective model of the household in order to investigate how parents allocate household resources. We show that household decisions are compatible with the collective model at the beginning of the program, but reject it later on. This shows that second order effects of cash transfer programs are important and suggests we need richer structural models to thoroughly analyse these policy interventions. We end this paper by proposing such a simple and tractable model of household behaviour, where decision makers may have misaligned preferences as a result of the treatment about the importance of a public good.
    Keywords: collective model; bargaining power; efficiency; PROGRESA; conditional cash transfers
    JEL: D13 I38 J12 J16 O15
    Date: 2017–10
  10. By: Leone, Tharcisio
    Abstract: This paper employs mobility matrices, univariate regressions and multivariate econometric techniques based on the recently published nationally representative household survey (PNAD-2014) from Brazil to investigate the relevance of the gendered patterns in the intergenerational transmission of educational attainment between parents and their descendants. The empirical evidence from these three different approaches is absolutely unanimous: In Brazil there is a significant variation in degree of mobility across genders, with a higher mobility level for daughters than for sons. The reason for this gender gap in mobility lies in the chances of attaining the educational levels: regardless of the educational background of the parents, females have a lower chance of remaining without school certificate and a greater probability to achieve a tertiary education. The results of this paper point out also that the educational attainment of children is strongly associated with the education of their most educated parent, regardless of their gender and this correlation is higher for female than for male. Concerning the evolution of the persistence in education over time, the findings indicate for both sexes a significant increase in intergeneration mobility over the last decades. However this positive evolution is much more modest when the relative deviation in education across generations is excluded from the investigation. Finally, this study has demonstrated that parental occupation levels and individual characteristics (race, locality of residence and year of birth) also have a statistically significant effect on the prospects for mobility.
    Keywords: Intergenerational Mobility,Educational Persistence,Gender Gap,Brazil
    JEL: J62 I21 J16
    Date: 2017
  11. By: Jorge Alvarez (IMF)
    Abstract: A key feature of developing economies is that wages in the agricultural sector are significantly below those of other sectors. Using a panel data set on the universe of formal workers in Brazil, I use information on workers that switch sectors to decompose the drivers of this inter-sector gap. I find that most of the gap between sectors is explained by unobservable differences in the skill composition of workers, as opposed to differential pay of workers with similar skills. The evidence speaks against the existence of large short-term wage gains from the reallocation of workers out of agriculture and favors recently proposed Roy models of inter-sector sorting as drivers of lower average wages in agriculture. A calibrated model of worker sorting can account for the wage gap observed in 1996 Brazil and a share of both the wage gap decline and the diminishing worker participation in agriculture observed during the period between 1996 and 2013.
    Date: 2017
  12. By: Diana De Alwis; Ilan Noy
    Abstract: We measure to cost of extreme weather events (droughts and floods) on health care in Sri Lanka. We find that frequently occurring local floods and droughts impose a significant risk to health when individuals are exposed directly to these hazards, and when their communities are exposed, even if they themselves are unaffected. Those impacts, and especially the indirect spillover effects to households that are not directly affected, are associated with the land-use in the affected regions and with access to sanitation and hygiene. Finally, both direct and indirect risks associated with flood and drought on health have an economic cost; our estimates suggest Sri Lanka spends 52.8 million USD per year directly on the health care costs associated with floods and droughts, divided almost equally between the public and household sectors, and 22% vs. 78% between floods and droughts, respectively. In Sri Lanka, both the frequency and the intensity of droughts and floods are likely to increase because of climatic change. Consequently, the health burden associated with these events is only likely to increase, demanding precious resources that are required elsewhere.
    Keywords: Sri Lanka, flood, drought, health impact
    JEL: I15 Q54
    Date: 2017

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.
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