nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2017‒11‒26
ten papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Educational Inequality and Intergenerational Mobility in Latin America: A New Database By Guido Neidhöfer; Joaquín Serrano; Leonardo Gasparini
  2. Productivity and Health: Alternative Productivity Estimates Using Physical Activity By Akogun, Oladele; Dillon, Andrew; Friedman, Jed; Prasann, Ashesh; Serneels, Pieter
  3. Premium or Penalty? Labor Market Returns to Novice Public Sector Teachers By Juan Saavedra; Dario Maldonado; Lucrecia Santibanez; Luis Omar Herrera Prada
  4. More donors, more democracy By Ziaja, Sebastian
  5. Private Health Investments under Competing Risks: Evidence from Malaria Control in Senegal By Pauline Rossi; Paola Villar
  6. Minimum age regulation and child labor: New evidence from Brazil By Olivier BARGAIN; Delphine BOUTIN
  7. 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
  8. The Health Costs of Ethnic Distance: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa By Joseph Flavian Gomes
  9. Social protection, household size and its determinants: Evidence from Ethiopia By Hoddinott, John F.; Mekasha, Tseday J.
  10. Complementarities between social protection and health sector policies: Evidence from the Productive Safety Net Program in Ethiopia By Hirvonen, Kalle; Bossuyt, Anne; Pigois, Remy

  1. By: Guido Neidhöfer (Freie Universität Berlin); Joaquín Serrano (CEDLAS-FCE-UNLP & CONICET); Leonardo Gasparini (CEDLAS-FCE-UNLP & CONICET)
    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.
    JEL: D63 I24 J62 O15
    Date: 2017–08
  2. By: Akogun, Oladele (Modibbo Adama University of Technology); Dillon, Andrew (Michigan State University); Friedman, Jed (World Bank); Prasann, Ashesh (World Bank); Serneels, Pieter (University of East Anglia)
    Abstract: This paper investigates an alternative proxy for individual worker productivity in physical work settings: a direct measure of physical activity using an accelerometer. First, the paper compares worker labor outcomes, such as labor supply and daily productivity obtained from firm personnel data, with physical activity; they are strongly related. Second, the paper investigates the effect of a health intervention on physical activity, using a temporally randomized offer of malaria testing and treatment. Workers who are offered this program reallocate time from lower intensity activities in favor of higher intensity activities when they work.
    Keywords: labor productivity, productivity measurement, malaria, field experiment
    JEL: I12 J22 J24 O12
    Date: 2017–10
  3. By: Juan Saavedra; Dario Maldonado; Lucrecia Santibanez; Luis Omar Herrera Prada
    Abstract: It is unclear whether public sector teachers are under or overpaid relative to other occupations due to lack of knowledge about teachers’ outside labor market options and other unobserved attributes related to compensation. We estimate causal labor market returns to novice public teachers in Colombia. Our approach takes advantage of a national, standardized, teacher-screening exam, scores on which determine eligibility for public teaching jobs. We use four nationwide administrative data sources in a regression discontinuity approach to show that applicants who marginally pass the teacher screening test have greater annual earnings during the first three years of tenure than applicants below the passing cutoff. The total earnings effect is a combination of higher daily wages and greater labor supply, part of which is in outside, predominantly non-teaching jobs for a substantial fraction of public teachers. For infra-marginal high-scoring applicants, we show that being a public teacher in Colombia is as attractive, if not more, as for those at the margin. On the whole, rather than a penalty, public teachers in Colombia across all ability levels earn a substantial labor market premium early in their careers.
    JEL: J22 J24 O15 O38
    Date: 2017–11
  4. By: Ziaja, Sebastian
    Abstract: A country's democracy improves when it receives democracy aid from a larger number of donor countries.This finding appears surprising from a development perspective, as the presence of a large number of donors, and more generally 'fragmented aid', have been shown to impact negatively on the recipient country. But fragmented aid can be beneficial: Diversity on the donor side provides choice to the local actors involved in the process of democratization. It thus creates a 'marketplace of ideas' which increases the viability of the resulting institutions. In contraast, a highly-concentrated donor community can lead to the imposition of an institutional blueprint, designed in advance and not adapted to the needs of the recipient society. An instrumental variable analysis with panel data for 133 countries from 1994 to 2013, explicit tests of the causal mechanism, and anecdotal evidence from Ghana provide strong support for the benefits of diverse democracy aid.
    Date: 2017–11–10
  5. By: Pauline Rossi (University of Amsterdam); Paola Villar (Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: This study exploits the introduction of high subsidies for anti-malaria products in Senegal in 2009 to investigate if malaria prevents parents to invest in child health. Building upon the seminal paper of Dowetal. (1999), we develop a simple model of health investments under competing mortality risks, in which people allocate expenses to equalize lifetime across all causes of death. We predict that private health investments to fight malaria as well as other diseases should increase in response to anti-malaria public interventions. To test this prediction, we use original panel data from a Senegalese household survey combined with geographical information on malaria prevalence. Our strategy is to compare the evolution of child health expenditures before and after anti-malaria interventions, between malarious and non-malarious regions of Senegal. We find that health expenditures in malarious regions catch up withnon-malarious regions, at the extensive and intensive margins, and both in level and in composition. The same result holds for parental health-seeking behaviour in case of other diseases like diarrhea. We provide evidence that these patterns cannot be explained by differential trends in total income or access to health care or child morbidity between malarious and non-malarious regions. Our results suggest that behavioural responses to anti-malaria campaigns magnify their impact on all-cause mortality for children.
    Keywords: D1; H51; I1; O15
    Date: 2017–09–01
  6. By: Olivier BARGAIN; Delphine BOUTIN (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International(CERDI))
    Abstract: We suggest new evidence on minimum age regulations using a natural experiment. In 1998, a constitutional reform has changed the minimum working age from 14 to 16 in Brazil. The reform was the legislative counterpart of a broad set of measures taken by a government strongly committed to fighting child labor. We document the fact that enforcement and compliance may have been heterogeneous across regions and job types. The setting allows improving upon past approaches based on the comparison of employment rates of children below and above the minimum age. Precisely, we observe 14-year old children the year after the reform and exploit discontinuous treatment depending on their birthdate (only those who turned 14 after mid-December 1998 are banned). Regression discontinuity and difference-in-discontinuity designs show no effect of the ban overall, nor a reallocation towards less visible activities, or a substitution of labor within families. Importantly, however, we find a significant drop in child labor among those with highest chances of compliance, namely children in visible activities and in regions characterized with an above-average intensity of labor inspections. We provide power calculation and extensive sensitivity checks.
    Keywords: Child Labor, Ban, Minimum working age, Brazil, Regression discontinuity, Difference in discontinuity.
    JEL: J88 J23 J22 J08
    Date: 2017–11
  7. 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
  8. By: Joseph Flavian Gomes
    Abstract: We show that ethnic distances lead to worse child health outcomes by impeding access to health-related information. We combine individual level micro data from DHS surveys for fourteen sub-Saharan African countries, with a high-resolution dataset on the spatial distribution of ethnic groups at the 1 × 1 sq. km level constructed using an Iterative Proportional Fitting algorithm. We show that children whose mothers are linguistically more distant to their neighbours face higher mortality rates and are shorter in size. Linguistically distant mothers are also less likely to know about the oral rehydration product for treating children with diarrhoea.
    Keywords: ethnic distance, linguistic distance, linguistic diversity, ethnic inequality, child mortality, African development, health inequalities
    JEL: I14 O10 O15 Z10 Z13
    Date: 2017–11
  9. By: Hoddinott, John F.; Mekasha, Tseday J.
    Abstract: We examine the impact of a social protection program, Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP), on household size and the factors that cause household size to change: fertility, child fosterage, and in and out migration related to work and marriage. Participation in the PSNP leads to an increase in household size of 0.3 members. PSNP participation lowers fertility by 7.6 to 9.9 percentage points. The increase in household size arises from an increase in the number of girls aged 12 to 18 years. We present suggestive evidence that this occurs because the PSNP causes households to delay marrying out adolescent females.
    Keywords: fertility; marriage; sociology
    Date: 2017
  10. By: Hirvonen, Kalle; Bossuyt, Anne; Pigois, Remy
    Abstract: Social protection policies typically involve multiple sectors, ranging from food security to health care. Despite this, limited research is directed toward understanding how different social protection programs complement each other. In this study, we explore complementarities between three major national social protection programs in rural Ethiopia: the Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP), the Health Fee Waiver (HFW) system, and the Community Based Health Insurance (CBHI) in the Ethiopian highlands (Amhara, Oromia, SNNP, and Tigray regions).
    Keywords: food security; health policies; social policies; health services; health insurance; rural communities; low income groups
    Date: 2017

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