nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2017‒12‒18
ten papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. The Long-run Effects of Agricultural Productivity on Conflict, 1400-1900 By Murat Iyigun; Nathan Nunn; Nancy Qian
  2. Active labour market programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean evidence from a meta analysis By Escudero, Verónica.; Kluve, Jochen.; López Moureloc, Elva.; Pignatti, Elva.
  3. Human Capital, Labor Market Outcomes and Horizontal Inequality in Guatemala By Carla Canelas; Rachel Gisselquist
  4. Copying informal Institutions: The role of British colonial officers during the decolonization of British Africa By Valentin Seidler
  5. The Labor Market Effects of an Educational Expansion. A Theoretical Model with Applications to Brazil By David Jose Jaume
  6. To the Victor Belongs the Spoils? Party Membership and Public Sector Employment in Brazil By Brollo, Fernanda; Forquesato, Pedro; Gozzi, Juan Carlos
  7. Intergenerational Effects of Improving Women's Property Rights: Evidence from India By Nayana Bose; Shreyasee Das
  8. Foreign aid and asylum immigration. Does development matter? By Marina Murat
  9. Private Health Investments under Competing Risks: Evidence from Malaria Control in Senegal By Pauline Rossi; Paola Villar
  10. The Impact of the Action Plan For Promoting Employment and Combating Unemployment on Employment Informality in Algeria By Ali Souag; Ragui Assaad

  1. By: Murat Iyigun; Nathan Nunn; Nancy Qian
    Abstract: This paper provides evidence of the long-run effects of a permanent increase in agricultural productivity on conflict. We construct a newly digitized and geo-referenced dataset of battles in Europe, the Near East and North Africa covering the period between 1400 and 1900 CE. For variation in permanent improvements in agricultural productivity, we exploit the introduction of potatoes from the Americas to the Old World after the Columbian Exchange. We find that the introduction of potatoes permanently reduced conflict for roughly two centuries. The results are driven by a reduction in civil conflicts.
    JEL: D74 O13 Q34
    Date: 2017–11
  2. By: Escudero, Verónica.; Kluve, Jochen.; López Moureloc, Elva.; Pignatti, Elva.
    Abstract: We present a systematic collection and assessment of impact evaluations of active labour market programmes (ALMP) in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The paper delineates the strategy to compile a novel meta database and provides a narrative review of 51 studies. Based on these studies,the quantitative analysis extracts a sample of 296 impact estimates, and uses meta regression models to analyse systematic patterns in the data. In addition to analysing earnings and employment outcomes as in previous meta analyses, we also code and investigate measures of job quality, such as the effects on hours worked and formality. We find that ALMPs in LAC are particularly effective in increasing the probability of having a formal job, compared to other outcomes. Our results also show that training programmes are slightly more effective than other types of interventions. Moreover, when looking at the sample of training programmes alone, we observe that formal employment is also the outcome category that is most likely to be impacted positively by these programmes. In terms of targeting, we find that ALMPs in the region work better for women than for men, and for youth compared to prime age workers. Finally, medium-run estimates are not more likely to be positive than short-run estimates,while programmes of short duration (4 months or less) are significantly less likely to produce positive effects compared to longer interventions.
    Keywords: descriptor 1, descriptor 2, descriptor 3, descriptor 4
    Date: 2017
  3. By: Carla Canelas (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Rachel Gisselquist (UNU-WIDER - United Nations University-Word Institut for Development Economic Research)
    Abstract: With the second largest indigenous population by percentage in Latin America, Guatemala is an important case for understanding horizontal inequality and indigenous politics. This paper presents new analysis of survey data, allowing for consideration both of indigenous and ladino populations, as well as of ethno-linguistic diversity within the indigenous population. Overall, our analysis illustrates both the depth and persistence of horizontal inequalities in educational and labour market outcomes, and a broad trend towards greater equality. Earnings gaps have been reduced by, among other factors, improved educational outcomes. Ethnic groups also show distinct patterns of wages and wage gaps, and there is evidence of a ‘sticky floor’ effect at the lower ends of the income spectrum affecting some groups more than others. Our findings suggest that the focus on the indigenous/non-indigenous divide found in much of the economic literature on Latin America obscures meaningful diversity within the indigenous population. We posit that further consideration of such within-group diversity has implications for broader theories of ethnic politics, and in particular for understanding the comparative weakness of indigenous political mobilisation in Guatemala at the national level.
    Abstract: Avec la deuxième population indigène en pourcentage en Amérique Latine, le Guatemala est un cas important pour comprendre les inégalités horizontales et les politiques autochtones. Cet article présente une analyse nouvelle des données d'enquête, en tenant compte de la population indigène et ladino, ainsi que de la diversité ethnolinguistique au sein de la population indigène. Dans l'ensemble, notre analyse illustre à la fois la profondeur et la persistance des inégalités horizontales dans les résultats de l'éducation et du marché du travail et une large tendance à une plus grande égalité. Les écarts de revenue ont été réduits, entre autres facteurs, par des résultats scolaires améliorés. Les différents groupes ethniques montrent également des profils distincts de salaires et d'écarts de salaire, et il existe des signes d'un effet de « sol collant » aux extrémités inférieures du spectre du revenu affectant certains groupes plus que d'autres. Nos résultats suggèrent que l'accent mis sur la fracture indigène / non indigène trouvée dans une grande partie de la littérature économique en Amérique Latine obscurcit une diversité significative au sein de la population indigène. Nous postulons que l'examen approfondi d'une telle diversité dans le groupe ait des implications pour des théories plus larges de la politique ethnique et, en particulier, pour comprendre la faiblesse comparative de la mobilisation politique indigène au Guatemala au niveau national.
    Keywords: inequality,ethnicity,schooling,earnings,inégalité,ethnicité,scolarité,gains,Guatemala
    Date: 2017–10
  4. By: Valentin Seidler (University of Warwick (Visiting Fellow 2016/17))
    Abstract: Institutional reforms in developing countries often involve copying institutions from developed countries. Such institutional copying is likely to fail, if formal institutions alone are copied without the informal institutions on which they rest in the originating country. This paper investigates the role of human actors in copying informal institutions. At independence, all British African colonies imported the same institution intended to safeguard the political neutrality of their civil services. While the necessary formal provisions were copied into the constitutions of all African colonies, the extent to which they were put into practice varies. The paper investigates the connection between the variation in the legal practice and the presence of British colonial officers after independence. A natural experiment around compensation payments to British officers explains the variation in the number of officers who remained in service after independence. Interviews with retired officers suggest that the extended presence of British personnel promoted the acceptance of imported British institutions among local colleagues.
    Keywords: JEL Classification:
    Date: 2017
  5. By: David Jose Jaume
    Abstract: Most countries are rapidly increasing the educational attainment of their workforce. This paper develops a novel framework to study, theoretically and empirically, the effects of an educational expansion on the occupational structure of employment and distinct aspects of the wage distributionâwage levels, wage gaps, and poverty and inequality indicatorsâwith an application to Brazil. I proceed in three steps. First, I provide some stylized facts of the Brazilian economy between 1995 and 2014: A large educational expansion took place; the occupational structure of employment remained surprisingly fixed; workers of all educational groupsâprimary or less, secondary, and universityâwere increasingly employed in occupations of lower ranking as measured by average wages over the period; and wages of primary educated workers increased while wages of more educated workers declined, bringing forth reductions in poverty and inequality. Second, I build a model that traces these heterogeneous patterns of occupations and wages to the educational expansion. The model assigns workers with three levels of education to a continuum of occupations that vary in complexity and are combined to produce a final good. I investigate three different policy experiments: An increase in university level, an increase in secondary level, and a simultaneous increase in both. The predicted effects depend on the policy analyzed. Considering the educational expansion that took place in Brazil (simultaneous increases in university and secondary levels), the model predicts qualitatively all the observed labor market changes in the occupational structure of employment and the wage distribution. Finally, I calibrate the model with the data from 1995 and show that, through its lens, the observed educational expansion in Brazil explains 66 percent of the occupational downgrading and around 80 percent of the changes in wage levels, inequality, and poverty during the period of 1995-2014.
    JEL: I25 J24 O15
    Date: 2017–11–21
  6. By: Brollo, Fernanda (University of Warwick, CAGE and CEPR); Forquesato, Pedro (PUC-Rio); Gozzi, Juan Carlos (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: We analyze how political discretion affects the selection of government workers, using individual-level data on political party membership and matched employer-employee data on the universe of formal workers in Brazil. Exploiting close mayoral races, we find that winning an election leads to an increase of over 40% in the number of members of the winning party working in the municipal bureaucracy. Employment of members of the ruling party increases relatively more in senior positions, but also expands in lower-ranked jobs, suggesting that discretionary appointments are used both to influence policymaking and to reward supporters. We find that party members hired after their party is elected tend be of similar or even higher quality than members of the runner-up party, contrary to common perceptions that political appointees are less qualified. Moreover, the increased public employment of members of the ruling party is long-lasting, extending beyond the end of the mayoral term.
    Keywords: bureaucracy, patronage, political parties, public sector employment JEL Classification: D72, D73, H70, J45
    Date: 2017
  7. By: Nayana Bose (Department of Economics, Scripps College, Claremont); Shreyasee Das (Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin - Whitewater)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the intergenerational effects following the positive changes in women’s inheritance rights. The amendment to the Hindu Succession Act, the law governing inheritance for Hindus, empowered unmarried daughters at the time of the reform to have equal rights to inherit ancestral property as their brothers. We employ a difference-in-differences strategy and exploit the state level variation in a woman’s exposure to the reform. Using the Indian Human Development Survey data for rural India, we find that the property rights reform significantly increased women’s education. We find a significant decrease in her sons’ education, the effect is magnified in households where fathers are less educated than mothers. We further explore the role of birth order and the gender composition of children to assess the intergenerational impact of this more gender equal inheritance law. Regardless of the child’s gender, our results show a significant decrease in educational attainment for younger children.
    Keywords: Property Rights, Hindu Inheritance Law, Education, Intergenerational Transfers, India
    JEL: D13 I25 J16 K36 O12
    Date: 2017–11
  8. By: Marina Murat
    Abstract: This paper tests the influence of aid from rich to developing economies on bilateral asylum inflows. Results show that aid effects on asylum applications are significant, but vary with the level of development of the recipient country. Aid to poor economies – especially in Sub-Saharan Africa – deters asylum inflows, while aid to medium-income developing countries attracts asylum seekers. Aid leads to negative spillovers on applications across donors. At the same time, foreign aid has no incidence on voluntary immigration. Overall, the deterring effects of aid on inflows from poor countries are stronger when transfers are coordinated across donors and are made conditional on economic and institutional improvements in the recipient economy.
    Keywords: foreign aid, asylum seekers and refugees, development
    JEL: F35 F22 J15
    Date: 2017–12
  9. By: Pauline Rossi (UvA - University of Amsterdam [Amsterdam]); Paola Villar (INED - Institut national d'études démographiques, 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)
    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 Dow et al. (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 with non-malarious regions, at the extensive and intensive margins, and both in level and in composition. The same result holds for parental health-seeking behavior 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 healthcare or child morbidity between malarious and non-malarious regions. Our results suggest that behavioral responses to anti-malaria campaigns magnify their impact on all-cause mortality for children.
    Keywords: Health expenses,Malaria,Africa,Human capital,Competing risks
    Date: 2017–11
  10. By: Ali Souag (University of Mascara, CREAD, University Paris Est Creteil, ERUDITE); Ragui Assaad
    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.
    Date: 2017–06–12

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