nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2018‒01‒08
eight papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Fertility, Household Size and Poverty in Nepal By François Libois; Vincent Somville
  2. Social Protection and Access to Health Care among Children in the Philippines By Abrigo, Michael R.M.; Paqueo, Vicente B.
  3. Violence, Psychological Stress and Educational Performance during the “War on Drugs†in Mexico By Maren M. Michaelsen; Paola Salardi
  4. Female Genital Mutilation And Migration In Mali. Do Migrants Transfer Social Norms? By Idrissa Diabate; Sandrine Mesplé-Somps
  5. Informal versus Formal: A Panel Data Analysis of Earnings Gaps in Madagascar By Christophe Jalil Nordman; Faly Rakotomanana; François Roubaud
  6. Impacts of Large Scale Foreign Land Acquisitions on Rural Households: Evidence from Ethiopia By Emma Aisbett; Giulia Barbanente
  7. Micro-Foundations of Fragility: Concepts, Measurement and Application By Baliki, Ghassan; Brück, Tilman; Ferguson, Neil T.N.; Kebede, Sindu W.
  8. Does Information Empower the Poor? Evidence from Indonesia's Social Security Card By Tohari, Achmad; Parsons, Christopher; Rammohan, Anu

  1. By: François Libois (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, CRED - Centre de Recherche en Economie du Developpement - Facultés Universitaires Notre Dame de la Paix (FUNDP) - Namur); Vincent Somville (Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration - Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, Chr. Michelsen Institute)
    Abstract: Population control policies keep attracting attention: by increasing the household size, having more children would directly contribute to a household’s poverty. Using nationally representative household level data from Nepal, we investigate the links between a household’s fertility decisions and variations in their size and composition. We show that the relationship between number of births and household size is positive when the mothers are young, but becomes negative as the mothers grow older. Elderly couples who had fewer children host, on average, more relatives who are outside the immediate family unit. This result sheds light on the heterogeneous relation between the number of children and household size over the life cycle. It also implies that reductions in a household’s fertility may have an ambiguous impact on its per capita consumption, which depends on how the household’s composition responds to new births and changes over time: in this sample, an old household’s per capita consumption is not affected by the number of births. We use the gender of the first-born child to instrument the total number of consecutive children.
    Keywords: Fertility,Nepal,Household size,Household composition,Poverty
    Date: 2017–12
  2. By: Abrigo, Michael R.M.; Paqueo, Vicente B.
    Abstract: The Philippines recently introduced two distinct but related large-scale social protection programs that, first, provides conditional cash transfers (CCT) to poor households, and, second, automatically enrolls them into the government's social health insurance program. This has resulted to dramatic increase in health insurance coverage, especially among the poor. In this paper, we empirically assess the joint impact of the two programs on the health-care demand for children. Overall, we find encouraging impacts of social protection on the demand for health-care services. While we find no direct impact on morbidity, our results suggest that the social health insurance and the CCT program jointly were able to induce greater hospital visits for both preventive and curative care, and lower out-of-pocket expenditures. However, we also document possible leakages in the government's programs, as well as potential indication of health-care service differentiation based on quality. Both these concerns may undermine the expected outcomes of the country's social protection programs.
    Keywords: Philippines, social health insurance, CCT, social protection, conditional cash transfer
    Date: 2017
  3. By: Maren M. Michaelsen; Paola Salardi
    Abstract: We provide evidence that violence in Mexico related to the “war on drugs†from 2006-2011 had a significant negative impact on educational performance that is primarily attributable to acute psychological stress among students in the immediate aftermath of local violence. Using geographically and temporally disaggregated data we demonstrate that the largest impacts of violence on educational performance result from homicides committed within the vicinity of schools during the week immediately prior to national standardized tests. This short-term impact increases with geographic proximity and levels of violence, and dramatically exceeds the effects of longer-term violence spread over a full school year.
    Keywords: Violence, Primary Educational Performance, Psychological Stress, Mexico
    JEL: D74 I24 I25 O12
    Date: 2018–01–03
  4. By: Idrissa Diabate (Autre - non renseigné); Sandrine Mesplé-Somps (LEDa - Université Paris Dauphine (Paris 9))
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate how powerful a mechanism migration is in the transmission of socialnorms, taking Mali and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as a case study. Mali has a strong FGMculture and a long-standing history of migration. We use an original household-level database coupledwith census data to analyze the extent to which girls living in villages with high rates of returnmigrants are less prone to FGM. Malians migrate predominantly to other African countries wherefemale circumcision is uncommon (e.g. Côte d’Ivoire) and to countries where FGM is totally banned(France and other developed countries) and where anti-FGM information campaigns frequently targetAfrican migrants. Taking a two-step instrumental variable approach to control for the endogeneity ofmigration decisions, we show that return migrants have a negative and significant influence on FGM.We also show that adults living in villages with return migrants are more in favor of legislation againstFGM.
    Abstract: Dans cet article, nous examinons dans quelle mesure la migration est un vecteur de transferts denormes sociales en étudiant le lien entre migration et excision au Mali. Alors que l’excision estfortement répandue au Mali, ce pays a une forte tradition migratoire vers les pays limitrophes et lespays du Nord où l’excision est soit moins pratiquée soit sanctionnée par la loi. Nous testonsl’hypothèse que les migrants acquièrent des opinions différentes en la matière dans les pays d’accueiloù l’excision est moins fréquente voire interdite et qu’une fois de retour ils induisent un changementde comportement dans leurs villages d’origine. Nous mobilisons une base originale de données surl’excision des filles de 0 à 14 ans couplée avec des données de recensement qui permettent de mesurerles taux de migration (courante et de retour) des villages de résidence des personnes interrogées etmettons en oeuvre une méthode instrumentale pour contrôler de l’endogénéité de la migration. Nousmontrons que les migrants de retour ont effectivement une influence négative et significative sur lerisque d’excision et que ce résultat provient essentiellement des migrants de Côte d’Ivoire. Nousmontrons également que les adultes vivant dans les villages avec des migrants de retour sont plus enfaveur de la législation contre les mutilations génitales.
    Keywords: social transfers,migration,Female Genital Excision,Mali,Excision,transferts sociaux
    Date: 2017–10–16
  5. By: Christophe Jalil Nordman (LEDa - Laboratoire d'Economie de Dauphine - Université Paris-Dauphine); Faly Rakotomanana (INSTAT - INSTAT Madagascar - INSTAT Madagascar); François Roubaud (LEDa - Laboratoire d'Economie de Dauphine - Université Paris-Dauphine)
    Abstract: In spite of its predominant economic weight in developing countries, little is known about informal sector income dynamics vis-à-vis the formal sector. Some works have been done in this field using household surveys, but they only consider some emerging Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico; Gong et al., 2004; Perry et al., 2007; Bargain and Kwenda, 2011) and more recently South Africa, Ghana and Tanzania for Africa (Falco et al., 2010) and Vietnam for Asia (Nguyen et al., 2011). As a matter of consequence, there is still no way to generalize the (diverging) results to very poor part of the developing world. Taking advantage of the rich 1-2-3 Surveys dataset in Madagascar, in particular its four waves panel data (2000, 2001, 2003 and 2004), we assess the magnitude of various formal/informal sector earnings gaps while addressing heterogeneity issues at three different levels: the worker, the job (wage employment vs. selfemployment) and the earnings distribution. The questions asked are the following: Is there an informal sector job earnings penalty? Do some informal sector jobs provide pecuniary premiums? Which ones? Do possible gaps vary along the earnings distribution? Standard earnings equations are estimated at the mean and at various conditional quantiles of the earnings distribution. In particular, we estimate fixed effects quantile regressions to control for unobserved individual characteristics, focusing particularly on heterogeneity within both the formal and informal sector categories. Our results suggest that the informal sector earnings gap highly depends on the workers’ job status and on their relative position in the earnings distribution. Penalties may in some cases turn into premiums. By comparing our results with studies in other developing countries, we draw conclusions highlighting the Madagascar’s labour market specificity.
    Keywords: informal employment,earnings gap,transition matrix,quantile regressions,panel data,Madagascar
    Date: 2017–10–20
  6. By: Emma Aisbett; Giulia Barbanente
    Abstract: The impact of large-scale foreign land acquisitions (“landgrabs”) on rural households in developing countries has proven a highly contentious question in public discourse. Similarly, in the academic literature, "evolutionary" theories of property rights and "enclosure" models make diametrically opposed predictions about the impacts on holders of informal property rights of increased demand for land. The current paper uses a multi-method approach to provide much-needed empirical evidence on the impacts of large-scale land acquisitions in Ethiopia. We use basic economic theory to structure evidence from disparate sources, including: a survey of existing qualitative evidence; original legal analysis of specific foreign land-acquisition contracts; and original econometric analysis of new World Bank household survey data. The evidence from all three methods suggests large-scale foreign land acquisitions are associated with losses of land and resource rights for rural households. While there is some compensating evidence of increased household expenditure, it is difficult to say whether this increase is caused by growth in incomes or in implicit prices.
    Keywords: Ethiopia, large-scale land acquisitions, LSMS-ISA, smallholder farmers, coarsened exact matching
    Date: 2016–11
  7. By: Baliki, Ghassan (Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops); Brück, Tilman (ISDC - International Security and Development Center); Ferguson, Neil T.N. (ISDC - International Security and Development Center); Kebede, Sindu W. (Humboldt University Berlin)
    Abstract: We explore the micro-foundations of fragility by discussing how to measure the exposure to fragility at the individual level. We focus on two notions that are not covered by existing aggregate, state-centric indicators of fragility. First, different individuals may experience fragility very differently. Second, even though a country as a whole may not be "fragile", individuals may be exposed to fragility. This differentiation suggests that the experience of fragility varies not just at national levels but also between districts and between individuals. To test this idea, we propose a "Fragility Exposure Index", which accounts for human security, economic inclusion and social cohesion at the micro-level. We then derive a series of metrics that can be collected in typical household surveys. We test the performance of the Fragility Exposure Index by including a "Fragility Exposure Module" in a household survey in Kenya. Analysis of this data shows that individuals living in rural areas, as well as young and single individuals, exhibit greater exposure to fragility. These findings demonstrate the importance of understanding fragility at the individual level, particularly as it provides the basis to understanding which who would benefit most from pro-stability interventions and to how these interventions perform.
    Keywords: institutions, transition, fragility, households, surveys
    JEL: O12 O17
    Date: 2017–11
  8. By: Tohari, Achmad (University of Western Australia); Parsons, Christopher (University of Western Australia); Rammohan, Anu (University of Western Australia)
    Abstract: In 2013, the Government of Indonesia conducted one of the largest information interventions in histo-ry, in an attempt to further alleviate poverty and as a complement to the Social Protection Card (KPS). Drawing upon administrative data and nationally representative surveys, we evaluate the impact of the information campaign on the receipt of two of Indonesia's largest social programs, the Raskin (rice for the poor) and the BLSM (temporary unconditional cash transfers). Exploiting the design of the Raskin program, we implement a (normalised) fuzzy regression discontinuity methodology across 482 Indonesian districts, using program eligibility as an instrument for having received the information treatment. Further corroborating our results with semi-parametric and parametric techniques, we show that the information treatment increases the amount of rice received under the Raskin program by around 30 percentage points. In terms of the BLSM, we further show that the information treatment reduces the likelihood of elite capture by local leaders by around 25 percentage points. We also provide evidence that understanding the information treatment is crucial for poor household's out-comes, since fully informed households receive their full entitlement of rice.
    Keywords: information, Indonesia, targeting, poverty
    JEL: D04 D73 I32 I38 O12
    Date: 2017–11

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