nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2018‒01‒22
nine papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Global Inequality when Unequal Countries Create Unequal People By Martin Ravallion
  2. The donation response to natural disasters By Sarah Smith; Mark Ottoni-Wilhelm; Kimberley Scharf
  3. Foreign Aid Concentration and Natural Disasters By Subhani Keerthiratne; Richard S.J. Tol
  4. Determinants and Impact of Households’s Out-of-Pocket Health Care Expenditure in Sudan: Evidence From Urban and Rural Population By Ebaidalla Mahjoub Ebaidalla; Mohammed Elhaj Mustafa Ali
  5. Who benefits from free health insurance: evidence from Mexico By Gabriella Conti; Rita Ginja
  6. Regional Inequalities in Child Malnutrition in Egypt, Jordan and Yemen: A Blinder-Oaxaca Decomposition Analysis By Mesbah Sharaf; Ahmed Rashad
  7. Food Consumption Patterns and Nutrition Disparity in Pakistan By Haider, Adnan; Zaidi, Masroor
  8. Migration and Co-Residence Choices: Evidence from Mexico By Bertoli, Simone; Murard, Elie
  9. Optimal Cash Transfers with Distribution Regressions: An Application to Egypt at the Dawn of the XXIst Century By Christophe Muller

  1. By: Martin Ravallion
    Abstract: Current global inequality measures assume that national-mean income does not matter to economic welfare at given household income, as measured in surveys. The paper questions that assumption on theoretical and empirical grounds and finds that prominent stylized facts about global inequality are not robust. At one extreme, theories of relative deprivation yield a nationalistic measure whereby global inequality is average within-country inequality, which is rising. Other theories and evidence point instead to an intrinsic value to living in a richer country. Then parameter values consistent with subjective wellbeing imply far higher global inequality than prevailing measures, though falling since 1990.
    JEL: D3 D6 I3 O15
    Date: 2017–12
  2. By: Sarah Smith (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Bristol); Mark Ottoni-Wilhelm (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Kimberley Scharf (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Warwick)
    Abstract: Natural disasters, such as the 2004 East Asian Tsunami, attract a high level of donations. Previous literature has shown that the scale of the disaster is important in driving the aid response, but there are inconsistent findings on whether the number killed or the number affected matters more. In this paper we discuss a number of issues in linking measures of the scale of a disaster to the aid response, particularly taking account of outliers in both scale of disaster and aid. We show that a log-specification is preferred and that this specification can reconcile findings based on different datasets. Both the number killed and the number affected matter equally for whether aid is given; the number killed is more strongly related to the magnitude of the aid response. We also present new evidence confirming the importance of publicity for disasters, focusing on appeals.
    Date: 2017–10–04
  3. By: Subhani Keerthiratne (Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Colombo); Richard S.J. Tol (Department of Economics, University of Sussex; Department of Spatial Economics, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam; Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam; Tinbergen Institute, Amsterdam; CESifo, Munich)
    Abstract: We examine the impact of natural disasters on the concentration of development aid, using country-level panel data. Employed disaster indices are purely based on physical intensities of disasters, thus overcome the common issue of endogeneity in natural disaster data. Countries receive more disaster-related foreign aid in the aftermath of natural catastrophes. Beyond that, natural disasters lead to a diversification of types of aid received and a diversification of the number of donors. This is true in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, and continues long after. Our findings are robust to additional controls, alternative estimators, measures and data. The literature on the fragmentation of aid shows that, typically, aid is less effective in promoting economic development when it comes from many sources and is spread over many programmes. The paper thus shows that, besides the negative effect on economic growth, natural disasters also have a negative impact on development aid.
    Keywords: natural disasters; foreign aid
    JEL: F35 Q54
    Date: 2018–01
  4. By: Ebaidalla Mahjoub Ebaidalla (University of Khartoum); Mohammed Elhaj Mustafa Ali
    Abstract: This study examines the determinants of out of pocket (OOP) health expenditures and the factors that associated with the risk of catastrophic health expenditure in Sudan. It also investigates the effect of OOP health expenditure on poverty incidence in the country. The study uses the National Baseline Household Survey (NBHS) data, 2009, for national, urban and rural levels of population. To strengthen the insight of findings, the analysis of OOP expenditure is also executed for different income groups. The results show that factors such as household’s income, incidence of disease, education, household size, number of household’s members over 65 years and below 5 years old are the most important factors affecting health expenditures. The results also indicate that the number of elderly member and children and household belonging to the lowest income quintiles are the most significant variables that increase the risk of incurring catastrophic health expenditures. In addition, the results reveal that a household with catastrophic health expenditure tends to reduce its budget share allocated to education, food and other items. Moreover, the empirical results indicate that health expenditure pushes a considerable portion of Sudanese households into poverty, thus, increases poverty rates in the country. Finally, the paper ends with some recommendations that aim at assisting policymakers in designing an appropriate health system strategy to protect households against the risk of OOP health expenditures and to reduce impoverishment effect when become catastrophic.
    Date: 2017–12–21
  5. By: Gabriella Conti (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London); Rita Ginja (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Bergen)
    Abstract: We present the first comprehensive evidence on the health impacts of the introduction and expansion of a large non-contributory health insurance program in Mexico, the Seguro Popular (SP). SP provided access to health services without co-pays to individuals with no Social Security protection. To identify the impacts of the program we use its staggered rollout across municipalities between 2002 and 2010. Our intent-to-treat estimates show that SP reduced infant mortality by 10% in poor municipalities. We are unable to detect program impacts on mortality for children ages 1-4, adults or elderly. The decline in infant mortality is driven by reductions in deaths due to perinatal conditions, congenital malformations, diarrhea and respiratory infections. Also in poor municipalities, the introduction of SP is associated with an immediate 7% increase in obstetric-related hospital admissions and with a 6% increase in hospital admissions due to diarrhea and respiratory infections among infants. The decline in infant mortality attributed to SP closes 84% of the gap in infant mortality rates between poor and rich Mexican municipalities.
    Keywords: Health Insurance, Child Mortality, Health Care Utilization, Mexico
    Date: 2017–11–02
  6. By: Mesbah Sharaf (University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada); Ahmed Rashad
    Abstract: There is substantial evidence that on average, urban children have better health outcomes than rural children. This paper investigates the underlying factors that account for the regional disparities in child malnutrition in three Arab countries, namely; Egypt, Jordan, and Yemen. We use data on a nationally representative sample from the most recent rounds of the Demographic and Health Survey. A Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition analysis is conducted to decompose the rural-urban differences in child nutrition outcomes into two components; one that is explained by regional differences in the level of the determinants (covariate effects), and another component that is explained by differences in the effect of the determinants on the child nutritional status (coefficient effects). Results show that the under-five stunting rates are 20% in Egypt, 46.5 % in Yemen, and 7.7% in Jordan. The rural- urban gap in child malnutrition was minor in the case of Egypt (2.3%) and Jordan (1.5%), while the regional gap was significant in the case of Yemen (17.7%). Results of the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition show that the covariate effect is dominant in the case of Yemen while the coefficients effect dominates in the case of Jordan. Income inequality between urban and rural households explains most of the malnutrition gap. Results were robust to the different decomposition weighting schemes. By identifying the underlying factors behind the rural- urban health disparities, the findings of this paper help in designing effective intervention measures aimed at reducing regional inequalities and improving population health outcomes.
    Date: 2017–12–14
  7. By: Haider, Adnan; Zaidi, Masroor
    Abstract: The study examines the changes in household consumption patterns in Pakistan based on eleven composite food groups. The analysis is based on micro level survey dataset, Household Income Expenditure Survey (HIES) with seven consecutive rounds spanning over the period 2000-01 till 2013-14. Along with differences in consumption and calorie bundles, variations in household’s response to change in prices and income have also been estimated. Empirical results based on Quadratic Almost Ideal Demand System (QUAIDS) support the hypothesis that food consumption patterns are not only different across regions but are also different among provinces. Despite the increase in availability of food items and increased per capita income, average calories intake per adult equivalent in the country is still less than 2350 Kcal benchmark. It is estimated that, thirty percent of children under age 5 are underweight, forty-five percent are stunted, eleven percent are wasted and thirty percent are underweighted. The overall scenario may increase vulnerability to poverty, countrywide disease burdens and lower productivity.
    Keywords: Food Consumption Patterns; QUAIDS; Non-linear Engel Curves; Elasticities
    JEL: C31 I12 O12 Q11
    Date: 2017–12–20
  8. By: Bertoli, Simone (CERDI, University of Auvergne); Murard, Elie (IZA)
    Abstract: Household composition is traditionally regarded as exogenous in economic analyses. The migration literature typically assumes that the migration of a household member is not associated with further variations in co-residence choices. We rely on a large Mexican panel survey to provide novel evidence on the correlation between the occurrence of an international migration episode and additional changes in household composition. Migrant households have a 34.5 percent higher probability of receiving a new member within one year after the migration episode. Attrition is significantly higher among migrant households, and we provide suggestive evidence that this is due to the dissolution of the household of origin of the migrant, with all its members left behind joining another household. The endogeneity of co-residence choices has implications for survey-based measurement of migration flows, for the analysis of selection into migration, and for the effects of migration on the individuals left behind.
    Keywords: international migration, household composition, gender, remittances
    JEL: F22 J12
    Date: 2017–11
  9. By: Christophe Muller (Aix-Marseille Univ. (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), CNRS, EHESS and Centrale Marseille)
    Abstract: Social programmes for poverty alleviation involve eligibility rules and transfer rules that often proxy-means tests. We propose to specify the estimator in connection with the poverty alleviation problem. Three distinct stages emerge from the optimization analysis: the identification of the poor, the ranking of their priorities and the calculus of the optimal transfer amount. These stages are implemented simultaneous by using diverse distribution regression methods to generate fitted-values of living standards plugged into the poverty minimization programme to obtain the transfer amounts. We apply these methods to Egypt in 2013. Recentered Influence Function (RIF) regressions focusing on the poor correspond to the most efficient transfer scheme. Most of the efficiency gain is obtained by making transfer amounts varying across beneficiaries rather than by varying estimation methods. Using RIF regressions instead of quantile regressions delivers only marginal poverty alleviation, although it allows for substantial reduction of the exclusion of the poor.
    Keywords: targeting, poverty, optimizing estimator
    JEL: I32 C21 C54
    Date: 2018–01

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