nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2018‒01‒29
twelve papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Tony Atkinson and his legacy By Rolf Aaberge; François Bourguignon; Andrea Brandolini; Francisco H. G. Ferreira; Janet C. Gornick; John Hills; Markus Jäntti; Stephen P. Jenkins; Eric Marlier; John Micklewright; Brian Nolan; Thomas Piketty; Walter J. Radermacher; Timothy M. Smeeding; Nicholas H. Stern; Joseph Stiglitz; Holly Sutherland
  2. Are Poor Individuals Mainly Found in Poor Households? Evidence using Nutrition Data for Africa By Caitlin S. Brown; Martin Ravallion; Dominique van de Walle
  3. The Political Boundaries of Ethnic Divisions By Bazzi, Samuel; Gudgeon, Matthew
  4. Selective mortality and undernutrition in low- and middle-income countries By Kenneth Harttgen; Stefan Lang; Johannes Seiler
  5. Returns to Education and Female Participation Nexus: Evidence from India By Kanjilal-Bhaduri, Sanghamitra; Pastore, Francesco
  6. Bribery, democracy and their impact on governance and welfare: The case of rural India By Raghbendra Jha; Hari K Nagarajan; Anirudh Tagat
  7. Women’s Empowerment, the Gender Gap in Desired Fertility, and Fertility Outcomes in Developing Countries By Matthias Doepke; Michèle Tertilt
  8. Economic and Health Impacts of the 2011 Post-Electoral Crisis in Côte d?Ivoire: Evidence from Microdata By TENIKUE Michel; TEQUAME Miron
  9. The economic impacts of a social pension on recipient households with unequal access to markets in Uganda By Kuss, Maria Klara; Llewellin, Patrick; Gassmann, Franziska
  10. Transitions Between Informal and Formal Employment Results from a Worker Survey in Bangladesh By Italo A. Gutierrez; Krishna B. Kumar; Minhaj Mahmud; Farzana Munshi; Shanthi Nataraj
  11. Birth and Employment Transitions of Women in Turkey: Conflicting or Compatible Roles? By Ayse Abbasoglu Ozgoren; Banu Ergocmen; Aysit Tansel
  12. Does Informal Employment Respond to Growth Opportunities? Trade-Based Evidence from Bangladesh By Prodyumna Goutam; Italo A. Gutierrez; Krishna B. Kumar; Shanthi Nataraj

  1. By: Rolf Aaberge (Statistics Norway); François Bourguignon; Andrea Brandolini; Francisco H. G. Ferreira; Janet C. Gornick; John Hills; Markus Jäntti; Stephen P. Jenkins; Eric Marlier; John Micklewright; Brian Nolan; Thomas Piketty; Walter J. Radermacher; Timothy M. Smeeding; Nicholas H. Stern; Joseph Stiglitz; Holly Sutherland
    Abstract: Tony Atkinson is universally celebrated for his outstanding contributions to the measurement and analysis of inequality, but he never saw the study of inequality as a separate branch of economics. He was an economist in the classical sense, rejecting any sub-field labelling of his interests and expertise, and he made contributions right across economics. His death on 1 January 2017 deprived the world of both an intellectual giant and a deeply committed public servant in the broadest sense of the term. This collective tribute highlights the range, depth and importance of Tony’s enormous legacy, the product of over fifty years’ work.
    Date: 2017–08
  2. By: Caitlin S. Brown; Martin Ravallion; Dominique van de Walle
    Abstract: Antipoverty policies assume that targeting poor households suffices in reaching poor individuals. We question this assumption. Our comprehensive assessment for sub-Saharan Africa reveals that undernourished women and children are spread widely across the household wealth and consumption distributions. Roughly three-quarters of underweight women and undernourished children are not found in the poorest 20% of households, and around half are not found in the poorest 40%. Countries with higher undernutrition tend to have higher shares of undernourished individuals in non-poor households. The results are consistent with intra-household inequality but other factors also appear to be at work including common health risks.
    JEL: I14 I32 I38
    Date: 2017–11
  3. By: Bazzi, Samuel; Gudgeon, Matthew
    Abstract: Policymakers in diverse countries face the persistent challenge of managing ethnic divisions. We argue that redrawing subnational political boundaries can fundamentally reshape these divisions. We use a natural policy experiment in Indonesia to show that changes in the political relevance of ethnic divisions have significant effects on conflict in the short- to medium-run. While redistricting along group lines can increase social stability, these gains are undone and even reversed in newly polarized units. Electoral democracy further amplifies these effects given the large returns to initial control of newly created local governments in settings with ethnic favoritism. Overall, our findings show that the ethnic divisions underlying widely-used diversity measures are neither fixed nor exogenous and instead depend on the political boundaries within which groups are organized. These results illustrate the promise and pitfalls of redistricting policy in diverse countries where it is not feasible for each group to have its own administrative unit.
    Keywords: conflict; Decentralization; Ethnic Divisions; Polarization; Political Boundaries
    JEL: D72 D74 H41 H77 O13 Q34
    Date: 2018–01
  4. By: Kenneth Harttgen; Stefan Lang; Johannes Seiler
    Abstract: Anthropometric indicators, in particular the height for a particular age, are found to be lowest in South Asia compared to other geopolitical regions. However, despite the close relationship between undernutrition and mortality rates, the highest mortality rates are concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa. By accounting for this survival bias, i.e. selective mortality, this discrepancy between the undernutrition rates between South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa should be expected to decrease. In addition, one can also ask whether undernutrition rates would differ without selective mortality. Using data stemming from six waves of Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), we assess the impact of selective mortality on the anthropometric indicators for the children's height-for-age (stunting), weight-for-age (underweight), and weight-for-height (wasting) for a global sample of low and middle income countries between 1991 and 2015. Taking advantage of a matching approach, the effect of selective mortality for a cross-section of 35 developing countries is analysed. This approach allows values, originally stemming from non-deceased children, to be assigned for the otherwise non-observed anthropometric indicators of deceased children. These values are imputed under the counterfactual scenario that these deceased children would still be alive. The results are twofold: First, this approach reveals that the imputed values for deceased children for stunting, underweight, and wasting are significantly lower compared to the observed anthropometric indicators. Second, the difference between the observed anthropometric indicators, and the constructed overall anthropometric indicators are found to be only of negligible magnitude. Only assuming high mortality rates, or imputing the lower bound considered by the WHO as cutoffs for outliers, would alter the second finding.
    Keywords: Child mortality, Undernutrition, Selective Mortality, Asia, Latin America, SSA.
    JEL: I15 I32 J13
    Date: 2017–12
  5. By: Kanjilal-Bhaduri, Sanghamitra (University of Calcutta); Pastore, Francesco (Università della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli)
    Abstract: In this paper, we make an attempt to understand whether low labour market returns to education in India are responsible for low female work participation. The National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) Employment Unemployment Survey (EUS) unit level data of India for the year 2011–12 is used to examine the relationship between educational attainment and labour market participation through gender lens. Results show that women's education has a U-shaped relationship with paid work participation. The probability to participate in the paid labour market shows an increasing trend with education levels higher than compulsory secondary schooling. The labour market returns to education are insignificant and low for lower levels of education. The returns increase significantly along with the increase in educational levels. However, females have a significant lower rate of return for each year of education as compared to men in rural and urban labour markets as well. Though it has been said that increase in female enrolment in schooling is one of the reasons of the recent declining phenomenon of female participation, but our study shows that the low returns to education is another reason for their less participation. The findings therefore suggest that, women need to be educated above secondary level to become visible in the labour market.
    Keywords: female labour force participation, market returns to education, development, India
    JEL: J16 J21 J82 O12 O15
    Date: 2017–12
  6. By: Raghbendra Jha; Hari K Nagarajan; Anirudh Tagat
    Abstract: Participation in welfare programs, administered by local government (Panchayats) is a significant source of consumption expenditure for households in rural India. In the context of imperfect local governance, we hypothesize that access to such programs may be limited, thus creating incentives for households to bribe in order to gain access. Using a 10-year panel dataset, we jointly estimate determinants of bribes, participation in welfare programs, and consequent change in economic welfare of households. We show that bribing does improve program participation and thence private consumption. Factors such as deepening democracy and increased fiscal buoyancy improve the quality of governance and increase the rate of participation in welfare programs and reduce the incidence of bribes.
    Keywords: corruption, democratization, decentralization, rural development
    JEL: D63 D73 H11 O12
    Date: 2017
  7. By: Matthias Doepke (Northwestern University); Michèle Tertilt (Universität Mannheim)
    Abstract: We document evidence on preferences for childbearing in developing countries. Across countries, men usually desire larger families than women do. Within countries, we find wide dispersion in spouses’ desired fertility: there are many couples whose ideal family size differs by five children or more. This disagreement between spouses suggests that the extent to which women are empowered should matter for fertility choices. We point to evidence at both the macro and micro levels that this is indeed the case. We conclude that taking account of household bargaining and women’s empowerment in analyses of fertility is an important challenge for research.
    Keywords: women's empowerment, desired fertility, marital bargaining
    JEL: J12 J13 J16 O10
    Date: 2018–01
  8. By: TENIKUE Michel; TEQUAME Miron
    Abstract: Past studies have shown that income shocks can trigger women to embark on commercial sex. This paper studies some microeconomic effects of the Cote d?Ivoire?s political instability in 2011 after the presidential election. We use a unique dataset, collected right before and after the crisis, on individuals sampled in health centers, which, coupled with biomarkers on HIV, allows to evaluate the consequences of the conflict. We first use subjective measures of exposure to document the entity of the crisis. We then analyze the consequence of the crisis on income and consumption during and right after the crisis. We show that individuals engage in transactional sex to make up for income loss. In particular, women who are young, unmarried and without a stable source of income increased their number of sexual partners by 26% and received 44% higher amounts of transfers right after the crisis. In the same line, we also find that the incidence of HIV grew to around 1.2% for women and 0.8% for men in conflict-intensive regions.
    Keywords: HIV/AIDS; Sexual Behavior; Conflict; Income Shock
    JEL: D70 D74
    Date: 2018–01
  9. By: Kuss, Maria Klara (UNU-MERIT); Llewellin, Patrick (Maxwell Stamp PLC); Gassmann, Franziska (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the differences in the economic impacts of social cash transfers (SCT) on recipients in remote and integrated areas. Using a mixed methods-research design and the case of Uganda's Senior Citizens Grant (SCG), the paper confirms that structural circumstances (such as market access) shape the economic outcomes of cash transfers for recipients. The findings of our case study show that there are vital differences in the dominant function of the SCG between recipient households living in areas with unequal structural circumstances. Recipient households in integrated areas are more likely to exploit the promotive potential of SCTs, while recipient households in remote areas utilise the SCT in a more protective manner. However, the findings also indicate that at times even recipient households in integrated areas are unable to tap into the promotive potential of SCTs given the limitations associated with their age and fragility.
    Keywords: Cash transfers, social pension, market access, livelihood outcomes, Uganda
    JEL: H53 H55 I38
    Date: 2018–01–24
  10. By: Italo A. Gutierrez; Krishna B. Kumar; Minhaj Mahmud; Farzana Munshi; Shanthi Nataraj
    Abstract: We document transitions between different types of formal and informal employment using retrospective job histories from a new survey of 2,000 workers in two metropolitan areas of Bangladesh. We find that workers transitioning between jobs are most likely to remain in the same type of employment, but that there is substantial churn across employment types. Private wage employees are most likely to transition to a new job, and the observed changes in earnings and job benefits provide evidence of upward mobility. Nevertheless, we also find a non-trivial risk of downward mobility, especially for those transitioning into casual employment, which has the lowest level of earnings and benefits and the highest levels of exposure to workplace hazards and violence. Our results also suggest that self-employment is not always an activity of last resort. 30% of workers who leave private employment move to self-employment; among these workers, many quit voluntarily, and most report that they prefer it to wage employment. Overall, our findings suggest that there are elements of informal employment consistent with both the traditional view that it is a segmented portion of the labor market with few prospects of upward mobility, and the alternative view that it is a dynamic, entrepreneurial alternative to wage employment.
    Date: 2017–07
  11. By: Ayse Abbasoglu Ozgoren (Department of Demography, Hacettepe University Institute of Population Studies); Banu Ergocmen (Department of Demography, Hacettepe University Institute of Population Studies); Aysit Tansel (Department of Economics, Middle East Technical University, IZA (Germany) and ERF (Egypt))
    Abstract: The relationship between fertility and employment among women is a challenging topic that requires further exploration, especially for developing countries where the micro and macro evidence fails to paint a clear picture. This study analyzes the two-way relationship between women’s employment and fertility in Turkey using a hazard approach with piece-wise constant exponential modelling, using data from the 2008 Turkey Demographic and Health Survey. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study that makes use of an event history analysis to analyze this relationship within a developing country context. Specifically, a separate analysis is made of the association between the employment statuses of women in their first, second, third, and fourth and higher order conceptions, and the association of fertility and its various dimensions with entry and exit from employment. The findings suggest that a two-way negative association exists between fertility and employment among women in Turkey, with increasing intensities identified among some groups of women. Our findings also cast light on how contextual changes related to the incompatibility of the roles of worker and mother have transformed the fertility-employment relationship in Turkey, in line with propositions of the role incompatibility hypothesis.
    Keywords: Fertility, Employment, Women, Event History Analysis, Turkey.
    JEL: C41 J13 J16
    Date: 2018–01
  12. By: Prodyumna Goutam; Italo A. Gutierrez; Krishna B. Kumar; Shanthi Nataraj
    Abstract: Informal employment accounts for the majority of employment in many developing countries, yet its relevance to growth, and its links with the formal sector, remain poorly understood. A widely held view is that informality eventually gives way to formality as countries develop. In this paper, we examine the effects of growth opportunities — in the form of export-induced demand in Bangladesh — on four types of employment: formal, casual, unpaid, and self-employment. At an aggregate level, export-induced demand increases the levels of all four types of employment. We also conduct a district-level analysis, constructing a shift-share measure of trade exposure that relies on national, industry-level variation in exports, coupled with pre-existing, district-level shares of employment by industry. We find that the direct impact of trade is to increase labor force participation and formal employment. When we also include the indirect impacts of trade, in the form of induced demand through supply chain linkages, we find an even larger impact on labor force participation. The results also suggest that trade triggers an immediate increase in both formal and casual employment, as well as a longer-run increase in self-employment. We conclude that labor response to growth opportunities such as trade is not limited to formal employment, and a more nuanced understanding of informality in the growth process is needed.
    Date: 2017–07

This nep-dev issue is ©2018 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.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.