nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2018‒02‒05
eleven papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Social Structure and Conflict: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa By Jacob Moscona; Nathan Nunn; James A. Robinson
  2. Anonymity of distance? Job search and labour market exclusion in a growing African city By Abebe, Girum; Caria, Stefano; Fafchamps, Marcel; Falco, Paolo; Franklin, Simon; Quinn, Simon
  3. “Leaving, staying or coming back? An analysis of the migration dynamics during the Northern Mali conflict” By Johannes G. Hoogeveen; Maricristina Rossi; Dario Sansone
  4. Matching firms and workers in a field experiment in Ethiopia By Abebe, Girum; Caria, Stefano; Fafchamps, Marcel; Falco, Paolo; Franklin, Simon; Quinn, Simon; Shilpi, Forhad
  5. Poor country, rich history, many lessons: The evolution of wealth-income ratios in India 1860-2012 By Rishabh Kumar
  6. Global financial crisis, credit access and children: Evidence from Tanzania By Abdel-Latif, Hany; Murphy, Phil; Ouattara, Bazoumana
  7. Social cohesion and inequality in South Africa By Anda David; Nathalie Guilbert; Hiroyuki Hino; Murray Leibbrandt; Elnari Potgieter; Muna Shifa
  8. Assessing Hospital Performance in Indonesia: An Application of Frontier Analysis Techniques By Firdaus Hafidz; Tim Ensor; Sandy Tubeuf
  9. Women's Empowerment, the Gender Gap in Desired Fertility, and Fertility Outcomes in Developing Countries By Doepke, Matthias; Tertilt, Michèle
  10. Preschool Attendance, School Progression, and Cognitive Skills in East Africa By Bietenbeck, Jan; Ericsson, Sanna; Wamalwa, Fredrick M.
  11. The gap between rich and poor: South African society's biggest divide depends on where you think you fit in By Tiaan Meiring; Catherine Kannemeyer; Elnari Potgieter

  1. By: Jacob Moscona; Nathan Nunn; James A. Robinson
    Abstract: We test the long-standing hypothesis that ethnic groups that are organized around `segmentary lineages' are more prone to conflict and civil war. Ethnographic accounts suggest that in segmentary lineage societies, which are characterized by strong allegiances to distant relatives, individuals are obligated to come to the defense of fellow lineage members when they become involved in conflicts. As a consequence, small disagreements often escalate to larger-scale conflicts involving many individuals. We test for this link between segmentary lineage and conflict across 145 African ethnic groups in sub-Saharan Africa. Using a number of estimation strategies, including an RD design at ethnic boundaries, we find that segmentary lineage societies experience more conflicts and ones that are longer in duration and larger in scale. We also find that the previously-documented relationship between adverse rainfall shocks and conflict within Africa is only found within segmentary lineage societies.
    JEL: D74 O55 Z1
    Date: 2018–01
  2. By: Abebe, Girum; Caria, Stefano; Fafchamps, Marcel; Falco, Paolo; Franklin, Simon; Quinn, Simon
    Abstract: Do obstacles to job search contribute to labour market exclusion in developing countries? To answer this question, we contrast two very different interventions, designed to alleviate spatial and informational constraints for unemployed youth in a congested African city: a transport subsidy and a job-application workshop. Both treatments have large positive effects on the probability of finding stable and formal jobs. Neither treatment has a significant average effect on the overall probability of employment, but we detect a sizeable increase in earnings and employment rates among the most disadvantaged job-seekers. Our results highlight the importance of job-search constraints as mechanisms for exclusion of the most disadvantaged. They also show that, if targeted well, low-cost interventions can have large impacts, improving equity in the labour market
    JEL: J22 J61 J64 M53 O18
    Date: 2017–10–01
  3. By: Johannes G. Hoogeveen (World Bank); Maricristina Rossi (University of Turin); Dario Sansone (Georgetown University)
    Abstract: This paper uses a unique dataset to analyse the migration dynamics of refugees, returnees and internally displaced people during the Northern Mali conflict. Individuals were interviewed monthly using mobile phones. Our results cast light on the determinants of past and future migration patterns in these groups, their welfare, and household dissolution patterns. In addition to this, we test how employment status, security, and expectations affect the willingness to go back home. The general findings suggest that especially internally displaced people are likely to integrate in the host country and do not show a strong willingness to go back. We find that individuals who were employed were less willing to go back to the North. High educated individuals were less likely to have already returned, while the opposite is true for those whose ethnicity is Songhai, as well as for those who are from Kidal. We also find that higher educated individuals performed better when displaced and in case they decided to return, they were able to find a job more easily.
    Date: 2018–01
  4. By: Abebe, Girum; Caria, Stefano; Fafchamps, Marcel; Falco, Paolo; Franklin, Simon; Quinn, Simon; Shilpi, Forhad
    Abstract: Do matching frictions affect youth employment in developing countries? We organise job fairs in Addis Ababa, to match firms with a representative sample of young, educated job-seekers. We create very few jobs: one for approximately 10 firms that attended. We explore reasons for this, and find significant evidence for mismatched expectations: about wages, about firms requirements and about the average quality of job-seekers. We find evidence of learning and updating of beliefs in the aftermath of the fair. This changes behaviour: both workers and firms invest more in formal job search after the fairs
    Keywords: matching; labour; job-search; firms; recruitment; experiment
    JEL: J22 J24 J61 J64 O18
    Date: 2017–10–01
  5. By: Rishabh Kumar (Department of Economics, California State University)
    Abstract: The evolution and metamorphoses of wealth underpins historical questions of growth and distribution. This article develops new, homogenized series of the wealth-income ratio in India over fifteen transformational decades: from colonial rule after the demise of the Mughals to the contemporary rise of Indian capitalists on a global scale. Over the long run, there were two major waves of wealth accumulation. The first ended around World War II and was characterized by a Ricardian vision - landlords appropriated surplus value under low productivity conditions, benefiting from a large divergence of asset prices relative to consumer price infl ation. Between 1939 and 2012, the Indian wealth-income ratio mimics the U shaped trend observed in other large economies. The second wave (between 1960 and 2012) is partly explained by capital accumulation but price effects consistently dominate large changes in wealth dynamics. Implications for distribution are noteworthy. Upswings of the wealth-income ratio are nearly always accompanied by rising concentration of economic power. Finally, over the last three decades the structure of national wealth favors private wealth over public capital. These ndings underline an important stylized fact: despite large structural differences between rich and emerging countries, wealth-income ratios are rising everywhere in the twenty first century.
    Keywords: India, Growth, Wealth-Income Ratio
    JEL: E10 D30 D31
    Date: 2018–01
  6. By: Abdel-Latif, Hany; Murphy, Phil; Ouattara, Bazoumana
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between the recent global financial crisis and child labour in Tanzania. Using the difference-in-difference methodological framework, we identify households' access to credit as a possible transmission channel of the financial crisis to child labour. Unlike most of the existing studies that employ self-reported shocks, we exploit the incidence of the global crisis as an exogenous shock to compare households that were credit recipients before the crisis with households that were not recipients of credit either prior to the crisis or in its immediate aftermath. To deal with possible bias from the endogeneity of access to credit, this study proposes a new instrument that considers the regional concentration of available micro finance institutions and the number of households' assets. Unlike instruments suggested by the existing literature, our proposed instrument incorporates information on both demand and supply sides of credit access irrespective of whether a household has actually received credit. To avoid the wealth effect which would violate the exogeniety condition, we suggest to count the number of the household's assets no matter how much value they possess. By doing so, our instrument utilizes information on how risk averse a household is and therefore their chances of making a successful loan application. The empirical results reveal that a negative shock on credit-recipient households is associated with a significant increase in child labour in Tanzania.
    Keywords: Global Financial Crisis, Child Labour, Credit Access, Tanzania
    JEL: D13 J43 J81 O15
    Date: 2016–06–15
  7. By: Anda David (Agence Française de Développement); Nathalie Guilbert; Hiroyuki Hino (Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, School of Economics, University of Cape Town); Murray Leibbrandt (Pro-Vice Chancellor, Poverty and Inequality of the University of Cape Town, the Director of SALDRU and the DST/NRF Research Chair on Poverty and Inequality.); Elnari Potgieter (South Africa Reconciliation Barometer, Institute for Justice and Reconciliation); Muna Shifa (Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, School of Economics, University of Cape Town)
    Abstract: We examine recent trends in social cohesion and inequality, and the relationship between the two in South Africa using data from the South African Reconciliation Barometer Surveys. Given that the country's history of long-term racial and socioeconomic segregation, we use the extent of inter-racial interactions as our main approximation of social cohesion. We show that although there is some improvement in the extent of inter-racial interactions over time, even today less than a third of South Africans often or always talk or socialize with someone from a different racial group. We use a multidimensional Living Standards Measure to assess the level of well-being and the level of inequality. Our inequality analysis of this measure indicates that since 2008 both vertical and horizontal (between races) inequality declined significantly. These trends can be attributed to progress made in the provision of basic services (i.e. water, electricity) and ownership of household assets in South Africa. In contrast, when we focus on subjective or perceived inequality, it is clear that large proportions of South Africans (about 70 percent) perceive that the extent of inequality (the gap between the poor and the rich) has not changed much or has even worsened over time. The key finding of our quantitative work is a significant relationship between individuals' perception of inequality and their level of inter-racial interactions. Individuals who perceived that the gap between the rich and the poor is getting worse are less likely to participate in inter-racial socializations, while those who perceived that the gap is getting better are more likely to participate in inter-racial socializations. This finding remains strong and significant even after controlling for the influence of LSM, race, education, trust and other factors. Indeed, a number of these factors are also correlated with higher inter-racial interactions. Individuals who have higher education levels, a higher LSM and a better relative economic position are more likely to be involved in inter-racial socialization. In both the descriptive and multivariate analysis Africans and Whites are shown to have lower levels of inter-racial interactions than Coloureds at all LSM levels. The provincial-level multivariate analysis is able to examine the relationship between a full social cohesion index and inequality in LSMs. These results suggest that vertical inequality in living standards is correlated with the level of social cohesion. Higher inequality may adversely affect social cohesion as it reduces inclusiveness
    Keywords: social cohesion, South Africa, inequality, poverty
    Date: 2018
  8. By: Firdaus Hafidz (Academic Unit of Health Economics, Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, University of Leeds); Tim Ensor (Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, University of Leeds); Sandy Tubeuf (Academic Unit of Health Economics, Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, University of Leeds)
    Abstract: Despite increased national health expenditure in health facilities in Indonesia, health outcomes remain poor. The aim of our study is to examine the factors determining the relative efficiency of hospitals. Using linked national data sources from facility, households, and village-based surveys, we measure the efficiency of 200 hospitals across fifteen provinces in Indonesia with output oriented data envelopment analysis (DEA) and stochastic frontier analysis (SFA). Inputs include the number of doctors, nurses and midwives, other staff, and beds while outputs are the number of outpatient visits and bed-days. We run truncated regression in second stage DEA and one stage SFA analysis to assess contextual characteristics influencing health facilities performance. Our results indicate a wide variation in efficiency between health facilities. High-performing hospitals are in deprived areas. Hospitals located in less concentrated health facilities, in Java and Bali Island, high coverage of insurance scheme for the poor perform better than in other geographical location. We find an inconclusive impact of quality of care, and ownership on efficiency. This paper concludes by highlighting the characteristics of hospitals that have the potential to increase efficiency.
    Keywords: Efficiency, hospitals, frontier analysis, data envelopment analysis, stochastic frontier analysis, Indonesia
    JEL: C50 I10
    Date: 2018
  9. By: Doepke, Matthias (Northwestern University); Tertilt, Michèle (University of 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
  10. By: Bietenbeck, Jan (Lund University); Ericsson, Sanna (Lund University); Wamalwa, Fredrick M. (University of Cape Town)
    Abstract: We study the effects of preschool attendance on children's school progression and cognitive skills in Kenya and Tanzania. Our analysis uses novel data from large-scale household surveys of children's literacy and numeracy skills, which also collect retrospective information on preschool attendance. Against the backdrop of a large expansion of pre-primary education, our regressions identify the impacts from within-household differences, controlling for a variety of child-specific covariates. In both countries, children who go to preschool tend to enroll in primary school late, and thus fall behind in terms of grades completed at early ages. However, once in school, they progress through grades faster and at ages 13-16 have completed about one and a half more months of schooling than their same-aged peers who did not attend preschool. They also score around 0.10 standard deviations higher on standardized cognitive tests, showing that there are important longer-term benefits from preschool in Kenya and Tanzania.
    Keywords: preschool, education, cognitive skills, Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2017–12
  11. By: Tiaan Meiring (Institute for Justice and Reconciliation.); Catherine Kannemeyer (Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, School of Economics, University of Cape Town); Elnari Potgieter (South Africa Reconciliation Barometer, Institute for Justice and Reconciliation)
    Abstract: In this paper we consider social cohesion primarily in terms of its absence – "the nature and extent of social and economic divisions within society" (Easterly et al., 2006: 105). We use data from the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation's South African Reconciliation Barometer (SARB) to advance an understanding of what underpins individual perceptions of inequality as the biggest division in South Africa. In particular, our interest is in the relationship between perceived relative standing and registering the gap between rich and poor as the greatest divide in South Africa.
    Keywords: social cohesion, South Africa, inequality, poverty
    Date: 2018

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.