nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2018‒03‒05
fifteen papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. The Effect of Community Engagement on Healthcare Utilization and Health Insurance Enrolment in Ghana Results from a Randomized Experiment By Stephen K.O. Duku; Edward Nketiah-Amponsahd; Christine J. Fenenga; Daniel K. Arhinful; Wendy (W.) Janssens; Menno (M.) Pradhan
  2. The Impact of Conditional Cash Transfers on Households Investments in Productive Assets and Activities: Evidence from the Juntos Programme in Peru By Cristina Cirillo; Giorgia Giovannetti
  3. Reverting to Informality Unregistered Property Transactions and the Erosion of the Titling Reform in Peru By Italo A. Gutierrez; Oswaldo Molina
  4. Does Informal Employment Respond to Growth Opportunities? Trade-Based Evidence from Bangladesh By Prodyumna Goutam; Italo A. Gutierrez; Krishna B. Kumar; Shanthi Nataraj
  5. Returns to Education and Female Work Force Participation Nexus: Evidence from India By Kanjilal-Bhaduri, Sanghamitra; Pastore, Francesco
  6. Foreign Direct Investment and Women Empowerment: New Evidence on Developing Countries By Rasmané Ouedraogo; Elodie Marlet
  7. Reducing credit constraints to post-secondary technical education in developing countries : evidence from Colombia By Millán Quijano, Jaime Augusto; Gamboa, Luis Fernando
  8. Cash-Plus: Poverty Impacts of Transfer-Based Intervention Alternatives By Richard Sedlmayr; Anuj Shah; Munshi Sulaiman
  9. Aid to agriculture, trade and take-off By Alessandra Pelloni; Thanasis Stengos; Ilaria Tedesco
  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. Foreign Aid and Subnational Development: A Grid Cell Analysis By Juergen Bitzer; Erkan Goeren
  12. Female Work Participation in Villages of India By Chaurasia, Aalok Ranjan
  13. Urban and Rural Households' Energy Use: Sets, Shocks, and Strategies in the Philippines By Dacuycuy, Connie B.; Dacuycuy, Lawrence B.
  14. Revisiting the old debate: on the relationship between size and productivity in Tanzania By Basile Boulay
  15. Poverty decomposition by regression: An application to Tanzania By Tomoki Fujii

  1. By: Stephen K.O. Duku (University of Ghana, Ghana); Edward Nketiah-Amponsahd (University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana); Christine J. Fenenga (Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development, the Netherlands); Daniel K. Arhinful (University of Ghana, Ghana); Wendy (W.) Janssens (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Menno (M.) Pradhan (Amsterdam)
    Abstract: Background: Health insurance enrolment in many Sub-Saharan African countries is low, even with highly subsidized premiums and exemptions for vulnerable populations. This paper evaluates the impact of a community engagement intervention implemented in Ghana with the aim of improving clients’ perceptions on service quality and subsequently improving healthcare utilization and health insurance enrolment. Method: We used a panel data of 6,937 individuals from a cluster randomized controlled trial conducted in 64 communities in two regions in Ghana. A random half of communities received the intervention after a baseline survey in April 2012; the remaining communities served as controls. A follow-up survey was conducted in March 2014 to evaluate the intervention. Ordinary Least Squares regression estimations were used to measure the intervention’s impact on quality perceptions, and on healthcare utilization and health insurance enrolment for the full and balanced samples of all household members as well as the uninsured at baseline. Results: In the short term (12 months) the intervention did not produce any significant impact on perceptions of service quality, healthcare utilization or health insurance enrolment in the targeted population. It however reduced the frequency of illness by 13.8 percentage points, suggesting an overall improvement in health status. It also resulted in a 7.2 percentage points increase in insurance enrolment for the uninsured. Conclusion: Community engagement has the potential to motivate service providers to improve quality of care. However, this may not lead to improved perception of service quality, and increased healthcare utilization in the short term. Still, engaging clients in community discussions on quality improvements can effectively enhance health insurance uptake among those who were previously uninsured. Further long-term intervention is necessary to investigate its long-term effects.
    Keywords: health insurance; Ghana; randomized experiment; community participation
    Date: 2018–02–28
  2. By: Cristina Cirillo (Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa); Giorgia Giovannetti
    Abstract: This paper provides an impact evaluation of the Juntos programme on households’ decisions to invest in livestock and agricultural and non-agricultural assets used for income generating activities. Using Propensity Score Matching and Difference in Difference techniques, we show: i) that beneficiaries are significantly more likely to invest in productive assets and activities with respect to non-beneficiaries; ii) that Juntos is more likely to relax liquidity constraints rather than to be used as an insurance for risky investments; iii) that the programs benefits the poor but not the poorest of the poor. Duration and transfers regularity do not produce significant differences between groups of beneficiaries. However, results show a sustained impact of the programme over time.
    Keywords: conditional cash transfers; impact evaluation; households investments; Juntos.
    JEL: I38 H20 O12 H43
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Italo A. Gutierrez; Oswaldo Molina
    Abstract: Titling programs have focused mostly on providing initial tenure security and have not properly addressed maintaining the formality of future property transactions. Our data indicates that properties become de-regularized due to unregistered transactions in urban slums, which threatens to undo the success of the titling program in the long run. We exploit a natural experiment provided by the elimination of a streamlined registration system targeted for the poor residents in Peru to identify how costly and burdensome registration policies can increase de-regularization. Our analysis indicated that the elimination of such a system led to a significant reduction in the probability of registering transactions, including those that involved a change in ownership. Overall, our findings stress the necessity of building specific components aimed at maintaining properties formal into the design of urban titling programs.
    Keywords: titling programs, registration, property transactions, property rights, natural experiment, Peru
    JEL: P14 O18 R20 R28 K0
    Date: 2016–09
  4. 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
  5. By: Kanjilal-Bhaduri, Sanghamitra; Pastore, Francesco
    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: 2018
  6. By: Rasmané Ouedraogo; Elodie Marlet
    Abstract: This paper assesses the effects of foreign direct investment (FDI) on gender development and gender inequality. In fact, FDI through increased labor demand, technological spillovers but mostly through corporate social responsibility and economic growth, can potentially influence women’s welfare. Using a panel dataset of 94 developing countries from 1990 to 2015, we find that FDI inflows improve women’s welfare and decrease gender inequality. However, the impact is lower in countries where women have low access to resources and face a heavier burden to open a business. This suggests that for countries to fully benefit from FDI inflows, they should ensure that women can enjoy free access to the labor market and associated income.
    Date: 2018–01–25
  7. By: Millán Quijano, Jaime Augusto; Gamboa, Luis Fernando
    Abstract: We assess the importance of credit constraints for post-secondary education using different discontinuities that affect enrollment in free-technical education and eligibility for educational grants in Colombia. Our strategy makes use of multiple RD estimators in order to identify the importance of covering the opportunity cost on enrollment, completion and access to formal labor market for poor young individuals who want to enter tertiary education. We find evidence of large increases in enrollment and graduation rates. Particularly, the probability of obtaining a certification in technical studies rises from 3% to 14%. We also find an important increase in formal labor market participation in the medium term, individuals who received monetary aid to enroll and finish technical education from 2014 to 2016 are 50% more likely to have a formal job in 2017. We find that reducing credit constraints has no differential effects with respect to educational variables but only affects the labor market of men.
    Date: 2018–02–15
  8. By: Richard Sedlmayr; Anuj Shah; Munshi Sulaiman
    Abstract: Can programmatic extensions such as training and mentorship enhance the economic impact of cash transfers, or do they needlessly absorb resources that program recipients could allocate more meaningfully by themselves? Using a randomized trial, we evaluate a program that targets poor Ugandans and offers them an integrated package comprised of lump sum transfers, coaching, and training on microenterprise development as well as savings group formation. We assess its impact and that of its savings component, as well as the impacts of much simplified program variants: one intervention variant that is limited to lump sum cash transfers and another that expands upon transfers using a light-touch behavioral intervention component. The results support the notion that integrated development interventions are sensible poverty reduction tools.
    Keywords: graduation; microenterprise; cash transfers; behavioral design
    JEL: O12 O22 I38
    Date: 2017
  9. By: Alessandra Pelloni (Department of Economics and Finance, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy; Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis); Thanasis Stengos (Department of Economics, University of Guelph, Canada; Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis); Ilaria Tedesco (International Fund for Agricultural Development, Italy)
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect of foreign aid to agriculture on the industrialization process of developing countries. Our theoretical analysis suggests a dichotomy between closed and open economies as regards the impact of aid given for productive purposes to the primary sector. Our empirical results confirm our analysis, as we find the effect is positive for landlocked countries only.
    Keywords: Dual economy, Agricultural aid, Industrialization, Landlocked countries
    JEL: F1 F4 O1 O4 Q1
    Date: 2018–02
  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: Juergen Bitzer (University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics); Erkan Goeren (University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: We examine the impact of geo-referenced World Bank development programs on subnational development using equally sized grid cells with a spatial resolution of 0.5 decimal degrees latitude x longitude as the unit of investigation. The proposed grid cell approach solves a number of endogeneity problems discussed in the aid effectiveness literature that make it diffcult to identify the true effect of foreign aid on development outcomes due to the presence of unobserved heterogeneity, lack of key country-level controls, aggregation bias, simultaneity and/or the presence of reverse causality in the association between foreign aid and economic growth, measurement errors, and endogenous sample selection bias. The estimates reveal that World Bank foreign aid projects contribute signifcantly to grid cell economic activity measured by night-time lights growth. This finding is robust to the presence of unobserved country-year and grid-cell-specific unobserved heterogeneity, and to the inclusion of a full set of grid-cell-specifc socioeconomic, demographic, con ict-related, biogeographic, and climatic controls. Additional sensitivity tests confirm the robustness of the main findings to various econometric estimators, alternative model specifications, and different spatial aggregation levels.
    Keywords: Aid Effectiveness, Geo-Referenced Aid Projects, Economic Development, Economic Growth, Grid-Cell Analysis, GIS Data, Satellite Night-Time Light Data
    Date: 2018–03
  12. By: Chaurasia, Aalok Ranjan
    Abstract: This paper attempts to identify patterns of female work participation in more than 578 thousand villages of India using the data mining approach. The analysis is based on an index of participation that has been developed for the purpose and takes into the consideration both the extent and the intensity of participation in productive activities. The analysis reveals that Indian villages can be grouped into 10 clusters with different level of female participation and with distinct village characteristics and there are distinct regional patterns. An interesting finding of the analysis is that participation of females in productive activities at the village level is relatively lower in villages higher level of female education as compared to villages with lower levels of female education. It appears that appropriate opportunities of participation for educate females are not available in the villages of India. Creating these opportunities at the village level is necessary not only for the transformation of village economy but also for women’s empowerment.
    Keywords: India, Villages, Females, Participation index, Data mining
    JEL: J21
    Date: 2018–01–20
  13. By: Dacuycuy, Connie B.; Dacuycuy, Lawrence B.
    Abstract: The paper aims to analyze the determinants of household energy portfolio in urban and rural areas and to determine how price shocks and weather variabilities affect energy use in the Philippines. It confirms that energy switching is observed among high-income urban and rural households while energy stacking is observed among rural households---a response to heat index deviation and LPG price shock. The paper also finds that households’ energy portfolios have components comprising of modern sources as energy anchors and a component that is most likely to adjust in response to price and weather-related shocks.
    Keywords: Philippines, energy portfolio, energy stacking, energy switching, energy anchors, energy shocks
    Date: 2018
  14. By: Basile Boulay
    Abstract: The debate on the existence of an inverse relationship between farm size and productivity is probably one of the oldest debates in the development economics literature. While publication of more detailed agricultural data has pushed for an empirical revival of the topic, the concept of size is still problematic in these studies, as well as the limited attention given to existing varieties of farming practices. Using agricultural data on Tanzania, we introduce a crop/plot level of analysis which allows us to enquire whether an inverse relationship exists for crops grown on a given plots. In a context where intercropping is widespread, this level of analysis looks more appealing than the more traditional plot or farm levels. We control for the existing hypotheses in the literature that could explain the existence of the relationship. Further, we propose to control for a new set of hypotheses which have not received enough attention in the existing literature. Our results show that the inverse relationship is strikingly robust at this new level of analysis: yields are on average higher on smaller cultivated areas in all specifications and for all crops.
    Keywords: inverse relationship; agriculture; Tanzania
    Date: 2018
  15. By: Tomoki Fujii
    Abstract: We develop a poverty decomposition method that is based on a consumption regression model. Because this method uses an integral of the partial derivatives of a poverty measure with respect to time, the resulting poverty decomposition satisfies time-reversion consistency and sub-period additivity. Unlike the existing poverty decomposition methods, it allows us to ascribe the observed change in poverty to various covariates of interest collected at a disaggregate level. This method is applied to two datasets from Tanzania to assess, among others, the short- and long-term impacts of infrastructure and market access on poverty

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