nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2018‒03‒19
fifteen papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. The impact of credit policy on rice production in Myanmar: A fuzzy regression discontinuity design approach By Nilar Aung; Hoa-Thi-Minh Nguyen; Robert Sparrow
  2. Return or Not Return? The Role of Home-Country Institutional Quality in Vietnamese Migrants’ Return Intentions By Ngoc Thi Minh Tran; Michael P. Cameron; Jacques Poot
  3. Remoteness, urbanization and child nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa: By Headey, Derek D.; Stifel, David; You, Liangzhi; Guo, Zhe
  4. Campaign externalities, programmatic spending, and voting preferences in rural Mexico: The case of Progresa-Oportunidades-Prospera programme By Dragan Filipovich; Miguel Niño-Zarazúa; Alma Santillán Hernández
  5. Animal sourced foods and child stunting: By Headey, Derek D.; Hirvonen, Kalle; Hoddinott, John F.
  6. Does cooperative membership improve household welfare? Evidence from a panel data analysis of smallholder dairy farmers in Bihar, India: By Kumar, Anjani; Saroj, Sunil; Takeshima, Hiroyuki; Joshi, Pramod Kumar
  7. A latent class analysis of improved agro-technology use behavior in Uganda: Implications for optimal targeting: By Bizimungu, Emmanuel; Kabunga, Nassul Ssentamu
  8. Chinese development assistance and household welfare in sub-Saharan Africa By Martorano, Bruno; Metzger, Laura; Sanfilippo, Marco
  9. The impact of social mobilization on health service delivery and health outcomes: Evidence from rural Pakistan By Xavier Giné; Salma Khalid; Ghazala Mansuri
  10. Return migration and socioeconomic mobility in MENA: Evidence from labour market panel surveys By Vladimir Hlasny; Shireen AlAzzawi
  11. Transfers, behavior change communication, and intimate partner violence: Postprogram evidence from rural Bangladesh: By Roy, Shalini; Hidrobo, Melissa; Hoddinott, John F.; Ahmed, Akhter
  12. CO2 mitigation in developing countries: the role of foreign aid By Mohamed BOLY
  13. Long-term and Spillover Effects of Rice Production Training in Uganda By Yoko Kijima
  14. Does education enhance productivity in smallholder agriculture? Causal evidence from Malawi By Thomas Ferreira
  15. Pathways out of poverty in rural Laos By Jonna P. Estudillo; Keijiro Otsuka; Saygnasak Seng-Arloun

  1. By: Nilar Aung; Hoa-Thi-Minh Nguyen; Robert Sparrow
    Abstract: Rural finance has long been an important tool for poverty reduction and rural development by donors and governments, but the impacts have been controversial. Measuring impact is challenging due to identification problems caused by selection bias and governments' targeted interventions, while randomised trial data is scarce and limited to contexts where little to no rural fiance exists. Using an author-collected data set, we provide insights on a large-scale long-lasting subsidized rice credit programme in Myanmar, one of the poorest and, until recently, most economically isolated countries in Asia. Identification relies on a fuzzy regression discontinuity design, exploiting an arbitrary element to the credit provision rule which is based on rice land holding size. Although we find little evidence that rice yield or output is increased, we do see that the program has some positive effects on total household income, suggesting a positive spillover effect on other farm income activities.
    Keywords: Rural finance, regression discontinuity, credit, rice production, Myanmar
    Date: 2018–01
  2. By: Ngoc Thi Minh Tran (University of Waikato); Michael P. Cameron (University of Waikato); Jacques Poot (University of Waikato)
    Abstract: Previous research has shown that institutions matter in decisions regarding migration. This paper extends investigation of the role of institutional quality in migration to the return intentions of international migrants. Using data from a web-based survey that we conducted in OECD countries in 2016, we examine both micro-level and macro-level determinants of the intentions to repatriate among Vietnamese migrants. The results of our logistic regression analysis suggest that those migrants who attach greater importance to the institutional quality in Viet Nam are less likely to have the intention to return than other Vietnamese migrants. However, there is considerably heterogeneity by gender. The concern about institutional quality in Viet Nam is only statistically significant for males. Nonetheless, our findings underscore the necessity of institutional reforms in Viet Nam to encourage return migration for development.
    Keywords: institutional quality; international migration; return intentions; Viet Nam
    JEL: F22 O15
    Date: 2018–03–03
  3. By: Headey, Derek D.; Stifel, David; You, Liangzhi; Guo, Zhe
    Abstract: Reducing undernutrition requires improving access to goods and services from a wide range of economic and social sectors, including agriculture, education and health. Yet despite broad agreement on the multisectoral nature of the global burden of undernutrition, relatively little research has analyzed how different dimensions of accessibility, such as urbanization and travel times to urban centers, affect child nutrition and dietary outcomes. In this paper we study these relationships in sub-Saharan Africa, a highly rural continent still severely hindered by remoteness problems. We link spatial data on travel times to 20,000 person cities to survey data from 10,900 communities in 23 countries. We document strong negative associations between nutrition indicators and rural livelihoods, but only moderately strong associations with remoteness to cities. Moreover, the harmful effects of remoteness and rural living largely disappear once education, wealth, and social/infrastructural services indicators are added to the model. This implies that the key nutritional disadvantage of rural populations stems chiefly from social and economic poverty. Combating these problems requires either an acceleration of urbanization processes, or finding innovative cost-effective mechanisms for extending basic services to isolated rural communities.
    Keywords: malnutrition; nutritional disorders; roads; transport infrastructure; urbanization; rural areas; diets; child nutrition; rural population; poverty; nutrition,
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Dragan Filipovich; Miguel Niño-Zarazúa; Alma Santillán Hernández
    Abstract: This study presents an analysis of the electoral impacts of one of the most prominent conditional cash transfers in the world: Mexico’s Progresa-Oportunidades-Prospera (POP) programme. Using population censuses, and POP’s administrative records and elections data, we exploit the targeting criteria of the programme and its gradual expansion to implement differencein-differences estimators and a regression discontinuity design for past presidential elections (2000, 2006, and 2012). Overall, we find no sizeable electoral effects of POP in favour to the incumbent in the 2000 and 2012 presidential elections, but instead a significant negative effect in the very competitive presidential election of 2006. We provide a theoretical rationalization for this result, which highlights the role of behaviour towards risk near a subsistence threshold and ex-ante expectations among the poor in control localities that were influenced by campaign externalities. We conclude with a discussion on the implications of our results for future theoretical and empirical research.
    Date: 2018
  5. By: Headey, Derek D.; Hirvonen, Kalle; Hoddinott, John F.
    Abstract: Stunting affects 160 million pre-school children around the world, and imposes significant costs on a child’s health, cognitive development, schooling and economic performance. Stunting in early childhood has been linked to poor dietary diversity, notably low intake of animal-sourced foods (ASFs) rich in high quality protein and other growth-stimulating nutrients. Surprisingly, however, very little economic research has focused on ASFs and child growth. In this paper we redress this omission through an analysis of 112,553 children aged 6-23 months from 46 countries. We first document distinctive patterns of ASF consumption among children in different regions, particularly highly variable patterns of dairy consumption, low consumption of eggs and meat, and surprisingly frequent consumption of fish in several poor regions of Africa and Asia. We then examine how ASF consumption is associated with child stunting in multivariate models saturated with control variables.
    Keywords: animal products; nutrition; child nutrition; malnutrition; nutritional disorders; livestock; fisheries; agricultural policies; food policies; food consumption; developing countries; protein intake,
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Kumar, Anjani; Saroj, Sunil; Takeshima, Hiroyuki; Joshi, Pramod Kumar
    Abstract: The promotion of cooperatives is widely viewed as the most important institutional arrangement for spurring dairy development in India and much of the success of the White Revolution in India is attributed to the cooperative framework of the country's dairy development strategies. However, empirical evidences on impact of dairy cooperatives based on sound econometric analysis are scarce. To bridge the gap in literature, this paper examines the impact of dairy cooperative membership on farm performance indicators, such as milk yield, net returns, and adoption of food safety measures (FSM) in milk production, using panel data from a survey of milk producers in 2007 and 2015 in Bihar, India. An endogenous switching regression model, which accounts for selection bias, is used in the analysis.
    Keywords: food safety, dairy cooperatives, dairy farms, profitability, agricultural development, milk yield, returns, agricultural policies, food policies,
    Date: 2018
  7. By: Bizimungu, Emmanuel; Kabunga, Nassul Ssentamu
    Abstract: This study uses a large dataset that covers a wide geographical and agricultural scope to describe the use patterns of improved agro-technology in Uganda. Using latent class analysis with data on more than 12,500 households across the four regions of Uganda, we classify farmers based on the package of improved agro-technologies they use. We find that the majority of farmers (61 percent) do not use any improved agricultural practices (the “nonusers†), whereas only 5 percent of farmers belong to the class of “intensified diversifiers,†those using most of the commonly available agro-technologies across crop and livestock enterprises. Using multinomial regression analysis, we show that education of the household head, access to extension messages, and affiliation with social groups are the key factors that drive switching from the nonuser (reference) class to the other three (preferred) classes that use improved agrotechnologies to varying degrees. Results reveal the existence of heterogeneous farmer categories, certainly with different agrotechnology needs, that may have implications for optimal targeting.
    Keywords: innovation adoption, technology, agriculture, agricultural productivity,
    Date: 2018
  8. By: Martorano, Bruno (UNU-MERIT); Metzger, Laura (ETH Zürich, Center for Development and Cooperation (NADEL)); Sanfilippo, Marco (University of Bari, Italy and IOB, University of Antwerp)
    Abstract: By combining geocoded project-level data on Chinese development assistance with geocoded household-level data from the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), we investigate the effect of Chinese project assistance on household welfare in 13 sub-Saharan African countries. We exploit the geographic proximity of household clusters across two different DHS survey waves (before and after the influx of Chinese aid) and use a difference-in-difference design in order to investigate the impact of Chinese aid on households' wealth and education. Our results consistently point to an overall positive effect of Chinese project assistance on household welfare: areas that receive Chinese projects are more likely to be wealthier, stay in school longer, and achieve a higher educational attainment than areas which did not receive such projects. Results are robust to various alternative model specifications.
    Keywords: OECD-DAC, Aid Allocation, aid effectiveness, China, Africa, emerging donors, project level, household welfare, DHS, geocoded data
    JEL: F35 O19 R20
    Date: 2018–02–21
  9. By: Xavier Giné; Salma Khalid; Ghazala Mansuri
    Abstract: We use a randomized community development programme in rural Pakistan to assess the impact of citizen engagement on public service delivery and maternal and child health outcomes. The programme had a strong focus on ensuring the participation of women. Women in the study villages had also identified access to primary care as a critical need for them and their children at baseline. At midline, we find that the mobilization effort alone had a significant impact on the performance of village-based health providers. We detect economically large improvements in pregnancy and well-baby visits by Lady Health Workers, as well as increased utilization of preand post-natal care by pregnant women. In contrast, the quality of supra-village health services did not improve, underscoring the importance of community enforcement and monitoring capacity for improving service delivery.
    Date: 2018
  10. By: Vladimir Hlasny; Shireen AlAzzawi
    Abstract: This study examines the effects of cross-border return migration on intertemporal and intergenerational transmission of socio-economic status across six new harmonized surveys from three Arab countries: Egypt (1998, 2006, 2012), Jordan (2010, 2016) and Tunisia (2014). We link individuals’ current outcomes to those in prior years and to their parents’ outcomes. We first isolate the outcomes of interest – income, employment status, household wealth based on both productive and non-productive assets, and residence status. Next, we evaluate individuals’ socioeconomic mobility over time and across generations as a function of their migration histories. Return migrants, current migrants, and (yet) non-migrants are distinguished. Transitions in individuals’ outcomes across years and generations are made functions of pre-existing socioeconomic status, demographics and migration status. Migration patterns are found to differ systematically between Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia, as well as across years. Migration destination is driven by economic, geographic but also historical considerations. Migrant flow from Egypt and Tunisia is highly concentrated, but that from Jordan is much more diffused, on account of job search methods and type of work sought. Egyptian migrants predominantly come from rural areas and disadvantaged governorates, and are less educated, while in Jordan the opposite is the case. Tunisia represents an intermediate case, with migrants slightly less educated but also less likely to be rural than non-migrants. Return migrants find employment in higher earning occupations and are more socially and inter-generationally mobile than non-migrants. However, they outperform non-migrants not only currently, but also in the previous occupation, occupation before previous, and eight years prior, suggesting that individual-level effects and demographics contribute more than migration experience per se. More research is needed to isolate the causal effects of migration spells on migrants’ lifetime outcomes.
    Date: 2018
  11. By: Roy, Shalini; Hidrobo, Melissa; Hoddinott, John F.; Ahmed, Akhter
    Abstract: Transfer programs have been shown to reduce intimate partner violence (IPV), but little evidence exists on how activities linked to transfers affect IPV or what happens when programs end. We assess postprogram impacts on IPV of randomly assigning women in Bangladesh to receive cash or food, with or without nutrition behavior change communication (BCC). Six to 10 months postprogram, IPV did not differ between women receiving transfers and a control group; however, women receiving transfers with BCC experienced 26 percent less physical violence. Evidence on mechanisms suggests sustained effects of BCC on women’s threat points, men’s social costs of violence, and household well-being.
    Keywords: domestic violence; gender; women's health; income transfers,
    Date: 2017
  12. By: Mohamed BOLY
    Abstract: This paper empirically investigates the link between foreign aid and pollution, specifically CO2 emissions in developing countries. We use a more complete and recent dataset to re-assess the environmental impact of foreign aid. Focusing on 112 aid recipient countries over the period 1980 - 2013, we find that the effect of aid depends on the donor, with multilateral aid more likely to reduce pollution than bilateral aid for which we find no effect. However, when we more precisely look at the composition of bilateral aid, we find it has an effect when specifically targeted toward environment. This effect is non-linear, since we observe a pollution-reducing effect only for important amounts of bilateral environmental aid.
    Keywords: CO2 emissions, Foreign aid, Environmental aid, Threshold effect.
    JEL: Q54 Q53 O11 F35 E6
    Date: 2018–03
  13. By: Yoko Kijima
    Abstract: Using panel data from 2009, 2011, and 2015, this study estimates the impact of rice production training conducted in Uganda on the adoption of improved cultivation practices and productivities. Since participants were encouraged to share information with fellow farmers, the average effects on training participants and non-participants in training villages (spillover effects) are separately estimated by selecting comparable households from villages without training projects. Because of the non-random assignment of project villages and training participation, a difference-in-differences model with household fixed effects is combined with propensity score weighting for mitigating biases. We find that training increases adoption rates for improved cultivation practices among training participants, both in the short and long term, and the long-term impact of training on rice yield is 0.47 tons per hectare. Although non-participants in training villages increased the adoption of transplanting in the long term, no improvements in non-participants’ knowledge on rice cultivation nor in rice productivity were detected. The results of the heterogeneous impacts on non-participants’ adoption show non-participants who visited the demonstration plot increased the adoption of transplanting, but those who talked with training participants about rice cultivation did not increase the adoption rate more than those who did not.
    Keywords: Agricultural training project, Impact evaluation, Sub-Saharan Africa
    Date: 2018–02
  14. By: Thomas Ferreira (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University)
    Abstract: Malawi is a low-income country where the majority of the poor live and work in smallholder agriculture. In settings like these, schooling is believed to be a valuable tool in lifting people out of poverty. Yet, little is known about how schooling affects agricultural productivity. The effect of education on smallholder agricultural production has been estimated before but this paper contributes to the literature by estimating, for the first time, the causal effects of education on agricultural productivity using an instrumental variable approach (IV). The introduction of free primary education (FPE) and the age of paternal orphanhood are used as IV's for education. The instruments are shown to calculate local average treatment effects for individuals who only entered school due to FPE and only left school due to paternal orphanhood. It is found that there are large differences in returns to education between the subgroups. Returns are low and insignificant when FPE is used as an IV but they are larger and there is a significant effect when age of paternal orphanhood is used. Thus, while education can have large effects on agricultural productivity, this is not so for individuals specifically targeted by large scale expansions in educational access.
    Keywords: Returns to education; agricultural productivity; Instrumental variables; Malawi
    JEL: J24 J43
    Date: 2018
  15. By: Jonna P. Estudillo; Keijiro Otsuka; Saygnasak Seng-Arloun
    Abstract: Using a rare individual-level data set, this paper explores the role of education and farmland on the choice of job of three generations of household members in rural Laos. While the first (G1) and the second (G2) generations are mainly engaged in farming, the youngest generation (G3) is engaged in nonfarm wage and overseas work. Education matters in nonfarm wage work, but not necessarily in overseas work. The female members of G3 are more likely to migrate. Our findings imply a shortage of jobs in rural Laos, pushing the less educated and the females to cross the border to Thailand.

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