nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2018‒04‒23
thirteen papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. The impact of mining patents on public education: evidence for mining municipalities in Chile By Mauricio Alejandro Oyarzo Aguilar; Dusan Paredes Araya
  2. Household Savings and Marriage Payments: Evidence from Dowry in India By S Anukriti; Sungoh Kwon; Nishith Prakash
  3. Blessing a Curse? Institutional Reform and Resource Booms in Colombia By Jorge Gallego; Stanislao Maldonado; Lorena Trujillo
  4. Lessons on Providing Cash Transfers to Disaster Victims: A Case Study of UNICEF's Unconditional Cash Transfer Program for Super Typhoon Yolanda Victims By Albert, Jose Ramon G.; Reyes, Charina Cecille M.; Reyes, Celia, M.
  5. Distributional impacts of disaster recovery: Sri Lankan households a decade after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami By De Alwis, Diana
  6. Pre-colonial Religious Institutions and Development: Evidence through a Military Coup By Adeel Malik; Rinchan Ali Mirza
  7. School or work? The role of weather shocks in Madagascar By Francesca MARCHETTA; David SAHN; Luca TIBERTI
  8. Remittances and asset accumulation in Bangladesh: A study using generalized propensity score By Mehdi Chowdhury; Dragana Radicic
  9. Maternal Depression, Women’s Empowerment, and Parental Investment: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial By Victoria Baranov; Sonia Bhalotra; Pietro Biroli; Joanna Maselko
  10. Eradicating Poverty by 2030: Implications for Income Inequality, Population Policies, Food Prices (and Faster Growth?) By Giovanni Andrea Cornia
  11. The Structure of Origin-Based Social Network and Its Influence on Migration Diffusion: The Case of a Migrant-Sending Village in the Philippines By Tabuga, Aubrey, D.
  12. Will Urban Migrants Formally Insure their Rural Relatives? Family Networks and Rainfall Index Insurance in Burkina Faso By Kazianga, Harounan; Wahhaj, Zaki
  13. Two decades of declining poverty but rising inequality in Laos By Peter Warr; Sitthiroth Rasphone; Jayant Menon

  1. By: Mauricio Alejandro Oyarzo Aguilar (Departamento de Economía, Universidad Católica del Norte, Chile); Dusan Paredes Araya (Departamento de Economía, Universidad Católica del Norte, Chile)
    Abstract: Chilean mining municipalities collect a mineral tax to compensate the negative externalities associated with resource extraction. This collection implies a positive marginal impact on local finance to improve the quality of life in the mining communities. However, there is not enough empirical evidence to support this causal mechanism. This article contributes to cover this knowledge gap with a unique experimental framework proposed by the Chilean tax system. Mining law indicates that municipalities above an exogenous threshold are able to keep this extra income. We use this Regression Discontinuity Design to identify the causal effect in public education indicators of the mining communities. Our results show that the mining municipalities these have a worse educational performance. In addition, the levels of spending in public education are not significant, which accounts for the disadvantaged position in relation to the high dependence on extractive activities.
    Keywords: Public education, Mining patents, Local governments.
    JEL: H20 H40 H70 H32 I25
    Date: 2017–08
  2. By: S Anukriti (Boston College; IZA); Sungoh Kwon (University of Connecticut); Nishith Prakash (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: This paper examines how traditional marriage market institutions affect households’ financial decisions. We study how bride-to-groom marriage payments, i.e., dowries, influence saving behavior in rural India. Exploiting variation in firstborn gender and heterogeneity in dowry amounts across marriage markets, we find that the prospect of paying higher dowry increases household savings, which are primarily financed through increased paternal labor supply. This is the first paper that highlights this alternative motive for savings in dowry-paying societies. However, we find no impacts of dowry expectations on son-preferring fertility behaviors and investments in girls.
    Keywords: Household Savings, Dowry, Marriage Payments, India, Labor Supply, Fertility, Sex Ratio, Child Investments
    JEL: J1 D14 O15
    Date: 2018–04–09
  3. By: Jorge Gallego (Universidad del Rosario); Stanislao Maldonado (Universidad del Rosario); Lorena Trujillo (Departamento Nacional de Planeación)
    Abstract: Is it possible to revert the resource curse through institutional reform? Evidence suggests that there is a negative relationship between abundance of natural resources and economic growth, political stability, democracy, and peace. However, evidence illustrating how institutional reform can revert this situation is scarce. In this paper, we exploit an institutional reform that took place in Colombia in 2011. We evaluate the effects of the reform to the royalties system, that modified the allocation rule of these rents but also introduced important changes in terms of control and accountability, on the living standards of Colombian households. We instrument municipality-level allocations of royalties using international variations in the price of oil, and we find that the reform had important effects on several household welfare indicators. We find positive impacts on important dimensions, such as poverty, income, employment, housing conditions, health, and education, among others. Results are mixed or null in other areas, such as formality or employment in the service sector. We test for different channels explaining these effects, which include theories of state capacity, competition for resources, and increased control and accountability. Our evidence supports the state capacity mechanism.
    Date: 2018–04
  4. By: Albert, Jose Ramon G.; Reyes, Charina Cecille M.; Reyes, Celia, M.
    Abstract: In response to the effects of super typhoon Yolanda, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) implemented an unconditional cash transfer (UCT) program that provided emergency relief to 10,000 vulnerable families in Tacloban City and neighboring areas. This paper describes and assesses the design of the UCT program. It evaluates the UCT based on data collected from three survey rounds from a sample of UCT household beneficiaries, as well as other primary data sourced from focus group discussions with beneficiaries as well as interviews of key stakeholders. The evaluation suggests that the cash transfer was able to help the beneficiaries smooth their food consumption as well as address some of their other needs such as medicines, housing repair, livelihood, and education-related expenses. More than half of the cash was spent on food and this led to a decline in the malnutrition prevalence among children. Some households used part of the money to start or expand livelihood activities. The amount of the cash was very significant compared to their usual income and allowed them to purchase items that they would not ordinarily be able to purchase. Majority of the beneficiaries recovered, either partially or fully, from the devastation of Yolanda after the six-month program. Recommendations for future emergency cash programs and emergency responses are also provided.
    Keywords: monitoring and evaluation, unconditional cash transfer, UNICEF, Typhoon Yolanda, Emergency Response
    Date: 2018
  5. By: De Alwis, Diana
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of recovery from the 2004 tsunami on income and consumption distribution across households in Sri Lanka, using a quasi-quantile regression method and other inequality measures. The analysis finds that the income of households in the entire distribution has recovered, with low-income households increasing their income by a higher proportion compared to the higher income households. The paper also observes that the affected regions appear more income-equal ex-post compared to the unaffected regions. Household consumption recovered in short and medium-term favoring both high and low-income households compared to those in the middle-income category. Nonetheless, long-lasting recovery of consumption appears only among high income households.
    Keywords: Sri Lanka, Tsunami, Households, Recovery, Inequality,
    Date: 2018
  6. By: Adeel Malik; Rinchan Ali Mirza
    Abstract: This paper offers a novel illustration of the political economy of religion and development by empirically examining the impact of religious shrines on development. Compiling a unique database covering the universe of holy Muslim shrines across Pakistani Punjab, we show that historically embedded religious power shapes persistent differences in literacy. Using the 1977 military take-over as a universal shock, our difference-in-differences analysis suggests that areas with a greater concentration of shrines recognized by the British colonial administration experienced a substantially retarded growth in literacy. We argue that this literacy disadvantage in shrine-dominated regions is largely attributable to a growingly prominent role of shrine elites in electoral politics and their direct control over allocation of public goods since the 1977 military coup. Our analysis suggests that shrines in these regions represent the confluence of three forces—religion, land and politics —that together constitute a powerful structural inequality with potentially adverse consequences for development.
    JEL: I25 N55 Z12 O15
    Date: 2018
  7. By: Francesca MARCHETTA (Université d'Auvergne(UdA)); David SAHN (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International(CERDI)); Luca TIBERTI
    Abstract: We examine the impact of rainfall variability and cyclones on schooling and work among a cohort of teens and young adults by estimating a bivariate probit model, using a panel survey conducted in 2004 and 2011 in Madagascar—a poor island nation that is frequently affected by extreme weather events. Our results show that negative rainfall deviations and cyclones reduce the current and lagged probability of attending school and encourage young men and, to a greater extent, women to enter the work force. Less wealthy households are most likely to experience this school-to-work transition in the face of rainfall shocks. The finding is consistent with poorer households having less savings and more limited access to credit and insurance, which reduces their ability to cope with negative weather shocks.
    Keywords: Climate shocks, Employment, Schooling, Africa.
    JEL: I25 J43 Q54
    Date: 2018–04
  8. By: Mehdi Chowdhury; Dragana Radicic
    Abstract: Drawing on a sample of households in Bangladesh, we utilize the Generalized Propensity Score (GPS) method to investigate the impact of internal and international remittances on households’ net assets. The analysis suggests an inverted U shaped relationship between the amount of internal remittances and net assets. Concerning the effect of international remittances on net assets, the results do not indicate a clear cut relationship between international remittances and assets. The paper also indicates not only the source but also the size of remittances has a role to play in the utilization.
    Keywords: Remittances, Bangladesh, Assets, Generalized Propensity Score
    Date: 2018
  9. By: Victoria Baranov (University of Melbourne); Sonia Bhalotra (University of Essex); Pietro Biroli (University of Zurich); Joanna Maselko (University of North Carolina)
    Abstract: We evaluate the medium-term impacts of treating maternal depression on women’s financial empowerment and parenting decisions. We leverage experimental variation induced by a cluster-randomized control trial that provided psychotherapy to perinatally depressed mothers in rural Pakistan. It was one of the largest psychotherapy interventions in the world and highly successful at reducing depression. We locate mothers seven years after the end of the intervention to evaluate its longer run effects. We find that the intervention improved women’s financial empowerment, increasing their control over household spending. Additionally, the intervention increased both time- and monetary-intensive parental investments.
    Keywords: mental health, maternal depression, women's labor supply, empowerment, early life, parenting, Child Development, randomized control trials, Pakistan
    JEL: I15 I30 O15
    Date: 2018–04
  10. By: Giovanni Andrea Cornia
    Abstract: The paper examines whether the planned eradication of poverty to the year 2030 part of the Sustainable Development Goals strategy is compatible with the trends expected over the next 15 years in key economic variables such as GDP growth, population growth, income inequality and food prices. To do so, the paper develops a comparative-static, poverty-accounting model that allows to simulate to 2030 the impact on SDG1 (poverty eradication) of the fastest improvements recorded for the above four variables during the last 30 years. Numerous model simulations show that – even under the most favorable assumptions – between 16 and 28 countries (mainly from Africa) out of the 78 analyzed will not reach the SDG1 target. Policy suggestions on how to improve on such results are presented at the end of the paper.
    Keywords: SDG1, poverty eradication, inequality, GDP growth, population growth, food prices, public policies.
    JEL: D31 I32 J11 Q18
    Date: 2018
  11. By: Tabuga, Aubrey, D.
    Abstract: While economic forces drive much of international migration, social factors are known to significantly facilitate movement. By providing information and other resources, networks reduce the cost and risk associated with international migration. The influence of migration networks, however, remains a black box that needs to be unpacked simply because these have been treated in the past mostly as unidimensional. In reality, however, networks do not only vary in type but also have structures. This study seeks to examine the structure of migration networks in a migrant-sending village in the Philippines. It also aims to relate this structure to the diffusion of migration behavior in the village over time through a socio-historical lens--an unconventional approach in the analysis of international migration perpetuation. Results show that the density of the kinship and friendship ties and the network position of pioneer migrants in the village affect the current distribution of migration behavior in the area. Know more about the factors affecting international migration structures in the Philippines through this paper.
    Keywords: Philippines, migration networks, international migration, network structure, network analysis, graph theory
    Date: 2018
  12. By: Kazianga, Harounan; Wahhaj, Zaki
    Abstract: We present findings from a pilot study exploring whether and how existing ties between urban migrants and rural farmers may be used to provide the latter improved access to formal insurance. Urban migrants in Ouagadougou (the capital of Burkina Faso) originating from nearby villages were offered, at the prevailing market price, a rainfall index insurance product that can potentially protect their rural relatives from adverse weather shocks. The product had an uptake of 22% during the two-week subscription window. Uptake rates were higher by 17-22 percentage points among urban migrants who were randomly offered an insurance policy that would make pay-outs directly to the intended beneficiary rather than the subscriber. We argue that rainfall index insurance can complement informal risk-sharing networks by mitigating problems of informational asymmetry and self-control issues.
    Keywords: Microinsurance markets,Indexed insurance,Rainfall,Migration,Informal insurance networks
    JEL: O15 O16 G21
    Date: 2018
  13. By: Peter Warr; Sitthiroth Rasphone; Jayant Menon
    Abstract: Over the past two decades consumption inequality has risen within Laos, while absolute poverty incidence halved. The estimated Gini coefficient of private household expenditures per person rose from 0.311 to 0.364. This increase in the sample-based estimate of inequality was statistically significant and occurred in all regions, in both rural and urban areas and among all major ethnic, educational and sectoral employment categories. Within-group increases in inequality dominated between-group changes, but official policy largely overlooks this point, focusing on reducing inequality between, rather than within major groups. This assessment argues that economic inequality should become a more pressing policy concern.
    Keywords: Expenditure inequality; poverty reduction; Gini coefficient; Laos
    Date: 2018

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