nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2018‒04‒30
twenty-one papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Do Developing Countries Enjoy Faster Poverty Reduction as Their Initial Poverty Incidences Decline over Time? A Dynamic Panel Analysis By Ouyang, Yusi; Shimeles, Abebe; Thorbecke, Erik
  2. A New Resource Curse: How Externalities and Governance Shape Social Conflict By Renard Sexton
  3. Fading Out Effect or Long Lasting Nudge? The impact of a Conditional Cash Transfer Program Beyond Starting the School Year in Argentina By María Edo; Mariana Marchionni
  4. School or Work? The Role of Weather Shocks in Madagascar By Marchetta, Francesca; Sahn, David E.; Tiberti, Luca
  5. Point Estimates of Household Bargaining Power Using Outside Options By Klein, Matthew J.; Barham, Bradford L.
  6. Moving from Extreme Poverty to Sustainable Livelihoods: Evidence from Randomized Controlled Trials in Bangladesh By Jinnat Ara
  7. CO 2 mitigation in developing countries: the role of foreign aid By Mohamed Boly
  8. Minimum Age Requirements and the Impact of School Choice By Cáceres-Delpiano, Julio; Giolito, Eugenio P.
  9. A cautionary tale on polygyny, conflict and gender inequality By Krieger, Tim; Renner, Laura
  10. Endogenous Selection, Migration and Occupation Outcomes for Rural Southern Mexicans By Quinones, Esteban J.; Barham, Bradford L.
  11. Hollowing Out the Middle? Remittances and Income Inequality in Nigeria By Bang, James T.; Mitra, Aniruddha; Wunnava, Phanindra V.
  12. Reducing Public-Private Sector Pay Differentials: The Single Spine Pay Policy as a Natural Experiment in Ghana By Akwasi Ampofo; Firmin Doko Tchatoka
  13. On the Quantity and Quality of Girls: Fertility, Parental Investments, and Mortality By S Anukriti; Sonia Bhalotra; Hiu Tam
  14. Trends in Inequalities in Child Stunting in South Asia By Aditi Krishna; Ivan Mejia-Guevara; Mark E. McGovern; Victor M. Aguayo; S.V. Subramanian
  15. Aide et Croissance dans les pays de l’Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA) : retour sur une relation controversée By Nimonka Bayale
  16. Decentralization, spending efficiency and pro-poor outcomes in Morocco By Maria EL KHDARI; Babacar SARR
  17. Spatial Diffusion of Economic Shocks in Networks By Amarasinghe, Ashani; Hodler, Roland; Raschky, Paul A.; Zenou, Yves
  18. Equitable Redistribution without Taxation: A lesson from East Asian Miracle countries By Arifur Rahman
  19. A Community Based Program Promotes Sanitation By Alzúa, María Laura; Djebbari, Habiba; Pickering, Amy J.
  20. Forest Degradation and Economic Growth in Nepal, 2003–2010 By Jean-Marie Baland; François Libois; Dilip Mookherjee
  21. Official Debt Restructurings and Development By Cheng, Gong; Diaz-Cassou, Javier; Erce, Aitor

  1. By: Ouyang, Yusi (The University of Tulsa); Shimeles, Abebe (African Development Bank); Thorbecke, Erik (Cornell University)
    Abstract: Empirical evidence in the sparse literature on poverty convergence currently relies on cross-sectional analysis, where Less Developed Countries (LDCs) starting out poorer are found to have enjoyed no faster subsequent poverty reduction during the past three decades than those starting out richer, as initial poverty retards growth and makes it less effective in reducing poverty. Applying a dynamic panel approach to four panel data sets including two covering some 90 LDCs from 1977-2014 and two covering, respectively, 42 Ethiopian and 33 Rwandan regions during 1995-2010 and 2000-2010; this study finds that LDCs as well as Ethiopian and Rwanda regions do enjoy faster subsequent poverty reduction within themselves as their initial poverty incidences decline over time. Our analysis also finds initial poverty as having little direct effect on growth in LDCs, except in SSA where higher initial poverty is associated with faster growth.
    Keywords: within-country poverty convergence, growth, poverty, less developed countries, Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: O10 O40 I32
    Date: 2018–03
  2. By: Renard Sexton (Princeton University)
    Abstract: Natural resource extraction is increasingly important in many developing countries, but harmful externalities threaten the viability of the sector. This paper articulates and finds evidence for a new ‘resource curse,’ whereby negative side effects from resource extraction increase social conflict in nearby communities. Using micro-level data on extractive commodities, water pollution, children’s and livestock health, local government quality and mining-related social conflict in Peru, this study shows that rising international prices increase conflict, pollution and negative health effects, but not public spending in mining areas. These effects disappear when local government is high quality, indicating that good governance can temper the effects of this new resource curse.
    Keywords: Peru, Conflict, Natural resources, Externalities, Governance
    JEL: D74 Q34 O13 L72
    Date: 2018–04
  3. By: María Edo (UdeSA & CONICET); Mariana Marchionni (CEDLAS-FCE-UNLP & CONICET)
    Abstract: We estimate the impact on education outcomes of the Universal Child Allowance (AUH), a massive conditional cash transfer program targeted at young children of unemployed and informal workers launched in Argentina in late 2009. Evidence from previous works suggests that the AUH has had a significant positive impact on attendance rates at the beginning of the school year, but concentrated on boys in upper-secondary school. In this paper we study the effects on other education outcomes: intra-year dropout rates and primary school completion rates. We find that the AUH may be held responsible for significant improvements in both outcomes while the analysis highlights heterogeneous effects across age groups and gender. In particular, the AUH seems to have contributed to reduce intra-year dropout rates of eligible girls aged 12 to 14 (almost 4 p.p.) and 15 to 17 (7 p.p.) while no effects were found for children aged 6 to 11 or for boys, irrespective of age. The program seems to have also increased the probability of graduating from primary school of over-aged eligible children (1.4 p.p. for boys aged 12 to 14, almost 3 p.p. for girls in that age range and 2 p.p. for boys in the 15-17 age group). These results suggest that beyond the effects on school access indicators, the AUH may also contribute to the improvement of final outcomes in education. Nevertheless, the evidence also indicates that there is room for improvements in the design of the program aimed at enhancing these long term effects.
    JEL: I2 I3
    Date: 2018–04
  4. By: Marchetta, Francesca (CERDI, University of Auvergne); Sahn, David E. (Cornell University); Tiberti, Luca (Partnership for Economic Policy (pep))
    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: Q54 J43 I25
    Date: 2018–03
  5. By: Klein, Matthew J. (University of Wisconsin); Barham, Bradford L. (University of Wisconsin)
    Abstract: We propose measuring household bargaining power with partners' relative outside options. Our estimate of outside options is the sum of predicted earnings and observed unearned income. This estimation approach allows researchers to generate level estimates of bargaining power for each household, and in each period or state of the world, without making assumptions about utility functional forms. Instead, the main assumption we make is on the functional relationship between bargaining power and outside options. Our primary contribution is to provide researchers with a new measurement option that complements the existing suite of techniques. Paired with the contemporary household models presented in Chiappori and Mazzocco (2017), this new measurement approach opens the door to new analyses of household bargaining. After developing the measure, we present an application that demonstrates the nature of questions that can be answered with our approach. We present the first causal evidence on important outstanding policy questions: the extent to which the Government of Mexico's Progresa empowered women, and the subsequent impact of that empowerment on diet. We estimate that Progresa increased women's bargaining power by 35% from 1998 to 1999. We find that this empowerment caused a 10% increase in household demand for fruits and vegetables and an 8% increase in demand for animal products. We show that the marginal effect of power on diet has an inverse-U shape, with household nutritional attainment maximized when partners are relatively equal, and that this marginal effect is an increasing function of household income.
    JEL: D13 I15 I38
    Date: 2018–03
  6. By: Jinnat Ara
    Abstract: Do asset transfer programs to the extremely poor enable sustainable livelihoods? The study aims to explore whether transfer of capital and skills helps the ultra-poor to achieve sustainable livelihoods. CFPR-TUP program provides grant-based support services in rural Bangladesh with a view to reducing extreme poverty. Longitudinal data from randomized controlled trials shows significant positive impact of the intervention on educational outcomes of children, occupational transition, income, financial market participation, asset holdings, food security, food consumption, dietary diversity, and consumption expenditure. The trajectory of improvement from extreme poverty to sustainable livelihoods continues in the long-term, seven years after the end of the intervention.
    Keywords: asset transfer, sustainable livelihoods, occupational choices, dietary diversity
    Date: 2018–04–24
  7. By: Mohamed Boly (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - Clermont Auvergne - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    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
    Date: 2018–03–22
  8. By: Cáceres-Delpiano, Julio (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid); Giolito, Eugenio P. (Universidad Alberto Hurtado)
    Abstract: Using several data sources from Chile, we study the impact of school choice at the time of starting primary school. To study the contribution of school choice, we exploit the combination of multiple cutoffs defining the minimum age at entry, and the difference across municipalities in the composition of the schools according to these cutoffs. Children living in the same municipality, and whose birthday differs by a few days not only have their incentives to delay school entry affected, but also face, in case of not delaying, a different set of schools. We show that a larger set of schools increases the probability of starting in a better school, measured by non high-stakes examination. Moreover, this quasi-experimental variation reveals an important reduction in the likelihood of dropping out, and a reduction in the probability that a child would switch schools during her/his school life. Secondly, for a subsample of students who have completed high school, we observe that a larger school choice at the start of primary school increases students' chance of taking the national examination required for higher education and the likelihood of being enrolled in a selective college.
    Keywords: age requirements, school choice
    JEL: A21 I24 I25 I28
    Date: 2018–03
  9. By: Krieger, Tim; Renner, Laura
    Abstract: Kanazawa (J of Politics, 2009) claims that polygyny may be the "first law of intergroup conflict (civil wars)". Gleditsch et al. (J of Politics, 2011) reject this claim by showing that the effect of polygyny on civil war onset disappears once misogyny is controlled for. Our paper recapitulates this theoretical and empirical debate. We explore further theoretical arguments and replicate and extend the empirical analysis of Gleditsch et al. Our analysis is based on data from 123 countries from the period 1981-2011. Our results show that there is some truth to the empirical claims of both articles: Both polygyny and gender inequality matter in explaining the onset of internal conflicts. However, the results are sensitive to regional sample splits as well as the choice of the dimensions of gender inequality. The most pronounced effects can be found in a subsample of 40 African countries.
    Keywords: Polygyny,Misogyny,Gender Inequality,Intrastate Conflict,Civil War
    JEL: D74 J12 J16
    Date: 2018
  10. By: Quinones, Esteban J. (University of Wisconsin); Barham, Bradford L. (University of Wisconsin)
    Abstract: This article integrates theory on migration and labor outcomes--including attention to network effects--and a novel econometric design to explicitly account for the selection-based dimensions of these endogenous relationships. We use a Mixed Nonlinear Endogenous Switching Regression to test the causal hypothesis that migration within Mexico and to the US affects occupation outcomes while also probing the role of endogenous selection. The dataset from Southern rural Mexico contains detailed information on migration, return migration, and occupation outcomes for working-age females and males. Our empirical findings are consistent with previous research that demonstrate heterogeneity in migration selection processes and gendered patterns of community migration networks and labor market outcomes. The value of an endogenous switching approach is highlighted by hypothesis tests that reveal outcomes that cannot be recovered in a standard two-stage sample selection estimation. The first is the negative and statistically significant evidence of endogeneity of migration and occupation for both females and males driven by unobserved heterogeneity, perhaps associated with non-pecuniary motives such as family reunification efforts. The other is unambiguous causal evidence that occupational outcomes are positively influenced by both migration and return migration, especially for females. On average, migration and return migration increase the probability of upward occupational mobility by 55 to 62% for females and 44 to 21% for males.
    Date: 2018–02
  11. By: Bang, James T. (St. Ambrose University); Mitra, Aniruddha (Bard College); Wunnava, Phanindra V. (Middlebury College)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of remittances on poverty and inequality in Nigeria. In contrast to the existing literature, our methodology of instrumental variable quantile regression (IVQR) explicitly demonstrates the differential marginal impact of remittances for households at different levels of the conditional expenditure distribution. Furthermore, in tracing this heterogeneous impact, we are able to address the effect of remittances on poverty and inequality simultaneously in a unified econometric model. Our results reveal a positive marginal impact of remittances at all but the very highest quantiles of the conditional distribution of household expenditure, with the impact being the greatest up to the 12th quantile. While this unambiguously supports the poverty alleviation role of remittances hypothesized in the literature, the distributional impact is more nuanced: The marginal effect of remittance is seen to follow an approximate U-shape over the household expenditure distribution until the 89th quantile, whereupon it drops sharply. As such, households lying between the 13th to the 35th quantile gain far less from receiving remittances than households outside of this range.
    Keywords: poverty, income inequality, migration, remittances, instrumental variable, quantile regression
    JEL: F22 F24 O15 O55
    Date: 2018–03
  12. By: Akwasi Ampofo (School of Economics, University of Adelaide); Firmin Doko Tchatoka (School of Economics, University of Adelaide)
    Abstract: Empirical studies have documented the existence of the public-private pay differentials in both developed and developing countries. The implementation of policies aiming to reduce this gap has however been mitigated or inconclusive. This paper exploits the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP) in Ghana as a natural experiment to examine the effectiveness of wage policies in developing countries. The SSPP was implemented in 2010 by the Government of Ghana to address the public-private sector wage gap and improve productivity in the public sector. Using a quantile treatment effect approach based on a Difference-In-Difference (DID) estimation, we show that the SSPP has yet to reduce the wage gap between the public and private sectors across the entire distribution of earnings in Ghana. The improvement observed is only at the lower tail of the distribution of earnings. However, the SSPP has a larger effect on the earnings of female workers than that of males in the education and health services sector, suggesting that the policy was successful in reducing the gender-wage gap in that sector. Moreover, the SSPP has decreased the productivity of workers across the distribution of earnings, mainly due to a decrease in the effort of female public sector workers. Nevertheless, the SSPP has had some successes and could be improved by putting in place a good managerial quality in the government' agencies. In addition, it is important that the Government pays much attention to various macroeconomic factors that have challenged the success of the SSPP.
    Keywords: Public sector; Efficiency wage theory; Quantile treatment effect model; DID estimation
    JEL: C31 G15 J24 J31 J45
    Date: 2018–03
  13. By: S Anukriti (Boston College; IZA); Sonia Bhalotra (University of Essex); Hiu Tam (University of Oxford)
    Abstract: The introduction of prenatal sex-detection technologies in India has led to a phenomenal increase in abortion of female fetuses. We examine fertility and investment responses to these technologies. We find a moderation of son-biased fertility stopping, erosion of gender gaps in parental investments in breastfeeding and immunization, and convergence in the under-5 mor- tality rates of boys and girls. For every three aborted girls, roughly one additional girl survives to age five. We also find a shift in the distribution of girls in favor of low-socioeconomic status families. Our findings have implications not only for counts of missing girls but also for the later life outcomes of girls conditioned by greater early life investments in them.
    Keywords: abortion, child mortality, fertility, gender, health, India, missing girls, parental investments, prenatal sex detection, sex-selection, ultrasound
    JEL: I15 J13 J16
    Date: 2018–01–15
  14. By: Aditi Krishna; Ivan Mejia-Guevara; Mark E. McGovern; Victor M. Aguayo; S.V. Subramanian
    Abstract: We analysed socioeconomic inequalities in stunting in South Asia and investigated disparities associated with factors at the individual, caregiver, and household levels (poor dietary diversity, low maternal education, and household poverty). We used time-series analysis of data from 55,459 children ages 6–23 months from Demographic and Health Surveys in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan (1991–2014). Logistic regression models, adjusted for age, sex, birth order, and place of residency, examined associations between stunting and multiple types of socioeconomic disadvantage. All countries had high stunting rates. Bangladesh and Nepal recorded the largest reductions—2.9 and 4.1 percentage points per year, respectively—compared to 1.3 and 0.6 percentage points in India and Pakistan, respectively. Socioeconomic adversity was associated with increased risk of stunting, regardless of disadvantage type. Poor children with inadequate diets and with poorly educated mothers experienced greater risk of stunting. Although stunting rates declined in the most deprived groups, socioeconomic differences were largely preserved over time and in some cases worsened, namely, between wealth quintiles. The disproportionate burden of stunting experienced by the most disadvantaged children and the worsening inequalities between socioeconomic groups are of concern in countries with substantial stunting burdens. Closing the gap between best and worst performing countries, and between most and least disadvantaged groups within countries, would yield substantial improvements in stunting rates in South Asia. To do so, greater attention needs to be paid to addressing the social, economic, and political drivers of stunting with targeted efforts towards the populations experiencing the greatest disadvantage and child growth faltering.
    Keywords: Health Inequalities; South Asia; Stunting; Undernutrition
    JEL: I10 J10
    Date: 2018–04
  15. By: Nimonka Bayale (CERFEG - Centre de Recherche et de Formation en Science Economique et de Gestion - Université de Lomé, IFPRI - International Food Policy Research Institute)
    Abstract: The main purpose of this paper is to analyze threshold effects of official development assistance (ODA) on economic growth in WAEMU zone countries. To achieve this, the study is based on OECD and WDI data covering the period 1980-2015 and used Hansen's Panel Threshold Regression (PTR) model to " bootstrap " aid threshold above which its effectiveness is effective. The evidence strongly supports the view that the relationship between aid and economic growth is non-linear with a unique threshold which is 12.74% GDP. Above this value, the marginal effect of aid is 0.69 points, " all things being equal to otherwise ". One of the main contribution of this paper is to show that WAEMU countries need investments that could be covered by the foreign aid. This later one should be considered just as a complementary resource. Thus, WEAMU countries should continue to strengthen their efforts in internal resource mobilization in order to fulfil this need.
    Abstract: L'objectif de cet article est d'analyser les effets de seuil de l'aide publique au développement sur la croissance économique des pays de la Zone UEMOA. Pour ce faire, l'étude s'est basée sur les données de l'OCDE et du WDI couvrant la période 1980-2015 et a employé un modèle de type Panel Threshold Regression (PTR) à la Hansen pour déterminer par " bootstrap " le seuil d'aide à partir duquel son efficacité est effective. Les résultats de cette méthode appuient fortement l'idée que la relation entre l'aide et la croissance est non linéaire avec un seuil de 12.74 % du PIB moyen de l'Union. Au-dessus de ce seuil, l'effet marginal de l'aide est 0.69 point, toutes choses égale par ailleurs. Ainsi, l'une des principales contributions de cette étude consiste à montrer que les pays de la Zone expriment un besoin de financement qui ne peut être uniquement comblé par l'aide extérieure. Ils devront alors poursuivre leurs efforts à mobiliser et à gérer de façon optimale les ressources internes afin de combler ce besoin et considérer d'aide juste comme une ressource complémentaire.
    Keywords: Croissance économique, Zone UEMOA,Aide, Panel Threshold Regression,Classification JEL : F 35 C 63 C 26 0 40
    Date: 2018–04–12
  16. By: Maria EL KHDARI; Babacar SARR
    Abstract: This paper studies how decentralization affects poverty, vulnerability, and inequality in Morocco, in the context of ongoing regionalization reforms. We use different non-parametric approaches to assess spending efficiency of Moroccan municipalities and regions over the period 2005-2009. The results indicate that the efficiency of spending in improving pro-poor outcomes is dependent on the fiscal autonomy of subnational governments. While the impact of transfer dependency is not statistically significant, more granular data show that formula-based (unconditional) transfers significantly improve spending efficiency when the opposite is true for ad-hoc (conditional) transfers. Furthermore, we investigate the impact of political decentralization and find that local spending is less efficient in regions where municipal governments have a greater responsibility for spending compared to the regional government. This finding also holds in more fragmented regions with a high number of municipalities. Finally, we test whether there is an electoral budget cycle in Morocco and find that spending efficiency decreases the year of local elections, but increases with the level of education of elected officials.
    Keywords: Decentralization, Morocco, Poverty, Vulnerability, Inequality, Public spending efficiency, Data envelopment analysis, Partial Frontier Analysis.
    JEL: H7 C14 H5 C23 I3
    Date: 2018–04
  17. By: Amarasinghe, Ashani; Hodler, Roland; Raschky, Paul A.; Zenou, Yves
    Abstract: The aggregate economic impact of any developmental project depends on its effects within the chosen administrative region as well as its economic spillovers into other regions. However, little is known about how these spillovers propagate through geographic, ethnic and road networks. In this paper, we analyze both theoretically and empirically the role of these networks in the spatial diffusion of local economic shocks. We develop a network model that shows how a district's level of prosperity is related to its position in the network. The network model's first-order conditions are used to derive an econometric model of spatial spillovers that we estimate using a panel of 5,944 districts from 53 African countries over the period 1997-2013. To identify the causal effect of spatial diffusion, we exploit cross sectional variation in the location of mineral mines and exogenous time variation in world mineral prices. Our results show that road and ethnic connectivity are particularly important factors for diffusing economic spillovers over longer distances. We then use the estimated parameters from the econometric model to calculate the key player centralities, which determine which districts are key in propagating local economic shocks across Africa. We further show how counterfactual exercises based on these estimates and the underlying network structure can inform us about the potential gains from policies that increase economic activity in specific districts or improve road connectivity between districts.
    Keywords: economic development; key player centrality; Natural resources; networks; spatial spillovers; sub-Saharan Africa.; Transportation
    JEL: O13 O55 R12
    Date: 2018–04
  18. By: Arifur Rahman
    Abstract: Does uncertainty of labor earning over the life-time increase income inequality? – This paper finds that there is a direct positive relationship between life-time uncertainty and income inequality. Earlier studies single out the effect of uncertainty to pin point the effects of predictable factors (i.e. education, family background, etc.), whereas the uncertainty is treated as uncontrollable factor. This paper finds that, the degree of earning uncertainty is predictable to a large extent, which is one of the corner-stones of life cycle models with stochastic earnings. Therefore, the uncontrollable uncertainty can be influenced by policy decisions. The EAM countries have set examples of such policies and have shown that despite their rapid economic growth, inequality has been decreased in those countries. The degree of earning uncertainty can be reduced by creating more jobs in less volatile Dependent Employment. In other words, by giving a worker higher opportunity to find a less volatile job, earning uncertainty can be reduced. And reduced earning uncertainty eventually results in reduced income inequality.
    Keywords: Inequality, Redistribution
    JEL: D33 E24
    Date: 2018–01
  19. By: Alzúa, María Laura (Universidad Nacional de la Plata); Djebbari, Habiba (Université Laval); Pickering, Amy J. (Tufts University)
    Abstract: Basic sanitation facilities are still lacking in large parts of the developing world, engendering serious environmental health risks. Interventions commonly deliver in-kind or cash subsidies to promote private toilet ownership. In this paper, we assess an intervention that provides information and behavioral incentives to encourage villagers in rural Mali to build and use basic latrines. Using an experimental research design and carefully measured indicators of use, we find a sizeable impact from this intervention: latrine ownership and use almost doubled in intervention villages, and open defecation was reduced by half. Our results partially attribute these effects to increased knowledge about cheap and locally available sanitation solutions. They are also associated with shifts in the social norm governing sanitation. Taken together, our findings, unlike previous evidence from other contexts, suggest that a progressive approach that starts with ending open defecation and targets whole communities at a time can help meet the new Sustainable Development Goal of ending open defecation.
    Keywords: sanitation, behavioral change, community-based intervention, social norm
    JEL: Q53 Q58 D78
    Date: 2018–03
  20. By: Jean-Marie Baland (CRED - Centre de Recherche en Economie du Developpement - Facultés Universitaires Notre Dame de la Paix (FUNDP) - Namur, CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR, BREAD); François Libois (PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics, CRED - Centre de Recherche en Economie du Developpement - Facultés Universitaires Notre Dame de la Paix (FUNDP) - Namur); Dilip Mookherjee (BU - Boston University [Boston], BREAD)
    Abstract: We investigate the relation between economic growth, household firewood collection and forest conditions in Nepal between 2003 and 2010. Co-movements in these are examined at the household and village levels, combining satellite imagery and household (Nepal Living Standard Measurement Survey) data. Projections of the impact of economic growth based on Engel curves turn out to be highly inaccurate: forest conditions remained stable despite considerable growth in household consumption and income. Firewood collections at the village level remained stable, as effects of demographic growth were offset by substantial reductions in per-household collections. Households substituted firewood by alternative energy sources, particularly when livestock and farm based occupations declined in importance. Engel curve specifications which include household productive assets (a proxy for occupational patterns) provide more accurate predictions. Hence structural changes accompanying economic growth play an important role in offsetting adverse environmental consequences of growth.
    Keywords: Deforestation,Growth,Environmental Kuznets Curve,Nepal
    Date: 2018–04
  21. By: Cheng, Gong (European Stability Mechanism); Diaz-Cassou, Javier (Inter-American Development Bank); Erce, Aitor (European Stability Mechanism)
    Abstract: Despite the frequency of official debt restructurings, little systematic evidence has been produced on their characteristics and implications. Using a dataset covering more than 400 Paris Club agreements, this paper fills that gap. It provides a comprehensive description of the evolving characteristics of these operations and studies their impact on debtors. The progressive introduction of new terms of treatment gradually turned the Paris Club from an institution primarily concerned with preserving creditors’ claims into an instrument to foster development in the world’s poorer nations, among other objectives. Our study finds that more generous restructuring conditions involving nominal relief are associated with an acceleration of per capita GDP growth, a reduction of poverty and inequality, and an increase in public health budgets. We also find that countries receiving nominal relief tend to receive lower aid flows subsequently, the opposite being the case for countries receiving high reductions in the net present value of their obligations, but no nominal haircuts.
    Keywords: Official debt; sovereign debt restructuring; Paris Club
    JEL: F33 F34 F36 F53 H63
    Date: 2018–04–20

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