nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2018‒05‒07
seven papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Blessing a Curse? Institutional Reform and Resource Booms in Colombia By Jorge Gallego; Stanislao Maldonado; Lorena Trujillo
  2. The Effects of Foreign Aid on Refugee Flows By Dreher, Axel; Fuchs, Andreas; Langlotz, Sarah
  3. The Effect of Deforestation on the Access to Clean Drinking Water: A Study of Malawi's Deforestation By Annie Mwai Mapulanga and Hisahiro Naito
  4. Decomposition of changes in the consumption of macronutrients in Vietnam between 2004 and 2014 By Simioni, Michel; Thomas-Agnan, Christine; Trinh, Thi-Huong
  5. Women's Empowerment, Gendered Institutions and Economic Opportunity: An Investigative Study for Pakistan By Parlow, Anton
  6. The Last of the Lost Generations? Formal and Non-Formal Education in Ghana during Times of Economic Decline and Recovery By Blunch, Niels-Hugo; Hammer, Jeffrey S.
  7. Enlightening Communities and Parents for Improving Student Learning Evidence from Randomized Experiment in Niger By Eiji Koazuka

  1. By: Jorge Gallego; Stanislao Maldonado; Lorena Trujillo
    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: 2018–04–19
  2. By: Dreher, Axel; Fuchs, Andreas; Langlotz, Sarah
    Abstract: This article is the first to systematically study whether foreign aid affects the net flows of refugees from recipient countries. Combining refugee data on 141 origin countries over the 1976-2013 period with bilateral Official Development Assistance data, we estimate the causal effects of a country’s aid receipts on both total refugee flows to the world and flows to donor countries. The interaction of donor-government fractionalization and a recipient country’s probability of receiving aid provides a powerful and excludable instrumental variable, when we control for country- and time-fixed effects that capture the levels of the interacted variables. Although our results suggest that exogenous aid induces recipient governments to encourage the return of their citizens, we find no evidence that aid reduces worldwide refugee outflows or flows to donor countries in the short term. However, we observe long-run effects after four three-year periods, which appear to be driven by lagged positive effects of aid on growth.
    Keywords: foreign aid,Official Development Assistance,migration,refugees,displaced people,humanitarian crises,repatriation policies
    JEL: F22 F35 F59 H84 O15 O19
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Annie Mwai Mapulanga and Hisahiro Naito
    Abstract: Using Malawi's satellite images of land use and cover, weather data and population data at each cluster and two waves of the Demographic Health Survey (DHS), this paper estimates the causal effect of deforestation on access to clean drinking water. The previous literature of forest science have examined the effect of deforestation of water flow and mixed results. This paper, instead, directly examines the causal effect of deforestation on households' access to clean drinking water by using two Staged Least Square (2SLS) estimation. The results illustrate strong empirical evidence that deforestation decreases the access to clean water. Falsification tests show that a possibility of our instrumental variable picking up an unobserved time trend is very unlikely. We find that a one percentage point increase in deforestation decreases access to clean water by 1.0-1.3 percentage points.
    Date: 2018–03
  4. By: Simioni, Michel; Thomas-Agnan, Christine; Trinh, Thi-Huong
    Abstract: Vietnam is undergoing a nutritional transition like many middle-income countries. This paper proposes to highlight the socio-demographic drivers of this transition over the period 2004-2014. We implement a method of decomposition of between-year differences in economic outcomes recently proposed in the literature. This method allows decomposing the composition effect on the distribution of the outcome under study, which is due to the differences in covariates across years, into direct contributions of each covariate and effects of their interactions. This method is applied to VHLSS data. The results show the importance of between-year changes in the distributions of covariates on between-year changes in the distributions of total calorie intake and calorie intakes from proteins and fat. This effect is more contrasted in case of calorie intake from carbohydrates. Food expenditure and household size appear to be the main drivers of the observed evolutions in macronutrients consumption. On the contrary, the urbanization of the population has a negative effect on these evolutions, except on fat consumption. The effect of urbanization is, nevertheless, less important than the positive effects of the previous two variables.
    Keywords: Macronutrient consumption; Nutritional transition; Decomposition method; Copulas; Vietnam
    JEL: C02 C14 C51 O15 Q18
    Date: 2018–04
  5. By: Parlow, Anton
    Abstract: Increasing female landownership or labor force participation are policies designed to empower women in developing countries. Yet, societies are diverse and I find that across language and ethnic groups not all Pakistani women benefit from these increased economic opportunities in their decision making. I even find negative impacts of labor force participation on empowerment for some groups. This can be explained by different gender expectations along these gendered institutions.
    Keywords: Women's Empowerment, Ethnicity, Identity
    JEL: J0 J01 O12
    Date: 2018–04–23
  6. By: Blunch, Niels-Hugo; Hammer, Jeffrey S.
    Abstract: Using a cohort approach, this paper examines educational attainment in Ghana and its potential determinants considering both educational attainment in the formal education system and participation in non-formal education in the form of adult literacy programs. The results indicate an overall substitution between formal and non-formal education across the generations, with participation in adult literacy programs decreasing as the formal education system expanded its coverage across space and time in Ghana. Individuals who completed any formal education were also much less likely to participate in adult literacy programs, by about 10 percentagepoints per year of formal education completed. Additionally, the generations subject to the declining education system during the 1970s were substantially disadvantaged, with the cohort that was roughly of primary school age at the time of the economic breakdown in 1983 and the first few years thereafter being the last of the disadvantaged cohorts—the “lost generations.” This is especially true for the particularly vulnerable group of individuals who never received any formal education, where the crisis cohort peaked in terms of adult literacy program participation relative to later (and earlier) cohorts, possibly in response to a decrease in the quality of the formal education system as well as increased competition from returning refugees. We perform a simple test for the declining quality of the formal education system in the 1970s and find evidence consistent with a decrease in the quality in the education system during the 1970s, followed by an increase in quality thereafter.
    Keywords: Human capital,formal and non-formal education,adult literacy programs,cohort analysis,Ghana
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2018
  7. By: Eiji Koazuka
    Abstract: Providing local communities with authority to manage school resources is a popular education policy in the developing world. However, recent studies suggest that this type of intervention has limited impact on student learning outcomes. To investigate how communities can effectively utilize school resources, we conducted a randomized experiment in Niger by providing school grants and training for school committees to increase communities’ awareness of student learning and improve resource management. The result shows that, when the training was conducted with grant provision, communities increased activities that enhanced student effort, and student test scores in math and French remarkably improved, particularly for low-performing children. As a secondary effect of the training, parents, who have realized their children are not learning the basics at school, increased their contribution to school committees and their support for children’s home study. These results suggest that sharing information and knowledge with communities and raising their awareness is a key to enhancing effectiveness of community participation and school grants policy.
    Keywords: Education, Decentralization, Accountability, Field experiments
    Date: 2018–03

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