nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2018‒06‒25
eight papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Spillovers as a Driver to Reduce Ex-post Inequality Generated by Randomized Experiments: Experiments from an Agricultural Training Intervention By TAKAHASHI, Kazushi; MANO, Yukichi; OTSUKA, Keijiro
  2. The size of the middle class and educational outcomes: Theory and evidence from the Indian subcontinent By Prettner, Klaus; Seiffert, Sebastian
  3. Just like a Woman? New Comparative Evidence on the Gender Income Gap across Eastern Europe and Central Asia By Blunch, Niels-Hugo
  4. Spousal Violence and Social Norms in India's North East By Pal, Sumantra
  5. An investigation into the reported closing of the Nicaraguan gender gap By Piper, Alan T.
  6. Making growth more inclusive in Thailand By Lara Fleischer; Adam Bogiatzis; Hidekatsu Asada; Vincent Koen
  7. The Impact of Institutions on Bank Governance and Stability: Evidence from African Countries By Samuel Mutarindwa; Dorothea Schäfer; Andreas Stephan
  8. Speeding Sustainable Development: Integrating Economic, Social, and Environmental Development By Charles Kenny

  1. By: TAKAHASHI, Kazushi; MANO, Yukichi; OTSUKA, Keijiro
    Abstract: Randomized experiments ensure equal opportunities but could generate unequal outcomes by treatment status, which is socially costly. This study demonstrates a sequential intervention to conduct impact evaluation and subsequently to mitigate “experiment-driven” inequality. Specifically, control farmers were initially restricted from exchanging information with treated farmers, who received rice management training, to satisfy the stable unit treatment value assumption. We then encouraged information exchange between farmers one year after the training. We found positive training effects, but performance gaps created by our randomized assignment disappeared over time because of information spillovers and, hence, eventually control farmers also benefitted from our experiment.
    Keywords: Inequality, Program evaluation, Randomised experiment, Spillover
    JEL: O12 O13 O31 Q12
    Date: 2018–05
  2. By: Prettner, Klaus; Seiffert, Sebastian
    Abstract: This paper proposes a stylised model to derive the effect of a sizeable middle class on average educational outcomes. Under reasonable assumptions, the model predicts that the spending share on education increases if the middle class becomes larger such that the size of the middle class has a positive impact on education. We test the relationship empirically by using village/neighbourhood level data from Indian household surveys. To tackle the issue of potential endogeneity of the middle class share of the population, we propose a novel instrument that relies on the fraction of the population belonging to the third (middle) caste ("sudra"). Using this IV strategy, our empirical results support a positive effect of a larger middle class on educational outcomes. Furthermore, we show that the share of the middle class is a more important determinant of female education than male education and that the effect of the middle class on education is more pronounced in rural areas.
    Keywords: India,inequality,middle class,education,castes
    JEL: I24 I25 I30 O15
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Blunch, Niels-Hugo (Washington and Lee University)
    Abstract: I examine the incidence and determinants of the gender income gap in Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia, Tajikistan, and Ukraine using recent household data based on an identical survey instrument across countries. Four main results are established, using a range of estimators, including OLS, interval regression, and quantile regression: (1) the presence of a substantively large gender income gap (favoring males) in all six countries; (2) some evidence of a gender-related glass ceiling in some of these countries; (3) some evidence that endowments diminish the income gaps, while the returns to characteristics increase the gaps; and (4) while observed individual characteristics explain part of the gaps, a substantial part of the income gap is left unexplained. In sum, these results are consistent with the presence of income discrimination towards females but at the same time also point towards the importance of continued attention towards institutions and economic policy for decreasing the gender income gap in these former formally gender neutral economies—notably through attention towards the maternity and paternity leave system, as well as public provision of child care.
    Keywords: gender, income gap, Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition, detailed decomposition, maternity/paternity leave policies, Eastern Europe and Central Asia
    JEL: J16 J31 J7
    Date: 2018–05
  4. By: Pal, Sumantra
    Abstract: A body of extant literature suggests that improvements in wellbeing and empowerment of women in the process of development are hindered by traditional social norms, which are often patriarchic. This paper investigates the link between traditional social norms and women’s status, in particular, the women's attitude towards violence and incidence of spousal violence. The study context is the tribes of Meghalaya and neighboring areas, where there is great variation regarding patriarchic versus matriarchic lineage, residence and inheritance customs. For the statistical analysis, we combine information on social norms prevailing among the different tribes from the comprehensive ethnographic atlas People of India with household-level data from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS). In addition to individual characteristics, we find the extent to which social norms determine violence against women and under what prevailing norms working women are better-off.
    Keywords: Social Norms,Spousal Violence
    JEL: Z13 B54 J12
    Date: 2018
  5. By: Piper, Alan T.
    Abstract: For the last five years, the World Economic Forum’s annual Global Gender Gap Index has been reporting that Nicaragua is one of the most gender equal countries in the world. This is the culmination of a remarkable increase in gender equality in Nicaragua during the past decade, charted by the same index. This paper discusses the Index and the Nicaraguan context and then refers to the results of several waves of the Latinobarometer to investigate whether the change in gender equality has affected Nicaraguans’ (and particularly Nicaraguan women’s) perceptions of their lives and society. The underlying question is therefore whether satisfaction with life, satisfaction with democracy, and opinions about gender equality have, in the average opinion of Nicaraguans, altered between the period when Nicaragua was placed low on the gender equality ranking to when it had attained a high rating on the index just a few years later. The findings, which come from ordered probit regression analysis, reveal some evidence of improvements over this time period.
    Keywords: Nicaragua; gender equality; Global Gender Gap Index; life satisfaction; Latinobarometer.
    JEL: I31 N36
    Date: 2018–05
  6. By: Lara Fleischer (OECD); Adam Bogiatzis (OECD); Hidekatsu Asada (OECD); Vincent Koen (OECD)
    Abstract: The People pillar of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development focuses on quality of life in all its dimensions, and emphasises the international community’s commitment to ensuring all human beings can fulfil their potential in dignity, equality and good health. Thailand’s path from a low-income to an upper-middle-income country over recent decades is widely hailed as a development success story. Poverty has fallen impressively and inequality is on a downwards trend, but more efforts are needed to reduce still widespread informality and persistent, substantial regional inequalities, and to further improve living standards, especially for those who currently work informally. To achieve these objectives, the government needs to: (i) consider tax and regulatory measures to encourage formalisation; (ii) boost the participation rates of informal workers in social protection schemes; (iii) expand adequate social safety nets for poor households and the elderly; (iv) prepare the healthcare system for an ageing and modernising society; and (v) improve the education system, particularly in rural areas. Gaps also remain in ensuring women’s political participation and reducing gender-based violence. This Working Paper relates to the 2018 Initial Assessment report of the Multi-dimensional Country Review of Thailand ( imensional-review-thailand.htm)
    Keywords: demographic change, education, gender equality, health care, inclusive growth, inequality, informality, labour market, pensions, poverty, regional development, social protection, well-being
    JEL: H55 I00 I12 I13 I18 I21 I25 I28 I30 I38 J08 J10 J26
    Date: 2018–05–30
  7. By: Samuel Mutarindwa; Dorothea Schäfer; Andreas Stephan
    Abstract: This paper sheds new light on how African countries’ legal systems and institutions influence the governance and stability of their banks. We find that institutional factors, in particular the legal family of origin, political stability, contract enforcement and strength of investor protection promote central corporate governance reforms. Using a difference-in-difference approach, we also reveal that those reforms mediate the impact of institutions on banks. If countries have a corporate governance reform in place their banks show better internal governance and higher stability.
    Keywords: African banks, corporate governance, legal systems, institutions, bank stability
    JEL: G21 G28 G30 G32 G38
    Date: 2018
  8. By: Charles Kenny (Center for Global Development)
    Abstract: This paper discusses the role for policy integration to speed progress towards delivering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This is required because the goals set very ambitious targets for progress across a range of interlinked areas, encompassing both synergies and tradeoffs. Lessons of policy integration at the national level suggest that it is usually at best partially successful, requiring significant commitment from the highest levels of government. Policy integration regarding foreign affairs has proven even more challenging. This paper suggests a mechanism for prioritizing coordination and the use of coordination tools including regulation, safeguards, taxes, and subsidies. It also suggests re-orienting ministerial responsibilities where possible from input control to achievement of outcomes as well as tools to promote innovation by subnational governments and the private sector.
    Keywords: SDGs, sustainable development, policy coordination
    Date: 2018–05–23

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