nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2018‒08‒27
seven papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Burden of Climate Change on Malaria Mortality By Dasgupta, Shouro
  2. To Go or not to Go: Migration Alleviates Climate Damages even for Those Who Stay Behind By Shayegh, Soheil; Casey, Greg P.
  3. Shocks, vulnerability and income generating capacity of rural households: Evidence from Southeast Asia By Buehler, Dorothee; Cunningham, Wendy
  4. Can Network Theory-based Targeting Increase Technology Adoption? By Lori Beaman; Ariel BenYishay; Jeremy Magruder; Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak
  5. Investing in land to change your risk exposure? Land transactions in a landslide prone region By Mertens, Kewan; Vranken, Liesbet
  6. Understanding the importance of wage employment for rural development: Evidence from Senegal By Van Hoyweghen, Kaat; Van Den Broek, Goedele; Maertens, Miet
  7. Does democracy reduce the HIV epidemic? Evidence from Kenya By Antoine Marsaudon; Josselin Thuilliez

  1. By: Dasgupta, Shouro
    Abstract: In 2015, an estimated 429,000 deaths and 212 million cases of malaria occurred worldwide, while 70% of the deaths occurred in children under five years old. Changes in climatic exposure such as temperature and precipitation makes malaria one of the most climate sensitive outcomes. Using a global malaria mortality dataset for 105 countries between 1980 and 2010, we estimate that the global optimal temperature maximizing all-age malaria mortality is 20.6, lower than previously predicted in the literature. While in the case of child mortality, a significantly lower optimum temperature of 19.3° is estimated. Our results also suggest that in Africa and Asia, the continents where malaria is most prevalent malaria, mortality is maximized at 28.4 and 26.3, respectively. Furthermore, we estimate that child mortality (ages 0-4) is likely to increase by up to 20 percent in some areas due to climate change by the end of the 21st century.
    Keywords: Environmental Economics and Policy
    Date: 2017–09–25
  2. By: Shayegh, Soheil; Casey, Greg P.
    Abstract: We examine the effect of climate change on fertility rates and human capital accumulation in developing countries, focusing on the instrumental role of migration. In particular, we investigate how climate-induced migration in developing countries will affect those who do not migrate. Holding all else constant, climate shocks raise the return to acquiring skills, because skilled individuals compared to unskilled ones have greater opportunity to migrate after the shock. In response to this change in incentives, parents choose to invest more in education and have less children, a process known as the ‘quantity-quality’ trade-off. These effects partially offset the damages of climate change, even for those who do not migrate.
    Keywords: Environmental Economics and Policy
    Date: 2017–12–21
  3. By: Buehler, Dorothee; Cunningham, Wendy
    Abstract: Against the background of rising weather risks this paper seeks to understand how risks impact the income generating capacity of rural households in Southeast Asia. In this study, we use assets to predict households' income generating capacity and examine the role of different shock categories on asset accumulation. In addition, we detect region, country and income group specific patterns. We use panel data from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam covering 5,200 rural households. Households' income generating capacity is estimated in a fixed-effects regression based on assets owned or accessed by the household. The findings suggest that shocks decrease the asset accumulation rate of rural households by 1.4 percentage points across all four countries. While health shocks decrease households' asset accumulation rate by 1.2 to 1.4 percentage points, the effect of drought and flood shocks is twice as high. At the country level, the effect of flood shocks on asset growth are strongest in Vietnam while drought shocks disproportionately affect Laotian households. Households are largely able to anticipate the occurrence of health shocks, while droughts and floods are less predictable and thus, have a more detrimental effect on asset growth. The effects of shocks differ across income quartiles. While households in the richest quartile are able cope with weather shocks, health shocks affect their asset accumulation disproportionately. Poor households are strongest affected by drought shocks.
    Keywords: Shocks, Asset-based approach, Economic development, Poverty, Regional analysis, Southeast Asia
    JEL: I32 O18 Q1
    Date: 2018–08
  4. By: Lori Beaman; Ariel BenYishay; Jeremy Magruder; Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak
    Abstract: In order to induce farmers to adopt a productive new agricultural technology, we apply simple and complex contagion diffusion models on rich social network data from 200 villages in Malawi to identify seed farmers to target and train on the new technology. A randomized controlled trial compares these theory-driven network targeting approaches to simpler strategies that either rely on a government extension worker or an easily measurable proxy for the social network (geographic distance between households) to identify seed farmers. Our results indicate that technology diffusion is characterized by a complex contagion learning environment in which most farmers need to learn from multiple people before they adopt themselves. Network theory based targeting can out-perform traditional approaches to extension, and we identify methods to realize these gains at low cost to policymakers. Keywords: Social Learning, Agricultural Technology Adoption, Complex Contagion, Malawi JEL Classification Codes: O16, O13
    Date: 2018–08
  5. By: Mertens, Kewan; Vranken, Liesbet
    Abstract: The poor and vulnerable tend to be increasingly exposed to natural hazards like landslides. Land markets are one of the channels through which farmers get exposed to such hazards. This paper investigates the consequences of land transactions for the (un)equal distribution of exposure to landslide risk and of total land holdings in a rural area in Western Uganda. We propose and empirically test a mechanism through which land holdings and exposure to landslide risk evolves over a farmer’s lifetime. A structured household survey and detailed information on land transaction as well as georeferenced information on plots was used to construct a panel dataset of land transactions. Regressions with household fixed effects were run to identify how landholdings and exposure to landslide susceptibility evolves over a farmer’s lifetime. We find that farmers that are initially more exposed to landslides manage to reduce their average exposure to some extent by acquiring plots outside landslide prone areas. This goes at a cost, as farmers that are initially highly exposed acquire land more slowly than farmers that have a lower exposure on their first plot. Over a lifetime, in our case study, land transactions therefore have a somewhat levelling effect on inequality in exposure to landslide susceptibility, but increase the inequality in land ownership. As such, one of the ways through which unequal risk exposure contributes to propagating inequality in total land ownings is theoretical and empirically identified.
    Keywords: Agricultural Finance, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Food Security and Poverty, Land Economics/Use
    Date: 2017–11–28
  6. By: Van Hoyweghen, Kaat; Van Den Broek, Goedele; Maertens, Miet
    Abstract: The literature on the rural non-farm economy and non-farm employment often neglects agricultural wage employment. This neglect is rooted in the idea that such employment cannot significantly contribute to household welfare and rural development because it is a low-return and insecure type of employment. In this paper we specifically focus on off-farm wage employment, disentangle different employment sectors, and estimate the impact on household welfare. We use two-round panel data from Senegal, and fixed effects regressions and differencing techniques. We use static as well as intertemporal measures of welfare. We find that entry into wage employment increases per capita income with 140%, smoothens income significantly, reduces the likelihood to be poor with 34% points and the likelihood to become or remain poor with 16%. Despite substantially lower wages for casual and agricultural employment, we find substantial income-enhancing and poverty-reducing effects of such employment. Casual employment is found to at first smooth incomes and to then boost incomes either through upward employment mobility to higher-return jobs or through relaxing investment constraints and increased income from self-employment. We conclude that jobs are important for rural development as they both smooth and boost rural incomes; that the agricultural sector can be an important source of jobs; and that casual jobs can be an important source of upward income mobility. The paper corroborates claims on the importance of the rural non-farm economy but refutes the idea of casual or agricultural employment not contributing to household welfare and rural development. This calls for a reconsideration of the definition of the rural non-farm economy to include agricultural wage employment as a full component.
    Keywords: Community/Rural/Urban Development, Land Economics/Use
    Date: 2018–04–30
  7. By: Antoine Marsaudon (PSE - Paris School of Economics, 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); Josselin Thuilliez (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Does democracy help Kenyan citizens to struggle against the HIV epidemic? Yet, very little attention has been devoted to establish whether political regimes react differently to the HIV infection. Using an electoral definition of democracy makes a contribution in understanding which aspects of political rules matter to manage the disease. Using a difference-in-difference design that draws upon pre-existing variations in HIV intensity and cohort's exposure to democracy, we find that a person living under democracy is less likely to have a HIV infection. Further, we present some evidence of ethnic favoritism and gender disparities during periods of non-democracy.
    Keywords: Institution,Democracy,HIV,Health,Kenya
    Date: 2016–11

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