nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2018‒09‒10
nineteen papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Violent Conflict and the Child Quantity-Quality Tradeoff By Nepal, Apsara Karki; Halla, Martin; Stillman, Steven
  2. The Value of Health Insurance: A Household Job Search Approach By Conti, Gabriella; Ginja, Rita; Narita, Renata
  3. Modern agri-food systems, horticultural employment and women's empowerment By Krumbiegel, Katharina; Maertens, Miet; Wollni, Meike
  4. Data gaps, data incomparability, and data imputation: A review of poverty measurement methods for data-scarce environments By Hai-Anh Dang; Dean Jolliffe; Calogero Carletto
  5. Market Constraints, Misallocation, and Productivity in Vietnam Agriculture By Stephen Ayerst; Loren Brandt; Diego Restuccia
  6. How mobile phones can improve nutrition among pastoral communities: Panel data evidence from Northern Kenya By Parlasca, Martin C.; Mußhoff, Oliver; Qaim, Matin
  7. Can Mobile Phones Improve Gender Equality and Nutrition? Panel Data Evidence from Farm Households in Uganda By Sekabira, Haruna; Qaim, Matin
  8. Assessing the impact of integrated pest management (IPM) technology for mango fruit fly control on food security among smallholders in Machakos County, Kenya By Nyangau, Paul; Muriithi, Beatrice; Irungu, Patrick; Nzuma, Jonathan; Diiro, Glacious
  9. Drivers of Student Performance: Evidence from Higher Secondary Public Schools in Delhi By Goel, Deepti; Barooah, Bidisha
  10. The Paradigm of Governance Quality, Migration and its Implication on Food and Nutritional Security in Sub- Saharan Africa: What does Dynamic Generalized Method of Moments estimation reveal? By Ogunniyi, A.; Mavrotas, G.; Olagunju, K.; Fadare, O.; Rufai, A.M.
  11. A Triple Hurdle Model of the Impacts of Improved Chickpea Adoption on Smallholder Production and Commercialization in Ethiopia. By Mausch, Kai; Woldeyohanes, Tesfaye; Heckelei, Thomas; Tabe-Ojong, Martin Paul
  12. Can Network Theory-based Targeting Increase Technology Adoption? By Lori Beaman; Ariel BenYishay; Jeremy Magruder; Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak
  13. Food for Work and Diet Diversity in Ethiopia By Debela, Bethelhem Legesse; Shively, Gerald E.; Holden, Stein T.
  14. Effects of childhood work on long-term out-migration decision in rural Ethiopia By Mussa, E.C.; Mirzabaev, A.; Admassie, A.; Rukundo, E.N.
  15. Weather Index Insurance, Agricultural Input Use, and Crop Productivity in Kenya By Sibiko, Kenneth W.; Qaim, Matin
  16. Impact of modern irrigation on household production and welfare outcomes: Evidence from the PASIDP project in Ethiopia By Garbero, Alessandra; Songsermsawas, Tisorn
  17. Smallholder Agricultural Commercialization and Poverty: Empirical Evidence of Panel Data from Kenya By Muricho, Geoffrey; Manda, Damiano; Sule, Fredrick; Kassie, Menale
  18. Migration, Political Institutions, and Social Networks By Catia Batista; Julia Seither; Pedro C. Vicente
  19. Small producer participation in export vegetable supply chains and poverty: evidence from different export schemes in Tanzania By Benali, Marwan; Brümmer, Bernhard; Afari-Sefa, Victor

  1. By: Nepal, Apsara Karki (International Center for Integrated Mountain Development); Halla, Martin (University of Linz); Stillman, Steven (Free University of Bozen/Bolzano)
    Abstract: We show that the exposure to war-related violence increases the quantity of children temporarily, with permanent negative consequences for the quality of the current and previous cohort of children. Our empirical evidence is based on Nepal, which experienced a ten year long civil conflict of varying intensity. Our difference-in-differences analysis shows that women in villages affected by civil conflict increased their actual and desired fertility during the conflict by 22 percent, while child height-for-age declined by 11 to 13 percent. Supporting evidence suggests that the temporary fertility increase was the main pathway leading to reduced child height, as opposed to direct impacts of the conflict. This likely occurred because there were more mouths to feed in these households.
    Keywords: conflict, violence, quantity-quality model of fertility, height-for-age, Nepal
    JEL: D74 H56 J13 O10
    Date: 2018–07
  2. By: Conti, Gabriella (University College London); Ginja, Rita (University of Bergen); Narita, Renata (University of Sao Paulo)
    Abstract: Do households value access to free health insurance when making labor supply decisions? We answer this question using the introduction of universal health insurance in Mexico, the Seguro Popular (SP), in 2002. The SP targeted individuals not covered by Social Security and broke the link between access to health care and job contract. We start by using the rollout of SP across municipalities in a differences-indifferences approach, and find an increase in informality of 4% among low-educated families with children. We then develop and estimate a household search model that incorporates the pre-reform valuation of formal sector amenities relative to the alternatives (informal sector and non-employment) and the value of SP. The estimated value of the health insurance coverage provided by SP is below the government's cost of the program, and the corresponding utility gain is, at most, 0.56 per each peso spent.
    Keywords: search, household behavior, health insurance, informality, unemployment
    JEL: J64 D10 I13
    Date: 2018–07
  3. By: Krumbiegel, Katharina; Maertens, Miet; Wollni, Meike
    Abstract: The transformation of global agri‐food systems has led to the increased establishment of exportoriented horticultural plantations in developing countries. These labor intense production sites are associated with feminized employment patterns for the delicate handling of fruits and vegetables and therefore provide employment opportunities for women in rural areas. However, the social implications of these developments for women workers' roles in their households remain hardly understood. We address this research gap by assessing a wide range of indicators reflecting women’s empowerment. We use primary survey data of 422 married households in Ghana, living in areas of large‐scale pineapple plantations. We apply entropy balancing, a new re‐weighting technique, and combine this with regression analysis. We find that female horticultural wage workers contribute a major share to the household’s income, are more mobile, have better control over assets and reduced responsibilities in household chores. Women workers also report having more input into household decision‐making.
    Keywords: Agribusiness, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Consumer/Household Economics
    Date: 2017–05–15
  4. By: Hai-Anh Dang (World Bank, USA); Dean Jolliffe (World Bank, USA); Calogero Carletto (World Bank, USA)
    Abstract: We offer a review of methods that have been employed to provide poverty estimates of poverty in contexts where household consumption data are unavailable or missing. These contexts range from completely missing and partially missing consumption data in cross sectional household surveys, to missing panel household data. We focus on methods that aim to compare trends and dynamic patterns of poverty outcomes over time. We present the various existing methods under a common framework, with pedagogical discussion on the intuition. Empirical illustrations are provided using several rounds of household survey data from Vietnam. Furthermore, we also offer a practical guide with detailed instructions on computer programs that can be used to implement the reviewed techniques.
    Keywords: poverty, mobility, imputation, consumption, wealth index, synthetic panels, household survey.
    JEL: C15 I32 O15
    Date: 2018–02
  5. By: Stephen Ayerst; Loren Brandt; Diego Restuccia
    Abstract: We examine important changes in agriculture in Vietnam in the context of ongoing structural changes in the economy. We use a household-level panel dataset and a quantitative framework to document the extent and consequences of factor misallocation in agriculture during the period between 2006 and 2016. Despite rapid growth in agricultural productivity and a reallocation of factor inputs to more productive farmers, we find that misallocation across farmers remains high and increased during the period. Reallocation of factor inputs has not been strong enough to accommodate substantial changes in farm productivity over time. Our analysis also reveals important differences between the north and south regions.
    Keywords: agriculture, misallocation, Vietnam, productivity, regions.
    JEL: O11 O14 O4 E02 Q1
    Date: 2018–08–22
  6. By: Parlasca, Martin C.; Mußhoff, Oliver; Qaim, Matin
    Abstract: The digital revolution and the ongoing dissemination of mobile phones carry several prospects for smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa. Food insecurity remains a major issue among African smallholders. Mobile phones could potentially facilitate access to food markets and thus improve food security and nutrition, but research on such types of effects remains scarce. In this study we analyze whether mobile phones improve dietary quality of pastoralists in Northern Kenya. We use six rounds of household panel data covering the period between 2009 and 2015. During this period, mobile phone ownership in the sample increased from less than 30% to more than 70%. Regression models with household fixed effects allow robust estimation while reducing potential issues of unobserved heterogeneity. The estimates show that mobile phone adoption has increased dietary diversity. The effect size increases with the frequency of mobile phone use. We also examine the underlying mechanisms. Mobile phones improve dietary diversity mainly through better access to purchased foods. These results encourage the promotion of mobile phone technologies as a valuable tool for nutritional improvements, especially in rural settings with poor access to food markets.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies
    Date: 2018–06–29
  7. By: Sekabira, Haruna; Qaim, Matin
    Abstract: During the last 10-15 years, mobile phone technologies have been widely adopted in most developing countries, including adoption by rural households that never had access to landline phones before. Existing research shows that use of mobile phones has improved market access for smallholder farmers and thus household income. Beyond income, mobile phones can possibly also affect other dimensions of social welfare, such as gender equality and nutrition. Such broader social welfare effects have hardly been analyzed up till now. Here, we address this research gap, using panel data from smallholder farm households in Uganda. Regression results show that mobile phones have significantly contributed to household income gains and women empowerment. Mobile phone use has also improved household food security and dietary quality. Simultaneous equation models are estimated to show that the positive nutrition effects are primarily channeled through the influence of mobile phones on household income and gender equality. Gender disaggregation reveals that female mobile phone use has stronger positive welfare effects than if males alone use mobile phones. We conclude that equal access to mobile phones cannot only foster economic development, but can also contribute to gender equality, food security, and broader social development.
    Keywords: Community/Rural/Urban Development, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty
    Date: 2017–04–01
  8. By: Nyangau, Paul; Muriithi, Beatrice; Irungu, Patrick; Nzuma, Jonathan; Diiro, Glacious
    Abstract: Adoption and extensive use of agricultural innovations is seen as a key avenue for poverty reduction and improved food and nutritional security in developing countries. This paper evaluated the impact of IPM strategy for mango fruit flies suppression on food security with the help of a two-wave panel household survey data collected in Machakos County in Kenya. Using a randomly selected sample of 600, a difference in difference was fitted to the data in order to assess the impact of IPM on food security. The results showed that on average, both IPM participants and non-participants were food secure as measured by per capita calorie intake and Household Dietary Diversity Index (HDDI). The difference in difference estimates indicated that fruit fly IPM had a positive impact on per capita calorie intake but no significant effect on HDDI. Other factors that had an effect on per capita calorie include level of farm income, access to extension services, wealth category and distance to agricultural input market and household size. Our study recommends wider dissemination and upscaling of the fruit fly IPM strategy to facilitate broader impacts on household-level food security.
    Keywords: Crop Production/Industries, Food Security and Poverty, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies
    Date: 2017–04–25
  9. By: Goel, Deepti (Delhi School of Economics); Barooah, Bidisha (International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie))
    Abstract: We examine the role of teachers and students in the formation of test scores at the higher secondary level (grade 12) in public schools in Delhi, India. Using the value added approach, we find substantial variation in teacher and student quality within schools: over the period spanning grades 11 and 12, being taught by a one standard deviation better than average teacher raises test scores by 0.373 standard deviation; and being a one standard deviation better than average student raises it by 0.799 standard deviation. Being permanent (tenured) positively predicts teacher effectiveness, while educational qualifications, training, experience and personality traits have no predictive power. Relative to families where only fathers earn, those where both parents earn negatively predict student effectiveness, while religion, caste and parents' education have no predictive power.
    Keywords: value added, test scores, teacher quality, student quality, India
    JEL: I20 I23
    Date: 2018–07
  10. By: Ogunniyi, A.; Mavrotas, G.; Olagunju, K.; Fadare, O.; Rufai, A.M.
    Abstract: Using panel data sourced from World Development Indicators, FAOSTAT and World Governance Indicators covering 15 countries from 1996-2015, we employ both the dynamic (System and difference generalized method of moments-GMM) and static (OLS, random effects, fixed effects) models to investigates the growth effects of African migration proxy as remittance and quality of governance on food and nutritional security in SSA. The empirical results from both models show that an increase in remittances and combined index of quality of governance in SSA contributes positively and significantly to all measures of food security vis-à-vis nutritional security considered in the study. In specific, the rule of law, government effectiveness, regulatory quality, political instability, and voice and accountability were found to influence the food security of SSA. However, the control over corruption has more impact on food security in the continent compared to other indicators. Accordingly, we contend that policies geared towards increasing government investment on curbing corruption which has been circumventing livelihood outcomes such as food and nutritional security over the years would likely raise economic growth and subsequently food and nutritional security levels in the region.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Security and Poverty, International Development
    Date: 2018–07
  11. By: Mausch, Kai; Woldeyohanes, Tesfaye; Heckelei, Thomas; Tabe-Ojong, Martin Paul
    Abstract: Enhancing agricultural productivity through the adoption of proven technologies presents a credible pathway to economic development and poverty reduction. The adoption of improved chickpea varieties in Ethiopia has the potential to contribute not only to food security but also to economic development as well as poverty reduction among the poor. We analyze the impacts of improved chickpea adoption on smallholder production and commercialization employing a triple hurdle (TH) model on a panel data of three rounds (2008, 2010, 2014), drawn from 614 households in potential chickpea areas in Ethiopia. The correlated random effect model coupled with the control function approach for non-linear panel models was employed to address heterogeneity and endogeneity. The adoption of improved chickpea varieties shows a significant positive effect on the commercialization of chickpea. This study therefore affirms the importance of improved chickpea varieties for commercialization and additionally provides support for policies targeting poverty alleviation in rural areas through targeting more novel farm technologies, improving extension services and increasing access to land especially by the young.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, International Development
    Date: 2018–04–16
  12. 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.
    JEL: O13 O33
    Date: 2018–08
  13. By: Debela, Bethelhem Legesse; Shively, Gerald E.; Holden, Stein T.
    Abstract: We use four waves of panel data from Northern Ethiopia to investigate the link between Food for Work (FFW) participation and the diversity of food consumption and production. Food-based transfer programs have become a standard tool for addressing the problem of chronic food insecurity in developing countries. Such programs have the potential to expand diet diversity if food items provided under FFW are not part of the beneficiaries’ staple diet. By raising effective incomes, cash payments also have the potential to “crowd in” purchases of nutritionally important foods. On the other hand, FFW programs have the potential to undermine dietary diversity by altering the basic crop mix if participation requires households to divert labor away from on-farm production. The net effect is unclear, which we empirically investigate in this study. By employing random effects, fixed effects and difference-indifference estimations, we find that FFW participants had greater dietary diversity compared to non-participants, with an average effect magnitude equivalent to one-fifth of a standard deviation in the food variety score. When items directly provided by the FFW program are excluded from the variety score, the overall effect is statistically weaker, but similar in sign and magnitude, suggesting modest “crowding in” of diet diversity from FFW participation. Findings also reveal that higher intensity of participation in FFW is linked with diversified food consumption. We find no evidence that FFW participation led to changes in production diversity, suggesting that FFW programs may not be competing for labor with on farm production. Findings have relevance for interventions that aim to improve food security and promote dietary quality in low-income populations.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Consumer/Household Economics, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty
    Date: 2017–11–27
  14. By: Mussa, E.C.; Mirzabaev, A.; Admassie, A.; Rukundo, E.N.
    Abstract: We investigate the effects of childhood work on migration decisions and patterns later in life using a novel prospective panel dataset from rural Ethiopia. The data were generated through a follow-up tracking survey of 4-14-year-old children at baseline (1999/2000) after sixteen years in 2015/2016. We find that village out-migration was by and large dominated by females and schoolchildren. Compared to schoolingonly, fulltime childhood work significantly reduces the probability of village out-migration later in life. In contrast, those who combined work and study at baseline were highly likely to engage in economic or employment out-migrations. Thus, we presented new evidence in the related literature that besides the existing rural to urban labor migration explanations, childhood conditions in a rapidly changing developing economy setting may also affect children’s long-term migration decisions. The findings also suggest that elimination of full-time child labor should be a long-term human capital policy priority. However, excluding the worst forms of child labor, an attempt for child labor elimination in all its forms could be un(counter)productive. More importantly, rural child education seems to be as critical as enabling the future farm labor to shift from farm to non-farm activities and facilitate the structural transformation process.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Community/Rural/Urban Development, International Development
    Date: 2018–07
  15. By: Sibiko, Kenneth W.; Qaim, Matin
    Abstract: Weather risk is a serious issue in the African small farm sector, which will further aggravate due to climate change. Farmers typically react by using low amounts of agricultural inputs. Low input use can help to minimize financial loss in bad years, but is also associated with low average yield and income. Increasing small farm productivity and income is an important prerequisite for rural poverty reduction and food security. Crop insurance could incentivize farmers to increase their input use, but indemnity-based crop insurance programs are plagued by market failures. This paper contributes to the emerging literature on the role of weather index insurance (WII). While a few studies have used experimental approaches to analyze WII impacts, research with observational data is scant. We use data from a survey of farmers in Kenya, where a commercial WII scheme has been operating for several years. Regression models with instrumental variables are used to analyze WII uptake and effects on input use and crop productivity. Results show that WII uptake contributes to higher use of chemical fertilizer and improved seeds, and thus also to higher yields. We conclude that upscaling WII programs may help to spur agricultural development in the small farm sector.
    Keywords: Community/Rural/Urban Development, Farm Management, Risk and Uncertainty
    Date: 2017–04–01
  16. By: Garbero, Alessandra; Songsermsawas, Tisorn
    Abstract: Irrigation systems have been shown to substantially improve farmers' productivity, and thus help alleviate poverty. Our study provides an example of such investment, the Participatory Small-Scale Irrigation Development Programme in Ethiopia. Com- bining a primary household survey with geographical data, we estimate the impact of the project on agricultural production and households expenditures using a novel iden- tication strategy. Beneciaries gain from the project through improved crop yields, which raise revenues, and allow switching from relying mainly consuming their own pro- duce to purchasing greater amount of food from the market. Though we rule out that the project may have targeted farmers based on their agricultural performance, sum- mary statistics indicate notable dierences between beneciaries and non-beneciaries, an indication that the project might have systematically targeted farmers with certain attributes. Systematic targeting is often favored either to ensure the highest rate of success, or to deliver the project to those who may need it the most, but may limit the generalizability of the project in relation to any eorts to scaling up.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Land Economics/Use
    Date: 2017–04–25
  17. By: Muricho, Geoffrey; Manda, Damiano; Sule, Fredrick; Kassie, Menale
    Abstract: Despite inconclusive evidence of the impact of agricultural commercialization on smallholder welfare, many developing countries with majority of their population engaged in smallholder agriculture continue to pursue this agricultural transformation process. Past empirical studies have been criticized for methodological flaws and where real negative evidence existed, then this has been attributed to policy failures rather than commercialization process per se. Using panel data collected from Kenya, this study fits an endogenous switching regression model in a correlated random effects framework to analyze impacts of agricultural commercialization on household poverty proxied by annual household per capita expenditure on food and non-food items including own produced and consumed crops and livestock products. The results show that agricultural commercialization significantly increases annual per capita household expenditure among commercialized and non-commercialized had they commercialized. The annual per capita expenditure gap existing between commercialized and non-commercialized households emanates from their differences in amounts of resources owned (57%) and efficiency of using these resources (43%). Closing this expenditure gap (poverty gap) require improving the amount of resources owned and resource use efficiency among non-commercialized households. Therefore, policy options geared toward stimulating and/or enhancing smallholder agricultural commercialization are encourages as a poverty reduction strategy.
    Keywords: Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy, Community/Rural/Urban Development
    Date: 2017–04–24
  18. By: Catia Batista (Universidade Nova de Lisboa, CReAM, IZA and NOVAFRICA); Julia Seither (Universidade Nova de Lisboa, University of California at Berkeley, and NOVAFRICA); Pedro C. Vicente (Universidade Nova de Lisboa, BREAD, and NOVAFRICA)
    Abstract: What is the role of international migrants and, specifically, migrant networks in shaping political attitudes and behavior in migrant sending countries? Our theoretical framework proposes that migration might change individual social identities and thus stimulate intrinsic motivation for political participation, while it may also improve knowledge about better quality political institutions. Hence, international migration might increase political awareness and participation both by migrants and by other individuals in their networks. To test this hypothesis, we use detailed data on different migrant networks (geographic, kinship, and chatting networks), as well as several different measures of political participation and electoral knowledge (self-reports, behavioral, and actual voting measures). These data were purposely collected around the time of the 2009 elections in Mozambique, a country with substantial emigration to neighboring countries – especially South Africa - and with one of the lowest political participation rates in the region. The empirical results show that the number of migrants an individual is in close contact with via regular chatting significantly increases political participation of residents in that village – more so than family links to migrants. Our findings are consistent with both improved knowledge about political processes and increased intrinsic motivation for political participation being transmitted through migrant networks. These results are robust to controlling for self-selection into migration as well as endogenous network formation. Our work is relevant for the many contexts of South-South migration where both countries of origin and destination are recent democracies. It shows that even in this context there may be domestic gains arising from international emigration.
    Keywords: International migration, social networks, political participation, information, diffusion of political norms, governance
    JEL: D72 D83 F22 O15
    Date: 2018–08
  19. By: Benali, Marwan; Brümmer, Bernhard; Afari-Sefa, Victor
    Abstract: With the rise and consolidation of modern supply chains, literature has put emphasis on the welfare effects for participating small producers but has often considered these effects through the comparison of participating producers with those not participating at all. Using an endogenous switching regression model, we assess in this paper the effects of small producer participation in export vegetable supply chains in Tanzania on household income and compare the effects of supplying two different types of French beans and snap peas export supply chains, defined as high-value (HVESC) and regular export supply chains (RESC), respectively. We find that participation in export supply chains increases producers’ household per capita income. We also find evidence that these effects may vary from one type of export supply chains to the other and are mainly driven by HVESC, which confirms that participation in export supply chains may have varying effects depending on individual circumstances and participation conditions. We also disaggregate the analysis with respect to the producers’ farm size and income level and find evidence that richer and larger producers benefit from supplying the HVESC while supplying the RESC can increase the household per capita income of some poorer producers.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Consumer/Household Economics, Food Security and Poverty
    Date: 2017–08–29

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