nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2018‒09‒24
seventeen papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Conditional cash transfers, spillovers and informal health care: Evidence from Peru By Guerrero, Natalia; Molina, Oswaldo; Winkelried, Diego
  2. When Shocks Become Persistent: Household-Level Asset Growth in the Aftermath of an Extreme Weather Event By Katharina Lehmann-Uschner; Kati Krähnert
  3. Multi-dimensional poverty among adults in Central America and gender differences in the three I’s of poverty: Applying inequality sensitive poverty measures with ordinal variables By Espinoza-Delgado, José; Silber, Jacques
  4. Diamonds: Rebel's and Farmer's best friend By Anouk Rigterink
  5. Climate, climate shocks and child nutrition in Africa’s diverse farming systems By Haile, B.; Azzarri, C.; Heady, D.; You, L.
  6. Gender Differentiated Impacts of Commodity Price Shocks on Households’ Consumption Behavior: A Natural Experiment By Mottaleb, K.; Erenstein, O.
  7. Orange Fanta vs orange fruit: A novel measure of nutrition knowledge and women’s diet quality in Malawi By Schneider, K.; Masters, W.A.
  8. Global evidence on prospective migrants from developing countries By Mariapia, Mendola;
  9. The 2015-16 El Niño-induced drought crisis in Southern Africa: What do we learn from historical data? By Ainembabazi, J.H.
  10. Dietary diversity of children and teenagers in Northern Vietnam By Genova, C.; Umberger, W.; Peralta, A.; Newman, S.
  11. Impact of pre– and post-harvest training reminders on crop losses and food poverty in Mali By Dzanku, F.M.; Osei, R.D.
  12. Corruption in the informal sector: evidence from West Africa By Emmanuelle Lavallée; François Roubaud
  13. Effects of Natural Disaster on Rice Production at Farm Level: New Evidence from Vietnam By Nguyen, Hong - Ron; Ngo, Quang - Thanh; Nguyen, Ngoc - Danh
  14. Early Stimulation and Nutrition: The Impacts of a Scalable Intervention By Orazio P. Attanasio; Helen Baker-Henningham; Raquel Bernal; Costas Meghir; Diana Pineda; Marta Rubio-Codina
  15. Fertility Transitions in Developing Countries: Convergence, Timing, and Causes By Papagni, Erasmo
  16. Farmers’ Social Expenditures and Agricultural Productivity A state variables approach By Ulimwengu, J.; Makombe, T.
  17. Do farmers and the environment benefit from adopting IPM practices? Evidence from Kenya By Tefera, T.; Kassie, M.; Midingoyi, S.; Muriithi, B.

  1. By: Guerrero, Natalia; Molina, Oswaldo; Winkelried, Diego
    Abstract: The use of low-quality informal health-care providers (IHCPs) is still prominent in developing countries despite the efforts of their governments to expand institutional services. The use of conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs have become instrumental in encouraging the use of formal health services, but little is known about their direct effect on the use of IHCPs. We use a large survey of rural households and a regression discontinuity design to estimate the effects of the Peruvian CCT program on the demand for IHCP. We find a sizeable reduction in the use of IHCPs not only in targeted but also in non-targeted members of treated households. This finding indicates the existence of spillover effects within the household. We also provide evidence that beyond the direct increase in income, the availability of better information about institutional services is a potential mechanism that drives these effects. We also find a corresponding improvement in the self-perception of health status. Our results are robust to a number of sensitivity analyses.
    Keywords: Informal health-care providers, cash transfer program, regression discontinuity.
    JEL: C21 I18 O17
    Date: 2018–08–20
  2. By: Katharina Lehmann-Uschner; Kati Krähnert
    Abstract: With the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events due to climate change, assessing the potential long-term effects of these events for affected households is critically important. This study analyzes to what extent a one-off extreme weather event can have persistent effects on household-level asset growth. Our focus is on the effect of a once-in-50-year winter disaster on post-shock livestock accumulation among pastoralists in Mongolia. Building on a unique household panel dataset with three waves that we link to secondary climate and livestock census data, we investigate post-shock livestock dynamics 2-5 years after the disaster occurred. Using a Hausman-Taylor estimator, we show that the extreme event has a significant, negative, economically large, and persistent effect on households' asset growth rates. When analyzing potential underlying mechanisms, we find that households seek to mitigate the shock effect by reducing their livestock offtake to preserve their asset level. This effort is counteracted by a large, negative, and persistent shock effect on livestock fertility. In addition, the intensity of the extreme weather event is a strong predictor for abandoning the herding economy, which leads to lower overall welfare. Taken together, our findings suggest that most households are unable to fully offset the effects of the extreme weather event through their own herd management behavior. Findings are robust to using various measures of shock intensity derived from different data sources.
    Keywords: Assets, extreme weather events, growth rates, post-shock recovery, Mongolia
    JEL: O12 O13 Q5
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Espinoza-Delgado, José; Silber, Jacques
    Abstract: The Alkire and Foster (2011) methodology, as the mainstream approach to the measurement of multi-dimensional poverty in the developing world, is insensitive to inequality among the multi-dimensionally poor individuals and does not consider simultaneously the concepts of efficiency and distributive justice. Moreover, the vast majority of empirical indices of multi-dimensional poverty in the literature overlook intra-household inequalities, an issue that is crucial to a better understanding of gender inequalities, because they equate the poverty status of the household with the poverty status of all individuals in the household. Consequently, using the general framework proposed by Silber and Yalonetzky (2013) and Rippin’s ideas on multi-dimensional poverty measurement (2013, 2017), we propose in this paper to depart somehow from the mainstream approach and take an individual-based and inequality sensitive view of multi-dimensional poverty when only ordinal (dichotomized) variables are available. We use such an approach to estimate multi-dimensional poverty among individuals aged 18 and 59 years living in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, shedding thus some light on gender differences in poverty and inequality in those countries. Overall, we find that individuals living in Guatemala have the highest probability of being multi-dimensionally poor, followed by the ones from Nicaragua; people living in Costa Rica, by contrast, have by far the lowest probability of being poor. In the middle appears Honduras and El Salvador, Hondurans having a larger probability of being multi-dimensionally poor than the Salvadorians. Regarding the gender gaps, the overall estimates suggest that the incidence and the intensity of multi-dimensional poverty in Central America are higher among females; inequality, however, is somewhat higher among males.
    Keywords: multi-dimensional poverty measurement, inequality, gender inequality, Latin America, Central America
    JEL: D1 D13 D6 D63 I3 I32 O5 O54
    Date: 2018–08–31
  4. By: Anouk Rigterink
    Abstract: paper investigates the impact of an increase in the world price of a ‘lootable’, labour-intensive natural resource on the intensity of violent conflict. It suggests that such a price increase can have opposite effects at different geographical levels of analysis: a decrease in conflict intensity at the country level due to rising opportunity costs of rebellion, but an increase in conflict intensity in resource-rich sub-national regions, as returns to looting rise. The paper introduces a new measure of diamond propensity based on geological characteristics, which is arguably exogenous to conflict and can capture small-scale labour-intensive production better than existing measures. The stated effects are found for secondary diamonds, which are lootable and related to opportunity costs of fighting, but not for primary diamonds, which are neither.
    Date: 2018
  5. By: Haile, B.; Azzarri, C.; Heady, D.; You, L.
    Abstract: Notwithstanding improvements over the last several decades, food and nutrition insecurity is still widespread and progresses made have been uneven. In Africa, the central and western parts scored the lowest and highest reduction in malnutrition, respectively. This regional heterogeneity is expected given the spatial variation in (inclusive) economic growth, agro-ecology, market access, the prevalence of diseases and infections, as well as institutional and policy environments (e.g., social protection systems) that affect the various dimensions of food and nutrition security. At the same time, climatic and weather changes are expected to worsen in the coming decades with potentially devastating effects in the region, given its heavily relies on rain-fed agriculture and the market and institutional failures that limit the set of coping and adaptation strategies. This study examines the linkages between climatic shocks and child undernutrition in the diverse farming systems of Africa. We examine effects of climatic changes not only through yields (agricultural mechanism) but also through vector-borne and gastrointestinal diseases (health mechanism). Preliminary results suggest significant heterogeneity in the incidence of child undernutrition and the effects of climatic shocks by agro-ecology and farming systems, meriting further investigation we are currently undertaking to disentangle the role of each mechanism.
    Keywords: Environmental Economics and Policy, Farm Management, International Development
    Date: 2018–07
  6. By: Mottaleb, K.; Erenstein, O.
    Abstract: Using information collected from more than 29,000 households by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, the present study examines the gender-differentiated impacts of the commodity price hikes in 2008-09 on food and non-food consumption behavior based on the sex of the household head. Applying the difference-indifference estimation procedure in a natural experiment setting, this study demonstrates that, in general, commodity price hikes more adversely affected the female-headed households. In 2010, they were forced to reduce expenditures on food and non-food items, and particularly cereal, non-cereal, health and education expenditures, more than the male-headed households. However, this study clearly shows that the impacts of commodity price hikes were lower on the female-headed households headed by educated females and those who owned larger pieces of land, received remittances, and allocated labor to non-farm sectors. These sub-sets were not affected by the commodity price shocks in 2010 compared to 2000. The findings strongly suggest that the provision of both human and physical capital is instrumental in developing countries to empower female headed-households to withstand economic shocks.
    Keywords: Consumer/Household Economics, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety
    Date: 2018–07
  7. By: Schneider, K.; Masters, W.A.
    Abstract: This paper uses a novel survey instrument to identify distinct components of nutrition knowledge, and test for links between knowledge and dietary choices in Southern Malawi. Our first aim is to distinguish respondents’ familiarity with recommended behaviors, such as when to start breastfeeding or introduce solid foods, from respondents’ factual knowledge about mechanisms, such as whether biscuits or papaya and orange fruit or orange Fanta contribute more to future health. We find knowledge of nutrition behaviors to be strongly associated with more schooling, older age and being female, while knowledge of mechanisms is associated only with training and employment as a health professional. We then test whether this expanded definition of nutrition knowledge is associated with dietary intake when controlling for other factors, and find only suggestive evidence for significant links interacting with age of respondents. These findings point to the need for knowledge surveys and public health behavior-change campaigns to address the kinds of information that might have the most influence on actual behavior, potentially including the mechanisms involved in food composition, food safety and disease transmission.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, International Relations/Trade
    Date: 2018–07
  8. By: Mariapia, Mendola;
    Abstract: This paper examines the determinants of individual intentions to migrate abroad by using a recent global survey and by exploiting both within and cross-country variation in standard migration drivers. The sample includes more than 1 million individuals, drawn as representative samples from 159 countries around the world, representing 98 percent of the world's population and income. The analysis focuses on developing regions and shows that migration intentions differ substantially across countries and are correlated with structural economic factors such as farmland availability, rural population share and especially local joblessness. Heterogeneity within countries is even more pronounced though. International migration intentions vary systematically with key individual characteristics - age, gender, education and income - but some of these relationships are not similar across countries. Finally, we quantify the hump shape of the 'individual mobility transition' in countries with different levels of development and show that cross-border migration intentions rise sharply with income when respondents get richer among poorer people, while the same does not hold when richer respondents are in richer contexts.
    Keywords: International Migration, Migration intentions, Developing Countries, Cross-country survey data
    JEL: F01 F22 O15
    Date: 2018–09–19
  9. By: Ainembabazi, J.H.
    Abstract: Food crop production declined by up to 66% in various Southern African countries as a result of El Niño induced drought during the 2015-2016 cropping seasons. This drought shock has led to emergence of food crisis throughout the region. This paper analyses the current drought impacts and how they are linked to historical droughts in order to draw lessons for building sustainable resilience mechanisms. The analysis uses both national and household level data. Evidence shows that up to early 1990s, drought shocks in Southern Africa were less frequent. During this period, the yields for major crops were generally low and stagnant. However, at the beginning of early 2000s the frequency of drought occurrence increased considerably. There was corresponding increase in yields of roots and tubers and vegetables in some countries, while yields for cereals and pulses remained more or less stagnant. Findings further show that in countries where there are considerable increases in yields of either roots and tubers or vegetables, there is a substantial decline in prevalence of undernourishment and food inadequacy. Overall, promoting nontraditional high value crops come out as key policy implications for resilience-improving interventions and food security improvements.
    Keywords: Environmental Economics and Policy, International Development
    Date: 2018–07
  10. By: Genova, C.; Umberger, W.; Peralta, A.; Newman, S.
    Abstract: This paper examines the empirical link between smallholder vegetable production and the dietary diversity of children aged 0.5 to 17 years at the household level through: vegetable diversity, market engagement, and gender-related factors. We use Child Dietary Diversity Score (CDDS) as measure of children’s diets. We find that market access and market participation can significantly improve CDDS, especially for older boys >5 to 17 years. For children under five years, improving the nutritional knowledge of the food preparer, promoting market linkage to increase income, and implementing intervention targeted on the low-lying and low vegetable per capita density areas can improve diet quality.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, International Development
    Date: 2018–07
  11. By: Dzanku, F.M.; Osei, R.D.
    Abstract: We carried out a randomized controlled experiment in the Sikasso Region of Mali to test the hypotheses that (a) pre– and post-harvest training lowers the probability of crop losses and reduces household food insecurity; (b) post-training reminders have an even greater impact on reducing crop losses and lowering food insecurity; and (c) post-training reminders during specific times when such information needs to be applied reduced the probability of crop losses and lowers food insecurity over and above what could be achieved through training only. Aside post-harvest losses for which we could not reject the null hypothesis that post-training reminders have no impact, we easily reject the null that farmers who received only faceto- face training and those who received post-training reminders have identical outcomes. The null hypothesis that farmers who received only training are not different (with respect to our outcomes of interest) from those who received neither training nor reminders could not be rejected, except in the case of timely harvesting. These results suggest that going beyond training to providing timely reminders through voice messages could boost adoption and improve household welfare. Besides, the reminders intervention is relatively inexpensive, compared with traditional extension approaches.
    Keywords: Crop Production/Industries, International Development
    Date: 2018–07
  12. By: Emmanuelle Lavallée (DIAL, LEDa, IRD, Université Paris-Dauphine, Université PSL); François Roubaud (IRD, UMR DIAL, PSL, Université Paris-Dauphine)
    Abstract: (english) Using an unique dataset, this paper analyses the causes and impacts of bribery in the informal sector in West Africa. It investigates the determinants of the incidence of bribery and the magnitude of the bribes actually paid. Our results show that the mechanisms at play are no different than those found for the formal sector by other authors. With respect to the impacts of corruption on a firm’s performance, our findings show that experience of corruption increases business performance, but that this effect is driven by just one category of informal firm: constrained gazelles. (français) Cet article analyse à partir de données originales les causes et les conséquences de la corruption dans le secteur informel en Afrique de l’Ouest. Il étudie les déterminants et l’ampleur des pots-de-vin payés. Les résultats montrent que les mécanismes en jeu dans l’informel ne sont pas différents de ceux prévalant dans le secteur formel. En ce qui concerne l’impact de la corruption sur les performances des entreprises, cet article met en évidence que la corruption augmente les performances des entreprises, mais que ce résultat est dû à une seule catégorie d’entreprises informelles : les « constrained gazelles ».
    Keywords: Corruption, informal sector, firm performance, entrepreneurship, West Africa.
    JEL: D73 O12 D22
    Date: 2018–04
  13. By: Nguyen, Hong - Ron; Ngo, Quang - Thanh; Nguyen, Ngoc - Danh
    Abstract: The current study uses a unique balanced panel of 3,922 households between 2008 and 2010 to examine the extent to which rice production in Vietnam is affected by natural disasters and how coping strategies lessen the negative effects of natural disaster, using a fixed effects model that controls for time invariant farm heterogeneity. With regard to natural disaster, we find evidence of the negative inter-temporal occurrence and negative inter-temporal severity effects, and the negative current occurrence one as well. With regard to coping strategies, we find various evidence of current, inter-temporal coping-occurrence and coping severity effects, depending on kinds of coping strategies.
    Keywords: Current and inter-temporal occurrence effects, current and inter-temporal severity effects, current and intertemporal coping-occurrence effects, current and inter-temporal coping-severity effects, natural disaster, rice production, Vietnam.
    JEL: C23 Q12 Q54
    Date: 2018
  14. By: Orazio P. Attanasio (University College in London); Helen Baker-Henningham (Bangor University); Raquel Bernal (Universidad de los Andes); Costas Meghir (Cowles Foundation, Yale University); Diana Pineda (Fundación Éxito); Marta Rubio-Codina (Inter-American Development Bank)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the effects of the implementation of a structured early stimulation curriculum combined with a nutritional intervention through public large-scale parenting support services for vulnerable families in rural Colombia, known as FAMI, using a clustered randomized controlled trial. We randomly assigned 87 towns in rural areas to treatment and control and 1,460 children younger than 1 year of age were assessed at baseline. The interventions were also complemented with training, supervision and coaching of FAMI program facilitators. We assessed program effects on children’s nutritional status, and on cognitive and socio-emotional development; as well as on parental practices. The interventions had a positive and significant effect on a cognitive development factor based on the Bayley-III of 0.15 standard deviations. We also report a reduction of 5.8 percentage points in the fraction of children whose height-for-age is below -1 standard deviation. We do not find any effects on socio-emotional development. We report positive and statistically significant effects on the quality of the home environment (0.34 SD).
    Keywords: Early childhood development, Parenting, Early stimulation, Program scale-up
    JEL: J13 I10 I20 H43
    Date: 2018–08
  15. By: Papagni, Erasmo
    Abstract: This paper studies the dynamics of fertility in 180 countries in the period 1950-2015 and investigates the determinants of the onset of fertility transitions. The application of Phillips and Sul's (2007) test to fertility rates provides evidence of convergence in three groups of countries. This information is used to distinguish the transitioning countries from those not transitioning. The estimation of the year of onset of the fertility transition is followed by an econometric analysis of the causes of this event. Instrumental-variable estimates show that increasing female education and reduced infant mortality are important determinants of fertility decline, while per-capita GDP has probably worked in the opposite direction. The instruments for per-capita income are the trade-weighted world income (Acemoglu et al., 2008) and the oil price shock (Brueckner and Schwandt, 2015). Mortality is instrumented with the predicted mortality (Acemoglu and Johnson, 2007), and mothers' education with the years of schooling of people aged 40-64. These results are confirmed by the application of Lewbel's (2012) methods where identification is based on heteroskedasticity.
    Keywords: demographic transition,convergence,infantmortality,education,instrumental variables
    JEL: J11 J13 I15 I25 C26
    Date: 2018
  16. By: Ulimwengu, J.; Makombe, T.
    Abstract: With increasingly large shares of public expenditures going toward social sectors in agriculture-based economies, the issue becomes how to design a budget allocation scheme that maximizes agricultural productivity-enhancing effects of social expenditures. This study examines the impact of various subtypes of household health spending on agricultural labor productivity using data from 505 households in five Rwandan districts. Our findings confirm that change in agricultural productivity can be driven by change in marginal productivity of inputs induced by households’ health status. The latter are significantly impacted by households’ own social expenditures. This then suggests that there is a way to bundle social expenditures in order to compensate for the shortage of resources allocated to agriculture and therefore to harness their productivity-enhancing potential.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Farm Management
    Date: 2018–07
  17. By: Tefera, T.; Kassie, M.; Midingoyi, S.; Muriithi, B.
    Abstract: In this article, we estimate the impacts of a bundle of integrated pest management (IPM) practices on mango yield, mango net income, human health and the environment, using recent household survey data of mango growers in Kenya. We employ multinomial endogenous switching treatment regression model with an ordered probit selection rule to establish counterfactual outcomes, while controlling for potential selection bias. The environmental and human health effects of chemical insecticide use are quantified by employing the environmental impact quotient method. The analysis reveals that, while IPM-adopting farmers have higher mango yields and mango net income, they also use lower quantities of insecticide and cause less damage to the environment and to human health. In addition, switching from one IPM to multiple IPM practices generates even higher economic, environmental and human health benefits. The findings also reveal that variables such as training on insect pest management, exposure to IPM as proxied by the number of adopters within a village, membership of rural institutions, and income share from mango crops positively and significantly influence the probability of a farmer using a bundle of IPM practices. These positive outcomes can be achieved through providing adequate technical support and extension services to farmers.
    Keywords: Environmental Economics and Policy, Farm Management, International Development
    Date: 2018–07

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