nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2019‒01‒07
eighteen papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Rural Labor Market Responses to Large Lumpy Cash Transfers: Evidence from Malawi By Kate Ambler; Alan de Brauw; Susan Godlonton
  2. Education and the livelihood of households in the Northwest Region, Vietnam By Quang Tran, Tuyen; Anh Tran, Tai; The Tran, Nu; Thi Nguyen, Hai
  3. Birth Order Effects and Educational Achievement in the Developing World By Maximilian Schwefer
  4. Welfare dynamics in rural Viet Nam: Learning from regular, high-quality panel data By Andy McKay; Saurabh Singhal; Finn Tarp
  5. Long-term effects of weather during gestation on education and labor outcomes: Evidence from Peru By Manuel Barron; Sam Heft-Neal; Tania Perez
  6. Foreign direct investment & corruption in Sub-Saharan Africa: An empirical analysis at the local level By Donaubauer, Julian; Kannen, Peter; Steglich, Frauke
  7. Poverty and Inequality in Francophone Africa, 1960s-2010s By Sédi-Anne Boukaka; Giulia Mancini; Giovanni Vecchi
  8. The Impact of Public Governance on Household Income: A Quantile Panel Analysis By Quang Tran, Tuyen; Doan, Tinh; Vu, Huong; Nguyen, Hien
  9. Temporary International Migration and Shocks: Analysis using panel data By Tanika Chakraborty; Manish Pandey
  10. Does Online Access Promote Research in Developing Countries? Empirical Evidence from Article-Level Data By Frank Mueller-Langer; Marc Scheufen; Patrick Waelbroeck
  11. Land tenure security and internal migration in Tanzania By Tseday Jemaneh Mekasha; Wilhelm Ngasamiaku; Remidius D. Ruhinduka; Finn Tarp
  12. The Effects of Risk and Ambiguity Aversion on Technology Adoption: Evidence from Aquaculture in Ghana By Christian Crentsil; Adelina Gschwandtner; Zaki Wahhaj
  13. Mining and Human Capital Accumulation: the Role of the Return to Education By Gustavo Yamada; Oswaldo Molina; Daniel Velásquez
  14. Rural food markets and child nutrition By Headey, Derek; Hirvonen, Kalle; Hoddinott, John; Stifel, David
  15. Threshold Regressions for the Resource Curse By Nicolas Clootens; Djamel Kirat
  16. Crop Insurance and Food Security: Evidence from Rice Farmers in Eastern India By Ranganathan, Thiagu; Mishra, Ashok K.; Kumar, Anjani
  17. Consumption smoothing and the welfare cost of uncertainty By Alem, Yonas; Colmer, Jonathan
  18. Liquidity constraints, risk preferences and farmers’ willingness to participate in crop insurance programs in Ghana By Abdulai, Awudu; Goetz, Renan; Ali, Williams; Owusu, Victor

  1. By: Kate Ambler (International Food Policy Research Institute); Alan de Brauw (International Food Policy Research Institute); Susan Godlonton (Williams College)
    Abstract: We examine the impact of a lumpy agriculture-framed cash transfer on the day labor (ganyu) market using both spatial variation in the organization of households into farmer clubs and experimentally induced variation in transfers. In villages receiving larger cash disbursements, wages for agriculture day labor marginally increase, and overall employment falls. The employment results obscure important differential responses by transfer recipient (day labor supply falls) and non-recipient households (day labor supply increases). The village level wage impacts are driven by large, direct impacts of the transfer program on the demand for day labor and a reallocation of labor away from off-farm labor supply.
    Date: 2018–12
  2. By: Quang Tran, Tuyen; Anh Tran, Tai; The Tran, Nu; Thi Nguyen, Hai
    Abstract: Using the updated data from the 2016 Vietnam Household Living Standard Survey, this study examines the role of education in the livelihood of households in the Northwest Region, the poorest region in Vietnam. Our micro-econometric analysis shows that education has a positive effect on choosing better livelihoods, on household income and poverty reduction, even after controlling for all other factors in the models. However, our quantile regression analysis reveals that the returns on education are substantially heterogeneous across percentiles of income distribution and tend to be higher for better-off households. This implies that education has an increasing effect on within-level income inequality. The finding suggests that a conventional approach employing only mean regression to study the effect of education on income could miss heterogeneity of interest to policymakers.
    Keywords: education; heterogeneous; inequality; rural livelihoods; quantile regression
    JEL: I2 I25 I28
    Date: 2018–04–09
  3. By: Maximilian Schwefer
    Abstract: Studies on the role of birth order in educational achievement in developing countries have yielded contradictory findings. This study uses unique and novel data on 4,362 siblings living in alternative care families in 54 countries. Results suggest negative birth order effects among biological siblings, implying inferior outcomes for laterborns. A second analysis offers reasons for why previous studies might have found contradictory results. Three sources of heterogeneity are surveyed. Extreme hardship, parental gender preferences, and tutoring between siblings are identified as moderators of birth order effects. The findings can inform development interventions by helping to prioritize individuals in highest need.
    Keywords: Birth order, education, child outcomes, developing countries
    JEL: I20 J13
    Date: 2018
  4. By: Andy McKay; Saurabh Singhal; Finn Tarp
    Abstract: While many studies of welfare dynamics have been conducted using panel data sets with two or three waves, much richer insights can be obtained where more waves are available. This paper analyses this issue for the case of the Viet Nam Access to Resources Household Survey, a carefully collected and high-quality data set collected over a period of eight years from 2008 to 2016. The survey was conducted over a period of impressive overall welfare improvement, but the data set highlights significant heterogeneity in this with significant numbers of households in fact becoming worse off. A panel-based econometric analysis of the evolution of different measures of welfare identifies that there are strong dynamics in welfare for all three measures considered here, but that shocks and changes in household composition are very important drivers of changing welfare levels at the household level.
    Date: 2018
  5. By: Manuel Barron (Universidad del Pacífico); Sam Heft-Neal (Standford University); Tania Perez (Universidad del Pacífico)
    Abstract: Extensive evidence shows that weather conditions during gestation affect birth outcomes and early childhood development in the developing world. Pairing weather data during gestation with education and labor outcomes for more than one million people, we show that in-utero weather has lasting effects through adulthood: temperature during gestation affects schooling attainment, earnings, and access to formal employment among females in Peru, but not among males. We identify maternal anemia as a key driver of these outcomes. Our findings suggest that the persistent negative effects of temperature around birth can be mitigated through improved health services for vulnerable mothers.
    Keywords: Climate Change, Human Capital Formation, Labor Markets
    JEL: I12 I21 J16 O15
    Date: 2018–12
  6. By: Donaubauer, Julian; Kannen, Peter; Steglich, Frauke
    Abstract: Geocoding firm-level data and matching them to georeferenced household survey data, we are the first to analyze whether the presence of foreign investors is associated with changes in local corruption around foreign-owned production facilities in Sub-Saharan African countries. Applying an estimation strategy that explores the spatial and temporal variation in the data, we find that the presence of foreign firms increases bribery among people living nearby. We show this effect to work through two mechanisms, namely via increased economic activity and partly via norm transmission.
    Keywords: FDI,corruption,georeferenced data,Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: D1 F21 F23 O12
    Date: 2018
  7. By: Sédi-Anne Boukaka; Giulia Mancini; Giovanni Vecchi
    Abstract: The paper provides first generation estimates of poverty and inequality rates for three countries in francophone Africa – Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire and Gabon – in the aftermath of independence. Sources – a large collection of historical household budgets – are new, as is the method that allows to connect historical sources to modern household budget surveys, and to deliver nationally representative estimates. The second part of the paper identifies the trend of poverty and inequality in Côte d’Ivoire for the years 1965-2015; we find that mean income growth failed to reduce poverty during the fifteen years of economic boom post-independence (1965-1979) because of increasing inequality. Conversely, in the following period (1979-2015) poverty changes are mostly guided by the evolution of growth.
    Keywords: Cameroon, Cote-d'Ivoire, Gabon, grouped data, household budgets, inequality, living standards, poverty, wellbeing
    JEL: C13 I32 N37 O12
    Date: 2018–12–27
  8. By: Quang Tran, Tuyen; Doan, Tinh; Vu, Huong; Nguyen, Hien
    Abstract: This study investigated the role of provincial governance on the growth of per capita income of Vietnamese households, using a balanced panel dataset for the period 2012-2014. Whereas we found no evidence for the influence of provincial governance when a linear fixed-effect regression estimator was used, the results from a fixed-effect quantile regression estimator reveal that provincial governance has a positive effect on several groups (but not the poorest) and the effect tends to be greater for better-off households. In addition, we find that wage employment plays a larger role in the income growth of poorer households, while returns on education are higher for richer households. The findings suggest that a mean regression approach that looks only at the role of explanatory variables on mean household welfare and does not consider differences in the distribution of household welfare, may miss some heterogeneity that is of interest to policy makers.
    Keywords: fixed-effect quantile regression; household welfare; public governance; policy makers.
    JEL: H4 H7 O1
    Date: 2018–01–02
  9. By: Tanika Chakraborty; Manish Pandey
    Abstract: We analyze a household’s decision to have temporary international migrants when faced with shocks. We consider a household maximization problem and derive the effects of different kinds of shocks on the migration decision. Using four waves of the Life in Kyrgyzstan panel surveys, we empirically examine these effects. We contribute to the literature by accounting for household level unobserved heterogeneity, distinguishing between onward and return migration, and examining the underlying insurance motive of migration. We find that while agricultural and household specific idiosyncratic shocks have a positive effect on the likelihood to migrate, displacement shocks have a negative effect. The difference between the effects of these shocks is explained by the dynamics of migration. While agricultural and displacement shocks affect return migration, household specific idiosyncratic shocks drive onward migration. We further find that the effect of the displacement and agricultural shocks on onward and return migration are muted when households have easier access to informal borrowing.
    Date: 2018–12
  10. By: Frank Mueller-Langer (European Commission – JRC); Marc Scheufen (Ruhr University Bochum); Patrick Waelbroeck (Télécom ParisTech)
    Abstract: Universities in developing countries have rarely been able to subscribe to academic journals in the past. The “Online Access to Research in the Environment” initiative (OARE) provides institutions in developing countries with free online access to more than 5,700 environmental science journals. We analyze the effect of OARE on scientific output in five developing countries. We apply difference-in-difference-in-differences estimation using a balanced panel with 161,450 observations derived from 36,202 journal articles published by authors affiliated with 2,490 research institutions. Our approach allows us to explore effects across scientific fields, i.e. OARE vs. non-OARE fields, within institutions and before and after OARE registration. We benefit from the fact that variation in online access to scientific literature is exogenous at the level of scientific fields. Additional self-selection issues are dealt with by using an endogenous binary variable model estimated by a Bayesian Markov-Chain-Monte-Carlo method. We provide evidence for a positive marginal effect of online access via OARE on publication output that ranges between +48% and +57%. Our results suggest that the most productive institutions benefit the most from OARE while the least productive institutions barely benefit from it.
    Keywords: online access, scientific productivity, difference-in-difference, Bayesian Markov Chain monte carlo estimation
    JEL: L17 O33
    Date: 2018–06
  11. By: Tseday Jemaneh Mekasha; Wilhelm Ngasamiaku; Remidius D. Ruhinduka; Finn Tarp
    Abstract: In this paper we study the impact of tenure security on rural to urban migration of household members over the age of 15. Using three waves of the Tanzanian National Panel Survey (NPS) data, we show that tenure security is associated with lower probability of migration in rural Tanzania. This result is consistent with the idea that better property rights over agricultural land in rural Tanzania, by easing the fear of expropriation of land holdings, can induce households to retain more of their members. The result is found to be robust to different specifications and estimation techniques. Promoting land tenure security is a key policy concern in curbing rural– urban migration at early stages of development.
    Date: 2018
  12. By: Christian Crentsil; Adelina Gschwandtner; Zaki Wahhaj
    Abstract: We study how aversion to risk and ambiguity affects the adoption of new technologies by Ghanaian smallholder aquafarmers. We conduct a set of field experiments designed to elicit farmers's risk and ambiguity preferences and combine it with surveybased information on their technology adoption decisions. We find that aquafarmers who are more risk-averse were quicker to adopt the new technologies: a fast-growing breed of tilapia fish, extruded feed and floating cages. By contrast, ambiguity aversion has no effect on the adoption of the new tilapia breed and extruded feed. Furthermore, it slows down the adoption of floating cages - a technology which entails higher fixed costs than the others - and the effect is diminishing in the number of other adopters in the village. We argue that these differential effects are due to the fact that the technologies are risk-reducing, with potential ambiguity about their payoff distributions at the early stages of adoption. The findings highlight the importance of distinguishing between risk and ambiguity in investigating technology adoption decisions of small-holder farmers in developing countries.
    Keywords: Uncertainty Aversion, Aquafarming, Technology Adoption, Extruded Feed, Floating Cages, Akosombo strain of Tilapia (AST)
    JEL: C93 D81 O33 Q12 Q16
    Date: 2018–12
  13. By: Gustavo Yamada (Universidad del Pacífico); Oswaldo Molina (Universidad del Pacífico); Daniel Velásquez (Universidad del Pacífico)
    Abstract: The literature has long tried to explain the casual relationship between natural resources booms and human capital accumulation but yet with no definitive answer. Usually the literature finds that booms abates the process of human capital accumulation by increasing the cost of opportunity of studying. We want to further contribute to this discussion by studying the impact of the mineral mining boom in Peru on the interruption of post-secondary studies during the period 2004-2016. To do so, we rely on a differences-in-difference strategy. Our results show that the Peruvian mining boom had a positive impact on the probability of interruption of post-secondary studies. Furthermore, the probability of staying idle of young individuals increased. In contrast with previous studies, we find that our results are driven mainly by a decrease in the return to higher education relative to high-school education. Other mechanisms that may be playing a minor role is the health status of young individuals -which deteriorates with the mining boom-, and the labor reallocation that occurs within households.
    JEL: D13 I23 O13
    Date: 2018–12
  14. By: Headey, Derek; Hirvonen, Kalle; Hoddinott, John; Stifel, David
    Abstract: Child dietary diversity is poor in much of rural Africa and developing Asia, prompting significant efforts to leverage agriculture to improve diets. However, growing recognition that even very poor rural households rely on markets to satisfy their demand for nutrient-rich non-staple foods warrants a much better understanding of how rural markets vary in their diversity, competitiveness, frequency and food affordability, and how such characteristics are associated with diets. This paper addresses these questions using data from rural Ethiopia. Deploying a novel market survey in conjunction with an information-rich household survey, we find that children in proximity to markets that sell more non-staple food groups have more diverse diets. However, the association is small in absolute terms; moving from three non-staple food groups in the market to six is associated with an increase the number of non-staple food groups consumed by ~0.24 and the likelihood of consumption of any non-staple food group by 12 percentage points. These associations are similar in magnitude to those describing the relationship between dietary diversity and household production diversity; moreover, for some products, notably dairy, we find that household and community production diversity is especially important. These modest associations may reflect several specific features of our sample which is situated in very poor, food-insecure localities where even the relatively better off are poor in absolute terms and where, by international standards, prices for non-staple foods are very high.
    Keywords: Consumer/Household Economics, Demand and Price Analysis, Food Security and Poverty
    Date: 2018–12–20
  15. By: Nicolas Clootens (Aix-Marseille Univ., CNRS, EHESS, Centrale Marseille, AMSE & Univ. Orléans, CNRS, LEO); Djamel Kirat (Univ. Orléans, CNRS, LEO)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the behavior of cross-country growth rates with respect to resource abundance and dependence. We reject the linear model that is commonly-used in growth regressions in favor of a multiple-regime alternative. Using a formal sample-splitting method, we find that countries exhibit different behaviors with respect to natural resources depending on their initial level of development. In high-income countries, natural resources play only a minor role in explaining the differences in national growth rates. On the contrary, in low-income countries abundance seems to be a blessing but dependence restricts growth.
    Keywords: non-renewable resources, growth, resource curse, threshold regressions
    JEL: O11 O13 Q33
    Date: 2018–11
  16. By: Ranganathan, Thiagu; Mishra, Ashok K.; Kumar, Anjani
    Abstract: The paper explores the spread of crop insurance (CI) in India and analyzes the association of factors affecting the demand for crop insurance. Additionally, using large farm-level survey data from Eastern India, the study assesses CI’s impact on rice yields of smallholder rice producers. The study tests for robustness of the findings after controlling for other covariates and endogeneity. Results indicate CI has a positive and significant impact on rice yields. In particular, the ATET and ATEUT effect of CI on rice yields is about 47%. However, CI’s impact on rice yields is heterogeneous among farm sizes of smallholders. Participation in CI increased rice yields of large farms by 49% but increased rice yields of small farms by only 16%.
    Keywords: Crop Production/Industries, Risk and Uncertainty
    Date: 2018–12–20
  17. By: Alem, Yonas; Colmer, Jonathan
    Abstract: Separating the effects of uncertainty from realised events, and identifying the welfare effects of uncertainty, present a number of empirical challenges. Combining individuallevel panel data from rural Ethiopia with high-resolution meteorological data, we introduce a new proxy for income uncertainty - mean-preserving rainfall variability - and estimate that an increase in income uncertainty is associated with reductions in objective consumption and subjective well-being (SWB). Furthermore, 86% of the effect on SWB is attributed to the direct effects of uncertainty, consistent with a model of optimal expectations (Brunnermeier and Parker, 2005). In addition, we find that farmers in more uncertain environments are more resilient to realised rainfall shocks, consistent with a trade-off between optimism about the future and risk-management investments today. These findings suggest that the gains from further consumption smoothing are likely greater than estimates based solely on realised consumption fluctuations.
    Keywords: income uncertainty,consumption smoothing,subjective well-being,rainfall variability
    JEL: O13 Q12 Q56
    Date: 2018
  18. By: Abdulai, Awudu; Goetz, Renan; Ali, Williams; Owusu, Victor
    Abstract: This paper analyzes smallholder farmers’ decisions to participate in crop insurance programs, using cross-sectional data from cocoa farmers in the Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo and Western Regions of Ghana. Given the significance of output uncertainty and imperfect capital and insurance markets, we develop a theoretical framework to show how risk preferences and liquidity constraints influence farmers’ crop insurance participation decisions. We use a stated preference approach to obtain information on farmers’ willingness to participate in crop insurance programs, and a discrete choice model to examine the factors that influence their participation decisions. We find that risk preferences and liquidity constraints influence farmers’ willingness to participate in crop insurance programs. The results also show that the probability of participating in crop insurance programs is higher for males, the more educated, and those who trust others. The levels of fertilizer and pesticide expenditure and the access to credit are also found to significantly influence the decision to adopt the programs.
    Keywords: Crop Production/Industries, Risk and Uncertainty
    Date: 2018–12–20

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