nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2019‒01‒21
fifteen papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Community Matters: Heterogeneous Impacts of a Sanitation Intervention By Laura Abramovsky; Britta Augsburg; Melanie L\"uhrmann; Francisco Oteiza; Juan Pablo Rud
  2. The Income Elasticity of Child Labour: Do Cash Transfers Have an Impact on the Poorest Children? By Pellerano, Luca; Porreca, Eleonora; Rosati, Furio C.
  3. A Typology Analysis of Agricultural Empowerment Profiles in Rural Egypt with a Particular Focus on Women By Dina Najjar; Aymen Frija; Aman El Garhi
  4. Impact of Community-Based Health Insurance on Child Health Outcomes: Evidence on Stunting from Rural Uganda By Nshakira-Rukundo, Emmanuel; Mussa, Essa Chanie; Gerber, Nicolas; von Braun, Joachim
  5. Welfare effects of an in-kind transfer program: evidence from Mexico By Federico Tagliati
  6. Measuring leadership and management and their linkages with literacy in rural and township primary schools in South Africa By Gabrielle Wills; Servaas van der Berg
  7. Institutional quality and foreign aid By Marcus Drometer
  8. International Migration Intentions and Illegal Costs: Evidence from Africa-to-Europe Smuggling Routes By Friebel, Guido; Manchin, Miriam; Mendola, Mariapia; Prarolo, Giovanni
  9. Menstruation hygiene management and work attendance in a developing country By Krenz, Astrid; Strulik, Holger
  10. Impact of Syrian Refugees in Jordan on Education Outcomes for Jordanian Youth By Ragui Assaad; Thomas Ginn; Mohamed Saleh
  11. Governance and Domestic Investment in Africa By Chimere O. Iheonu
  12. Can Community-Based Health Insurance Nudge Preventive Health Behaviours? Evidence from Rural Uganda By Nshakira-Rukundo, Emmanuel; Mussa, Essa Chanie; Nshakira, Nathan; Gerber, Nicolas; von Braun, Joachim
  13. Touch Thee Not: Group Conflict, Caste Power, and Untouchability in Rural India By Dasgupta, Indraneel; Pal, Sarmistha
  14. Migration Shocks and Housing: Evidence from the Syrian Refugee Crisis in Jordan By Ibrahim Al Hawarin; Ragui Assaad; Ahmed Elsayed
  15. IMF-Supported Programs and Income Convergence in Low-Income Countries By Tejesh Pradhan; Ali J Al-Sadiq

  1. By: Laura Abramovsky (Centre for the Evaluation of Social Policies); Britta Augsburg (Centre for the Evaluation of Social Policies); Melanie L\"uhrmann (Royal Holloway Department of Economics; Centre for the Evaluation of Social Policies); Francisco Oteiza (UCL Institute of Education); Juan Pablo Rud (Royal Holloway Department of Economics; Centre for the Evaluation of Social Policies)
    Abstract: We study the effectiveness of a community-level information intervention aimed at reducing open defecation (OD) and increasing sanitation investments in Nigeria. The results of a cluster-randomized control trial conducted in 246 communities between 2014 and 2018 suggest that average impacts are exiguous. However, these results hide important community heterogeneity, as the intervention has strong and lasting effects on OD habits in poorer communities. This result is robust across several measures of community socio-economic characteristics, and is not driven by baseline differences in toilet coverage. In poor communities, OD rates decreased by 9pp from a baseline level of 75\%, while we find no effect in richer communities. The reduction in OD is achieved mainly through increased toilet ownership (+8pp from a baseline level of 24\%). The intervention appears to have raised the social status attached to toilet ownership among the poorer treated communities, and not in rich communities. Finally, we combine our study with data from five other trials of similar interventions to show that estimated impacts are stronger in poorer contexts, rationalizing the wide range of estimates in the literature and providing plausible external validity.
    Date: 2019–01
  2. By: Pellerano, Luca (ILO International Labour Organization); Porreca, Eleonora (Bank of Italy); Rosati, Furio C. (University of Rome Tor Vergata)
    Abstract: The possible non linearity of the income elasticity of child labour has been at the centre of the debate regarding both its causes and the policy instruments to address it. We contribute to this debate providing theoretical and empirical novel results. From a theoretical point of view, for any given transfer size, there is a critical level of household income below which an increase in income has no impact on child labour and education. We estimate the causal impact of an increase in income on child labour and education exploiting the random allocation of the Child Grant Programme, an unconditional cash transfer, in Lesotho. We show that the poorest households do not increase investment in children's human capital, while relatively less poor households reduce child labour and increase education. In policy terms, the results indicate that cash transfers might not be always effective to support the investment in children's human capital of the poorest households. Beside the integration with other measures, making the amount of transfer depends of the level of deprivation of the household might improve cash transfer effectiveness.
    Keywords: child labour, education, cash transfer, randomized experiment, Lesotho
    JEL: H C93 I28 J1 J24
    Date: 2018–11
  3. By: Dina Najjar (International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas); Aymen Frija; Aman El Garhi
    Abstract: The current study examines the extent of empowerment for different types of women in Egypt’s Old and New Lands (Noubariya and Kafr Shiekh). Empowerment in this study is multidimensional and is referring to access and management of capital, time and assets, with a particular focus on land. Research conducted in the past three decades in Latin America, India, and sub-Saharan Africa shows that land access empowers women in their ability to produce food, to participate in public life, as well as in household decision-making. However, relatively little is known about the relations between women, land and empowerment in the Middle East. Some 402 farmers (200 men and 202 women) were surveyed in both locations in Egypt, focusing on tasks within the farm, in addition to ownership and control over the main resources including land and livestock. A set of data including variables reflecting different empowerment dimensions of the surveyed farmers was collected in the study areas, and used for clustering homogeneous groups (men and women) with similar empowerment profiles. Characteristics of these men and women groups were then reported in order to provide better insights regarding empowerment gaps which might be used to develop targeted policy intervention strengthening certain empowerment aspects for these groups.
    Date: 2018–05–24
  4. By: Nshakira-Rukundo, Emmanuel; Mussa, Essa Chanie; Gerber, Nicolas; von Braun, Joachim
    Abstract: While community-based health insurance (CBHI) becomes increasingly integrated into health systems in developing countries, there is still limited research and evidence on its probable health impacts beyond its functions for health financing or for facilitating access to services. Using a cross-sectional data from rural south-west Uganda, we apply a two-stage residual inclusion instrumental variables method to study the impact of community health insurance on stunting in children under five years. Results indicate that each year a household was enrolled in insurance was causally associated with a reduction in the probability of stunting of 5.7 percentage points. Predictive marginal effects show that children in households which have had insurance for at least 5 years had a probability of stunting of only 0.353 compared to 0.531 for children in households with no insurance. Households in CBHI were more likely to attend more free antenatal and postnatal care visits and report fewer illnesses and reported less health expenditures. Moreover, CBHI enrolment was also associated with reduced health costs. We recommend that developing countries should facilitate the expansion of community health insurance scheme not only for their contribution to health financing but even more for mortality and morbidity aversion.
    Keywords: Health Economics and Policy, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods
    Date: 2019–01–14
  5. By: Federico Tagliati (Banco de España)
    Abstract: This paper shows how a theory-consistent demand system can be used to quantify recipient welfare under in-kind and cash transfers. Since welfare under an in-kind subsidy depends on the extent to which the transfer is extra-marginal, I compute the shadow prices at which a recipient would be as well off as with the in-kind transfer. Shadow prices are then used to compute the distribution of the willingness to pay for in-kind benefits among beneficiaries. As an application of this approach, I study the welfare effects of a governmental program which randomly transferred either a food basket or cash to poor households in rural Mexico. Results suggest that on average a recipient values the in-kind transfer at 80 percent of its face value. Despite the welfare loss, the in-kind transfer is more cost-efficient than cash. This is due to the fact that the food basket was significantly more expensive at the retail level than at the procurement level, which implies that a cash transfer of the same cost to the government could only buy a fraction of the food basket in recipient’s local markets. Because the food basket is mainly formed of normal goods, I also find that the willingness to pay is larger among recipients at the top of the income distribution, suggesting a regressive effect of the in-kind transfer.
    Keywords: in-kind transfers, cash transfers, demand system, welfare
    JEL: D61 H23 H43 I38
    Date: 2018–12
  6. By: Gabrielle Wills (Research on Socio-Economic Policy (ReSEP), Stellenbosch University); Servaas van der Berg (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University)
    Abstract: This paper describes a rigorous process to develop and trial new metrics for measuring and codifying school leadership and management practices and processes that are considered theoretically related to literacy outcomes. The predictive validity of these measures is assessed in challenging contexts including 60 township and rural primary schools in South Africa. We observe a randomness to how better leadership and management practices are distributed across better and worse performing schools. Regression analyses confirm weak and inconsistent linkages between measured leadership and management dimensions and literacy outcomes across the sample. However, we find evidence of stronger linkages with intermediate outcomes, including evidence of curriculum coverage. This research contributes to a burgeoning, yet underdeveloped literature on educational management and leadership in Africa and the challenges of measurement in this context.
    Keywords: education, management, school quality, leadership, South Africa, literacy
    JEL: I21 J24 M12
    Date: 2018
  7. By: Marcus Drometer
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of foreign aid on the quality of institutions in recipient countries. Our identification strategy exploits the shift in US foreign policy due the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001 as a quasi-natural experiment. The associated change in strategic importance of certain countries is resembled in the pattern of foreign aid flows. We estimate the impact of US foreign aid on different measures of institutional quality in a cross-country panel data set of developing countries. Our results indicate that foreign aid impacts different dimension of a country's institutions: When focusing on the rule of law aid seems to have a detrimental effect. However, the tax burden imposed on the citizens in recipient countries seems to be reduced by aid payments. When looking at the general level of democratization, we cannot find any conclusive results.
    Keywords: Foreign aid, institutional quality, natural experiment
    JEL: H11 D72 F22
    Date: 2019
  8. By: Friebel, Guido (Goethe University Frankfurt); Manchin, Miriam (University College London); Mendola, Mariapia (University of Milan Bicocca); Prarolo, Giovanni (University of Bologna)
    Abstract: Irregular migrants from Africa and the Middle East flow into Europe along land and sea routes under the control of human smugglers. The demise of the Gaddafi regime in 2011 marked the opening of the Central Mediterranean Route for irregular border - crossing between Libya and Italy. This resulted in the immediate expansion of the global smuggling network, which produced an asymmetric reduction in bilateral distance between country pairs across the Mediterranean sea. We exploit this source of spatial and time variation in irregular migration routes to estimate the elasticity of migration intentions to illegal moving costs proxied by distance. We build a novel dataset of geolocalized time-varying migration routes, combined with cross-country survey data on individual intentions to move from Africa (and the Middle East) into Europe. Netting out any country-by-time and pair-level confounders we find a large negative effect of distance along smuggling routes on individual migration intentions. Shorter distances increase the willingness to migrate especially for youth, (medium) skilled individuals and those with a network abroad. The effect is stronger in countries closer to Libya and with weak rule of law.
    Keywords: international migration, human smuggling, illegal migration, Libyan Civil War
    JEL: K23 K42
    Date: 2018–11
  9. By: Krenz, Astrid; Strulik, Holger
    Abstract: Women in developing countries face challenges in terms of managing their menstrual hygiene. Oftentimes they do not possess the right means nor materials nor have access to the right facilities. Using a newly released dataset for Burkina Faso and propensity score matching, we provide for the first time evidence of a strong causal impact of advanced menstrual hygiene management on work attendance. Access to advanced menstrual hygiene management materials (disposable sanitary pads) reduces work absenteeism of women by about 21 percentage points. When we stratify the sample by religious affiliation, we find the treatment effect to be insignificant for Christian women and strong and significant for Muslim women.
    Keywords: Menstrual Hygiene Management,Work Attendance,Period Poverty,Propensity Score Matching,Gender Inequality
    JEL: D10 I12 I14 J16 O12
    Date: 2019
  10. By: Ragui Assaad (University of Minnesota and ERF); Thomas Ginn; Mohamed Saleh
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of Syrian refugees during the Syrian Civil War on the educational outcomes of Jordanians. Outcomes we examine include school entry, school enrollment at various levels and advancement from one level to the next. The project employs a unique data source, the 2016 Jordanian Labor Market Panel Survey that records retrospective educational outcomes for a nationally representative sample of Jordanians. We employ a difference-in-differences strategy that exploits cross-locality variation in exposure to Syrian refugees across cohorts before and during the influx of refugees. We find no evidence that greater exposure to Syrian refugee has affected the attainment of Jordanians. Evidence from the Ministry of Education’s Educational Management Information System (EMIS) suggests that Jordanian schools responded to the influx by adding a second shift in schools in high-Syrian areas, and that teacher-to-student ratio and classroom size are both unaffected by the influx.
    Date: 2018–09–04
  11. By: Chimere O. Iheonu (University of Nigeria, Nsukka)
    Abstract: The study empirically examined the impact of governance on domestic investment in 16 African countries with a balanced panel data set, between the years 2002 and 2015. The study employed six unbundled governance indicators from the World Bank, World Governance Indicators and constructed three bundled governance indicators using the Principal Component Analysis. The Driscoll and Kraay Fixed Effects model which accounts for serial correlation, groupwise heteroskedasticity and cross-sectional dependence were employed with empirical results revealing that all the indicators of governance positively and significantly influence domestic investment in Africa, except for government effectiveness which happens to be insignificant. Also, Voice/Accountability and the Control of Corruption exert more influence on domestic investment as indicated by their coefficient values. Furthermore, economic growth is also an important factor in explaining domestic investment in Africa. Policy recommendations are discussed.
    Keywords: Governance; Domestic Investment; Africa; PCA; Fixed Effects Model
    JEL: C1 E2 R5
    Date: 2019–01
  12. By: Nshakira-Rukundo, Emmanuel; Mussa, Essa Chanie; Nshakira, Nathan; Gerber, Nicolas; von Braun, Joachim
    Abstract: Community-based health insurance (CBHI) schemes have emerged as strong pathways to universal health coverage in developing countries. Their examination has largely focussed on their impacts on financial protection and on the utilisation of curative health services. However, very little is known about their possible effect on utilisation of preventive health services and strategies and yet developing countries continue to carry a burden of easily preventable illnesses. To understand if this effect exists, we carry out a cross-sectional survey in communities served by a large CBHI scheme in rural south-western Uganda. We then apply inverse probability weighting of the propensity score to analyse quasiexperimental associations. We find that the probabilities for using long-lasting mosquito nets, vitamin A and iron supplementation and child deworming were significantly increased with participation in CBHI. We postulate that this effect is partly due to information diffusion and social learning within CBHI-participating burial groups. This work gives insight into the broader effects of CBHI in developing countries, beyond financial protection and utilisation of hospital-based services.
    Keywords: Health Economics and Policy, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods
    Date: 2019–01–14
  13. By: Dasgupta, Indraneel (Indian Statistical Institute); Pal, Sarmistha (University of Surrey)
    Abstract: We investigate the impact of community power on the practice of untouchability in rural India. We model two-dimensional simultaneous group conflict over social norms, wherein an upper and backward (OBC) caste Hindu bloc contests the 'scheduled' castes (SCs) over the extent to which behavioural norms within the village should legitimise untouchability, even as it seeks to impose Hindu values/rituals on non-Hindus. We find that any increase in the collective resource endowment (power) of this bloc will increase the likelihood of an upper caste or OBC Hindu household practising untouchability. An increase in that of SCs, or, more interestingly, of Muslims and Christians, will reduce it. Strikingly, a marginal redistribution of resources from OBCs to upper castes may reduce it as well. Identifying a community's power with a multiplicative combination of its population share and land share, we find support for these hypotheses in data from the India Human Development Survey 2011-12.
    Keywords: caste, social norm, ritual purity, discrimination, untouchabilitly, land redistribution, caste power, India
    JEL: D72 D74 J71 J78 Z1
    Date: 2018–12
  14. By: Ibrahim Al Hawarin (Al-Hussein Bin Talal University); Ragui Assaad; Ahmed Elsayed
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of migration shocks on housing conditions and rental prices for locals. The identification comes from the regional variation in the large influx of Syrian refugees to Jordan in the wake of the Syrian conflict starting in 2011. We employ a difference in difference approach to evaluate the change in housing conditions and rental prices in areas with relatively higher flows of Syrian refugees compared to areas with relatively lower flows of Syrian refugees. The paper shows that the share of Syrian refugees seems to have a negative, yet small, impact on housing conditions of locals. Heterogeneity analyses shows that while poorer household are affected more negatively, richer household experience an improvement in their housing outcomes in response to the share of refugees. The paper further shows that housing rents significantly increased in the regions closer to Syrian borders. However, housing quality was more responsive to the crisis in regions that are relatively more distant
    Date: 2018–06–28
  15. By: Tejesh Pradhan; Ali J Al-Sadiq
    Abstract: Continuing the empirical debate on the effects of IMF-supported programs on participating countries’ macroeconomic performance, we focus on the issue of whether these programs accelerate conditional ß-convergence among low-income countries (LICs). We use an unbalanced panel dataset for 85 LICs over the period 1986-2015 and employ two different econometric methods to address the selection bias problem. Our empirical results suggest that the rate of conditional income per capita convergence is faster among LICs with extended IMF support than that in countries without support or with intermittent support.
    Date: 2018–12–13

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