nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2019‒03‒18
fourteen papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Chinese development assistance and household welfare in sub-Saharan Africa By Bruno Martorano; Laura Metzger; Marco Sanfilippo
  2. Making Growth Work for the Poor By World Bank
  3. Firms and Farms: The Local Effects of Farm Income on Firms’ Demand By Santangelo, G.
  4. Female Seclusion from Paid Work: A Social Norm or Cultural Preference? By Mohammad Niaz Asadullah; Zaki Wahhaj
  5. Female genital mutilation and migration in Mali. Do return migrants transfer social norms? By Diabate, Idrissa; Mesplé-Somps, Sandrine
  6. Gender inequality and economic development: fertility, education and norms By Kleven, Henrik; Landais, Camille
  7. Maternal Health, Children Education and Women Empowerment: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from India By Chatterjee, Somdeep; Poddary, Prashant
  8. Decent work and the effect of job instability on consumption of Colombian households By Ruiz, Freddy; Lugilde, Alba
  9. Fata Morganas In Oil-Rich, Institution-Poor Economies By Jodie Gatti; Gavin Triplet; Alexander James
  10. From Farm to Kitchen: Gender, production diversity and dietary intake By Argaw, T.; Phimister, E.; Roberts, D.
  11. The Impact of the Mexican Drug War on Trade By Jose Ramon Morales Arilla
  12. Does Women Empowerment in Agriculture Affect Household Food Security? The Case of Rural Limpopo Province, South Africa. By Chitja, J.; Murugani, V.
  13. The degree and determinants of crop commercialization among emerging smallholder farmers in the former homelands of the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. By Nkunjana, T.; Zantsi, S.
  14. Persistence in Food Insecurity and Poverty in Ethiopia By Phimister, E.; Tefera, T.; Argaw, T. Lemma

  1. By: Bruno Martorano; Laura Metzger; Marco Sanfilippo
    Abstract: We combine data on Chinese development projects with data from Demographic and Health Surveys to study the impact of Chinese aid on household welfare in sub-Saharan Africa. We use a novel methodology to test the effect of Chinese aid on three important development outcomes: education, health, and nutrition. For each outcome, we use difference-in-difference estimations to compare household areas near Chinese project sites to control areas located farther away, before and after receiving Chinese aid. This empirical strategy rules out many confounding factors that can bias measuring the impact of Chinese aid on our outcome variables. First, we find that Chinese projects significantly improve education and child mortality in treatment areas, but do not significantly affect nutrition. Second, social sector projects have a larger effect on outcomes than economic projects. Third, we do not find significant effects for projects that ended more than five years before the post-treatment survey wave. Our results are robust to a host of robustness checks.
    Keywords: aid effectiveness, Chinese aid, household welfare, DHS, geocoded data
    JEL: F35 O19 R20
    Date: 2019–02
  2. By: World Bank
    Keywords: Poverty Reduction - Inequality Poverty Reduction - Living Standards Poverty Reduction - Poverty Assessment Poverty Reduction - Poverty Lines Poverty Reduction - Poverty and Health Social Protections and Labor - Labor Markets Social Protections and Labor - Social Protections & Assistance
    Date: 2018–06
  3. By: Santangelo, G.
    Abstract: How do changes in agricultural productivity affect firms? Using the predictions of a simple multi-sector general equilibrium model of the local economy and exploiting weather-induced agricultural volatility across India, I estimate the response of manufacturing firms to changes in agricultural productivity. I show that negative agricultural productivity shocks lower the cost of labor but that this does not cause firms to hire more. Firms’ production and employment in fact decrease because the shocks also reduce local income and hence the demand that firms face. My estimates provide evidence for a significant local demand effect. I then use my framework to show that this has key policy implications. I examine the introduction of a rural workfare program and assess how it affects firms. I show that the program attenuates the impact of negative agricultural shocks on firms because of its counter-cyclical effects on local wage and demand for manufacturing goods. The results highlight how policies that target households and increase their income can affect local market size and therefore the industrial sector through their general equilibrium effects.
    Keywords: Labor Demand, Agricultural Labor Market, Farms, Economic Development, Firms, Agriculture, Manufacturing, Rural, Agricultural Productivity, Regional Economic Activity, Regional General Equilibrium, Regional Labor Markets, NREGA, India, Workfare Programs
    JEL: J23 J43 O12 O13 O14 O18 Q11 Q12 R11 R13 R23
    Date: 2019–01–14
  4. By: Mohammad Niaz Asadullah; Zaki Wahhaj
    Abstract: We propose and empirically test a theory of female paid work participation in a setting with traditional norms of female seclusion. Theoretically, we distinguish between innate preferences for female seclusion – potentially transmitted from parents to children – and a practice of female seclusion due to social pressure for adhering to these norms. Using a purposefully designed survey on female work in Bangladesh, we use information on purdah practice at the level of individuals, households, and communities to construct measures of individual preference and community pressure for female seclusion. Using past purdah practice within an individual’s parental home and at the level of the sub-district as instruments, we provide causal estimates of the effect of individual preferences and social pressure for female seclusion on female paid work participation. Our instrumental variable estimates indicate that individual purdah preferences have no effect, but the social prevalence of purdah has a strong negative effect on female paid work participation. We provide robustness checks to show that the results are not being driven by other potential determinants of purdah practice in Bangladesh, including religiosity within the community, rising female enrolment in religious schools, growth of microfinance, and norm transmission through migrant links to religiously conservative countries.
    Keywords: labour force participation; culture; social norms; gender; Bangladesh
    Date: 2019–02
  5. By: Diabate, Idrissa; Mesplé-Somps, Sandrine
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate the power of migration as a mechanism in the transmission of social norms, taking Mali and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as a case study. Mali has a strong FGM culture and a long-standing history of migration. We use an original household-level database coupled with census data to analyze the extent to which girls living in localities with high rates of return migrants are less prone to FGM. Malians migrate predominantly to other African countries where female circumcision is uncommon (e.g. Côte d’Ivoire) and to countries where FGM is totally banned (France and other developed countries) and where anti-FGM information campaigns frequently target African migrants. Taking a two-step instrumental variable approach to control for the endogeneity of migration and return decisions, we show that return migrants have a negative and significant influence on FGM practices. More precisely, we show that this result is primarily driven by the flow of returnees from Cote d'Ivoire. We also show that adults living in localities with return migrants are more informed about FGM and in favor of legislation. The impact of returnees may occur through several channels, including compositional effects, changes in return migrants' attitudes toward FGM, and return migrants convincing stayers to change their FGM practices.
    Keywords: Female Genital Excision,social transfers,migration,Mali
    JEL: I15 O55 F22
    Date: 2019
  6. By: Kleven, Henrik; Landais, Camille
    Abstract: We document the evolution of gender inequality in labour market outcomes—earnings, labour supply and wage rates—over the path of economic development, and present evidence on the potential reasons for this evolution. To this end, we have created a micro database that compiles 248 surveys from 53 countries between 1967 and 2014, covering a wide range of per capita income levels. There is large convergence in the earnings of men and women over the path of development, driven by female labour force participation and wage rates. We argue that the single most important factor behind this convergence is demographic transition: the effects of children on gender gaps (‘child penalties’) are large at both low and high levels of development, but fertility declines drastically over the growth process and thus reduces the aggregate implications of children. We also document gender convergence in educational attainment and consider its effects on earnings inequality, arguing that these are significant but less dramatic than the effects of fertility. Finally, we document striking changes in the values or norms surrounding the role of women with children, implying that such changes could serve as a reinforcing mechanism for gender convergence.
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2017–04–01
  7. By: Chatterjee, Somdeep; Poddary, Prashant
    Abstract: The empirical evidence on the inter-generational effects of maternal health interventions is inconclusive, particularly the impact on cognitive ability of children. In this paper, we study one such popular policy from India, viz, the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) which is a agship health and safe motherhood program. We exploit plausible exogenous variation in exposure to the program generated by the institutional features of the implementation, in a cross-sectional difference-in-difference framework to find evidence of reduction in academic test scores of children whose parents remained unexposed to the policy intervention. We also find that such children spend less time on homework during the week, were less likely to attend and enjoy school. We also find negative effects on women empowerment measures for the unexposed women. The results suggest that the JSY led to increase in women empowerment and improved cognitive outcomes for children.
    Keywords: maternal health,women empowerment,children education
    JEL: D10 I18 I20 I38
    Date: 2019
  8. By: Ruiz, Freddy; Lugilde, Alba
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to study empirically the role of decent work on household consumption in Colombia. Using data from the Large Integrated Household Survey (GEIH) and the Colombian Longitudinal Survey (ELCA) we calculate for Colombia several of the decent work indicators proposed by the International Labour Organization and go one step further constructing their homologous at microeconomic level as measures of the job instability borne by the workers. The constructed indicators measure the poor quality of employment the individuals have which implies uncertainty about future labour income. This work addresses the effect this labour uncertainty has on household consumption. Our results show that being in a situation of vulnerability or labour instability, which generates uncertainty about future income, alters household consumption patterns. This is consistent with the evidence of the existence of precautionary saving in Colombian households.
    Keywords: decent work, labour uncertainty, consumption, precautionary savings, ELCA, Colombia
    JEL: D12 D14 E24
    Date: 2019
  9. By: Jodie Gatti (Department of Economics and Public Policy, University of Alaska Anchorage); Gavin Triplet (Department of Economics and Public Policy, University of Alaska Anchorage); Alexander James (Department of Economics and Public Policy, University of Alaska Anchorage)
    Abstract: Oil-dependent countries suffer from bad institutions, but is oil the culprit? Herein we argue that weak institutions lead to resource dependence, and that this form of reverse causality does not merely bias the estimated effect of oil dependence, it is solely responsible for it. We highlight this point in a novel way. We first document a robust inverse relationship between oil dependence and institutional quality across countries. We then re-estimate this relationship holding the value of resource production constant across all countries. The two sets of results are statistically indifferent, meaning that variation in GDP fully explains why oil-dependent economies suffer from bad institutions. This remarkable finding offers broad implications that reach beyond the resource-development literature and speaks generally to the practice of scaling explanatory variables by GDP.
    Keywords: Resource Curse; Resource-Dependent Countries; Estimation Bias
    JEL: Q3 Q4
    Date: 2018–01
  10. By: Argaw, T.; Phimister, E.; Roberts, D.
    Abstract: We estimated a two-step control function procedure on panel and four different models on the cross section data using the latest three round panel of the Ethiopian socioeconomic survey. The results from our cross section and panel estimates show a positive and significant relationship between production diversity and dietary diversity. In addition, we also see that production diversity has different outcomes between male and female headed household. Before the impact of production diversity is accounted for being in a female headed households does increase consumption diversity. However, there is evidence of a negative and significant interaction between gender and production diversity. This suggests that the mechanism through which production diversity affects consumption diversity differs in female headed households. As are result the overall impact of gender on consumption diversity is negligible (when estimated at mean values). Market access, access to extension services and the availability of a nonfarm business are also positively related with consumption of diversified diet. Key words: Production diversity, dietary diversity, gender, Ethiopia. JEL CODES: Q12 Q18 Q01
    Keywords: Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety
    Date: 2018–09–25
  11. By: Jose Ramon Morales Arilla (Center for International Development at Harvard University)
    Abstract: This paper studies the unintended economic consequences of increases in violence following the Mexican Drug War. We study the effects on exports in municipalities with different levels of exposure to violence after the policy. A focus on exports allows us to control for demand shocks by comparing exports of the same product to the same country of destination. Building on the close elections identification strategy proposed by Dell (2015), we show that municipalities that are exogenously exposed to the Drug War experience a 40% decrease in export growth on the in- tensive margin. Large exporters suffer larger effects, along with exports of more complex, capital intensive, and skill intensive products. Finally, using firm level data, we provide evidence consistent with violence increasing marginal exporting costs.
    Keywords: Exports, Violence, Mexico, Regression Discontinuity
    JEL: H56 D72 F16 N76
  12. By: Chitja, J.; Murugani, V.
    Abstract: The link between the empowerment of women in agriculture and food security, was investigated in Limpopo Province. Data were collected in three irrigation scheme communities. Respondents were largely food secure, however, empowerment in agriculture and food security were weakly associated. This was partly attributed to the importance of the market in accessing food and the status quo of purchasing food versus own food production. It was concluded that pursuing women empowerment in agriculture and other sectors would likely improve food security. It was recommended that a more transformative and empowering system that allows farmers to diversify crop production and access more markets be sought. Nutrition education and advocacy would also improve household dietary diversity.
    Keywords: women empowerment; food security; dietary diversity; irrigation schemes; Food Security and Poverty
    Date: 2018–09–25
  13. By: Nkunjana, T.; Zantsi, S.
    Abstract: Emerging smallholders in the former homelands have been a subject of extensive academic research in South Africa over the past two decades. These farmers are largely described as those coming from previously disadvantaged racial groups, mainly black, who at least sell part of their produce and aspire to fully commercialise their production. But how much is �at least�? This article seeks to contribute to the literature by determining the degree of commercialisation using the Crop Commercialisation Index. Factors influencing maize commercialisation were also determined using Binary Logistic Regression. A sample of 115 household heads was drawn randomly from three districts of the Eastern Cape Province and interviewed using a local language. Results show that emerging farmers in the study area are more commercial orientated in vegetable production than in maize. Binary Logistic Regression suggests that hiring external labour strongly promotes maize commercialisation. Key words: Emerging smallholders, commercialisation, Eastern Cape, South Africa.
    Keywords: Crop Production/Industries
    Date: 2018–09–25
  14. By: Phimister, E.; Tefera, T.; Argaw, T. Lemma
    Abstract: Using three rounds of data from the Ethiopia Socioeconomic Survey (ESS), we estimate a series of dynamic random effect probit models accounting for unobserved heterogeneity and the initial conditions problem using four measures of food insecurity and poverty. The descriptive analysis suggest higher levels of downward mobility and lower rates of exit for the food insecurity measures relative to food poverty and general poverty. There also appear to be lower levels of persistence in the subjective measure of food insecurity although for all measures close to the majority of the sample experience at least one period of food insecurity, food or general poverty. The estimation results provide some evidence of persistence or state dependence exists for subjective food insecurity, food and relative poverty measures. There is also evidence of cross effects so that being subjectively food insecure in the past increases the probability of being food poor and relatively poor in the current period.
    Keywords: Food insecurity; Poverty; State dependence; Ethiopia; farm households JEL codes I32, Q12, C23; Food Security and Poverty
    Date: 2018–09–25

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