nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2019‒04‒01
sixteen papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Foreign aid and structural transformation: Micro-level evidence from Uganda By Ahlerup, Pelle
  2. Can unconditional in-kind transfers keep children out of work and in school? Evidence from Indonesia By Nadezhda V. Baryshnikova; Danusha Jayawardana
  3. Early Life Exposure to Pollution: Eect of Seasonal Open Biomass Burning on Child Health in India By Singh, Prachi; Dey, Sagnik; Chowdhury, Sourangsu
  4. Selected paper presented at the 63rd AARES Annual Conference at Melbourne, Vic from 12-15 February 2019 This paper has been independently reviewed and is published by The Australasian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society Ltd on the AgEcon Search website at University of Minnesota, 1994 Buford Ave St. Paul MN 55108-6040, USA Published 2018 The impact of smallholder vegetable production on child nutrition in rural Vietnam By Genova, Christian; Umberger, Wendy; Newman, Suzie; Peralta, Alexandra; Zeng, Di
  5. Legacies of Loss: The intergenerational outcomes of slaveholder compensation in the British Cape Colony By Martins, Igor; Cilliers, Jeanne; Fourie, Johan
  6. Foreign Aid and Domestic Revenue Mobilization in Conflict-aff ected Countries By Maïmouna Diakite; Souleymane Diarra; Sampawende J.-A. Tapsoba; Tertius Zongo
  7. Conflict Exposure and Economic Welfare in Nigeria By Odozi, John Chiwuzulum; Oyelere, Ruth Uwaifo
  8. Energy-related financial literacy and bounded rationality in appliance replacement attitudes: Evidence from Nepal By Massimo Filippini; Nilkanth Kumar; Suchita Srinivasan
  9. The Effect of Forest Access on the Market for Fuelwood in India By Bošković, Branko; Chakravorty, Ujjayant; Pelli, Martino; Risch, Anna
  10. Multiple micronutrient supplementation using spirulina platensis during the first 1000 days is positively associated with development in preschool-aged children: a follow up of a randomized trial in Zambia By Masuda, Kazuya; Chitundu, Maureen
  11. Allocation of Implementing Power: Evidence from World Bank Projects By Silvia Marchesi; Tania Masi
  12. Impact of religious participation, social interactions and globalisation on meat consumption: evidence from India By Massimo Filippini; Suchita Srinivasan
  13. Wealth and health in South Africa By Julien Albertini; Anthony Terriau
  14. Distortions in aid allocation of unnited nations flash appeals: Evidence from the 2015 Nepal earthquake By Eichenauer, Vera Z.; Fuchs, Andreas; Kunze, Sven; Strobl, Eric
  15. Land Consolidation as Technical Change: Impacts On-farm and Off-farm in Rural Vietnam By Nguyen, Huy Quynh
  16. Maternal education, parental investment and non-cognitive characteristics in rural China By Jessica E. Leight; Elaine Liu

  1. By: Ahlerup, Pelle (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: History tells us that sustained economic growth, necessary to alleviate poverty in sub-Saharan Africa, requires growth in the fundamentals, such as infrastructure and human capital, but also structural transformation, i.e., a reallocation of labor from low-productivity to high-productivity sectors. I study whether foreign aid is a factor that helps or hinders structural transformation. I use a dataset on aid projects with precise coordinates from all major donors and match it to panel data with extensive information on labor market activities for a large representative sample of individuals in Uganda. I find consistent evidence that foreign aid reverses the process of structural transformation. More specifically, the local short-term effect of foreign aid is that people in areas with ongoing aid projects work more in agriculture and less in non-agricultural sectors. There are no significant effects on wages or household expenditures for people in the agricultural sector, but the effects on people in non-agricultural sectors are negative.
    Keywords: foreign aid; structural transformation; Africa; AidData; LSMS
    JEL: F35 O14 O55
    Date: 2019–03
  2. By: Nadezhda V. Baryshnikova (School of Economics, University of Adelaide); Danusha Jayawardana (School of Economics, University of Adelaide)
    Abstract: The International Labour Organisation estimates that 152 million children are engaging in child labour globally which creates a need for evidence based policies and interventions to eliminate it. Particularly, there is limited evidence about the effect of in-kind transfers on child labour, impeding policy development. We address this evidence gap by examining the impacts of an unconditional in-kind transfer, a subsidised rice program, on child labour as well as schooling, using household survey data from Indonesia. To identify the causal effect we employ coarsened exact matching with difference-in-differences estimator. The results indicate that the program is effective in increasing the probability of schooling for girls though it does not have a significant impact on the probability of working as a child. However, as an unconditional in-kind transfer, its ability to increase schooling for girls, especially of those who are not currently attending school, provides an important policy implication on how a food subsidy program can indirectly influence child wellbeing.
    Keywords: Domestic Child labour; Schooling; Food subsidy; Raskin; Indonesia; Coarsened exact matching
    JEL: J82 I21 I38
    Date: 2019–01
  3. By: Singh, Prachi; Dey, Sagnik; Chowdhury, Sourangsu
    Abstract: This paper examines effect of outdoor air pollution on child health in India by combining satellite PM2.5 data with geo-coded Demographic and Health Survey of India(2016). Pollution levels vary due to seasonal open biomass burning events (like crop-burning and forest res) which are a common occurrence. Our identification strategy relies on spatial and temporal differences in these biomass burning events to identify the effect air pollution on child health. Our results indicate that children ex- posed to higher levels of PM2.5 during their first trimester and during the post-natal period of first three months after birth have lower Height-for-age and Weight-for-age; the effect is not limited to just rural areas, but prominent for Northern states of India which have higher incidence of such events.
    Keywords: Health Economics and Policy
    Date: 2019–02
  4. By: Genova, Christian; Umberger, Wendy; Newman, Suzie; Peralta, Alexandra; Zeng, Di
    Abstract: Child undernutrition, particularly stunting, wasting and micronutrient deficiencies, remains a major health concern in rural communities in Vietnam. While literature suggests leveraging agriculture to improve child nutrition via agricultural diversification, market engagement, and women empowerment, very few studies have explored how smallholder vegetable production can influence child nutrition outcomes. The present paper tries to fill this gap using a nutrition-centred approach that examines the impacts of vegetable production diversity, market access, and market participation at the household level. We use a cross-sectional household dataset that we collected in 2016 in Northwest Vietnam covering 234 children aged 6 to 60 months. We estimate several regression models using three-stage least squares (3SLS), ordinary least squares (OLS), logistic regression, and seemingly unrelated regression (SUR), in their most appropriate settings and in a comparative manner to explain variations in several nutrition outcome measures, including height-for-age (HAZ), weight-for-height (WHZ), and weight-for-age (WAZ) Z-scores, as well as three other measures (stunting, wasting, and underweight). Our results suggest that smallholder vegetable production has a significant indirect effect on child nutrition via market participation. Market participation is an important factor in improving girls’ HAZ and WHZ, and in reducing the probabilities of boys being stunted and underweight. It is implied that additional income from selling vegetables allows households to purchase nutritious food, which is likely to have a positive impact on child nutrition outcomes.
    Keywords: Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety
    Date: 2019–02
  5. By: Martins, Igor (Department of Economic History, Lund University); Cilliers, Jeanne (Department of Economic History, Lund University); Fourie, Johan (Stellenbosch University)
    Abstract: Can wealth shocks have intergenerational health consequences? We use the partial compensation slaveholders received after the 1834 slave emancipation in the British Cape Colony to measure the intergenerational effects of a wealth loss on longevity. Because the share of partial compensation received was uncorrelated to wealth, we can interpret the results as having a causal influence. We find that a greater loss of slave wealth shortened the lifespans of the generation of slaveholders that experienced the shock and those of their children, but not those of their grandchildren. We speculate on the mechanisms for this intergenerational persistence.
    Keywords: intergenerational health; intergenerational persistence; wealth shock; lifespan; longevity; slaveemancipation; Cape Colony
    JEL: D60 I19 J47 N37 N47 N97
    Date: 2019–03–20
  6. By: Maïmouna Diakite (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - Clermont Auvergne - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Souleymane Diarra (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - Clermont Auvergne - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Sampawende J.-A. Tapsoba (IMF - "Research Department International Monetary Fund (IMF)" - International Monetary Fund (IMF)); Tertius Zongo (FERDI - Fondation pour les Etudes et Recherches sur le Développement International)
    Abstract: In recent years, there has been increasing interest in the impact of conflict on taxation, and a few articles have focused on aid effectiveness in conflict-affected countries. Both aid and conflict have been identified as major determinants of tax performance, however there is little agreement on the nature of their individual and joint effects on taxation. This study contributes to this debate by considering a sample of 123 developing countries over the period 1984 to 2014. Our findings show that aid granted during a period of conflict positively affects revenue collection, and this impact increases with technical assistance. A deeper analysis demonstrates a non-linear relationship between aid provided during conflict times and domestic revenue mobilization. The institutional environment appears to be a factor that may mitigate, and even reverse, the nature of the relationship between aid and revenue mobilization.
    Date: 2019–01–15
  7. By: Odozi, John Chiwuzulum; Oyelere, Ruth Uwaifo
    Abstract: Several papers have attempted to estimate and document the impact of conflict on numerous education, health and socioeconomic outcomes. One lesson from this research is the heterogeneity in the effect of violent conflict across and within countries. In this paper we attempt to estimate the casual impact of conflict in Nigeria on welfare related outcomes. The 2009 insurgence of Boko Haram and the Fulani herdsmen versus farmers conflicts have led to a significant increase in violent conflict in the North Eastern and Central parts of Nigeria. However, bouts of violent conflict has existed in different communities across Nigeria since independence. We estimate the general effect of conflict exposure on welfare, across Nigeria using the three waves of the Nigeria General Household Survey (GHS) combined with ACLED conflict data. Employing a fixed effect approach, our results suggest that recent and long term exposure to conflict increased poverty incidence, poverty gap and poverty severity in Nigeria.
    Keywords: Violence,Nigeria,Conflict,Boko Haram,Economic Welfare,Poverty
    JEL: I10 I30 O1 D74
    Date: 2019
  8. By: Massimo Filippini (ETH Zurich, Switzerland); Nilkanth Kumar (ETH Zurich, Switzerland); Suchita Srinivasan (ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: Bounded rationality is an example of an important behavioral failure responsible for the energy-efficiency gap, whereby agents under-invest in energy-efficient technologies. One means of addressing this is by improving the energy-related financial literacy of households, which is defined as the combination of energy knowledge and cognitive abilities that are needed in order for agents to take sound decisions with respect to investment in durables. This has been found to improve the ability of agents to calculate the lifetime costs of technologies. The objective of this paper is to evaluate the determinants of energy-related financial literacy of respondents from about 2000 urban households in the Terai region of Nepal, and to analyze whether this ability has an effect on replacement attitudes of households regarding inefficient technologies. Using a novel household survey data, we find that respondents have low levels of energy-related financial literacy. While we find differences in the role of some socio-economic determinants of energy-related financial literacy compared to previous studies from developed countries, we also find certain common results, such as female respondents having lower scores. Additionally, we find that higher levels of energy-related financial literacy, especially stronger computational abilities, lead to more rational attitudes with regards to replacement of old appliances. As development has brought, and continues to bring, more households in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) closer to technologies of their liking, ensuring the adoption of energy-efficient technologies may be critical for ensuring sustainable development in the decades to come, and higher energy-related financial literacy may be one means of achieving that.
    Keywords: Bounded rationality, Energy literacy, Financial literacy, Households, Nepal
    JEL: D12 D80 Q41 Q48
    Date: 2019–03
  9. By: Bošković, Branko; Chakravorty, Ujjayant; Pelli, Martino; Risch, Anna
    Abstract: Fuelwood collection is often cited as the most important cause of deforestation in developing countries. Use of fuelwood in cooking is a leading cause of indoor air pollution. Using household data from India, we show that households located farther away from the forest spend more time collecting. Distant households are likely to sell more fuelwood and buy less. That is, lower access to forests increases fuelwood collection and sale. This counter-intuitive behavior is triggered by two factors: lower access to forests (a) increases the fixed costs of collecting, which in turn leads to more collection; and (b) drives up local fuelwood prices, which makes collection and sale more profitable. We quantify both these effects. Using our estimates we show that a fifth of the fuelwood collected is consumed outside of rural areas, in nearby towns and cities. Our results imply that at the margin, fuelwood scarcity may lead to increased collection and sale, and exacerbate forest degradation.
    Keywords: Environmental Economics and Policy
    Date: 2018–07–10
  10. By: Masuda, Kazuya; Chitundu, Maureen
    Abstract: Early childhood development relies on various micronutrients. We recently reported that home fortification of complementary foods using spirulina reduced the time to attain motor milestone in Zambian infants. The objective of this study is to estimate the long-term associations between spirulina supplementation during the first 1000 days and child gross motor development, fine motor development, language, and personal-social skill at preschool age. We used longitudinal data from a randomized trial conducted in Zambia. In 2015, 501 infants (age, 6–18 months) were provided daily supplements of maize-soy-based porridge with spirulina (SP) and without spirulina (CON). Supplementation period lasted for 16 months. In January 2018, children who participated in the initial trial were resurveyed (CON: 182 children; SP: 188 children; now aged 36–48 months). We assessed the infants’ gross motor development, fine motor development, language, and personal-social skill using a modified version of Malawi Development Assessment Tool. The initial clinical trial registration number was NCT03523182 ( Children in the SP group had higher scores on gross and fine motor development, language, and social skill than those in the CON group. Home fortification of complementary foods using spirulina during the first 1000 days improved development among Zambian at preschool age
    Keywords: malnutrition, home-fortification, motor development, language skill, personal-social skill, Zambia, spirulina, the first 1000 days
    Date: 2019–03
  11. By: Silvia Marchesi (University of Milano Bicocca and Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano); Tania Masi (University of Milano Bicocca)
    Abstract: In this paper we explore the factors that determine the level at which World Bank projects are implemented. In particular, focusing on the importance of informational asymmetry between levels of government, we empirically assess whether this choice is influenced by the relative importance of local information at the recipient country level. Using an AidData dataset that provides information on more than 5800 World Bank projects for the period 1995-2014, and controlling for characteristics at both country and project level, we find that transparency does influence the probability that a project is implemented locally rather than nationally. More specifically, a one standard deviation decline in transparency increases the probability that a World Bank project will be implemented locally by 3 percent.
    Keywords: World Bank projects, Implementing Agency, Transparency
    JEL: F35 O19 D83
    Date: 2019–03–18
  12. By: Massimo Filippini (ETH Zurich, Switzerland); Suchita Srinivasan (ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: From both health and environmental policy perspectives, it is advisable to ensure that individuals maximise the nutritional gains from eating meat, without having a significantly adverse environmental impact, i.e. sustainable meat consumption pathways are imperative. This is especially true for developing countries, where rising incomes and growing populations have meant that meat consumption has also risen. India is an example of a country where a large share of the population has been vegetarian due to religious and cultural factors, although this is rapidly changing. In this paper, we hypothesise that social interactions and globalisation are two factors that explain this shift in consumption behaviour, especially amongst Hindu households. These hypotheses are based on the theoretical findings of Levy and Razin (2012). The empirical results show that Hindus that are members of religious groups are less likely to eat meat than non-member Hindus, whereas Hindus that are members of non-religious types of groups are more likely to eat meat than non-members. We also find that Hindu households that frequently use sources of media such as newspapers, the radio or television are more likely to consume meat compared to Hindus that do not. This paper provides important policy implications, both in terms of the formulation of Nationally Recommended Diets in developing countries, and in terms of identifying the channel of influence of both social networks and globalisation on social and religious norms, consumption behaviour, and ultimately, on climate change.
    Keywords: Meat consumption, Religious norms, Social interactions, Globalisation, India
    JEL: D83 Q18 Q54 C23 C26
    Date: 2018–11
  13. By: Julien Albertini (Univ Lyon, Université Lyon 2, GATE UMR 5824, F-69130 Ecully, France); Anthony Terriau (Univ Lyon, Université Lyon 2, GATE UMR 5824, F-69130 Ecully, France)
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate the impact of wealth on health in South Africa using the National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS). We estimate a two-stage probit model with inheritance as an instrumental variable for wealth. We find no significant effect of wealth on health at the individual level, consistent with most of the results found for developed countries. Alternative specifications to the health outcomes (self-reported health versus reported diseases) as well as the introduction of gifts as an additional instrumental variable delivers similar results. In addition, we decompose wealth into liquid and illiquid wealth. Despite the health effect being higher for liquid than for non-liquid wealth, none of these measures involve substantial or significant effects on health.
    Keywords: Wealth, Health, Inheritance, South Africa
    JEL: C26 D31 I14 I15
    Date: 2019
  14. By: Eichenauer, Vera Z.; Fuchs, Andreas; Kunze, Sven; Strobl, Eric
    Abstract: We examine the role of local need and various distortions in the design and implementation of United Nations flash appeal triggered in response to the destructive 2015 Nepal earthquake. Specifically, we investigate the extent to which the allocation of this humanitarian assistance follows municipalities' affectedness and their physical and socio-economic vulnerabilities, as rapidly reducing suffering is the intended goal of flash appeals. We then analyze potential ethnic, religious, and political distortions. We alternatively consider the proposed project number, the proposed financial amount, and the subsequent funding decision by aid donors. Our results show that aid allocation is associated with geophysical estimates of the disaster's destructiveness, but shows little regard for the specific socio-economic and physical vulnerabilities conditional on destruction. It is worrisome that the allocation of the flash appeal commitments favors municipalities dominated by higher castes and disadvantages those with a greater distance to the Nepali capital Kathmandu.
    Keywords: Humanitarian aid,disaster relief,natural disaster,earthquake,aid allocation,United Nations,emergency appeal,favoritism,caste system,Nepal
    JEL: H84 F35 F59
    Date: 2019
  15. By: Nguyen, Huy Quynh
    Abstract: This paper studies whether land consolidation – reduction of land fragmentation – promotes or hinders the Vietnamese government’s policy objectives of encouraging agricultural mechanization and stimulation of the off-farm rural economy. It does this by viewing land consolidation as a form of technical change, making it possible to apply the insights developed in the economic literature on technical change. This treatment reveals that the impacts of land consolidation depend partly on its factor bias and partly on the degree to which labor is substitutable in production for other factors. At a theoretical level, if a technical change is factor neutral, it will reduce off-farm labor supply and slow rural structural transformation away from agriculture; if it is labor-augmenting and the elasticity of substitution between factors is low enough, the opposite effects are predicted. The paper studies these issues empirically for rice production in Vietnam, focusing on the impact that consolidation of rice land has on rice production, machinery use, and labor allocation. The findings confirm that land consolidation raises both farm productivity and farm income and stimulates increased machinery use. It also reduces farm labor supply, lowers labor intensity in farming, and thereby releases more farm labor to off-farm development, consistent with government policy objectives. Based on these findings, the paper concludes that land consolidation should be encouraged through development of land ownership rights and the promotion of land rental markets.
    Keywords: Crop Production/Industries
    Date: 2019–02
  16. By: Jessica E. Leight (Williams College); Elaine Liu (University of Houston)
    Abstract: The importance of non-cognitive skills in determining long-term human capital and labor market outcomes is widely acknowledged, but relatively little is known about how educational investments by parents may respond to children’s non-cognitive characteristics. This paper evaluates the parental response to non-cognitive variation across siblings in rural Gansu province, China, employing a household fixed effects specification; the non-cognitive measures of interest are defined as the inverse of both externalizing challenges (behavioral problems and aggression) and internalizing challenges (anxiety and withdrawal). The results suggest that there is significant heterogeneity with respect to maternal education. More educated mothers appear to compensate for differences between their children, investing more in a child who exhibits greater non-cognitive deficits, while less educated mothers reinforce these differences. Most importantly, there is evidence that these compensatory investments are associated with the narrowing of non-cognitive deficits over time for children of more educated mothers, while there is no comparable pattern in households with less educated mothers.
    Keywords: non-cognitive characteristics, parental investments, intrahousehold resource allocation
    JEL: I24 O15 D13
    Date: 2018–06

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