nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2019‒06‒24
24 papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Temporary Trade Shocks, Spatial Reallocation, and Persistence in Developing Countries: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in West Africa By Emran, M. Shahe; Shilpi, Forhad; Coulombe, Harold; Blankespoor, Brian
  2. The Returns to Education in the Context of a Natural Disaster: Evidence from the 2010 Earthquake in Haiti By Tillmann Heidelk
  3. Poverty and inequality impact of natural disasters: Myanmar, 2005 to 2010 By Peter Warr; Lwin Lwin Aung
  4. The Slave Trade and Conflict in Africa, 1400-2000 By Boxell, Levi; Dalton, John T.; Leung, Tin Cheuk
  5. Resilience to food insecurity: theory and empirical evidence from international food assistance programmes in Malawi By Galarza, Monserrath Ximena Lascano
  6. Electoral Competition and Corruption: Theory and Evidence from India By Afridi, Farzana; Dhillon, Amrita; Solan, Eilon
  7. Socioeconomic Gaps in Child Development: Evidence from a National Health and Nutrition Survey in Bolivia By Celhay, Pablo; Martinez, Sebastian; Vidal, Cecilia
  8. Land consolidation as technical change: impacts on-farm and off-farm in rural Vietnam By Huy Quynh Nguyen; Peter Warr
  9. One-off subsidies and long-run adoption – Experimental evidence on improved cooking stoves in Senegal By Bensch, Gunther; Peters, Jörg
  10. Does Development Aid Increase Military Expenditure? By Sarah Langlotz; Niklas Potrafke
  11. Nutritional and Schooling Impact of a Cash Transfer Program in Ethiopia: A Retrospective Analysis of Childhood Experience By Mariapia Mendola; Mengesha Yayo Negasi
  12. Assimilation of rural-urban migrants under a less restrictive internal migration policy: Evidence from Indonesia By Rus’an Nasrudin; Budy P. Resosudarmo
  13. Household shocks, infrastructural investments, food and nutrition security linkages in Malawi By Kankwamba, Henry; Kornher, Lukas
  14. Effect of Conflict and Food Price Shocks on Calorie Intake and Acute Malnutrition in Nigeria: A Micro-Panel Data Analysis By Fadare, Olusegun; Akerele, Dare; Mavrotas, George; Ogunniyi, Adebayo
  15. Agricultural productivity shocks and poverty in India: The short- and long-term effects of monsoon rainfall By Brey, Björn; Hertweck, Matthias S.
  16. The welfare effects of crop biodiversity in the presence of market failures An empirical application on Kenya By Bozzola, Martina; Smale, Melinda
  17. Risk Preference as an Endogenous Determinant of Improved Rice Technology Adoption Decisions: Evidence from Nigeria By Ambali, Omotuyole Isiaka; Areal, Francisco Jose; Geogantzis, Nikolaos
  18. (In)visibility, care and cultural barriers: the size and shape of women’s work in India By Deshpande, Ashwini; Kabeer, Naila
  19. Financing Gap Approach to Determination of Climate Change Vulnerability: An Example of Plantain Producers in Southwest Nigeria By Ojo, Mathew Paul; Ayanwale, Adeolu Babatunde
  20. The impact of mayor-council coalitions on local government spending, service delivery, and corruption in Indonesia By Blane D. Lewis; Adrianus Hendrawan
  21. Nakusha? Son Preference, “Unwanted†Girls and Gender Gaps in Education By Ashwini Deshpande; Apoorva Gupta
  22. The supply chain for seed in Uganda: Where does it all go wrong? By Barriga, Alicia; Fiala, Nathan
  23. Public Infrastructure Provision and Ethnic Favouritism: Evidence from South Africa By Leone Walters; Manoel Bittencourt; Carolyn Chisadza
  24. Impact of mechanization on smallholder agricultural production: evidence from Ghana By Cossar, Frances

  1. By: Emran, M. Shahe; Shilpi, Forhad; Coulombe, Harold; Blankespoor, Brian
    Abstract: In response to rising inequality following decades of trade liberalization, many countries are adopting trade restrictions. Can temporary trade restrictions have long-lasting effects on spatial distribution of employment and resource allocation? To analyze this, we exploit the civil war in Cote d'Ivoire (2002-2007) that disrupted access to world market for two neighboring land-locked countries: Mali and Burkina Faso. The Ivorian war forced rerouting of trade from the Abidjan route to the non-Abidjan routes. We build a general equilibrium model where a subsistence-based autarkic hinterland coexists with an integrated segment, and there are two alternative routes to the international market. A trade shock to one route affects resource allocation in both routes by shifting spatial margins of market integration and sectoral specialization. The effects are heterogeneous depending on the pre-war market access of a location. The empirical analysis takes advantage of panel data and estimates the effects on structural change in employment in non-Abidjan route using a triple difference design with location fixed effect. The areas that remain in autarkic equilibrium both before and after the trade shock provide plausible estimates of the changes arising from long-term factors unrelated to the trade shock. The estimates show that the temporary trade shock created divergence between the Abidjan and non-Abidjan routes with accelerated structural change in favor of manufacturing and services employment in the non-Abidjan route. We find evidence of persistence in the effects through higher sunk investment in built-up density, agglomeration through concentration of skilled labor, and more public investment in complementary inputs such as electricity infrastructure (measured by night-lights density).
    Keywords: Temporary Trade Restrictions, Regional Development, Structural Change in Employment, Persistence, Path-Dependence, Built-up Density, Skill Agglomeration, Provision of Electricity, Night-Lights
    JEL: F15 F16 O24 O55
    Date: 2019–06–15
  2. By: Tillmann Heidelk
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of the 2010 Haiti earthquake on individual monetary returns to education. The earthquake caused major destruction of human and physical capital. The exogenous shock gives rise to a natural experiment. The analysis applies a Mincerian equation in a difference-in-differences framework, employing individual-level repeated cross section data from before and after the earthquake. The returns decreased on average by 37%, especially in equipment-capital intensive industry. Higher educated individuals adjust into low-paying self-employment or agriculture. The returns are particularly shock-sensitive for urban residents, migrants, males, and people over age 25.
    Keywords: Returns to education, Earthquake, Natural disaster, Natural experiment, Haiti, Difference-in-differences, Difference-in-differences-in-differences
    Date: 2019–06
  3. By: Peter Warr; Lwin Lwin Aung
    Abstract: According to national household survey data for Myanmar, spanning the five-year interval 2005 to 2010, average real household consumption expenditures remained stagnant, but measured poverty incidence and inequality both declined significantly. The distribution of the economic pie shifted in favor of the poor while the overall size of the pie barely changed. This paper examines the possibility that the hitherto unexplained reduction in measured inequality was caused, at least partly, by a natural disaster, Tropical Cyclone Nargis, which devastated parts of Myanmar in May 2008. This hypothesis is supported by a recent historical study which argues that, globally, large reductions in inequality normally occur only through either man-made or natural disasters. The paper develops a method, based on regression analysis of household level data, for isolating the impact of an exogenous natural event like a cyclone. The estimated regression model is used to simulate a counterfactual distribution of expenditures in which, hypothetically, the cyclone did not occur. The estimated impact of the cyclone is the difference between the observed outcome, in which the cyclone happened, and this simulated, counterfactual outcome in which it did not. The findings indicate that the cyclone reduced inequality between regions of Myanmar, because the negatively affected regions were on average better-off than the unaffected regions, both before and after the cyclone. Within the affected regions the negative impact of the cyclone was largest in absolute terms among richer households, but as a proportion of household expenditures, these negative effects were larger among the poorer households. The cyclone therefore increased economic inequality within the affected regions. Overall measured inequality declined because the between-region reduction exceeded the within-region increase. The hypothesis that the cyclone caused the reduction in inequality is rejected.
    Keywords: Expenditure distribution, inequality, decomposition analysis, regression-based decompositions, Myanmar
    JEL: C12 C51 D31 D63
    Date: 2018
  4. By: Boxell, Levi; Dalton, John T.; Leung, Tin Cheuk
    Abstract: Can the slave trade explain Africa's propensity for conflict? Using variation in slave exports driven by the interaction between foreign demand shocks and heterogeneity in trade costs, we show that the slave trade increased conflict propensities in pre-colonial Africa and that this effect has persisted to the present. Moreover, we find empirical evidence suggesting two related mechanisms for this persistence--natural resources and national institutions. These results "decompress" history by connecting the short-run and long-run effects of the African slave trade.
    Keywords: slave trade; conflict; resource curse; institutions; Africa
    JEL: N47 N57 O13
    Date: 2019–06–13
  5. By: Galarza, Monserrath Ximena Lascano
    Abstract: This research aims at investigating the impacts of food assistance programmes on the resilience to food insecurity of the beneficiary household under the World Food Programme (WFP) and Oxfam America’s (OA) project “The R4 Rural Resilience Initiative” implemented in rural and vulnerable areas of Malawi during the period 2015-2016. The empirical analysis uses the Resilience Index Measurement and Analysis II (RIMA-II) methodology of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and a reflexive method for impact evaluation. RIMA II analysis reveals positive relationships between programme interventions and higher levels of food security and resilience. The impact analysis shows positive impacts of the R4 rural initiative, demonstrating an improvement of the resilience, food security, access to loans and insurance, and in savings. The final conclusion is that food assistance programmes enhanced the beneficiary households’ resilience to food insecurity.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Consumer/Household Economics, Food Security and Poverty
    Date: 2019–04–15
  6. By: Afridi, Farzana (Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi and IZA, Bonn); Dhillon, Amrita (Kings College London); Solan, Eilon (Tel Aviv University)
    Abstract: In developing countries with weak enforcement, there is implicitly a large reliance on re-election incentives to reduce corruption. In this paper we extend existing models of post-election accountability with pure moral hazard to incorporate heterogeneous voters. In contrast to this existing literature, we show that electoral discipline is a weak instrument for improving accountability in a majoritarian voting system. More specifically, our model predicts that not only does corruption increase with competition under some conditions, but that the only type of corruption that is responsive to electoral competition is one where voters lose private benefits from the corruption, while corruption in public goods is not responsive. Consistent with these hypotheses, novel panel data on village level audits of one of India’s largest rural public works program suggest a U-shaped relationship between electoral competition and corruption, and responsiveness of corruption only in the private benefits of the program to competition. Our findings highlight the importance of credible penalties and the need for policy interventions that reduce pilferage in the public component of welfare programs, which entail larger welfare losses to citizens.
    Keywords: Corruption, Electoral Competition, Audit, Accountability, Moral Hazard. JEL Classification: D72, D82, H75, O43, C72.
    Date: 2019
  7. By: Celhay, Pablo; Martinez, Sebastian; Vidal, Cecilia
    Abstract: This paper examines gaps in child development by socioeconomic status (SES) using a large nationally representative sample of children 0–59 months old in Bolivia and a rich set of child health and development outcomes including measures from dried blood samples. Child development is assessed with nutritional status, gross motor, and communicative development. Household SES is measured using direct and proxy indicators. We find an average difference of 0.80 and 0.60 standard deviations (SD) in height for age and weight for age z-scores respectively, between children in the top and bottom quintile of the expenditure distribution. Children in the top quintile are less likely to have iron deficiency (11 pp) and anemia (17 pp), whereas the gap in gross motor and communicative skills reach 0.28 and 0.20 SD respectively. By the age of three, these gaps have increased substantially to 0.92 SD (height for age), 0.24 pp (anemia), and 0.45 SD (gross motor). Our findings are robust to the choice of SES measurement and highlight the need to target social policies that can reduce these development gaps for children in low-income households.
    JEL: J13 I14
    Date: 2019–06
  8. By: Huy Quynh Nguyen; Peter Warr
    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: Land consolidation, factor-biased technical change, rural diversification, machinery use
    JEL: Q15 N65 O13
    Date: 2018
  9. By: Bensch, Gunther; Peters, Jörg
    Abstract: Free technology distribution can be an effective development policy instrument if market-driven adoption is socially inefficient and hampered by affordability constraints. Yet, policy makers often oppose free distribution, arguing that reference dependence lowers the willingness to pay (WTP) and thus market potentials in the long run. For improved cookstoves, this paper studies the WTP six years after a randomized one-time free distribution in 2009. We demonstrate that the cookstoves were intensely used by the treatment group households in the years after randomization until they reached their designated lifetime. Using a real-purchase offer, we find that both treatment and control households reveal a remarkably high WTP in 2015. The estimated confidence interval suggests that we can exclude a substantial negative effect on the treatment group. The policy implication is that one-time free distribution does not necessarily undermine future market establishment and thus can be an effective policy instrument if rapid dissemination is the objective.
    Keywords: energy access, real-purchase offer, reference dependence, supply chains, technology adoption, willingness to pay
    JEL: D03 D12 O12 O13 Q41
    Date: 2019–03
  10. By: Sarah Langlotz; Niklas Potrafke
    Abstract: Using a new instrumental variable strategy, we examine whether bilateral development aid increases military expenditure in recipient countries. The instrument is the interaction of donor government fractionalization and the probability of receiving aid. The dataset includes new data on military expenditure for 124 recipient countries over the 1975–2012 period. When accounting for outliers, our results do not suggest that development aid affects military expenditure in the full sample. However, the effect of aid on military expenditure varies across characteristics of recipient and donor countries, even after excluding outliers. First, aid increases military expenditure in countries that depend on aid and are prone to conflicts. Second, aid provided by coordinated market economies increases military expenditure.
    Keywords: Aid, fungibility, military expenditure, instrumental variables, causality
    JEL: F35 H56 O11
    Date: 2019
  11. By: Mariapia Mendola (Addis Ababa Science and Technology University); Mengesha Yayo Negasi (Università di Milano Bicocca, IZA and Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano)
    Abstract: The rate of malnutrition among under-five children in Ethiopia is among the highest in Sub-Saharan Africa and in the world. Since 2005, the Government of Ethiopia has been implementing a nation-wide social protection program, with the aim to improve nutrition and food security, decrease poverty and enhance human capital accumulation. This paper investigates the direct impact of this program on long-term anthropometric measures of nutritional status and the indirect effects on enrollment delay and educational attainment. Our research design uses unique administrative data on the regional coverage of the program and combines differences in program intensity across regions with differences across cohorts induced by the timing of the program. Findings show that early childhood exposure to the program leads to better nutritional status and hence higher human capital accumulation. Results are robust to different measures of program intensity, estimation samples, empirical models and some placebo tests.
    Keywords: Cash Transfers, Social Protection, Nutrition, Primary Education, Ethiopia
    JEL: J15 D85 C45
    Date: 2019–06–19
  12. By: Rus’an Nasrudin; Budy P. Resosudarmo
    Abstract: This paper provides new evidence on how a relatively open internal migration policy can influence migrant assimilation outcomes. We revisit the findings of previous studies on international labour migration in developing countries by investigating the economic consequences of moving people from rural areas to four Indonesian cities in which international migration is relatively free. The empirical investigation uses cross-sectional and individual-level panel data techniques. The results suggest that Indonesian migrants do not experience earnings penalties following their arrival in urban areas but have persistently higher earnings than their urban non-migrant counterparts. However, the higher earnings are accompanied by a worrying decline in migrant mental health. The finding of persistently higher earnings contrasts with the results of studies in countries such as China and Vietnam, which have more restrictive policies for rural–urban migration. We argue that economic assimilation can be highly successful in developing economies if the internal migration regime is relatively open, yet it creates an adverse mental health consequence.
    Keywords: Indonesia, rural–urban migration, migration policy, mental health of internal migrants
    JEL: O15 R23 R28
    Date: 2019
  13. By: Kankwamba, Henry; Kornher, Lukas
    Abstract: Ending extreme hunger requires interaction of both household and community level infrastructural investments. When communities and households are capital infrastructure constrained, effects of extreme events such as droughts can fetter consumption growth and food security. This paper assesses the impact of household shocks on daily per capita food consumption in Malawi. Secondly, the study assesses the impact of community level public infrastructural investment on household food security. The study uses fixed effects regression combined with propensity score matching techniques on a Malawian panel data collected between 2010 and 2016. The study uses three indicators for food security namely food consumption expenditure, the Berry Index of dietary variety and number of days a household went without food. To measure idiosyncratic and covariate shocks, self-reported survey and high-resolution weather station-based data used. To measure infrastructure, survey data, triangulated with remote sensed night time lights, were used to construct an infrastructure index. Results show that while a standard deviation deficit in the one to three-month interval drought reduces consumption by over 80%, access to infrastructure increased consumption by a factor of two during shocks.
    Keywords: Consumer/Household Economics, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty
    Date: 2019–04–15
  14. By: Fadare, Olusegun; Akerele, Dare; Mavrotas, George; Ogunniyi, Adebayo
    Abstract: Food insecurity and malnutrition are being worsened in countries that are exposed to armed conflict. Nigeria has witnessed a decade of protracted armed conflict and civil unrest. Many civilians have died and some farming communities have been sacked as a result. This study uses fixed-effect and random-effect models on a nationally-representative household panel data–Nigeria Living Standard Measurement Survey and Armed Conflict and Event Location Data, to examine the linkages between conflict, food price shocks, and calorie intake and acute malnutrition (wasting) among children. The prevalence of calorie intake inadequacy and wasting increase across the years in conflict-prone areas. Empirical results suggest that increases in food prices, especially staples have a depressing effects on calorie intake and increasing influence on wasting prevalence. Surprisingly, there appears to be a decrease likelihood of wasting among households in conflict-prone areas despite relatively low level of calorie intake. This result may be indicative of access to certain nutrition-related non-food factors capable of reinforcing the available calorie intake in the areas. Although sensitively guided food pricing policy and prevention of conflicts are critical for improve calorie intake and nutrition outcome, greater reduction in wasting prevalence may be achieved if other nutrition-related factors are considered.
    Keywords: Demand and Price Analysis, Food Security and Poverty
    Date: 2019–04–15
  15. By: Brey, Björn; Hertweck, Matthias S.
    Abstract: This paper examines the dynamic effects of monsoon rainfall shocks on yield, wages, and prices in the Indian agricultural sector. We distinguish between positive and negative rainfall shocks and explicitly consider their spatial dimension (local/regional). We find that particularly negative regional shocks exert adverse effects. The enormous drop in agricultural yield is short-lived, but elicits a persistent decline (increase) in wages (food prices). Negative local shocks affect only wages, but not prices. This indicates that, in the food market, intra-regional trading mitigates the impact of local shocks. However, in the labour market, the arbitrage mechanism through migration appears substantially weaker.
    Keywords: rainfall shocks,agricultural yield,wages,food prices
    JEL: C33 E32 O13 Q11
    Date: 2019
  16. By: Bozzola, Martina; Smale, Melinda
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of crop genetic diversity on farm income and production risk using a large panel dataset of rural households in Kenya. We consider three different metrics of in situ crop diversification (richness, evenness and concentration) and test the effects of each strategy on crop income and crop income vulnerability. We apply a comprehensive econometric approach that differentiates climatic shocks, weather and climate change. Welfare implications of diversity are evaluated using a partial moments-based approach. The results suggest that the benefits from higher diversification in terms of enhanced land productivity and lower production costs surpass the foregone benefit from higher efficiency in more concentrated production systems. Crop richness and evenness each reduce exposure to risk, especially for more vulnerable farmers producing below the expected revenue threshold. Farmers relying on greater crop specialisation, on the contrary, are more exposed to risk. In the absence of financial insurance for hedging, crop diversification may be a useful adaptation strategy.
    Keywords: Crop Production/Industries, Farm Management
    Date: 2019–04–15
  17. By: Ambali, Omotuyole Isiaka; Areal, Francisco Jose; Geogantzis, Nikolaos
    Abstract: Improved agricultural innovation is a panacea to economic development yet the level of adoption of the available improved agricultural technology is mixed in most developing countries. While attempts have been made to identify extrinsic factors in adoption decisions, less attention is given to the intrinsic variables. This study examines the roles of farmers‟ risk preferences and spatial dependence in the decisions to adopt higher yielding rice varieties. We utilize experimental and survey data from Nigeria and estimated instrumental probit model in two stages: risk model first, and adoption decisions model second. We account for the spatial heterogeneity in adoption and found the spatial lags of the risk attitude variables as significant instruments for unobserved variables like environmental factors. More importantly, risk preference is a significant endogenous determinant of adoption decisions. Correlation between spatial dependence and risk preference is an indication of the existence of social interaction and learning effects suggesting the diffusion of HYV may be enhanced through farmers‟ neighbours, because social interaction is an effective tool for information dissemination in the rural areas. Specific attention should not only be given to farmers‟ individual factors but also the group attributes like spatial aspects in decision making.
    Keywords: Crop Production/Industries, Risk and Uncertainty
    Date: 2019–04–15
  18. By: Deshpande, Ashwini; Kabeer, Naila
    Abstract: Based on primary data from a large household survey in seven districts in West Bengal in India, this paper analyses the reasons underlying low labor force participation of women. In particular, we try to disentangle the intertwined strands of choice, constraints posed by domestic work and care responsibilities, and the predominant understanding of cultural norms as factors explaining the low labor force participation as measured by involvement in paid work. We document the fuzziness of the boundary between domestic work and unpaid (and therefore invisible) economic work that leads to mis-measurement of women’s work and suggest methods to improve measurement. We find that being primarily responsible for domestic chores lower the probability of “working”, after accounting for all the conventional factors. We also document how, for women, being out of paid work is not synonymous with care or domestic work, as they are involved in expenditure saving activities. We also find that religion and visible markers such as veiling are not significant determinants of the probability of working. Our data shows substantial unmet demand for work. Given that women are primarily responsible for domestic chores, we also document that women express a demand for work that would be compatible with household chores.
    Keywords: women; gender; labor force participation; India
    JEL: J16 J21 J40 B54
    Date: 2019–05
  19. By: Ojo, Mathew Paul; Ayanwale, Adeolu Babatunde
    Abstract: One of the factors affecting availability of productive capital and exacerbating farmers’ vulnerability to climate change risks, is that they lack access to formal safety nets to which they could turn in times of need as most smallholder farmers lack capital and are unable to access credit. This study used a multi-stage sampling procedure to obtain a cross-sectional data from 300 plantain farmers in Southwest Nigeria and estimated their financing gap as a measure of their vulnerability to climate change hazards. Collected data were analysed using the Stochastic frontier function, the Harold-Dorma equation and the Foster Geer-Thorbecke (FGT) to determine the degree of farmers’ vulnerability. The Probit regression model was also used to examine factors affecting climate change adaptation methods in the study area. Results showed that with the vulnerability line at $409.6, more than two-third (84%) of the plantain farmers were vulnerable to climate change risks due to financial constraints, with 36% of the farmers being severely vulnerable. It required an average amount of $225.28 to get a farmer out of financial vulnerability. Also, the Probit result showed that access to credit, climate insurance and climate information were the major determinants of the use of climate change adaptation methods in the study area. The financing gap approach enabled the determination and extent of each farmer’s vulnerability. Measures aimed at bridging the financing gap of individual farmer through increased access to credit and improved climate change information services should therefore be vigorously pursued, to reduce vulnerability in the study area.
    Keywords: Agricultural Finance, Environmental Economics and Policy
    Date: 2019–04–15
  20. By: Blane D. Lewis; Adrianus Hendrawan
    Abstract: This study examines the impact of majority coalitions on local government spending, service delivery, and corruption in Indonesia. The investigation finds that majority coalitions, i.e. those coalitions for which participating political parties control greater than half of council seats, cause a shift in local government spending towards health sector activities and induce improvements in citizen health service access—but only for a year or two, after which the positive effects disappear. The study shows that budget fraud starts to become problematic in the last two years of the coalition’s life. Majority coalition support for the local health spending and service agenda dissipates quickly as attention turns to corrupting the budget, via increased infrastructure outlays and associated rent-seeking. We hypothesize that budget fraud serves, in part, to finance subsequent rounds of local parliamentary and executive elections.
    Keywords: majority coalitions, local government spending and service delivery, corruption, regression discontinuity, Indonesia
    JEL: H72 H75 H76
    Date: 2018
  21. By: Ashwini Deshpande (Department of Economics, Ashoka University); Apoorva Gupta (Department of Economics, Ashoka University)
    Abstract: Using pooled data over 1986-87 and 2014 from three nationally representative special education rounds of the National Sample Survey (NSS) for India, this paper investigates if gender gaps in quantity and quality of education of children depend on whether families have “unwanted†girls. We distinguish between three channels that might drive parental motivation in making gender differentiated investments in their children’s education: strong son preference, meta son preference (which results in parents having "unwanted" girls), and the desire to concentrate resources on the child(ren) most likely to succeed. Our results show that gender gaps in educational quantity outcomes have declined significantly over the period for all children. However, the overall gender gaps in quality of education, as measured by school choice, have increased over the period, and the increase is the largest in families with unwanted girls, i.e. due to an intensification of meta son preference, followed by parents motivated by resource concentration. The results for educational expenditure show that conditional on being currently enrolled, gender gaps in educational expenditure were in favour of girls in 1986-87 and 1995-96. However, these have moved sharply against girls between 1995-96 and 2014. This shift is the largest for unwanted girls, i.e. in families with meta son preference, followed by families motivated by resource concentration.
    Keywords: Gender, Education, School Choice, Stream Choice, Educational Expenditure, Discrimination, India
    Date: 2019–06
  22. By: Barriga, Alicia; Fiala, Nathan
    Abstract: Improving agricultural output and food security is a major concern in sub-Saharan Africa, but many efforts to help farmers improve yields have failed. Recent research has shown that agriculture inputs are often of very low quality, which may explain suboptimal yields and low adoption of inputs. Researchers and policy makers have focused on two main explanations for this low quality: sellers purposefully faking or adulterating inputs, and poor storage processes along the supply chain. We present the results of testing seeds along the maize supply chain in Uganda for purity, germination and genetic similarity. We obtain two main results. First, we find no evidence that quality of seeds deteriorates along the supply chain. As soon as the seeds leave the breeders, the quality drops significantly and is the same across all geographic areas and types of suppliers, including wholesalers, retailers and major company outlets. Second, we do not find evidence of serious seed faking or adulteration. In fact, we find high levels of seed purity across all levels of the supply chain. Quality appears to be the main issue, not whether the seeds are pure. The results are consistent with mishandling and poor storage of seeds, possibly related to temperature control once the seeds leave the breeders. These results have potentially significant implications on agriculture policy and programming in sub-Saharan Africa, which has tended to focus on certification to reduce the possibility of adulteration rather than improve handling of inputs.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Crop Production/Industries, Industrial Organization
    Date: 2018–05
  23. By: Leone Walters (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa); Manoel Bittencourt (School of Economic and Business Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand); Carolyn Chisadza (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa)
    Abstract: Does ethnic favouritism in administrative governments affect public infrastructure provision? While previous literature has studied the effects of ethnic favouritism on economic growth and development determinants, there has been limited empirical evidence on ethnic favouritism in public infrastructure provision, particularly in South Africa. We study the effects of ethnic favouritism on provision of water and electricity infrastructure. Using municipal-level data for 52 district municipalities from 1996 to 2016, we find that coethnic municipalities are associated with higher growth in infrastructure relative to non-coethnic municipalities. The results remain robust to time and municipal fixed effects, as well as dynamic specifications. Additionally, we construct a counterfactual scenario to confirm our results.
    Keywords: Ethnic Favouritism, South Africa, Public Infrastructure
    JEL: J15 H54 O55
    Date: 2019–06
  24. By: Cossar, Frances
    Abstract: Mechanization is accompanied by changes in the quantity and type of labour required for an activity. Agricultural mechanization is often touted by policy makers as reducing the drudgery associated with agricultural work and as increasing the productivity of the farming system, especially in contexts where traditional technologies appear to be stagnant. For good or for ill, mechanization is expected to replace labour in agriculture. This can either create unemployment, in a pessimistic scenario, or release labour for more productive work outside of the agriculture sector. However, little rigorous analysis has examined the impacts of agricultural mechanization on labour use in agriculture. This is partly due to the challenge of measuring these impacts in a well-identified setting. It can be difficult to attribute changes in production systems and household welfare to the use of mechanized technology, rather than to more general changes in agricultural conditions and associated infrastructures. This paper considers these claims and provides evidence of a more complex set of impacts. By reducing labour use in some activities and at certain points in the growing season, agricultural mechanization can actually increase demand for labour in other activities and at other seasons. In northern Ghana, tractor use allows for shortening the length of time required for land preparation, making it possible for farmers to grow maize in locations where the crop would otherwise be marginal at best. Because maize cultivation is relatively labour-using, compared to other agricultural activities, mechanization of land preparation leads to an increase in the overall demand for agricultural labour. In this context in Ghana, small- and medium-scale farmers access mechanized plowing technology via a service market, rather than through individual ownership of machines. This paper bases its causal identification on a government scheme that generated plausibly exogenous positive shocks to the supply of machinery services at the district level. Bearing in mind the methodological difficulties and limitations of the approach, evidence is presented of the short-term impact on a range of variables relating to the farming system and household welfare. Findings indicate that for these marginal users of agricultural machinery, mechanized plowing does not significantly reduce the labour used for land preparation, and in fact increases labour use for other operations. The area cultivated increases, with proportionate increases in maize cultivation and an increased proportion of land controlled by women. I propose that these results are consistent with tractor plowing alleviating a time constraint for farmers, which enables cultivation of more timesensitive crops and increases the expected returns to subsequent production activities.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Production Economics
    Date: 2019–04–15

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