nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2019‒07‒15
seventeen papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Diversity and Conflict By , Cemal; Ashraf, Quamrul; Galor, Oded; Klemp, Marc
  2. "Disability and Poverty: Landmine Amputees in Cambodia" By Yoshito Takasaki
  3. The Long-Term Impacts of Girl-Friendly Schools: Evidence from the BRIGHT School Construction Program in Burkina Faso By Nicholas Ingwersen; Harounan Kazianga; Leigh L. Linden; Arif Mamun; Ali Protik; Matt Sloan
  4. Links between maternal employment and child nutrition in rural Tanzania By Debela, Bethelhem Legesse; Gehrke, Esther; Qaim, Matin
  5. Minimum Age Requirements and the Role of the School Choice Set By Julio Cáceres-Delpiano; Eugenio P. Giolito
  6. Low-Skilled Workers and the Effects of Minimum Wage: New Evidence Based on a Density-Discontinuity Approach By Sharon Katzkowicz; Gabriela Pedetti; Martina Querejeta; Marcelo Bérgolo
  7. Birth Weight and Cognitive Development during Childhood: Evidence from India By Kumar, Santosh; Kumar, Kaushalendra; Laxminarayan, Ramanan; Nandi, Arindam
  8. What Skills Lead to Entrepreneurial Success? Evidence from Non-Farm-Household Enterprises in Indonesia By Niken Kusumawardhani; Daniel Suryadarma; Luca Tiberti; Veto Tyas
  9. Welfare Effects of a Non-Contributory Old Age Pension: Experimental Evidence for Ekiti State, Nigeria By Maria Laura Alzua; Natalia Cantet; Ana Dammert; Damilola Olajide
  10. "Disaster Aid Targeting and Self-Reporting Bias: Natural Experimental Evidence from the Philippines" By Yuki Higuchi; Nobuhiko Fuwa; Kei Kajisa; Takahiro Sato; Yasuyuki Sawada
  11. How Do Droughts Impact Household Food Consumption and Nutritional Intake? A Study of Rural India By Fenella Carpena
  12. Age of Marriage and Women's Political Engagement: Evidence from India By Fenella Carpena; Francesca R. Jensenius
  13. Who Benefits from Pharmaceutical Price Controls? Evidence from India By Emma Boswell Dean
  14. Exposure to Pollution and Infant Health: Evidence from Colombia By Dolores de la Mata; Carlos Felipe Gaviria Garces
  15. Protecting Infants from Natural Disasters: The Case of Vitamin A Supplementation and a Tornado in Bangladesh By Snaebjorn Gunnsteinsson; Achyuta Adhvaryu; Parul Christian; Alain Labrique; Jonathan Sugimoto; Abu Ahmed Shamim; Keith P. West Jr
  16. Impact of Credit and Training on Enterprise Performance: Evidence from Urban Ethiopia By Abdelkrim Araar; Yesuf Mohammednur Awel; Jonse Bane Boka; Hiywot Menker; Ajebush Shafi; Eleni Yitbarek; Mulatu Zerihun
  17. How do agro-pastoral policies affect the dietary intake of agro-pastoralists in Niger? By Christophe Muller; Nouréini Sayouti

  1. By: , Cemal; Ashraf, Quamrul; Galor, Oded; Klemp, Marc
    Abstract: This research advances the hypothesis and establishes empirically that interpersonal population diversity has contributed significantly to the emergence, prevalence, recurrence, and severity of intrasocietal conflicts. Exploiting an exogenous source of variations in population diversity across nations and ethnic groups, it demonstrates that population diversity, as determined predominantly during the exodus of humans from Africa tens of thousands of years ago, has contributed significantly to the risk and intensity of historical and contemporary civil conflicts. The findings arguably reflect the adverse effect of population diversity on interpersonal trust, its contribution to divergence in preferences for public goods and redistributive policies, and its impact on the degree of fractionalization and polarization across ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups.
    Keywords: ethnic fractionalization; ethnic polarization; interpersonal trust; Political Preferences; population diversity; Social conflict
    JEL: D74 N30 N40 O11 O43 Z13
    Date: 2019–06
  2. By: Yoshito Takasaki (Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: This paper examines the impacts of disability on poverty in rural Cambodia. I combine a natural experiment and spatial blocking. First, I focus on amputation among adults due to landmines, which is free from measurement errors and the onset of which is an exogenous shock. Second, I conduct an original survey stratified by disability status within villages, where people have shared the same local vulnerability to landmine accidents. This research design enables a matching analysis within small geographic areas, treating demographic factors, such as household formation and fertility, as endogenous. Amputation greatly reduces consumption and income, but not subjective well-being (i.e., adaptation), increasing poverty and augmenting its magnitude, especially among the poorest of the poor. Disability triggers a vicious circle of low labor productivity, low earnings, and low accumulation of productive assets and social capital. This productivity-cum-asset channel also leads to adverse intergenerational effects on child schooling and labor.
    Date: 2019–04
  3. By: Nicholas Ingwersen (Mathematica Policy Research); Harounan Kazianga (Oklahoma State University, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano); Leigh L. Linden (The University of Texas at Austin, BREAD, IPA, IZA, J-PAL, NBER); Arif Mamun (Mathematica Policy Research); Ali Protik (NORC at the University of Chicago); Matt Sloan (Mathematica Policy Research)
    Abstract: We evaluate the long-term effects of a "girl-friendly" primary school program in Burkina Faso, using a regression discontinuity design. Ten years later, primary school-age children in villages selected for the program attend school more often and score significantly higher on standardized tests. We also find long-term effects on academic and social outcomes for children exposed earlier in the program. Secondary-school-age youths and young adults (those old enough to have finished secondary school) complete primary and secondary school at higher rates and perform significantly better on standardized tests. Women old enough to have completed secondary school delay both marriage and childbearing.
    Keywords: Africa, Education, Gender Inequality, Infrastructures
    JEL: I24 I25 I28 O15
    Date: 2019–07–02
  4. By: Debela, Bethelhem Legesse; Gehrke, Esther; Qaim, Matin
    Abstract: Child undernutrition remains a widespread problem in many developing countries. The empowerment of women, and mothers in particular, was shown to improve child nutrition in various geographical contexts. One important avenue to empower women is fostering female employment. However, maternal employment can influence child nutrition through different mechanisms; it is not clear under what conditions the overall effect will be positive. We develop a theoretical model to show that maternal employment can affect child nutrition through changes in (i) income, (ii) intra-household bargaining power, and (iii) time available for childcare. The links are empirically analyzed using panel data from rural Tanzania and regression models with maternal fixed effects. Maternal employment has non-linear effects on child height-for-age z-scores (HAZ), the standard indicator of longterm child nutritional status. Off-farm employment reduces child HAZ at low levels of labor supply. The effect turns positive at higher levels of off-farm labor supply and negative again at very high levels. The child nutrition effects of maternal time allocation to agricultural work on the own family farm are weaker than those of off-farm employment and statistically insignificant. These findings can help to better design development interventions that foster synergies and avoid potential tradeoffs between female empowerment and child nutrition goals.
    Keywords: Community/Rural/Urban Development, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty, Health Economics and Policy, International Development, Labor and Human Capital
    Date: 2019–07
  5. By: Julio Cáceres-Delpiano (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid); Eugenio P. Giolito (ILADES/ Universidad Alberto Hurtado and IZA)
    Abstract: Using several data sources from Chile, we study the impact of the size of the school choice set at the time of starting primary school. With that purpose, we exploit multiple cutoffs defining the minimum age at entry, which not only define when a student can start elementary school, but also the set of schools from which she/he can choose. Moreover, differences across municipalities in the composition of the schools according to these utoffs, allow us not only to account for municipality fixed factors (educational markets) but also for differences in the characteristics between schools choosing different deadlines. That is, we compare across municipalities the difference in outcomes for children living in the same municipality around the different cutoffs with those for children in other municipalities that experience a different change in the available set of schools across cutoffs (double difference in RD). We show that a larger set of schools increases the probability of starting in a better school, measured by non high-stakes examination. Moreover, this quasi-experimental variation reveals an important reduction in the likelihood of dropping out, and a reduction in the probability that a child would switch schools during her/his school life. Secondly, for a subsample of students who have completed high school, we observe that a larger school choice set at the start of primary school increases students’ chances of taking the national examination required for higher education and the likelihood of being enrolled in a selective college.
    Date: 2018–07
  6. By: Sharon Katzkowicz; Gabriela Pedetti; Martina Querejeta; Marcelo Bérgolo
    Abstract: We estimated the impact of the minimum wage on wages, unemployment, and formal-informal sector mobility for women in the domestic-work sector in Uruguay. Applying the dual-economy, density-discontinuity design developed by Jales (2017), we used cross-sectional data for 2006-2016 from the National Household Survey and found that the minimum wage had significant effects on labor outcomes, with almost 20% of women increasing their wages to reach the minimum. This effect was observed in both the formal and informal sector, though the latter was not covered by the policy. Our results showed a drop in employment as well as a significant effect on sector mobility with negative impacts on formality. Nevertheless, these undesired effects were offset by other labour policies undertaken in the period, by sustained economic growth, and by improvement in labor- market conditions. A novel identification strategy that is particularly suited to developing countries provides empirical evidence regarding the effects of a minimum wage on women workers in the informal sector.
    Keywords: Minimum wage, labour market, gender, informal sector, developing countries
    JEL: J08 J16 J21 J31
    Date: 2019
  7. By: Kumar, Santosh; Kumar, Kaushalendra; Laxminarayan, Ramanan; Nandi, Arindam
    Abstract: Health at birth is an important indicator of human capital development over the life course. This paper uses longitudinal data from the Young Lives survey and employs instrumental variable regression models to estimate the effect of birth weight on cognitive development during childhood in India. We find that a 10 percent increase in birth weight increases cognitive test score by 8.1 percent or 0.11 standard deviations at ages 5-8 years. Low birth weight infants experienced a lower test score compared with normal birth weight infants. The positive effect of birth weight on a cognitive test score is larger for boys, children from rural or poor households, and those with less-educated mothers. Our findings suggest that health policies designed to improve birth weight could improve human capital in resource-poor settings.
    Keywords: Birth weight,Test score,Cognition,PPVT,Children,Instrumental variable,India
    JEL: I12 I15 I18 J13 J24 O12
    Date: 2019
  8. By: Niken Kusumawardhani; Daniel Suryadarma; Luca Tiberti; Veto Tyas
    Abstract: The abundance of small enterprises in developing countries has led to debates regarding the role that of entrepreneurial skill in business performance. Analyses of the skills and characteristics important for success can inform entrepreneurship training programs or educational curricula designed to increase the number of successful entrepreneurs. We addressed these issues in the context of Indonesia, a low-middle-income country in which almost half of workers are self-employed. After developing a conceptual framework linking fluid intelligence, crystallized intelligence, and educational attainment, we estimated the effect of these different types of intelligence on the profit and value of non-farm-household businesses. We found that fluid intelligence had sizeable and positive returns on business. On the other hand, crystallized intelligence had a positive and large effect only in sectors that required intense concentration or computers. Some heterogeneous effects regarding business size were also found. Our results were robust when we controlled for possible selection into non- farm entrepreneurship.
    Keywords: cognitive skills, human capital, entrepreneurship, household firm, farm business, non-farm business
    JEL: J24 O15 L26
    Date: 2019
  9. By: Maria Laura Alzua; Natalia Cantet; Ana Dammert; Damilola Olajide
    Abstract: Many countries in the developing world have implemented non-contributory old-age pensions. Evidence of the impact of such policies on the elderly in Sub-Saharan Africa is scarce, however. In this paper, we provide the first evidence from a randomized evaluation of an unconditional, non-contributory pension scheme targeted at the elderly in Ekiti State, Nigeria. Our findings show that treated beneficiaries self-reported better quality of life, more stable mental health, and better general health. We also provide evidence of spillover effects on labor outcomes and on household expenditure patterns as well as support for demand- side interventions aimed at improving the welfare of elderly poor citizens and other household members.
    Keywords: Randomized controlled trials, Aging, Non-contributory pensions, Health, Developing Countries
    JEL: C21 C93 H31 H55 H75 I38
    Date: 2019
  10. By: Yuki Higuchi (Graduate School of Economics, Nagoya City University); Nobuhiko Fuwa (Graduate School of Public Policy, The University of Tokyo); Kei Kajisa (School of International Politics, Economics and Communication, Aoyama Gakuin University); Takahiro Sato (Faculty of Agriculture and Life Science, Hirosaki University); Yasuyuki Sawada (Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: Aid from local governments can play a critical role as a risk-coping device in a postdisaster situation if the recipients have been properly targeted. Combining (i) satellite images (objective information on flood damage), (ii) administrative records (objective information on aid receipt), and (iii) sui generis survey data (self-reported information on damage assessment and aid receipt) on a large-scale flooding in the Philippines, we analyze the accuracy of disaster aid targeting and self-reporting bias in flood damage and aid receipt. We find that damage is over-reported while aid receipt is under-reported, and as a result, the estimated targeting accuracy based on self-reported information is substantially downward-biased.
    Date: 2018–12
  11. By: Fenella Carpena (Oslo Business School, Oslo Metropolitan University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impacts of droughts on food expenditure and macronutrient consumption among rural Indian households. To isolate causal effects, I exploit random year-to-year variation in a dry shock, defined as the absolute deviation of rainfall below its long-run mean. I find that the dry shock has a statistically significant and negative effect on household nutrition. For a median dry shock, I estimate that households spend 1 percent less per capita per month on food and consume up to 1.4 percent fewer calories, protein, and fat; these estimates serve as lower bounds for the true negative impact of droughts in absolute terms. Disaggregating the effects by food group, I demonstrate that household diets become less balanced as a result of droughts: the dry shock leads households to rely primarily on cereals and to purchase less vegetables, fruits, pulses, and animal-sourced foods. Hence, droughts negatively impact not only the quantity but also the quality of rural household diets. Finally, I explore the potential channels for these effects. I argue that rather than higher food prices, a decline in household market and non-market income is the primary reason for lower household food consumption and nutrition during droughts. Taken together, these findings suggest that attaining food security amid extreme weather conditions requires an integrated approach that focuses on food not only for survival but also for leading a healthy and active life.
    Keywords: Food security, Food utilization, Nutrition, Droughts, South Asia, India
    JEL: O1
    Date: 2019–05–31
  12. By: Fenella Carpena (Oslo Business School, Oslo Metropolitan University); Francesca R. Jensenius (NUPI - Norwegian Institute for InternationalAffairs; University of Oslo)
    Abstract: Although decades have passed since most women in the democratic world gained the right to vote and run for elections, a large gender gap in political participation persists today, particularly in developing democracies. This short paper considers an important --- and heretofore overlooked --- factor limiting the political engagement of many women in the developing world: her age of marriage. Drawing on nationally representative data from India and instrumenting marriage age with menarche age, we find substantial positive effects of delaying marriage on women's participation in everyday politics. A standard deviation increase in marriage age makes a woman 36.2 percent more likely to attend a village meeting, and 6.2 percent more likely discusses politics with her husband. Exploring mechanisms, we show that education and time --- rather than employment and mobility --- are the main channels of impact. These findings underscore the importance of early marriage as a critical barrier to women's participation in the political sphere.
    Keywords: Gender, Politics, India
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2019–05–05
  13. By: Emma Boswell Dean (University of Miami)
    Abstract: With the goal of driving down drug costs, governments across the globe have instituted various forms of pharmaceutical price control policies. Understanding the impacts of such policies is particularly important in low- and middle-income countries, where lack of insurance coverage means that prices can serve as a barrier to access for patients. In this paper, we examine the theoretical and empirical effects of one implementation of pharmaceutical price controls, in which the Indian government placed price ceilings on a set of essential medicines. We find that the legislation resulted in broadly declining prices amongst both directly impacted products and competing products. However, the legislation also led to decreased sales of price-controlled and closely related products, preventing trade that would have otherwise occurred. The sales of small, local generics manufacturers were most impacted by the legislation, seeing a 14.5 percent decrease in market share and a 5.3 percent decrease in sales. These products tend to be inexpensive, but we use novel data to show that they are also of lower average quality. We provide evidence that the legislation impacted consumer types differentially. The benefits of the legislation were largest for quality-sensitive consumers, while the downsides largely affected poor and rural consumers, two groups already suffering from low access to medicines.
    Date: 2019–04–23
  14. By: Dolores de la Mata (CAF-Development Bank of Latin America); Carlos Felipe Gaviria Garces (Universidad de Antioquia)
    Abstract: We study the impact of air pollution exposure (CO, O3 and Pm10) during pregnancy and early years of life on infant health for a sample of children attending public kinder- gartens in Bogota, Colombia. The study uses a unique database that gathers information on children health which allows to combine information of residential location of the mother with information from the city air quality monitors. To overcome endogeneity problems due to residential sorting we identify pairs of siblings in the dataset and imple- ment panel data models with mother xed e ects. Results show evidence that mothers, who are exposed to higher levels of CO and O3 during pregnancy, have a higher proba- bility of their babies being born with a low birth weight. Furthermore, a child exposed in-utero to higher levels of O3 has a higher probability of being diagnosed with a lung- related disease. Our ndings advocate for more strict environmental regulations as a way to improve human capital in developing countries.
    Keywords: Air Pollution, Infant Health, Mother-Family Fixed Effects, Panel Data
    JEL: C33 J13 Q53
    Date: 2019–03
  15. By: Snaebjorn Gunnsteinsson; Achyuta Adhvaryu; Parul Christian; Alain Labrique; Jonathan Sugimoto; Abu Ahmed Shamim; Keith P. West Jr
    Abstract: Severe environmental shocks have grown in frequency and intensity due to climate change. Can policy protect against the often devastating human impacts of these shocks, particularly for vulnerable populations? We study this question by leveraging data from a situation in which a tornado tore through an area involved in a double-blind cluster-randomized controlled trial of at-birth vitamin A supplementation in Bangladesh. Tornado exposure in utero and in infancy decreased birth size and physical growth, and increased the incidence of severe fevers. But infants who received vitamin A supplementation, which boosts immune system functioning, were protected from these effects. Tornado impacts and protective effects were both substantially larger for boys. Our results suggest that wide-scale supplementation policies would generate potential health benefits in disaster-prone areas of low-income countries.
    JEL: I18 J13 Q54
    Date: 2019–06
  16. By: Abdelkrim Araar; Yesuf Mohammednur Awel; Jonse Bane Boka; Hiywot Menker; Ajebush Shafi; Eleni Yitbarek; Mulatu Zerihun
    Abstract: This study evaluates the impact of business-development-support programs (credit, training, and a combination of both) on the performance of micro- and small enterprises (MSEs) in Ethiopia. Using 2015 Ethiopian urban survey data and employing endogenous-switching regressions for multiple treatments, we document a positive and significant effect of credit, training, and a combination of training and credit on MSEs. Our results highlight the heterogeneity in treatment effects between women- and men-owned MSEs: women-owned businesses do not benefit from access to treatments. Our results suggest that improving the performance of MSEs requires fine-tuned interventions that meet the specific needs of men and women who own small businesses rather than one-size-fits-all programs.
    Keywords: Treatment effects, MSEs, Ethiopia
    JEL: C31 J16 M21
    Date: 2019
  17. By: Christophe Muller (AMU - Aix Marseille Université); Nouréini Sayouti (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - Clermont Auvergne - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PASEL - Projet d’appui au secteur de l’élevage)
    Abstract: We investigate the causal mechanisms underlying the effect of agricultural policies directed toward pastoralist households in Niger on their dietary intake. To do so, we conduct a causal mediation analysis while referring to theoretical agricultural household models. The presumed mediator of interest is the annual profit from pastoral activities. We decompose the total effect of selected policies on pastoralist dietary intake into an indirect effect, i.e., the effect that operates through profits, and a residual direct effect. Using an agro-pastoral survey conducted in Niger in 2016, the effects of extension services associated with better access to markets are found to be channeled through households' annual profits from cattle and sheep raising, while this is not the case for private veterinary services and low-cost livestock feed programs. Extension services may foster specialization in cattle and sheep raising, which may incentivize households to move toward a nomadic lifestyle and change their food habits and thereby have detrimental consequences on their calorie intake. Besides, other life choices could be spurred or hampered by policies, such as migrations and radicalization.
    Keywords: Agro-pastoral policies,Mediation analysis,Agricultural household models,Niger
    Date: 2019–06–11

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