nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2019‒08‒26
eight papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Where does the dragon’s gift go?: Subnational distribution of China’s aid to Sub-Saharan Africa from 2007 to 2012 By Bei, Leticia Jin
  2. Refugees' and Irregular Migrants' Self-Selection into Europe: Who Migrates Where? By Cevat Giray Aksoy; Panu Poutvaara
  3. Gender Equality and Electoral Violence in Africa: Unlocking the Peacemaking Potential of Women By Rasmané Ouedraogo; Idrissa Ouedraogo
  4. Prenatal Exposure to Acute Diarrheal Diseases and Childhood Mortality By Patricia I. Ritter; Ricardo Sanchez
  5. Crop Selection and International Differences in Aggregate Agricultural Productivity By Jorge Alvarez; Claudia Berg
  6. Polarized education levels and civil unrest By Gustavo Javier Canavire-Bacarreza; Christopher Cotton; Michael Jetter; Alejandra Montoya-Agudelo
  7. Foreign aid, bilateral asylum immigration and development By Murat, Marina
  8. Secondary School Enrolment and Teenage Childbearing: Evidence from Brazilian Municipalities By Koppensteiner, Martin Foureaux; Matheson, Jesse

  1. By: Bei, Leticia Jin
    Abstract: As the largest emerging donor, China has seen its bilateral aid increasing at a staggering rate, particularly to Sub-Saharan Africa. Nevertheless, due to a lack of transparency and nonconformity to Western reporting practices, relatively little is known about the motivations, principles and modalities of Chinese aid. This paper makes use of geocoded datasets recently made available by AidData to investigate the subnational distribution of Chinese aid, examining China’s economic interests and poverty in recipient countries as potential determinants of aid received by subnational regions. World Bank aid is used as a benchmark for comparison. While my analysis fails to find a correlation between economic interests and aid, it shows Chinese aid to be consistently less pro-poor than World Bank aid and inadvertently finds a strong tendency for Chinese aid to go into capital cities; both findings support the request-based nature of Chinese aid.
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2019–06–25
  2. By: Cevat Giray Aksoy; Panu Poutvaara
    Abstract: About 1.4 million refugees and irregular migrants arrived in Europe in 2015 and 2016. We model how refugees and irregular migrants are self-selected. Using unique datasets from the International Organization for Migration and Gallup World Polls, we provide the first large-scale evidence on reasons to emigrate, and the self-selection and sorting of refugees and irregular migrants for multiple origin and destination countries. Refugees and female irregular migrants are positively self-selected with respect to education, while male irregular migrants are not. We also find that both male and female migrants from major conflict countries are positively self-selected in terms of their predicted income. For countries with minor or no conflict, migrant and non-migrant men do not differ in terms of their income distribution, while women who emigrate are positively self-selected. We also analyze how border controls affect destination country choice.
    Keywords: refugees, self-selection, human capital, predicted income
    JEL: J15 J24 O15
    Date: 2019
  3. By: Rasmané Ouedraogo; Idrissa Ouedraogo
    Abstract: We examine the impact of gender equality on electoral violence in Africa using micro-level data from the sixth round of Afrobarometer surveys. The sample covers 30 countries. We find that gender equality is associated with lower electoral violence. Quantitatively, our estimates show that an increase in female-to-male labor force participation ratio by 1 percentage point is correlated with a reduction of the probability of electoral violence across the continent by around 4.2 percentage points. Our results are robust to alternative ways to measure electoral violence and gender equality, as well as to alternative specifications. The findings of this paper support the long-standing view that women empowerment contributes to the reduction of violence and underscore the urgency of addressing gender inequality in Africa.
    Date: 2019–08–16
  4. By: Patricia I. Ritter (University of Connecticut); Ricardo Sanchez (Ministerio de Educacion del Peru)
    Abstract: There is a large body of evidence that shows the effect of diarrheal diseases on childhood mortality. Nevertheless, most of this literature focuses on post-natal exposure to diarrheal diseases. This study ex-ploits the Cholera Epidemic in Peru, finding that a 1% point increase in cholera incidence in the third trimester in-utero increases average childhood mortality rate by 0.2% points or 14%. This study suggests that public programs that aim to reduce diarrheal diseases should tar-get not just children but also pregnant women and raises the question of whether pregnant women should take vaccines to prevent diarrheal diseases in poor countries.
    Keywords: acute diarrheal diseases; cholera; clean water; in-utero
    JEL: I15 I18 O10
    Date: 2019–08
  5. By: Jorge Alvarez; Claudia Berg
    Abstract: A large share of cross-country differences in productivity is explained by differences in agricultural productivity. Using a combination of sub-national agricultural statistics and geospatial datasets on crop-specific potential yields, we study the main drivers of this variation from a macroeconomic perspective. We find that differences in geographically-induced crop-specific comparative advantages can explain a substantial share of the variation in yields across the world. Data reveal substantial gaps between potential and observed yields in most countries. When decomposing these within country gaps, we find that crop selection gaps are on average larger than those induced by input usage alone. The results highlight the importance of understanding the interaction of geography and crop selection drivers in assessing aggregate agricultural productivity differences.
    Date: 2019–08–16
  6. By: Gustavo Javier Canavire-Bacarreza; Christopher Cotton (Queen's University); Michael Jetter; Alejandra Montoya-Agudelo
    Abstract: After introducing a measure for educational polarization (EduPol), this paper presents a theoretical framework to understand whether and how EduPol may affect the contest for power in society. The model suggests that societies with high degrees of EduPol (i.e., substantial shares with either no or university-level education) are systematically more prone to civil unrest. We test this prediction on four measures of civil unrest: Political instability, domestic terrorism, civil conflict, and civil war. Our empirical estimations produce evidence consistent with this hypothesis as all four phenomena are positively associated with EduPol at the beginning of the respective period, exhibiting meaningful magnitudes. These results prevail when accounting for (i) potentially confounding factors, (ii) country- and time- fixed effects, (iii) economic inequality, (iv) ethnic and religious polarization and fractionalization, and (v) numerous alternative estimations and outcome variables.
    Keywords: Civil conflict, civil unrest, civil war, Education polarization, Peace economics
    JEL: D74 I24
    Date: 2019–02
  7. By: Murat, Marina
    Abstract: This paper measures the links between aid from 14 rich to 113 developing economies and bilateral asylum applications during years 1993 to 2013. Dynamic panel models and Sys-GMM are used. Results show that asylum applications are related to aid nonlinearly in the level of development of origin countries, in a U-shaped fashion, where only the downward segment proves to be robust to all specifications. Asylum inflows from poor countries are negatively, significantly and robustly associated with aid in the short run, with mixed evidence of more lasting effects, while inflows from less poor economies show a positive but weak relation with aid. Moreover, aid leads to negative cross-donor spillovers. Applications linearly decrease with humanitarian aid. Voluntary immigration is not linked to aid. Overall, the reduction in asylum inflows is stronger when aid disbursements are conditional on economic, institutional and political improvements in the recipient economy.
    Keywords: foreign aid,asylum seekers and refugees,development
    JEL: F35 F22 J15
    Date: 2019
  8. By: Koppensteiner, Martin Foureaux (University of Surrey); Matheson, Jesse (University of Sheffield)
    Abstract: This article investigates whether increasing secondary education opportunities influences childbearing among young women in Brazil. We examine a novel dataset reflecting the vast expansion of secondary education in Brazil between 1997 and 2009 and exploit variation in the introduction of schools across 4,884 municipalities to instrument for school enrolment. Our most conservative estimate suggests that for every 9.7 students enrolled there is one fewer teenage births. These findings are robust to a number of specifications and sensitivity tests. Our estimates imply that Brazil's secondary school expansion accounts for 34% of the substantial decline in teenage childbearing observed over the same period. We further look at heterogeneous effects across a number of municipal characteristics and discuss what these results suggest about the mechanisms underlying the school-childbearing relationship.
    Keywords: secondary education, teenage childbearing, Brazil
    JEL: I20 J13
    Date: 2019–07

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