nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2019‒10‒21
eleven papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. To impute or not to impute, and how? A review of alternative poverty estimation methods in the context of unavailable consumption data By Hai-Anh H. Dang
  2. Corruption and Firms By Colonnelli, Emanuele; Prem, Mounu
  3. Weight Gains from Trade in Foods: Evidence from Mexico By Giuntella, Osea; Rieger, Matthias; Rotunno, Lorenzo
  4. Fiscal decentralization and electoral participation: Analyzing districts in Indonesia By Farah, Alfa
  5. The Impact of Food Prices on Conflict Revisited By Jasmien De Winne; Gert Peersman
  6. Household Cooking Fuel Choice in India, 2004-2012: A Panel Multinomial Analysis By Kuo, Ying-Min; Azam, Mehtabul
  7. The Value of Information in Technology Adoption By Islam, Asadul; Ushchev, Philip; Zenou, Yves; Zhang, Xin
  8. The Impact of CSR Interventions on Female Education Development in the Rural Niger Delta Region of Nigeria By Joseph I. Uduji; Elda N. Okolo-Obasi; Simplice A. Asongu
  9. Gender Bias in Intra-Household Allocation of Education in India: Has It Fallen over Time? By Datta, Sandip; Kingdon, Geeta G.
  10. Informal employment in Kazakhstan: a blessing in disguise? By Mussurov, Altay; Sholk, Dena; Arabsheibani, G. Reza
  11. Low Income Countries and External Public Financing : Does Debt Relief Change Anything? By Marin Ferry; Marc Raffinot; Baptiste Venet

  1. By: Hai-Anh H. Dang (World Bank, USA)
    Abstract: There is an increasingly stronger demand for more frequent and accurate poverty estimates, despite the oftentimes unavailable household consumption data. We review imputation methods that have been employed to provide poverty estimates in such data-scarce contexts. These range from estimates on a non-monetary basis, estimates for specific project targeting or tracking trends at the national level, to estimates at a more disaggregated level, and estimates of poverty dynamics. We provide a concise synthesis, which serves as an introduction to the literature. We focus on intuition and practical insights that highlight existing methods’ nuanced differences rather than their technical aspects.
    Keywords: poverty, imputation, consumption, wealth index, synthetic panels, household survey.
    JEL: C15 I32 O15
    Date: 2019–09
  2. By: Colonnelli, Emanuele; Prem, Mounu
    Abstract: We estimate the causal real economic effects of a randomized anticorruption crackdown on local governments in Brazil over the period 2003-2014. After anti-corruption audits, municipalities experience an increase in economic activity concentrated in sectors most dependent on government relationships. These effects spill over to nearby municipalities and are larger when the audits are covered by the media. Back-of-the-envelope estimates suggest that $1 away from corruption generates more than $3 in local value added. Using administrative matched employer-employee and firm-level datasets and novel face-to-face firm surveys we argue that corruption mostly acts as a barrier to entry, and by introducing costs and distortions on local government-dependent firms. The political misallocation of resources across firms plays a seemingly secondary role, indicating that at the local level most rents are captured by politicians and public officials rather than firms.
    Keywords: Corruption; Firms; Audits; Public Procurement; Misallocation; Labor Reallocation; Political Connections
    JEL: D73 H83 D22
    Date: 2019–10
  3. By: Giuntella, Osea (University of Pittsburgh); Rieger, Matthias (ISS, Erasmus University Rotterdam); Rotunno, Lorenzo (Aix-Marseille University)
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate the effects of trade in foods on obesity in Mexico. To do so, we match data on Mexican food imports from the U.S. with anthropometric and food expenditure data. Our findings suggest that exposure to food imports from the U.S. can explain up to twenty percent of the rise in obesity prevalence among Mexican women between 1988 and 2012. Pro-obesity effects are driven by areas more exposed to unhealthy food imports. We also find evidence in favour of a price mechanism. By linking trade flows to obesity, the paper sheds light on an important channel through which globalisation may affect health.
    Keywords: trade, obesity, nutrition transition, Mexico
    JEL: I10 I12
    Date: 2019–10
  4. By: Farah, Alfa
    Abstract: Many countries have adopted decentralization policies in order to strengthen democratic governance. Nevertheless, empirical literature on whether decentralization actually strengthens democratic governance is relatively limited when compared to empirical literature on the impact of decentralization on a wide array of fiscal or economic variables. Therefore, this paper empirically explores the effect of fiscal decentralization on democratic governance, particularly by highlighting one aspect of democratic governance, namely participation in local elections. Upon analyzing data from districts across Indonesia using the within-between specification, the empirical findings generally suggest that participation in district mayoral elections might not necessarily be driven by the increased autonomy that district have, but rather by some adverse consequences of decentralization such as capture by local elites. In addition, the analysis shows that when a district government gains fiscal power, this might not necessarily encourage electoral participation when the district's budget is mostly allocated to spending that does not benefit the public at large.
    Keywords: fiscal decentralization,fiscal autonomy,voter turnout,local election,the within-between specification
    JEL: H71 H72 H77 D72
    Date: 2019
  5. By: Jasmien De Winne; Gert Peersman
    Abstract: Studies that examine the impact of food prices on conflict usually assume that (all) changes in international food prices are exogenous shocks for individual countries or local areas. By isolating strictly exogenous shifts in global food commodity prices, we show that this assumption could seriously distort estimations of the impact on conflict in African regions. Specifically, we show that increases in food prices that are caused by harvest shocks outside Africa raise conflict significantly, whereas a “naive” regression of conflict on international food prices uncovers an inverse relationship. We also find that higher food prices lead to more conflict in regions with more agricultural production. Again, we document that failing to account for exogenous price changes exhibits a considerable bias in the impact. In addition, we show that the conventional approach to evaluate such effects; that is, estimations that include time fixed effects, ignores an important positive baseline effect that is common for all regions.
    Keywords: conflict, food prices, instrumental variables
    JEL: C23 D74 F44 Q11 Q34
    Date: 2019
  6. By: Kuo, Ying-Min (Oklahoma State University); Azam, Mehtabul (Oklahoma State University)
    Abstract: We use two waves of nationally representative India Human Development Survey to examine factors driving the cooking fuel choice in urban and rural India, separately. We utilize a random effects multinomial logit model that controls for unobserved household heterogeneity. We find that a clean-break with the use of traditional fuels is less likely in rural areas, but more probable in urban areas. The household characteristics (e.g. income, education) that are positively correlated with use of clean fuel also increases the probability of fuel stacking for rural households. We also find that access to paved road is an important determinant for rural household adopting clean fuel, and there exists evidence of social spillover effects in rural areas. Moreover, the bargaining power of women that is associated with economic status (e.g. education or economic freedom) is positively associated with the use of clean fuel. Finally, we find considerable impact of liquefied petroleum gas prices on the probability of use of clean fuel for urban households, but no significant impact for rural households.
    Keywords: fuel choice, fuel stacking, random eects multinomial logit, India
    JEL: Q42 O12 O13 C25
    Date: 2019–10
  7. By: Islam, Asadul (Monash University); Ushchev, Philip (HSE); Zenou, Yves (Monash University); Zhang, Xin (Beijing Normal University)
    Abstract: We develop a theoretical model in which technology adoption decisions are based on the information received from others about the quality of a new technology and on their risk attitudes. We test the predictions of this model using a randomized field experiment in Bangladesh. We show that the share of treated farmers who receive better training in System of Rice Intensification (SRI) technology have a high positive impact on the adoption rate of untreated farmers. We also find that untreated farmers who are more risk-averse tend to adopt the technology less and are less influenced by their treated peers. Finally, a trained farmer's impact on his untrained peers increases if he himself adopts SRI technology. Our results indicate that the crucial determinants of technology adoption for untreated farmers are the accuracy and reliability of information transmission about the quality of the technology circulated among farmers as well as their degree of risk aversion.
    Keywords: Bayesian model, technology adoption, peers, risk attitude, RCT, Bangladesh
    JEL: O13 Z13
    Date: 2019–10
  8. By: Joseph I. Uduji (University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria); Elda N. Okolo-Obasi (University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria); Simplice A. Asongu (Yaoundé, Cameroon)
    Abstract: The objective of this investigation was to assess the impact of multinational oil companies’ (MOCs) corporate social responsibility (CSR) interventions in female education programmes in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. A total of 800 rural women were sampled across the region. The results from the logit model showed that rural women depended on CSR interventions of MOCs to address some of the logistical and cultural challenges associated with women’s access to post-secondary education in local communities. However, despite the significant success in supporting education initiatives generally, none of the scholarships target females specifically, and compared to men, the low level of human capital in rural women has persisted. This implies that if CSR interventions are not tailored to enhance gender diversity and promote economic opportunities for women alongside education, they may perpetuate the obstruction of women’s participation in economic, political and social development. By extension, this could delay the reduction of poverty and attainment of Sustainable Development Goals in the Niger Delta region.
    Keywords: Gender equality; female education; corporate social responsibility; multinational oil companies; logit model; sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: J43 O40 O55 Q10
    Date: 2019–01
  9. By: Datta, Sandip (City Montessori School); Kingdon, Geeta G. (University College London)
    Abstract: This paper asks whether gender bias in education expenditure in rural India fell over the two-decade period from 1995 to 2014. We find that instead of falling over time, the channel through which gender bias is practiced changed dramatically over the 20 years. Secondly, the paper demonstrates the usefulness of distinguishing between the two potential channels of gender bias, namely bias in the school enrolment decision, and bias in the conditional educational expenditure decision, rather than in the single unconditional education expenditure decision; this distinction is shown to be important because gender bias in the enrolment decision has greatly fallen but bias in the conditional expenditure decision has significantly risen over time. Thirdly, we find that individual child level data has much greater power to detect gender bias in education spending, compared to household level data. Lastly, household fixed effects analysis shows that the observed gender biases in education spending are a within-household phenomenon in rural India.
    Keywords: gender bias, education expenditure, education and gender, India
    JEL: I24 I24
    Date: 2019–10
  10. By: Mussurov, Altay; Sholk, Dena; Arabsheibani, G. Reza
    Abstract: Informality is heterogeneous, dynamic and difficult to quantify; the formal–informal gap in earnings is one major component of it that we wish to examine. Using the 2013 Kazakhstan Labor Force Survey, we analyze the returns that formal and informal workers receive for a given set of characteristics and also use a matching technique to decompose the gap. We observe that in Kazakhstan, there is a substantial earnings gap in favor of formal workers and that a quarter of the gap remains unexplained. Our study also highlights the importance of matching-based decomposition and distributional analysis in explaining the differences in earnings between formal and informal workers.
    JEL: R14 J01
    Date: 2018–10–04
  11. By: Marin Ferry (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), DIAL - Développement, institutions et analyses de long terme, LEDa - Laboratoire d'Economie de Dauphine - Université Paris-Dauphine); Marc Raffinot (LEDa - Laboratoire d'Economie de Dauphine - IRD - Institut de Recherche pour le Développement - Université Paris-Dauphine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, DIAL - Développement, institutions et analyses de long terme); Baptiste Venet (LEDa - Laboratoire d'Economie de Dauphine - Université Paris-Dauphine, DIAL - Développement, institutions et analyses de long terme)
    Abstract: Low income countries (LICs) generally have very little access to the international financial markets. Inthe 1990s, bilateral creditors and international financial institutions started granting LICs debt reliefunder the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs) initiatives and continued with the more recentMultilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI). Have these debt relief initiatives led official and privatecreditors to change their lending policy with respect to beneficiary countries? This paper addresses thisquestion using difference-in-differences methodology. Our findings tend to show that official lenderstighten their HIPC financing policy, shortening grace and maturity periods, and reducing the grantelement on new loans once debt relief has been provided. We also find that beneficiary governmentsmanage to diversify their financing sources by borrowing more from private creditors once they havecompleted the HIPC process and have received additional debt cancellations under the MDRI.
    Abstract: Cet article évalue l'impact des initiatives d'allègement de dette multilatérale sur les conditions deréendettement extérieur des gouvernements bénéficiaires auprès de créanciers officiels et privés. Lesrésultats de cette étude indiquent qu'avoir bénéficié des initiatives PPTE (Pays Pauvres Très Endettés)et IADM (Initiative d'Annulation de Dette Multilatérale) conduit les gouvernements concernés àcontracter des emprunts officiels comprenant des périodes de grâce et de maturité plus courtes (et doncun « élément-don » plus faible) que s'ils n'avaient obtenu ces annulations de dette. Nos résultatsmontrent également que les gouvernements bénéficiaires parviennent à emprunter davantage auprès decréanciers privés une fois leur dette annulée. Cependant, des tests additionnels révèlent que cet accès àde nouveaux marchés financiers ne s'effectue qu'après l'octroi des annulations de dette sous l'IADMet que les investisseurs internationaux privés ne s'autorisent donc à prêter aux PPTE qu'une fois laquasi-totalité de leur dette extérieure annulée.
    Keywords: Debt Relief,low-income countries,access to financial markets,concessionality,Pays à faible revenu,Annulation de dette,Financement international,Concessionalité
    Date: 2019–10–03

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