nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2019‒12‒09
seven papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Randomizing religion: the impact of Protestant evangelicalism on economic outcomes By Bryan, Gharad; Choi, James J; Karlan, Dean
  2. Remittances, food security and climate variability: The case of Burkina Faso By Alexandra Tapsoba; Pascale Combes Motel; Jean-Louis Combes
  3. Can an Increase in the Minimum Age of Marriage Reduce Child Marriage Rates? Evidence from Mexico By Cristina Bellés-Obrero; María Lombardi
  4. Ethno-Regional Favoritism and the Political Economy of School Test Scores By Philip Verwimp
  5. Access to Formal Credit and Gender Income Gap: The Case of Farmers in Cambodia By SAM, Vichet
  6. Estimating Poverty for Refugee Populations: Can Cross-Survey Imputation Methods Substitute for Data Scarcity? By Dang, Hai-Anh H.; Verme, Paolo
  7. Migrating for Children's Better Future: Intergenerational Mobility of Internal Migrants' Children in Indonesia By Fatimah, Alfariany Milati; Kofol, Chiara

  1. By: Bryan, Gharad; Choi, James J; Karlan, Dean
    Abstract: We study the causal impact of religiosity through a randomized evaluation of an evangelical Protestant Christian values and theology education program. We analyze outcomes for 6,276 ultra-poor Filipino households six months after the program ended. We find increases in religiosity and income, no statistically significant changes in total labor supply, consumption, food security, or life satisfaction, and a decrease in perceived relative economic status. Exploratory analysis suggests that the income treatment effect may operate through increasing grit. We conclude that this church-based program may represent a robust method of building non-cognitive skills and reducing poverty among adults in developing countries.
    Keywords: religion; economics; poverty; non-cognitive skills
    JEL: D12 I30 O12
    Date: 2018–04
  2. By: Alexandra Tapsoba (Institut supérieur des sciences de la population - Université de Ouagadougou); Pascale Combes Motel (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - Clermont Auvergne - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Jean-Louis Combes (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - Clermont Auvergne - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This paper assesses the impact of remittances and climate variability on the food security of households in Burkina Faso. It draws from the World Bank 2010 survey on migration and remittances in Burkina Faso and uses a database from Burkina Faso's Department of Meteorology regarding rainfall recorded in the ten weather stations throughout the country between 2001 and 2010. We build a food security index using principal component analysis that encompasses the accessibility and utilization dimensions of the concept. We also compute an inter-annual rainfall index and the latter is found to have a negative impact on food security. After controlling for potential endogeneity issues using distance variables and migrant characteristics as instruments, remittances are found to enhance food security. Results are robust to alternative measures of food security and alternative calculations of rainfall variability. The paper also highlights that remittances dampen the negative effect of rainfall variability on food security.
    Keywords: Food security,Climate variability,Remittances,Burkina Faso.
    Date: 2019–11–15
  3. By: Cristina Bellés-Obrero; María Lombardi
    Abstract: We provide empirical evidence on the impact of raising the minimum age of marriage to 18 years old on child marriage, early motherhood, and school enrollment in Mexico. Using a difference-in-differences model that takes advantage of the staggered adoption of this reform across states, we show that banning child marriage leads to a large and statistically significant reduction in the number of registered child marriages. However, we find no effect on the share of girls enrolled in school or the rate of early fertility. We also find that in births with mothers below the age of 18, the drop in the share of formally married mothers as a consequence of the reform is neutralized by an increase in the share of mothers in informal unions. These findings suggest that in places where informal unions are common, raising the minimum age of marriage is not enough to prevent early unions, motherhood, and school dropout.
    Keywords: child marriage, marriage laws, fertility, schooling
    JEL: J12 J13 K36 I20
    Date: 2019–12
  4. By: Philip Verwimp
    Abstract: The northern provinces of Burundi have suffered from an inferior education system since independence. This paper shows that the current, northern-led regime has chosen a drastic way to reverse that subordination. The national test (Concours National) at the end of primary school is at the heart of the matter. Using the universe of individual test score data which can be used to construct a school-level panel and applying differencein-differences analysis, the paper shows strong improvements in test scores in northern versus southern schools since the ruling party won an absolute majority in the 2010 elections. Immediately after these elections, schools situated in very poor, rural areas in the north scored as high as schools in non-poor areas of the capital. The paper finds that increased success rates, improved mean test scores and decreased standard deviations are explained by the percent of votes at the municipality level obtained by the ruling party in the 2010 parliamentary elections. Controlling for school budget and cohort size variables does not change the results. The latter are interpreted in the political economy of education reform in Burundi and considered as a case of ethno-regional favoritism in Africa.
    Keywords: ethno-regional favoritism; school test scores; elections; Burundi
    Date: 2019–12
  5. By: SAM, Vichet
    Abstract: This article analyzes the factors that drive the gender income difference among farmers in Cambodia with a focus on the access to formal credit, using the FinScope survey data. First, an Ordinary Least Square regression (OLS) is used to investigate the main determinants of farmers’ income, while an instrumental variable approach (IV) is estimated to check the causal effect of the access to formal credit on earnings. Next, the Blinder-Oaxaca technique is employed to decompose the gender earnings gap. Results from OLS regression show that individual education and health, farm size and other inputs, irrigation system and weather conditions, access to market and formal credit are strongly associated with farmers’ earnings, while the positive impact of access to formal credit is also confirmed by the IV regression at 5% significant level. These results suggest that improving infrastructure and formal credit access in the rural areas play a critical role in increasing farmers’ income. Then, based on the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition technique, most of gender earnings difference is due to the endowment effect in favor of male farmers such as education, farm size and volume of work hours. Access to formal credit also contributes to the gender earnings gap, yet not in terms of endowment but coefficient effect, as a higher return to credit access for male farmers is observed. This could be due to the levels of education and financial literacy that are higher for men, allowing them to use the formal credit better. Closing the gap in education and financial literacy would therefore reduce their earnings gap. Discrimination against female farmers, not in terms of credit access, but in loan amount should be worth to consider as well, as the median of loan amounts of male farmers is higher than those of female. If such discrimination exists, it could also limit the women’s capacity to manage and invest in their farms effectively, and thus, the return to credit access must be lower for female farmers.
    Keywords: J16, J31, J43, J71
    JEL: J16 J31 J43 J71
    Date: 2019–11–21
  6. By: Dang, Hai-Anh H.; Verme, Paolo
    Abstract: The increasing growth of forced displacement worldwide has led to the stronger interest of various stakeholders in measuring poverty among refugee populations. However, refugee data remain scarce, particularly in relation to the measurement of income, consumption, or expenditure. This paper offers a first attempt to measure poverty among refugees using cross-survey imputations and administrative and survey data collected by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Jordan. Employing a small number of predictors currently available in the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees registration system, the proposed methodology offers out-of-sample predicted poverty rates. These estimates are not statistically different from the actual poverty rates. The estimates are robust to different poverty lines, they are more accurate than those based on asset indexes or proxy means tests, and they perform well according to targeting indicators. They can also be obtained with relatively small samples. Despite these preliminary encouraging results, it is essential to replicate this experiment across countries using different data sets and welfare aggregates before validating the proposed method.
    Keywords: poverty imputation,Syrian refugees,household survey,missing data,Jordan
    JEL: C15 I32 O15
    Date: 2019
  7. By: Fatimah, Alfariany Milati; Kofol, Chiara
    Abstract: Internal migration dominates population mobility in Indonesia; according to the 2010 census, there were almost 30 million permanent migrants, around 12.5 percent of the population. The effects of this internal migration on the second generation continue to be under-explored. This paper investigates the long-term impact of parents' migration on their children's intergenerational per capita expenditure when adults. We argue that parental migration affects the human capital investment on their children, which has a direct impact on the children's outcomes when adults and on their deviation from the parents' economic status, hence their intergenerational mobility. We pooled the data of five waves of the Indonesian Family Life Survey, and we tackled the self-selection of parents' migration using linear regression with endogenous treatment. Our findings show that despite the fact that parental migration increases the education level of children and their per capita expenditure, it increases intergenerational mobility only when grown-up children live in urban areas, come from the poorest parents, and migrated themselves in their childhood. The left-behind children have more intergenerational mobility only if their father migrated, while there is no significant impact on intergenerational mobility if their mother migrated. The results are consistent with the persistence of individual inequality in Indonesia.
    Keywords: Labor and Human Capital, Risk and Uncertainty
    Date: 2019–12–04

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