nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2019‒12‒23
nine papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Global economic growth and agricultural land conversion under uncertain productivity improvements in agriculture By Lanz, Bruno; Dietz, Simon; Swanson, Timothy
  2. Does the form of delivering incentives in conditional cash transfers matter over a decade later? By Andres Ham; Hope C. Michelson
  3. Erasing Ethnicity? Propaganda, Nation Building and Identity in Rwanda By Blouin, Authur; Mukand, Sharun W
  4. Spoiler alert! Spillovers in the context of a video intervention to maintain seed quality among Ugandan potato farmers By Senne Vandevelde; Bjorn Van Campenhout; Wilberforce Walukano
  5. Bridging the Mobile Digital Divide in Sub-Saharan Africa: Costing under Demographic Change and Urbanization By Emre Alper; Michal Miktus
  6. Farmers' Risk Preferences and Rice Production: Experimental and Panel Data Evidence from Uganda By Yoko Kijima
  7. New evidence regarding the effects of contract farming on agricultural labor use By Ruml, Anette; Qaim, Matin
  8. The Impact of Mobile Money on Long-Term Poverty: Evidence from Bangladesh By A.T.M. Hasibul, Islam; Syed Abul, Basher; A.K. Enamul, Haque
  9. How much do infrastructural investments mitigate impacts of seasonal shocks on food security? By Kankwamba, Henry; Kornher, Lukas

  1. By: Lanz, Bruno; Dietz, Simon; Swanson, Timothy
    Abstract: We study how stochasticity in the evolution of agricultural productivity interacts with economic and population growth at the global level. We use a two-sector Schumpeterian model of growth, in which a manufacturing sector produces the traditional consumption good and an agricultural sector produces food to sustain contemporaneous population. Agriculture demands land as an input, itself treated as a scarce form of capital. In our model both population and sectoral technological progress are endogenously determined, and key technological parameters of the model are structurally estimated using 1960-2010 data on world GDP, population, cropland and technological progress. Introducing random shocks to the evolution of total factor productivity in agriculture, we show that uncertainty optimally requires more land to be converted into agricultural use as a hedge against production shortages, and that it significantly affects both optimal consumption and population trajectories.
    Keywords: agricultural productivity; economic growth; endogenous innovations; environmental constraints; food security; global population; land conversion; stochastic control
    JEL: C61 J11 O11 O13 O31 Q16 Q24
    Date: 2018–03–01
  2. By: Andres Ham; Hope C. Michelson
    Abstract: We study whether Honduran children exposed to a conditional cash transfer program from 2000-2005 experience lasting effects on human capital and labor market outcomes in early adulthood. The government randomly assigned three forms of delivering program benefits across targeted municipalities: demand (vouchers), supply (clinic and school subsidies), and a combination of both. This program provides an opportunity to explore if and how differential exposure to incentives produces longer term effects. Using municipal-level panel data, these effects are estimated using difference-in-differences. We find that the form of delivering cash transfers influences the degree to which these programs make progress towards their objective of reducing future poverty. Compared to municipalities receiving support from the Honduran Poverty Reduction Strategy, our study indicates that exposure to demand-side incentives individually has no lasting impact. However, joint exposure to both demandand supply-side incentives does lead to measurable improvements in schooling and labor market participation. ***** Este trabajo investiga si niños que recibieron transferencias monetarias condicionadas durante la primaria en Honduras muestran un mejor desempeño educativo y laboral en su juventud. El Gobierno asignó tres formas de entregar las transferencias: incentivos a la demanda (vouchers), incentivos a la oferta (subsidios a centros de salud y escuelas) y ambas juntas. Este programa permite explorar la efectividad de distintos mecanismos para la entrega de subsidios una década después del comienzo del programa. Utilizando datos longitudinales a nivel municipal, estimamos los efectos del programa por el método de diferencias en diferencias. Encontramos que la forma de entregar las transferencias condicionadas afecta la efectividad de estos programas para lograr su objetivo de reducir la pobreza intergeneracional. En comparación con municipios que recibieron programas de la Estrategia para la Reducción de la Pobreza, nuestro trabajo indica que recibir incentivos adicionales a la demanda no tiene impacto duradero. Sin embargo, recibir ambos incentivos juntos –demanda y oferta– genera mejorías significativas en los resultados educativos y laborales mas de una década después del inicio del programa.
    Keywords: Conditional cash transfers, long-term effects, demand- and supply-side incentives, human capital, labor markets.Transferencias monetarias condicionadas, efectos de largo plazo, incentivos a la demanda yoferta, capital humano, mercados laborales.
    JEL: O12 I25 I28 I38 J20
    Date: 2018–05–16
  3. By: Blouin, Authur (University of Toronto); Mukand, Sharun W (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: This paper examines whether propaganda broadcast over radio helped to change interethnic attitudes in post-genocide Rwanda. We exploit variation in exposure to the government’s radio propaganda due to the mountainous topography of Rwanda. Results of lab-in-the-field experiments show that individuals exposed to government propaganda have lower salience of ethnicity, increased inter-ethnic trust and show more willingness to interact face-to-face with members of another ethnic group. Our results suggest that the observed improvement in inter-ethnic behavior is not cosmetic, and reflects a deeper change in interethnic attitudes. The findings provide some of the first quantitative evidence that the salience of ethnic identity can be manipulated by governments.
  4. By: Senne Vandevelde; Bjorn Van Campenhout; Wilberforce Walukano
    Abstract: Pervasive use of poor quality seed remains an important reason for low yields throughout the developing world. We explore cost-effective ways to increase the quality of the local stock of seed tubers among a sample of Ugandan potato farmers. We do this by providing agricultural extension information on (I) how to select the best seed tubers and (ii) how to properly handle and store seed tubers until the next planting season. The information is conveyed in the form of engaging videos, shown to individual farmers on mobile devices. The relative effectiveness of the information interventions is tested using and individually randomized controlled trial with a 2x2 factorial design. However, such interventions are prone to spillovers, and there are indications that control farmers might have learned about seed selection, storage and handling through their proximity to, or contacts with, farmers in the treatment group. Therefore, we explicitly model spillovers ex post using a randomization-based framework and use both farmers' GPS locations as well as survey data on actual interactions between treatment and control farmers to define the social networks through which information travels. After accounting for spillovers, we find evidence that especially he video containing information on seed selection translated info a higher awareness and adoption of recommended practices, a higher probability of using improved inputs as well as higher consumption.
    Date: 2018–11
  5. By: Emre Alper; Michal Miktus
    Abstract: Digital connectivity, including through the modern cellular network technologies, is expected to play a key role for the Future of Work in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). We estimate the cost of introducing a full-scale 4G network by 2025 in SSA and an operable 5G network by 2040. We adapt the costing model of Lombardo (2019) by accounting for the significant demographic transformation and rapid urbanization in SSA. We use the WorldPop and GADM databases and the UN’s medium-variant population projections to project the population densities at the highest level of administrative division for each SSA country in 2025 and 2040. For full 4G connectivity, the required capital and operational costs stands approximately at US$14 billion by 2025 and for 5G connectivity, costs amount to US$57 billion in 2040, conditional on having the 4G in place by 2025. These costs roughly translate to 8.4 percent of annual subscriber income, on a median basis, by 2025 for 4G and 4.9 percent of subscriber income by 2040 for 5G. Having the infrastructure in place is not sufficient to bridge the mobile Digital Divide. In addition, policies are needed to address affordability and knowledge gaps.
    Date: 2019–11–15
  6. By: Yoko Kijima (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Tokyo, Japan)
    Abstract: Although rice has been a prominent cash crop in areas with access to lowland in Uganda, the adoption of rice and area expansion have stagnated despite the Government of Uganda's 2009 National Rice Development Policy and its commitment to doubling rice production over 10 years. Using panel data collected in 2010 and 2017 as well as risk preference data elicited via lab-in-the-field experiments conducted in rural Uganda, we find that farmers with higher loss aversion are less likely to grow rice and expand their rice cultivation areas. This study affirms that risk preferences play a critical role in agricultural production decisions.
    Date: 2019–06
  7. By: Ruml, Anette; Qaim, Matin
    Abstract: Contract farming recently gained in importance in many developing countries. Various studies analyzed effects of contracting on productivity and income in the small farm sector. A few studies also looked at effects on agricultural labor use, suggesting that contracting tends to increase labor intensity, thus generating additional farm employment. An increase in the use of farm labor is plausible when contracting involves additional work in production, harvesting, and post-harvest handling. However, we argue that the opposite may also be true, namely when contracting involves labor-saving procedures and technologies. We use primary data from the oil palm sector in Ghana and show that farmers with a contract use significantly less labor per unit of land than farmers without a contract. We also analyze whose labor input is reduced. Household labor is reduced more than hired labor. Especially male household members reallocate time to off-farm employment. Contracts also reduce the likelihood of using child labor in farm production. This is the first study to show that contract farming reduces agricultural labor use in certain situations.
    Keywords: Community/Rural/Urban Development, Crop Production/Industries, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Labor and Human Capital
    Date: 2019–12
  8. By: A.T.M. Hasibul, Islam; Syed Abul, Basher; A.K. Enamul, Haque
    Abstract: Mobile money has become a lifeline for millions of poor people who have limited access to a formal banking system. It encompasses a wide range of benefits such as women’s empowerment, risk sharing, improved labor market outcomes and reductions in poverty. In this paper, we ask whether mobile money can help lift people out of poverty. Previous studies have addressed this question by using microanalyses of field experiments or longitudinal data on rural households, whereas we use district-level data to reevaluate the mobile money–poverty nexus. In particular, we study the impact of mobile money on district-level poverty in Bangladesh over the period 2010–2016. Our study finds that every 1 billion Taka (approximately US$ 11.76 million) increase in mobile money transactions via the bKash system leads to a 0.48% reduction in the poverty rate in Bangladesh. The marginal impact ranges from 0.27 to 0.48 percentage points across five poverty quintiles, implying a reduction of poverty rates between 0.9 and 1.5 percentage points compared with the base poverty rate of 31.5% in 2010. The findings suggest that mobile money has been successful in fostering various poverty reduction initiatives and that targeted policy prescriptions can be devised to lift up poorer societies that are still outside the purview of mobile financial services. To further increase mobile money use, the government could use its own infrastructure to enhance mobile agent density in the poorest sectors of society.
    Keywords: Mobile money, poverty, bKash.
    JEL: G20 I32 L96 O16
    Date: 2019–12–09
  9. By: Kankwamba, Henry; Kornher, Lukas
    Abstract: Ending extreme hunger requires the interaction of both household and community level infrastructural investments. When communities and households are capital infrastructure constrained, the effects of extreme events such as droughts can fetter consumption growth and food security. This paper, assesses the impact of seasonal weather shocks on food security conditional on access to public physical infrastructure. The study uses fixed effects regression techniques on representative Malawian panel data collected between 2010 and 2016. The study uses three key indicators of food security namely food consumption expenditure shares, the Berry Index of dietary variety, and the Shannon Entropy Index. To measure idiosyncratic and covariate shocks, self-reported survey data and high-resolution station based standardized precipitation – evapotranspiration index were used. To measure infrastructure, survey data, triangulated with remote sensed night time lights, were used to construct an infrastructure index in a logistic regression framework. Results show that assuming minimal infrastructure a standard deviation deficit in the one to three-month interval drought reduces consumption by 26%. Assuming normal historical weather conditions, infrastructure improves economic access to food by 15%. Thus, conditional on infrastructure, the impacts of extreme weather events on food security are reduced by 54%.
    Keywords: Consumer/Household Economics, Farm Management, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety
    Date: 2019–12–19

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