nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2020‒01‒06
thirteen papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Complementarities in the Production of Child Health By Laura Abramovsky; Britta Augsburg; Pamela Jervis; Bansi Malde; Angus Phimister
  2. Work With What You’ve Got: Improving Teachers’ Pedagogical Skills at Scale in Rural Peru By Juan F. Castro; Paul Glewwe; Ricardo Montero
  3. Community matters: heterogenous impacts of a sanitation intervention By Laura Abramovsky; Britta Augsburg; Melanie Lührmann; Francisco Oteiza; Juan Pablo Rud
  4. Labelled Loans, Credit Constraints and Sanitation Investments By Britta Augsburg; Bet Caeyers; Sara Giunti; Bansi Malde; Susanna Smets
  5. Clean Energy Access : Gender Disparity, Health, and Labor Supply By Imelda, Imelda; Verma, Anjali P.
  6. The Employment Effects of Ethnic Politics By Amodio, Francesco; Chiovelli, Giorgio; Hohmann, Sebastian
  7. Impacts of Indonesia Bantuan Siswa Miskin (BSM) on Senior Secondary Child Schooling and Working By Amriza N. Wardani; Nadezdha Baryshnikova
  8. Estimating Poverty for Refugee Populations: Can Cross-Survey Imputation Methods Substitute for Data Scarcity? By Dang, Hai-Anh; Verme, Paolo
  9. Good Or Bad Timing? The Effects Of Productivity Shocks On Education And On Schooling Performance. By Esther Delesalle
  10. Can Micro-Credit Support Public Health Subsidy Programs? By Britta Augsburg; Bet Caeyers; Bansi Malde
  11. Improving Access to Savings through Mobile Money: Experimental Evidence from African Smallholder Farmers By Batista, Catia; Vicente, Pedro C.
  12. The Effect of Male Outmigration on Women's Empowerment in Nepal By Chandan Sapkota; Dainn Wie
  13. Economic sector, demographic composition, educational attainment, and earnings in Brazil By Amaral, Ernesto F. L.; Faustino, Samantha Haussmann Rodarte; Gonçalves, Guilherme Quaresma; Queiroz, Bernardo L

  1. By: Laura Abramovsky (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies); Britta Augsburg (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies); Pamela Jervis (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies); Bansi Malde (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies); Angus Phimister (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: This paper estimates ?exible child health production functions to investigate whether better water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) practices make nutrition intake more productive for children aged 6-24 months. Using cohort data, with detailed information on nutrition intake and WASH investments, and a control function approach to account for endogeneity of inputs, we show that better WASH increases the productivity of protein and calories in the formation of child health using as proxies child height and weight. We also uncover heterogeneity in the productivity of these inputs by child gender: nutritional intake is found to be more productive for boys, and WASH investments more productive for girls. Further analysis indicates that this is not driven by di?erential parental invest-ments by child gender. Although the study sample are children born in the early 1980s they faced similar nutritional and WASH conditions as those faced by children currently living in poor households in low-income settings.
    Date: 2019–06–14
  2. By: Juan F. Castro (Universidad del Pacífico); Paul Glewwe (University of Minnesota); Ricardo Montero (University of Minnesota)
    Abstract: We evaluate the effect of a large-scale teacher coaching program offered in a context of high teacher turnover on a broad range of pedagogical skills. Previous studies have found that small coaching programs can improve the teaching of reading and of science in a developing country setting. However, scale can compromise quality and turnover can erode compliance. It is also unclear whether general pedagogical skills can be improved through coaching. We evaluate a teacher coaching program currently serving more than 6,000 rural public schools in Peru. We exploit the random assignment of a program expansion that occurred in 2016. We find that, after two years, the program has been effective in improving pedagogical skills with an average effect between 0.24 and 0.34 standard deviations (s.d.). Accounting for non-compliance reduces the program’s effect to between 0.20 and 0.30 s.d. This is below the effect found in developed countries (0.49 s.d.) but remains reasonably large considering the scale of the program and the degree of teacher turnover.
    Keywords: teacher coaching, pedagogical skill, teacher turnover
    JEL: I21 O15
    Date: 2019–12
  3. By: Laura Abramovsky (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies); Britta Augsburg (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies); Melanie Lührmann (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Royal Holloway, University of London); Francisco Oteiza (Institute for Fiscal Studies and EDePo @ Institute for Fiscal Studies); Juan Pablo Rud (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Royal Holloway)
    Abstract: We study the effectiveness of a community-level information intervention aimed at improving sanitation using a cluster-randomized controlled trial (RCT) in Nigerian communities. The intervention, Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), is currently part of national sanitation policy in more than 25 countries. While average impacts are exiguous almost three years after implementation at scale, the results hide important heterogeneity: the intervention has strong and lasting effects on sanitation practices in poorer communities. These are realized through increased sanitation investments. We show that community wealth, widely available in secondary data, is a key statistic for effective intervention targeting. Using data from five other similar randomized interventions in various contexts, we find that community-level wealth heterogeneity can rationalize the wide range of impact estimates in the literature. This exercise provides plausible external validity to our findings, with implications for intervention scale-up. Page updated 19/07/2019
    Keywords: External validity, Heterogeneous Treatment Effects, Sanitation, Information, Cluster- Randomized Control Trial.
    Date: 2019–06–06
  4. By: Britta Augsburg (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies); Bet Caeyers (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies); Sara Giunti (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies); Bansi Malde (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies); Susanna Smets (Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: Credit constraints are considered to be an important barrier hindering adoption of preventive health investments among low-income households in developing countries. However, it is not obvious whether, and the extent to which, the provision of labelled micro-credit (where the loan is linked to the investment only through its label) will boost human capital investments, particularly when it is characterised by other attractive attributes, such as a lower interest rate. We study a cluster randomised controlled trial of a sanitation micro-credit program in rural India, which made available lower interest loans for sanitation. The loans were linked with sanitation through their name only. The loans were not bundled with any toilet, and loan use was weakly monitored, but not enforced. Hence it is not directly obvious that the loan should boost sanitation investments. A simple theoretical framework indicates that the intervention could increase sanitation ownership through three channels - relaxation of credit constraints, salience of the loan label, or the lower interest rate. Our empirical evidence, combined with model predictions, allows us to conclude that the loan label (which to date has not received much attention in the literature) significantly impacts households borrowing and investment behaviour. Labelling loans is thus a viable strategy to improve uptake of lumpy preventive health investments.
    Keywords: credit,micro-credit,sanitation,toilets,loans,labelled loans
    Date: 2019–05–07
  5. By: Imelda, Imelda; Verma, Anjali P.
    Abstract: Women are known to bear the largest share of health, time and labor supply burden associated with a lack of modern energy. In this paper, we study the impact of clean energy access on adult health and labor supply outcomes by exploiting a nationwide rollout of clean cooking fuel program in Indonesia. This program led to a large-scale fuel switching, from kerosene, a dirty fuel, to liquid petroleum gas, a significantly cleaner and efficient cooking fuel than kerosene. Using rich longitudinal survey data from the Indonesia Family Life Survey and the staggered structure of the program roll-out, we find that access to clean cooking fuel led to a significant improvement in women's health, particularly among those who spend most of their time indoors doing housework. We also find an increase in the labor supplied by these women on both intensive and extensive margins. This suggests that having clean and efficient cooking fuel may not only improve women's health but also improve their productivity, subsequently allowing them to supply more market labor. For men, we find an increase in the labor supplied only along the intensive margin, with a higher increase among men in households where women accrued the largest health and labor benefits from the program. These results highlight the role of clean energy in reducing gender-disparity in health and labor participation and point to the existence of positive externality from improved health and productivity of women on other members of the household.
    Keywords: Indonesia; Labor Supply; Health; Energy Access; Gender Inequality
    JEL: Q53 Q48 O13 J22 I18 I15 H51
    Date: 2019–12–18
  6. By: Amodio, Francesco (McGill University); Chiovelli, Giorgio (Universidad de Montevideo); Hohmann, Sebastian (Stockholm School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper studies the labor market consequences of ethnic politics in African democracies. We combine geo-referenced data from 15 countries, 32 parliamentary elections, 62 political parties, 243 ethnic groups, 2,200 electoral constituencies, and 400,000 individuals. We implement a regression discontinuity design that compares individuals from ethnicities connected to parties at the margin of electing a local representative in the national parliament. We find that having a local ethnic politician in parliament increases the likelihood of being employed by 2-3 percentage points. We hypothesize that this effect originates from strategic interactions between ethnic politicians and traditional leaders, the latter retaining the power to allocate land and agricultural jobs in exchange for votes. The available evidence supports this hypothesis. First, the employment effect is concentrated in the historical homelands of ethnicities with strong pre-colonial institutions. Second, individuals from connected ethnicities are more likely to be employed in agriculture, and in those countries where customary land tenure is officially recognized by national legislation. Third, they are also more likely to identify traditional leaders as partisan, and as being mainly responsible for the allocation of land. Evidence shows that ethnic politics shapes the distribution of productive resources across sectors and ethnic groups.
    Keywords: ethnic politics, employment, democracy, traditional leaders, Africa
    JEL: J15 J70 O10 P26 Q15
    Date: 2019–12
  7. By: Amriza N. Wardani (Universitas Indonesia and University of Adelaide); Nadezdha Baryshnikova (School of Economics, University of Adelaide)
    Abstract: Educational inequality is one of the most prevalent problems faced by developing countries. The group that faces the biggest gap in terms of access to education is adolescents aged 16-18 years. This paper analyses a sample of 16-18 year olds to investigate the impact of the Indonesian's Conditional Cash Transfer, Bantuan Siswa Miskin (BSM), on recipients and their non-recipient siblings. The findings suggest that the BSM increases the schooling of the recipients. However, there is no significant impact on the non-recipient siblings' schooling. Further, the program succeeds in significantly reducing the incidence of child labour for recipient and non-recipient girls, with no such impact evident for boys.
    Keywords: Child schooling, Child working, Conditional cash transfer, Bantuan Siswa Miskin, Indonesia, Coarsened exact matching
    JEL: J82 I21 I38
    Date: 2019–08
  8. By: Dang, Hai-Anh (World Bank); Verme, Paolo (World Bank)
    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 J15 J61 O15
    Date: 2019–12
  9. By: Esther Delesalle (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))
    Abstract: It is often argued that negative productivity shocks have adverse effects on education in developing countries. In this paper, I assert that positive productivity shocks can also come at the expense of education. I present a theoretical model to predict the mechanisms when shocks occur in early childhood and in school-age. To capture exogenous shocks in productivity, I exploit variation in intensity of climate and prices across location and over time. The empirical part provides evidence that in early childhood, positive productivity shocks have persistent positive consequences on schooling performance. In contrast, the relationship becomes counter-cyclical when children are of school age. Current positive shocks increase child labor, reduce schooling performance, and decreases the education attainment when shocks become recurrent.
    Keywords: Human capital investment, cognitive skills, weather shocks, price shocks, Tanzania
    JEL: I25
    Date: 2019–12–12
  10. By: Britta Augsburg (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies); Bet Caeyers (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies); Bansi Malde (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: The low take-up of cost-effective and highly subsidised preventive health technologies in low-income countries remains a puzzle. One under-studied reason is that the design of subsidy schemes is such that households remain financially constrained. In this paper we analyse whether, and how, micro-finance supports a large public health subsidy program in the developing world - the Swachh Bharat Mission - in achieving its aim of increasing uptake of individual household latrines. Exploiting a cluster randomised controlled experiment of a sanitation micro-finance program that coincided with the launch of the SBM program, and unique survey data matched to administrative data, we find that the complementarity runs on two levels: First, micro-credit allows households officially ineligible for the subsidy to invest in sanitation by alleviating credit constraints. Second, micro-credit also helps subsidy eligible households to overcome short-term liquidity constraints induced by the remuneration-post-verification subsidy design to invest in sanitation. Subsidy eligible households living in areas experiencing large delays in subsidy disbursement, or high toilet costs, are more likely to take a sanitation loan, but less likely to use the loan to construct a toilet.
    Keywords: micro-finance,credit constraints,toilets,public health
    Date: 2019–05–08
  11. By: Batista, Catia (Universidade Nova de Lisboa); Vicente, Pedro C. (Universidade Nova de Lisboa)
    Abstract: Investment in improved agricultural inputs is infrequent for smallholder farmers in Africa. One barrier may be limited access to formal savings. This is the first study to use a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the impact of using mobile money as a tool to promote agricultural investment. For this purpose, we designed and conducted a field experiment with a sample of smallholder farmers in rural Mozambique. This sample included a set of primary farmers and their closest farming friends. We work with two cross-randomized interventions. The first treatment gave access to a remunerated mobile savings account. The second treatment targeted closest farming friends and gave them access to the exact same interventions as their primary farmer counterparts. We find that the remunerated mobile savings account raised mobile savings, but only while interest was being paid. It also increased agricultural investment in fertilizer, although there was no change in investment in other complementary inputs that were not directly targeted by the intervention, unlike fertilizer. These results suggest that fertilizer salience in the remunerated savings treatment may have been important to focus farmers' (limited) attention on saving some of their harvest proceeds, rather than farmers being financially constrained by a lack of alternative ways to save. Our results also suggest that the network intervention where farming friends had access to non-remunerated mobile money accounts decreased incentives to save and invest in agricultural inputs, likely due to network free-riding because of lower transfer costs within the network. Overall this research shows that tailored mobile money products can be used effectively to improve modern agricultural technology adoption in countries with very low agricultural productivity like Mozambique.
    Keywords: mobile money, social networks, savings and agricultural investment, randomized field experiment, Mozambique, Africa
    JEL: D14 D85 Q12 Q14
    Date: 2019–11
  12. By: Chandan Sapkota (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Tokyo, Japan); Dainn Wie (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Tokyo, Japan)
    Abstract: Male outmigration is rapidly increasing in Nepal, leading the amount of remittance inflows to exceed 20% of GDP in 2011. This article examines the impact of male outmigration on women's empowerment, which is relatively undocumented in the literature. We employ rainfall and an ethnicity-specific migration network as our instruments to address endogeneity in male outmigration. Our empirical evidence shows that married women in households with male outmigrants are less likely to be in polygamous relationships and are more likely to have the final say on their own health issues. However, further investigation demonstrates that these women are less likely to have freedom to visit their family or relatives, which is probably due to increased cohabitation with their parents-in-law.
    Date: 2019–12
  13. By: Amaral, Ernesto F. L. (Texas A&M University); Faustino, Samantha Haussmann Rodarte; Gonçalves, Guilherme Quaresma; Queiroz, Bernardo L (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil)
    Abstract: Brazil experienced population ageing and improvement in educational attainment between 1980–2010. Proportion of workers in the formal economic sector increased between 2000–2010. Earnings decreased from 1980 to 1991 and increased in 2000. However, earnings in the formal economic sector decreased again in 2010. We estimate associations of individual- and area-level variables with individual earnings of male workers living in urban areas in Brazil. Ordinary least squares regressions estimate variations on earnings of male workers, using the 1980–2010 Demographic Censuses. Individual independent variables include age, education, economic sector, race/color, marital status, religion, and region of residence. Contextual independent variables consider demographic, educational, and economic sector compositions by areas of residence. Considering individual-level variables, older and better educated workers have higher earnings. Workers in the formal economic sector have higher earnings than in the informal sector. For area-level variables, higher proportions of people working in the formal economic sector have positive associations with earnings. Proportions of people in age-education groups have negative associations with earnings mostly among older workers. For models by economic sector, proportions in age-education groups have higher positive coefficients in the informal sector, compared to the formal sector. Transitions in demographic, educational, and economic sector compositions are correlated with earnings. These effects generate greater economic inequality in the informal sector than in the formal sector. Our main contribution is the estimation of models about associations of individual earnings with individual and area-level variables, which can be replicated for other countries.
    Date: 2019–01–22

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