nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2020‒03‒16
fifteen papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Weather dataset choice introduces uncertainty to estimates of crop yield responses to climate variability and change: By Parkes, Ben; Higginbottom, Thomas P.; Hufken, Koen; Ceballos, Francisco; Kramer, Berber; Foster, Timothy
  2. Sustainable land management and its effects on water security and poverty: Evidence from a watershed intervention program in Ethiopia By Kato, Edward; Mekonnen, Dawit Kelemework; Tiruneh, Solomon; Ringler, Claudia
  3. Weather Shocks and Migration Intentions in Western Africa: Insights from a Multilevel Analysis By Simone Bertoli; Frédéric Docquier; Hillel Rapoport; Ilse Ruyssen
  4. Analysis of the drivers of change in women’s anemia in Tanzania 2005-2015: By Heckert, Jessica; Headey, Derek D.; Ndiaye, Biram; Brero, Mauro; Assey, Vincent
  5. Can Community Information Campaigns Improve Girls’ Education? By Christopher Cotton; Jordan Nanowski; Ardyn Nordstrom; Eric Richert
  6. Can Women's Self-Help Groups Contribute to Sustainable Development? Evidence of Capability Changes from Northern India By Anand, Paul; Saxena, Swati; Gonzales Martinez, Rolando; Dang, Hai-Anh
  7. Mobilization Effects of Multilateral Development Banks By Broccolini,Chiara; Lotti,Giulia; Maffioli,Alessandro; Presbitero,Andrea F.; Stucchi,Rodolfo Mario
  8. Returns to Low-Skilled International Migration : Evidence from the Bangladesh-Malaysia Migration Lottery Program By Mobarak,Mushfiq; Sharif,Iffath Anwar; Shrestha,Maheshwor
  9. Landownership and the gender gap in agriculture: Disappointing insights from Northern Ghana: By Yokying, Phanwin; Lambrecht, Isabel
  10. Adoption of agricultural technologies in the semi-arid northern Ethiopia: A Panel Data Analysis By Gebru, Menasbo; Holden , Stein T.; Alfnes, Frode
  11. Dairy contract farming in Bangladesh: Implications for welfare and food safety: By Islam, Abu Hayat Md. Saiful; Roy, Devesh; Kumar, Anjani; Tripathi, Gaurav; Joshi, Pramod Kumar
  12. Sweet child of mine: Parental income, child health and inequality By Nicolas Berman; Lorenzo Rotunno; Roberta Ziparo
  13. Rural Roads, Poverty, and Resilience : Evidence from Ethiopia By Nakamura,Shohei; Bundervoet,Tom; Nuru,Mohammed
  14. Electrification and Women's Empowerment : Evidence from Rural India By Samad,Hussain A.; Zhang,Fan
  15. Women’s empowerment and crop diversification in Bangladesh: A possible pathway to climate change adaptation and better nutrition: By De Pinto, Alessandro; Seymour, Gregory; Bryan, Elizabeth; Bhandary, Prapti

  1. By: Parkes, Ben; Higginbottom, Thomas P.; Hufken, Koen; Ceballos, Francisco; Kramer, Berber; Foster, Timothy
    Abstract: Extreme weather events, such as heatwaves, droughts, and excess rainfall, are a major cause of crop yield losses and food insecurity worldwide. Statistical or process-based crop models can be used to quantify how yields will respond to extreme weather and future climate change. However, the accuracy of weather-yield relationships derived from crop models, whether statistical or process-based, is dependent on the quality of the underlying input data used to run these models. In this context, a major challenge in many developing countries is the lack of accessible and reliable meteorological datasets. Gridded weather datasets, derived from combinations of in-situ gauges, remote sensing, and climate models, provide a solution to fill this gap, and have been widely used to evaluate climate impacts on agriculture in data-scarce regions worldwide. However, these reference datasets are also known to contain important biases and uncertainties. To date, there has been little research to assess how the choice of reference datasets in influences projected sensitivity of crop yields to weather. We compare multiple freely available gridded datasets that provide daily weather data over the Indian sub-continent over the period 1983- 2005, and explore their implications for estimates of yield responses to weather variability for key crops grown in the region (wheat and rice). Our results show that individual gridded weather datasets vary in their representation of historic spatial and temporal temperature and precipitation patterns across India. We show that these differences create large uncertainties in estimated crop yield responses and exposure to extreme weather events, which highlight the need for improved consideration of input data uncertainty in statistical studies that explore impacts of climate variability and change on agriculture.
    Keywords: INDIA, SOUTH ASIA, ASIA, climate change, crop modelling, weather, yields,
    Date: 2019
  2. By: Kato, Edward; Mekonnen, Dawit Kelemework; Tiruneh, Solomon; Ringler, Claudia
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impacts of sustainable land management (SLM) on water security and poverty based on an evaluation of a watershed level SLM program promoted in Amhara regional state of Ethiopia. A household survey was conducted in two WLRC watersheds with SLM programming as well as complementary support and two adjacent watersheds without such programming. Our findings show that the SLM program significantly increased plot-level adoption of SLM practices, particularly of soil bunds and stone terraces. We also find that SLM contributes to water security for both crop and livestock production. Households in SLM-supported learning watersheds have more access to groundwater for irrigation and have higher crop yields for maize, mango and millet; have experienced improving water availability for livestock production in the past five years; and have higher income from livestock products than households in control watersheds. The positive impacts of SLM and complementary interventions on livestock income is attributed to the improved water security conditions in the learning watersheds, access to better animal forage planted along the SLM constructed structures, and animal vaccination and artificial insemination services that were part of the broader set of interventions. These findings further show that although SLM impacts were limited, the potential to improve welfare of smallholders across several livelihoods is enhanced when SLM is combined with other multifaceted complimentary interventions.
    Keywords: ETHIOPIA, EAST AFRICA, AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA, AFRICA, sustainability, land management, water management, watershed management, water conservation, poverty, land degradation,
    Date: 2019
  3. By: Simone Bertoli; Frédéric Docquier; Hillel Rapoport; Ilse Ruyssen
    Abstract: We use a multilevel approach to characterize the relationship between weather shocks and (internal and international) migration intentions. We combine individual survey data on migration intentions with measures of localized weather shocks for Western African countries over 2008-2016. A meta-analysis on results from about 310,000 regressions is conducted to identify the specification of weather anomalies that maximizes the goodness of fit of our empirical model. We then use this best specification to document heterogeneous mobility responses to weather shocks, which can be due to differences in long-term climatic conditions, migration perceptions, or adaptation capabilities. We find that droughts are associated with a higher probability of migration intentions in Senegal, Niger and Ivory Coast. The effect on international migration intentions are only significant in Niger. These effects are amplified, but qualitatively similar, when restricting the sample to rural low-skilled respondents.
    Keywords: international migration, migration intentions, individual-level data, weather shocks, Western Africa
    JEL: F22 J61 O13 O15
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Heckert, Jessica; Headey, Derek D.; Ndiaye, Biram; Brero, Mauro; Assey, Vincent
    Abstract: Although the prevalence of anemia among women of reproductive age in Tanzania remains high, there have been documented improvements. It declined from 47.2% in 2004-05 to 40.1% 2010, but by 2016 it has risen again to 44.8%, according to the nationally representative Demographic and Health Surveys from those years. Women’s anemia can lead to many detrimental consequences, including decreased work productivity, mortality, postpartum hemorrhage, and adverse birth outcomes. Thus, it is important to document the factors that may have contributed to improvements in anemia status. Using a regression decomposition approach, which previously has been applied to identifying potential drivers of changes in stunting, we examine which improvements in the underlying determinants of anemia contributed to improvements in the overall prevalence of anemia among women of reproductive age in Tanzania. This study is the first known application of this methodology to understanding changes in the prevelance of anemia. Among all adult women, the largest contributers of change from factors we could include in our models were increases in wealth and education, use of hormonal contraceptives, and the decrease in the proportion of women who are currently pregnant or postpartum (i.e., from the decrease in fertility rates). Notably, use of hormonal contraceptives was least common among the poorest quintile. Additionally, change was attributable to reductions in infection, specifically fever and improvements in open defecation. Among older adolescent girls (15-19 years), the largest share in the improvements in anemia were attributable to education and wealth increases. Among postpartum women, we were limited by the sample size, but found that attending all four antenatal care visits and being administered medications to prevent malaria during pregnancy were important determinants of improved hemoglobin levels.
    Keywords: TANZANIA, EAST AFRICA, AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA, AFRICA, nutrition, anaemia, women, regression analysis, nutrition policy, gender, regression decomposition,
    Date: 2019
  5. By: Christopher Cotton (Queen's University); Jordan Nanowski; Ardyn Nordstrom; Eric Richert
    Abstract: We examine the impact of a large, randomized Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC) project in rural Zimbabwe. The multifaceted project initially provided information about girls’ rights and education barriers to girls, parents, teachers, and others. Later, the project introduced a learn-to-read program and provided resources such as bicycles and books. The information campaign significantly improved mathematics performance and school enrolment in a short time frame. The subsequent provision of resources and curriculum changes corresponded to improvements in literacy but did not correspond to any additional improvements in mathematics and enrolment beyond what was observed following the information provision alone.
    Keywords: Girls’ Education Challenge, education, empowerment, information provision, impact evaluation, economic development, field experiment, multifaceted intervention
    JEL: C93 I25 O15
    Date: 2020–03
  6. By: Anand, Paul (The Open University); Saxena, Swati (Rajiv Gandhi Trust); Gonzales Martinez, Rolando (Agder University College); Dang, Hai-Anh (World Bank)
    Abstract: This paper offers an evaluation of a supported women's self help program with over 1.5 million participants in one of the poorest rural regions of the world (Uttar Pradesh, India). Methodologically, it shows how indicators from the direct capability measurement literature can be adapted for program evaluation in a low income country setting. Unique data on capabilities across a range of dimensions are then developed for some 6000 women and used to estimate a number of propensity score matching models. The substantive empirical results of these models indicate that many of the capability indicators are higher for program members, that the difference appears robust, and that there are significant benefits for those from scheduled tribes and lower castes. The discussion highlights two points. First, human development improvements offered by multi-strand programs can help to explain the paradox as to why nearly 100 million women (in India alone) have participated in self help programs despite modest global research evidence for micro-finance impacts on nominal incomes. Second, results argue strongly for the use of capability measures over agency measures focused solely on household decision-making to assess women's empowerment when structural causes of disempowerment, external to the household, are present and significant.
    Keywords: propensity score matching, sustainable development, self-help groups, capability measurement, Sen, poverty, female empowerment
    JEL: I31 I32 O35
    Date: 2020–01
  7. By: Broccolini,Chiara; Lotti,Giulia; Maffioli,Alessandro; Presbitero,Andrea F.; Stucchi,Rodolfo Mario
    Abstract: This study uses loan-level data on syndicated lending to a large sample of developing countries between 1993 and 2017 to estimate the mobilization effects of multilateral development banks (MDBs), that is, their ability to crowd-in capital from private creditors. Controlling for a large set of fixed effects, the paper shows evidence of positive and significant mobilization effects of multilateral lending on the size of bank inflows. The number of lenders and the average maturity of syndicated loans also increase. These effects are present not only on impact but last for up to three years and are not offset by a decline in bond financing. There is no evidence of anticipation effects, and the results are robust to numerous tests controlling for the role of confounding factors and unobserved heterogeneity. Finally, the results are economically sizable, indicating that MDBs can mobilize about seven dollars in bank credit over a three-year period for each dollar invested.
    Date: 2020–02–25
  8. By: Mobarak,Mushfiq; Sharif,Iffath Anwar; Shrestha,Maheshwor
    Abstract: Many economists believe that the returns to migration are high. However, credible experimental estimates of the benefits of migration are rare, particularly for low-skilled international migrants and their families. This paper studies a natural experiment in Bangladesh, where low-skilled male migrant workers to Malaysia were selected via a large-scale lottery program. This study tracked the households of lottery applicants and surveyed 3,512 lottery winners and losers. Five years after the lottery, 76 percent of the winners had migrated internationally compared with only 19 percent of the lottery losers. Using the lottery outcome as an instrument, the paper finds that the government intermediated migration increased the incomes of migrants by over 200 percent and their household per capita consumption by 22 percent. Furthermore, low-skilled international migration leads to large improvements in a wide array of household socioeconomic outcomes, including female involvement in key household decisions. Such large gains arise, at least in part, due to lower costs of government intermediation.
    Keywords: Educational Sciences,Inequality,Labor Markets,Employment and Unemployment
    Date: 2020–02–27
  9. By: Yokying, Phanwin; Lambrecht, Isabel
    Abstract: Land provides the basis for food production and is an indispensable input for economic livelihoods in rural areas. Landownership is strongly associated with social and economic power, not only across communities and households, but also within households. The link between landownership and women’s empowerment has been relatively well documented in general, but not specifically in relation to agriculture. This paper aims to fill this gap by analyzing how ownership of land is associated with agency and achievements in agriculture among female and male farmers in northern Ghana, a region transitioning from customary land tenure without individual ownership rights towards a more individualized and market-based tenure system. We use a recursive bivariate probit model and focus on eight different indicators in four distinct domains: decisions on agricultural cultivation, decisions on farm income, agricultural association membership, and time allocation. Our empirical estimates indicate that landownership is positively correlated with men’s and women’s agency in agriculture, namely in decisions on agricultural cultivation and membership in agricultural association. Yet, we also find that the gender gaps in participation in cultivation decisions, the use of agricultural earnings, and in agricultural workload continue to persist among those who own land. While the results underscore the importance of land as a resource that can enhance women’s agency, they also point out that policies aiming to solely advance land rights may not be sufficient to eradicate or even reduce gender inequality in agriculture.
    Keywords: GHANA, WEST AFRICA, AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA, AFRICA, empowerment, gender, women, agriculture, land tenure, decision making, agricultural decision making, landownership,
    Date: 2019
  10. By: Gebru, Menasbo (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences); Holden , Stein T. (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences); Alfnes, Frode (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences)
    Abstract: Agricultural technology change is required in developing countries to increase the robustness to climate-related variability, feed a growing population, and create opportunities for market-oriented production. This study investigates technological change in the form of adoption of improved wheat, drought-tolerant teff, and cash crops in the semi-arid Tigray region in northern Ethiopia. We analyze three rounds of panel data collected from smallholder farms in 2005/2006, 2009/2010 and 2014/2015 with a total sample of 1269 households. Double-hurdle models are used to assess how the likelihood (first hurdle) and intensity of technology adoption (second hurdle) are affected by demographic, weather, and market factors. The results indicate that few smallholders have adopted the new crops, those that have adopted the crops only plant small shares of their land with the new crops, and that there has been only a small increase in adoption over the ten-year period. Furthermore, we find that high population density is positively associated with the adoption of improved wheat, and previous period’s rainfall is positively associated with the adoption of drought-tolerant teff. The adoption of cash crops is positively associated with landholding size and access to irrigation. The policy implications of these results are that the government should increase the improved wheat diffusion efforts in less population dense areas, make sure that drought-tolerant teff seed is available and affordable after droughts, and promote irrigation infrastructure for production of cash crops.
    Keywords: Semi-arid areas; climate risk; new crop varieties; double-hurdle; northern Ethiopia.
    JEL: O33 Q12 Q16 R34
    Date: 2020–03–08
  11. By: Islam, Abu Hayat Md. Saiful; Roy, Devesh; Kumar, Anjani; Tripathi, Gaurav; Joshi, Pramod Kumar
    Abstract: Contract farming is emerging as an important institutional innovation in the high value food chain in developing countries including Bangladesh, and its socioeconomic implications are topic of interest in policy debates. This study is an empirical assessment to explore the determinants of participation and the impact of contract farming on welfare and adoption of food safety practice in Bangladesh. Our analysis indicates that contract farmers are more likely to have better access to agricultural extension services, attended proportionately more community meetings, households members are member of organizations, access more credit, are located farther from output market, and have larger herd sizes. We also find that network variables such as time spent with cooperatives and other institutions and price fluctuation and average prices received experience before participation in contract are strongly associated with participation in contract farming. We find that contract farming has a robust positive impact on welfare measured by expenditure, farm profit and farm productivity, and food safety practice adoption even after innovatively controlling for observed and unobserved heterogeneity among dairy farmers. More specifically results indicate that a one unit increase in the likelihood of participating in contract farming is associated with a 42, 35,34 and 9 percent increase in household expenditure, gross margin and net margin per cow, and food safety practice adoption rate respectively, among other positive impacts.
    Keywords: BANGLADESH, SOUTH ASIA, ASIA, contract farming, welfare, food safety, dairy farming, household expenditure, profit, agricultural productivity, regression analysis, treatment regression model, contract farmers, dairy farmers, farm profit, farm productivity, O33 Technological Change: Choices and Consequences, Diffusion Processes, Q12 Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets, Q13 Agricultural Markets and Marketing, Cooperatives, Agribusiness, Q18 Agricultural Policy, Food Policy,
    Date: 2019
  12. By: Nicolas Berman (Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, EHESS, Ecole Centrale, AMSE, Marseille, France.); Lorenzo Rotunno (Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, EHESS, Ecole Centrale, AMSE, Marseille, France.); Roberta Ziparo (Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, EHESS, Ecole Centrale, AMSE, Marseille, France.)
    Abstract: How to allocate limited resources among children is a crucial household decision, especially in developing countries where it might have strong implications for children and family survival. We study how variations in parental income in the early life of their children affect subsequent child health and parental investments across siblings, using micro data from multiple waves of the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) spanning 54 developing countries. Variations in the world prices of locally produced crops are used as measures of local income. We find that children born in periods of higher income durably enjoy better health and receive better human capital (health and education) investments than their siblings. Children whose older siblings were born during favourable income periods receive less investment and exhibit worse health in absolute terms. We interpret these within-household reallocations in light of economic and evolutionary theories that highlight the importance of efficiency considerations in competitive environments. Finally, we study the implications of these for aggregate child health inequality, which is found to be higher in regions exposed to more volatile crop prices.
    Keywords: health, income, parental investments, intra-household allocations
    JEL: O12 I14 I15 D13 J13
    Date: 2020–03
  13. By: Nakamura,Shohei; Bundervoet,Tom; Nuru,Mohammed
    Abstract: This study analyzes the impacts of the recent rural road development in Ethiopia on welfare and economic outcomes. The identification of the impacts relies on a difference-in-differences matching approach, taking advantage of the nationally representative household survey and the original road database, both of which are panel data spanning between 2012 and 2016. The results of the econometric analysis overall suggest that Ethiopia's recent rural road development has substantially increased household welfare and supported households in coping with the recent severe droughts. This study estimates that rural roads increased, on average, household consumption by 16.1 percent between 2012 and 2016 (or 3.8 percent per year). The effects of rural road development were largest in the most remote communities, as it increased household consumption by 27.9 percent. Furthermore, in the communities most affected by the El Niño drought, the likelihood of falling into poverty was 14.4 percent lower between 2012 and 2016 if the community was connected by a rural road. Taken together, the results suggest that, by connecting remote communities to markets, rural roads have substantially increased the welfare and resilience of rural households in shock-prone environments.
    Keywords: Rural Roads&Transport,Inequality,Natural Disasters,Transport Services,Climate Change and Agriculture,Crops and Crop Management Systems
    Date: 2019–04–01
  14. By: Samad,Hussain A.; Zhang,Fan
    Abstract: Electrification has been shown to accelerate opportunities for women by moving them into more productive activities, but whether improvements in economic outcomes also change gender norms and practices within the household remains unclear. This paper investigates the causal link between electricity access and women's empowerment, using a large gender-disaggregated data set on India. Empowerment is measured by women's decision-making ability, mobility, financial autonomy, reproductive freedom, and social participation. Using propensity score matching, the study finds that electrification enhances all measures of women's empowerment and is associated with an 11-percentage point increase in the overall empowerment index. Employment and education are identified as the two most important causal channels through which electrification enables empowerment.
    Keywords: Energy Policies&Economics,Gender and Development,Electric Power,Educational Sciences,Health Care Services Industry
    Date: 2019–03–28
  15. By: De Pinto, Alessandro; Seymour, Gregory; Bryan, Elizabeth; Bhandary, Prapti
    Abstract: The existing literature shows that climate change will likely affect several of the dimensions that determine people’s food security status in Bangladesh, from crop production to the availability of food products and their accessibility. Crop diversification represents a farm-level response that reduces exposure to climate-related risks and it has also been shown to increase diet diversity and contribute to the reduction in micronutrient deficiencies. In fact, the Government of Bangladesh has several policies in place that encourage and support agricultural diversification. However, despite this support the level of crop diversification in the country remains low. Women empowerment has been linked to diversified diets and positively associated with better child nutrition outcomes. Furthermore, although traditionally their role in agriculture tends to be undervalued, women involvement has already been shown to affect agricultural production choices and enhance technical efficiency. This paper connects three different areas of inquiry - climate change, gender and nutrition – by exploring whether women’s empowerment in agricultural production leads to increased diversification in the use of farmland. Specifically, we use a series of econometric techniques to evaluate whether there is sufficient evidence to claim that a higher levels of empowerment lead to greater diversity in the allocation of farmland to agricultural crops. Our results reveal that indeed some aspects of women empowerment, but not all, lead to a more diversified use of farmland and to a transition for cereal production to other uses like vegetables and fruits. These findings provide some possible pathways for gender-sensitive interventions that promote crop diversity as a risk management tool and as a way to improve the availability of nutritious crops.
    Keywords: BANGLADESH, SOUTH ASIA, ASIA, empowerment, gender, women, nutrition, diversification, climate change,
    Date: 2019

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