nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2020‒03‒23
eleven papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Does Automation in Rich Countries Hurt Developing Ones? : Evidence from the U.S. and Mexico By Artuc,Erhan; Christiaensen,Luc; Winkler,Hernan Jorge
  2. Food transfers, cash transfers, behavior change communication and child nutrition: Evidence from Bangladesh: By Ahmed, Akhter; Hoddinott, John F.; Roy, Shalini
  3. Natural Disasters and Education By Anousheh Alamir; Tillmann Heidelk
  4. Enhancing Young Children's Language Acquisition through Parent-Child Book-Sharing : A Randomized Trial in Rural Kenya By Knauer,Heather Ashley; Jakiela,Pamela; Ozier,Owen; Aboud,Frances E; Fernald,Lia C.H.
  5. Intra-household resource allocation when food prices soar: Impacts on child growth in Indonesia: By Yamauchi, Futoshi; Larson, Donald F.
  6. Household labor supply and social protection: Evidence from Pakistan’s BISP cash transfer program By Ambler, Kate; de Brauw, Alan
  7. How Household Characteristics Shape Program Access and Asset Accumulation : A Mixed Method Analysis of the Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme in Rwanda By Gatzinsi,Justine; Hartwig,Renate Sieglinde; Mossman,Lindsay Suzanne; Francoise,Umutoni Marie; Roberte,Isimbi; Rawlings,Laura B.
  8. Geography of smallholders’ tractor adoptions and R&D–Induced land productivity: Evidence from household survey data in Ghana: By Takeshima, Hiroyuki; Liu, Yanyan
  9. Access to markets, weather risk, and livestock production decisions: Evidence from Ethiopia By Abay, Kibrom A.; Jensen, Nathaniel D.
  10. Adding a nutrition behavior change communication component to an early childhood development intervention in Malawi: A cluster randomized trial By Gelli, Aulo; Gladstone, Melissa; Twalibu, Aisha; Nnensa, Theresa; Kariger, Patricia; Alderman, Harold
  11. Agriculture-nutrition linkages, cooking-time, intrahousehold equality among women and children: Evidence from Tajikistan: By Takeshima, Hiroyuki; Akramov, Kamiljon T.; Park, Allen; Ilyasov, Jarilkasin; Ergasheva, Tanzila

  1. By: Artuc,Erhan; Christiaensen,Luc; Winkler,Hernan Jorge
    Abstract: Following a couple of decades of offshoring, the fear today is of reshoring. Using administrative data on Mexican exports by municipality, sector and destination from 2004 to 2014, this paper investigates how local labor markets in Mexico that are more exposed to automation in the U.S. through trade fared in exports and employment outcomes. The results show that an increase of one robot per thousand workers in the U.S. -- about twice the increase observed between 2004-2014 -- lowers growth in exports per worker from Mexico to the U.S. by 6.7 percent. Higher exposure to U.S. automation did not affect wage employment, nor manufacturing wage employment overall. Yet, the latter is the result of two counteracting forces. Exposure to U.S. automation reduced manufacturing wage employment in areas where occupations were initially more susceptible to being automated; but exposure increased manufacturing wage employment in other areas. Finally, the analysis also finds negative impacts of exposure to local automation on local labor market outcomes.
    Keywords: International Trade and Trade Rules,Labor Markets,Food&Beverage Industry,Textiles, Apparel&Leather Industry,Pulp&Paper Industry,Plastics&Rubber Industry,Common Carriers Industry,Construction Industry,Business Cycles and Stabilization Policies,General Manufacturing,Rural Labor Markets,Wages, Compensation&Benefits
    Date: 2019–02–14
  2. By: Ahmed, Akhter; Hoddinott, John F.; Roy, Shalini
    Abstract: The importance of children’s nutritional status for subsequent human capital formation, the limited evidence of the effectiveness of social protection interventions on child nutrition, and the absence of knowledge on the intra-household impacts of cash and food transfers or how they are shaped by complementary programming motivate this paper. We implemented two, linked randomized control trials in rural Bangladesh, with treatment arms including cash transfers, a food ration, or a mixed food and cash transfer, as well as treatments where cash and nutrition behavior change communication (BCC) or where food and nutrition BCC were provided. Only cash plus nutrition BCC had a significant impact on nutritional status, but its effect on height-for-age z scores (HAZ) was large, 0.25SD. We explore the mechanisms underlying this impact. Improved diets – including increased intake of animal source foods – along with reductions in illness in the cash plus BCC treatment arm are consistent with the improvement we observe in children’s HAZ.
    Keywords: BANGLADESH, SOUTH ASIA, ASIA, social protection, nutrition, children, cash transfers, behavior, food transfer, behavior change communication, O10 Economic Development: General, I38 Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty: Government Programs, Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs, D13 Household Production and Intrahousehold Allocation,
    Date: 2019
  3. By: Anousheh Alamir; Tillmann Heidelk
    Abstract: It is well established that natural disasters can have a negative effect on human capital accumulation. However, a comparison of the differential impacts of distinct disaster classes is missing. Using census data and information from DesInventar and EMDAT, two large disaster databases, this paper assesses how geological disasters and climatic shocks affect the upper secondary degree attainment of adolescents. The paper focuses on Mexico, given its diverse disaster landscape and lack of obligatory upper secondary education over the observed time period. While all disaster types are found to impede attainment, climatic disasters that are not infrastructure-destructive (e.g. droughts) have the strongest negative effect, decreasing educational expansion by over 40%. The effects seem largely driven by demand-side changes such as increases in school dropouts and fertility, especially for young women. The results may also be influenced by deteriorated parental labor market outcomes. Supply-side effects appear to be solely driven by infrastructure-destructive climatic shocks (e.g. floods). These findings thus call for differential public measures according to specific disaster types and an enhanced attention to climatic events given their potentially stronger impact on younger generations.
    Keywords: Local labor markets; Natural disasters; Climate change; Urbanization; Educational attainment; Degree completion; Teen pregnancies; Individual preferences
    JEL: I25 J20 N36 Q54
    Date: 2020–03
  4. By: Knauer,Heather Ashley; Jakiela,Pamela; Ozier,Owen; Aboud,Frances E; Fernald,Lia C.H.
    Abstract: Worldwide, 250 million children under five (43 percent) are not meeting their developmental potential because they lack adequate nutrition and cognitive stimulation in early childhood. Several parent support programs have shown significant benefits for children's development, but the programs are often expensive and resource intensive. The objective of this study was to test several variants of a potentially scalable, cost-effective intervention to increase cognitive stimulation by parents and improve emergent literacy skills in children. The intervention was a modified dialogic reading training program that used culturally and linguistically appropriate books adapted for a low-literacy population. The study used a cluster randomized controlled trial with four intervention arms and one control arm in a sample of caregivers (n = 357) and their 24- to 83- month-old children ages 24 to 83 months (n = 510) in rural Kenya. The first treatment group received storybooks, while the other treatment arms received storybooks paired with varying quantities of modified dialogic reading training for parents. The main effects of each arm of the trial were examined, and tests of heterogeneity were conducted to examine differential effects among children of illiterate versus literate caregivers. Parent training paired with the provision of culturally appropriate children?s books increased reading frequency and improved the quality of caregiver-child reading interactions among preschool-age children. Treatments involving training improved storybook-specific expressive vocabulary. The children of illiterate caregivers benefited at least as much as the children of literate caregivers. For some outcomes, the effects were comparable; for other outcomes, there were differentially larger effects for children of illiterate caregivers.
    Keywords: Educational Institutions&Facilities,Effective Schools and Teachers,Inequality,Adaptation to Climate Change,Educational Sciences
    Date: 2019–02–07
  5. By: Yamauchi, Futoshi; Larson, Donald F.
    Abstract: An unanticipated spike in food prices can increase malnutrition among the poor with lasting consequences, but parents can protect the most vulnerable within the family by distributing scarce food to minimize adverse impacts. To find evidence of this strategy, we use anthropometric and consumption data from Indonesia, collected before and after the 2007/08 food price crisis. Our results indicate that soaring food prices had a significant and uneven impact on growth among children. Using household fixed effects, we find that the negative impact was significantly larger among larger children, as measured by the initial height z-score. We find that children with low height z-scores at the start of the crisis gained ground relative to their peers during the crisis, consistent with food-resource allocations in their favor. The findings remain robust when controlling for possible differential impacts by gender, family size and food producer status. We conclude that the food price crises had negative long-term impacts on children, and that parental behavior protected the most vulnerable. For Indonesian policy makers, our results indicate that safeguarding family food security should be a priority when targeting specific groups of children is difficult.
    Keywords: INDONESIA, SOUTHEAST ASIA, SOUTH EAST ASIA, ASIA, food prices, human capital, siblings, nutrition, child nutrition, child development, food price crisis, child growth, Q11 Agriculture: Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis, Prices, Q18 Agricultural Policy, Food Policy, O12 Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development, O15 Economic Development: Human Resources, Human Development, Income Distribution, Migration,
  6. By: Ambler, Kate; de Brauw, Alan
    Abstract: Cash transfers are a key component of social protection policy in many developing countries. Yet many policymakers are concerned that continued receipt of such transfers may have unintended consequences, such as a reduction in labor supply when household income rises. We study this question by evaluating the impact of Pakistan’s Benazir Income Support Program(BISP), a cash transfer program targeted to poor, married women,on male and female labor supply. The BISP was implemented via a mechanism that reliedon a poverty score cutoff to determine eligibility, allowing for the identification of causal impacts using regression discontinuity. We find no impacts on household labor supply in the aggregate. When we break up estimates by gender, we find littleevidence of a changein female labor supply, strongevidence of increased male labor supply, and no evidence of changes to child labor. Hence, policy makers should not be concerned that BISP transfers negatively affect labor supply among recipients.
    Keywords: PAKISTAN, SOUTH ASIA, ASIA, developing countries, households, women, child labour, cash transfer, labor supply, Pakistan’s Benazir Income Support Program (BISP), social protection,
    Date: 2019
  7. By: Gatzinsi,Justine; Hartwig,Renate Sieglinde; Mossman,Lindsay Suzanne; Francoise,Umutoni Marie; Roberte,Isimbi; Rawlings,Laura B.
    Abstract: This paper assesses how household context and characteristics shape the welfare trajectory and more specifically the accumulation of productive assets among beneficiaries of the Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme in Rwanda, the government's flagship social assistance program. The analysis is based on a unique data set combining panel household survey data with in-depth qualitative interviews of a subsample of male and female beneficiaries from the survey data collected between 2009 and 2015. By combining quantitative and qualitative information, the paper draws a more nuanced picture of how household characteristics?structural and temporal?contextualize opportunities for poor men and women and their households and shape how well they can leverage access to the Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme to accumulate productive assets. The mixed method analysis reveals that household composition, gender power dynamics, disability, care responsibilities, marital arrangements, intrahousehold communication, and access to other social programs and institutions play a crucial role in access to the Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme and related asset accumulation. The findings suggest that households would benefit from a broader definition of the eligibility criteria and the availability of flexible and complementary programming, to reap the benefits of the income transfer received from the program.
    Keywords: Labor Policies,Rural Labor Markets,Labor Markets,Economics and Gender,Gender and Poverty,Gender and Economics,Gender and Economic Policy,Livestock and Animal Husbandry,Inequality,Disability
    Date: 2019–02–27
  8. By: Takeshima, Hiroyuki; Liu, Yanyan
    Abstract: Despite the urbanization and gradual rise of medium-to-large scale farming sector, smallholders without substantial mechanization remain central to agriculture in countries like Ghana. Significant knowledge gaps exist on the adoptions of agricultural mechanization among smallholders for whom the scope for exploiting complementarity with land is limited. We test the hypotheses that high-yielding technologies, which potentially raise total factor productivity and also returns to more intensive farm power use, are important drivers of adoptions of agricultural mechanization among smallholders. Using the three rounds of repeated crosssectional, nationally representative data (Ghana Living Standard Surveys 2006, 2013, 2017), as well as unique tractor-use data in Ghana, and multi-dimensional indicators of agroclimatic similarity with plant- reeding locations, this paper shows that the adoption of rented agricultural equipment and tractors in Ghana has been induced by high-yielding production systems that have concentrated in areas that are agroclimatically similar to plant-breeding locations. These effects hold for mechanization adoptions at both extensive margins (whether to adopt or not) and intensive margins (how much to adopt). These linkages have strengthened between 2006 and 2010s, partly due to improved efficiency in supply-side factors of mechanization.
    Keywords: GHANA, WEST AFRICA, AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA, AFRICA, agricultural mechanization, technology, land productivity,
    Date: 2019
  9. By: Abay, Kibrom A.; Jensen, Nathaniel D.
    Abstract: Despite several studies showing the effect of access to markets and weather conditions on crop production, we know quite little on whether and how livestock production systems respond to variation in weather risk and access to markets. In this paper, we study whether and how livestock production responds to access to markets and varying weather risk. We also explore whether such responses vary across livelihood zones and livestock production systems. We study these research questions using information on the livestock production, ownership, and marketing decisions of households in Ethiopia. We find that households living close to markets are more likely to engage in market-oriented livestock production and use modern livestock inputs. We also find that households exposed to more unpredictable weather are less likely to engage in livestock production for markets. Rather, they are more likely to engage in livestock production for precautionary savings and insurance. Furthermore, greater rainfall uncertainty influences livestock portfolio allocation towards those types of livestock which can be easily liquidated, while also discouraging investment in modern livestock inputs. However, these responses and patterns vary across livelihood zones and production systems - most of these stylized responses and impacts are more pronounced in the arid and semi-arid lands of Ethiopia, where livestock herding remains a dominant source of livelihood. Those households relying only on livestock production seem more sensitive and responsive to weather risk and weather shocks. The heterogeneity in responses to and impacts of weather risk among farming systems and livelihoods highlights the need for more tailored livestock sector policies and interventions.
    Keywords: ETHIOPIA; EAST AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA; livestock; livestock production; weather; risk; market access; marketing; portfolio allocation
    Date: 2020
  10. By: Gelli, Aulo; Gladstone, Melissa; Twalibu, Aisha; Nnensa, Theresa; Kariger, Patricia; Alderman, Harold
    Abstract: The Nutrition Embedded Evaluation Program Impact Evaluation (NEEP-IE) cluster randomized control trial (CRCT) aimed to assess the effectiveness of implementing an agriculture and nutritional intervention through preschools, known as community-based child care centres (CBCCs) in Malawi (6). This included; activities to promote nutritious food production and consumption, promotion of optimal feeding and caring practices and engagement with parents in pre-school meal planning and preparation. The NEEP-IE trial has demonstrated that CBCCs can be an effective platform to scale-up an integrated agriculture and nutrition intervention, and improve food production diversity, maternal knowledge, nutrition practices at household level and diets of pre-schoolers and their younger siblings, as well as improve linear growth in younger siblings aged 6-24m (7). This study presents the impact results of the NEEP-IE trial focusing on child development outcomes of pre-school children during a 12m intervention period.
    Keywords: MALAWI, SOUTHERN AFRICA, AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA, AFRICA, child development, impact assessment, preschool education, preschool children, behaviour changes, child care, diet, nutrition, behavior change communication,
    Date: 2019
  11. By: Takeshima, Hiroyuki; Akramov, Kamiljon T.; Park, Allen; Ilyasov, Jarilkasin; Ergasheva, Tanzila
    Abstract: Household-level agriculture-nutrition linkage (ANL) tends to be strong in a rural subsistence setting with limited access to the food market. In such a context, markets for food processing services also may be imperfect, and consequently a household’s time-investments in cooking may become important. Using the primary data in Tajikistan, we show that longer periods of time dedicated to cooking by women in the household often significantly enhance household-level ANL. Furthermore, an increase in the diversity, scale, and efficiency of household production, as well as longer cooking time, can also reduce intrahousehold inequality in nutritional outcomes among women and children. These effects are stronger in areas with lower nighttime light intensity and for households with lower values of cooking assets. In a context where household-level ANL is strong, ANL may also depend on households’ self-production of complementary inputs, including cooking services. This dependence reveals both unique opportunities for and vulnerabilities of ANL for the rural poor.
    Keywords: TAJIKISTAN, CENTRAL ASIA, ASIA, agriculture, nutrition, cooking, gender, women, children, child nutrition, markets, agriculture-nutrition linkage, cooking time, intrahousehold equality, inverse-probability weighting, generalized propensity score, food markets,
    Date: 2019

This nep-dev issue is ©2020 by Jacob A. Jordaan. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.