nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2020‒04‒20
nine papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Distributional Effects of Intergovernmental Transfers in Mexico By Rodriguez Castelan,Carlos; Cadena,Kiyomi E.; Moreno Herrera,Laura Liliana
  2. The effects of Integrated Soil Fertility Management on household welfare in Ethiopia By Hörner, Denise; Wollni, Meike
  3. Multidimensional Poverty Assessment of Internally Displaced Persons in Iraq By Noumedem Temgoua,Claudia; Sharma,Dhiraj; Wai-Poi,Matthew Grant
  4. What Do 50 Years of Census Records and Household Survey Data Tell Us about Human Opportunities and Welfare in Latin America ? By Calvo-Gonzalez,Oscar; Caruso,German Daniel; Castaneda Aguilar,Raul Andres; Malasquez Carbonel,Eduardo Alonso
  5. The Relative Effectiveness of Teachers and Learning Software: Evidence from a Field Experiment in El Salvador By Konstantin Büchel; Martina Jakob; Christoph Kühnhanss; Daniel Steffen; Aymo Brunetti
  6. The Gold Digger and the Machine. Evidence on the Distributive Effect of the Artisanal and Industrial Gold Rushes in Burkina Faso By Rémi Bazillier; Victoire Girard
  7. Spatial Spillovers in the Implicit Market Price of Soil Erosion: An Estimation using a Spatio-temporal Hedonic Model By Marcelo Caffera; Felipe Vásquez; Daniel Rodríguez; Leonidas Carrasco-Letelier; José Ignacio Hernández; Mariela Buonomo
  8. Financial Inclusion and Inclusive Growth : What Does It Mean for Sri Lanka? By Arandara,Tisarani Rathnija; Gunasekera,Shanuki
  9. How Do Agro-Pastoral Policies Affect the Dietary Intake of Agro-Pastoralists? Evidence from Niger By Christophe Muller; Nouréini Sayouti

  1. By: Rodriguez Castelan,Carlos; Cadena,Kiyomi E.; Moreno Herrera,Laura Liliana
    Abstract: A rigorous understanding of the developmental effect of fiscal transfers to subnational governments remains an important policy research issue globally. This paper exploits a novel dataset of 20 years of municipal poverty maps and local public finances to study the effects on local welfare of a large fiscal transfer fund earmarked for social investment in more than 2,000 Mexican municipalities. Results show a positive but modest effect on the average household income, and positive effects on seven nonmonetary welfare measures. In contrast, these funds have no significant impact on extreme and moderate monetary poverty. These results provide important lessons for policy on the effects of earmarked funds to reduce territorial poverty and inequality in terms of incentives to design formulas to distribute earmarked fiscal resources to subnational governments.
    Date: 2020–04–09
  2. By: Hörner, Denise; Wollni, Meike
    Abstract: Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) is a technology package consisting of the joint use of improved seeds, organic and inorganic fertilizers. It is increasingly promoted to enhance soil fertility, crop productivity and income of smallholder farmers. While studies find positive effects of ISFM at the plot level, to date there is little evidence on its broader welfare implications. This is important since system technologies like ISFM mostly involve higher labor and capital investments, and it remains unclear whether these pay off at the household level. Using data from maize, wheat and teff growing farmers in two agroecological zones in Ethiopia, we assess the impact of ISFM on crop and household income, and households’ likelihood to engage in other economic activities. We further study effects on labor demand, food security and children’s education. We use the inverse probability weighting regression adjustment method, and propensity score matching as robustness check. We find that ISFM adoption for maize, wheat or teff increases income obtained from these crops in both agroecological zones. Yet, only in one subsample, it also increases household income, while in the other it is associated with a reduced likelihood to achieve income from other crops and off-farm activities. Results further show that ISFM increases labor demand. Moreover, we find positive effects of ISFM on food security and primary school enrollment in those regions where it goes along with gains in household income. We conclude that welfare effects of agricultural innovations depend on farmers income diversification strategies.
    Keywords: Farm Management, Food Security and Poverty, International Development, Labor and Human Capital
    Date: 2020–04
  3. By: Noumedem Temgoua,Claudia; Sharma,Dhiraj; Wai-Poi,Matthew Grant
    Abstract: Decades of conflict have contributed to high flows of internal displacement in Iraq. The incidence of these flows on the welfare of internally displaced persons is not well understood. This paper attempts to fill this gap in the literature by investigating the link between internal displacement and multidimensional poverty, using one of the most comprehensive household surveys for poverty analysis in Iraq. The results show crucial differences between internally displaced and non-displaced households with respect to multidimensional poverty. Furthermore, instrumental variable regression analysis suggests that the relationship is causal, that is, the probabilities of multidimensional and monetary poverty are higher because of internal displacement.
    Date: 2020–04–06
  4. By: Calvo-Gonzalez,Oscar; Caruso,German Daniel; Castaneda Aguilar,Raul Andres; Malasquez Carbonel,Eduardo Alonso
    Abstract: To comprehend how development really happens, it is necessary to understand the evolution of its drivers and their relationship with individuals'income. This paper analyzes the expansion of access to education and basic services in Latin America and its association with the evolution of incomes in the region. The paper focuses on the importance of access to opportunities as one of the drivers of development and highlights the role of policy making. The findings suggest that access to education and basic public services early in life are positively correlated with incomes in adulthood. The analysis also suggests that countries follow a dissimilar path to increase access to education and basic services. The paper undertakes a comprehensive analysis of historic census records to add granularity to the assessment of the development of countries, matched with detailed individual-level information from household surveys of several countries in the region. The paper widens an ongoing area of research on the long-run relationship between access to opportunities during childhood and incomes in adulthood.
    Date: 2020–04–07
  5. By: Konstantin Büchel; Martina Jakob; Christoph Kühnhanss; Daniel Steffen; Aymo Brunetti
    Abstract: This study provides novel evidence on the relative effectiveness of computer-assisted learning (CAL) software and traditional teaching. Based on a randomized controlled trial in Salvadoran primary schools, we evaluate three interventions that aim to improve learning outcomes in mathematics: (i) teacher-led classes, (ii) CAL classes monitored by a technical supervisor, and (iii) CAL classes instructed by a teacher. As all three interventions involve the same amount of additional mathematics lessons, we can directly compare the productivity of the three teaching methods. CAL lessons lead to larger improvements in students' mathematics skills than traditional teacher-centered classes. In addition, teachers add little to the effectiveness of learning software. Overall, our results highlight the value of CAL approaches in an environment with poorly qualified teachers.
    Keywords: computer-assisted learning, productivity in education, primary education, teacher content knowledge
    JEL: C93 I21 J24 O15
    Date: 2020–04–08
  6. By: Rémi Bazillier (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Victoire Girard (LEO - Laboratoire d'Économie d'Orleans - UO - Université d'Orléans - Université de Tours - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, NOVA SBE - NOVA - School of Business and Economics - NOVA - Universidade Nova de Lisboa)
    Abstract: This paper uses a quasi-natural experiment, the recent gold boom in Burkina Faso, to document the local impact of two alternative mining techniques: artisanal and industrial mining. Artisanal mines have a bad reputation. When these mines (labor intensive and managed in common) compete for land with industrial mines (capital intensive and privatized), governments tend to favor the latter. However, more than 100 million people depend on artisanal mines for a livelihood. Our identification strategy exploits two sources of variation. The spatial variation comes from the exposure of households to different geological endowments, and the temporal variation comes from changes in the global gold price. We are the first to document the economic impact of artisanal mines. We show that a 1% increase in the gold price increases consumption by 0.12% for households near artisanal mines. Opening an industrial mine, in contrast, has no impact on local consumption.
    Keywords: Burkina Faso,Poverty,Extractive industries,Gold,Artisanal mining,Commons
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Marcelo Caffera; Felipe Vásquez; Daniel Rodríguez; Leonidas Carrasco-Letelier; José Ignacio Hernández; Mariela Buonomo
    Abstract: We estimate the implicit market price of soil erosion, fitting a spatio-temporal hedonic price model using quarterly data of 3,563 agricultural farms traded in Uruguay between 2000 and 2014. A unique feature of our estimation is that we allow for possible spatial spillovers. We find evidence of a negative and statistically significant association between erosion and land values. A 1% increase in own topsoil loss due to own erosion is associated with a decrease of 0.22% in the per-hectare price of agricultural land (p-value: 0.013, 95% CI: -0.0039, -0.0005). This is equivalent to a decrease of 7.7 USD in the average price per hectare and USD 1,040 in the price of the average farm (134 hectares). This value increases to USD 1,277 when we add the average cross marginal effect of erosion in nearby farms. Our estimates are sensitive to our measure of erosion and our specification of the spatio-temporal weighting matrix. We also find evidence consistent with our hypothesis that farms entering a governmental erosion control plan sent a valuable signal to the market regarding soil management. An indicator of whether the farm has at least one parcel under the government erosion control plans is associated with a 29% increase in the farm´s per-hectare price (p-value: 0.000, 95% CI: 16.26%, 41.53%) higher than those with no parcel under these plans. The average total marginal effect (own plus cross effects) of the erosion control plans is 35.37% (p-value: 0.000, 95% CI: 20.33%, 50.40%).
    Keywords: spatial spillovers, spatio-temporal hedonic model, soil erosion, farmland values,Uruguay
    Date: 2019
  8. By: Arandara,Tisarani Rathnija; Gunasekera,Shanuki
    Abstract: This paper uses data from the National Financial Inclusion Survey 2018 to understand the determinants of financial inclusion in Sri Lanka and their significance for inclusive growth. The findings highlight that gender, education, and formal employment are important determinants of financial inclusion in the country. The results indicate that being a male, having better education, and having formal employment increase a person's access to, and usage of, formal finance. The results also suggest that despite high levels and gender parity in education, Sri Lankan women seem to access more informal finance (and less formal finance) compared with men. There is a general lack of familiarity and low use of digital finance among women. Comparative analysis using the World Bank Group?s Global Financial Inclusion (Global Findex) Database 2017 indicates that although Sri Lanka leads its regional peers in access to finance, it lags its more aspirational East Asian counterparts in usage of savings and credit products as well as digital finance. The paper's findings complement recent policy initiatives such as the National Financial Inclusion Strategy for Sri Lanka. The findings also help in designing targeted actions to address the remaining gaps in financial inclusion in Sri Lanka.
    Date: 2020–04–07
  9. By: Christophe Muller (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Nouréini Sayouti (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - Clermont Auvergne - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PASEL - Projet d’appui au secteur de l’élevage)
    Abstract: Agricultural policies in poor rural developing countries typically aim at improving household nutrition by raising households' agricultural profit and presumably their dietary intake as a consequence. However, it is not clear how much of the impact of these policies goes through profit in practice. If the proportion is large, this would confirm the policy orientation and direct the attention of policy makers toward the different financial incentives. Even full activity substitution may occur, which may transform households' lifestyles and access to nutrient sources and thereby affect their nutrition. If, in contrast, the policy impact does not go through profit, then the policy perspective should be adjusted, and a thorough examination and monitoring of its other channels of influence should be undertaken. Using statistical mediation analysis, we investigate the mechanisms underlying the effect of agricultural policies directed toward pastoralist households on their dietary intake in terms of these direct and indirect (through profit) effects. Based on an agro-pastoral survey conducted in Niger in 2016, the effects of extension services associated with better access to markets are found to be channeled mostly through pastoral profits, while this is not the case for private veterinary services and low-cost livestock feed programs. Extension services may foster specialization in cattle and sheep raising, which incentivizes households to switch toward a nomadic lifestyle and limits their access to cereals, a valuable source of calories. As a result, extension services are found to damage their calorie intake.
    Keywords: Agro-pastoral policies,Mediation analysis,Agricultural household models,Niger
    Date: 2020–04

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.
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