nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2020‒05‒04
eight papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. The complementarity of community-based water and sanitation interventions: evidence from Mozambique By Melinda Vigh; Chris Elbers; Jan Willem Gunning
  2. Who Benefits from Better Roads and Why ? Mixed Methods Analysis of the Gender-Disaggregated Impacts of a Rural Roads Project in Vietnam By Mannava,Aneesh; Perova,Elizaveta; Tran,Phuong Thi Minh
  3. The Effect of Blackouts on Households Electrification Status: evidence from Kenya By Raul Bajo Buenestado
  4. Ethnic Geography: Measurement and Evidence By Roland Hodler; Michele Valsecchi; Alberto Vesperoni
  5. Curse of the Mummy-ji: The Influence of Mothers-in-Law on Women in India By S Anukriti; Catalina Herrera-Almanza; Mahesh Karra; Praveen Kumar Pathak
  6. Time in Office and the Changing Gender Gap in Dishonesty: Evidence from Local Politics in India By Ananish Chaudhuri; Vegard Iversen; Francesca R. Jensenius; Pushkar Maitra
  7. Impacts of enterprise zones on local households in Vietnam By Vu, Tien Manh; Yamada, Hiroyuki
  8. Development and interdisciplinarity: a citation analysis By Sophie Mitra; Michael Palmer; Vu Anh Vuong

  1. By: Melinda Vigh (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Chris Elbers (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Jan Willem Gunning (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
    Abstract: We use data on a large-scale water and sanitation program in rural Mozambique, implemented between 2008 and 2013, to investigate the complementarities between a behavior-change-based community-led total sanitation intervention and a community water supply intervention. Our findings indicate that the sanitation intervention increased the adoption of handwashing with soap or ash by 11 percentage points, latrine ownership and use by 8 percentage points, and the use of improved water points by 15 percentage points (conditional on access). Combining the water supply and sanitation interventions increased the treatment effects on all three outcomes. However, we find that the effect on toilet ownership was in large part driven by the selective intervention allocation of the implementing NGOs. These effects are measured up to 4 years after the intervention.
    Keywords: impact evaluation, sanitation, WASH, CLTS, correlated random effects
    JEL: D04 I15 O12
    Date: 2019–04–19
  2. By: Mannava,Aneesh; Perova,Elizaveta; Tran,Phuong Thi Minh
    Abstract: The literature lends empirical support for the idea that improvements to transport infrastructure lead to economic development. How and why the benefits of better transport differ between genders is less clear. This paper attempts to answer this question by combining a nonexperimental impact evaluation of a large-scale rural roads project in Vietnam with qualitative data collection. The paper finds that roads improve economic opportunities for agricultural production and trade: all households increase agricultural trade. Yet only households headed by men capitalize on these opportunities, experiencing an increase in agricultural output and income. Production and income do not increase in households headed by women. The result seems to be driven by a lower level of household labor and access to capital in female-headed households, which constrains their ability to make up-front investments to increase production and income. Overall, the results indicate that female-headed households face constraints in taking advantage of newly created economic opportunities. Coordinating transport investments with complementary development programs addressing these constraints can improve the benefits of better transport for such households.
    Keywords: Economics and Gender,Gender and Economic Policy,Gender and Poverty,Gender and Economics,International Trade and Trade Rules,Climate Change and Agriculture,Crops and Crop Management Systems,Transport Services,Gender and Development
    Date: 2020–04–20
  3. By: Raul Bajo Buenestado (University of Navarra)
    Abstract: A number of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have recently deployed billions of dollars to improve their electricity infrastructure. However, aggregate data shows that the relative number of households with an electricity connection at home has barely increased. In this paper we study the role of blackouts to partially explain why there have been relatively few additional households with electricity access despite the increase in electrification expenditure. Using geo-localized survey data from Kenya, we find that households that live in neighborhoods in which power outages are relatively more frequent are (at least) about 6%-9% less likely to have electricity at home. We also find that households that have electricity access but which experience frequent power outages are also less likely to purchase electrical appliances.
    Keywords: Energy poverty, Electricity access, Electrification rates, Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: L94 O13 Q41 Q48
    Date: 2020–04–24
  4. By: Roland Hodler (Department of Economics, University of St.Gallen; CEPR, London; CESifo, Munich); Michele Valsecchi (New Economic School, Moscow); Alberto Vesperoni (Department of Economics, Alpen-Adria University Klagenfurt)
    Abstract: The effects of ethnic geography, i.e., the distribution of ethnic groups across space, on economic, political and social outcomes are not well understood. We develop a novel index of ethnic segregation that takes both ethnic and spatial distances between individuals into account. Importantly, we can decompose this index into indices of spatial dispersion, generalized ethnic fractionalization, and the alignment of spatial and ethnic distances. We use ethnographic maps, spatially disaggregated population data, and language trees to compute these four indices for around 160 countries. We apply these indices to study the relation between ethnic geography and current economic, political and social outcomes. We document that country level quality of government, income and trust increase with the alignment component of segregation, i.e., with the ratio between the country’s actual segregation and the segregation it would have if ethnic groups were represented in each location with population shares identical to their country-level population share. Hence, all else equal, countries where ethnically diverse individuals live farther apart tend to perform better.
    Keywords: Ethnic diversity; ethnic geography; segregation; fractionalization; quality of government; economic development
    JEL: C43 D63 O10 Z13
    Date: 2019–06–03
  5. By: S Anukriti (Boston College and IZA); Catalina Herrera-Almanza (Northeastern University); Mahesh Karra (Boston University); Praveen Kumar Pathak (Jamia Millia Islamia)
    Abstract: Restrictive social norms and strategic constraints imposed by family members can limit women’s access to and benefits from social networks, especially in patrilocal societies. We characterize young married women’s social networks in rural India and analyze how inter-generational power dynamics within the household affect their network formation. Using primary data from Uttar Pradesh, we show that co-residence with the mother-in-law is negatively correlated with her daughter-in-law’s mobility and ability to form social connections outside the household, especially those related to health, fertility, and family planning. Our findings suggest that the mother-in-law’s restrictive behavior is potentially driven by the misalignment of fertility preferences between the mother-in-law and the daughter-in-law. The lack of peers outside the household lowers the daughter-in-law’s likelihood of visiting a family planning clinic and of using modern contraception. We find suggestive evidence that this is because outside peers (1) positively influence daughter-in-law’s beliefs about the social acceptability of family planning and (2) enable the daughter-in-law to overcome mobility constraints by accompanying her to health clinics.
    Keywords: family planning, India, mobility, mother-in-law, reproductive health, social networks
    JEL: J12 J13 J16 O15
    Date: 2020–04
  6. By: Ananish Chaudhuri; Vegard Iversen; Francesca R. Jensenius; Pushkar Maitra
    Abstract: Increasing the share of women in politics is regularly promoted as a means of reducing corruption. In this paper, we look for evidence of a gender gap in dishonesty among elected representatives, as well as how this changes with time in office. Based on a sample of 356 inexperienced and experienced local politicians in West Bengal, India, we combine survey data on attitudes towards corruption with data from incentivized experiments. While we find little evidence of a gender gap in the attitudes of inexperienced politicians, a lower faith in political institutions and a greater distaste for corruption can be seen among experienced politicians, particularly women. However, this seeming hardening in attitudes among female politicians also coincides with more dishonest behavior in our experiments. Exploring mechanisms for this difference, we find it to be strongly associated with lower risk aversion. Our study indicates that gender gaps in politics should be theorized as dynamic and changing, rather than static.
    Keywords: politicians, gender, honesty, die-tossing game, experiments
    JEL: H11 C93
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Vu, Tien Manh; Yamada, Hiroyuki
    Abstract: Based on the “winner-loser” scheme, we examine the possible impacts of enterprise zones (EZs) on local Vietnamese households between 2002 and 2008, using differences-indifferences approach and a panel-event study. We layer four waves of household surveys using a census of EZs in 2007, based on the same commune identity for our household and individual analyses. Within five years of EZ establishment, we find they are associated with higher household incomes, an increase in private property prices, and an increase in working hours.However, we do not find a significant impact on household living expenditure or school attendance/working probabilities among members aged between 7 and 17 years. Neither do we find a significant impact on health outcomes.
    Keywords: Enterprise zone, Health, Household, Income, School Attendance, Vietnam, O12, O18, D1, P36
    Date: 2020–04
  8. By: Sophie Mitra (Department of Economics, Fordham University, NY, USA); Michael Palmer (Economics Discipline, Business School, University of Western Australia); Vu Anh Vuong (Economics Discipline, Business School, University of Western Australia)
    Abstract: Development is often defined as an inherently interdisciplinary field of study. Yet there has been limited examination of this interdisciplinarity. Using Web of Science data, we present citation patterns since 1990 between leading journals of two fields of development, development economics and development studies, and other social science disciplines, economics, geography, political science and sociology). We find negligible interdisciplinary interactions in development, with the bulk of cross-disciplinary citations taking place between development economics, development studies, and economics. There exists an increasing trend since the mid-2000s in the number of citations between development economics and development studies. We explore a number of potential contributing factors and conclude that the most likely explanation is rising numbers of economists publishing in development studies journals in response to increasing relative competition in development economics journals. Notwithstanding, cross-citation rates between the two development fields remain low at two-three percent. Overall, results suggest that development is not an interdisciplinary field of study as measured by flows of citations.
    Keywords: Development; Interdisciplinarity; Development Studies; Development Economics; Social Sciences
    Date: 2020

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