nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2020‒05‒11
fourteen papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Longer School Schedules, Childcare and the Quality of Mothers’ Employment: Evidence from School Reform in Chile By Berthelon, Matias; Kruger, Diana; Lauer, Catalina; Tiberti, Luca; Zamora, Carlos
  2. Elite Capture of Foreign Aid: Evidence from Offshore Bank Accounts By Joergen Juel Andersen; Niels Johannesen; Bob Rijkers
  3. Doing more with less: The catalytic function of IMF lending and the role of program size By Krahnke, Tobias
  4. Does choice of drought index influence estimates of drought-induced rice losses in India? By Fontes, Francisco; Gorst, Ashley; Palmer, Charles
  5. Role of Land Access in Youth Migration and Youth Employment Decisions: Empirical Evidence from Rural Nigeria By Hosaena Ghebru; Mulubrhan Amare; George Mavrotas; Adebayo Ogunniyi
  6. The Roles of Agroclimatic Similarity and Returns on Scale in the Demand for Mechanization: Insights from Northern Nigeria By Hiroyuki Takeshima
  7. Dietary Patterns in Mali: Implications for Nutrition By Melinda Smale; Veronique Theriault; Ryan Vroegindewey
  8. The Political Competition over Life and Death - Evidence from Infant Mortality in India By Anders Kjelsrud; Kalle Moene; Lore Vandewalle
  9. Are Agricultural Subsidies Gender Sensitive? Heterogeneous Impacts of the Farmer Input Support Program in Zambia By Henry Machina; Hambulo Ngoma; Auckland N. Kuteya
  10. Determinants of Child Labour and Schooling in the Native Cocoa Households of Côte d'Ivoire By Guy Blaise Nkamleu .
  11. The Impact of Social Cash Transfers on Poverty in Pakistan-A Case Study of Benazir Income Support Programme By Saeed, Muhammad Kashif; Hayat, Muhammad Azmat
  12. Exclusive growth?: Rapidly increasing top incomes amidst low national growth in South Africa By Ihsaan Bassier; Ingrid Woolard
  13. Perceived Tenure (In)Security in the Era of Rural Transformation Gender-Disaggregated Analysis from Mozambique By Hosaena Ghebru; Fikirte Girmachew
  14. Seasonal variation in infant mortality in India By Gupta, Aashish

  1. By: Berthelon, Matias; Kruger, Diana; Lauer, Catalina; Tiberti, Luca; Zamora, Carlos
    Abstract: Ample empirical evidence has found that access to childcare for preschool children increases mothers’ labor force participation and employment. In this paper, we investigate whether increased childcare for primary school children improves the quality of jobs mothers find by estimating the causal effect of a school schedule reform in Chile. Combining plausibly exogenous temporal and spatial variations in school schedules with a panel of individual mothers’ employment between 2002 and 2015, we estimated a fixed-effects model that controlled for unobserved heterogeneity. We found a positive effect of access to full-day schools on several measures of ’the quality of mothers’ jobs, which were correlated to working full-time. We also found small, positive effects on quality of fathers’ jobs. Our evidence suggests that the mechanism driving the effect was the effect of the reform’s implicit subsidy to the cost of childcare on the opportunity cost of mothers’ time. We also found that less educated mothers benefited most from the reform. Thus, childcare can increase household welfare by improving parents’ jobs and can play a role in reducing inequality.
    Keywords: Employment quality,job quality,women’s labor force participation,women’s labor supply,full-day schooling,childcare,education reform,Chile
    JEL: H41 H52 I25 I28 J13 J16 J18 J22 O15
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Joergen Juel Andersen (BI Norwegian Business School); Niels Johannesen (CEBI, Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen); Bob Rijkers (CEBI, Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: Do elites capture foreign aid? This paper documents that aid disbursements to highly aid-dependent countries coincide with sharp increases in bank deposits in offshore financial centers known for bank secrecy and private wealth management, but not in other financial centers. The estimates are not confounded by contemporaneous shocks such as civil conflicts, natural disasters and financial crises, and are robust to instrumenting with predetermined aid commitments. The implied leakage rate is around 7.5% at the sample mean and tends to increase with the ratio of aid to GDP. The findings are consistent with aid capture in the most aid-dependent countries.
    Keywords: foreign aid, corruption, offshore financial centers
    JEL: D73 F35 P16
    Date: 2020–03–09
  3. By: Krahnke, Tobias
    Abstract: Financial assistance provided by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is supposed to unlock other financing, acting as a catalyst for private capital flows. The empirical evidence of the presence of such a catalytic effect has, however, been mixed. This paper shows that a possible explanation for the rather inconclusive empirical evidence to date is the neglect of the size of an IMF program. Applying a novel identification strategy to account for endogenous selection into (large) adjustment programs, and using a comprehensive data set spanning the years 1990-2018, we show that the catalytic effect of IMF financial assistance is weakened - and potentially reversed - if the size of a program exceeds a certain level. We argue that large IMF financial assistance coupled with the IMF's preferred creditor status can lead to a crowding-out of private investors by increasing their loss in the event of default. Our findings add to the debate on the optimal size of Fund-supported programs and can also inform the broader policy discussions on the adequacy of IMF resources.
    Keywords: International Monetary Fund,catalysis,capital flows,financial crises
    JEL: F32 F33 F36 G01 G15
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Fontes, Francisco; Gorst, Ashley; Palmer, Charles
    Abstract: Drought events have critical impacts on agricultural production yet there is little consensus on how these should be measured and defined, with implications for drought research and policy. We develop a flexible rainfall-temperature drought index that captures all dry events and we classify these as Type 1 (above-average cooling degree days) and Type 2 droughts (below-average cooling degree days). Applied to a panel dataset of Indian districts over 1966-2009, Type 2 droughts are found to have negative marginal impacts comparable to those of Type 1 droughts. Irrigation more effectively reduces Type 2 drought-induced yield losses than Type 1 yield losses. Over time, Type 1 drought losses have declined while Type 2 losses have risen. Estimates of average yield losses due to Type 1 droughts are reduced by up to 27 per cent when Type 2 droughts are omitted. The associated ex-post economic costs in terms of rice production are underestimated by up to 124 per cent.
    Keywords: agriculture; rice; climate; drought; India; rainfall; temperature; ES/K006576/1
    JEL: Q10 Q19 Q54 Q56
    Date: 2020–04–03
  5. By: Hosaena Ghebru; Mulubrhan Amare; George Mavrotas; Adebayo Ogunniyi
    Abstract: The paper examines the role of land access in youth migration and employment decisions using a two wave panel data set from the Living Standards Measurement Study—Integrated Surveys on Agriculture (LSMS-ISA) from Nigeria. Overall, the findings show that the size of expected land inheritance is significantly and negatively associated with long distance migration and migration to urban areas, while a similar impact is negligible when a broader definition of migration is adopted and when migration is deemed as temporary. A more disaggregated analysis by considering individual characteristics of the youth shows that results are more elastic for older youth and those that are less educated, while we find no difference when comparisons are made by gender. Similar analysis on the influence of land access on youth employment choices shows strong evidence that the larger the size of the expected land inheritance the lower the likelihood of the youth being involved in non-agricultural activities and a higher chance of staying in agriculture or the dual sector. The results further reveal that youth in areas with a high level of agricultural commercialization and modernization seem to be more responsive to land access considerations in making migration and employment decisions than are youth residing in less commercialized areas. Finally, the results from the differential analysis suggest that rural-to-urban migration and the likelihood of youth involvement in the dual economy is more responsive to the size of the expected land inheritance for less educated youth as compared to more educated ones.
    Keywords: Food Security and Poverty, International Development
    Date: 2019–02–27
  6. By: Hiroyuki Takeshima
    Abstract: Despite economic transformations and urbanization, declining shares of the workforce employed in the agricultural sector, and gradual growth of agricultural mechanization, production costs in the agricultural sector and food prices remain high in Nigeria relative to those in some of the other developing countries. Understanding how the adoption of mechanical technologies is related to agricultural productivity is therefore important for countries like Nigeria. Using farm household data from northern Nigeria as well as various spatial agroclimatic data, this study shows that the adoption of key mechanical technologies in Nigerian agriculture (animal traction, tractors, or both) has been high in areas that are more agroclimatically similar to the locations of agricultural research and development (R&D) stations, and this effect is heterogeneous, being particularly strong among relatively larger farms. Furthermore, such effects are likely to have been driven by the rise in returns on scale in the underlying production function caused by the adoption of these mechanical technologies. Agricultural mechanization, represented here as the switch from manual labor to animal traction and tractors, has been not only raising the average return on scale but also potentially magnifying the effects of productivity-enhancing public-sector R&D on spatial variations in agricultural productivity in countries like Nigeria.
    Keywords: Food Security and Poverty, International Development
    Date: 2019–02–28
  7. By: Melinda Smale; Veronique Theriault; Ryan Vroegindewey
    Abstract: As other West African countries, Mali, is experiencing changes in its lifestyle and diets driven, in part, by urbanization and income growth. We bring new empirical evidence on whether diets in Mali are shifting toward more highly processed foods, with greater shares of food purchased away from home, more sugars and/or potentially obesogenic foods. Specifically, we examine, at a macro-scale, the distribution of consumption across food groups and processing content and analyze whether the distribution varies across urban and rural areas. At a micro-scale, we investigate the extent to which women’s diets meet minimum adequate standards, contain key sources of micronutrients, and include elements such as fats, sugars, and food purchased away from home. We utilize the 2014/15 LSMS/ISA dataset and 2018/19 PREPOSAM dataset. Our findings show that the food budget share allocated to processed foods is greater in urban (60%) than rural area (48%). Consumption of highly processed and sugary foods is relatively low in both urban (15%) and rural (7%) areas. Urban households have a higher diversity score than rural households. Both individual and household diet diversity are subject to seasonality, regardless of their areas of residency. About half of farm women do not meet the minimum adequate dietary diversity during the lean season. Achieving food and nutrition security requires investing in agro-processing and food markets to ensure the provision of affordable, diversified, and healthy foods all year round in both urban and rural areas.
    Keywords: Food Security and Poverty, International Development
    Date: 2019–09–02
  8. By: Anders Kjelsrud (University of Oslo, Norway); Kalle Moene (University of Oslo, Norway); Lore Vandewalle (IHEID, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva)
    Abstract: We argue that economic inequality harms social provisions for the poor, but that higher political competition can mitigate this effect. We test this hypothesis using a large redistricting of electoral boundaries in India and find that higher inequality causes more post-neonatal infant deaths, but only when there is weak political competition. We further show that government health centers located in constituencies with low political competition and high inequality are disfavored, indicating that the e ect on mortality operates via changes in public provision. Finally, we show that the same mechanisms are at play in the implementation of the MGNREGA employment program.
    Keywords: Health, infant mortality, income inequality, political competition
    JEL: O15 D72 P46
    Date: 2020–04–24
  9. By: Henry Machina; Hambulo Ngoma; Auckland N. Kuteya
    Abstract: Smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa face several challenges including low productivity, food insecurity and low agricultural diversification, which contribute to high poverty. To address these challenges, governments in the region have been implementing agricultural subsidy programs to raise productivity and promote household food security, among other things. The subsidy programs have been associated with some positive impacts on productivity but not so much on stimulating overall agricultural growth and poverty reduction. In some instances, subsidies have been found to crowd out demand for commercial fertilizer. However, there is a dearth of empirical evidence on whether subsidies can reduce the gendered productivity gaps in agriculture. This paper contributes towards filling this gap. In particular, we assess the gendered impacts of receiving FISP on productivity and assess whether these impacts are heterogeneous between female- and malemanaged plots. Unlike past studies done at household level, our analysis is at the plot level and distinguishes between male- and female-managed plots. We applied panel data methods to the two-wave Rural Agricultural Livelihoods Surveys data collected in 2012 and 2015. The study highlights several findings as follows: First, there were several notable differences in the main variables between female-managed and male-managed plots. The main outcome variable—the measure for agricultural productivity—yield, averaged about 1,400kg /ha. Male-managed plots had a 34kg/ha yield advantage over femalemanaged plots. These results are suggestive of gendered productivity gaps. Second, there were many differences in plot-specific characteristics. Male-managed plots were on average larger than female managed plots and male household heads managed more plots than female heads. A larger proportion of female-mangers accessed more FISP and commercial fertilizers, and consequently used more basal and top dressing fertilizers than their male counterparts. The male-managers, however, used more seed. Despite the almost equal access to credit, female-managers accessed larger amounts than their male counterparts among those that accessed credit. Finally, male-plot managers were on average more educated, younger, wealthier and had more social capital more than their female counterparts. Third, the main empirical results suggest that access to FISP does not disproportionately raise crop productivity for female-managed plots. This implies that FISP alone is not sufficient to address the gendered productivity gaps in agriculture. These results should not be understood to suggest that FISP is bad per se, but rather that FISP is insufficient to address the male-female productivity gaps. Access to FISP is associated with an average yield gain of 0.8% regardless of the gender of the plot manager. As a way forward, the government and other stakeholders involved in promotion of FISP need to promote a more gender sensitive program that targets more female headed households to promote gender equality. There is also need to address the social-cultural norms that tip the balance of power dynamics, rights and entitlements towards men. This can be done through educational and sensitizations activities.
    Keywords: Food Security and Poverty, International Development
    Date: 2019–08–07
  10. By: Guy Blaise Nkamleu . (DEpartment of Economics African Development Bank Tunis, Tunisia)
    Abstract: Child labour is a widespread and growing phenomenon in the developing world. This paper looks at the determinants of child labour participation in the cocoa farming sector of Côte d’Ivoire, an issue of special interest because the country accounts for approximately 40% of the world’s cocoa production. The study investigates child labour in conjunction with schooling status of children. It is based on a study done in 2002 that surveyed a representative sample of more than 11,000 members of cocoa households. A multinomial logit model was used to capture choice probabilities across work and school options. The results reveal that child labour in cocoa farms and non-enrolment in schools are significant. Moreover, many children are involved in potentially dangerous and/or harmful tasks. Data also highlight gender and age dimensions in the participation of children in tasks and the way labour is allocated. Econometric results generally indicated that the gender and age of children, whether or not the child is the biological child of the household head, parents’ education, the household dependency ratio, the farm size, the cocoa productivity level, the number of sharecroppers working with the household head, agroecological zone and communities’ characteristics are all pertinent in explaining the childwork/schooling outcome.
  11. By: Saeed, Muhammad Kashif; Hayat, Muhammad Azmat
    Abstract: Governments around the world often make social cash transfers to their residents for varied purposes such as consumption smoothing, poverty reduction, improved take-up of education and health services, etc. In Pakistan, these transfers took a big stride with the initiation of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) in 2008. Social cash transfers have multiple types of impacts e.g. on health, education, reproductive behavior, voting behavior etc. This study aims to investigate the existence of a relationship between social cash transfers and poverty. Specifically, the research question is: Is there any impact of BISP receipt on poverty in Pakistan? This research question is answered with the help of utilization of Household Integrated Economic Survey (HIES) 2015-16 (Government of Pakistan, 2017) which presents information on households’ consumption (used to measure poverty) as well as households’ cash transfer recipient status. Official poverty estimation methodology is used for defining the poverty status of a household. The relationship between cash transfers and poverty is studied through the nearest-neighbor matching method limiting ourselves to BISP. The findings show that there is no significant relationship between BISP cash transfer and poverty when full dataset is used and a negative but economically insignificant relationship when only people from the bottom consumption quintiles are considered. Based on these findings, way-forward in terms of future research and making necessary modifications in the programme design of BISP is suggested.
    Keywords: Benazir Income Support Programme, Pakistan, Cash Transfers, Poverty, Nearest-neighbor Matching, Propensity Score Matching
    JEL: H53 I32 I38
    Date: 2020–04
  12. By: Ihsaan Bassier; Ingrid Woolard
    Abstract: Despite South Africa's need for inclusive economic growth, we find that the income trajectories of the rich continue to diverge from the rest of the income distribution. We combine household survey data and tax data (which, unlike household survey data, includes accurate data for the very rich) to investigate the patterns of income growth over the period 2003 to 2017. We find that the gap between the stagnant middle and the top end of the income distribution widened between 2003 and 2017.
    Keywords: Top incomes, Income distribution, Tax data
    Date: 2020
  13. By: Hosaena Ghebru; Fikirte Girmachew
    Abstract: This study examines the drivers of tenure insecurity in Mozambique using data from the National Agricultural Survey (TIA) 2014 as well as a follow-up supplemental survey with detailed land tenure gender-disaggregated data from three groups: namely, principal male, principal female, and female spouses. Perceived risk of land loss (collective tenure risk) and perceived risk of a private land dispute (individual tenure risk) are used to measure land tenure insecurity. The empirical findings reveal, overall, collective tenure risks are the real threat to women’s tenure security while individual tenure risks (ownership, inheritance, border disputes, etc.) are more of a threat to the tenure security of men. However, a more gender-disaggregated analysis reveals that individual tenure risk is higher among female spouses as compared to male heads within the same household. Moreover, perceived risk of land loss is higher among non-indigenous male heads while female spouses who have no control over family land are more likely to have higher perceived tenure insecurity. Results also show that landrelated legal awareness seems to be more significant in dictating the (positively) perceived tenure security of women as compared to their male counterparts. Generally, tenure insecurity for female spouses seem to be associated with the emergence of land markets while relative land scarcity in a given community dictates tenure insecurity of the principal female (female heads). Hence, the empirical findings reinforce the need to complement ongoing efforts to enhance tenure security at the household and community level with gender-tailored/targeted programs that take into account the intra-household dimension of addressing issues of land tenure security.
    Keywords: Food Security and Poverty, International Development
    Date: 2019–02–26
  14. By: Gupta, Aashish
    Abstract: Investigating seasonal variation in health and mortality helps understand disease dynamics and environmental health exposures. Using four available rounds of India's Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), this paper examines seasonality in infant mortality in India. I use information on the birth month-year, survival status within the first year of life, and age (in months) at death (if the infant died) of more than 330,000 children born between 1989 and 2014 to estimate period mortality rates between ages 0 and 1 for each calendar month. Relative to the spring months, infant mortality is higher in the summer, monsoon, and winter months. If the mortality conditions in the spring months were prevalent throughout the year, would have been less by 10.8 deaths per 1,000 infant alive per year in early 1990s and 4.1 deaths per 1,000 per year in the mid-2010s. Seasonal variation in infant mortality is higher among children born in less wealthy households, among children of less educated mothers, in rural areas, and in poorer regions. Although seasonality in infant mortality has attenuated over-time, seasonal variation in the early-childhood disease environment remains a concern, particularly in rural areas. These results highlight the multiple environmental health threats that infants in India face, and the limited period within a year when these threats are less salient.
    Date: 2020–04–16

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