nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2020‒05‒25
thirteen papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Cabinet Size and Governance in Sub-Saharan Africa By Wehner,Joachim Hans-Georg; Mills,Linnea Cecilia
  2. Early-Life Access to a Basic Health Care Program and Adult Outcomes in Indonesia By Ahsan,Md Nazmul; Banerjee,Rakesh; Maharaj,Riddhi
  3. How Does the World Bank Influence the Development Policy Priorities of Low-Income and Lower-Middle Income Countries ? By Knack,Stephen; Parks,Bradley Christopher; Harutyunyan,Ani; DiLorenzo,Matthew
  4. Can Agricultural Productivity Growth Shape the Development of the Non-Farm Rural Economy? Geographically Localized Evidence from Zambia By Jason Snyder; Thomas Jayne; Jordan Chamberlin; Paul Samboko; Nicole Mason
  5. Making cash crop value chains nutrition-sensitive: Evidence from a quasi-experiment in rural Sierra Leone By Bonuedi, Isaac; Kornher, Lukas; Gerber, Nicolas
  6. The Welfare Effects of Mobile Broadband Internet : Evidence from Nigeria By Bahia,Kalvin; Castells,Pau; Cruz,Genaro; Masaki,Takaaki; Pedros,Xavier; Pfutze,Tobias; Rodriguez Castelan,Carlos; Winkler,Hernan Jorge
  7. Weather shocks and child nutrition: Evidence from Tanzania By Aimable Nsabimana; Justice Tei Mensah
  8. Coping with shocks: the impact of Self-Help Groups on migration and food security By Timothée Demont
  9. Drivers of adoption of small-scale irrigation in Mali and its impacts on nutrition across sex of irrigators By Nkonya, Ephraim M.; Kato, Edward; Ru, Yating
  10. Agricultural Productivity and Rural Household Incomes: Micro-level Evidence from Zambia By Jason Snyder; Thomas Jayne; Nicole Mason; Paul Samboko
  11. Working Paper 327 - Poverty in Nigeria: A Multidimensional Approach By Zerihun G. Alemu
  12. Palm oil and the politics of deforestation in Indonesia By Cisneros Tersitsch, Marco Elías; Kis-Katos, Krisztina; Nuryartono, Nunung
  13. From bad to worse: Poverty impacts of food availability responses to weather shocks in Zambia By Koo, Jawoo; Mamun, Abdullah; Martin, Will

  1. By: Wehner,Joachim Hans-Georg; Mills,Linnea Cecilia
    Abstract: There is frequent public and media concern over the cost of bloated cabinets in many Sub-Saharan African countries. Scholarship on elite clientelism links cabinet positions with corruption and practices that undermine sound policy making. This paper presents new data on the number of ministers in African governments and shows a negative association with several measures of governance. The associations are robust in a regression framework that exploits within-country variation over time and accounts for various potential confounders. These patterns suggest that policy makers, donors, investors, and citizens should pay close attention to the number of ministers appointed to the cabinet. Although the paper cautions against simplistic policy prescriptions, a sizable increase in the number of ministers is likely bad news for governance.
    Keywords: Youth and Governance,Governance Indicators,Government Policies,National Governance,Conflict and Fragile States,Judicial System Reform,Armed Conflict,Macro-Fiscal Policy,Economic Adjustment and Lending,Public Finance Decentralization and Poverty Reduction,Public Sector Economics
    Date: 2020–05–06
  2. By: Ahsan,Md Nazmul; Banerjee,Rakesh; Maharaj,Riddhi
    Abstract: Access to primary care during early life can have substantial benefits in developing countries. This study evaluates the long-run impact of the Village Midwife Program in Indonesia. It utilizes the roll-out-variation of the program and link individual background and community characteristics in early childhood to adult outcomes in the Indonesian Family Life Survey. It finds that the presence of a midwife in a community in utero leads to an improvement in overall health, cognition, and economic outcomes among men, but not for women. Greater receipt of antenatal care and skilled birth-attendance could, in part, drive these results.
    Keywords: Health Care Services Industry,Labor Markets,Reproductive Health,Educational Sciences
    Date: 2020–05–12
  3. By: Knack,Stephen; Parks,Bradley Christopher; Harutyunyan,Ani; DiLorenzo,Matthew
    Abstract: This study investigates the World Bank's use of lending and non-lending instruments to affect the policy priorities of developing countries. In a typical year, the World Bank lends more than $30 billion to its client countries. It also spends approximately $200 million on the provision of analytical and advisory products each year. However, insufficiently granular data on the nature, timing, and distribution of these analytical and advisory products and the policy priorities of client countries has made it difficult for policymakers and scholars to understand which World Bank instruments are most useful for effectuating change in the direction of government policy. With new data on the delivery of analytical and advisory products and micro-level survey data from 1,244 public sector officials in 121 developing countries, this study demonstrates that the organization?s non-lending instruments are more effective than its lending instruments at influencing the policy priorities of client countries. The World Bank's analytical and advisory products not only affect the direction of government policy, but also its design and implementation.
    Keywords: Inequality,Disability,Access of Poor to Social Services,Economic Assistance,Services&Transfers to Poor,Health Care Services Industry,Educational Sciences,Macroeconomic Management
    Date: 2020–04–30
  4. By: Jason Snyder; Thomas Jayne; Jordan Chamberlin; Paul Samboko; Nicole Mason
    Abstract: Key Findings -There is very little micro-level empirical literature estimating farm to non-farm labor linkages from agricultural productivity growth in Africa. Our study helps to fill this gap in Zambia. -We find that a doubling of district level crop productivity is positively associated with a 14%- 17% increase in non-farm labor activity among rural farm households in Zambia. -This impact is even more pronounced for changes in small farm district productivity (<2 hectares), causing a 24%-31% increase non-farm labor activity among rural small farm households. -There is also some evidence, although it is less robust, that increases in productivity among relatively lower productivity farms (relative to each district), also increases non-farm labor activity. -Overall, these results align with the structural transformation hypothesis with regards to labor linkages, and can be used to help justify support for improvements in small-farm crop productivity.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Consumer/Household Economics, Food Security and Poverty, International Development
    Date: 2019–12–19
  5. By: Bonuedi, Isaac; Kornher, Lukas; Gerber, Nicolas
    Abstract: With a strong global commitment to ending food insecurity and malnutrition, policymakers are increasingly grappling with how to make smallholder agriculture nutrition-sensitive. While the need to address these problems on multiple fronts is widely recognized, there is limited evidence on the nutritional impacts of integrated interventions in export-oriented sectors in developing countries. This paper aims to bridge this gap by evaluating the nutritional impacts of an innovative nutrition-sensitive value chain intervention, uniquely designed to address food and nutrition insecurity among smallholder cocoa, coffee, and cashew farmers in Sierra Leone. The diversity scores of household, maternal, and child diets are the main dietary outcomes employed in the study. Estimation of programme effects is carried out using the inverse-probability-weighted regression adjustment, which combines the propensity score method with regression adjustments to correct for selection bias and accommodate multiple treatments. We do not find a positive impact of supporting cash crop production on the diversity of household, maternal, and child diets unless it is combined with providing information on nutrition. Specifically, combining both interventions is found to significantly improve dietary diversity and the consumption of nutritious foodstuffs at household and individual levels, in comparison with non-intervention households. We found improvements in nutrition knowledge and women empowerment to be the main pathways linking the combined intervention to better dietary outcomes. The results suggest that nutrition-sensitive investments in cash crop sectors promise to be an effective way to increase dietary diversity and sustainably reduce micronutrient deficiencies among nutritionally vulnerable smallholder families in high-value export crop sectors.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Consumer/Household Economics, Health Economics and Policy
    Date: 2020–05–13
  6. By: Bahia,Kalvin; Castells,Pau; Cruz,Genaro; Masaki,Takaaki; Pedros,Xavier; Pfutze,Tobias; Rodriguez Castelan,Carlos; Winkler,Hernan Jorge
    Abstract: This paper estimates the impacts of mobile broadband coverage on household consumption and poverty in Nigeria, the largest economy and mobile broadband market in Africa. The analysis exploits a unique dataset that integrates three waves of a nationally representative longitudinal household survey on living standards with information from Nigerian mobile operators on the deployment of mobile broadband (3G and 4G) coverage between 2010 and 2016. The estimates show that mobile broadband coverage had large and positive impacts on household consumption levels which increased over time, although at a decreasing rate. Mobile broadband coverage also reduces the proportion of households below the poverty line, driven by higher food and non-food consumption in rural households. These effects are mainly due to an increase in labor force participation and employment, particularly among women.
    Date: 2020–05–05
  7. By: Aimable Nsabimana; Justice Tei Mensah
    Abstract: In this paper, we examine the relationship between childhood exposure to adverse weather shocks and nutritional and health outcomes of children in Tanzania. Using household panel data matched with spatially disaggregated data on weather shocks, we exploit the plausibly exogenous variations in the exposure to weather shocks to estimate the relationship. Our results reveal a positive association between exposure to dry weather shocks and stunting among children. The effects are profound in the first 12 months after childbirth.
    Keywords: Child nutrition, Tanzania, Weather shock
    Date: 2020
  8. By: Timothée Demont (Aix-Marseille Univ., CNRS, EHESS, Centrale Marseille, IRD, AMSE)
    Abstract: This paper asks whether local savings and credit associations help poor rural households hit by climatic shocks. Combining data from an original field experiment with meteorological data, I investigate how Self-Help Groups (SHGs) allow households to cope with rainfall shocks in villages of East India over a sevenyear period. I show that SHGs withstand large rainfall shocks remarkably, and that credit flows are very stable in treated villages. As a result, treated households experience a higher food security during the lean season following a drought and increase seasonal migration to mitigate future income shocks. These results imply that small-scale financial institutions like SHGs help to finance temporary risk management strategies and to cope with important covariate income shocks such as droughts.
    Keywords: microfinance, weather shocks, risk management, seasonal migration, food security
    JEL: O13 O15 G21 Q54
    Date: 2020–05
  9. By: Nkonya, Ephraim M.; Kato, Edward; Ru, Yating
    Abstract: Irrigation is an important strategy to increase agricultural productivity, improve nutrition security and reduce climate-related risks in rural Africa, but adoption of this technology has been low. Using data from the Living Standards Measurement Study, this paper analyzes the characteristics of irrigation in Mali and its impact on nutrition across sex of irrigators. Results show that gravity irrigation is the most common technology and is practiced by 47 percent of irrigators. The share of women irrigators (3 percent of all plots) is significantly lower than that of men. Econometric results show that the proximity of crop fields to the homestead increases the propensity to use motor pumps while more remote plots are more likely to rely on gravity irrigation. Literacy and income from nonfarm activities increase the propensity to use motorized irrigation technologies. Access to motor pumps, in turn, increases consumption of fruits and vegetables, oils, spices, and cereals for female-headed households. Overall, irrigation increases consumption of nutrient-rich food groups, which significantly improves household nutrition in addition to increasing income. Participation in farmer groups increases the propensity to adopt irrigation. Farmer groups might also be an entry point for capacity building on irrigation; and groups to which women farmers belong should receive information on irrigation. Farmer groups also tend to support market participation, which is important to help address the challenge of economies of scale of small-scale irrigators.
    Keywords: MALI; WEST AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA; irrigation; technology; water; gender; nutrition; livelihoods; agricultural production; smallholders; farmers; parcels; small-scale Irrigation; sex of irrigator; women irrigators; bucket irrigation; irrigated plots
    Date: 2020
  10. By: Jason Snyder; Thomas Jayne; Nicole Mason; Paul Samboko
    Abstract: Key Findings -Changes in district level crop productivity among smallholder farmers have strong and positive lagged multi-year effects on the own-farm incomes of rural households in that district. -This impact is especially true for productivity changes among (a) the highest productivity farms in each district, and (b) smallholder farms cultivating >2 hectares. -There is also some evidence of a similar effect on total income, however this effect is not as robust. -Overall, the least robust set of results are between district-level crop productivity and off-farm household incomes, suggesting that some of the recent critiques of the small farm-led multiplier effect hypothesis mentioned earlier for the African context may be valid. -However, we do find tentative evidence (interpreted with caution due to their lack of significance in the robustness checks) that smaller farm productivity (<2 hectares) indirectly raises off-farm incomes.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Consumer/Household Economics, Food Security and Poverty, International Development
    Date: 2019–12–20
  11. By: Zerihun G. Alemu (East Africa Regional Development And Business Delivery Office, African Development Bank)
    Abstract: This paper uses a multidimensional approach to measure the level of poverty in Nigeria and its distribution across zones and states. It examines the contribution of wellbeing indicators to average poverty and offers a tool to assist at various stages of project planning. The study finds the following: (i) Poverty in Nigeria is high, averaging52 percent, whether defined by income or by a combination of income and nonincome factors. This could be explained by the structure of growth and by the lack of pro-poor spending policies. (ii) Three geopolitical zones in the north–North East, North West, and North Central–account for most of Nigeria’s poverty. (iii) Higher average deprivation in some states could be explained by variations in service delivery. (iv) State-level variations in average deprivation are the greatest in education, dwelling, energy, and toilet facilities. Conversely, average deprivation is the highest but variations across states the lowest in employment, income, sanitation, and access to water. This implies that a combination of both state and federal poverty reduction policies are required. (v) Households attach more weight to education, energy, and employment, implying that interventions in these areas could significantly reduce poverty in Nigeria. JEL classification: I31, I32, I38
    Keywords: Nigeria, poverty, inclusive growth, fuzzy sets
    Date: 2019–12–31
  12. By: Cisneros Tersitsch, Marco Elías; Kis-Katos, Krisztina; Nuryartono, Nunung
    Abstract: This paper studies the interactions between political and economic incentives to foster forest conversion in Indonesian districts. Using a district-level panel data set from 2001 to 2016, we analyze variation in remotely sensed forest loss and forest fires as well as measures of land use licensing. We link these outcomes to economic incentives to expand oil palm cultivation areas as well as political incentives arising before idiosyncratically-timed local mayoral elections. Empirical results document substantial increases in deforestation and forest fires in the year prior to local elections. Additionally, oil palm plays a crucial role in driving deforestation dynamics. Variations in global market prices of palm oil are closely linked to deforestation in areas which are geo-climatically best suited for growing oil palm and they amplify the importance of the political cycle. We thus find clear evidence for economic and political incentives reinforcing each other as drivers of forest loss and land conversion for oil palm cultivation.
    Keywords: democratization,decentralization,elections,deforestation,forest conservation,demand shocks,palm oil,concessions,Indonesia,Price Transmission Analysis,VECM,Tripartite Rubber Council,Indonesia,Thailand,Malaysia,Policy Interventions
    Date: 2020
  13. By: Koo, Jawoo; Mamun, Abdullah; Martin, Will
    Abstract: Since Amartya Sen’s famous work on Poverty and Famines, economists have understood that policy responses to food market shocks should be guided by changes in households’ incomes and access to food, rather than by overall food availability. Perhaps because the household-level impacts are not directly observable, many policy makers have continued to rely on availability-oriented policies such as export bans. In the Zambia case considered in this paper, export bans imposed in response to an El Niño event exacerbated the poverty problems resulting from the output shock. The combination of household-level data and crop models used in this paper allows us to assess the impacts of weather and price shocks at the household level, and hence to evaluate the suitability of availability-based policies for dealing with weather shocks. These analytical techniques are also useful in identifying the households and regions adversely affected by food output shocks, and hence in designing policies to improve poor consumers’ access to food.
    Keywords: ZAMBIA; SOUTHERN AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA; spatial data; climate change; El Nino; models; food security; exports; trade; trade policies; poverty; weather; food supply; households; Decision Support System for Agro-technology Transfer (DSSAT); export ban; geospatial; weather shocks
    Date: 2020

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