nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2020‒06‒08
twelve papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Accounting for Intergenerational Social Immobility in Low- and Middle-Income Countries By Fabian Koenings; Jakob Schwab
  2. A propensity score matching analysis of the relationship between forest resources and household welfare in Vietnam By Hoang Van, Cuong Van; Tran Quang, Tuyen; Nguyen Thi, Yen; Lan Nguyen, Thanh
  3. The role of agriculture in reducing child undernutrition in Nigeria By Amare, Mulubrhan; Balana, Bedru; Ogunniyi, Adebayo
  4. Welfare Dynamics in India over a Quarter Century: Poverty, Vulnerability, and Mobility during 1987-2012 By Dang, Hai-Anh; Lanjouw, Peter F.
  5. Impact of a Severe Drought on Education: More Schooling but Less Learning By Ardyn Nordstrom; Christopher Cotton
  6. The Welfare Effects of Mobile Broadband Internet: Evidence from Nigeria By Bahia, Kalvin; Castells, Pau; Cruz, Genaro; Masaki, Takaaki; Pedrós, Xavier; Pfutze, Tobias; Rodriguez Castelan, Carlos; Winkler, Hernan
  7. Working Paper 315 - Temperature and Children’s Nutrition: Evidence from West Africa By Sylvia Blom; Ariel Ortiz-Bobea; John Hoddinott
  8. Increasing the adoption of conservation agriculture: A framed field experiment in Northern Ghana By Ambler, Kate; de Brauw, Alan; Murphy, Mike
  9. Working Paper 316 - Resilience to Diverse Shocks and Stressors in Niger and Ethiopia By Joanna Upton
  10. Working Paper 314 - Within-Season Response to Warmer Temperatures: Defensive Investments by Kenyan Farmers By Maulik Jagnani; Christopher B. Barrett; Yanyan Liu; Liangzhi You
  11. Working Paper 323- Mobile Financial and Banking Services Development in Africa By Christian Lambert Nguena
  12. Can rainfall shocks enhance access to rented land? Evidence from Malawi By Tione, Sarah E.; Holden, Stein T.

  1. By: Fabian Koenings (Friedrich Schiller University Jena); Jakob Schwab (German Development Institute)
    Abstract: This study investigates the transmission channels of intergenerational social immobility in low- and middle-income countries. Using a rich longitudinal survey dataset on Ethiopia, India, Peru, and Vietnam, we analyze through which factors socioeconomic status is passed on between generations. We reduce the information elicited throughout children’s youth to certain latent factors of their development process, such as cognitive and non-cognitive skills as well as the characteristics of their social environment and the social opportunities they face. We then analyze to what extent each of these factors is explained by parental socioeconomic status, and how much each factor in turn determines the outcome of the children. Next, we combine these results in order to decompose the immobility into the different pathway factors. The findings indicate that children’s aspirations and their cognitive skills can each account for around 20 percent of the correlation between parental and children’s education. Starting a family while still a minor, and the need for child labor also play important, but smaller roles, explaining 10 percent and 6 percent of the immobility, respectively. While children’s health, parent’s attentiveness and the local school infrastructure only have small but still significant roles, parents’ spending on education, children’s social environment, and particularly children’s non-cognitive skills have no significant part in the transmission of socioeconomic status in the sample of developing countries, once all other factors are taken into account.
    Keywords: Intergenerational social mobility, transmission mechanisms, low- and middle-income countries
    JEL: I24 J62 O15
    Date: 2020–05–18
  2. By: Hoang Van, Cuong Van; Tran Quang, Tuyen; Nguyen Thi, Yen; Lan Nguyen, Thanh
    Abstract: Using secondary data from a socio-economic quantitative household survey in of the North Central region of Vietnam, the main aim of our study is to analyze the causal effect of forest resources on household income and poverty. Based on the observed characteristics of a forest-based livelihood and forest-related activities, we use a propensity score matching (PSM) method to control for potential bias arising from self-selection. The PSM results indicate that households with a forest livelihood had a higher level of income and lower level of poverty than did those without. Interestingly, our findings confirm that a forest-based livelihood offers much higher income than any other type of livelihood adopted by local households. Also, the poverty rate among households with a forest livelihood is lower than those earning non-labor income or engaged in wage/crop and crop livelihoods. Moreover, households whose livelihoods depend on timber forest products (TFPs) and animals (non-TFPs) also had higher income and lower levels of poverty than did those lacking these resources. Among households and provinces, we find differing opportunities deriving from forest resources, suggesting that there are potential barriers hindering local households from pursuing a forest livelihood or participating in some forest activities. Therefore, government policy and regulations on forest management should focus on improving the access of households to forest resources, at the same time enhancing the sustainability of these resources.
    Keywords: forest resources; household income; livelihood; poverty; rural livelihood.
    JEL: I3 I32 I38 R2
    Date: 2019–08–10
  3. By: Amare, Mulubrhan; Balana, Bedru; Ogunniyi, Adebayo
    Abstract: This study examines the effect of agricultural productivity change on child nutritional outcomes in Nigeria. Using several waves of micro-level panel data from Nigeria, we first show that high temperature (heat stress) reduces agricultural productivity change. A one percent increase in high temperatures during the crop growth period result in a 4 percent decrease in agricultural productivity. More importantly, our analysis provides several important insights on the implications of agricultural productivity change for reducing child undernutrition. The results show that agricultural productivity growth has a positive effect on child nutritional outcomes, measured by child height-for-age and weight-for-age. The main channel through which agricultural productivity growth affects child nutritional outcomes is by increasing food production for own household consumption. This suggests that productivity-enhancing investments in the agricultural sector could have a direct impact on child nutritional outcomes among smallholder households in Nigeria. The results also show that agricultural productivity change has higher impact for households who have better access to markets and a higher educational level. Interventions and policies geared towards intensification of agricultural production need to be complemented with strategies for widening educational programs and improving farmers’ access to markets. to induce incentives for increased production.
    Keywords: NIGERIA; WEST AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA; child nutrition; nutrition; malnutrition; agricultural productivity; agriculture; agricultural policies; food prices; market access; human capital; agricultural productivity change; child nutritional outcomes
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Dang, Hai-Anh (World Bank); Lanjouw, Peter F. (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
    Abstract: We analyze the Indian National Sample Survey data spanning 1987/88–2011/12 to uncover patterns of transition into and out of different classes of the consumption distribution. At the aggregate level, income growth has accelerated, accompanied by accelerating poverty decline. Underlying these trends is a process of mobility, with 40–60 percent of the population transitioning between consumption classes and increasing mobility over time. Yet, the majority of those who escape poverty remain vulnerable. Most of those who are poor were also poor in the preceding period and, thus, are likely to be chronically poor. The characteristics of upwardly mobile households contrast with those of the poor; these households are also far less likely to experience downward mobility. We also find that states exhibit heterogenous mobility patterns.
    Keywords: intra-generational mobility, welfare dynamics, imputation, synthetic panel, India, National Sample Survey
    JEL: C15 I32 O15
    Date: 2020–05
  5. By: Ardyn Nordstrom; Christopher Cotton (Queen's University)
    Abstract: From October 2015 to April 2016, Southern Africa experienced one of the severest droughts in history. The drought's intensity varied significantly across locations. This provides a natural experiment to estimate the effect of large, negative agricultural shocks. We consider the impact of this shock on children’s educational outcomes using data from rural Zimbabwe. Those who experienced the drought may suffer from decreases in income and food access. This can affect household resource allocation and schooling decisions while exposing individuals to stress and uncertainty. We find the drought increases the probability that students advance in school, a seemingly positive impact, likely due to lower opportunity costs to education. The drought also led to a significant decline in performance on mathematics assessments and leadership attitudes, suggesting stress or other factors associated with a drought more than offset increases in attendance. This highlights the importance of using multiple indicators in education evaluations.
    Keywords: education, droughts, agriculture, economic development, natural experiment
    JEL: I25 Q54 O13 O15
    Date: 2020–04
  6. By: Bahia, Kalvin (GSMA); Castells, Pau (GSMA); Cruz, Genaro (GSMA); Masaki, Takaaki (World Bank); Pedrós, Xavier (GSMA); Pfutze, Tobias (Florida International University); Rodriguez Castelan, Carlos (World Bank); Winkler, Hernan (World Bank)
    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.
    Keywords: poverty, household consumption, mobile broadband, Africa, Nigeria
    JEL: D12 F63 I31 L86 O12
    Date: 2020–05
  7. By: Sylvia Blom (Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University); Ariel Ortiz-Bobea (Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University); John Hoddinott (Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University)
    Abstract: Wasting and stunting rates have been falling in Sub-Saharan Africa since 2000 due to concerted efforts to improve children’s nutrition. However, this progress is at risk of faltering due to rising temperatures across the continent. High temperatures can affect children’s nutrition through heat stress, decreased agricultural production, and increased disease. In this paper, we test the hypothesis that temperatures above 30oC negatively affect children’s nutritional status as measured by standardized anthropometric measures. To do so, we merge anthropometric data from the publicly available Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data with weather data from the Global Meteorological Forcing Dataset. Exploiting spatial and temporal variation in temperature, we find evidence that high temperatures decrease both weight-for-height z scores (WHZ) and height-forage z scores (HAZ) in nutritionally meaningful orders of magnitude: for an increase of 470 hours above 30oC in a three-month period (the mean exposure), WHZ decrease by 0.16SD and HAZ decrease by 0.14SD. This equates to a 3% increase in the wasting rate and a 6% increase in the stunting rate. Children are most vulnerable to temperature shocks at 12 months of age and we find preliminary evidence that these shocks have permanent effects as evidenced by low HAZ at later ages.
    Keywords: Temperature, children nutrition, West Africa
    Date: 2019–08–20
  8. By: Ambler, Kate; de Brauw, Alan; Murphy, Mike
    Abstract: Conservation agriculture techniques can increase agricultural production while decreasing CO2 emissions, yet adoption in the developing world remains low—in part because many years of continuous adoption may be required to realize gains in production. We conduct a framed field experiment in northern Ghana to study how randomly assigned incentives and peer information may affect adoption. Incentives increase adoption, both while they are available and after withdrawal. There is no overall effect of peer information, but we do find evidence that information about long-term adoption increased adoption, particularly when that information shows that production gains have been achieved.
    Keywords: GHANA; WEST AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA; agriculture; conservation agriculture; incentives; agricultural productivity; field experimentation; framed field experiment; minimal soil disturbance (MSD); conventional practices (CP); Ghana Agricultural Sector Investment Programme (GASIP)
    Date: 2020
  9. By: Joanna Upton (Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University.)
    Abstract: The concept of development resilience has become increasingly popular in recent years, in both research and policy circles. The primary regions of focus for resilience analysis and programming are those with both chronic and cyclical problems with food insecurity, that are susceptible to climate volatility (most commonly drought) as well as other shocks and stressors. This research focuses in on two countries that epitomize these concerns–Niger and Ethiopia – and examines the influence of climate and other shocks on indicators on wellbeing through a resilience lens. In particular, we explore the drivers of dynamic wellbeing and the influence of objective and self-reported shocks, and how sensitive those correlations are to the choice of poverty threshold. We also assess the ability of the resilience metric to predict wellbeing out of sample in each context. We find strong associations between climate indicators and wellbeing, though different indicators perform differently across contexts. While there are important differences between countries, and comparability is in many ways limited, there are many common features of households and the environment that are associated with resilience. The metric in turn performs relatively well in predicting wellbeing in subsequent periods, and its structure provides some potential advantages for identifying and/or targeting poor populations. JEL classification: I32,Q64, Q56
    Keywords: resilience, poverty dynamics, Niger; Ethiopia, comparative development
    Date: 2019–08–20
  10. By: Maulik Jagnani (Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University); Christopher B. Barrett (Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University); Yanyan Liu (International Food Policy Research Institute); Liangzhi You (International Food Policy Research Institute)
    Abstract: We present evidence that farmers adjust agricultural inputs in response to within season temperature variation, undertaking defensive investments to reduce the adverse agroecological impacts of warmer temperatures. Using panel data from Kenyan maize growing households, we find that higher temperatures early in the growing season increase the use of pesticides, while reducing fertilizer use. Warmer temperatures throughout the season increase weeding effort. These adjustments arise because greater heat increases the incidence of pests, crop diseases and weeds, compelling farmers to divert investment from productivity-enhancing technologies like fertilizer to adaptive, loss-reducing, defensive inputs like pesticides and weeding labor.
    Keywords: Agriculture, temperature JEL classification: O13, Q15, Q56
    Date: 2019–07–01
  11. By: Christian Lambert Nguena (University of Dschang)
    Abstract: Using a new database for mobile financial and banking services across countries, we analyze propoor and inclusive growth in developing countries and show the importance of mobile financial and banking development. This paper uses several econometric techniques to investigate mobile finance and banking benchmarking, determinants, and real impacts on inclusive growth in developing countries in Africa. The statistical benchmarking analysis reveals that there is a positive link between mobile banking development and economic development. Estimation of our model, using different specification and estimation techniques, shows the same result: a positive impact of mobile finance and banking development on both pro-poor and inclusive economic growth. These main findings suggest that policies to boost mobile finance and banking development in Africa should be viewed as measures that would yield fruit in the medium to long terms. Moreover, we find determinants of mobile finance and banking to be: banking sector domestic credit, human capital, remittances, credible monetary policy, infrastructure, and trade. Since mobile banking development matters for pro-poor and inclusive growth, African governments should pursue good performance in terms of these determinants by implementing specific and robust economic policies. JEL classification: G21, R1, O4Keywords: Mobile finance and banking, Africa, principal component analysis, financial innovation, financial inclusion
    Date: 2019–08–21
  12. By: Tione, Sarah E. (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences); Holden, Stein T. (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences)
    Abstract: This study investigates whether and to what extent rainfall shocks recurring in Sub-Saharan Africa, that have been associated with distress land rentals, enhance short-term and medium-term access to rented land by tenant households. Tenant households’ rental decisions are modeled in the state-contingent framework with renting-in of land as a risky input choice. Our data is from three rounds of LSMS data from Malawi used to construct a balanced household panel, combined with corresponding district rainfall data that are used to generate seasonal district-wise rainfall shock variables. Panel probit and Tobit models controlling for unobserved heterogeneity were used. Regional heterogeneities were revealed. The results from the Central Region of Malawi, where land rental markets are most active, indicates that the one-year and two-year lagged downside rainfall shocks help tenant households accessing land not only the first year after a rainfall shock but also in the following years. For the more land constrained Southern Region of Malawi, with less prevalence of land rental markets, we observed that the two-year lagged downside rainfall shock is associated with less access to rented land. These results reveal surprising intertemporal and regional variations that are important for policy discussions and lessons on land rental markets amidst recurring rainfall shocks in SSA.
    Keywords: Rainfall shocks; Land rental markets; State-contingent framework; Malawi.
    JEL: Q15 Q51
    Date: 2020–05–22

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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