nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2020‒06‒22
fifteen papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Ancestral Norms, Legal Origins, and Female Empowerment By Abel Brodeur; Marie Christelle Mabeu; Roland Pongou
  2. Shedding Light on Maternal Education and Child Health in Developing Countries By Le, Kien; Nguyen, My
  3. Flickering lifelines: Electrification and household welfare in India By Ashish Kumar Sedai; Rabindra Nepal; Tooraj Jamasb
  4. Child Labor and Schooling Decisions among Self-Help Groups Members in Rural India By Jean-Marie Baland; Timothée Demont; Rohini Somanathan
  5. A Multiple-Arm, Cluster-Randomized Impact Evaluation of the Clean India (Swachh Bharat) Mission Program in Rural Punjab, India By Andres,Luis Alberto; Deb,Saubhik; Joseph,George; Larenas,Marna Isabel; Grabinsky Zabludovsky,Jonathan
  6. Measuring Monetary Poverty in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region : Data Gaps and Different Options to Address Them By Atamanov,Aziz; Tandon,Sharad Alan; Lopez-Acevedo,Gladys C.; Vergara Bahena,Mexico Alberto
  7. Clean energy and household remittances in Bangladesh: Evidence from a natural experiment By Gazi M Hassan
  8. Locking Crops to Unlock Investment : Experimental Evidence on Warrantage in Burkina Faso By Delavallade,Clara Anne; Godlonton,Susan
  9. Community based monitoring and public service delivery: Impact, and the role of information, deliberation, and jurisdictional tier By Kabunga, Nassul Ssentamu; Miehe, Caroline; Mogues, Tewodaj; Van Campenhout, Bjorn
  10. What Factors Drive Individual Misperceptions of the Returns to Schooling in Tanzania? Some Lessons for Education Policy By Plamen Nikolov; Nusrat Jimi
  11. Bottom incomes and the measurement of poverty and inequality By Vladimir Hlasny; Lidia Ceriani; Paolo Verme
  12. Improving parenting practices for early child development: Experimental evidence from Rwanda By Patricia Justino; Marinella Leone; Pierfrancesco Rolla; Monique Abimpaye; Caroline Dusabe; Diane Uwamahoro; Richard Germond
  13. Spatial Analysis of Poverty: The case of Peru By Delgado Narro, Augusto Ricardo
  14. Parental divorces and children's educational outcomes in Senegal By Juliette Crespin-Boucaud; Rozenn Hotte
  15. Impacts of enterprise zones on local households in Vietnam By Tien Manh Vu; Hiroyuki Yamada

  1. By: Abel Brodeur (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa); Marie Christelle Mabeu (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON); Roland Pongou (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON)
    Abstract: A large literature documents persistent impacts of formal historical institutions. However, very little is known about how these institutions interact with ancestral traditions to determine long-term economic and social outcomes. This paper addresses this question by studying the persistent effect of legal origins on female economic empowerment in sub-Saharan Africa, and how ancestral cultural norms of gender roles may attenuate or exacerbate this effect. Taking advantage of the arbitrary division of ancestral ethnic homelands across countries with different legal origins, we directly compare women among the same ethnic group living in civil law countries and common law countries. We find that, on average, women in common law countries are significantly more educated, are more likely to work in the professional sector, and are less likely to marry at young age. However, these effects are either absent or significantly lower in settings where ancestral cultural norms do not promote women's rights and empowerment. In particular, we find little effect in bride price societies, patrilocal societies, and societies where women were not involved in agriculture in the past. Our findings imply that to be optimal, the design of formal institutions should account for ancestral traditions.
    Keywords: Legal Origins, Ancestral Norms, Women's Empowerment, Gender Roles.
    JEL: D03 I25 J16 N37
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Le, Kien; Nguyen, My
    Abstract: This paper investigates the intergenerational effects of maternal education on child health in 68 developing countries across five continents over nearly three decades. Exploiting the between-sisters variation in the educational attainment of the mothers, we find that mother’s education is positively associated with child health measured by the three most commonly used indices, namely height-for-age, weight-for-height, and weight-for-age. Our mechanism analyses further show that these favorable effects could be, at least in part, attributed to fertility behavior, assortative matching, health care utilization, access to information, health knowledge, and labor market outcome. Given the long-lasting impacts of early-life health over the life cycle, our findings underline the importance of maternal education in improving economic and social conditions in developing countries.
    Keywords: Maternal Education, Child Health, Anthropometry, Developing Countries
    JEL: I10 I26 O15
    Date: 2019
  3. By: Ashish Kumar Sedai; Rabindra Nepal; Tooraj Jamasb
    Abstract: Access to reliable energy is central to improvements in living standards and is a recognized Sustainable Development Goal. This study moves beyond counting the electrified households and examines the effect of the hours of electricity households receives on their welfare. We hypothesize that additional hours of electricity have different effects on the poor, the middle income and the rich, in rural and urban areas. The methods used are panel fixed effects instrumental variables, cross sectional fixed effects instrumental variables, and logistic regression with data from the Indian Human Development Survey 2005-2012. We focus on extensive and the intensity margins, i.e. how access and additional hours of electricity affect household welfare in terms of consumption expenditure, income, assets and poverty status. The results show large gaps between benefits and costs of electricity supply among consumer groups. We also find that electricity theft is positively correlated with the net returns from electrification. A progressive pricing mechanism with targeted subsidies for the poor could therefore increase household welfare while reducing the financial losses of the State Electricity Boards.
    Keywords: Reliable Energy, Electrification, Household Welfare, Panel Fixed Effects, Instrumental Variables Approach
    JEL: D12 D31 E2 I32
    Date: 2020–04
  4. By: Jean-Marie Baland (CRED - Centre de Recherche en Economie du Developpement - Facultés Universitaires Notre Dame de la Paix (FUNDP) - Namur); Timothée Demont (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); Rohini Somanathan (Delhi School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the consequences of the participation in informal microfinance groups, known as Self-Help Groups (SHGs), on children's education and work in rural India. We analyze first-hand data collected from a panel of households in areas where new groups were formed in 2002. We observe these households three times over a five year period, which allows us to examine medium-term effects of SHG participation. We find a robust and strong increase in treated children's secondary school enrollment rate over time, by about 20 percentage points, to be compared with a baseline rate of 45%. This effect stems from a quicker grade progression, leading to lower drop-out rates between primary and secondary school. We find no decrease in overall child labor (but a reorientation towards part-time domestic work), indicating that there is no clear substitution between labor and education for children of secondary-school age in rural India. Contrary to what is usually believed, we show that credit does not play any direct role in the increased schooling. However, we find evidence that it partly follows from social interactions within SHGs, under the form of peer effects. Our findings indicate that microfinance groups can have large effects on the human capital of participants and their families, though such effects can take time to materialize and happen through unintended channels.
    Keywords: Microfinance,Self-Help Groups,Education,Child labor,Peer effects,India
    Date: 2018–07
  5. By: Andres,Luis Alberto; Deb,Saubhik; Joseph,George; Larenas,Marna Isabel; Grabinsky Zabludovsky,Jonathan
    Abstract: This study reports the findings of a large-scale, multiple-arm, cluster-randomized control study carried out in rural Punjab, India, to assess the impact of a flagship sanitation program of the Government of India. The program, the Clean India Mission for Villages, was implemented between October 2014 and October 2019 and aimed to encourage the construction of toilets, eliminate the practice of open defecation, and improve the awareness and practice of good hygiene across rural India. It utilized a combination of behavioral change campaigns, centered on the community-led total sanitation approach, and financial incentives for eligible households. The study also evaluates the incremental effects of intensive hygiene awareness campaigns in selected schools and follow-up initiatives in selected communities. The study finds that the coverage of ?safely managed? toilets among households without toilets increased by 6.8?10.4 percentage points across various intervention arms, compared with a control group. Open defecation was reduced by 7.3?7.8 percentage points. The program also had significant positive impacts on hygiene awareness among adults and children, although the interventions of school campaigns and intensive follow-up were of limited additional impact.
    Keywords: Sanitation and Sewerage,Town Water Supply and Sanitation,Water Supply and Sanitation Economics,Small Private Water Supply Providers,Engineering,Water and Human Health,Health and Sanitation,Environmental Engineering,Sanitary Environmental Engineering,Hydrology,Health Care Services Industry
    Date: 2020–05–18
  6. By: Atamanov,Aziz; Tandon,Sharad Alan; Lopez-Acevedo,Gladys C.; Vergara Bahena,Mexico Alberto
    Abstract: This paper identifies gaps in availability, access, and quality of household budget surveys in the Middle East and North Africa region used to measure monetary poverty and evaluates ways to fill these information gaps. Despite improving public access to household budget surveys, the availability and timeliness of welfare data in the Middle East and North Africa region is poor compared to the rest of the world. Closing the data gap requires collection of more HBS data in more countries and improving access to data where it exists. However, when collection of consumption data is not possible, a variety of other second-best strategies can be employed. Using imputation methods can help to measure monetary poverty. Constructing non-monetary poverty and asset indexes from less robust surveys, using non-traditional surveys such as phone surveys, and"big data"-- administrative records, social networks and communications data, and geospatial data -- can help substitute for, or complement data from existing traditional survey data.
    Keywords: Inequality,Labor&Employment Law,Health Care Services Industry,Poverty Lines,Small Area Estimation Poverty Mapping,Poverty Assessment,Poverty Monitoring&Analysis,Poverty Diagnostics,Poverty Impact Evaluation,Educational Sciences
    Date: 2020–05–28
  7. By: Gazi M Hassan
    Abstract: Using a natural experiment of a rainfall-driven remittances, I provide experimental measures of how remittances affect rural household’s choice of cylinder gas (LPG) as a cooking fuel over other alternative fuels in southern Bangladesh. Household choice of LPG and remittances are jointly related; therefore, I use the instrumental variable probit (IV-Probit) approach. The treatment of remittances is randomly assigned to households who suffered losses due to a natural shock from the cyclone-Roanu enabling the instrument – exogenous variation in rainfall interacted with cyclone-affected migrant household’s distance to the local weather stations – to identify the average treatment effect for the treatment group (cyclone-affected remittances recipient households). I find that an exogenous increase in remittances by 1,000 Taka causes the probability of using LPG to rise by 1%. In terms of percentage change, the implied elasticity shows that a 10% increase in remittances income can raise the probability of using LPG by 2%. I also find the impact of remittances is conditional on household’s health expenditures. In particular, controlling for the household’s health expenditures interacted with the provision for clean water and sanitary toilet in the dwelling, the marginal effects of remittances get stronger, i.e. households are more likely to use LPG as cooking fuel. These findings counter some existing case studies and views of many policy makers that economic factors are less significant in promoting cleaner energy for the household. The results of the paper are robust to potential violations of the exclusion restriction, to alternative specifications and instruments, and possible omitted variable bias.
    Keywords: Remittances, clean energy, energy-poverty, IV-Probit, cyclone-Roanu, Bangladesh
    JEL: F24 Q40 R20
    Date: 2020–04
  8. By: Delavallade,Clara Anne; Godlonton,Susan
    Abstract: Financial market imperfections remain pervasive in developing countries, constraining potentially profitable investment decisions, especially for rural smallholder farmers. Warrantage is an innovative model of rural finance with the potential to overcome credit, storage, and commitment constraints through a localized inventory credit scheme. Exploiting random variations in household access to warrantage and intensity of access across villages, this paper studies the direct impact of this scheme on beneficiaries as well as its spillover effects. Take-up of storage is high (94 percent), while credit take-up is moderate (38 percent). Households with access to warrantage primarily store sorghum and maize and sell their production over an extended period of time, earning higher average prices and resulting in higher sales revenue ($248, or 33 percent, on average). Increased incomes are spent on long-term investments, including human capital expenditures (education), livestock purchases, and investment in agricultural inputs for the subsequent year.
    Keywords: Crops and Crop Management Systems,Climate Change and Agriculture,Livestock and Animal Husbandry,Educational Sciences,Nutrition,Food Security
    Date: 2020–05–18
  9. By: Kabunga, Nassul Ssentamu; Miehe, Caroline; Mogues, Tewodaj; Van Campenhout, Bjorn
    Abstract: To improve public service delivery, the Government of Uganda organizes community forums-popularly known as barazas-where citizens receive information from government offcials, and get the opportunity to directly engage with them. We run a cluster randomized control trial to assess the impact of this policy intervention on public service delivery in agriculture, health, education, and infrastructure. Using a factorial design, we further test the relative importance of the two main components of the intervention-information provision and citizen engagement. we also compare the effectiveness of barazas organized at the district level to the effectiveness of barazas organized at the sub-county level. Using a strictly pre-registered confirmatory analysis, we find no impact of the intervention on general public service delivery, but there are some indications that sub-county level barazas increase outcomes in the agricultural sector. A more exploratory part that looks at individual outcomes, potential mechanisms, and heterogeneous treatment effects suggests localized impacts of barazas in the areas of agricultural extension services and agricultural input distribution, access to drinking water, and school enrollment and infrastructure.
    Keywords: UGANDA; EAST AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA; community involvement; advocacy; forums; public services; information; assessment; households; barazas
    Date: 2020
  10. By: Plamen Nikolov; Nusrat Jimi
    Abstract: Evidence on educational returns and the factors that determine the demand for schooling in developing countries is extremely scarce. Building on previous studies that show individuals underestimating the returns to schooling, we use two surveys from Tanzania to estimate both the actual and perceived schooling returns and subsequently examine what factors drive individual misperceptions regarding actual returns. Using ordinary least squares and instrumental variable methods, we find that each additional year of schooling in Tanzania increases earnings, on average, by 9 to 11 percent. We find that on average individuals underestimate returns to schooling by 74 to 79 percent and three factors are associated with these misperceptions: income, asset poverty and educational attainment. Shedding light on what factors relate to individual beliefs about educational returns can inform policy on how to structure effective interventions in order to correct individual misperceptions.
    Date: 2020–06
  11. By: Vladimir Hlasny (Ewha Womans University); Lidia Ceriani (Georgetown University); Paolo Verme (World Bank)
    Abstract: Incomes in surveys suffer from various measurement problems, most notably in the tails of their distributions. We study the prevalence of negative and zero incomes, and their implications for inequality and poverty measurement relying on 57 harmonized surveys covering 12 countries over the period 1995-2016. The paper explains the composition and sources of negative and zero incomes and assesses the distributional impacts of alternative correction methods on poverty and inequality measures. It finds that the main source of negative disposable incomes is negative self-employment income, and that high tax, social security withholdings and high self-paid social-security contributions account for negative incomes in some countries. Using detailed information on expenditure, we conclude that households with negative incomes are typically as well off as, or even better, than other households in terms of material wellbeing. By contrast, zero-income households are found to be materially deprived. Adjusting poverty and inequality measures for these findings can alter these measures significantly.
    Keywords: Bottom incomes, income inequality, poverty, self-employment, Mediterranean, Middle East, Pareto, random forest.
    JEL: D31 I32 N35
    Date: 2020–05
  12. By: Patricia Justino; Marinella Leone; Pierfrancesco Rolla; Monique Abimpaye; Caroline Dusabe; Diane Uwamahoro; Richard Germond
    Abstract: This paper investigates the short- and medium-term impact of a randomized group-based early child development programme targeting parents of children aged six to 24 months in a poor, rural district of Rwanda. The programme engaged parents through sessions that included a radio show and facilitated discussions during 17 weekly village-level meetings. Twelve months after baseline, children's communication, problem-solving, and personal social skills improved in treated groups.
    Keywords: Child education, early child development, parenting programme, radio, randomized controlled trial, Rwanda
    Date: 2020
  13. By: Delgado Narro, Augusto Ricardo
    Abstract: The concept of Multidimensional Poverty traditionally was used for comparative analysis across regions or countries. Nevertheless, in this paper, we use the concept of Multidimensional Poverty calculated for each Peruvian region and analyze the spatial patterns and spatial autocorrelation observed across the country, and, later, identify the spatial spillovers in poverty across the country. We find evidence of spatial autocorrelation across the regions which are statistically significant across models; in other words, it means poverty has spatial effects. Additionally, we find strong and significant evidence of spatial spillovers originated in the error terms rather than the endogenous variable, which has an unstable effect. Finally, the set of covariates we use in our regressions are statistically significant and stable across the models.
    Keywords: Poverty, Spatial econometrics, Peru
    JEL: C21 O10
    Date: 2020–05–23
  14. By: Juliette Crespin-Boucaud (PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, PSE - Paris School of Economics); Rozenn Hotte (THEMA - Théorie économique, modélisation et applications - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CY - CY Cergy Paris Université)
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of divorce on investments in children's human capital at the primary school level in Senegal. We use a siblings fixed-effects estimation that exploits the variations in the age of the siblings at the time of divorce while controlling for family-invariant omitted variables. We compare children who were old enough to have been enrolled in primary school to their younger siblings, for whom enrollment decisions had not yet been taken at the time of the divorce. We find that younger siblings are more likely than their older siblings to have attended primary school, but there are no differences between siblings when considering primary school completion. Overall, divorce does not seem to have negative consequences on whether children have ever been enrolled in primary school.
    Keywords: Education,Senegal,Divorce
    Date: 2020–05
  15. By: Tien Manh Vu (Asian Growth Research Institute); Hiroyuki Yamada (Faculty of Economics, Keio University)
    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 differencesin-differences 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
    JEL: O12 O18 D1 P36
    Date: 2020–04–05

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