nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2020‒07‒13
twelve papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Effects of International Migration on Child Schooling and Child Labour: Evidence from Nepal By Hari Sharma; John Gibson
  2. Productive workfare? Evidence from Ethiopia’s productive safety net program By Jules Gazeaud; Victor Stephane
  3. Cash transfers and migration: theory and evidence from a randomized controlled trial By Jules Gazeaud; Eric Mvukiyehe; Olivier Sterck
  4. Income Inequality in Côte d'Ivoire: 1985-2014 By Léo Czajka
  5. The impacts of unconditional cash transfers on schooling in adolescence and young adulthood- Evidence from South Africa By Neryvia Pillay Bell
  6. Does Aid Reduce Poverty? By Juliana Yael Milovich
  7. Diverging Identification of the Poor: A Non-random Process. Chile 1992-2017 By Stephan Klasen, Carlos Villalobos
  8. Does the Hunger Safety Net Programme Reduce Multidimensional Poverty? Evidence from Kenya By Sophie Song, Katsushi S. Imai
  9. Borderline Disorder: (De facto) Historical Ethnic Borders and Contemporary Conflict in Africa By Özak, Ömer; Depetris-Chauvin, Emilio
  10. Does Pre-School Improve Child Development and Affect the Quality of Parent-Child Interaction? Evidence from Algeria By Lassassi, Moundir
  11. Parental divorces and children's educational outcomes in Senegal By Juliette Crespin-Boucaud; Rozenn Hotte
  12. Technological Trade Composition and Performance in African Countries By Blessing Chipanda; Matthew Clance; Steven F. Koch

  1. By: Hari Sharma (University of Waikato); John Gibson (University of Waikato)
    Abstract: In the last two decades, Nepal experienced a significant rise in work-related migration and subsequent remittance inflows. We examine the impacts on child education and child labour in a two-wave panel constructed from the 2008 Nepal Labour Force Survey and the 2010 Nepal Living Standards Survey. We use grade-specific net enrolment rates rather than the more commonly studied attendance rate, and exploit variation in destination-driven predicted migration as an instrumental variable. Migration and remittances appear to raise net enrolment of children in secondary education. The positive effect on school outcomes is complemented by a fall in child labour force participation. The effects appear larger for children aged ten and above, and seem to predominantly operate through remittances.
    Keywords: human capital; child labour; migration; school enrolment; Nepal
    JEL: E20 J22 F22 I21 O15
    Date: 2020–06–19
  2. By: Jules Gazeaud; Victor Stephane
    Abstract: Despite the popularity of public works programs in developing countries, there is virtually no evidence on the value of the infrastructure they generate. This paper attempts to start filling this gap in the context of the PSNP – a largescale program implemented in Ethiopia since 2005. Under the program, millions of beneficiaries received social transfers conditional on their participation in activities such as land improvements and soil and water conservation measures. We examine the value of these activities using a satellite-based indicator of agricultural productivity and difference-in-differences estimates. The result is a disappointing precise zero, meaning there is no discernible effect of the program on agricultural productivity. This contrasts with existing narratives and calls for a more attentive examination of the benefits typically attributed to public works.
    Keywords: Social protection, public works, cash transfers, Ethiopia, PSNP
    JEL: I38 O13 Q15
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Jules Gazeaud; Eric Mvukiyehe; Olivier Sterck
    Abstract: Will the fast expansion of cash-based programming in developing countries increase international migration? Theoretically, cash transfers may favor international migration by relaxing liquidity, credit, and risk constraints. But transfers, especially those conditional upon staying at home, may also increase the opportunity cost of migrating abroad. This paper evaluates the impact of a cash-for-work program on migration. Randomly selected households in Comoros were offered up to US$320 in cash in exchange for their participation in public works projects. We find that the program increased migration to Mayotte – the neighboring and richer French Island – by 38 percent, from 7.8% to 10.8%. The increase in migration is explained by the alleviation of liquidity and risk constraints, and by the fact that the program did not increase the opportunity cost of migration for likely migrants.
    Keywords: Migration, cash transfers, financial constraints, risk-aversion
    JEL: J61 O12 O15 F22
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Léo Czajka (PSE - Paris School of Economics, WIL - World Inequality Lab)
    Abstract: Data on income/consumption distributions in Sub-Saharan Africa have been mainly used to study the welfare of the poorest. Yet, the rapid growth experienced by several countries in the last decades has drawn the attention towards higher earnings groups in the income/consumption distributions. However, due to under-reporting and non-response, surveys often fail to accurately measure the income of the wealthiest. Little is known about the size of such biases as it requires to have access to more reliable sources of information. In this paper we confront the 2014-2015 household survey with first-hand income tax files in the case of Côte d'Ivoire, 2014. We first identify, within the survey, a sub-sample corresponding to the one for which we have fiscal data. Comparing the earning distribution of this sub-sample with the one extrapolated from the fiscal data, we are able to measure the magnitude and the distribution of the bias among top earners in the survey. We then use this estimation to adjust the pre-tax and pre-transfer income distribution of the entire survey sample and thus recover corrected nationally representative inequality statistics. Our results show that the 2014-2015 survey significantly underestimates income inequalities. After our correction, the top 1 % share increases from 11.57 % to 17.15 %, the top 10 % share from 40.34 % to 48.28 %, and the Gini coefficient from 0.53 to 0.59. We compare our estimates with more commonly used consumption inequality measures and discuss the potential sources of differences. Making the assumption that the bias is constant over time for a given level of income, we also extend our correction to previous surveys. After correction, top 1 % shares increase by 5-6 percentage points, top 10 % shares by 7-8 percentage points and Gini coefficients increase by 6 points, making Côte d'Ivoire's inequality levels comparable to that of the US.
    Keywords: fiscal data,distribution,Income Inequality,Cote d'Ivoire,top income,survey data,World Inequality Lab
    Date: 2020–05–30
  5. By: Neryvia Pillay Bell
    Abstract: I study an expansion of a South African social grant program that provided unconditional cash transfers to adolescents for the first time. Over the period 2009 to 2012, age eligibility for the child support grant was progressively extended from children under 14 to children under 18 years old. I use a difference-in-difference identification strategy that exploits the cross birth cohort variation in adolescent grant eligibility generated by these age eligibility changes to examine how unconditional cash transfers affect schooling outcomes in adolescence and young adult-hood. I find that adolescent grant eligibility increases enrollment and attainment, with the effects concentrated among females, rural individuals, and those with the lowest numerical literacy. I explore education spending as a channel through which the child support grant affects education outcomes.
    Date: 2020–06–19
  6. By: Juliana Yael Milovich
    Abstract: Fifty years of literature on aid effectiveness has so far proven inconclusive. Two main challenges still require some attention. The first is to properly identify the causal effect of aid on poverty alleviation. To address it, I exploit differences in the number of years countries have been temporary members of the United Nations Security Council as an instrument for the average amount of economic aid disbursed by the United States. The second is to obtain reliable data on poverty, which I confront by using multidimensional poverty data from the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI). For a sample of 64 developing countries, I estimate a significant relationship between higher amounts of aid received during the period 1946-1999 and lower Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) between 2000 and 2014. On the contrary, the relationship does not seem to be significant when poverty is measured from an income perspective. Alternative measures of poverty could help improve the understanding of the relationship between development aid and poverty alleviation and might also contribute to improved targeting for aid disbursements.
    Date: 2018–10
  7. By: Stephan Klasen, Carlos Villalobos
    Abstract: This paper investigates the degree of association in the identification of the poor between the standard monetary FGT measure and the Alkire-Foster Multidimensional Poverty Index. For this purpose, we use a measure of redundancy between the two poverty measures (R0). In Chile, over the past 25 years, R0 has declined at a rate of 1.5% per year. The decline is unimportant during the 1990s, a decade of rapid economic growth, while it is notable thereafter, in a period characterized by modest economic growth and the progressive introduction and deepening of social policies. The conditional correlation between socioeconomic and demographic characteristics with R0 is examined at the province and household levels. After controlling for household non-eligibility across some of the indicators of the Multidimensional Poverty Index, we find that the divergence in the identification of the poor can be explained by improvements in education, increasing urbanization, and a reduction in the household size. Consequently, the divergent identification of the poor seems to be a real process, which is not randomly distributed across the population. On the basis of our results, we hypothesize that this divergence is a general phenomenon that tends to occur in countries undergoing demographic transition, urbanization, and progress in education. If so, and given the fact that poverty alleviation strategies are adopted partly on the basis of poverty statistics, the diverging identification of the poor might have distributive consequences for the poor themselves.
    Date: 2019–07
  8. By: Sophie Song, Katsushi S. Imai
    Abstract: The purpose of this research is to evaluate the short-term impact and long-term sustainability of Kenya's Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP). Difference-in-difference and propensity score matching estimations are used to determine the impact of programme participation on the household multidimensional poverty index (MPI). We found that programme participation reduced the MPI significantly, which is mainly driven by the food insecurity dimension, and that the reduction in poverty is due to the reduction in the incidence and intensity, the latter in particular, of poverty among the ultra-poor households. Our analysis of the political economy of Kenya suggests that, while the government is making progress in the institutionalisation of social protection, weaknesses in the implementation and financing of the programme, as well as the short-term focus of impact evaluation, may undermine the programme’s potential to help build a strong state that is accountable for the eradication of poverty.
    Date: 2018–12
  9. By: Özak, Ömer (Southern Methodist University); Depetris-Chauvin, Emilio
    Abstract: We explore the effect of historical ethnic borders on contemporary non-civil conflict in Africa. Exploiting variations across artificial regions (i.e., grids of 50x50km) within an ethnicity's historical homeland, we document that both the intensive and extensive margins of contemporary conflict are concentrated close to historical ethnic borders. Following a theory-based instrumental variable approach, which generates a plausibly exogenous ethno-spatial partition of Africa, we find that grid cells with historical ethnic borders have 27 percentage points higher probability of conflict and 7.9 percentage points higher probability of being the initial location of a conflict. We uncover several key underlying mechanisms: competition for agricultural land, population pressure, cultural similarity and weak property rights.
    Date: 2020–05–15
  10. By: Lassassi, Moundir
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of attending early childcare on the quality of parent–child interactions and children’s cognitive outcomes. My identification strategy exploits geographical differences in terms of exposure to the program, controlling for the period when the program is implemented across Algerian municipalities as an instrument for individual early childcare attendance. I estimate 2SLS regression analysis and employ a difference-in-difference strategy. I use two Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys conducted in 2006 and 2012. I find a positive effect of preschool on the cognitive development of children. In turn, the effect is only significant for mother with negative effect on the interaction between mother and children, which means that there is a substitution effect, mother use this time to do something else. These findings call for future research on parents’, especially mother’s, time use when their children attend early childcare.
    Keywords: Childcare,Cognitive skills,Family–child interaction,Time use,two stage least squares,Difference-in-difference
    JEL: J13 H75 I20 I28
    Date: 2020
  11. 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
  12. By: Blessing Chipanda (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, 0002, South Africa); Matthew Clance (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, 0002, South Africa); Steven F. Koch (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, 0002, South Africa)
    Abstract: A number of studies have found that spillovers or other externalities associated with trade are sector specific. Yet trade linkages are typically analysed at the macroeconomic aggregates. We analyse Africa's trade composition spanning 1980-2015, using a disaggregated and detailed classification by technological levels. We find that Africa is a net importer of capital goods and its technological export composition has remained highly concentrated in primary goods, which has contributed to a decline in Africa's share of global exports. We also find that regions within Africa have similar technological export composition structures. A few notable countries that have managed to transform their export composition into more semi-processed and relatively high technology exports are the leading importers of capital goods, are better financially developed and better endowed with human capital, infrastructure, and institutions than other African countries.
    Keywords: Exports, imports, trade composition
    JEL: F10 F19 F60
    Date: 2020–06

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