nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2020‒07‒20
twenty-two papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. The short-term economic effects of COVID-19 and risk-coping strategies of low-income households in Kenya: A rapid analysis using weekly financial household data By Wendy Janssens; Menno Pradhan; Richard de Groot; Estelle Sidze; Hermann Donfouet; Amanuel Abajobir
  2. The Effect of New PPP Estimates on Global Poverty: A First Look By Aziz Atamanov; Christoph Lakner; Daniel Gerszon Mahler; Samuel Kofi Tetteh Baah; Judy Yang
  3. Connective Financing - Chinese Infrastructure Projects and the Diffusion of Economic Activity in Developing Countries By Richard Bluhm; Axel Dreher; Andreas Fuchs; Bradley C. Parks; Austin M. Strange; Michael J. Tierney
  4. How Much Does Reducing Inequality Matter for Global Poverty? By Christoph Lakner; Daniel Gerszon Mahler; Mario Negre; Espen Beer Prydz
  5. What is a firm census in a developing country? An answer from Ghana By Andrew Keer; Bruce McDougall
  6. The impacts of unconditional cash transfers on schooling in adolescence and young adulthood: Evidence from South Africa By Neryvia Pillay Bell
  7. Learning together: Experimental evidence on the impact of group-based nutrition interventions in rural Bihar By Raghunathan, Kalyani; Kumar, Neha; Gupta, Shivani; Chauhan, Tarana; Kathuria, Ashi Kohli; Menon, Purnima
  8. It Takes a Village to Raise a Child. Impact Evaluation of the Training for Volunteers in Health and the Nutritional Recovery Cycles in West Guatemala By Juliana Yael Milovich; Elena Villar
  9. Enrolment of girl children in secondary schools in Rajasthan- A district level analysis By Anushree Sinha; Astha Sen; Rajesh Kumar Jaiswal
  10. Urbanization as a driver of changing food demand in Africa: Evidence from rural-urban migration in Tanzania By Lara Cockx; Liesbeth Colen; Joachim De Weerdt; Sergio Gomez Y Paloma
  11. Subjective Probabilistic Expectations, Household Air Pollution, and Health: Evidence from cooking fuel use patterns in India By Chattopadhyay, Mriduchhanda; Arimura, Toshi H.; Katayama, Hajime; Sakudo, Mari; Yokoo, Hide-Fumi
  12. Surviving debt, survival debt in times of lockdown By Isabelle Guérin; Sébastien Michiels; Arnaud Natal; Christophe Jalil Nordman; Govindan Venkatasubramanian
  13. The Duration of Compulsory Education and the Transition to Secondary Education: Panel Data Evidence from Low-Income Countries By Díaz Serrano, Lluís
  14. Can Digitalization Help Deter Corruption in Africa? By Rasmané Ouedraogo; Amadou N Sy
  15. Emergent large traders in smallholder grain markets and their role in enhancing adoption of sustainable agricultural intensification practices in Kenya By Chalmers Mulwa; T.S Jayne; Milu Muyanga; Martine Visser
  16. Changing returns-to-scale and deepening of factor-endowments-induced specialization: Exploring broader linkage between agricultural mechanization and agricultural transformation in Nepal By Takeshima, Hiroyuki; Kumar, Anjani
  17. Less School (Costs), More (Female) Education? Lessons from Egypt Reducing Years of Compulsory Schooling By Ahmed Elsayed; Olivier Marie
  18. Inclusion in Indonesia's Education Sector : A Subnational Review of Gender Gaps and Children with Disabilities By Afkar,Rythia; Yarrow,Noah Bunce; Surbakti,Soedarti; Cooper,Rachel Danielle
  19. Evaluating the propensity to save in South Africa using weather-income relationship By Helena Ting; Martina Bozzola; Timothy Swanson
  20. Targeting errors and leakage in a large-scale in-kind transfer program: The food friendly program in Bangladesh as an example By Chowdhury, Shyamal K.; Hoque, Mohammad Mainul; Rashid, Shahidur; Bin Khaled, Muhammad Nahian
  21. Community Engagement in Schools : Evidence from a Field Experiment in Pakistan By Asim,Salman; Riaz,Amina
  22. Effect of migration on the food security of households left behind: Evidence from Ethiopia By Hamed Sambo

  1. By: Wendy Janssens (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Menno Pradhan (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Richard de Groot (Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development); Estelle Sidze (African Population & Health Research Centre); Hermann Donfouet (African Population & Health Research Centre); Amanuel Abajobir (African Population & Health Research Centre)
    Abstract: This research assesses how low-income households in Western Kenya coped with the immediate economic consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak. It uses granular financial data from weekly household interviews covering six weeks before the first case was detected in Kenya to five weeks after. Our results suggest that income from work decreased with almost one third and income from gifts and remittances reduced by more than one third since the start of the pandemic. Nevertheless, household expenditures on food remained at pre-outbreak levels after preventive measures were implemented. We do not find evidence that households coped with reduced income through increased borrowing, selling assets or withdrawing savings. Instead, they gave out less gifts and remittances themselves, lent less money to others and postponed loan repayments. Moreover, they significantly reduced expenditures on schooling and transportation, related to the school closures and travel restrictions. Taken together and despite their affected livelihoods, households managed to keep food consumption at par, but this came at the cost of reduced informal risk-sharing and social support between households.
    Keywords: COVID-19, lockdown, economic effects, food security, risk-coping, East-Africa, Kenya
    JEL: I38 O12 I15
    Date: 2020–07–01
  2. By: Aziz Atamanov; Christoph Lakner; Daniel Gerszon Mahler; Samuel Kofi Tetteh Baah; Judy Yang
    Abstract: This paper provides an initial analysis of the impact on the World Bank’s global poverty estimates of the revised 2011 and new 2017 PPPs published in May 2020. The revised 2011 PPPs slightly increase poverty in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, causing the extreme poverty headcount ratio for the world to rise by 0.3 percentage points to 10.3% in 2015 (equivalent to 20 million more poor people). The 2017 PPPs have the opposite effect: extreme poverty decreases in Sub-Saharan Africa, reducing the global poverty estimate slightly by 0.6pp to 9.4% in 2015 (equivalent to 46 million fewer poor people). The long-run trends in global and regional poverty remain unchanged. Length: 36 pages
    Date: 2020–05
  3. By: Richard Bluhm; Axel Dreher; Andreas Fuchs; Bradley C. Parks; Austin M. Strange; Michael J. Tierney
    Abstract: This paper studies the causal effect of transport infrastructure on the spatial concentration of economic activity. Leveraging a new global dataset of geo-located Chinese government-financed projects over the period from 2000 to 2014 together with measures of spatial inequality based on remotely-sensed data, we analyse the effects of transport projects on the spatial distribution of economic activity within and between regions in a large number of developing countries. We find that Chinese-financed transportation projects reduce spatial concentration within but not between regions. In line with land use theory, we document a range of results which are consistent with a relocation of activity from city centers to their immediate periphery. Transport projects decentralize activity particularly strongly in regions that are more urbanized, located closer to the coast, and less developed. .
    Keywords: transport costs, infrastructure, development finance, foreign aid, spatial concentration China
    JEL: F15 F35 R11 R12 P33 O18 O19
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Christoph Lakner; Daniel Gerszon Mahler; Mario Negre; Espen Beer Prydz
    Abstract: The goals of ending extreme poverty by 2030 and working towards a more equal distribution of incomes are part of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Using data from 166 countries comprising 97.5% of the world’s population, we simulate scenarios for global poverty from 2019 to 2030 under various assumptions about growth and inequality. We use different assumptions about growth incidence curves to model changes in inequality, and rely on a machine-learning algorithm called model-based recursive partitioning to model how growth in GDP is passed through to growth as observed in household surveys. When holding within-country inequality unchanged and letting GDP per capita grow according to World Bank forecasts and historically observed growth rates, our simulations suggest that the number of extreme poor (living on less than $1.90/day) will remain above 600 million in 2030, resulting in a global extreme poverty rate of 7.4%. If the Gini index in each country decreases by 1% per year, the global poverty rate could reduce to around 6.3% in 2030, equivalent to 89 million fewer people living in extreme poverty. Reducing each country’s Gini index by 1% per year has a larger impact on global poverty than increasing each country’s annual growth 1 percentage points above forecasts. We also study the impact of COVID-19 on poverty and find that the pandemic may have driven around 60 million people into extreme poverty in 2020. If the virus increased the Gini by 2% in all countries, then more than 90 million may have been driven into extreme poverty in 2020. Length: 33 pages
    Date: 2020–06
  5. By: Andrew Keer; Bruce McDougall
    Abstract: A burgeoning literature in economics uses firm census data to provide explanations for the very large differences in income per capita across countries. Much of this literature takes for grantedthat the coverage of firm censuses across and within countries is similar. In this paper we use data from four Ghanaian firm censuses conducted between 1962 and 2014 to show that the coverage of each census was very different. Treated as is, the four censuses show dramatic and unbelievable changes in the scale of manufacturing production in Ghana over this period. As a result, we examine and document important changes in what undertaking a “firm census” has meant over 50 years in Ghana, as well as documenting variation in the coverage of firm censuses from several other African countries. We show that it is possible to obtain a believable evolution of the firm size distribution in Ghana over the period for which we have firm microdata, but that this requires substantial work to understand how the coverage of each firm census has varied over time. Our paper shows that the coverage of firm censuses both within and across countries can differ quite dramatically, and that this can impact research that uses firm census data.
    Date: 2020
  6. 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 identication 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 adulthood. 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.
    Keywords: unconditional cash transfer, child support grant, Education
    JEL: H53 I25 O15
    Date: 2020–05
  7. By: Raghunathan, Kalyani; Kumar, Neha; Gupta, Shivani; Chauhan, Tarana; Kathuria, Ashi Kohli; Menon, Purnima
    Abstract: Despite improvements over the last decade or more, India still accounts for a large proportion of the global prevalence of maternal and child undernutrition. We use a cluster-randomized controlled design and two waves of panel data on more than 2000 households from Bihar to analyse the impact on diet quality and anthropometry of a health and nutrition intervention delivered through an at-scale women’s self-help group (SHGs) platform. We find that the intervention had small but significant impacts on women and children’s dietary diversity, with the main impacts coming from an increase in the consumption of fruits and vegetables and dairy, however, it had no impact on women’s body mass index. We identify several potential pathways to impact. To the extent that SHGs can effect broad-based social change, their current reach to millions of women makes them a powerful platform for accelerating improvements in maternal and child health and nutrition outcomes.
    Keywords: INDIA; SOUTH ASIA; ASIA; nutrition; maternal nutrition; self-help groups; randomized controlled trials; anthropometry; maternal and child health; health; diet; body mass index; women; children; empowerment; gender; women's empowerment; rural areas; behavior change communication
    Date: 2020
  8. By: Juliana Yael Milovich; Elena Villar
    Abstract: The highest rates of child undernutrition in Guatemala are found in Western regions, where more than half of the children under five are stunted and almost 20% underweight. However, despite the large incidence of undernutrition in the country, there is no robust evidence of its determinants, effects and possible solutions. Our study analyses the impact of a program implemented by the Foundation FUNDAP in West Guatemala, Volunteers in Health, on the nutritional health of children under five years of age. We provide new evidence on how training women at the community level to provide information on infants' nutrition to mothers, together with the monitoring of children's growth and the supply of food supplements, contributes to significantly reduce the probability of children being underweight in West Guatemala.
    Keywords: Child Undernutrition, Women's Training, Health Programs, Impact Evaluation
    JEL: I38 J1 I18
    Date: 2020
  9. By: Anushree Sinha; Astha Sen; Rajesh Kumar Jaiswal (National Council of Applied Economic Research)
    Abstract: In comparison to the rest of India, Rajasthan continues to suffer from disturbingly low female literacy rate, poor enrolment and retention rates of girls in schools mostly the in rural areas, but also in the small urban towns. This research informs the design of a cash transfer policy intended to improve enrolment levels of 13-15-year-old girls in secondary schools in Dhaulpur, a district of Rajasthan. Secondly, it statistically identifies non-monetary factors contributing towards parents’ decision of enrolling their daughters in secondary education, in the presence of a large enough cash grant. Furthermore, the study statistically investigates attributes that influence the size of the cash grant chosen by parents for enroling their daughters in secondary school. Caste, level of education acquired by parent/s and concerns regarding the safety of girls’ determine the choice of a cash grant.
    Keywords: Cash Transfers, Secondary Education, School Enrolments, Rural, Rajasthan, Direct Costs Girl Education, Education Costs, Opportunity Cost, and Policy-Making
    JEL: C81 I38 I22 O15
    Date: 2019–05
  10. By: Lara Cockx (KU Leuven); Liesbeth Colen (European Commission - JRC); Joachim De Weerdt (University of Antwerp); Sergio Gomez Y Paloma (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: There is rising concern that the ongoing wave of urbanization will have profound effects on eating patterns and increase the risk of nutrition-related non-communicable diseases. Yet, our understanding of urbanization as a driver of food consumption remains limited and primarily based upon research designs that fail to disentangle the effect of living in an urban environment from other socioeconomic disparities. Data from the Tanzania National Panel Survey, which tracked out-migrating respondents, allow us to compare individuals’ dietary patterns before and after they relocated from rural to urban areas and assess whether those changes differ from household members who stayed behind or moved to a different rural area. We find that individuals who relocated to urban areas experience a much more pronounced shift away from the consumption of traditional staples, and towards more high-sugar, conveniently consumed and prepared foods. Contrary to what is often claimed in the literature, living in an urban environment is not found to contribute positively to the intake of protein-rich foods, nor to diet diversity. Though we do not find a strong association with weight gain, these changes in eating patterns represent a clear nutritional concern regarding the potential longer-term impacts of urbanization. Our results however also indicate that the growth of unhealthy food consumption with urbanization is largely linked to rising incomes. As such, health concerns over diets can be expected to spread rapidly to less-urbanized areas as well, as soon as income growth takes off there. Our findings clearly call for more in-depth research that may help to improve health and food and nutrition security as well as correctly predict food demand and adapt trade, agricultural and development policies.
    Keywords: urbanization, diets, nutrition, Tanzania
    Date: 2019–02
  11. By: Chattopadhyay, Mriduchhanda; Arimura, Toshi H.; Katayama, Hajime; Sakudo, Mari; Yokoo, Hide-Fumi
    Abstract: An increasing number of empirical studies have investigated the determinants of cooking fuel choice in developing countries, where health risk from household air pollution is one of the most important issues. We contribute to this stream of literature by examining individuals’ subjective probabilistic expectations about health risks when using different types of fuel and their influence on cooking fuel usage patterns. We also explore how these patterns, in turn, affect health status. Using data collected from 557 rural Indian households, we find that subjective probabilistic expectations of becoming sick from dirty fuel usage have a negative influence on the fraction of days with dirty fuel usage in the household. The results also show that dirty fuel usage degrades the health of the individual. We then examine the effectiveness of information provision regarding the health risks of dirty/clean fuel usage. Our simulation demonstrates that although the provision of information results in statistically significant changes in the households’ cooking fuel usage patterns and in the individuals’ health status, the changes may be small in size.
    Keywords: Subjective probabilistic expectations, Household air pollution, Cooking fuel usage pattern, Health, Developing country
    JEL: I10 Q40 C83
    Date: 2020–05
  12. By: Isabelle Guérin; Sébastien Michiels; Arnaud Natal; Christophe Jalil Nordman; Govindan Venkatasubramanian
    Abstract: This article focuses on the consequences of the Indian lockdown in terms of debt. It is based on an ongoing study in a rural area of Tamil Nadu, South India. It draws on a long-term knowledge of this region, longitudinal quantitative household survey data on employment, debt and assets (2010-2016/17) as well as qualitative surveys conducted by telephone since the beginning of the lockdown in March 2020. Our results show: (i) the drying up of part of farm income and the bulk of off-farm income; (ii) the limited role of cash saving and cash transfers; (iii) the debt burden, since the population has faced massive debt growth over the past decade and some households are already very financially fragile; (iv) a predominance of informal finance with, however, a rise in finance; (v) a suspension of repayments, including for most informal lenders; (vi) a halt to unsecured debt and an erosion of the trust that cements most transactions; (vii) finally, the emergence of new forms of secured debt that threaten household assets. The sharp rise in debt observed over the last decade is the result of a widening of credit opportunities, partly formal but mostly informal. These have been made possible by building new relationships of trust but also of confidence in the future, based on strong economic growth that was believed to be sustainable. The lockdown highlights the fragility of these dynamics. For the poorest (mostly, but not only, Dalits), neither the state nor intra-caste or kinship solidarity are sufficient as a safety net. Impoverishment and a return to old forms of dependency seem to be the only way out.
    Keywords: Debt; lockdown; caste; employment; India; Trust
    JEL: I13 E24 O18 R20 Z13
    Date: 2020–07–09
  13. By: Díaz Serrano, Lluís
    Abstract: A straightforward way of keeping children in school is increasing the duration of compulsory education. Evidence of the impact of this type of policy in Western countries is abundant. However, its effectiveness has been rarely tested in low-income countries. Using panel data of low-income and lower-middle-income countries covering the period 1996-2017, this paper analyzes the impact of lengthening the duration of compulsory education on the transition of children from primary to secondary education. The empirical results show that in those countries where this policy is implemented, there is a significant increase in the share of children transiting from primary to secondary education but only in those countries where the reform implies that the duration of compulsory education becomes longer than the duration of primary education. JEL Classification: I21, I25, I28. Keywords: compulsory education, educational achievement, educational transitions, low-income countries, panel data, education policy
    Keywords: Escolaritat obligatòria, Política educativa, 371 - Organització i gestió de l'educació i de l'ensenyament,
    Date: 2020
  14. By: Rasmané Ouedraogo; Amadou N Sy
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect of digitalization on the perception of corruption and trust in tax officials in Africa. Using individual-level data from Afrobarometer surveys and several indices of digitalization, we find that an increase in digital adoption is associated with a reduction in the perception of corruption and an increase in trust in tax officials. Exploiting the exogeneous deployment of submarine cables at the local level, the paper provides evidence of a negative impact of the use of Internet on the perception of corruption. Yet, the paper shows that the dampening effect of digitalization on corruption is hindered in countries where the government has a pattern of intentionally shutting down the Internet, while countries that successfully promote information and communication technology (ICT) enjoy a more amplified effect.
    Date: 2020–05–29
  15. By: Chalmers Mulwa; T.S Jayne; Milu Muyanga; Martine Visser
    Abstract: Pervasive threats of climate change and land degradation have compounded the low farm productivity problem inherent in sub-Saharan Africa. Though sustainable agricultural intensification practices have been shown to improve resilience of farm production in the face of these emerging threats, they suffer low adoption rates typical of technology adoption in these regions. Recent evidence shows the emergence of large grain traders in the smallholder farm output markets. Given established correlation between contractual farm arrangements and technology adoption, the hypothesis is that these traders can incentivize technology adoption at scale at the farm level, given their financial capacity. This study tests this hypothesis using a large panel dataset from Kenya spanning a decade. A dynamic random effects Probit model is used to evaluate how past adoption of sustainable inputs influence subsequent adoption behavior, while a control function approach is used evaluate how sales to large grain traders affect the adoption of sustainable inputs at the farm level. Results indicate that sales to large grain traders lead to higher adoption of inorganic fertilizer but not improved seed and manure, and that land ownership is a key success factor in explaining sales to these market actors. The adoption of improved seed and organic manure is persistent across time, indicating state dependence in the use of these inputs. These results suggest that strategies to foster engagements between large grain traders and farmers can enhance uptake of inorganic fertilizer; such strategies should also be accompanied by efforts to enable resource-poor farmers access to these markets
    Keywords: Large grain traders, Smallholder farm markets, Sustainable agricultural intensification, Kenya
    JEL: D13 Q12 Q13 Q16
    Date: 2020–03
  16. By: Takeshima, Hiroyuki; Kumar, Anjani
    Abstract: Heterogeneity in factor endowments and the degree of specializations induced by comparative advantages are among the crucial factors that affect the overall productivity of the economy. Few studies, however, investigate what strengthens such endowment-related specialization patterns in the agricultural sector in low-income countries, although such evolutions have profound effects on the role of factor endowments in households’ behaviors. This is in contrast to well-established international trade theory, such as the Heckscher–Ohlin theorem which describes how heterogeneity in endowment across countries gives rise to comparative advantages for specialization and trade. We partly fill this critical knowledge gap by providing a set of evidence from Nepal, which is a country that has historically been dominated by smallholder farmers and yet has recently been experiencing rapid structural transformation within the agricultural sector. Specifically, we show the following: the agricultural sector in Nepal has experienced a significant increase in returns-to-scale (RTS) in production in recent years during the process of growing adoptions of agricultural mechanization through the custom-hiring market. Such increase in RTS has primarily strengthened the linkages between factor endowment heterogeneity (across farm households) and their specialization behaviors in labor, land, and the agricultural capital market. Both cross-section and panel-data of households in Nepal extracted from Nepal Living Standards Surveys are used to generate this evidence. We find that rising RTS associated primarily with tractor use growth has been inducing greater exploitations of comparative advantages; agricultural households have been increasingly specializing in exchanges of production factors, services, and outputs, in ways consistent with predictions based on their relative factor endowments. Specifically, the rise in RTS has induced households with more labor, land, and capital endowments to rent out their labor, land, and credit, respectively, within the agricultural sector, while increasingly renting-in the other factors with which they are less endowed. The results suggest that understanding factor endowments heterogeneity among agricultural households is becoming increasingly important for effective agricultural policy designs in countries like Nepal, where employment shares in the agricultural sector remain high despite the growth in mechanization.
    Keywords: NEPAL; SOUTH ASIA; ASIA; returns; factors; agricultural mechanization; productivity; households; returns to scale; agricultural transformation; comparative advantages; factor endowments heterogeneity; random-effects Tobit
    Date: 2020
  17. By: Ahmed Elsayed (IZA); Olivier Marie (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    Abstract: Exploiting a unique policy reform in Egypt that reduced the number of years of compulsory schooling, we show how it unexpectedly increased education attainment as more students chose to complete the next school stage. This impact is almost entirely driven by girls from more disadvantaged households. Treated women later experienced important positive improvements in labor market opportunity and marriage quality, as measured by bride price received and household bargaining power. We attribute the increased investment in daughters’ human capital to changes in the behavior of credit-constrained families facing reduced school costs combined with strongly non-linear returns to female education.
    Keywords: School Costs, Education Investment, Gender Bias, Female Labor Market, Marriage, Bride Price, Egypt
    JEL: I21 I25 J24 O55
    Date: 2020–06–29
  18. By: Afkar,Rythia; Yarrow,Noah Bunce; Surbakti,Soedarti; Cooper,Rachel Danielle
    Abstract: This study seeks to examine gender gaps and disability issues in education in Indonesia, and to suggest policy actions as well as future analytical and operational work to address these differences. Field visits were conducted to uncover drivers of gender differences, as well as issues of social inclusion, and to explore policy approaches to improve learning outcomes and educational achievement for all children. Secondary data analysis shows that Indonesia has demonstrated great progress on gender parity in education; however, the national averages mask important variations at the subnational level, including variations of significant male and female disadvantage between and within provinces. Women are still underrepresented in school and government leadership positions, as well as the workforce overall. Despite women making up the majority of the teaching workforce, men dominate the management and leadership roles in schools. The study also reveals significant challenges and offers policy recommendations to ensure inclusivity in education for children with disabilities.
    Keywords: Educational Sciences,Gender and Development,Social Cohesion,Inequality,Disability
    Date: 2020–06–16
  19. By: Helena Ting; Martina Bozzola; Timothy Swanson
    Abstract: We study the propensity to save on permanent and transitory income based on a comprehensive household panel data-set from South Africa. We decompose income into permanent and transitory components, and proxy transitory income by weather deviations from thirty-year normal. We evaluate the propensity to save by OLS and by median regressions. By OLS, we find that the propensity to save on transitory income is not significantly different from one, while the propensity to save on permanent income is significantly different from zero. This finding is in alignment with previous studies. By median regression, we find that the propensity to save by permanent or transitory income are significantly different from either zero or one, meaning that the propensity to save represents some fractions of permanent and transitory income. We also evaluate the propensity to save by income quintiles using median regression. We find that the propensity to save from permanent and transitory income are only significantly different in the highest quintile when durable goods are considered as saving, while not significantly different in the lower 80% of the income distribution. In the top 20%, we find the propensity to save from transitory income is significantly higher than that of permanent income, although it still does not reach one.
    Keywords: consumption and saving; health behavior; agriculture; climate; Africa; South Africa.
    JEL: D14 I14 Q12 Q56
    Date: 2020–07–07
  20. By: Chowdhury, Shyamal K.; Hoque, Mohammad Mainul; Rashid, Shahidur; Bin Khaled, Muhammad Nahian
    Abstract: We evaluated a large transfer program in Bangladesh, named the Food Friendly Program (FFP, Khaddo Bandhob Karmasuchi), based on observational data. The program aims to provide nutritional support to poor rural households during preharvest seasons by offering rice at a subsidized price. It is a targeted program where the selection of the beneficiaries takes place through local governments and community consultations. We examined both inclusion and exclusion errors and measured the magnitude of corruption in the program. We found that for every taka spent by the government under the FFP, about 0.88 taka, on an average, reaches the eligible beneficiaries. In addition, we also looked at the regional variations in poverty and redistribution. The program seems to be achieving a high level of targeting efficiency, though spatial heterogeneity remains an important drawback. Our evaluation offers some important policy lessons discussed in detail in the report.
    Keywords: BANGLADESH; SOUTH ASIA; ASIA; social protection; rural areas; poverty; food assistance; targeting; program evaluation; rice; food prices
    Date: 2020
  21. By: Asim,Salman; Riaz,Amina
    Abstract: This paper presents the results of a field experiment in rural Sindh, Pakistan, where half of the school-age children (ages 6-10 years) are out of school. The study tests simple and low-intensity approaches to strengthen engagement of communities with schools: face-to-face dialogue at externally facilitated community meetings, and ongoing, anonymous dialogue via text messages. The interventions increased communities'interest in education as measured through an improvement in the number of functioning schools and, in the case of the text message treatment, substantial gains in retention of students in grades 2, 3, and 4. On the supply side, the schools significantly increased staffing and the share of one-teacher schools was reduced; however, teacher absenteeism increased, and there was no substantial impact on basic school infrastructure. Elections and capacity building for school committees were implemented in a cross-over experimental design. The intervention undermined the participation of communities in meetings and reduced impacts on all indicators except new admissions and availability of toilets in schools. No evidence is found of impact on measured test scores for any intervention.
    Date: 2020–06–16
  22. By: Hamed Sambo (Université Sorbonne Paris Nord (USPN))
    Abstract: In most countries, migration is a common phenomenon that can have both positive and negative effects on the living conditions of households in the locality of origin. This paper offers new evidence concerning the effect of migration on the food security of households left behind. The evidence is provided for Ethiopia, a country where internal migration is more predominant, and where food insecurity is still acute. The analysis is based on the 2013/2014 and 2015/2016 Ethiopian Socioeconomic Surveys (ESS), which are both nationally representative. In order to address the self-selection bias of migration, the estimation strategy used relies on the Heckman two-stage estimate and several robustness tests. The result indicates that migration negatively affects household per capita calorie intake while it leads to an improvement of their dietary diversity. However, the overall result is more inclined towards a negative effect of migration on the food security of migrant households in Ethiopia. Policies aimed at improving food security in Ethiopia should therefore consider those households among the priority targets.
    Keywords: Migration; Food security; Households; Ethiopia
    JEL: I31 O15 O55 Q18 R23
    Date: 2020–06

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