nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2020‒08‒24
nineteen papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Globalization and gender inequality: Evidence from South Africa By Caro Janse van Rensburg; Carli Bezuidenhout; Marianne Matthee; Victor Stolzenburg
  2. Skills and selection into teaching: Evidence from Latin America By Estrada, Ricardo; Lombardi, María
  3. Working Paper 332 - The Impacts of Community-Based Health Insurance on Poverty Reduction By Andinet Woldemichael
  4. The education gender gap and the demographic transition in developing countries By Nguyen Thang Dao; Julio Dávila; Angela Greulich
  5. Changes in Female Employment in Mexico: Demographics, Economics, and Policies By Lopez-Acevedo, Gladys; Freije-Rodriguez, Samuel; Vergara Bahena, Mexico Alberto; Cardozo Medeiros, Diego
  6. The impact of computer-assisted personal interviewing on survey duration, quality, and cost: Evidence from the Viet Nam Labor Force Survey By Rao, Lakshman Nagraj; Gentile, Elisabetta; Pipon, Dave; Roque, Jude David; Thuy, Vu Thi Thu
  7. Here Comes the Rain Again: Productivity Shocks, Educational Investments and Child Work By Nordman, Christophe Jalil; Sharma, Smriti; Sunder, Naveen
  8. Can Training Enhance Adoption, Knowledge and Perception of Organic Farming Practices? Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Indonesia By Grimm, Michael; Luck, Nathalie
  9. Sending Money Home: Transaction Cost and Remittances to Developing Countries By Junaid Ahmed; Junaid Ahmed; Mazhar Mughal; Inmaculada Martinez-Zarzoso
  10. Old-age pensions and female labour supply in India By Vidhya Unnikrishnan; Kunal Sen
  11. Hiding Behind the Veil of Ashes: Social Capital in the Wake of Natural Disasters By Victor Stephane
  12. Economic shocks and child wasting By Headey, Derek D.; Ruel, Marie T.
  13. Active Conflict and Access to Education : Evidence from a Series of Conflict-Related Shocks in the Republic of Yemen By Almoayad,Safa Ali Qassim; Favari,Eliana; Halabi,Samira; Krishnaswamy,Siddharth; Music,Almedina; Tandon,Sharad Alan
  14. Youth resentment and violence: evidence from Burkina Faso By Alexandra Tapsoba; Pascale Combes Motel; Jean-Louis Combes
  15. Conflict and Religious Preferences: Evidence from a Civil Conflict in Pakistan By Karim Khan; Muhsin Ali
  16. Female Labor Force Participation in Turkey: The Role of the Intergenerational Links By Mine Durman-Aslan
  17. Working Paper 333 - Corruption and Tax Morale in Africa By Amadou Boly; Maty Konte; Abebe Shimeles
  18. Inequality and locational determinants of the distribution of living standards in India By Balasubramanian, Sriram; Kumar, Rishabh; Loungani, Prakash
  19. Improving Tax Compliance without Increasing Revenue: Evidence from Population-Wide Randomized Controlled Trials in Papua New Guinea By Hoy, Christopher; McKenzie, Luke; Sinning, Mathias

  1. By: Caro Janse van Rensburg; Carli Bezuidenhout; Marianne Matthee; Victor Stolzenburg
    Abstract: Inequality has been rising in most countries for several decades, with negative consequences for social cohesion and economic growth. Substantial gender wage gaps contribute significantly to overall wage inequality. We look at an often-overlooked driver of gender inequality: international trade. Trading firms constitute 70 per cent of employment in South African manufacturing and, hence, have a large impact on the country's labour dynamics.
    Keywords: gender wage gap, International trade, Linked employer-employee data, South Africa
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Estrada, Ricardo; Lombardi, María
    Abstract: This paper documents a novel stylized fact: many teachers in Latin America have very low levels of cognitive skills. This skills deficit is the result of both low levels of competencies among the population and a gap between the average skill level of teachers and the rest of the tertiary-educated population (i.e., a teacher skills gap). Furthermore, we observe that individuals with a teaching degree have lower average skills than individuals with other tertiary degrees, and that this gap is larger than the teacher skills gap. This difference is mainly explained by the selection into teaching of graduates from non-teaching degrees. Finally, we show that even controlling for cognitive skills, teachers have lower monthly wages than other professionals, and provide direct evidence that this gap is increasing in skills.
    Keywords: Desarrollo, Educación, Equidad e inclusión social,
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Andinet Woldemichael (Research Department, African Development Bank)
    Abstract: Every year, millions of people suffer from financial catastrophe due to out-of-pocket healthcare payments and most of them are pushed into poverty. This study investigates the impacts of community-based health insurance schemes on health-related financial shocks and poverty, using a nationally representative household survey data from Rwanda. We address issues of selection bias in health insurance enrollment, heterogeneity in treatment effects and non-normality in the outcome variables using Extended Two-Part Model within a Bayesian estimation framework. We find that community-based health insurance schemes reduce the incidence of catastrophic healthcare spending by about 20 percentage points. We also finding that community-based health insurance schemes reduce the headcount poverty rates and the poverty gap due to out-of-pocket healthcare payments by about 8 percentage points and by about 3 USD in 2000 prices, respectively. The estimated treatment effects are however heterogeneous across households.
    Keywords: impact, selection bias, endogeneity, health insurance, low-income, community-based JEL Classification: C21, C11, D04, I13, I15
    Date: 2020–05–25
  4. By: Nguyen Thang Dao; Julio Dávila; Angela Greulich
    Abstract: This paper explores, theoretically and empirically, the role of the declining gender gap in education in the demographic transition and the emergence of modern economic growth. Specifically, the paper develops a model in the tradition of the unified growth theory that captures and interconnects the key empirical features of the demographic transition, the decline in gender gap in education, and the transition to sustained growth across less-developed economies. The mechanism on which the model relies comprises several interplaying components. First, technological progress reduces housework time through the creation and diffusion of labor-saving home appliances, which frees women’s time for childrearing, resulting in an initial increase in fertility, as well as in labor-force participation. Second, due to the possibly higher female labor-force participation as housework time decreases, households invest relatively more in their daughters’ education, given its higher return following the initial imbalance. This improves gender equality in education and increases the opportunity cost of childrearing, which leads to a subsequent decrease in fertility. Third and finally, the decrease in the education gender gap through higher investment in daughters’ education increases average human capital, thus accelerating technological progress in turn. This reinforcing loop results in the transition to a new fertility regime and accelerated economic growth. We provide the empirical confirmation of the model’s predictions using data from developing countries in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
    Date: 2019–12
  5. By: Lopez-Acevedo, Gladys (World Bank); Freije-Rodriguez, Samuel (World Bank); Vergara Bahena, Mexico Alberto (World Bank); Cardozo Medeiros, Diego (University of Chicago)
    Abstract: The unemployment and labor force participation gender gaps narrowed in Mexico after the 2008 global economic crisis, when female labor force participation increased. This paper aims to understand female labor force participation growth and identify its main determinants. For that purpose, the paper estimates a probit model with data from the National Employment Survey of 2007 and 2017, when the unemployment rate returned to the pre-crisis level. Broadly, the results show that increasing labor force participation of women ages 36 to 65 sustained the growth of overall female labor force participation, women's educational attainment can offset any individual or household obstacle to women's employability, and childcare availability significantly supports mothers' employability.
    Keywords: female labor force participation, Mexico, gender gap, female education, childcare services
    JEL: J21 J22 O54
    Date: 2020–06
  6. By: Rao, Lakshman Nagraj; Gentile, Elisabetta; Pipon, Dave; Roque, Jude David; Thuy, Vu Thi Thu
    Abstract: We use a randomized field experiment to estimate the effect of computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI) on interview duration, number of errors, respondent perceptions, and cost. During Quarter 3 of the 2017 Labor Force Survey data collection for Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam, 15 households were randomly selected and interviewed using pencil-and-paper interviewing (PAPI), while another 15 households were randomly selected and interviewed using CAPI within each of a total of 180 sample enumeration areas. On average, CAPI interviews lasted 9.4 minutes less and had 0.8 less errors per questionnaire relative to PAPI. Respondents were more likely to perceive interview duration as long or very long when the enumerator was female or educated to college level or above, which is contrary to our experimental findings. Finally, the break-even number of interviews that make CAPI cost-effective is 1,769, which is lower than prior estimates and reflects the rapidly decreasing cost of technology.
    Keywords: computer-assisted personal interviewing,data quality,randomized experiment,survey,labor statistics
    JEL: C81 J21
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Nordman, Christophe Jalil (IRD, DIAL, Paris-Dauphine); Sharma, Smriti (Newcastle University); Sunder, Naveen (Bentley University)
    Abstract: In predominantly agrarian economies with limited irrigation, rainfall plays a critical role in shaping households' incomes and subsequently their spending decisions. This study uses household-level panel data from a nationally representative survey in India to estimate the effect of agricultural productivity shocks – as proxied by exogenous annual rainfall deviations from long-term average – on education expenditures and children's work status in rural Indian households. Our results show that a transitory increase in rainfall significantly reduces education expenditures and increases the likelihood of child labor across a range of work activities. Additionally, we show that productivity-enhancing inputs such as land ownership and credit access do not mitigate these countercyclical effects of rainfall variations, indicating the importance of market imperfections (in labor and land markets). We also find that the effects of productivity shocks are reinforced for historically marginalized castes, and moderated for more educated households. These highlight that the average effects mask considerable heterogeneity based on household and regional characteristics.
    Keywords: rainfall shocks, education expenditures, child work, market imperfections, India
    JEL: D13 I21 J16 O12
    Date: 2020–06
  8. By: Grimm, Michael (University of Passau); Luck, Nathalie (University of Passau)
    Abstract: In many parts of the world, several decades of intensively applying Green Revolution technologies came at environmental costs, i.e. degraded water and soil quality as well as a loss of biodiversity. This has led to an increased interest in alternative farming systems such as organic farming, which is commonly perceived as more sustainable. Despite many initiatives to promote organic farming, it remains a marginal activity in many countries. Widespread uptake of organic farming requires a better understanding of the drivers for and barriers to its adoption. Previous studies highlighted information as an important driver of agricultural technology adoption. Yet, despite the variety of programs studied, little is known about the role of removing information constraints in the context of organic farming. In this paper, we focus on the role of information provision and training as one driver for the adoption of organic farming practices in Indonesia. We use a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to identify the impact of a three-day hands-on training in organic farming on smallholder farmers' adoption and knowledge of such practices as well as on their perception towards organic farming. We find that the training intervention had a positive and statistically significant effect on the use of organic inputs. We further find positive and statistically significant treatment effects with respect to knowledge about and perception of organic farming. Overall, our findings suggest that intense training is a promising instrument to increase the uptake of organic farming.
    Keywords: organic farming, technology adoption, RCT, Indonesia
    JEL: C93 O12 O33 Q12 Q16
    Date: 2020–06
  9. By: Junaid Ahmed (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad); Junaid Ahmed (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad); Mazhar Mughal (Pau Business School, Pau, France); Inmaculada Martinez-Zarzoso (University of Goettingen, Germany and University Jaume I, Castellón, Spain)
    Abstract: Remittances, the part of the migrant's income sent back to their family living in the origin country, have become a critical stepping-stone to economic development for many developing nations. A key factor that causes migrants to use informal channels is the high cost of transferring funds through formal channels. Reducing the cost of remitting is one of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals; it is also an important policy objective as it helps to bring remittances into the formal economy, enhances financial inclusion and increases the net income of receiving households. This study examines the question of whether and to what extent the reduction in the cost of remittances increases the flow of remittances to developing countries, and whether larger amounts are remitted when the cost per transaction decreases (the so-called scale effect). It uses bilateral data on remittance flows and exploits a novel dataset covering transaction costs for 30 sending and 75 receiving countries for the period 2011-2017. A gravity model of remittance flows is estimated using panel data and instrumental variable techniques to account for potential endogeneity. We find that transaction cost is a significant predictor of the volume of formal remittances. A 1 percent decrease in the cost of remitting USD 200 leads to about a 1.6 percent increase in remittances. This association remains unchanged regardless of the models used and techniques employed. In addition to this strong impact of transfer fees, migrant stock, exchange rate stability in the recipient country and financial development in both the recipient and sending countries are also found to be important factors driving remittances. The findings suggest that policies designed to increase remittances need to focus on decreasing the cost of remitting through formal channels.
    Keywords: Bilateral Remittances; Cost of Remitting; International Migration; Developing Countries
    JEL: F22 F24 F30 O10 O17
    Date: 2020
  10. By: Vidhya Unnikrishnan; Kunal Sen
    Abstract: Whether cash transfers have unintended behavioural effects on the recipient household's labour supply is of considerable policy interest. We examine the 'intent to treat effect' of the Indira Gandhi National Old-Age Pension Scheme on prime-age women's labour supply decisions in India, where female labour force participation continues to decline over time. We find that having a pension-eligible individual in the household increases the probability of working by 3.2 percentage points for women aged 20-50, with the effect stronger for urban women.
    Keywords: Childcare, Employment, Income effect, Labour supply, Pension, Women
    Date: 2020
  11. By: Victor Stephane (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of natural disasters on social capital. By heterogeneously affecting people in a community, natural disasters create a temporary information asymmetry on their post-disaster income. Using an original dataset collected in rural Ecuador, we provide suggestive evidence that households use this asymmetric information to pretend to be poorer than they actually are, in order to escape from solidarity mechanisms in the aftermath of the shock. The magnitude of this effect decreases with the level of wealth inequality in the community and vanishes in the most unequal communities where bilateral cooperation is rather fostered.
    Keywords: Social Capital,Moral Hazard,Asymmetric Information,Volcanic Eruptions,Ecuador
    Date: 2020
  12. By: Headey, Derek D.; Ruel, Marie T.
    Abstract: In developing countries macroeconomic volatility is common, and severe negative economic shocks can substantially increase poverty and food insecurity. Less well understood are the implications of these contractions for child acute malnutrition (wasting), a major risk factor for under-5 mortality. This study explores the nutritional impacts of growth shocks over 1990-2018 by linking wasting outcomes collected for 1.256 million children from 52 countries to lagged annual changes in national income. Difference-in-difference estimates suggest that a 10% annual decline in national income increases moderate/severe (WHZ
    Keywords: WORLD; nutrition; economic growth; child nutrition; wasting disease (nutritional disorder); mortality; Coronavirus; coronavirus disease; Coronavirinae; models; wasting disease; child malnutrition; Covid-19; DiD linear probability model; linear probability model; wasting; child mortality; economic shock
    Date: 2020
  13. By: Almoayad,Safa Ali Qassim; Favari,Eliana; Halabi,Samira; Krishnaswamy,Siddharth; Music,Almedina; Tandon,Sharad Alan
    Abstract: Using a high-frequency survey in the Republic of Yemen, this paper demonstrates how school attendance responds to a series of conflict-related shocks. First, there are plausibly exogenous changes in violence that have limited impacts on school attendance but do affect other dimensions of well-being. And second, consequences of conflict aside from living in close proximity to violence can impact attendance. The importance of a wide variety of conflict shocks suggests that an understanding of all shocks is needed before attributing the cause of attendance changes in such tumultuous settings, and these results have implications for the delivery of education assistance in conflict settings.
    Date: 2020–07–22
  14. By: Alexandra Tapsoba (Institut supérieur des sciences de la population - Université de Ouagadougou); Pascale Combes Motel (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - Clermont Auvergne - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Jean-Louis Combes (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - UdA - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: The paper aims to highlight the impact of youth satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) on the occurrence of violent conflicts in Burkina Faso. This work takes advantage of one of the latest nationwide UNICEF-sponsored survey conducted in Burkina Faso before some parts of the country became inaccessible because of attacks. Among other pieces of information, this survey collected data on youth resentment towards the ability of their household to fulfill their needs. Alongside data from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), mining data from the MINEX project, and distances data computed using Burkina Faso's roads information are mobilized. Relying on the negative binomial regressor, our results show that youth resentment has a positive and significant impact on the occurrence of conflicts. Moreover, the presence of mining companies, the remoteness from infrastructures, ethnic diversity, and polarization also affect significantly the occurrence of violence against civilians.
    Keywords: Violent conflict,Youth resentment,Burkina Faso,Count Data
    Date: 2020–07–10
  15. By: Karim Khan (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad.); Muhsin Ali (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad.)
    Abstract: In this paper, we study the endogenous structure of religious preferences in post-conflict life. By providing evidence from a civil conflict which occurred in district Swat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Pakistan, we want to see how religious preferences change once individuals are exposed to conflict. We take five aspects of religious preferences, i.e. basic rituals, religious humanistic values, religion-based trust, participation and cooperation. District Buner—a neighbouring district—is taken as the control district. A random sample of 400 households from each district is selected and Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) and Spatial Regression Discontinuity Design (SRDD) are employed for estimation. We find that exposure to conflict strengthens fundamental rituals and religious humanistic values; however, it lowers trust in religious seminaries and figures along with participation in religious gatherings. Likewise, conflict raises trust and participation in welfare religious organisations; however, it discourages trust and participation in general religious organisations. Furthermore, conflict encourages cooperation with welfare religious organisations; however, it retards cooperation with general religious organisations. The intensity of these effects is influenced by the location of individuals. Alternatively, highly exposed areas exhibit comparatively higher changes in religious preferences as compared to the moderately and least affected areas.
    Keywords: Conflict, Religious Preferences, Ordinary Least Square (OLS) and Spatial Regression Discontinuity (SRDD)
    JEL: D74 J24 C1
    Date: 2020
  16. By: Mine Durman-Aslan (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne)
    Abstract: This study investigates the impact of the transmission of gender role attitudes and/or preferences from parents to children on the labor force participation decision of married women in Turkey. Using parents-children data we estimate a reduced-form model in which a married woman's participation in adulthood depends on her mother's and mother-in-law's former labor force participation in her adolescence. Our estimation results show that married women grown up with working mothers are 10.8 - 17.8 percent more likely to participate in the labor force than married women with nonworking mothers and married women with working mothers-in-law are 9.3 - 17.3 percent more likely to be in the labor force than married women with nonworking mothers-in-law. In addition, the estimated effects of mother's and the mothers-in-law's former labor force participation in rural sample are larger than those in the urban sample. We also find that as the education level of married women increases, the effect of being raised by a working mother on female labor force participation decreases. Having a husband grown up with a working mother increases the probability that a married woman with less than a high school education participates in the labor force; however, it is not a significant determinant of the labor force participation decision of highly educated women. Our findings reveal that the intergenerational transmission of gender role attitudes and/or preferences influences the labor market behavior of married women in Turkey. More importantly, higher education reduces the effect of intergenerational transmission of gender role attitudes and/or preferences on female labor force participation.
    Keywords: Female labor force participation,Marriage,Intergenerational social norm,Turkey
    Date: 2020–05
  17. By: Amadou Boly (Research Department, African Development Bank); Maty Konte (United Nations University (UNU-MERIT)); Abebe Shimeles (African Economic Research Consortium)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effect of the quality of governance (proxied by perceived corruption) on attitudes toward paying taxes. Using the Afrobarometer surveys from 36 African countries, over the period 2011-2015, we find that a perception of low corruption at different levels of the executive branch (president's office, government officials, or tax authorities) has a significant and positive impact on tax morale. To account for possible reverse causality between a citizen's perception of governance quality and attitude toward tax payment, we also propose an instrumental variables (IV) approach, using the ethnicity of the country's leader as an instrument for perceived level of corruption, the assumption being that individuals from the same ethnic group tend to have a favorable perception of concurrent governance. The IV results confirm that an individual's positive perception of governance has a positive impact on one's willingness to pay taxes.
    Keywords: corruption, taxation, governance, Africa JEL Classification: D73, H71, O55
    Date: 2020–05–25
  18. By: Balasubramanian, Sriram (International Monetary Fund); Kumar, Rishabh (University of Massachusetts Boston); Loungani, Prakash
    Abstract: Using 2011-12 consumption micro-data, we find that nearly one-third of the variation in living standards in India can be explained by location alone. Moving to a location with greater inequality increases (on average) consumption levels for an individual. The main reason is lack of convergence in inter-state mean incomes and because even amongst the lower classes of urban India (which is more unequal), average growth was higher than most of rural India. Individuals can choose to change their location to enjoy better living standards, but not necessarily trade other specific characteristics like caste, religion and gender. Our results have implications for the persistence of economic migration within a fast-growing emerging economy.
    Date: 2020–07–19
  19. By: Hoy, Christopher (Australian National University); McKenzie, Luke (Australian National University); Sinning, Mathias (Australian National University)
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of "nudges" on taxpayers with varying tax compliance histories in Papua New Guinea. We present the results from two population-wide randomized controlled trials in a setting that is characterized by low compliance rates and a lack of effective enforcement. We test the impact of text messages, flyers and emails that remind taxpayers of declaration due dates and provide information about the public benefits from paying tax. We find that the treatments increased the number of tax declarations filed without increasing the amount of tax paid because the taxpayers who responded to the nudges were largely exempt from paying tax. This result is consistent across tax types, communication channels and time periods. We also find that the treatments had no impact on previously non-filing taxpayers. Collectively, our results indicate that taxpayers who face the lowest cost from complying are most likely to respond to a nudge.
    Keywords: tax compliance, field experiments, behavioral economics
    JEL: C93 D91 H2 H20 O1 O17
    Date: 2020–06

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