nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2020‒09‒07
twenty-one papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. The Employment Effects of Ethnic Politics By Francesco Amodio; Giorgio Chiovelli; Sebastian Hohmann
  2. Impact of Financial Incentives and the Role of Information and Communication in Last-Mile Delivery of Textbooks in Zambia By Hong,Seo Yeon; Cao,Xiaonan; Mupuwaliywa,Mupuwaliywa
  3. Measuring Macro- and Micronutrient Intake in Multi-Purpose Surveys: Evidence from a Survey Experiment in Tanzania By Hannah Ameye; Joachim De Weerdt; John Gibson
  4. A Pathway to Adoption of Yield-Enhancing Agricultural Technologies among the Rural Poor: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial in Benin By Deo-Gracias Houndolo Author-Name: Assogba Hodonou Author-Name: Dislène Senan Sossou Author-Name: Rahamatou Hamidou Yacoubou
  5. Credit constraints and agricultural technology adoption: Evidence from Nigeria By Balana, Bedru; Oyeyemi, Motunrayo
  6. Electrification and Cooking Fuel Choice in Rural India By Ridhima Gupta; Martino Pelli
  7. Selective Mortality and Malnutrition in India By Panda, Pallavi
  8. Fiscal Incentives for Conflict: Evidence from India's Red Corridor By Jacob Shapiro; Oliver Vanden Eynde
  9. Should Consumption Sub-Aggregates Be Used to Measure Poverty ? By Christiaensen,Luc; Ligon,Ethan; Pave Sohnesen,Thomas
  10. Combining Financial-Literacy Training and Text-Message Reminders to Influence Mobile-Money Use and Financial Behavior among Members of Village Savings and Loan Associations:Experimental Evidence from Malawi By Levison Chiwaula Author-Name: Mirriam Matita Author-Name: Tayamika Kamwanja Author-Name: Lucius Cassim Author-Name: Marcos Agurto
  11. Public expenditures on agriculture at subnational-levels and household-level agricultural outcomes in Nigeria By Takeshima, Hiroyuki; Smart, Jenny; Edeh, Hyacinth; Oyeyemi, Motunrayo; Balana, Bedru; Andam, Kwaw S.
  12. Breaking Down Silos - On-Post Harvest Loss Interventions in Tanzania By Joachim Vandercasteelen; Luc Christiaensen
  13. Technology in the Classroom and Learning in Secondary Schools By Blimpo,Moussa Pouguinimpo; Gajigo,Ousman; Owusu,Solomon; Tomita,Ryoko; Xu,Yanbin
  14. Caloric intake and energy expenditures in India By Eli,Shari; Li,Nicholas
  15. Why Are So Many Children Stunted in the Philippines ? By Capanzana,Mario V.; Demombynes,Gabriel; Gubbins,Paul Michael
  16. "Vocational Training for Demobilized Ex-combatants with Disabilities in Rwanda" By Kengo Igei; Kana Takio; Keitaro Aoyagi; Yoshito Takasaki
  17. Impact of Pollution from Coal on the Anemic Status of Children and Women: Evidence from India By Datt, Gaurav; Maitra, Pushkar; Menon, Nidhiya; Ray, Ranjan; Dey, Sagnik; Chowdhury, Sourangsu
  18. Changes in Female Employment in Mexico : Demographics, Economics, and Policies By Lopez-Acevedo,Gladys C.; Freije-Rodriguez,Samuel; Vergara Bahena,Mexico Alberto; Cardozo Medeiros,Diego
  19. Effect of migration on the food security of households left behind: Evidence from Ethiopia By Hamed Sambo
  20. How Valuable is the Reliability of Residential Electricity Supply in Low-Income Countries ? Evidence from Nepal By Alberini,Anna; Steinbuks,Jevgenijs; Timilsina,Govinda R.
  21. Local ambassadors promote mobile banking in Northern Peru By Marcos Agurto; Habiba Djebbari; Sudipta Sarangi Author-Name: Brenda Silupú Author-Name: Carolina Trivelli Author-Name: Javier Torres

  1. By: Francesco Amodio (McGill University, CIREQ); Giorgio Chiovelli (Universidad de Montevideo); Sebastian Hohmann (Stockholm School of Economics SITE)
    Abstract: This paper studies the labor market consequences of ethnic politics in African democracies. We combine geo-referenced data from 15 countries, 32 parliamentary elections, 62 political parties, 243 ethnic groups, 2,200 electoral constituencies, and 400,000 individuals. We implement a regression discontinuity design that compares individuals from ethnicities connected to parties at the margin of electing a local representative in the national parliament. We find that having a local ethnic politician in parliament increases the likelihood of being employed by 2-3 percentage points. We hypothesize that this effect originates from strategic interactions between ethnic politicians and traditional leaders, the latter retaining the power to allocate land and agricultural jobs in exchange for votes. The available evidence supports this hypothesis. First, the employment effect is concentrated in the historical homelands of ethnicities with strong pre-colonial institutions. Second, individuals from connected ethnicities are more likely to be employed in agriculture, and in those countries where customary land tenure is officially recognized by national legislation. Third, they are also more likely to identify traditional leaders as partisan, and as being mainly responsible for the allocation of land. Evidence shows that ethnic politics shapes the distribution of productive resources across sectors and ethnic groups.
    Keywords: ethnic politics, employment, democracy, traditional leaders, Africa
    JEL: J15 J70 O10 P26 Q15
    Date: 2019–12
  2. By: Hong,Seo Yeon; Cao,Xiaonan; Mupuwaliywa,Mupuwaliywa
    Abstract: This study investigates the impact of financial incentives and role of information and communication in textbook availability (especially those in local languages) in Zambia. It uses the difference-in-difference estimation method to identify the causal links among the factors. The data used for the study were collected in 2017 and 2019 for baseline and end-line information. The study shows that providing financial incentives to schools increases the likelihood of a school receiving textbooks by 0.126. This improvement is mainly driven by raising the likelihood of a school collecting the books from zone-center schools and District Education Board Secretaries offices, by 0.356 and 0.158, respectively. Providing financial incentives to District Education Board Secretaries does not have any impact on the likelihood of a school receiving textbooks. This is partly because the current textbook delivery practice in districts and communities relies heavily on the action of schools and less on District Education Board Secretaries. Thus, providing incentives directly to schools seems to intensify the current last-mile textbook distribution practice and has better results. In addition, providing information to schools on the availability of textbooks at District Education Board Secretaries offices improves the outcomes significantly with minimum cost.
    Keywords: Educational Populations,Education For All,Educational Policy and Planning - Textbook,Education for Development (superceded),Educational Sciences,Transport Services,Effective Schools and Teachers,Educational Institutions&Facilities,Health Economics&Finance
    Date: 2020–06–29
  3. By: Hannah Ameye; Joachim De Weerdt; John Gibson
    Abstract: The nutrition transition in developing countries has increased interest in moving the measurement and analysis of nutritional choice beyond calories to a more complete understanding of macro- and micronutrient consumption. To help move the literature on data collection forward we randomly assigned six different survey modules to measure food consumption across Tanzania, three using diaries and three using recall methods. These modules were chosen to reflect the variety of modules currently in use in multi-purpose household surveys collecting food consumption expenditures in some detail at national scale. They differ by survey observation period, by length of the food recall list, by type of survey reporter (individual reporting or a single reporter per household) and by frequency of interviewer visits. From these data we calculate the percentage consumed relative to daily recommended intakes of calories, protein, fats, sugars, fiber and 16 micronutrients, taking into account age and gender. We also calculate minimum cost diets in each region, using linear programming, and cost-of-basic needs food poverty lines, the prevalence and depth of food poverty according to these lines, and the cost of targeted transfers designed to eliminate food poverty. The nutrition transition in developing countries has increased interest in moving the measurement and analysis of nutritional choice beyond calories to a more complete understanding of macro- and micronutrient consumption. To help move the literature on data collection forward we randomly assigned six different survey modules to measure food consumption across Tanzania, three using diaries and three using recall methods. These modules were chosen to reflect the variety of modules currently in use in multi-purpose household surveys collecting food consumption expenditures in some detail at national scale. They differ by survey observation period, by length of the food recall list, by type of survey reporter (individual reporting or a single reporter per household) and by frequency of interviewer visits. From these data we calculate the percentage consumed relative to daily recommended intakes of calories, protein, fats, sugars, fiber and 16 micronutrients, taking into account age and gender. We also calculate minimum cost diets in each region, using linear programming, and cost-of-basic needs food poverty lines, the prevalence and depth of food poverty according to these lines, and the cost of targeted transfers designed to eliminate food poverty.
    Keywords: Consumption, Household surveys, Nutrition, Poverty
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Deo-Gracias Houndolo Author-Name: Assogba Hodonou Author-Name: Dislène Senan Sossou Author-Name: Rahamatou Hamidou Yacoubou
    Abstract: We tested a novel way of encouraging the adoption of improved maize seeds in Benin. In the treatment group, farmers were provided with intensive agricultural-extension support and a full package of inputs to test on one of their plots. In the control group, farmers were offered improved seeds, and agricultural-extension agents gave them only limited support. Our treatment was designed to encourage farmers to experiment with improved seeds by providing intensive technical support and free inputs throughout the maize crop season. Using a cluster randomized design and data on farmers’ experimental plots, we found a 23% increase in maize yields with our intervention as compared to the less resource-intensive policy solution. Further analyses suggested that it was not enough to expose farmers to a one-time resource-intensive model because the impact on their production was not long-lasting.
    Keywords: Adoption, agricultural technologies, maize production, randomized control trial, Benin
    Date: 2020
  5. By: Balana, Bedru; Oyeyemi, Motunrayo
    Abstract: The agricultural sector in Nigeria is characterized by low productivity that is driven by low use of modern agricultural technologies, such as improved seed, chemical fertilizer, agrochemicals, and agricultural machinery. Poor access to credit is claimed to be one of the key barriers to adoption of these technologies. This study examines the nature of credit constraints among smallholder farmers – whether smallholders are credit constrained or not and the extent to which credit constraints emanate from supply-side or demand-side factors. Using multinomial probit and seeming unrelated simultaneous equations econometric models with data from the 2018/19 Living Standards Measurement Study-Integrated Surveys on Agriculture (LSMS-ISA) for Nigeria, the study investigates the factors affecting credit access and the effects of these credit constraints on adoption of four agricultural technologies – inorganic fertilizer, improved seed, agrochemicals, and mechanization. The results show that about 27 percent of survey households were found to be credit constrained – 12.8 percent due to supply-side factors and 14.2 percent due to demand-side factors. Lack of access to information and communication technology, extension services, and insurance coverage are the major demand-side factors negatively affecting smallholder’s access to credit. Registered land tiles and livestock ownership enhance credit access. Credit constraints manifests themselves differentially on the adoption of different agricultural technologies. While adoption of inorganic fertilizer and improved seed are significantly affected by credit constraints from both the supply and the demand-sides; use of agricultural machinery is affected only by demand-side factors, while use of agrochemicals is not affected from either supply or demand-side credit factors. From a policy perspective, our findings indicate that improving credit access via supply-side interventions alone may not necessarily boost use of modern agricultural technologies by smallholder farmers in Nigeria. Demand-side factors, such as access to information, extension services, and insurance cover, should equally be addressed to mitigate the credit constraints faced by smallholders and increase their adoption of modern agricultural technologies and improve their productivity.
    Keywords: NIGERIA; WEST AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA; credit; agriculture; technology; smallholders; agricultural extension; agricultural technology; credit access; adoption; demand-side constraints; supply-side constraints
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Ridhima Gupta (South Asian University, India); Martino Pelli (Université de Sherbrooke and CIREQ)
    Abstract: This study investigates the causal link between electrification and the adoption of modern (and cleaner) cooking fuels, more specifically Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). In order to correct for the potential endogeneity, we exploit an instrumental variables approach that allows us to capture the part of the variation in electrification which is not related to factors that are also likely to affect a household’s choice of cooking fuel. Our instrument interacts state-level supply shifts in hydro-electric power availability with the initial level of electrification of each district. The results are consistent with an expansion of households’ choice set under a fixed budget constraint. We find that electrification leads to an increase in the probability of adoption of (free) biomass fuels and a decrease in the probability of adoption of (costly) modern cooking fuels. These results are statistically significant only for the poorest 50% of households in our sample, while they become statistically insignificant when we move to the richest 50%. The same is true for the share of expenditure in a specific fuel. These results seem to indicate that electrification by creating an additional strain on households’ finances pushes them back on the energy ladder.
    Keywords: rural electrification, cooking fuel, energy ladder, fuel stacking
    JEL: O12 O13 Q56
    Date: 2020–01
  7. By: Panda, Pallavi
    Abstract: India presents itself as a paradox with low infant mortality and high malnutrition. This paper provides survival bias as an explanation of the paradox. Using pooled health surveys from 1993 to 2005 and a pseudo-panel selection model, this study finds that the change in Height-for-Age Z-Scores (HAZ scores) can be explained by mortality selection. Specifically, children with sample average characteristics that survive have 17.4% less HAZ scores than a child randomly drawn from the population indicating an overestimation of malnutrition in India. This is consistent with the hypothesis of weaker children surviving due to skilled delivery which pulls down the overall HAZ scores. The results are robust to controls for unobservable characteristics of groups of women. Son preference is also apparent in the results. The selection is more evident among male children and in the states where sex selection is historically seen as a problem in India.
    Keywords: Infant Mortality, Child Health, Malnutrition, Son Preference, India
    JEL: I15 J11 J13 O12
    Date: 2019–11–29
  8. By: Jacob Shapiro (Princeton University); Oliver Vanden Eynde (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: Can tax regimes shape the incentives of governments to engage in armed conflict? India's Maoist belt contains a large share of the country's most valuable mineral deposits. Indian mining royalties benefit the States, but they are set by the central government. States are largely responsible for counter-insurgency operations within their territory. Therefore, the royalty regime could shape the incentive of states to support counter-insurgency efforts. This paper exploits the introduction of a 10% ad valorem tax on iron ore that was responsible for a 10-fold increase in royalty collections by the affected State governments. In a panel of district-level violence outcomes between 2007 and 2013, we find that the royalty hike was followed by a significant intensification of violence in districts with iron ore deposits compared to other areas. We also show that the higher royalty rates are followed by an increase in illegal mining activity, suggesting that the control of mineral resources underpins the observed intensification in violence.
    Keywords: Counterinsurgency,Civil Conflict,Public Goods Provision
    Date: 2020–08
  9. By: Christiaensen,Luc; Ligon,Ethan; Pave Sohnesen,Thomas
    Abstract: Frequent measurement of poverty is challenging, as measurement often relies on complex and expensive expenditure surveys that try to measure expenditures on a comprehensive consumption aggregate. This paper investigates the use of consumption"sub-aggregates"instead. The use of consumption sub-aggregates is theoretically justified if and only if all the Engel curves are linear for any realization of prices. This is very stringent. However, it may be possible to empirically identify certain goods that happen to have linear Engel curves given prevailing prices, and when the effect of price changes is small, such a sub-aggregate might work in practice. The paper constructs such linear sub-aggregates using data from Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. The findings show that using sub-aggregates is ill-advised in practice as well as in theory. This raises questions about the consistency of the poverty-tracking efforts currently applied across countries, since obtaining exhaustive consumption measures remains an unmet challenge.
    Date: 2020–07–01
  10. By: Levison Chiwaula Author-Name: Mirriam Matita Author-Name: Tayamika Kamwanja Author-Name: Lucius Cassim Author-Name: Marcos Agurto
    Abstract: Mobile money is increasingly promoted as a strategy to improve financial outcomes and livelihoods in low-income countries. However, its adoption and use among the poor remains low. We exploited a randomized experiment that exposed members of Village Savings and Loan Associations in Malawi to a financial-literacy and mobile-money training program, which was reinforced by weekly text-message reminders. We analyzed the impact of our intervention using survey data collected in the field as well as administrative data from the main telecommunications operators in the area. We found that treated individuals were more likely to have greater knowledge of mobile-money transactions than non-treated ones. They were also more likely to report receiving and saving money using mobile money and were more likely to report that they kept their savings in a formal financial institution. Interestingly, these effects were concentrated in relatively less economically developed areas. We used administrative data to analyze the effects of our intervention on the volume of mobile-money transactions. While the estimated effect had the expected positive sign, it was not statistically significant. We hypothesized that this result may be related to the fact that individuals also relied on local agents to perform mobile-money transactions; such behavior was not captured in administrative data. This is among the first studies to provide rigorous field-based evidence regarding how financial training supported by text-message reminders can influence mobile-money behavior. It is also among the very first to study the effects of such an intervention among members of Village Savings and Loan Associations.
    Date: 2020
  11. By: Takeshima, Hiroyuki; Smart, Jenny; Edeh, Hyacinth; Oyeyemi, Motunrayo; Balana, Bedru; Andam, Kwaw S.
    Abstract: Growing agriculture remains important for countries like Nigeria where, despite economic transformation at sectoral levels, a significant share of employment still originates from the agricultural sector. The question has continued to be debated of whether increasing Public Expenditures on Agriculture (PEA) is the way to grow agriculture. The needed evidence-base for this debate, while gradually growing, has remained insufficient in African countries, including Nigeria. This has been particularly the case as regards to evidence on the effects of PEA at household levels. This study attempted to partially fill this gap, using state and local government area (LGA)-level PEA figures and household data in Nigeria. The findings suggest that PEA has positive effects on household-level agricultural outcomes in various dimensions, including overall production levels, profits, access to public extension services or subsidized fertilizer, as well as private investments and, in some cases, agricultural mechanization. These patterns generally underscore the hypothesis that increasing direct support to the agricultural sector is likely to have greater effects on agricultural outcomes, compared to alternative strategies of developing agriculture indirectly through the support of other social-sectors like education, health, social safety-nets, among others. Increasing PEA by increasing the agricultural share of public expenditures (PE), while keeping the overall size of PE constant, is found to be particularly effective, compared to alternative approaches of increasing the overall size of PE while keeping agricultural share unchanged. Such patterns may suggest that Ricardian Equivalence partly holds. Furthermore, different agricultural outcomes are found to respond to PEA from different sources (e.g., LGA or State), and types (e.g., recurrent or capital spending). Enhancing research capacity to identify appropriate sources and types of PEA for particular agricultural outcomes remains important.
    Keywords: NIGERIA; WEST AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA; public expenditure; agriculture; households; employment; spending; public sector; panel data analysis; household-level analysis; agricultural employment; Public Expenditures on Agriculture (PEA)
    Date: 2020
  12. By: Joachim Vandercasteelen; Luc Christiaensen
    Abstract: Post-Harvest Losses (PHL) are considered to pose important economic losses for farmers in developing countries. This paper examines the effects of an intervention in Tanzania, aimed at reducing PHL of maize growing farmers during maize storage. Farmers were invited to attend a training on best practices in post-harvest maize management, and a randomized subset of trainees received the opportunity to buy an improved storage facility (silos) at a substantially discounted price. Data collected at 30 days and 90 days after harvest, however, do not point to significant impacts of the treatments offered to the farmers. Receiving training on best practices improved stated knowledge, but training nor the opportunity to purchase an improved storage had a significant effect on maize storage and sales behavior, physical PHL during storage, or the quality of the stored maize. The paper explores potential explanations, and provides some policy recommendations for future learning and decision-making on how to address PHL issues in developing countries.
    Date: 2020
  13. By: Blimpo,Moussa Pouguinimpo; Gajigo,Ousman; Owusu,Solomon; Tomita,Ryoko; Xu,Yanbin
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of a computer-assisted learning program on learning outcomes among high school students in The Gambia. The program uses innovative technologies and teaching approach to facilitate the teaching of mathematics and science. Since the pilot schools were not randomly chosen, the study first used administrative and survey data, including a written test, to build a credible counterfactual of comparable groups of control students. It used these data to conduct a pre-analysis plan prior to students taking the high-stakes certification exam. The study later used the certification exam data on the same students to replicate the results. The findings show that the program led to a 0.59 standard deviation gains in mathematics scores and an increase of 15 percentage points (a threefold increase) in the share of students who obtained credit in mathematics and English, a criterion for college admission in The Gambia. The impact is concentrated among high-achieving students at the baseline, irrespective of their gender or socioeconomic background.
    Keywords: Educational Institutions&Facilities,Effective Schools and Teachers,Educational Sciences,Energy Policies&Economics,Secondary Education,Gender and Development
    Date: 2020–06–22
  14. By: Eli,Shari; Li,Nicholas
    Abstract: Total energy expenditures for the Indian population between 1983 and 2012 are estimated to shed light on the debate concerning falling measured caloric intake during the period (Deaton and Dre ze 2009). Anthropometric, time-use, and detailed employment surveys are used to estimate the separate components of total energy expenditure related to metabolism and physical activity levels. Despite a significant drop in adult physical activity levels, total energy expenditures are flat overall between 1983 and 2012. Rising metabolic requirements due to increases in weight dampened the effect of falling activity levels on total energy expenditure. In addition, the 10 percent decline in the population share of children in the period raised average total energy expenditures considerably as children have much lower metabolic requirements and activity levels than adults.
    Date: 2020–06–30
  15. By: Capanzana,Mario V.; Demombynes,Gabriel; Gubbins,Paul Michael
    Abstract: Nearly one in three children under age five in the Philippines is stunted, a key marker of undernutrition. This rate is high for the country's level of income. This paper provides the first detailed multivariate analysis of potential drivers of stunting in the Philippines, using data from the 2015 National Nutrition Survey. Potential drivers are analyzed individually and grouped in major categories. The analysis finds that stunting between 24-60 months is principally associated with suboptimal prenatal conditions and inadequate food security and diversity. If the results are given a causal interpretation, they imply that if all Filipino newborns had adequate prenatal conditions, the fraction stunted at age 24-60 months would fall by 20 percent. Similarly, providing adequate food security and diversity to all Filipino children would reduce stunting by 22 percent. Other factors -- including access to water, sanitation, and environmental conditions -- have less strong associations with stunting. The results point to a series of policy priorities to reduce stunting: supporting the nutrition and health of expectant mothers, ensuring access to contraception to reduce adolescent pregnancy, and ensuring that children consume a variety of healthy foods, including protein-dense foods such as milk, meat, and eggs.
    Keywords: Reproductive Health,Early Child and Children's Health,Nutrition,Health Care Services Industry,Educational Sciences,Hydrology
    Date: 2020–06–23
  16. By: Kengo Igei (Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo); Kana Takio (Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health); Keitaro Aoyagi (Metrics Work Consultants Inc.); Yoshito Takasaki (Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: Disability-inclusive development is receiving growing attention as a pressing international development issue. Disability-inclusive development is especially urgent and complicated in post-conflict countries. This paper examines the impacts of vocational training on economic empowerment and social reintegration among demobilized ex-combatants with disabilities in Rwanda. This is the first quasi-experimental study on vocational training for disabled ex-combatants. Exploiting the variation in the timing of training uptake within the same training course, we employ a pipeline approach in the following three steps: (1) trimming to guarantee common support within courses, (2) exact matching on key covariates within courses, and (3) regression controlling for covariates within courses based on the matched sample. The results show that the training greatly increased not only employment and income, but also trainees' reintegration into the family and community. The results are robust to potential omitted variable bias and attrition bias according to a coefficient stability test and bound analysis, respectively. Our findings suggest a significant potential of vocational training for disabled ex-combatants in disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration programs. Our study exemplifies the utility of a credibly designed pipeline approach, which can be applied in a wide range of development projects in practice.
    Date: 2020–09
  17. By: Datt, Gaurav (Monash University); Maitra, Pushkar (Monash University); Menon, Nidhiya (Brandeis University); Ray, Ranjan (Monash University); Dey, Sagnik (Indian Institute of Technology Delhi); Chowdhury, Sourangsu (Indian Institute of Technology Delhi)
    Abstract: Economic growth in emerging market economies has come hand-in-hand with growing demand for energy, with many of them meeting this higher demand by increased use of coal to fuel electricity generation. This paper examines the impact of pollution generated by coal fueled power units on the anemic status of children and women in India. We show that among very young children (aged 0–5 years), the number of coal units in the district in the month and year of birth significantly increases the likelihood of being anemic net of a comprehensive set of child, mother, household and district level controls. Exposure in utero matters as well for child anemia, while the number of coal plants in the district also induce greater anemia among adult women. Impacts on anemic status are driven by the growth of PM2.5 pollution attributable to emissions from coal-powered units. We undertake a series of falsification and specification checks to underline the robustness of our results. Our research adds anemia to the list of significant health costs of relying on coal-fired power generation in meeting the increasing demand for energy that emerging market economies like India face.
    Keywords: anemia, coal units, PM2.5, air pollution, children, women, India
    JEL: I15 Q32 Q53 O12
    Date: 2020–07
  18. By: Lopez-Acevedo,Gladys C.; Freije-Rodriguez,Samuel; Vergara Bahena,Mexico Alberto; Cardozo Medeiros,Diego
    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.
    Date: 2020–06–23
  19. By: Hamed Sambo (CEPN - Centre d'Economie de l'Université Paris Nord - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - USPC - Université Sorbonne Paris Cité - UP13 - Université Paris 13)
    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
    Date: 2020–06–26
  20. By: Alberini,Anna; Steinbuks,Jevgenijs; Timilsina,Govinda R.
    Abstract: This study uses a contingent valuation approach to value the willingness-to-pay (WTP) for improved service experienced by households in Nepal following the end of the country's load-shedding crisis of 2008-2016. Using a detailed survey of grid-connected Nepali households, the authors calculate the WTP per outage-day avoided and the residential value of lost (VoLL) and analyze their key drivers. Households are willing to pay, on average, 123.32 NR ($1.11) per month, or 65 percent of the actual average monthly bill for improved quality of power supply. The preferred estimates of the VoLL are in the range of 5 to 15 NR/kWh (¢4.7-¢14/kWh). These estimates are below the marginal cost of avoided load shedding, and virtually the same as valuations at the beginning of the load-shedding crisis.
    Date: 2020–06–30
  21. By: Marcos Agurto; Habiba Djebbari; Sudipta Sarangi Author-Name: Brenda Silupú Author-Name: Carolina Trivelli Author-Name: Javier Torres
    Abstract: We experiment with a novel way to boost information acquisition that exploits existing social ties between the promoter of a new financial technology and community members. We offer information and training workshops on a new mobile-money platform in peri-urban and rural areas in Peru. In the treatment group, workshops are led by promoters who are personally known to the invited participants. In the control group, comparable individuals are invited to attend similar workshops, but the workshops are led by agents external to the community. Our findings suggest that lack of information impedes product adoption, which is itself limited by lack of trust in the individual who provides the information.
    Keywords: Financial inclusion, social networks, information transmission, trust
    JEL: D91 G23 I22 I31 O33
    Date: 2020

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