nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2020‒10‒12
twelve papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Give Me Your Tired and Your Poor: Impact of a Large-Scale Amnesty Program for Undocumented Refugees By Bahar, Dany; Ibanez, Ana Maria; Rozo, Sandra V.
  2. Does Access to Microcredit Lead to Technology Adoption by Smallholder Farmers? Experimental Evidence from Rural Bangladesh By Chowdhury, Shyamal; Smits, Joeri; Sun, Qigang
  3. Effects of interest rate caps on microcredit: evidence from a natural experiment in Bolivia By María José Roa; Alejandra Villegas; Ignacio Garrón
  4. Armed Conflict and Children's School/Work Time Allocation : evidence from Côte d'Ivoire By Eric Dago
  5. Managing the Impact of Climate on Migration: Evidence from Mexico By Isabelle Chort; Maëlys de la Rupelle
  6. Unwanted daughters: The impact of a ban on sex-selection on the educational attainment of women By Anisha Sharma; Garima Rastogi
  7. Borderline Disorder: (De Facto) Historical Ethnic Borders and Contemporary Conflict in Africa By Depetris-Chauvin, Emilio; Özak, Ömer
  8. India's Calorie Consumption Puzzle: Insights From the Stochastic Cost Frontier Analysis of Calorie Purchases By Hazarika, Gautam; Paul, Sourabh Bikas
  9. Who is Most Vulnerable to Climate Change Induced Yield Changes? A Dynamic Long Run Household Analysis in Lower Income Countries By Wilts, Rienne; Latka, Catharina; Britz, Wolfgang
  10. Who bears the burden of climate variability? A comparative analysis of the impact of weather conditions on inequality in Vietnam and Indonesia By Grazia PACILLO
  11. Fiscal policy, labour market, and inequality: Diagnosing South Africa's anomalies in the shadow of racial discrimination By Giorgio d'Agostino; Francesco Giuli; Marco Lorusso; Margherita Scarlato
  12. School Feeding Programmes, Education and Food Security in Rural Malawi By Roxana Elena Manea

  1. By: Bahar, Dany (Brookings Institution); Ibanez, Ana Maria (Inter-American Development Bank); Rozo, Sandra V. (USC Marshall School of Business)
    Abstract: Between 2014 and 2020 over 1.8 million refugees fled from Venezuela to Colombia as a result of a humanitarian crisis, many of them without a regular migratory status. We study the short- to medium-term labor market impacts in Colombia of the Permiso Temporal de Permanencia program, the largest migratory amnesty program offered to undocumented migrants in a developing country in modern history. The program granted regular migratory status and work permits to nearly half a million undocumented Venezuelan migrants in Colombia in August 2018. To identify the effects of the program, we match confidential administrative data on the location of undocumented migrants with department-monthly data from household surveys and compare labor outcomes in departments that were granted different average time windows to register for the amnesty online, before and after the program roll-out. We are only able to distinguish negative albeit negligible effects of the program on the formal employment of Colombian workers. These effects are predominantly concentrated in highly educated and in female workers.
    Keywords: migration, work permit, labor markets, amnesties
    JEL: F22 O15 R23
    Date: 2020–09
  2. By: Chowdhury, Shyamal; Smits, Joeri; Sun, Qigang
    Abstract: Agricultural productivity in many developing countries remains low owing mostly to the low adoption of readily available modern technologies such as modern seeds, chemical fertilisers and mechanized irrigation. To understand if relaxing credit constraints increases the adoption of agricultural technologies, we use results from a field experiment designed to estimate the effect of access to microcredit on agricultural technology adoption. We find mere offering of microcredit to smallholder farmers does not lead to the adoption of agricultural technologies. Nevertheless, there is strong evidence of a heterogeneous treatment effects: borrowers with medium-sized farms are 13.3 per cent more likely to adopt modern technologies. In addition, less-risk averse borrowers, and present-biased borrowers are 13.1 per cent and 12.3 per cent more likely to adopt modern technologies.
    Keywords: Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies
    Date: 2020–09–16
  3. By: María José Roa (Investigadora del Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas y Sociales Francisco de Vitoria); Alejandra Villegas (Investigadora de Universidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de México); Ignacio Garrón (Consultor indpendiente)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the imposition of caps on microcredit lending rates through directed credit policies for productive sectors. This financial inclusion intervention provides a unique quasi-experiment, allowing to estimate its causal effect following a difference-in-differences analysis. Our results suggest that the imposition of interest rate ceilings negatively affected the portfolio balance of new microcredits and loans to SMEs granted by MFIs. Particularly, we find robust results indicating that the balance of the microcredit and SME loans portfolio granted by MFIs, relative to the company portfolio granted by banks, decreased by 26.1% for an average MFI for the period 2011-2018.
    Keywords: Interest rate ceilings, financial inclusion, credit access, microcredit loans, small and medium enterprises loans .
    JEL: G18 G28 G38
    Date: 2020–09
  4. By: Eric Dago (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - Clermont Auvergne - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between armed conflict and school/work time allocation for children aged 10 to 14 years. The paper uses household level data from Côte d'Ivoire combined with information on the exact location and date of conflict events. The identification strategy uses the specific numbers of conflict events across "départements" and self-reported victim status indicators at the individual level to measure children's exposure to the conflict. Based on a bivariate probit model, which has the advantage of considering the simultaneity of decisions in school and work, and, controlling for the individual and household characteristics that determine household choices in schooling and in child labor, my results suggest that individuals from "départements" more affected by the conflict have higher probability of being involved in economic activities and lower probability of being enrolled in school. I further examine possible war impact mechanisms using a victim status indicator at the household level. The results suggest that conflict-related household victim status is an important channel through which armed conflict negatively affects the allocation of the children's' time.
    Keywords: Civil conflict,Child labor,Education / learning,Bivariate probit,Cote d'ivoire
    Date: 2020–09–16
  5. By: Isabelle Chort (CATT - Centre d'Analyse Théorique et de Traitement des données économiques - UPPA - Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour); Maëlys de la Rupelle (THEMA - Théorie économique, modélisation et applications - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CY - CY Cergy Paris Université, CRED - Centre de recherche en économie du développement - UNamur - Université de Namur [Namur])
    Abstract: This paper uses state-level data on migration flows between Mexico and the U.S. from 1999 to 2011 to investigate the migration response to climate shocks and the mitigating impact of an agricultural cash-transfer program (PROCAMPO) and a disaster fund (Fonden). While lower than average precipitations increase undocumented migration, especially from the most agricultural states, Fonden amounts decrease the undocumented migration response to abnormally low precipitations during the dry season. Changes equalizing the distribution of PROCAMPO and favoring vulnerable producers in the non irrigated ejido sector mitigate the impact of droughts on migration, especially for a high initial level of inequality.
    Keywords: International migration,Climate,Public policies,Weather variability,Natural disasters,Mexico-U.S. migration,Inequality
    Date: 2019–06
  6. By: Anisha Sharma (Ashoka University); Garima Rastogi (Independent)
    Abstract: We study whether legal restrictions on prenatal discrimination against females leads to a shift by parents towards postnatal discrimination. We exploit the staggered introduction of a ban on sex-selective abortions across states in India to find that a legal restriction on abortions in India led to an increase in the number of females born, as well as a widening in the gender gap in educational attainment. Females born in states affected by the ban are 2.3, 3.5 and 3.2 percentage points less likely to complete Grade 10, complete Grade 12 and enter university relative to males. These effects are concentrated among non-wealthy households that lacked the resources to evade the ban. Investigating mechanisms, we find that the relative reduction in investments in female education were not driven by family size but because surviving females were now relatively unwanted. Discrimination is amplified among higher order births and among females with relatively few sisters. Finally, these negative effects exist despite the existence of a marriage market channel through which parents increase investments in their daughters' education to increase the probability that they make a high-quality match.
    Keywords: sex ratio, education, fertility, economics of gender, discrimination, abor- tion, India
    Date: 2020–09
  7. By: Depetris-Chauvin, Emilio (Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile); Özak, Ömer (Southern Methodist University)
    Abstract: We explore the effect of historical ethnic borders on contemporary conflict in Africa. We document that both the intensive and extensive margins of contemporary conflict are higher close to historical ethnic borders. Exploiting variations across artificial regions within an ethnicity's historical homeland and a theory-based instrumental variable approach, we find that regions crossed by historical ethnic borders have 27 percentage points higher probability of conflict and 7.9 percentage points higher probability of being the initial location of a conflict. We uncover several key underlying mechanisms: competition for agricultural land, population pressure, cultural similarity and weak property rights.
    Keywords: borders, conflict, territory, property rights, landownership, population pressure, migration, historical homelands, development, Africa, Voronoi tessellation, Thiessen tessellation
    JEL: D74 N57 O13 O17 O43 P48 Q15 Q34
    Date: 2020–09
  8. By: Hazarika, Gautam (The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley); Paul, Sourabh Bikas (Indian Institute of Technology Delhi)
    Abstract: Between the early 1970s and very nearly the present, Indians' per capita calorie consumption declined. This decline, perplexing in the face of rising per capita income when malnutrition is rampant, has been termed India's Calorie Consumption Puzzle. It has been partially attributed to a squeeze in the household food budget. This study employs Stochastic Cost Frontier Analysis to evaluate this explanation, upon the logic that such a squeeze shall likely result in the rising cost-efficiency of calorie purchases, that is, the more economical purchase of calories. Analysis of household expenditure data from India's National Sample Survey reveals that Indian households' purchase of calories did become more cost-efficient at every level of income, suggesting that there was indeed a squeeze in the household food budget, making this a viable explanation of the Calorie Consumption Puzzle. Besides thus investigating India's Calorie Consumption Puzzle, this study demonstrates a novel application of Stochastic Cost Frontier Analysis, to consumption instead of the more common production, in that the method has not previously been applied to the consumption of multiple items treated as inputs yielding an output. Stochastic Cost Frontier Analysis applied to calorie acquisition may be a new way of gauging changes over time in food security, with a rise in cost-efficiency indicating a squeeze in the food budget or declining food security.
    Keywords: calorie consumption puzzle, Stochastic Cost Frontier Analysis
    JEL: I32 O1
    Date: 2020–09
  9. By: Wilts, Rienne; Latka, Catharina; Britz, Wolfgang
    Abstract: Climate change impacts on agricultural production will shape the challenges of reaching food security and reducing poverty across households in the future. Existing literature lacks analysis of these impacts on different household groups under consideration of changing socio-economic developments. Here, we analyze how crop yield shifts induced by climate change will affect different household types in three low and low middle-income countries, namely Vietnam, Ethiopia and Bolivia. The long-run analysis is based on a recursive-dynamic Computable General Equilibrium model. We first construct a baseline scenario projecting global socio-economic developments up to 2050. From there, we implement business-as-usual climate change shocks on crop yields. In the baseline, all households benefit from welfare increases over time. Adding climate change induced yield changes reveals impacts different in size and direction depending on the level of the households’ income and on the share of income generated in agriculture. We find that the composition of the factor income is of large importance for the vulnerability of households to climate change, as, the loss for non-agricultural households is highest in absolute terms. The complementary comparative static analysis shows smaller absolute and relative effects for most households as the differentiated factor income growth over time is not considered, which makes household types more or less vulnerable. A sensitivity analysis varying the severity of climate change impacts on yields confirms that more negative yield shifts exacerbate the situation of the most vulnerable households. Furthermore, it underlines that yield shocks on staple crops are of major importance for the welfare effect. Our findings reveal the need for differentiated interventions to mitigate consequences especially for the most vulnerable households.
    Keywords: Consumer/Household Economics, Crop Production/Industries, Demand and Price Analysis, Food Security and Poverty, International Development, International Relations/Trade
    Date: 2020–10–02
  10. By: Grazia PACILLO
    Abstract: Is climate variability regressive? One argument could be as follows: People living in areas with high risk of climate hazards usually correspond to the most disadvantaged populations. Due to existing structural inequalities, they have limited opportunities to cope with climate hazards and often fall into a spiral of further poverty and social exclusion. In this paper, we investigate whether climate variability indeed has a regressive effect in Vietnam and Indonesia where both climate variability and inequality have been increasing. We directly analyse the effect of annual and seasonal temperature on income and income inequality across years.
    Keywords: Indonésie, Vietnam
    JEL: Q
    Date: 2020–09–23
  11. By: Giorgio d'Agostino; Francesco Giuli; Marco Lorusso; Margherita Scarlato
    Abstract: Inequality in South Africa is the enduring legacy of racial discrimination. We use a dynamic perspective to show the linkages between persistent effects of discrimination in the labour market and the efficacy of redistributive fiscal policy in reducing inequality. We present a machine-learning analysis based on household survey data in the Post-Apartheid Labour Market Series to predict the main drivers of the relationship between workers' heterogeneous socioeconomic characteristics, the behaviour of variables related to labour market status, and labour income inequality.
    Keywords: Inequality, Discrimination, job search, Labour market, General equilibrium
    Date: 2020
  12. By: Roxana Elena Manea
    Abstract: The evidence concerning the impact of school feeding programmes on education is mixed. In this paper, I set out to investigate one of the potential reasons behind this disagreement. I argue that the prevailing food security situation at the time and place of the programme's evaluation plays a major role. I study the case of rural Malawi. I use an instrumental variable approach and propensity score matching to estimate the impact of school feeding on the extensive and intensive margins of education, i.e., the percentage of children of primary school age who are in school and the percentage of primary school enrollees who have not dropped out. I focus on villages with overlapping characteristics to avoid confounding the impact of school feeding with factors that are specific to treated villages. School feeding has increased the extensive margin of education by 7 percentage points on average, but the impact on the intensive margin is relatively limited. When I distinguish between food-secure and food-insecure areas, not only do I find a larger impact on the extensive margin of schooling in food-insecure areas, but I also uncover a significant increase of 2 percentage points in the intensive margin of education in these same areas. I conclude that school feeding programmes bear an impact on education as long as they also intervene to relax a binding food constraint.
    Keywords: School feeding programmes;Education; Food security; Malawi
    Date: 2020–09–30

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