nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2020‒11‒09
eleven papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Schooling and child labor: Evidence from Mexico's full-time school program By Kozhaya, Mireille; Martinez Flores, Fernanda
  2. The Value of Redistribution: Natural Resources and the Formation of Human Capital under Weak Institutions By Jorge M. Agüero; Carlos Felipe Balcázar; Stanislao Maldonado; Hugo Ñopo
  3. Media reported violence and female labor supply By Zahra Siddique
  4. What do you mean by ‘informed consent’? Ethics in economic development research By Josephson, Anna; Smale, Melinda
  5. Agricultural research in Southeast Asia: A cross-country analysis of resource allocation, performance, and impact on productivity By Stads, Gert-Jan; Nin-Pratt, Alejandro; Omot, Norah; Pham, Nguyen Thi
  6. Postharvest losses and the impact of reusable plastic container technology on profitability: Evidence from tomato traders in Nigeria By Aghadi, Crystal N.; Balana, Bedru; Ogunniyi, Adebayo
  7. Fertility after The Drought: Theory and Evidence from Madagascar By Sylvain Dessy; Francesca Marchetta; Roland Pongou; Luca Tiberti
  8. Fertility Transitions in Developing Countries: Convergence, Timing, and Causes By Erasmo Papagni
  9. Building Infrastructure to Promote Inclusive Growth. By Bhattacharya, Rudrani; Sen Gupta, Abhijit; Sikdar, Satadru
  10. Social Barriers to Female Migration: Theory and Evidence from Bangladesh By Amirapu, Amrit; Asadullah, M Niaz; Wahhaj, Zaki
  11. Socio-economic and environmental effects of eco-tourism By Saavedra, S

  1. By: Kozhaya, Mireille; Martinez Flores, Fernanda
    Abstract: Child labor is a matter of international concern. This paper examines the effect of a program that extended the length of a school day from four to six or eight hours in Mexico, on school enrollment, time spent on schooling activities, and child labor of children aged 7 to 14. To identify the effect, we take advantage of the staggered implementation of the FTS program across municipalities. The results show that extending the school day has no effect on the probability of being enrolled in school, but a positive effect on the weekly hours allocated to schooling activities. When focusing on child labor, we find a reduction of 1.6 hours worked, mainly driven by a decrease in the probability of engaging in work by 6.3 percentage points. For boys, we observe a decrease in the probability of engaging in market work and for girls a decrease in the probability of engaging in domestic work.
    Keywords: child labor,all-day schools,schooling,after-school programs
    JEL: J13 J21 J22 O12
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Jorge M. Agüero (University of Connecticut); Carlos Felipe Balcázar (New York University); Stanislao Maldonado (Universidad del Rosario); Hugo Ñopo (Grupo de Analisis de Desarrollo)
    Abstract: We exploit time and spatial variation generated by the commodities boom to measure the effect of natural resources on human capital formation in Peru, a country with low governance indicators. Combining test scores from over two million students and district-level administrative data of mining taxes redistributed to local governments, we find sizable effects on student learning from the redistribution. However, and consistent with recent political economy models, the relationship is non-monotonic. Based on these models, we identify improvements in school expenditure and infrastructure, together with increases in health outcomes of adults and children, as key mechanisms explaining the effect we find for redistribution. Policy implications for the avoidance of the natural resource curse are discussed.
    Keywords: Resource booms, academic achievement, intergovernmental transfers
    JEL: H7 H23 I25 O15 Q32
    Date: 2020–10
  3. By: Zahra Siddique
    Abstract: This paper explores how safety concerns together with cultural norms associated with female purity have an impact on behavior such as female labor supply in a developing country context. In particular, I examine the effect of media reports of local physical and sexual assaults on urban women's labor force participation in India. This is done by combining nationally representative cross-sectional microeconomic surveys on labor force participation carried out between 2009 and 2012 with a novel geographically referenced data source on media reports of assaults. I find that a one standard deviation increase in lagged media reports per 1000 people of local sexual assaults reduces the probability that a woman is employed outside her home by 0:67 percentage points (or 5:5% of the sample average). I find evidence that this is a short lived effect, with female labor supply increasing to catch-up following an initial decline. The negative effect of media reported violence on female labor supply persists after controlling for the underlying level of violence against women reported to the police in a district or after controlling for exogenous gender specific labor demand shocks. I find these effects to be strongest among young women between the ages of 18 and 25. These effects are robust to changes in the estimation sample and empirical speciffcation, as well as to placebo checks.
    Date: 2020–10–30
  4. By: Josephson, Anna; Smale, Melinda
    Abstract: The ethical conduct of research requires the informed consent and voluntary participation of research participants. Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) work to ensure that these ethical standards are met. However, incongruities in perspective and practice exist across regions. In this paper, we focus on informed consent as practiced by agricultural and applied economists, with emphasis on research conducted in low income and/or developing countries. IRB regulations are clear but heterogeneous, emphasizing process, rather than outcome. The lack of IRBs and institutional reviews in some contexts and the particulars of the principles employed in others may fail to adequately protect research participants.
    Date: 2020–10–26
  5. By: Stads, Gert-Jan; Nin-Pratt, Alejandro; Omot, Norah; Pham, Nguyen Thi
    Abstract: Southeast Asia made considerable progress in building and strengthening its agricultural R&D capacity during 2000–2017. All of the region’s countries reported higher numbers of agricultural researchers, improvements in their average qualification levels, and higher shares of women participating in agricultural R&D. In contrast, regional agricultural research spending remained stagnant, despite considerable growth in agricultural output over time. As a result, Southeast Asia’s agricultural research intensity—that is, agricultural research spending as a share of agricultural GDP—steadily declined from 0.50 percent in 2000 to just 0.33 percent in 2017. Although the extent of underinvestment in agricultural research differs across countries, all Southeast Asian countries invested below the levels deemed attainable based on the analysis summarized in this report. The region will need to increase its agricultural research investment substantially in order to address future agricultural production challenges more effectively and ensure productivity growth. Southeast Asia’s least developed agricultural research systems (Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar) are characterized by low scientific output and researcher productivity as a direct consequence of severe underfunding and lack of sufficient well-qualified research staff. While Malaysia and Thailand have significantly more developed agricultural research systems, they still report key inefficiencies and resource constraints that require attention. Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam occupy intermediate positions between these two groups of high- and low-performing agricultural research systems. Growing national economies, higher disposable incomes, and changing consumption patterns will prompt considerable shifts in levels of agricultural production, consumption, imports, and exports across Southeast Asia over the next 20 to 30 years. The resource-allocation decisions that governments make today will affect agricultural productivity for decades to come. Governments therefore need to ensure the research they undertake is responsive to future challenges and opportunities, and aligned with strategic development and agricultural sector plans. ASTI’s projections reveal that prioritizing investment in staple crops will still trigger fastest agricultural productivity growth in Laos. However, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam could achieve faster growth over the next 30 years by prioritizing investment in research focused on fruit, vegetables, livestock, and aquaculture. In Cambodia, Myanmar, and Thailand, the choice between focusing on staple crops versus high-value commodities was less pronounced, but projections did indicate that prioritizing investments in oil crop research would trigger significantly lower growth in agricultural productivity.
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Aghadi, Crystal N.; Balana, Bedru; Ogunniyi, Adebayo
    Abstract: Postharvest loss is a major challenge in food production and supply chains in developing countries. Using primary data from fresh tomato traders in Lagos, Nigeria, and endogenous switching econometric modelling, this study investigates the effects of reusable plastic containers (RPC) technology on traders’ net profits and the factors determining the adoption of the technology. Results indicate that the trader’s position along the supply chain, income level, seasonality, sales frequency, and technology affordability positively influence their adoption decision. We found that the use of RPC technology significantly increases traders’ net profits. The counterfactual impact analysis indicates that traders who adopted RPC would have earned 7 percent lower net profits had they not used RPC. Conversely, non-adopters would have increased their net profit by 5 percent had they adopted the technology. However, heterogenous treatment effects were observed due to heterogeneities among the adopters.
    Keywords: NIGERIA; WEST AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA; adoption; postharvest losses; profit; trade; food losses; technology; regression analysis; livelihoods; econometrics; endogenous switching regression; reusable plastic container; small traders
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Sylvain Dessy; Francesca Marchetta; Roland Pongou; Luca Tiberti
    Abstract: In communities highly dependent on rainfed agriculture for their livelihoods, the common occur-rence of climatic shocks such as droughts can lower the opportunity cost of having children, and raise fertility. Using longitudinal household data from Madagascar, we estimate the causal effect of drought occurrences on fertility, and explore the nature of potential mechanisms driving this effect. We exploit exogenous within-district year-to-year variation in rainfall deficits, and find that droughts occurring during the agricultural season significantly increase the number of children born to women living in agrarian communities. This effect is long lasting, as it is not reversed within four years following the drought occurrence. Analyzing the mechanism, we find that droughts have no effect on common underlying factors of high fertility such as marriage timing and child mortality. Furthermore, droughts have no significant effect on fertility if they occur during the non-agricultural season or in non-agrarian communities, and their positive effect in agrarian communities is mitigated by irrigation. These findings provide evidence that a low opportunity cost of having children is the main channel driving the fertility effect of drought in agrarian communities.
    Keywords: Climatic shocks; Droughts; Agricultural season; Opportunity cost of children; Fertility; Irrigation.
    JEL: C12 C13 C14 J12 J13 O12
    Date: 2019
  8. By: Erasmo Papagni (University of Campania L. Vanvitelli and Global Labor Organization (GLO))
    Abstract: This paper studies the dynamics of fertility in 180 countries in theperiod 1950-2015 and investigates the determinants of the onset of fertility transitions. We find evidence of convergence in three groups of countries, and distinguish the transitioning countries from those not transitioning. The estimation of the year of onset of the fertility transitionis followed by an econometric analysis of the causes of this event. Instrumental-variable estimates show that increasing female education and reduced infant mortality are important determinants of fertility decline, while per-capita GDP has probably worked in the opposite direction. These results are confirmed by the application of Lewbel's (2012) methods where identification is based on heteroskedasticity.
    Keywords: Fertility, Demographic Trends, Female Education
    JEL: J11 J13 I15 I25 C26
    Date: 2019–12
  9. By: Bhattacharya, Rudrani (National Institute of Public Finance and Policy); Sen Gupta, Abhijit (Asian Development Bank); Sikdar, Satadru (National Institute of Public Finance and Policy)
    Abstract: Globally infrastructure has been found to play a significant role in promoting inclusiveness and growth through various channels. These include reducing the cost and improving the quality of intermediate inputs, enlarging the market size and allowing greater competition, and improving access to public services and economic opportunities. In this paper, we empirically investigate the role played by infrastructure development in improving living standards across major states in India. We explore the role of infrastructure development in four sectors, viz. electricity, roads, education and health, in enhancing income growth and facilitating poverty reduction. Instead of focusing on the commonly used infrastructure expenditure as a measure of infrastructure development, we construct infrastructure indexes for each sector using an array of physical indicators for that sector. This helps us overcome the inaccuracies that can arise due to inefficiency, leakage, corruption and weak government procurement policies. We find that infrastructure development across roads, electricity and education sectors, significantly bolster economic growth. On the other hand, infrastructure development across electricity, health and education sectors substantially assist in poverty reduction, even after accounting for the impact of major social welfare schemes. We conclude by highlighting some broad measures to enhance infrastructure investment.
    Keywords: Infrastructure ; Income growth ; Poverty ; Panel VAR ; India
    JEL: C3 I15 I25 O11
    Date: 2020–10
  10. By: Amirapu, Amrit; Asadullah, M Niaz; Wahhaj, Zaki
    Abstract: Traditional gender norms can restrict independent migration by women, thus preventing them from taking advantage of economic opportunities in urban non-agricultural industries. However, women may be able to circumvent such restrictions by using marriage to engage in long-distance migration - if they are able to match with migrating grooms. Guided by a theoretical model in which women make marriage and migration decisions jointly, we hypothesize that marriage and labour markets will be inextricably linked by the possibility of marital migration. To test our hypotheses, we use the event of the construction of a major bridge in Bangladesh - which dramatically reduced travel time between the economically deprived north-western region and the manufacturing belt located around the capital city Dhaka - as a source of plausibly exogenous variation in migration costs. Our empirical ffndings support our model's main predictions and provide strong evidence for the existence of social barriers to female migration.
    Keywords: migration,marriage markets,female labour force participation,gender norms
    JEL: J12 J16 J61 O15 O18 R23
    Date: 2020
  11. By: Saavedra, S
    Abstract: Eradicating poverty and halting deforestation are two of the Sustainable Development Goals. Eco-tourism is considered a win-win strategy that can increase income and preserve forests. However, there are no well-identified impact evaluations of both variables at the same time. Seventy-six municipalities in Colombia were randomly assigned to either a control group or a treatment group that received ecotourism promotion. I estimate the socio-economic and environmental effects of nine months of treatment using an ANCOVA specification that controls for baseline individual outcomes. In treated municipalities, I find an increase of 30% in the number of tourists and 16% in the number of workers. However, there are no statistically significant effects on business profits, poverty, or household income. At the same time, I do find a reduction of 100% of deforestation alerts around treated eco-tourism sites. These results illustrate the importance of economic opportunities for local communities in order to preserve forests.
    Keywords: Eco-tourism; Poverty; Deforestation; Colombia
    JEL: Q56 Z32
    Date: 2020–10–28

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