nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2021‒02‒15
28 papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Changes in Social Network Structure in Response to Exposure to Formal Credit Markets By Abhijit Banerjee; Emily Breza; Arun G. Chandrasekhar; Esther Duflo; Matthew O. Jackson; Cynthia Kinnan
  2. Can Digitalization Help Deter Corruption in Africa? By Rasmané Ouedraogo; Amadou N Sy
  3. Did railways affect literacy? Evidence from India By Latika Chaudhary; Fenske, James
  4. Measuring Income Inequality and Implications for Economic Transmission Channels By Robert Blotevogel; Eslem Imamoglu; Kenji Moriyama; Babacar Sarr
  5. Socioeconomic and cultural drivers of women's formal work in rural Ghana By Elena Gross; Raymond Boadi Frempong
  6. Impacts of Labor Market Institutions and Demographic Factors on Labor Markets in Latin America By Adriana D. Kugler
  7. Disaggregated labor supply implications of guaranteed employment in India By Megan Sheahan; Yanyan Liu; Sudha Narayanan; Christopher B. Barrett
  8. The rise of agribusiness and the distributional consequences of policies on intermediated trade By Swati Dhingra; Silvana Tenreyro
  9. Mobile Phone Ownership and Welfare: Evidence from South Africa’s Household Survey By Ken Miyajima
  10. Food Price Shocks and Household Consumption in Developing Countries: The Role of Fiscal Policy By Carine Meyimdjui; Jean-Louis Combes
  11. Earnings inequality and the changing nature of work: Evidence from Labour Force Survey data of Bangladesh By Sayema Haque Bidisha; Tanveer Mahmood; Mahir A. Rahman
  12. Damned by dams? Infrastructure and conflict By Eberle, Ulrich
  13. Productive Workfare? Evidence from Ethiopia's Productive Safety Net Program By Jules Gazeaud; Victor Stephane
  14. Income Inequality and Government Transfers in Mexico By Frederic Lambert; Hyunmin Park
  15. Job quality and labour market transitions: Evidence from Mexican informal and formal workers By Emily Conover; Melanie Khamis; Sarah Pearlman
  16. Long-run rural livelihood diversification in Kagera, Tanzania By Ralitza Dimova; Sandra Kristine Halvorsen; Milla Nyyssölä; Kunal Sen
  17. Informality and Gender Gaps Going Hand in Hand By Vivian Malta; Lisa L Kolovich; Angelica Martinez; Marina Mendes Tavares
  18. Fiscal Buffers for Natural Disasters in Pacific Island Countries By Hidetaka Nishizawa; Scott Roger; Huan Zhang
  19. The Spending Responses to Adverse Health Shocks: Evidence from a Panel of Colombian Households By Cortes, Darwin; Gallegos, Andrés; Perez Perez, Jorge
  20. How does information on minimum and maximum food prices affect measured monetary poverty? Evidence from Niger By Christophe Muller; Nouréini Sayouti
  21. The Columbian Exchange and conflict in Asia By Dincecco, Mark; Fenske, James; Menon, Anil
  22. Can integrated social protection programmes affect social cohesion? Mixed-methods evidence from Malawi By Burchi, Francesco; Roscioli, Federico
  23. Role models and migration intentions By Sandrine Mesplé-Somps; Björn Nilsson
  24. Is Regional Trade Integration a Growth and Convergence Engine in Africa? By Vigninou Gammadigbe
  25. Disrupted schooling: impacts on achievement from the Chilean school occupations By Piero Montebruno
  26. A Simplified measure of nutritional empowerment using machine learning to abbreviate the Women's Empowerment in Nutrition Index (WENI) By Shree Saha; Sudha Narayanan
  27. Daughter vs. Daughter-in-law: Kinship roles and women's time use in India By Tanu Gupta; Digvijay S. Negi
  28. Democratisation under Diversity: Theory and Evidence from Indonesian Communities By Mitra, Anirban; Pal, Sarmistha

  1. By: Abhijit Banerjee; Emily Breza; Arun G. Chandrasekhar; Esther Duflo; Matthew O. Jackson; Cynthia Kinnan
    Abstract: Formal financial institutions can have far-reaching and long-lasting impacts on informal lending and information networks. We first study 75 villages in Karnataka, 43 of which were exposed to microfinance after we first collected detailed network data. Networks shrink more in exposed villages. Links between households that were unlikely to ever borrow from microfinance are at least as likely to disappear as links involving likely borrowers. We replicate these surprising findings in the context of a randomized controlled trial in Hyderabad, where a microfinance institution randomly selected neighborhoods to enter first. Four years after all neighborhoods were treated, households in early-entry neighborhoods had credit access longer and had larger loans. We again find fewer social relationships between households in early-entry neighborhoods, even among those ex-ante unlikely to borrow. Because the results suggest global spillovers, which are inconsistent with standard models of network formation, we develop a new dynamic model of network formation that emphasizes chance meetings, where efforts to socialize generate a global network-level externality. Finally, we analyze informal borrowing and the sensitivity of consumption to income fluctuations. Households unlikely to take up microcredit suffer the greatest loss of informal borrowing and risk sharing, underscoring the global nature of the externality.
    JEL: D13 D85 L14 O12 Z13
    Date: 2021–01
  2. By: Rasmané Ouedraogo; Amadou N Sy
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect of digitalization on the perception of corruption and trust in tax officials in Africa. Using individual-level data from Afrobarometer surveys and several indices of digitalization, we find that an increase in digital adoption is associated with a reduction in the perception of corruption and an increase in trust in tax officials. Exploiting the exogeneous deployment of submarine cables at the local level, the paper provides evidence of a negative impact of the use of Internet on the perception of corruption. Yet, the paper shows that the dampening effect of digitalization on corruption is hindered in countries where the government has a pattern of intentionally shutting down the Internet, while countries that successfully promote information and communication technology (ICT) enjoy a more amplified effect.
    Keywords: Corruption;Digitalization;Public employment;Public financial management (PFM);Education;WP,tax official,online service,intentional disruption,DAI government,government action,simple average
    Date: 2020–05–29
  3. By: Latika Chaudhary (Naval Post Graduate School); Fenske, James (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: Abstract. We study the effect of railroads, the single largest public investment in colonial India, on human capital. Using district-level data on literacy, we find railroads had positive effects on literacy, in particular on male and English literacy. We employ two identification strategies. First, we exploit synthetic panel variation contained in cohort-specific literacy rates due to differences in the timing of railroad exposure of different cohorts within the same district and census year. We find a one standard deviation increase in railroad exposure raises literacy by 0.29 standard deviations. Second, we use distance from an early railway plan as an instrument for district railway exposure in the cross section and find results of similar magnitude. We show that railroads increased literacy by raising secondary, rather than primary, schooling. Our mediation analysis suggests that non-agricultural income and opportunities for skilled employment are important mechanisms, while agricultural income is not.
    Keywords: Colonialism, Railways, Literacy. JEL Classification: N75, N35, R40
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Robert Blotevogel; Eslem Imamoglu; Kenji Moriyama; Babacar Sarr
    Abstract: We study the channels that theoretically transmit the effects of inequality to economic growth, unlike much of the existing literature that focuses on the direct linkage. The role of inequality in these transmission channels is difficult to pin down and varies with the particular inequality indicator chosen. We run our analyses with six methodologically distinct inequality measures (Gini coefficients and Top10 income shares). Methodological differences within the set of Gini coefficients and the Top10 income shares exert a first-order impact on the estimated relationships, which is generally larger than the effect of switching between Gini and Top10 income shares. For a given inequality indicator, we find that the transmission channels can react in opposite directions, with the net effect on growth difficult to determine. Finally, we emphasize two additional but so far underappreciated empirical complications: (i) estimated relationships change over time; and (ii) fragile countries create significant but counterintuitive empirical associations that may obscure structural relationships.
    Keywords: Income inequality;Personal income;Income distribution;Human capital;Disposable income;WP,inequality indicator,event study,income share,capital consumption,price level
    Date: 2020–08–14
  5. By: Elena Gross; Raymond Boadi Frempong
    Abstract: We study socioeconomic indicators of female labour force participation in off-farm formal employment in a subsistence agriculture setting in northern Ghana, where a new commercial farm provides a positive demand shock for low-skilled labour. We use a set of quantitative and qualitative data examining determinants of female labour force participation, the social effects arising from it, and the influence on female decision-making power in their households. In line with other micro-studies, we find that education is not a driver of female labour participation in low-skilled jobs.
    Keywords: Female labour force participation, Ghana, Decision making, Households, off-farm work, Polygyny, Rural households
    Date: 2021
  6. By: Adriana D. Kugler
    Abstract: This paper documents recent labor market performance in the Latin American region. The paper shows that unemployment, informality, and inequality have been falling over the past two decades, though still remain high. By contrast, productivity has remained stubbornly low. The paper, then, turns to the potential impacts of various labor market institutions, including employment protection legislation (EPL), minimum wages (MW), payroll taxes, unemployment insurance (UI) and collective bargaining, as well as the impacts of demographic changes on labor market performance. The paper relies on evidence from carefully conducted studies based on micro-data for countries in the region and for other countries with similar income levels to draw conclusions on the impact of labor market institutions and demographic factors on unemployment, informality, inequality and productivity. The decreases in unemployment and informality can be partly explained by the reduced strictness of EPL and payroll taxes, but also by the increased shares of more educated and older workers. By contrast, the fall in inequality starting in 2002 can be explained by a combination of binding MW throughout most of the region and, to a lesser extent, by the introduction of UI systems in some countries and the role of unions in countries with moderate unionization rates. Falling inequality can also be explained by the fall in the returns to skill associated with increased share of more educated and older workers.
    Keywords: Employment;Wages;Employment protection;Labor markets;Unemployment;WP,unemployment rate,Gini coefficient,collective bargaining,wage inequality,inequality in Latin America,reservation wage
    Date: 2019–07–17
  7. By: Megan Sheahan (Industrial Economics); Yanyan Liu (International Food Policy Research Institute); Sudha Narayanan (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research); Christopher B. Barrett (Cornell University)
    Abstract: How do household labor supply decisions change with the entry of a massive employment guarantee program? This paper explores the household labor allocation effects - disaggregated by gender, age group, task, and season - associated with India's Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). Using three rounds of panel household survey data combined with project administrative recordsin Andhra Pradesh, our results suggest that participation in MGNREGS prompted an increase in overall household labor supply by about 12 days only in the summer slack labor season, mostly attributed to adult women. This expansion is not large enough to evade "crowding out" of some labor previously offered to non- MGNREGS labor tasks, and more so in the main agricultural seasons than the summer slack season. Time spent on paid and unpaid activities do not increase for youth and children in MGNREGS-participating households, suggesting no within-household substitution of labor towards younger members.
    Keywords: labor, employment guarantee, public works, gender, MGNREGS, India
    JEL: D13 E24 J22 J38 J45
    Date: 2020–11
  8. By: Swati Dhingra; Silvana Tenreyro
    Abstract: Policies to encourage agribusinesses-led development of crop markets are high on the agenda of many policy-makers. Since the 1980s, several countries have moved to a model in which agribusinesses provide market access to farmers. The motivation behind these policies is to raise income and wellbeing, particularly for low-income rural households. Yet, systematic analyses of the overall impact of such policies on household welfare are scant. This paper provides a novel modelling framework to study the role of agribusinesses in shaping the gains from trade and the share accruing to small farmers. Exploiting a national policy change in Kenya in 2004, we find that the shift to the agribusiness model reduced farmer incomes from policy-affected crops, relative to other crops. The relative fall in incomes was higher for farmers selling primarily to large agribusinesses. Correspondingly, agribusiness firms specialized in policy-affected crops saw larger increases in profit margins. Farmers in villages with a comparative advantage in policy-affected crops saw larger reductions in consumption, especially of durable assets. The findings contribute to the academic and policy debate on the impact of market power on the size and distribution of the gains from trade.
    Keywords: agribusiness, market power, intermediated trade, middlemen, oligopsony
    JEL: F1 F6 Q1 O1
    Date: 2020–02
  9. By: Ken Miyajima
    Abstract: Digitalization is accelerating as countries fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. In this context, the impact of mobile phone ownership on welfare (represented by consumption) is estimated for South Africa using rich household survey data in a panel format, the National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS) with 5 waves spanning 2008–17. The literature argues mobile phone ownership facilitates greater and more affordable access to information and generate welfare gains. We attempt to disentangle the two-way relationship between consumption and mobile phone ownership, which is inherently difficult, and add to the literature by investigating distributional effects. Estimated results suggest that consumption of mobile phone owners tends to be 10–20 percent above that of non-owners. Benefits tend to accrue more on individuals with relatively low levels of consumption, potentially as a greater number of new users, likely with higher marginal positive effects on consumption, and a faster rate of user cost reduction help reap greater gains.
    Keywords: Consumption;Mobile banking;Estimation techniques;Education;Income;Digitalization,Household Survey,Instrumental Variable Approach,Mobile Phone,South Africa,WP,consumption decile,system GMM,level consumption,NIDS data
    Date: 2020–10–30
  10. By: Carine Meyimdjui; Jean-Louis Combes
    Abstract: This paper studies whether fiscal policy plays a stabilizing role in the context of import food price shocks. More precisely, the paper assesses whether fiscal policy dampens the adverse effect of import food price shocks on household consumption. Based on a panel of 70 low and middle-income countries over the period 1980-2012, the paper finds that import price shocks negatively and significantly affect household consumption, but this effect appears to be mitigated by discretionary government consumption, notably through government subsidies and transfers. The results are particularly robust for African countries and countries with less flexible exchange rate regimes.
    Date: 2021–01–15
  11. By: Sayema Haque Bidisha; Tanveer Mahmood; Mahir A. Rahman
    Abstract: With structural changes in production coupled with technological progress, there have been shifts in modes of production and patterns of employment, with important consequences on task composition of occupations. This paper has utilized different rounds of Labour Force Survey data of Bangladesh and combined it with occupation network data of the United States along with its country-specific database and analysed the role of such factors on labour market outcomes. Our analysis shows a fall in the average routine intensity of tasks with no evidence of job polarization.
    Keywords: labour force survey, Inequality, Polarization, education premium, routine employment, Decomposition, Bangladesh, Education
    Date: 2021
  12. By: Eberle, Ulrich
    Abstract: This study investigates the impact of dams on local conflict across the world with georeferenced location information on dams and conflict events for the years 1989 to 2016. The identification strategy exploits exogenous variation in the river gradient to instrument for endogenous dam placement. The results document strong and robust evidence for an increase in intrastate conflict in the immediate vicinity of newly-built dams, but no robust effect for interstate conflict can be identified. Examining the mechanisms, ethnically polarized and fractionalized regions are more likely to experience the negative economic consequences as well as a surge in violence associated with dams. Further, countries with low levels of political competition are subject to more violence, suggesting that an institutional failure to account for local preferences may lead to violent confrontations. Finally, the policy analysis reveals that organizations providing the funding for dams, usually international financial institutions, have effective tools such as transboundary water treaties to prevent an outbreak of violence by enforcing regulation and monitoring during the implementation phases of dams.
    Keywords: dams; infrastructure; conflict; civil war; ethnicity; fractionalization; inequality; Doc.Mobility fellowship P1LAP1\_181253
    JEL: D74 H54 N40 O13 O18
    Date: 2020–05–28
  13. By: Jules Gazeaud (NOVA - Universidade Nova de Lisboa = NOVA University of Lisboa); Victor Stephane (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon)
    Abstract: Despite the popularity of public works programs in developing countries, there is virtually no evidence on the value of the infrastructure they generate. This paper attempts to start filling this gap in the context of the PSNPa largescale program implemented in Ethiopia since 2005. Under the program, millions of beneficiaries received social transfers conditional on their participation in activities such as land improvements and soil and water conservation measures. We examine the value of these activities using a satellite-based indicator of agricultural productivity and (reweighted) difference-indifferences estimates. Results show that the program is associated with limited changes in agricultural productivity. The upper bound of the main estimate is equivalent to a 3.6 percent increase in agricultural productivity. This contrasts with existing narratives and calls for more research on the productive effects of public works.
    Keywords: Social Protection,Public Works,Transfers,Ethiopia,PSNP
    Date: 2020
  14. By: Frederic Lambert; Hyunmin Park
    Abstract: We analyze microdata from Mexico's survey on household income and expenditures (ENIGH) to study the evolution of income inequality in Mexico over 2004-16, identify its sources, and investigate how it was affected by government social policy. We find evidence of only a small decline in inequality over this period. The observed decline may be attributed to government transfers, notably targeted cash transfers (Prospera) and non-contributory pensions. In 2016, those two programs accounted for more than two thirds of the reduction in the Gini coefficient due to government transfers. Other transfer programs such as farmland subsidies (Proagro), government scholarships, and non-monetary transfers for medical expenditures have not been as effective.
    Keywords: Personal income;Income inequality;Income distribution;Pensions;Education;WP,income,government,government transfer
    Date: 2019–07–11
  15. By: Emily Conover; Melanie Khamis; Sarah Pearlman
    Abstract: In this paper we analyse informal work in Mexico, which accounts for the majority of employment in the country and has grown over time. We document that the informal sector is composed of two distinct parts: salaried informal employment and self-employment. Relative to self-employment and formal salaried employment, on average informal salaried workers have lower wages and lower job quality as measured by an index. Education plays a different role in job matches and job transitions, depending on the type of informal employment.
    Keywords: Informal work, job quality, Labour market dynamics, Mexico
    Date: 2021
  16. By: Ralitza Dimova; Sandra Kristine Halvorsen; Milla Nyyssölä; Kunal Sen
    Abstract: What drives livelihood diversification among predominantly rural households in developing countries and how can welfare-enhancing patterns be established and sustained in the long run? A large literature has focused on whether income diversification is a means of survival or a means of accumulation, but it remains inconclusive. We first examine the pattern of income diversification for a panel of households in Tanzania from the 1990s?the Kagera Health and Development Survey?with a focus on whether it is primarily driven by survivalist or accumulation motives.
    Keywords: Income diversification, Tanzania, livelihoods, Household income
    Date: 2021
  17. By: Vivian Malta; Lisa L Kolovich; Angelica Martinez; Marina Mendes Tavares
    Abstract: In sub-Saharan Africa women work relatively more in the informal sector than men. Many factors could explain this difference, including women’s lower education levels, legal barriers, social norms and demographic characteristics. Cross-country comparisons indicate strong associations between gender gaps and higher female informality. This paper uses microdata from Senegal to assess the probability of a worker being informal, and our main findings are: (i) in urban areas, being a woman increases this probability by 8.5 percent; (ii) education is usually more relevant for women; (iii) having kids reduces men’s probability of being informal but increases women’s.
    Keywords: Women;Education;Gender inequality;Informal employment;Labor;WP,informal economy,family worker,labor force,working woman,account worker,informal worker
    Date: 2019–05–23
  18. By: Hidetaka Nishizawa; Scott Roger; Huan Zhang
    Abstract: Pacific island countries (PICs) are vulnerable severe natural disasters, especially cyclones, inflicting large losses on their economies. In the aftermath of disasters, PIC governments face revenue losses and spending pressures to address post-disaster relief and recovery efforts. This paper estimates the effects of severe natural disasters on fiscal revenues and expenditure in PICs. These are combined with information on the frequency of large disasters to calculate the rate of budgetary savings needed to build appropriate fiscal buffers. Fiscal buffers provide self-insurance against natural disaster shocks and facilitate quick disbursement for recovery and relief efforts, and protection of spending on essential services and infrastructure. The estimates can provide a benchmark for policymakers, and should be adjusted to take into account other sources of financing, as well as budget risks from less severe as well as more frequent disasters.
    Keywords: Natural disasters;Fiscal space;Disaster aid;Expenditure;Budget planning and preparation;WP,private sector,real GDP,government expenditure
    Date: 2019–07–12
  19. By: Cortes, Darwin; Gallegos, Andrés; Perez Perez, Jorge
    Abstract: We analyze the effect of adverse health shocks on households' different expenditure shares using a difference in differences approach. We find that households engage in substitution between health and food spending in response to the negative health shocks. We find substantial heterogeneity in this trade-off between current and future health mediated by access to social protection, job contract type, and location (urban-rural). Households from rural areas, with heads holding informal jobs, and without access to safety nets, are more vulnerable than others. We discuss several policy implications.
    Date: 2021–01–19
  20. By: Christophe Muller (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Nouréini Sayouti (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: Do households facing an interval of prices rather than a simple price alter the results of poverty analyses? To address this question, we exploit a unique dataset from Niger in which agropastoral households provide the minimum and maximum prices they paid for each consumed product in each season. We estimate poverty measures based on this price information using several absolute poverty line methodologies. Prices are used for valuing household consumption bundles, estimating household-specific price indices, valuing minimal calorie requirements, and extrapolating the link between food poverty and consumption. The results for Niger show statistically significant differences in the estimated chronic and dynamic poverties for these approaches, especially for international poverty comparisons and seasonal transient poverty monitoring. Specifically, using minimum and maximum prices generates gaps in the estimated poverty rates for Nigerien agropastoral households that exceed regional poverty disparities, which implies that regional targeting priorities in poverty alleviation policies would be reversed if these alternative prices are utilized. This result suggests that typically estimated poverty statistics, which assume that each household, or even cluster, faces a unique price for each product in a given period, may be less accurate for policy monitoring than generally believed.
    Keywords: poverty,prices,Niger,social policies
    Date: 2021–01
  21. By: Dincecco, Mark (University of Michigan); Fenske, James (University of Warwick); Menon, Anil (University of Michigan)
    Abstract: Difference in difference and event study analyses in a panel of Asian grid cells over nine centuries demonstrate that greater agricultural potential due to New World crops increased violent conflict after 1500. Rising caloric potential in a typical grid cell increased conflict by roughly its mean. The result holds across several New World crops and conflict types. It is largely driven by South Asia, a densely populated, diverse region with several competing historical states. The evidence supports a rapacity effect – increases in the gains from appropriation to Asian and non-Asian belligerents – as a mechanism. Population density, urbanization, and British imperialism significantly mediate the impact of the Columbian Exchange.
    Keywords: JEL Classification:
    Date: 2020
  22. By: Burchi, Francesco; Roscioli, Federico
    Abstract: The primary objective of social protection is to fight poverty and food insecurity. However, there are good theoretical arguments to support the idea that it can also contribute to more complex outcomes, such as social cohesion. This paper investigates the effects of the Tingathe Economic Empowerment Programme (TEEP) in Malawi on three key pillars of social cohesion, namely inclusive identity, trust and cooperation. The TEEP is a multi-component social protection scheme, which targets ultra-poor and labor-constrained households. It provides three randomly selected groups of beneficiaries with three different packages: a lump-sum transfer, a financial and business training connected to the creation of saving (VSL) groups, and a combination of both. A sequential mixed-methods approach was employed to assess the effects of the different project components. This consists of: i) a quantitative analysis based on an experimental design and primary data collected one year after project implementation; ii) a qualitative analysis, based on focus group discussions and individual interviews conducted three years after project implementation. [...]
    Date: 2021
  23. By: Sandrine Mesplé-Somps (DIAL - Développement, institutions et analyses de long terme, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), LEDa - Laboratoire d'Economie de Dauphine - Université Paris Dauphine-PSL - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres); Björn Nilsson (DIAL - Développement, institutions et analyses de long terme)
    Abstract: Role models---those individuals who resemble us but have achieved more than us--- are thought to impact our aspirations. In this paper, we study the impact of role models on intentions to migrate. Specifically, we implement a randomized controlled trial to show documentaries in rural villages of Mali (Kayes region). These documentaries focus on economic opportunities and show either negative or positive portraits of migrants, or portraits of local people who have successfully set up flourishing businesses without ever considering migration. This paper adds to the larger debate about the efficiency of information provision. We find very few significant impacts, none of which hold when attrition is controlled for using non-parametric Lee bounds. We also implement a treatment heterogeneity analysis using a causal forest algorithm, which aside from confirming our average treatment effects suggests the presence of heterogeneity. It appears that individuals with living conditions that could facilitate migration are less likely to be significantly impacted. The high aspirations to improve living conditions, coupled with a strong feeling of lack of control over the future may help explaining the fact that confrontations with real life experiences do not significantly modify average aspirations to migrate.
    Abstract: Cet article examine l'impact du processus d'identification à des role model , c'est-à-dire des individus qui nous ressemblent mais qui ont accompli plus que nous, sur les aspirations à migrer. La méthode est une expérimentation randomisée contrôlée. Trois types de documentaires ont été diffusés en milieu rural dans la région de Kayes au Mali, mais tous se concentrent sur les opportunités économiques : deux montrent des portraits négatifs ou positifs de migrants, tandis que le troisième présente des individus originaires de la région étudiée qui ont réussi à créer des entreprises florissantes sans jamais envisager de migrer. De fait, cet article participe au débat plus large sur l'efficacité de la fourniture d'informations. Nous trouvons très peu d'impacts moyens significatifs, dont aucun n'est robuste au contrôle de l'attrition par la méthode non paramétrique de bornes inférieures et supérieures. L'hétérogénéité des impacts est examinée à l'aide d'un algorithme de forêt causale, qui, outre confirme les effets moyens de traitement, suggère la présence d'une hétérogénéité. Il semble que les personnes dont les conditions de vie pourraient faciliter la migration sont moins susceptibles d'être touchées de manière significative par le visionnage des documentaires. Enfin, nous étudions des mécanismes potentiels. Des aspirations élevées à améliorer les conditions de vie, associées à un fort sentiment de manque de contrôle sur l'avenir, sont de possibles facteurs explicatifs au fait que les confrontations avec des expériences de vie réelles ne modifient pas de manière significative les aspirations moyennes à migrer.
    Keywords: Information provision,role models,migration intentions,aspirations,Mali
    Date: 2021–01–11
  24. By: Vigninou Gammadigbe
    Abstract: The main objective of Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) is to stimulate economic growth in participating countries through increased trade, economies of scale, knowledge and technology transfer. Using a panel data over the period 1979 to 2018, this paper examines the contribution of regional trade integration (RTI) to economic growth and income convergence in Africa and its major Regional Economic Communities (RECs). The results of the instrumental variable and panel fixed-effects estimation show that RTI promotes economic growth in Africa. However, it fosters income divergence, reflecting the distribution of the gains from regional integration in favor of the more developed economies of the continent. The results of this study show the importance to support the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) project with policies aimed at reducing non-tariff barriers to trade and improving infrastructure in order to maximize the effects on growth in all participating countries.
    Date: 2021–01–29
  25. By: Piero Montebruno
    Abstract: Disrupted schooling can heavily impact the amount of education pupils receive. Starting in early June of 2011 a huge social outburst of pupil protests, walk-outs, riots and school occupations called the Chilean Winter caused more than 8 million of lost school days. Within a matter of days, riots reached the national level with hundreds of thousands of pupils occupying schools, marching on the streets and demanding better education. Exploiting a police report on occupied schools in Santiago, I assess the effect of reduced school attendance in the context of schools occupations on pupils' cognitive achievement. This paper investigates whether or not there is a causal relationship between the protests and school occupations and the standardised test performance of those pupils whose schools were occupied.
    Keywords: Chilean Winter, Instructional Time, Protests, Educational Outcomes, School Occupations, Missing School Days, Riots, Human Capital Investment
    JEL: I21 I26 J24 J52
    Date: 2020–05
  26. By: Shree Saha (Cornell University); Sudha Narayanan (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research)
    Abstract: Measuring empowerment is both complicated and time consuming. A number of recent efforts have focused on how to better measure this complex multidimensional concept such that it is easy to implement. In this paper, we use machine learning techniques, specifically LASSO, us- ing survey data from five Indian states to abbreviate a recently developed measure of nutritional empowerment, the Women's Empowerment in Nutrition Index (WENI) that has 33 distinct indi- cators. Our preferred Abridged Women's Empowerment in Nutrition Index (A-WENI) consists of 20 indicators. We validate the A-WENI via a field survey from a new context, the west- ern Indian state of Maharashtra. We find that the 20-indicator A-WENI is both capable of reproducing well the empowerment status generated by the 33-indicator WENI and predicting nutritional outcomes such as BMI and dietary diversity. Using this index, we find that in our Maharashtra sample, on average, only 51.2 of mothers of children under the age of 5 years are nutritionally empowered, whereas 86.1 of their spouses are nutritionally empowered. We also find that only 22.3 of the elderly women are nutritionally empowered. These estimates are broadly consistent with those based on the 33-indicator WENI. The A-WENI will reduce the time burden on respondents and can be incorporated in any general purpose survey conducted in rural contexts. Many of the indicators in A-WENI are often collected routinely in contemporary household surveys. Hence, capturing nutritional empowerment does not entail significant additional burden. Developing A-WENI can thus aid in an expansion of efforts to measure nutritional empowerment; this is key to understanding better the barriers and challenges women face and help identify ways in which women can improve their nutritional well-being in meaningful ways.
    Keywords: Empowerment, nutrition, machine learning, LASSO, gender, India, South Asia
    JEL: J16 D63 I00 C55
    Date: 2020–10
  27. By: Tanu Gupta (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research); Digvijay S. Negi (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research)
    Abstract: The custom of patrilocal marriage shifts a woman from her natal family to being part of her husband's household. This shift and the associated change in kinship role has implications for her participation and time use in paid and unpaid work. In this paper, we compare the participation decision and time use in different activities of married and unmarried women in India. Our comparison group for married women or the daughters-in-law within the household is the unmarried daughters of comparable age and educational qualification. We hypothesize that conditional on age, educational attainment and other observable characteristics, the differences in time devoted to domestic activities and caregiving of these women are due to differences in their status and hierarchy in the household. We find that compared to daughters, daughters-in-law spend more time in home production and less time in paid employment, learning, socializing, leisure and self-care. Moreover, they also spend more time on religious activities, which suggests that not all women may bear equal responsibility for producing status goods for the household and that this responsibility may invariably fall on the daughters-in-law.
    Keywords: marriage, daughter-in-law, time use, kinship roles, division of labor, India
    JEL: D13 J12 J22 O15 Z13
    Date: 2021–01
  28. By: Mitra, Anirban (University of Kent); Pal, Sarmistha (University of Surrey)
    Abstract: We study the effect of ethnic diversity on local public spending following fiscal decentralisation in a setting where local institutions are salient. Specifically, the latter affects coordination costs and thereby cooperative behaviour across the constituent ethnic groups. Our theory highlights the role of the local elite in lobbying for policies which favour them in a decentralised setting. The differences in preferences over public good allocations along with the salience of coordination costs across ethnic groups are relevant in determining the equilibrium lobbying behaviour. This results in ethnic diversity having a detrimental effect on local developmental spending which is aggravated by increased levels of coordination costs. We test these predictions using Indonesian community-level data. Utilising the 1997 and 2007 Indonesian Family Life Survey (IFLS) rounds, we are able to construct various measures of ethnic diversity. We exploit an institutional feature of Indonesian communities - namely, the observance of traditional "Adat" laws to proxy coordination costs across ethnic groups. Overall, we find that ethnic diversity depresses local development spending post-decentralisation at the community level particularly where Adat laws (which promote an ethic of mutual co-operation) are not followed. The opposite obtains for spending on non-developmental items, all of which is consistent with our theory.
    Keywords: decentralisation, ethnic diversity, lobbying, local development, political economy
    JEL: D72 D74 H40
    Date: 2021–01

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