nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2021‒04‒05
twenty-one papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. The Geography of Intergenerational Mobility in Latin America and the Caribbean By Muñoz, Ercio
  2. Armed Conflict and Household Source of Water By George Naufal; Michael Malcolm; Vidya Diwakar
  3. The Impact of Cash Transfers on Syrian Refugee Children in Lebanon By Wael Moussa; Alexandra Irani; Nisreen Salti; Rima Al Mokdad; Zeina Jamaluddine; Jad Chaaban; Hala Ghattas
  4. Remittances, migration and poverty. A study for Mexico and Central America By Nuñez, Roy; Osorio-Caballero, María Isabel
  5. The Pink Tide and Inequality in Latin America By German Feierherd; Patricio Larroulet; Wei Long,; Nora Lustig
  6. Female labour force participation in sub-Saharan Africa: A cohort analysis By Andreas Backhaus; Elke Loichinger
  7. Risk, Agricultural Production, and Weather Index Insurance in Village India By Jeffrey D. Michler; Frederi G. Viens; Gerald E. Shively
  8. Understanding the Puzzle of Primary Health-care Use: Evidence from India By Pramod Kumar Sur
  9. Non-contributory cash transfers: An instrument to promote the rights and well-being of children with disabilities in Latin America and the Caribbean By Ullmann, Heidi; Atuesta, Bernardo; Rubio García, Mónica; Cecchini, Simone
  10. Income, consumption, and poverty measurement in the Philippines By Briones, Kristine Joy; Lopez, Jessa; Elumbre, Roxanne Jean; Angangco, Therese Marie
  11. Housing Supply in the Presence of Informality By Guedes, Ricardo; Iachan, Felipe; Sant'Anna, Marcelo
  12. On the allocation of environmental aid : strategy beyond environmental considerations? By Mohamed Boly
  13. Climate Change, International Migration, and Interstate Conflict By Cristina Cattaneo; Timothy Foreman
  14. Earnings Inequality and Dynamics in the Presence of Informality: The Case of Brazil By Engbom, Niklas; Gonzaga, Gustavo; Moser, Christian; Olivieri, Roberta
  15. Can Unconditional Cash Transfers Mitigate the Impact of Armed Conflict on Child Nutrition in Yemen? By Olivier Ecker; Jean-François Maystadt
  16. Is Gender Destiny? Gender Bias and Intergenerational Educational Mobility in India By Emran, M. Shahe; Jiang, Hanchen; Shilpi, Forhad
  17. Trade liberalization, employment, and gender in Ethiopia By Giorgia Giovannetti; Marco Sanfilippo; Arianna Vivoli
  18. Crowding out effects of financial knowledge and attitude on risk preferences: Evidence from a least developed African country By Ruth Cadaoas Tacneng; Klarizze Anne Martin Puzon; Thierno Barry
  19. Government Religious Preference and Intrastate Conflict By Eduard van der Merwe; Carolyn Chisadza; Matthew Clance
  20. Digital Financial Inclusion in Emerging and Developing Economies: A New Index By Purva Khera; Stephanie Y Ng; Sumiko Ogawa; Ratna Sahay
  21. Trade-off analysis of cost and nutrient efficiency of coffee farms in vietnam: A more generalised approach By Ho, Thong Quoc; Hoang, Vincent; Wilson, Clevo

  1. By: Muñoz, Ercio
    Abstract: In this paper, I estimate intergenerational mobility (IGM) in education using cross-sectional data from 91 censuses that span 24 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) over half a century. I measure upward mobility as the likelihood of obtaining at least a primary education for individuals whose parents did not finish primary school, whereas downward mobility as the likelihood of failing to complete primary education for individuals whose parents completed at least primary school. In addition, I explore the geography of educational IGM using nearly 400 “provinces” (coarse administrative units similar to states in the U.S.) and more than 6,000 “districts” (fine administrative units similar to counties in the U.S.). I document wide cross-country and within-country heterogeneity. In LAC, the distance between the most and least upwardly mobile country is close to what has been recently documented in Africa, although the least mobile countries in Africa are less mobile than the least mobile in LAC. I document a declining trend in the mobility gap between urban and rural populations, but I do not find important differences by gender. Within countries, the level of mobility is highly correlated to the share of primary completion of the previous generation, which suggests a high level of inertia. In addition, upward (downward) mobility is negatively (positively) correlated to distance to the capital and the share of employment in agriculture, but positively (negatively) correlated to the share of employment in industry. (Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality Working Paper)
    Date: 2021–03–22
  2. By: George Naufal (Texas A&M University); Michael Malcolm (West Chester University); Vidya Diwakar (Overseas Development Institute)
    Abstract: Using pairing of household level and armed conflict data with a generalized difference-indifferences approach, we find that households located in conflict affected areas are more likely to have access to drinking water through direct access to the dwelling or through bottled water than through public access and mobile trucks
    Date: 2021–02–20
  3. By: Wael Moussa (FHI 360); Alexandra Irani; Nisreen Salti; Rima Al Mokdad; Zeina Jamaluddine; Jad Chaaban; Hala Ghattas
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the impact of multi-purpose cash assistance on Syrian refugee children living in Lebanon. Using a sharp multidimensional regression discontinuity design, we estimate the program impact of varying cash assistance durations measured over two waves of household survey data collected in 2019. The novel research design enables us to make pairwise comparisons between children from discontinued recipient households (received cash for 12 months then got discontinued in the next cash cycle), short-run cash recipient households (up to 10 months), longterm recipient households (between 16 and 22 months) and non-beneficiary eligible households. Results show that children of any MPC recipient group are transitioning from non-formal to formal schooling while also shifting away from child labor. Cash transfers improve health outcomes for pre-primary and school-aged children and reduce the likelihood of early marriage for girls aged 15-19 years
    Date: 2021–02–20
  4. By: Nuñez, Roy; Osorio-Caballero, María Isabel
    Abstract: In the last two decades, remittances have acquired great importance as a source of external income for various developing economies. In the particular case of the Latin America region, the United States represents the most important destination, with nearly 25 million Latinos living in this country. This paper analyses the effect that migration and the sending of remittances have on poverty in Mexico and Central America. The results show that a 10% increase in migration to the United States (as a percentage of the population in the destination country) translates into an 8.6% reduction in the population living on less than US$ 1.90 a day; while the poverty gap is reduced by 12.8%. With regard to the sending of remittances, a reduction of 6.7% is observed in the poor population and 10% in relation to the poverty gap. These results are in line with previous literature and, in general, are maintained to various specifications.
    Keywords: Worker remittances, poverty, international migration, instrumental variables
    JEL: F22 F24 I32 O15
    Date: 2021–02–10
  5. By: German Feierherd (Universidad de San Andres); Patricio Larroulet (CEQ Institute); Wei Long, (Tulane University); Nora Lustig (Tulane University)
    Abstract: Latin American countries experienced a significant reduction in income inequality at the turn of the 21st century. From the early 2000s to around 2012, the average Gini coefficient fell from 0.514 to 0.476. The period of falling inequality coincided with leftist presidential candidates achieving electoral victories across the region: by 2009, ten of the seventeen countries had a leftist president – the so-called Pink Tide. We investigate whether there was a “leftist premium” on the decline in inequality and, if there was one, through which mechanisms. Using a range of econometric models, inequality measurements, and samples, we find evidence that leftist governments lowered income inequality faster than non-leftist regimes, increasing the income share captured by the first seven deciles at the expense of the top ten percent. Our analysis suggests that this reduction was achieved by increasing social pensions, minimum wages, and tax revenue.
    Keywords: Income Inequality, Political process, Latin America, Minimum wages, Pensions, Taxes
    JEL: D63 D72 H20 I38 N36 O1
    Date: 2021–03
  6. By: Andreas Backhaus; Elke Loichinger
    Abstract: Female labour force participation rates have stagnated in sub-Saharan Africa since the turn of the millennium. This paper aims to explain this aggregate pattern by decomposing it into the labour supply behaviour of different birth cohorts and age groups. Using representative and repeated census data from a heterogeneous sample of sub-Saharan African countries, we show that declining female labour supply at early working age is explained by increasing school attendance among young female cohorts.
    Keywords: Labour supply, Gender, Sub-Saharan Africa, Demographic dividend, Female labour force participation
    Date: 2021
  7. By: Jeffrey D. Michler; Frederi G. Viens; Gerald E. Shively
    Abstract: We investigate the sources of variability in agricultural production and their relative importance in the context of weather index insurance for smallholder farmers in India. Using parcel-level panel data, multilevel modeling, and Bayesian methods we measure how large a role seasonal variation in weather plays in explaining yield variance. Seasonal variation in weather accounts for 19-20 percent of total variance in crop yields. Motivated by this result, we derive pricing and payout schedules for actuarially fair index insurance. These calculations shed light on the low uptake rates of index insurance and provide direction for designing more suitable index insurance.
    Date: 2021–03
  8. By: Pramod Kumar Sur
    Abstract: In India, households' use of primary health-care services presents a puzzle. Even though most private health-care providers have no formal medical qualifications, a significant fraction of households use fee-charging private health-care services, which are not covered by insurance. Although the absence of public health-care providers could partially explain the high use of the private sector, this cannot be the only explanation. The private share of health-care use is even higher in markets where qualified doctors offer free care through public clinics; despite this free service, the majority of health-care visits are made to providers with no formal medical qualifications. This paper examines the reasons for the existence of this puzzle in India. Combining contemporary household-level data with archival records, I examine the aggressive family planning program implemented during the emergency rule in the 1970s and explore whether the coercion, disinformation, and carelessness involved in implementing the program could partly explain the puzzle. Exploiting the timing of the emergency rule, state-level variation in the number of sterilizations, and an instrumental variable approach, I show that the states heavily affected by the sterilization policy have a lower level of public health-care usage today. I demonstrate the mechanism for this practice by showing that the states heavily affected by forced sterilizations have a lower level of confidence in government hospitals and doctors and a higher level of confidence in private hospitals and doctors in providing good treatment.
    Date: 2021–03
  9. By: Ullmann, Heidi; Atuesta, Bernardo; Rubio García, Mónica; Cecchini, Simone
    Abstract: This study establishes a sociodemographic profile of children with disabilities, the majority of whom are living in poverty, and analyses non-contributory cash transfer programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean that cover or prioritize families with children or adolescents with disabilities. These programmes may be the gateway to the establishment of full inclusion routes for children and adolescents with disabilities and their families, both in the social and the labour sphere. While the region has seen an increase in the number of cash transfer programmes that cater to or prioritize families with children or adolescents with disabilities, there is a need for comprehensive action to ensure accessible services, strengthen selection tools as well as recipient registries and disability certification processes, and establish cash transfer amounts that cover all costs associated with childhood disability.
    Date: 2021–03–25
  10. By: Briones, Kristine Joy; Lopez, Jessa; Elumbre, Roxanne Jean; Angangco, Therese Marie
    Abstract: The official poverty methodology of the Philippines uses pretax income as a measure of household welfare. A household is deemed poor if its pretax income falls below a minimum income sufficient to buy the household’s basic needs. However, several studies suggest that a more appropriate welfare measure for poverty estimation is one that includes only resources available for a household’s own consumption of goods and services. This means taxes, social security expenditures, and gifts or expenses for other households must be excluded from the welfare aggregate. Additionally, arguments towards using consumption as a better measure of welfare in poverty estimation also persist. In this study, we explore two welfare aggregates, disposable income, and basic consumption, and assess how well these alternative measures identify the disadvantaged households compared to when pretax income is used. Using the 2018 Family Income and Expenditure Survey, our results show that while disposable income is no better than pretax income in identifying deprived households, a consumption-based measure is preferable to an income-based measure in identifying the disadvantaged. Results are robust even when the welfare measures are adjusted to account for economies of scale in the household.
    Keywords: consumption-based poverty, income-based poverty, welfare measurement
    JEL: I3 I32
    Date: 2021–02–11
  11. By: Guedes, Ricardo; Iachan, Felipe; Sant'Anna, Marcelo (Fundação Getulio Vargas)
    Abstract: We study housing supply in markets where informal housing is common. Using a combination of census and satellite data, we estimate housing supply for more than 90 metropolitan areas in Brazil. We find that widespread informal housing increases the housing supply elasticity, partially offsetting the downward pressure of geographical constraints. Our empirical approach is guided by a monocentric city model that includes informal housing. Our identification strategy relies on the use of two novel instruments, combining demographic data and public land ownership. We use the supply elasticity estimates to forecast the response of future housing prices to natural population growth.
    Date: 2021–03–23
  12. By: Mohamed Boly (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne)
    Abstract: The objective of the present paper is to study the factors associated with environmental bilateral aid to recipient countries over the 1990-2013 period, to assess whether it is motivated by non-environmental factors such as donors' self-interest. Environmental ODA is measured using the AidData's Core Research Release, Version 3.1. Three kinds of variables that might influence environmental aid allocation are considered: the environmental and non-environmental needs and merits of recipient countries, and the economic and political interests of donors. Environmental needs and merits variables include vulnerability to extreme climate events and the stringency of climate policy. The Poisson and Fractional regressions find that while vulnerability to climate change seems to be a key determinant of environmental aid, its allocation is poorly linked to recipients' climate mitigation policies. We also find weak evidence of association between donors' interest variables and environmental aid on average, exception made for trade. But a donor-by-donor analysis allows to get deep dive into all the relations above and unveils that some donors are more sensitive to environmental variables, while others rather seem focused on their economic and political interests.
    Keywords: Bilateral aid,Environmental aid,Aid allocation
    Date: 2021–03
  13. By: Cristina Cattaneo (RFF†CMCC European Institute on Economics and the Environment (EIEE), Centro Euro†Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici); Timothy Foreman (RFF†CMCC European Institute on Economics and the Environment (EIEE), Centro Euro†Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici)
    Abstract: A number of factors contribute to interstate conflicts. One social element that has received little attention in the literature is the role of international migration. At the same time, the contribution of climate stress on interstate disputes has been underresearched. This paper analyses if climate stress represents a direct driver of interstate disputes and, at the same time, an indirect driver to conflicts through its effect on international migration. To do so, we use climate shocks to instrument for migration flows in a gravity setting in order to study its causal effect on international conflict. We find that a 1% increase in climate-induced migration increases the probability that the destination of the flows initiates conflict against the origin by 0.001 percentage points over a mean incidence of conflict of 0.13 percentage point per year. The results are consistent across different migration datasets and different specifications of defining the initiator in the conflict.
    Date: 2021–03
  14. By: Engbom, Niklas; Gonzaga, Gustavo; Moser, Christian; Olivieri, Roberta
    Abstract: Using a combination of rich administrative and household survey data, we document a series of new facts on earnings inequality and dynamics in a developing country with a large informal sector: Brazil. Since the mid-1990s, both inequality and volatility of earnings have declined significantly in Brazil's formal sector. Higher-order moments of the distribution of earnings innovations show similar cyclical movements in Brazil as in developed countries like the U.S. Earnings mobility is comparatively high, especially at the bottom of the distribution. Compared to the formal sector, earnings are more volatile in the informal sector. Workers who switch between sectors experience earnings innovations that have a positive mean and are positively skewed when moving to the formal sector but have a negative mean and are negatively skewed when moving to the informal sector. A secular shift of employment toward the less volatile formal sector since the early 2000s has contributed to a decline in the economy-wide volatility of earnings.
    Keywords: Earnings Inequality, Earnings Volatility, Earnings Mobility, Informality.
    JEL: D31 D33 E24 E26 J31 J46 J62
    Date: 2021–02–02
  15. By: Olivier Ecker (International Food Policy Research Institute); Jean-François Maystadt (Lancaster University Management School)
    Abstract: The “ignored” civil war in Yemen has caused the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in recent history. Little is known about how to mitigate the detrimental consequences of such protracted violence. We use quarterly panel data to estimate the impact of armed conflict on child nutrition in Yemen and the role of unconditional cash transfers in mitigating the adverse nutritional impact. Our results show that a one-standard-deviation increase in armed conflict intensity reduces the weight-for-height z-scores (WHZ) and mid-upper arm circumference z-scores (MUACZ) of children by 9.6% and 4.4%, respectively, on average. We also find that the studied cash transfer program reduces the nutritional impact by 35.8% for WHZ and 20.4% for MUACZ. Our analysis suggests that if relative stability is restored, unconditional cash transfer programs can be an effective tool to curb rising acute child malnutrition in situations of complex emergencies
    Date: 2021–02–20
  16. By: Emran, M. Shahe; Jiang, Hanchen; Shilpi, Forhad
    Abstract: We develop a model of intergenerational educational mobility incorporating gender bias against girls in the family, school, and labor market. Mobility and investment equations from the model are estimated for India using data not truncated by coresidency. The standard linear model misses important heterogeneity and yields misleading conclusions. Daughters of uneducated fathers face lower relative and absolute mobility (rural and urban). We find gender equality in absolute mobility for children of urban college educated fathers, but not in rural areas. Theoretical insights help understand the mechanisms. Parental nonfinancial inputs, unwanted girls, and patrilineal states are important for explaining the findings.
    Keywords: Gender Bias,Intergenerational Mobility,Education,Becker-Tomes Model,Heterogeneity,Son Preference,Unwanted Girls,India,Patrilineal,Matrilineal,Coresidency Bias
    JEL: I24 J62 J16 O20
    Date: 2021
  17. By: Giorgia Giovannetti; Marco Sanfilippo; Arianna Vivoli
    Abstract: This paper analyses the impact of trade liberalization on local labour markets in Ethiopia, with a focus on the gender dimension of employment. By exploiting rich micro-level data on Ethiopian workers, we evaluate the effect of the Ethiopian trade reforms on the changes and composition of employment, adopting as unit of analysis Ethiopian districts. We find that districts more exposed to trade liberalization experienced reductions in their employment levels, especially in female employment.
    Keywords: Tariffs, Employment, Structural transformation, Gender, Ethiopia
    Date: 2021
  18. By: Ruth Cadaoas Tacneng; Klarizze Anne Martin Puzon; Thierno Barry
    Abstract: Using hand-collected survey and experimental data, we examine the determinants of financial literacy as well as the link between self-reported risk and elicited risk preferences in a least developed African country, Guinea. We measure financial literacy as the sum of three elements: financial knowledge, attitude, and behaviour. Our findings indicate that the lack of a significant relationship between our financial literacy measure and risk preferences is caused by the crowding out effects of financial attitude and knowledge.
    Keywords: Literacy, Risk attitudes, Africa, Investment decisions
    Date: 2021
  19. By: Eduard van der Merwe (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X20, Hatfield 0028, South Africa); Carolyn Chisadza (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X20, Hatfield 0028, South Africa); Matthew Clance (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X20, Hatfield 0028, South Africa)
    Abstract: Understanding the causes and consequences of conflicts continues to be an important contribution to the economic development literature, particularly the mechanisms that can reduce civilian deaths. We contribute to understanding attacks on civilians and the spillover effects by analysing the impact of government religious preference on civilian deaths. Using panel data analysis for 113 countries for the period 1989 to 2015, wefind that a higher government preference towards religion causes more civilian deaths for countries experiencing intrastate conflict. Furthermore, we analyse this effect by the different types of conict and find that the results are driven by both state-based and non-state-based conflicts. Lastly, a regional analysis shows that the negative impact of a strong preference towards religion from the government is particularly notable for countries in Africa and Asia.
    Keywords: conflict, religion, government religious preference, civilian deaths
    JEL: C33 H56 O10 O55
    Date: 2021–03
  20. By: Purva Khera; Stephanie Y Ng; Sumiko Ogawa; Ratna Sahay
    Abstract: Adoption of technology in the financial services industry (i.e. fintech) has been accelerating in recent years. To systematically and comprehensively assess the extent and progress over time in financial inclusion enabled by technology, we develop a novel digital financial inclusion index. This index is based on payments data covering 52 developing countries for 2014 and 2017, taking into account both access and usage dimentions of digital financial services (DFSs). This index is then combined with the traditional measures of financial inclusion in the literature and aggregated into an overall index of financial inlusion. There are two key findings: first, the adoption of fintech has been a key driver of financial inclusion. Second, there is wide variation across countries and regions, with the greatest progress recorded in Africa and Asia and the Pacific regions. This index should offer a useful analytical tool for researchers and policy makers.
    Date: 2021–03–19
  21. By: Ho, Thong Quoc; Hoang, Vincent; Wilson, Clevo
    Abstract: Analysis of economic and environmental performance of agricultural production has received increasing attention in both the theoretical and empirical literature (Aldieri et al., 2019). Several methodological approaches have been proposed to measure environmental efficiency and to analyse trade-offs between economic and environmental performance (e.g., Fang, 2020; Shuai and Fan, 2020; Azad and Ancev, 2014; Picazo-Tadeo and Prior, 2009; Reinhard et al., 2000). Within this literature strand, Coelli et al., (2007) offer a distinct approach that utilises the material balance principle to derive cost and environmental efficiency measures. Empirical applications of Coelli et al. (2007) for the purpose of environmental and economic analysis have flourished recently (Hoang and Alauddin, 2012; Nguyen et al., 2012; Hoang and Rao, 2010). However, these empirical applications focus only on the economic and environmental trade-off of technically efficient farms, not all the farms.
    Keywords: Coffee production, Cost efficiency, Environmental efficiency, Trade-off, Vietnam.
    JEL: O13
    Date: 2020–02–08

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