nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2021‒04‒19
eleven papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Regional redistribution of mineral resource wealth in Africa By Asatryan, Zareh; Baskaran, Thushyanthan; Birkholz, Carlo; Hufschmidt, Patrick
  2. Corruption and Access to Socio-economic Services in Africa By Andreas Freytag; Muhammad Faraz Riaz
  3. Gender, Crime and Punishment: Evidence from Women Police Stations in India By Amaral, Sofia; Bhalotra, Sonia R.; Prakash, Nishith
  4. Impact of Colonial Institutions on Economic Growth and Development in India: Evidence from Night Lights Data By Priyaranjan Jha; Karan Talathi
  5. Teacher Shortage in India: Myth or Reality? The Fiscal Cost of Surplus Teachers, Fake Enrolment and Absences By Datta, Sandip; Kingdon, Geeta G.
  6. Poverty traps and affluence shields: Modelling the persistence of income position in Chile By Joaquín Prieto
  7. Out of Communal Land: Clientelism through Delegation of Agricultural Tenancy Contracts By Kurosaki, Takashi; Paul, Saumik; Witoelar, Firman
  8. "Reversed favoritism" - Resolving the puzzle of discriminatory taxation in African agriculture By Kaplan, Lennart
  9. Regional favoritism and human capital accumulation in Africa By Asatryan, Zareh; Baskaran, Thushyanthan; Hufschmidt, Patrick; Stöcker, Alexander
  10. Drivers of and Barriers to Adoption of Improved Sun- flower Varieties amongst Smallholder Farmers in Singida, Tanzania: the Double-Hurdle Approach By Felister Y. Tibamanya; Mursali A. Milanzi; Arne Henningsen
  11. Income Distribution in Brazil During the 2010s: A Lost Decade in the Struggle Against Inequality and Poverty By Rogério J. Barbosa; Pedro H. G. Ferreira de Souza; Sergei S. D. Soares

  1. By: Asatryan, Zareh; Baskaran, Thushyanthan; Birkholz, Carlo; Hufschmidt, Patrick
    Abstract: We study the economic implications of mineral resource activity for non-mining regions at the grid-level across the African continent. We find that capital cities benefit from mineral resource activity anywhere in the country. Leaders' birth regions also benefit, but only in autocratic regimes. Generic non-mining regions, on the other hand, are worse off. These results suggest that regional redistribution of resource rents in Africa is primarily undertaken to the benefit of capital cities and leaders' birth regions. In contrast, non-mining regions do not appear to be sufficiently compensated for the negative spillovers they may face due to mining activity elsewhere in the country.
    Keywords: Mineral resources,spillovers,spatiality,luminosity,favoritism,democracy,Africa
    JEL: H77 O13 R12
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Andreas Freytag (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, University of Stellenbosch, STIAS, and CESifo Research Network); Muhammad Faraz Riaz (Government College University Faisalabad, Pakistan)
    Abstract: Corruption is one of the world’s most widespread political problems. It can be found on international, national and sub-national level. Access to education and other socio-economic services is of utmost importance for all humans. It is still not exclusively based on merit, but often rather unfairly distributed and allocated depending on corrupt local bureaucrats. We utilize a micro level measure of corruption based on the personal experiences of individuals, which realistically represents the linkage between individuals and public office holders. For the empirical analysis, we utilized the Afrobarometer survey of 36 African countries that contains information of more than 50,000 citizens. Corruption is found being negatively correlated with the access to water, education, health and paved roads, while positively associated with access to sewage system and having no significant association with access to electricity grid. The findings reveal that in order to expand the access to basic socioeconomic services, governments need to control corruption in public offices on a daily basis.
    Keywords: Development, Corruption, Local Services
    JEL: H1 K4 O1 O5 P4
    Date: 2021–02–02
  3. By: Amaral, Sofia (Ifo Institute for Economic Research); Bhalotra, Sonia R. (University of Warwick); Prakash, Nishith (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: We examine the impact of establishing women police stations (WPS) on reporting of gender- based violence. Using administrative crime data and exploiting staggered implementation across Indian cities, we find that the opening of WPS is associated with an increase in police reports of crimes against women of 29 percent, a result driven by domestic violence. This appears to reflect reporting rather than incidence as we find no changes in femicide or in survey-reported domestic violence. We also find some evidence of an increase in women's labor supply following WPS opening, consistent with women feeling safer once the costs of reporting violence fall.
    Keywords: women police stations, gender-based violence, women in policing, India
    JEL: J12 J16 J78 K14 K31 K42 N92 I12
    Date: 2021–04
  4. By: Priyaranjan Jha (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine); Karan Talathi (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)
    Abstract: We study the implications of two historical institutions, direct British rule, and the heterogeneous land tenure institutions implemented by the British, on disparity in present day development using district level data from India. Using nightlights per c apita as a proxy for district level per capita income, we find that modern districts that were historically under direct British rule had 39.47% less nightlights per capita in 1993 relative to modern districts that were historically under indirect British rule. The large gap persists even after including other controls such as educational attainment, health, and physical infrastructure. Looking at the growth pattern during 1993 to 2013, directly ruled districts had a 1.84% lower annual growth rate compared to indirectly ruled districts. As well, directly ruled districts were converging at a rate of 2% per year while indirectly ruled districts were converging at a rate of 5.7% per year. Much of the development gap between areas under indirect rule and direct rule can be accounted for by the adverse effect of landlord-based revenue collection system in the directly ruled areas.
    Keywords: Institutions; Direct British Rule; Economic Growth; Nightlights per Capita; Land Tenure System; Economic Development; Human Capital
    JEL: O11 O43 P16 P51
    Date: 2021–04
  5. By: Datta, Sandip (City Montessori School); Kingdon, Geeta G. (University College London)
    Abstract: This paper examines the widespread perception in India that the country has an acute teacher shortage of about one million teachers in public elementary schools, a view repeated in India's National Education Policy 2020. Using official DISE data, we show that there is hardly any net teacher deficit in the country since there is roughly the same number of surplus teachers as the number of teacher vacancies. Secondly, we show that measuring teacher requirements after removing the estimated fake students from enrolment data greatly reduces the required number of teachers and increases the number of surplus teachers, yielding an estimated net surplus of about 342,000 teachers. Thirdly, we show that if we both remove fake enrolment and also make a suggested hypothetical change to the teacher allocation rule to adjust for the phenomenon of emptying public schools (which has slashed the national median public-school size to a mere 64 students), the estimated net teacher surplus is about 764,000 teachers. Fourthly, we highlight that if government does fresh recruitment to fill the supposed nearly one-million vacancies, the already modest national mean pupil-teacher-ratio (PTR) of 22.8 would fall to 15.9, at a permanent fiscal cost of nearly Rupees 48,000 crore (USD 6.6 billion) per year in 2017-18 prices, which is higher than the individual GDPs of 56 countries in that year. The paper also highlights the volume of schools with extreme PTRs, and estimates the cost of teacher absence, pupil absence and fake enrolments. Overall, the paper highlights the major economic efficiencies that can result from an evidence-based approach to education policy making.
    Keywords: public elementary schools, pupil-teacher-ratios, teacher surpluses, fake enrolment, teacher absence, student absence, India
    JEL: I20 I21
    Date: 2021–04
  6. By: Joaquín Prieto (International Inequalities Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science)
    Abstract: I propose analysing the dynamics of income positions using dynamic panel ordered probit models. I disentangle, simultaneously, the roles of state dependence and heterogeneity (observed and non-observed) in explaining income position persistence, such as poverty persistence and affluence persistence. I apply my approach to Chile exploiting longitudinal data from the P-CASEN 2006–2009. First, I find that income position mobility at the bottom and the top of the income distribution is much higher than the expected, showing signs of high economic insecurity. Second, the observable individual characteristics have a much stronger impact than true state dependence to explain individuals’ current income position in the income distribution extremes.
    Keywords: Longitudinal data; poverty persistence; affluence persistence; income mobility; Chile; Latin America.
    JEL: D31 D63 I32
    Date: 2021–04
  7. By: Kurosaki, Takashi (Hitotsubashi University); Paul, Saumik (Newcastle University); Witoelar, Firman (Australian National University)
    Abstract: Do local institutions influence the nature of political clientelist exchange? We find a positive answer in the context of a village institution prevalent in Java since the Dutch colonial rule, where democratically elected village heads receive usufruct rights over a piece of communal village land (bengkok land) as a compensation for their service in lieu of salary. To formulate how limited-term private ownership of bengkok land promotes clientelism, we model a timely delegation of agricultural tenancy contracts to villagers-cum-voters as an incumbent re-election strategy. Based on a household survey fielded in 2018 across 130 villages in Java, Indonesia, we find that the chances of a bengkok plot being rented out increase by 6 percentage points as the time of the next election becomes closer by one year, and sharecropping is preferred to a fixed-rental contract as the election approaches. The empirical results are statistically significant and remain largely unchanged against a series of robustness checks. We also find suggestive evidence of short-term efficiency loss from clientelist politics over bengkok land.
    Keywords: tanah bengkok, political budget cycle, clientelism, agricultural tenancy, electoral competition, Indonesia
    JEL: D72 H77 H83 O17 O18
    Date: 2021–04
  8. By: Kaplan, Lennart
    Abstract: The political economy literature highlights the redistribution of resources to political support groups - often along regional or ethnic lines - as a dominant feature of political systems. Against this assumption, Kasara (2007) documents a puzzling result of discriminatory rent extraction by political leaders from farmers in their ethnic home region. Linking a new database on the ethnic and regional affiliation of political leaders to fine-grained survey data, I disentangle ethnic and regional affiliations and show that their intersection explains the phenomenon which I will label in the following "reversed favoritism." More specifically, I provide evidence that agricultural price hikes indeed do not reduce poverty among co-ethnic farmers in the leader's birth region. Results indicate that farmers are aware of the unfavorable taxation as they express lower tax support. Yet, leaders seem to act politically rational as they only apply this treatment in regions where they enjoy high trust. An exploratory analysis suggests that the counter-intuitive support of discriminatory policies can be explained by transfers in other areas, namely development aid.
    Date: 2021
  9. By: Asatryan, Zareh; Baskaran, Thushyanthan; Hufschmidt, Patrick; Stöcker, Alexander
    Abstract: We study the long-run implications of regional and ethnic favoritism in Africa. Combining geocoded individual-level survey data from the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) with data on national leaders' birthplaces across 41 African countries, we explore the educational attainment of adults who were exposed to favoritism at various points during their life. We find that generic male respondents exposed to regional favoritism during their adolescence have higher educational attainment later in life. This higher human capital accumulated by men leads to more stable employment. For generic women, we observe no beneficial effects of regional favoritism. However, those women who belong to the same ethnic group as their national leader witness an increase in their educational attainment. These results indicate that regular inhabitants rather than only a narrow elite benefit from regional favoritism.
    Keywords: Favoritism,human capital,gender discrimination,democracy,spatiality,Africa
    JEL: D73 J24 R11
    Date: 2021
  10. By: Felister Y. Tibamanya (Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen; Department of Economics, Mzumbe Universiy, Tanzania); Mursali A. Milanzi (Department of Economics, Mzumbe Universiy, Tanzania); Arne Henningsen (Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: Purpose: Yield-enhancing agricultural technologies such as improved crop varieties are widely promoted by public and private agencies in developing countries because they are important for improving food security, income and welfare of farm households. Nonetheless, the low rate of adoption of these technologies by farm households is still a less-understood phenomenon. We thus investigate the drivers of and the barriers to adoption of improved sunflower varieties by smallholder farmers in Tanzania as an empirical example. Undertaking this study can help to improve policies, development programmes and business decisions, which are geared towards enhancing agricultural productivity and farm household welfare. Methodology: Our empirical study applies the double-hurdle econometric model to a cross-sectional survey data set of 416 smallholder farmers in Singida region, Tanzania. Findings: Our results suggest that risk aversion and liquidity constraints are significant barriers to the adoption of improved sunflower varieties, while radios, extension service and farmers' groups are important channels for farmers for receiving information about new technologies. Originality: Compared to earlier studies of the adoption of improved oilseeds varieties, our study distinguishes two dimensions of the adoption, i.e. the decision to adopt or not and, in case of adoption, the extent of adoption. Furthermore, our analysis investigates the roles of market constraints, liquidity constraints and contract farming for adoption of improved varieties, which are largely ignored in previous adoption studies.
    Keywords: improved crop varieties, sunflower, smallholder farmers, market and liquidity constraints, double-hurdle model, Tanzania
    JEL: Q12 O13 O33
    Date: 2021–03
  11. By: Rogério J. Barbosa; Pedro H. G. Ferreira de Souza; Sergei S. D. Soares
    Abstract: In this paper we analyze Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra de Domicílios Contínua (PNAD Contínua) Microdata from 2012 to 2018 to document how the mid-decade economic recession reversed the trend of pro-poor growth that dated back to the early 2000s. Since the recession, there was a rise in inequality and poverty levels and aggregate welfare decreased. While average incomes surged from 2017 to 2018, they were still below their peak in 2014. More than 80% of all income growth between 2015 and 2018 accrued to the top 5%. Most distributional statistics suggest Brazil in 2018 was either back at the same levels or even worse-off than in 2012. This paper also relies on decomposition techniques to investigate the immediate causes behind this reversal of fortune. We find that the effects of the recession on the labor market explain a lot of the recent changes, but public transfers also played a role in distributional dynamics – either by action or inaction. Social assistance transfers and unemployment compensation failed to address rising inequality and poverty in any significant way. At the same time, Social Security contributed to surprisingly large increases in inequality due to the rise in pensions to the well-off. Finally, we show that in the past few years poverty rates were much more sensitive to changes in inequality than in average incomes. Indeed, if there were no increase inequality Brazil would have made further progress in reducing poverty even amid the recession.
    Keywords: Inequality, Poverty, Welfare, Income, Income Transfers
    JEL: I3 I32 D31 I38
    Date: 2020–12

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