nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2021‒05‒31
23 papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. The Myth of Teacher Shortage in India By Sandip Datta; Geeta Gandhi Kingdon
  2. Predicting Poverty Using Geospatial Data in Thailand By Puttanapong , Nattapong; Martinez, Jr. , Arturo; Addawe, Mildred; Bulan, Joseph; Durante , Ron Lester; Martillan , Marymell
  3. Applying Artificial Intelligence on Satellite Imagery to Compile Granular Poverty Statistics By Hofer, Martin; Sako, Tomas; Martinez, Jr., Arturo; Addawe, Mildred; Durante, Ron Lester
  4. Civil War Violence and Refugee Outflows By James D. Fearon; Andrew Shaver
  5. "It takes two": Women’s empowerment in agricultural value chains in Malawi By Ragasa, Catherine; Malapit, Hazel J.; Rubin, Deborah; Myers, Emily; Pereira, Audrey; Martinez, Elena M.; Heckert, Jessica; Seymour, Greg; Mzungu, Diston; Kalagho, Kenan; Kazembe, Cynthia; Thunde, Jack; Mswelo, Grace
  6. Literacy and Information By Tohari, Achmad; Parsons, Christopher; Rammohan, Anu
  7. Heterogeneous Impacts of School Fee Elimination in Tanzania: Gender and Colonial Infrastructure By Roxana Elena Manea; Pedro Naso
  8. Dissecting aid fragmentation: Development goals and levels of analysis By Carlitz, Ruth D.; Ziaja, Sebastian
  9. Crime, Inequality and Subsidized Housing:Evidence from South Africa By Roxana Manea; Patrizio Piraino; Martina Viarengo
  10. Complementarities in Infrastructure: Evidence from Rural India By Oliver Vanden Eynde; Liam Wren-Lewis
  11. Education and the Evolution of Comparative Advantage By Felipe , Jesus; Jin , Hongyuan; Mehta, Aashish
  12. Does Higher Education Reduce Mortality? Evidence from a Natural Experiment By Bautista, María Angélica; González, Felipe; Martínez, Luis R.; Muñoz, Pablo; Prem, Mounu
  13. Financing the extension of social insurance to informal economy workers: The role of remittances By Alexandre Kolev; Justina La
  14. What Factors Drive Transport and Logistics Costs in Africa ? By Patrick Plane
  15. Minimum wage effects on informality across demographic groups in Colombia By Arango-Thomas, Luis Eduardo; Flórez, Luz Adriana; Guerrero, Laura D.
  16. School Feeding Programmes, Education and Food Security in Rural Malawi By Roxana Elena Manea
  17. Migration from Africa, the Middle East and European Neighbouring Countries to the EU: An Augmented Gravity Modelling Approach By Michael Landesmann; Isilda Mara
  18. Women, Violence and Work: Threat of Sexual Violence and Women's Decision to Work By Chakraborty, Tanika; Lohawala, Nafisa
  19. Universal Basic Income Programs: How Much Would Taxes Need to Rise? Evidence for Brazil, Chile, India, Russia, and South Africa By Ali Enami; Ugo Gentilini; Patricio Larroulet; Nora Lustig; Emma Monsalve; Siyu Quan; Jamele Rigolini
  20. Addressing social desirability bias in child labor measurement : an application to cocoa farms in Côte d’Ivoire By Marine JOUVIN
  21. Refugees’ and Irregular Migrants’ Self-selection into Europe By Aksoy, Cevat Giray
  22. Life-cycle Characteristics and Energy Practices in Developing Countries: the Case of Mexico By Rossella Bardazzi; Maria Grazia Pazienza; Maria Eugenia Sanin
  23. Sexual Exploitation of Trafficked Children: Survey Evidence from Child Sex Workers in Bangladesh By Shoji, Masahiro; Tsubota, Kenmei

  1. By: Sandip Datta (Delhi School of Economics, New Delhi.); Geeta Gandhi Kingdon (Institute of Education, 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 size of public schools to a mere 64 students, and rendered many schools ‘tiny’), 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 as promised in the National Education Policy 2020, the already modest national mean pupil-teacher-ratio of 22.8 would fall to 15.9, at a permanent fiscal cost of nearly Rupees 480 billion (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 highlights the major economic efficiencies that can result from an evidence-based approach to teacher recruitment and deployment policies.
    Keywords: Public elementary schools, pupil teacher ratio, teacher vacancies, teacher surplus, fake pupil enrolment, teacher absence, India
    JEL: I20 I21
    Date: 2021–05–01
  2. By: Puttanapong , Nattapong (Thammasat University); Martinez, Jr. , Arturo (Asian Development Bank); Addawe, Mildred (Asian Development Bank); Bulan, Joseph (Asian Development Bank); Durante , Ron Lester (Asian Development Bank); Martillan , Marymell (Asian Development Bank)
    Abstract: Poverty statistics are conventionally compiled using data from household income and expenditure survey or living standards survey. This study examines an alternative approach in estimating poverty by investigating whether readily available geospatial data can accurately predict the spatial distribution of poverty in Thailand. In particular, geospatial data examined in this study include night light intensity, land cover, vegetation index, land surface temperature, built-up areas, and points of interest. The study also compares the predictive performance of various econometric and machine learning methods such as generalized least squares, neural network, random forest, and support vector regression. Results suggest that intensity of night lights and other variables that approximate population density are highly associated with the proportion of an area’s population who are living in poverty. The random forest technique yielded the highest level of prediction accuracy among the methods considered in this study, perhaps due to its capability to fit complex association structures even with small and medium-sized datasets. Moving forward, additional studies are needed to investigate whether the relationships observed here remain stable over time, and therefore, may be used to approximate the prevalence of poverty for years when household surveys on income and expenditures are not conducted, but data on geospatial correlates of poverty are available.
    Keywords: big data; computer vision; data for development; machine learning algorithm; multidimensional poverty; official statistics; poverty; SDG; Thailand
    JEL: C19 D31 I32 O15
    Date: 2020–12–29
  3. By: Hofer, Martin (Vienna University of Economics and Business); Sako, Tomas (Freelance data scientist); Martinez, Jr., Arturo (Asian Development Bank); Addawe, Mildred (Asian Development Bank); Durante, Ron Lester (Asian Development Bank)
    Abstract: The spatial granularity of poverty statistics can have a significant impact on the efficiency of targeting resources meant to improve the living conditions of the poor. However, achieving granularity typically requires increasing the sample sizes of surveys on household income and expenditure or living standards, an option that is not always practical for government agencies that conduct these surveys. Previous studies that examined the use of innovative (geospatial) data sources such as those from high-resolution satellite imagery suggest that such method may be an alternative approach of producing granular poverty maps. This study outlines a computational framework to enhance the spatial granularity of government-published poverty estimates using a deep layer computer vision technique applied on publicly available medium-resolution satellite imagery, household surveys, and census data from the Philippines and Thailand. By doing so, the study explores a potentially more cost-effective alternative method for poverty estimation method. The results suggest that even using publicly accessible satellite imagery, in which the resolutions are not as fine as those in commercially sourced images, predictions generally aligned with the distributional structure of government-published poverty estimates, after calibration. The study further contributes to the existing literature by examining robustness of the resulting estimates to user-specified algorithmic parameters and model specifications.
    Keywords: big data; computer vision; data for development; machine learning algorithm; official statistics; poverty; SDG
    JEL: C19 D31 I32 O15
    Date: 2020–12–29
  4. By: James D. Fearon (Stanford University); Andrew Shaver (University of California Merced)
    Abstract: Conflict forces millions of individuals from their homes each year. Using a simple structural model and new refugee data, we produce the first set of estimates relating outflows to annual conflict magnitudes. The theory underlying the structural model implies that standard panel data approaches will underestimate the impact of conflict violence, by differencing out the effect of prior and expected levels of violence on the decisions to flee. We estimate that whereas a shock that doubles conflict deaths in one year increases outflows in that year by 40% on average, doubling conflict deaths in all years increases annual outflows by 100%. We further estimate an average of 30 refugees per conflict death (median 18), with higher rates for conflicts closer to an OECD country and possibly for ethnic wars and in lower income countries. The analysis illustrates a broader methodological point: It can be hazardous to try to identify a causal effect using shocks to a presumed causal factor if the outcome variable is the result of decisions based not only on shocks but also on levels.
    Keywords: refugees, civil war
    JEL: F22 D74 C23
    Date: 2021–04
  5. By: Ragasa, Catherine; Malapit, Hazel J.; Rubin, Deborah; Myers, Emily; Pereira, Audrey; Martinez, Elena M.; Heckert, Jessica; Seymour, Greg; Mzungu, Diston; Kalagho, Kenan; Kazembe, Cynthia; Thunde, Jack; Mswelo, Grace
    Abstract: Inclusive agricultural value chains (VCs) are potential drivers for poverty reduction, food security, and women’s empowerment. This report assesses the implementation of the Agricultural Technical and Vocational Education Training for Women Program (ATVET4Women) that aims to support women with vocational training and market linkages in priority agricultural value chains. This report focuses on Malawi, one of the six pilot countries of the ATVET4Women; and focuses on vegetable value chains in which some non-formal training sessions have been conducted as of October 2019. This report presents (1) program experience of stakeholders; (2) evidence of program benefits and challenges among ATVET4Women non-formal training graduates; and (3) baseline data on value chain and empowerment indicators, using a pilot household survey-based instrument for measuring women’s empowerment in agricultural value chains (pro-WEAI for market inclusion) and supplementary qualitative research. Results show graduates’ satisfaction and appreciation of the training provided, and some graduates reported having access to more lucrative markets as a result of the training. However, positive changes in several outcome indicators were reported by only some graduates: 30 percent of graduates reported increased production and sales. There is no significant difference in the reported changes and levels of vegetable production and income between graduates and non-graduates. Qualitative findings suggest that constraints to accessing agricultural inputs and funds to upgrade their production may be why there are no measured differences. Results on empowerment status reveal that 73 percent of women and 85 percent of men in the sample are empowered, and 73 percent of the sample households achieved gender parity. The main contributor of disempowerment among women and men is lack of work balance and autonomy in income. Fewer women achieved adequacy in work balance than men. Adequacies in attitudes about domestic violence, respect among household members, input in productive decisions, and asset ownership are generally high for both women and men, but significantly lower for women. While this report is mainly descriptive and further analysis is ongoing, it offers some lessons and practical implications for improving ATVET4Women program implementation and its outcomes on women’s market access, incomes, and empowerment.
    Keywords: MALAWI; SOUTHERN AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA; empowerment; gender; women; women's empowerment; agricultural value chains; value chains; training; market access; vocational training; income; Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index
    Date: 2021
  6. By: Tohari, Achmad (University of Western Australia); Parsons, Christopher (University of Western Australia); Rammohan, Anu (University of Western Australia)
    Abstract: Information campaigns aimed at empowering the poor often fall short of meeting their desired aims. We study literacy's role in determining their efficacy. First, exploiting an RD design, we show that receipt of information increased household rice receipts by 30 percentage points. Second, we show that approximately half of the effect is driven by household head literacy. Leveraging novel data on the locations and timings of school openings in the 1970s INPRES school building program, we document that household heads' literacy gained during childhood was pivotal for their households subsequently receiving their full entitlement of rice during adulthood.
    Keywords: poverty, targeting, information, literacy, dynamic complementarity
    JEL: D04 D73 I21 I28 I32 I38 J24 O12
    Date: 2021–05
  7. By: Roxana Elena Manea; Pedro Naso
    Abstract: In this study, we investigate the impacts of the 2002 elimination of primary school fees in Mainland Tanzania. We explore how the magnitude of these effects depends on gender and the size of early investments in the educational infrastructure of Tanganyika. We use the 2002 and 2012 census waves as well as historical information on the location of schools in the late 1940s, and conduct a difference-in-differences analysis. We find that exposure to an average of 1.7 years of free primary education has reduced the proportion of people who have never attended primary education by 6.8 percentage points. The benefits of fee removal have been signi cantly larger for females compared to males, and females from districts where the size of investments in education was relatively larger during colonial rule have been the greatest beneficiaries.
    Keywords: School fee; Educational Inequality; Tanzania
    Date: 2021–05–18
  8. By: Carlitz, Ruth D.; Ziaja, Sebastian
    Abstract: Aid fragmentation is widely denounced, though recent studies suggest potential benefits. To reconcile these mixed findings, we make a case for studying differences across aid sectors and levels of analysis. Our cross-national time-series analysis of data from 141 countries suggests aid fragmentation promotes child survival and improves governance. However, just looking across countries has the potential to blur important within-country differences. We analyse subnational variation in Sierra Leone and Nigeria and find that the presence of more donors is associated with worse health outcomes, but better governance outcomes. This suggests that having more donors within a locality can be beneficial when they are working to improve the systems through which policies are implemented, but harmful when they target policy outcomes directly. A survey of Nigerian civil servants highlights potential mechanisms. Fragmentation in health aid may undermine civil servants' morale, whereas diversity in governance aid can promote meritocratic behaviour.
    Date: 2021
  9. By: Roxana Manea; Patrizio Piraino; Martina Viarengo
    Abstract: We study the relationship between housing inequality and crime in South Africa. We create a novel panel dataset combining information on crimes at the police station level with census data. We find that housing inequality explains a significant share of the variation in both property and violent crimes, net of spillover effects, time and district fixed effects. An increase of onestandard deviation in housing inequality explains between 9 and 13 percent of crime increases. Additionally, we suggest that a prominent post-apartheid housing program for low-income South Africans helped to reduce inequality and violent crimes. Together, these findings suggest the important role that equality in housing conditions can play in the reduction of crime in an emerging economy context.
    Keywords: Inequality; Crime; Economic Development.
    Date: 2021–05–12
  10. By: Oliver Vanden Eynde (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Liam Wren-Lewis (PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: Complementarities between infrastructure projects have been understudied. Our paper examines interactions in the impacts of large-scale road construction, electrification, and mobile phone coverage programs in rural India. We find strong evidence of complementary impacts between roads and electricity on agricultural production: dry season cropping increases significantly when villages receive both, but not when they receive one without the other. These complementarities are associated with a shift of cropping patterns towards market crops and with improved economic conditions. In contrast, we find no consistent evidence of complementarities for the mobile coverage program.
    Keywords: infrastructure,complementarities,agriculture
    Date: 2021–05
  11. By: Felipe , Jesus (Asian Development Bank); Jin , Hongyuan (University of California-Santa Barbara); Mehta, Aashish (University of California-Santa Barbara)
    Abstract: We provide the first evidence that low- and middle-income countries with high education levels were more successful in developing comparative advantage in products unrelated to those they already export. In contrast, controlling for the relatedness of target products to these countries’ exports, education appears unimportant for developing comparative advantage in products that are intrinsically complex or education intensive. These results are supported by analysis of the evolution of comparative advantage in 1,240 products from 49 low- and middle-income countries between 1995 and 2015. They are robust to corrections for measurement and specification errors, for institutional, infrastructure, and foreign direct investment-related factors, for regional specialization patterns, and for each economy’s degree of industrial dynamism prior to 1995. These results suggest that the key role of education when seeking to shift from peripheral to core products is to help a country cope with unfamiliar challenges, and so overcome path dependence.
    Keywords: comparative advantage; core; diversification; education; exports; path dependence; periphery; relatedness
    JEL: I25 O11 O14
    Date: 2021–03–24
  12. By: Bautista, María Angélica; González, Felipe; Martínez, Luis R.; Muñoz, Pablo; Prem, Mounu
    Abstract: We provide new evidence on the causal effect of education on health. Our empirical strategy exploits the reduction in access to college experienced by individuals reaching college age shortly after the 1973 military coup in Chile, which led to a sharp downward kink in enrollment for the affected cohorts. Using data from the vital statistics for the period 1994-2017, we document an upward kink in the age-adjusted yearly mortality rate for these cohorts, a pattern that we also observe in matched individual-level records for hospitalized patients. Leveraging the downward kink in college enrollment, we estimate a negative effect of college on mortality, which is larger for men, but also sizable for women. Affected individuals have worse labor market outcomes, lower income, and are more likely to be enrolled in the public health system. They also report lower consumption of health services, which suggests that economic disadvantage and limited access to care plausibly contribute to the effect of education on health.
    Keywords: Higher education; mortality; Chile
    JEL: I
    Date: 2021–05
  13. By: Alexandre Kolev; Justina La
    Abstract: Informal employment, defined through the lack of employment-based social protection, constitutes the bulk of employment in developing countries, and entails a level of vulnerability to poverty and other risks that are borne by all who are dependent on informal work income. Results from the Key Indicators of Informality based on Individuals and their Households database (KIIbIH) show that a disproportionately large number of middle‑class informal economy workers receive remittances. Such results confirm that risk management strategies, such as migration, play a part in minimising the potential risks of informal work for middle‑class informal households who may not be eligible to social assistance. They further suggest that middle‑class informal workers may have a solvent demand for social insurance so that, if informality-robust social insurance schemes were made available to them, remittances could potentially be channelled to finance the extension of social insurance to the informal economy. L'emploi informel, défini par l'absence de protection sociale basée sur l'emploi, constitue la majeure partie de l'emploi dans les pays en développement, et entraîne un niveau de vulnérabilité à la pauvreté et à d'autres risques qui sont supportés par tous ceux qui dépendent des revenus du travail informel. Les résultats de la base de données des Indicateurs clés de l'informalité en fonction des individus et leurs ménages (KIIbIH) montrent qu'un nombre disproportionné de travailleurs de l'économie informelle de la classe moyenne reçoivent des transferts de fonds. Ces résultats confirment que les stratégies de gestion des risques, telles que la migration, jouent un rôle dans la minimisation des risques potentiels du travail informel pour les ménages informels de la classe moyenne qui peuvent ne pas être éligibles à l'aide sociale. Ils suggèrent en outre que les travailleurs informels de classe moyenne peuvent avoir une demande solvable d'assurance sociale, de sorte que, si des régimes d'assurance sociale respectueux de l'informalité leur étaient accessibles, les transferts de fonds pourraient potentiellement être canalisés pour financer l'extension de l'assurance sociale à l'économie informelle.
    Keywords: development, informal workers, middle class workers, migrant workers, migration, poverty, remittances, risk-pooling, savings, social insurance, social protection
    JEL: E26 F22 F24 G52 H55 I38
    Date: 2021–05–26
  14. By: Patrick Plane (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne, FERDI - Fondation pour les Etudes et Recherches sur le Développement International)
    Abstract: We analyze the domestic transport and logistics costs of importing a 20-foot container into Africa. We run regressions on a panel of 50 African countries for the period 2006–2014 using the RE-2SLS estimator. Distance from port of arrival to the point of delivery is an important explanatory factor of cost. Time-varying variables yield additional and valuable information. Reducing processing times and adjusting the ratio of the purchasing power parity conversion factor to the market exchange rate would contribute to save on the cost to import.
    Date: 2021–02–19
  15. By: Arango-Thomas, Luis Eduardo; Flórez, Luz Adriana; Guerrero, Laura D.
    Abstract: We present evidence of the minimum wage effects on labour informality rates in Colombia. Our identification strategy consists of dividing the working population into sixteen groups depending on their age, gender and educational level to observe how the variations in the minimum wage with respect to the 70th percentile of the distribution of salaries corresponding to the demographic group of each individual, affects the probability of having an informal occupation. The results suggest that the higher the value of the minimum wage ratio the higher will be the probability of being informal. An increase of one percentage point (pp) in the ratio of the minimum wage increases the probability of having an informal job by 0.21 pp. This effect may be greater in cities with higher informality rates and consequently with lower labour productivity of less educated workers. Our results also present evidence of non-linear effects, which suggests that workers whose labour productivity is less than the minimum wage are more likely to have informal jobs.
    Keywords: minimum wage; labour informality; heterogeneity
    JEL: J21 J30 J46 O17
    Date: 2021–05
  16. By: Roxana Elena Manea
    Abstract: Existing investigations of the impact of school feeding programmes on educational outcomes have provided mixed evidence of success. In this chapter, I investigate a potential explanation for this lack of consensus in the literature. I argue that the prevailing food security situation at the time and place of the programme's evaluation plays a major role. I study the case of rural Malawi. I use an instrumental variable approach and propensity score matching to estimate the impact of school feeding on primary school enrolment and retention rates. I focus on villages with overlapping characteristics. I estimate that school feeding has increased enrolments by 7 percentage points on average, but the impact on retention rates has been relatively limited. However, when I distinguish between food-secure and food-insecure areas, not only do I find a larger impact on enrolments in food-insecure areas, but I also uncover a significant increase of around 2 percentage points in the retention rate of students in these same areas. Across the board, impacts are not significant in food-secure areas. I conclude that school feeding programmes bear an impact on education as long as they also intervene to relax a binding food constraint.
    Keywords: School feeding programmes;Education; Food security; Malawi
    Date: 2021–05–18
  17. By: Michael Landesmann (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Isilda Mara (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)
    Abstract: The South-North migration corridor, i.e. migration flows to the EU from Africa, the Middle East and EU neighbouring countries in the East, have overtaken the East-West migration corridor, i.e. migration flows from Central and East European countries to the EU15 and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). This is likely to dominate migration flows into the EU+EFTA over the coming decades. This paper applies a gravity modelling approach to analyse patterns and drivers of the South-North migration corridor over the period 1995-2020 and explores bilateral mobility patterns from 75 sending countries in Africa, the Middle East and other EU neighbours to the EU28 and EFTA countries. The study finds that income gaps, diverging demographic trends, institutional and governance features and persisting political instability, but also higher climate risks in the neighbouring regions of the EU, are fuelling migration flows along the South-North corridor and will most likely continue to do so.
    Keywords: Migration, Africa, Middle East, Eastern EU partnership countries, migration to EU, demographic developments, refugees, migration policies, gravity modelling, climate risks
    JEL: F22 J11 J61 O15
    Date: 2021–05
  18. By: Chakraborty, Tanika (Indian Institute of Management); Lohawala, Nafisa (University of Michigan)
    Abstract: The stagnancy of women's workforce participation in urban India is alarming and puzzling, considering the pace of economic development experienced in the previous decade. We investigate the extent to which the low workforce participation of women can be explained by growing instances of officially reported crimes against women. We employ a fixed effects strategy using district-level panel data between 2004-2012. To address additional concerns of endogeneity, we exploit state-level regulations in alcohol sale and consumption and provide estimates from two different strategies – an instrumental variable approach and a border-analysis. Our findings indicate that a one standard deviation increase in sexual crimes per 1000 women reduces the probability that a woman is employed outside her home by 9.4%. While we find some evidence of heterogeneity across regions and religions, overall, the deterrent effect seems to affect women equally across all economic, demographic and social groups.
    Keywords: crime-against-women, female labor supply, instrumental variable, alcohol regulation
    JEL: E24 J08 J16 J18
    Date: 2021–05
  19. By: Ali Enami (The University of Akron); Ugo Gentilini (World Bank); Patricio Larroulet (CEQ Institute and CEDES); Nora Lustig (Tulane University); Emma Monsalve (World Bank); Siyu Quan (Tulane University); Jamele Rigolini (World Bank and IZA)
    Abstract: Using microsimulations this paper analyzes the poverty and tax implications of replacing current transfers and subsidies by a budget-neutral (no change in the fiscal deficit) universal basic income program (UBI) in Brazil, Chile, India, Russia, and South Africa. We consider three UBI transfers with increasing levels of generosity and identify scenarios in which the poor are no worse off than in the baseline scenario of existing social transfers. We find that for poverty levels not to increase under a UBI reform, the level of spending must increase substantially with respect to the baseline. Accordingly, the required increase in tax burdens is high throughout. In our five countries and scenarios, the least increase in taxes required to avoid poverty to be higher than in the baseline is around 25% (Brazil and Chile). Even at this lower rate, political resistance and efficiency costs could limit the feasibility of a UBI reform.
    Keywords: Universal basic income, microsimulation, inequality, poverty, tax incidence
    JEL: H22 H31 H55 I32 D63
    Date: 2021–05
  20. By: Marine JOUVIN
    Abstract: This paper proposes new estimates of the prevalence of child labor in Côte d’Ivoire’s cocoa farms that are certi?ed free of child labor. We rely on list experiments to avoid issues of social desirability bias associated with measuring sensitive issues, that we implement on a sample of 4 458 Ivorian cocoa farmers. We ?nd that 24% of them were helped by a child under 16 for harvesting and breaking the cocoa pods during the past 12 months, 21% for preparing their farm, and 25% employed and paid a child to perform any task on their cocoa farm. These results are twice as high as those declared by farmers when directly questioning them on their child labour use. Last, we show that the prevalence of child labor is higher for farms that are more remote, in line with limited school opportunities for children, lower adult labor supply, and weaker law enforcement capacity related to the reliance on children for farm activities. While child labor has been given considerable attention over recent years by most actors of the cocoa value chain, this paper shows that further progress can still be accomplished, particularly amongst the most remote farming communities.
    Keywords: List experiment, social desirability bias, child labor, certi?cation schemes
    JEL: C83 J23 J43 J81
    Date: 2021
  21. By: Aksoy, Cevat Giray
    Abstract: We provide the first large-scale evidence on self-selection of refugees and irregular migrants who arrived in Europe in 2015 or 2016. Our analysis uses unique datasets from the International Organization for Migration and Gallup World Polls. We find that refugees are positively self-selected with respect to human capital, as are female irregular migrants. Male irregular migrants are negatively self-selected. These patterns hold whether analyzing individually stated main reason to emigrate, country-level conflict intensity, or sub-regional conflict intensity. Several additional analyses show that our results are unlikely to be driven by omitted variable bias or liquidity constraints. We offer a theoretical framework to explain these patterns, by extending the Roy-Borjas model to include risks related to staying in an unsafe country of origin, risks related to migration, and gender specific returns to human capital.
    Date: 2021–05–18
  22. By: Rossella Bardazzi; Maria Grazia Pazienza; Maria Eugenia Sanin
    Abstract: Developing countries are characterized by slightly higher GDP growth rates that developed ones, are advancing towards universal energy access and many of them are yet to finish their demographic transition, which implies their fertility rate is higher than average and their population is still young. The previous socio-demographic and economic changes could make energy consumption patterns quite different from the ones observed in developed countries. Herein we use Mexico as a case study to estimate determinants of energy consumption as well as the importance that change in generational preferences has on such consumption. We find that results are in line with the few studies performed for developed countries but that the magnitudes are four times stronger. This means that younger generations in Mexico increase their consumption at a much faster rate as they grow older than households in developed countries, which may become a concern for policymakers deciding on investments to meet future energy demand, particularly in the context of the energy transition.
    Keywords: energy consumption, electricity, residential, life-cycle, generation, Mexico
    JEL: C3 D12 Q4
    Date: 2021
  23. By: Shoji, Masahiro; Tsubota, Kenmei
    Abstract: Human trafficking is a serious humanitarian problem. Using a nationally representative survey of Bangladeshi child sex workers and an instrumental variable model, we examine the working conditions of trafficked child sex workers and how they differ from those of nontrafficked child sex workers. Existing studies investigating trafficking victimization only used a sample of rescued/escaped victims, and this study is the first to analyze those who are still being exploited. We find that the victims trade sex with 190 percent more clients at a 67.8 percent lower wage and are more exposed to violence, leading to sickness, such as fever and headache. However, the differences in the prevalence of STDs and injury are insignificant presumably because the owners have an incentive to protect the victims from STDs. These findings suggest that evaluating sex workers’ working conditions by the prevalence of STDs alone may underestimate the severity of the exploitation of victims. Furthermore, conducting an empirical analysis without distinguishing between trafficked and nontrafficked workers, as performed in previous studies, leads to misunderstandings regarding the sex industry. We also contribute to the literature concerning the worst form of child labor by providing the first rigorous evidence of the working conditions of child sex workers. Finally, four implications for practitioners are discussed.
    Keywords: human trafficking; worst form of child labor; organized crime; sexual crime; child abuse; sexually transmitted diseases; post-disaster crime
    JEL: I15 J22 J31 J47 K42 O15
    Date: 2021–05

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