nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2021‒08‒16
fifteen papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Climate change, or climate shocks: What really triggers civil conflicts? By Khalifa, Sherin; Petri, Svetlana; Henning, Christian H. C. A.
  2. Investing in risky inputs in Senegal: Implications for farm profit and food production By Goundan, Anatole; Faye, Amy; Henning, Christian H. C. A.; Collins-Sowah, Peron A.
  3. Using Satellite Imagery and Deep Learning to Evaluate the Impact of Anti-Poverty Programs By Luna Yue Huang; Solomon M. Hsiang; Marco Gonzalez-Navarro
  4. Access to Credit, Education, and Women’s Say in the Household: Evidence from Bangladesh By Boulier, Bryan; Emran, M. Shahe; Hoque, Nazmul
  5. Multigenerational Mobility in India By Kundu, Anustup; Sen, Kunal
  6. If climate change can trigger civil conflict, can good policy trigger peace? Empirical evidence from cross-country panel data By Khalifa, Sherin; Petri, Svetlana; Henning, Christian H. C. A.
  7. Nighttime Light Intensity and Child Health Outcomes in Bangladesh By Mohammad Rafiqul Islam; Masud Alam; Munshi Naser \.Ibne Afzal
  8. Scalable Early Warning Systems for School Dropout prevention: Evidence from a 4.000-School Randomized Controlled Trial By Francisco Haimovich; Emmanuel Vazquez; Melissa Adelman
  9. The Gendered Effects of Climate Change: Production Shocks and Labor Response in Agriculture By Afridi, Farzana; Mahajan, Kanika; Sangwan, Nikita
  10. Dropping Out, Being Pushed Out or Can’t Get in? Decoding Declining Labour Force Participation of Indian Women By Deshpande, Ashwini; Singh, Jitendra
  11. Estimating the impact of agricultural cooperatives in Senegal: Propensity score matching and endogenous switching regression analysis By Adjin, K. Christophe; Goundan, Anatole; Henning, Christian H. C. A.; Sarr, Saer
  12. If there is a stable relationship between climate change and civil war in Sub-Saharan Africa? A replication study of Miguel et al. (The Journal of Political Economy, 2004) By Khalifa, Sherin; Henning, Christian H. C. A.
  13. Climate Change in Developing Countries: Global Warming Effects,Transmission Channels and Adaptation Policies By De Bandt Olivier; Jacolin Luc; Lemaire Thibault
  14. Modeling interrelated inputs adoption in rainfed agriculture in Senegal By Goundan, Anatole; Sall, Moussa; Henning, Christian H. C. A.
  15. Climate variability and farm inefficiency: A spatial stochastic frontier analysis of Senegalese agriculture By Adjin, K. Christophe; Henning, Christian H. C. A.

  1. By: Khalifa, Sherin; Petri, Svetlana; Henning, Christian H. C. A.
    Abstract: This paper provides an analysis of the impact of extraordinary climate shocks on the incidence of civil conflict using cross-country panel data from Africa and the Middle East (1981 to 2015). We find that: (i) The estimated impact of climate shocks (mainly temperature effect) on economic growth rate and domestic food production ranges from 3 to 5% compared to the estimated impact of temperature growth 47%. (ii) We identified a direct impact of climate shocks on the incidence of civil conflict, where this impact is similar in magnitude to the negative impact of rainfall growth on conflict (3-4%). (iii) We confirmed the negative link between conflict and both economic indicators, conflict begets next conflict, the positive impact of good governance and polity IV estimates, and the freshwater availability on reducing the risk of conflict. Concluding that the main effect of climate comes from the temperature growth effects and it is not extreme shocks that drive economic declines, which indicates that the climate rather operates in a non-linear process.
    Keywords: Climate shocks,civil conflict,economic development
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Goundan, Anatole; Faye, Amy; Henning, Christian H. C. A.; Collins-Sowah, Peron A.
    Abstract: While the productivity effects of the application of modern inputs, such as im- proved seeds or inorganic fertilizer, are well known, farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa tended to underinvest in purchased inputs. This underinvestment appears related to the unpredictable nature of agricultural production that is subject to risks and shocks. Farmers make production decisions before climatic and other shocks are realized. They, therefore, have no certainty about the outcome of their decisions. This makes investments in agricultural inputs very risky. This paper uses recent data for Senegal to identify the main drivers of the decision to purchase risky inputs (seeds and/or fertilizers), the level of investment and to quantify the impact of the use of risky inputs on household welfare. Using a Heck- man model, results show that the main drivers of the decision to purchase risky inputs include household composition, farmer organization, farm size, access to livestock income, and crop diversification. Drivers of the level of investment in risky inputs are gender, extension services, farm size, agricultural capital, and cropping patterns. Using an endogenous switching regression, we find a positive impact on the adoption of risky inputs on farm profit per hectare, and food available from production. The expected impact for non-adopters is found to be higher than that for adopters because they are involved in rice production (which is more responsive to inputs use) and in millet production (which is central for food security).
    Keywords: Risky inputs,purchased fertilizers,purchased seeds,household welfare,Senegal
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Luna Yue Huang; Solomon M. Hsiang; Marco Gonzalez-Navarro
    Abstract: The rigorous evaluation of anti-poverty programs is key to the fight against global poverty. Traditional approaches rely heavily on repeated in-person field surveys to measure program effects. However, this is costly, time-consuming, and often logistically challenging. Here we provide the first evidence that we can conduct such program evaluations based solely on high-resolution satellite imagery and deep learning methods. Our application estimates changes in household welfare in a recent anti-poverty program in rural Kenya. Leveraging a large literature documenting a reliable relationship between housing quality and household wealth, we infer changes in household wealth based on satellite-derived changes in housing quality and obtain consistent results with the traditional field-survey based approach. Our approach generates inexpensive and timely insights on program effectiveness in international development programs.
    JEL: C8 H0 O1 O22 Q0 R0
    Date: 2021–07
  4. By: Boulier, Bryan; Emran, M. Shahe; Hoque, Nazmul
    Abstract: A substantial literature on women’s say in the household focuses on microcredit, but there is little evidence on the relative roles of credit and education. Using household survey data from Bangladesh, we provide a comparative analysis of the effects of education and microcredit on women’s decision making power in the household. We implement two econometric approaches: bias adjusted OLS estimator of Oster (2019) that extends the Altonji et al. (2005) approach where selection on observables is used as a guide to selection on unobservables, and doubly robust radius matching estimator of Lechner et al. (2011). The evidence suggests a limited impact of microcredit, consistent with the recent evidence from RCT based studies. In contrast, education is much more important for enhancing women’s say in a range of household decisions. There is no significant interaction effect between education and credit. Evidence from Gelbach decomposition suggests that outside employment is an important mediating mechanism, but household wealth and assortative marriage matching on education are not important. The impact of education on women’s decision making remains strong even after controlling for these mediating factors, pointing to the importance of other mechanisms such as self-confidence and better negotiation skills of educated women.
    Keywords: Women’s Empowerment, Household Decision Making, Women’s Education, Microcredit, Bangladesh
    JEL: C31 G21 J16 O10
    Date: 2021–04–29
  5. By: Kundu, Anustup (University of Helsinki); Sen, Kunal (University of Manchester)
    Abstract: Most studies of intergenerational mobility focus on adjacent generations, and there is limited knowledge about multigenerational mobility that is, status transmission across three generations. We examine multigenerational educational and occupational mobility in India, using a nationally representative data-set the India Human Development Survey which contains information about education and occupation for three generations. We find that mobility has increased over generations for education, but not for occupation. We also find that there are stark differences across social groups, with individuals belonging to socially disadvantaged communities in India lagging behind in social progress. Multigenerational mobility for Muslims in education and occupation have decreased in comparison to Hindus over the three generations. While we find that there is an increase in educational mobility for other disadvantaged groups such as Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Classes compared to General Castes, we do not find evidence of increased occupational mobility over the three generations.
    Keywords: multigenerational mobility, occupational mobility, educational mobility, India
    JEL: J62 J15 O12
    Date: 2021–07
  6. By: Khalifa, Sherin; Petri, Svetlana; Henning, Christian H. C. A.
    Abstract: Based on the analysis of a new cross-country panel data from Africa and the Middle East for the time period between 1981 and 2015, we show that reductions in per capita income growth rate or domestic food production induced by climate variation significantly increase the probability of civil conflict. A 10% reduction in economic growth or domestic food production leads to a 1.25% and 1.59% increase in the likelihood of civil conflict, respectively. Furthermore, we identify a direct link of climate on the incidence of civil conflict. Additionally, the level of democracy and good governance are good control variables. Regarding the Syrian conflict, when considering 2010 data, the increase in temperature growth explains around 30% of falling income growth as well as 85% of the shrinking food production index and in this way contributed to the onset of war. We explain the probability of ongoing conflict by 43-56%. The two strongest factors explaining the conflict are lagged conflicts and economic development. Adequate economic policies that are able to accelerate economic development, play a role in peace, and avoiding new conflicts.
    Keywords: Climate variation,economic growth rate,food production index,civil war
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Mohammad Rafiqul Islam; Masud Alam; Munshi Naser \.Ibne Afzal
    Abstract: This study examines the impact of nighttime light intensity on child health outcomes in Bangladesh. We use nighttime light intensity as a proxy measure of urbanization and argue that the higher intensity of nighttime light, the higher is the degree of urbanization, which positively affects child health outcomes. In econometric estimation, we employ a methodology that combines parametric and non-parametric approaches using the Gradient Boosting Machine (GBM), K-Nearest Neighbors (KNN), and Bootstrap Aggregating that originate from machine learning algorithms. Based on our benchmark estimates, findings show that one standard deviation increase of nighttime light intensity is associated with a 1.515 rise of Z-score of weight for age after controlling for several control variables. The maximum increase of weight for height and height for age score range from 5.35 to 7.18 units. To further understand our benchmark estimates, generalized additive models also provide a robust positive relationship between nighttime light intensity and children's health outcomes. Finally, we develop an economic model that supports the empirical findings of this study that the marginal effect of urbanization on children's nutritional outcomes is strictly positive.
    Date: 2021–08
  8. By: Francisco Haimovich (The World Bank); Emmanuel Vazquez (CEDLAS-IIE-FCE-UNLP); Melissa Adelman (The World Bank)
    Abstract: Across many low- and middle-income countries, a sizable share of young people drop out of school before completing a full course of basic education. Early warning systems that accurately identify students at risk of dropout and support them with targeted interventions have shown results and are in widespread use in high-income contexts. This paper presents impact evaluation results from an early warning system pilot program in Guatemala, a middle-income country where nearly 40 percent of sixth graders drop out before completing ninth grade. The pilot program, which was implemented in 17 percent of Guatemala’s primary schools and largely leveraging existing government resources, reduced the dropout rate in the transition from primary to lower secondary school by 4 percent (1.3 percentage points) among schools assigned to the program, and by 9 percent (3 percentage points) among program compliers. Although the effect size is relatively modest, the low cost of the program (estimated at less than US$3 per student) and successful implementation at scale make this a promising and cost-effective approach for reducing dropout in resource-constrained contexts like Guatemala. AEA RCT ID: AEARCTR-0004091
    JEL: I2 I3 J24
    Date: 2021–08
  9. By: Afridi, Farzana (Indian Statistical Institute); Mahajan, Kanika (Ashoka University); Sangwan, Nikita (Indian Statistical Institute)
    Abstract: Climate change has increased rainfall uncertainty, leading to greater production risks in agriculture. We examine the gender-differentiated labor impacts of droughts resulting from lower precipitation using unique individual-level panel data for agricultural households in India over half a decade. Accounting for unobserved heterogeneity in individual responses, we find that women's workdays fall by 11% more than men's when a drought occurs, driven by former's lack of diversification to the non-farm sector. Women are less likely to work outside their village and migrate relative to men in response to droughts, and are consequently unable to cope fully with the adverse agricultural productivity shock. Our findings can be explained by social costs emanating from gender norms that constrain women's access to non-farm work opportunities. The results highlight the gendered impact of climate change, potentially exacerbating extant gender gaps in the labor market.
    Keywords: climate, drought, agriculture, labor, gender
    JEL: Q54 J16 J43 J60
    Date: 2021–07
  10. By: Deshpande, Ashwini (Ashoka University); Singh, Jitendra (Ashoka University)
    Abstract: The stubbornly low and declining level of labor force participation rate (LFPR) of Indian women has prompted a great deal of attention with a focus on factors constraining women's labour supply. Using 12 rounds of a high frequency household panel survey, we demonstrate volatility in Indian women's labour market engagement, as they exit and (re)enter the labor force multiple times over short period for reasons unrelated to marriage, child-birth, or change in household income. We demonstrate how these frequent transitions exacerbate the issue of measurement of female LFPR. Women elsewhere in the world face a "motherhood penalty" in the form of adverse labour market outcomes after the first childbirth. We evaluate the motherhood penalty in the Indian context and find that mothers with new children have a lower base level of LFPR, but there is no sharp decline around the time of childbirth. Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition of determinants of female LFPR suggests that none of the total fall (10 percentage points) in our study period is explained by a change in supply-side demographic characteristics. We suggest that frequent transitions, as well as fall in LFPR, are consistent with the demand-side constraints, viz., that women's participation is falling due unavailability of steady gainful employment. The high unemployment rate and industry-wise composition of total employment provide suggestive evidence that women's participation is falling as women are likely to be displaced from employment by male workers. We show that women's employment is likely to suffer more than men's due to negative economic shocks, as was seen during the fallout of demonetisation of 86 percent of Indian currency in 2016. Our analysis contests the prominent narrative that women are voluntarily dropping out of the labor force due to an increase in household income and conservative social norms. Our results suggest that India needs to focus more on creating jobs for women to retain them in the labor force.
    Keywords: female labour force participation rate, employment, social norms, India, labour demand
    JEL: J23 J71 J16 O53
    Date: 2021–08
  11. By: Adjin, K. Christophe; Goundan, Anatole; Henning, Christian H. C. A.; Sarr, Saer
    Abstract: The recent renaissance of the Senegalese cooperative movement coupled with the revival of the agricultural sector motivated this study, which mainly aims to analyse the impact of farmer-based organization membership on household land productivity and net income. We combined the Propensity Score Matching (PSM) method with an Endogenous Switching Regression (ESR) model to derive treatment effects of membership in these farmer organizations using national household-level survey data. Results exhibit consistency across estimations techniques. Estimates of both ESR and PSM models showed that membership in farmer organizations affects positively and significantly the household land productivity and net income. Moreover, findings show that membership has a heterogeneous impact. Households with the lowest probability to be members of farmer organizations have the highest impact. The effect of membership depends also on the specific type of organization.
    Keywords: Farmer organizations,impact evaluation,land productivity,household income,Senegal
    JEL: Q13 D04 Q15 Q12
    Date: 2020
  12. By: Khalifa, Sherin; Henning, Christian H. C. A.
    Abstract: We replicated the findings of Miguel and his co-authors, who find a significant negative relationship between economic shocks and the likelihood of civil conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) for the period 1981- 1999, using rainfall growth as an instrumental variable for the economic growth rate. The replication of this study is successfully performed. Furthermore, we apply a robustness test to the results using new cross-country panel data, with different measurements, and econometric specifications. The results appear to be sensitive to changes in data sources that use different methods of making the data available, although we find partly the same patterns between weather and economic growth rate, and between the income growth and the likelihood of civil conflict, like Miguel et al. (2004) for SSA period 1981-1999.
    Keywords: Rainfall,economic growth rate,conflict,Sub-Saharan Africa
    Date: 2020
  13. By: De Bandt Olivier; Jacolin Luc; Lemaire Thibault
    Abstract: Using panel data covering 126 low- and middle-income countries over 1960-2017, we find that sustained positive temperature deviations from their historical norms have a non-linear negative effect on economic growth and growth per capita. A sustained 1°C temperature increase lowers real GDP per capita annual growth by 0.74–1.52 percentage points, irrespective of levels of development. We also find that temperature rise affects the households’ intertemporal trade-off between consumption and investment, since the share of private consumption in total value-added increases while the share of investment declines. A sectoral decomposition shows that the share of industrial value-added also declines. While the share of agricultural value-added increases, agricultural output and productivity declines. Taken together, our results suggest that global warming will reinforce development traps, hindering further adaptation to climate change, particularly in the countries with the lowest levels of income given their lower resilience and higher socioeconomic vulnerability.
    Keywords: Climate Change, Economic Growth, Adaptation, Developing Countries
    JEL: C33 E20 O11 O13 Q54
    Date: 2021
  14. By: Goundan, Anatole; Sall, Moussa; Henning, Christian H. C. A.
    Abstract: The adoption of certified seeds and chemical fertilizers is central for African agri- culture which is characterized by very low productivity. This paper analyzes the technology adoption of certified seeds and inorganic fertilizers for two central crops in Senegal: rice and groundnut. The joint adoption of these two technologies is modeled in the presence of production risk using a flexible bivariate probit model. A recent agricultural survey, representative country-wide, collected in 2017 is used for our application. Descriptive statistics confirm the low rate of agricultural technology adoption. In the rainfed system, the average inorganic fertilizer used is about 28 kg/ha. The analysis reveals that in rural Senegal de- cisions to adopt certified seeds and inorganic fertilizers are interrelated for both rice and groundnut systems. For the rice system, a heterogeneous dependency is revealed, while for groundnut technology adoptions, a homogeneous correlation is found. Production risk is found to have a significant impact on technology adoption. We also found that determinants of individual technologies and their joint adoption vary widely across crops. However, the main determinants of technology adoption in rainfed agriculture in Senegal include cooperative membership, access to extension services, access to credit, education, family size, and farm size.
    Keywords: Fertilizer use,certified seeds,joint technology adoption,rainfed agriculture,Senegal
    Date: 2020
  15. By: Adjin, K. Christophe; Henning, Christian H. C. A.
    Abstract: This paper aimed to analyse Senegalese farmers' technical efficiency in the context of climate variability and spatial heterogeneity. To achieve this, firstly using simulated data, we evaluated the newly developed spatial stochastic frontier estimation technique based on skew-normal distributions. Secondly, using cross-sectional survey data we conducted an empirical analysis for 4423 Senegalese farm households. Simulation results show that the estimation approach used is appropriate and produces consistent results with large sample sizes, although it might suffer from a "starting values" problem. Empirical findings reveal that agricultural production in Senegal mostly depends on the allocated area and it is highly affected by climatic factors such as rainfall and temperature. Moreover, within a radius of 4 km, the technical efficiency of farms appears to be significantly affected by unobserved spatial features. Furthermore, this farm's technical efficiency can on average be increased by 20%, when accounting for spatial heterogeneity.
    Keywords: Climate variability,Farm efficiency,Spatial heterogeneity,Senegal
    JEL: Q54 C21 D24
    Date: 2020

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