nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2021‒08‒30
eleven papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Slave Trades, Kinship Structures and Women Political Participation in Africa By Leone Walters; Carolyn Chisadza; Matthew Clance
  2. Climate shocks, agriculture, and migration in Nepal: Disentangling the interdependencies By Aslihan Arslan; Eva-Maria Egger; Erdgin Mane; Vanya Slavchevska
  3. Polygyny, Timing of Marriage and Economic Shocks in Sub-Saharan Africa By Tapsoba, Augustin
  4. Exploring the quality of income data in two African household surveys for the purpose of tax-benefit microsimulation modelling: Imputing employment income in Tanzania and Zambia By David McLennan; Michael Noble; Gemma Wright; Helen Barnes; Faith Masekesa
  5. The Impact of Changing Climate on Children's Nutritional Status in Bangladesh By Hanifi, S.M. Manzoor Ahmed; Menon, Nidhiya; Quisumbing, Agnes
  6. Electoral Competition, Accountability and Corruption:Theory and Evidence from India By Farzana Afridi,; Sourav Bhattacharya,; Amrita Dhillon,; Eilon Solan,
  7. The grievances of a failed reform: Chilean land reform and conflict with indigenous communities By Jaimovich, Dany; Toledo, Felipe
  8. Maternity benefits mandate and women's choice of work in Viet Nam By Khoa Vu; Paul Glewwe
  9. Aislamiento geográfico y aprendizaje en escuelas rurales By Leonardo Bonilla-Mejía; Erika Londoño-Ortega
  10. The Determinants of Electricity Constraints by Firms in Developing Countries By Elizabeth Asiedu; Theophile T. Azomahou; Neepa B. Gaekwa; Mahamady Ouedraogo
  11. Buying a Blind Eye: Campaign Donations, Forbearance, and Deforestation in Colombia By Harding, Robin; Prem, Mounu; Ruiz, Nelson A.; Vargas, David L.

  1. By: Leone Walters (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: We study whether present-day women political participation in sub-Saharan Africa can be linked to the temporary gender ratio imbalances caused by the transatlantic and Indian Ocean slave trades, taking into account pre-existing gender norms influenced by kinship structures. Using individual-level data for 29 sub-Saharan African countries from the latest Afrobarometer surveys, ethnic region kinship and slave trade data, we find that a woman's ethnic region exposure to the transatlantic slave trade is associated with an increase in her likelihood to vote, however, only in non-patrilineal ethnic regions. This effect is mitigated in patrilineal ethnic regions, where women have less decision-making power. This paper contributes to the literature on the contemporary sub-national effects of the slave trades and the historical causes of gender gaps in political participation.
    Keywords: Slave Trade, Gender, Africa
  2. By: Aslihan Arslan; Eva-Maria Egger; Erdgin Mane; Vanya Slavchevska
    Abstract: Climate change is expected to increase the risk in agricultural production due to increasing temperatures and rainfall variability. Smallholders can adjust by diversifying income sources, including through migration. Most existing studies investigate whether households send a migrant after experiencing weather shocks, but the literature lacks evidence on migration as an ex-ante measure. In this paper, we disentangle the direct effect of weather shocks on income from agriculture from the effect of changing weather patterns over a few years on migration as a diversification strategy.
    Keywords: Climate change, Migration, Agriculture, Simultaneous equations, Nepal
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Tapsoba, Augustin
    Abstract: This paper studies how local polygyny norms affect the equilibrium response of marriage markets to short-term changes in aggregate economic conditions. It develops a simple equilibrium marriage market framework with overlapping generations in which polygyny is modeled as a sequential one-to-one matching. The model generates predictions that are tested by revisiting the impact of rainfall shocks on the timing of marriage in Sub-Saharan Africa. Consistent with the model’s predictions, I find that the effect of droughts on child marriage is weaker where polygyny is more commonly practiced. The same shock leads to a large increase in the annual hazard of child marriage in monogamous areas but has no detectable effect in areas with high polygyny levels. In these areas, there is instead an increase in the market shares of young men that are looking for first/unique spouses at the expense of older men that are looking for second spouses. The differences in equilibrium outcomes on the marriage markets translate into differences in fertility onset and long term fertility levels.
    Keywords: Marriage market, local norms, polygyny, bride price, income shocks, informal insurance, Africa
    Date: 2021–08–25
  4. By: David McLennan; Michael Noble; Gemma Wright; Helen Barnes; Faith Masekesa
    Abstract: The quality of data on employment income is explored using Tanzanian and Zambian household survey datasets. The extent of missing and implausible income data is assessed and four different methods are applied to impute missing or implausible values. The four imputation methods are also applied to artificial missing data for Tanzania and Zambia, and—using one approach—for a South Africa dataset. Post-imputation results are assessed.
    Keywords: Income, Imputation, Microsimulation, Data, Tanzania, Zambia, Tax-benefit microsimulation
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Hanifi, S.M. Manzoor Ahmed (International Center for Diarrhoeal Disease Research); Menon, Nidhiya (Brandeis University); Quisumbing, Agnes (International Food Policy Research Institute)
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of climate change on the nutritional status of very young children between the ages of 0 – 3 years by using weather data from the last half century merged with rich information on child, mother and household characteristics in rural coastal Bangladesh. We evaluate the health consequences of rising temperature and relative humidity and varying rainfall jointly. Leveraging a saturated fixed-effects model that controls for annual trends and location-specific seasonality, and that allows the impacts of temperature to vary non-parametrically while rainfall and humidity have flexible non-linear forms, we find that extreme heat and humidity in the month of birth exert significant negative effects on children's nutritional status as measured by mid upper arm circumference. The impact of humidity in particular persists when child, mother and household controls are included. We find that exposure to changing climate in utero and in the month of conception also matters. Possible explanations for our findings include consequences of varying heat, humidity, and rainfall on the extent of pasture, rain-fed and irrigated lands, on the propensity of household out-migration, and on mother's age at first marriage. We employ alternate models and undertake falsification tests to underline the robustness of the estimates. Our results indicate that climate change has real consequences for the health of very young populations who are in vulnerable areas.
    Keywords: climate change, temperature, humidity, rainfall, Bangladesh, children, mid upper arm circumference, non-parametric, non-linear
    JEL: Q54 I15 O15 Q56 J13
    Date: 2021–08
  6. By: Farzana Afridi, (Economics and Planning Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi and IZA, Bonn); Sourav Bhattacharya, (Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata); Amrita Dhillon, (Department of Political Economy, Kings College, London, and CAGE, University of Warwick); Eilon Solan, (School of Mathematical Sciences, Tel Aviv University)
    Abstract: In developing countries with weak enforcement institutions, there is implicitly a large reliance on electoral incentives to reduce corruption. However electoral discipline works well only under some conditions. In this paper we study the effect of electoral competition on corruption when uncertainty in elections is high (or accountability is low), as in many developing countries . Our theory focuses on the case of high uncertainty and shows that in this case there is a U-shaped relationship between electoral competition and corruption. We illustrate the predictions of the model with village level data on audit detected irregularities and electoral competition from India.
    Keywords: Corruption, Electoral Competition, Uncertainty, Audit, Accountability JEL Classification: D72, D82, H75, O43, C72.
    Date: 2021
  7. By: Jaimovich, Dany; Toledo, Felipe
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effects of the Chilean land reform (1962-1973) on the intensity of the current indigenous self-determination conflict (1990-2016). The Mapuche were actively involved in the land reform process, and at least 150,000 hectares were expropriated in their favor. Nevertheless, the counter-reform process, after the 1973 military coup, almost fully reverted these expropriations. This failed land reform potentially created local grievances that may explain some aspects of the current social and political conflict in the region. To test this hypothesis, a unique geocoded plot-level database for the Araucania Region has been assembled. The results from OLS estimates suggest that plots involved in the land reform are more likely to be invaded and attacked. The effect is larger for plots located around indigenous reservations and those in which there was direct Mapuche participation during the land reform. To deal with potential endogeneity problems, we implement an instrumental variable identification strategy based on historical rainfall in the region. The IV estimates mostly confirm the main results. We show that the development of intensive forestry plantations after the land reform is a potential channel for explaining our results.
    Keywords: Land reform, conflict, indigenous people, Chile.
    JEL: D74 N46 O13 Q15
    Date: 2021–03–16
  8. By: Khoa Vu; Paul Glewwe
    Abstract: Despite a sizeable literature on the labour market effects of maternity leave regulations on women in developed countries, how these policies affect women's work in developing countries with a large informal sector remains poorly understood. This study examines how extending the maternity leave requirement affects women's decisions to work in the informal or formal sector in Viet Nam. We use a difference-in-differences approach to evaluate the 2012 Amendment to the Viet Nam Labour Law, which imposes a longer maternity leave requirement than before.
    Keywords: Maternity, Women's work, Informal sector, Labour market
    Date: 2021
  9. By: Leonardo Bonilla-Mejía; Erika Londoño-Ortega
    Abstract: Rural schools are usually behind in terms of learning, and part of this could be related to geographical isolation. We explore this hypothesis, assessing the causal effect of distance between rural schools and local governments on learning in Colombia. We use spatial discontinuous regression models based on detailed administrative records from the education system and granular geographic information. Results indicate that distance to towns and Secretary of Education has significant negative effects on students’ standardized test scores. We evaluated alternative mechanisms, finding that the effect of distance is partly explained by differences in critical educational inputs, such as teachers’ education attainment and contract stability. Finally, we assess the mediating role of a program providing monetary incentives to teachers and principals in remote areas. **** RESUMEN: Las escuelas rurales están generalmente rezagadas en términos de aprendizaje y parte de esto puede estar relacionado con el aislamiento geográfico. Este documento explora esta hipótesis, evaluando el efecto causal de la distancia entre las escuelas rurales y los gobiernos locales en el aprendizaje. Empleamos modelos de regresión discontinua espaciales a partir de registros administrativos detallados e información geográfica granular del sistema educativo. Los resultados indican que tanto la distancia a las cabeceras municipales como aquella a las Secretarías de Educación tiene efectos negativos y significativos sobre los puntajes en las pruebas estandarizadas de los alumnos. Estudiamos diferentes mecanismos, encontrando que el efecto de la distancia se explica en parte por diferencias importantes en insumos educativos, como la formación de los docentes y los nombramientos permanentes. Finalmente, estudiamos en que medida el programa de incentivos monetarios para escuelas en zonas de difícil acceso media estos resultados.
    Keywords: Geographic isolation, education, rural, Colombia, aislamiento geográfico, educación, rural, Colombia.
    JEL: R12 I21 I24 H75 R10
    Date: 2021–08
  10. By: Elizabeth Asiedu (Department of Economics, University of Kansas); Theophile T. Azomahou (African Economic Research Consortium); Neepa B. Gaekwa (State University of New York at Fredonia); Mahamady Ouedraogo (Universite Clermont-Auvergne, CNRS, CERDI)
    Abstract: We employ survey data for 108 developing countries over the period 2006-2017 and estimate an ordered probit model to determine the firm and country characteristics that affect the probability that a firm is energy poor - i.e., the firm will report that electricity is an obstacle to the firm's operations. We find that firms that experienced power outages and firms in the manufacturing industry are more likely to be energy poor. In contrast, majority-owned government firms and older firms are less likely to be energy poor. The gender of the firm owner and the size of the firm are not correlated with firm energy poverty. Among firms that experienced power outages, firm energy poverty increases with the frequency as well as the duration of outages. We also find that firms that operate in countries with weak institutions and in countries where residents have limited access to electricity are more likely to be energy poor.
    Keywords: Constraints, Electricity, Energy Poverty, Firms, Institution
    JEL: D22 O12 L20
    Date: 2021–06
  11. By: Harding, Robin; Prem, Mounu; Ruiz, Nelson A.; Vargas, David L.
    Abstract: While existing work has demonstrated that campaign donations can buy access to benefits such as favorable legislation and preferential contracting, we highlight another use of campaign contributions: buying forbearance. Specifically, we argue that in return for campaign contributions, Colombian mayors who rely on donor-funding (compared to those who do not) choose not to enforce sanctions against illegal deforestation activities. Using a regression discontinuity design we show that deforestation is significantly higher in municipalities that elect donor-funded as opposed to self-funded politicians. Further analysis shows that only part of this effect can be explained by differences is contracting practices by donor-funded mayors. Instead, evidence from analysis of fire clearance, and of heterogeneity in the effects according to the presence of alternative formal and informal enforcement institutions, supports the interpretation that campaign contributions buy forbearance from enforcement of environmental regulations.
    Keywords: Campaign donations; Deforestation; Forbearance
    JEL: P48 Q56
    Date: 2021–08

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