nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2021‒11‒08
ten papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Missions and Heterogeneous Social Change: Evidence from Border Discontinuities in the Emirates of Nigeria By Dozie; Roland Pongou
  2. Do Conditional Cash Transfers Improve Education and Labour Market Outcomes in the Future Generation? By Anqi Zhang; Katsushi S. Imai
  3. The Interplay Between Colonial History and Postcolonial Institutions: Evidence from Cameroon By Marie Christelle Mabeu; Roland Pongou
  4. Education, Income and Mobility: Experimental Impacts of Childhood Exposure to Progresa after 20 Years By Maria Caridad Araujo; Karen Macours
  5. Spatial Inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa By Shifa, Muna; Leibbrandt, Murray
  6. Can Redistribution Keep Up with Inequality? Evidence from South Africa, 1993-2019 By Aroop Chatterjee; Léo Czajka; Amory Gethin
  7. Voting and protest tendencies associated with changes in service delivery. By Tina Fransman
  8. Borrowing Constraints and the Dynamics of Return and Repeat Migrations By Joseph-Simon Görlach
  9. Inequality, unemployment, and poverty impacts of mitigation investment: evidence from the CDM in Brazil and implications for a post-2020 mechanism By David Grover; Swaroop Rao
  10. Informational Barriers to Market Access: Experimental Evidence from Liberian Firms By Jonas Hjort; Vinayak Iyer; Golvine de Rochambeau

  1. By: Dozie (Dalhousie University); Roland Pongou (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON)
    Abstract: How and why have colonial-era Christian missions brought about social change in the long run? This paper addresses this question by causally estimating average and heterogeneous effects of colonial-era Christian missions on schooling, fertility, and household wealth in Nigeria. Our identification strategy exploits discontinuities in mission stations around the borders of the Emirates of Northern Nigeria, where missionary activities were restricted by the colonial administration. We find that areas with greater historical missionary activities have higher levels of schooling, lower levels of fertility, and higher household wealth today. Consistent with the predictions of a simple model, the long-run effect of missions on current schooling is not found in areas with early access to government schools, and is larger for population subgroups-women and Muslims-that have historically suffered disadvantages in access to education. Importantly, we show that the restriction of missions from the Emirates of Northern Nigeria has led to a reversal of fortunes, wherein areas that were more prosperous and institutionally developed in the past are relatively poorer today.
    Keywords: Christian Missions, Restrictions, Education, Fertility, Wealth, Reversal of Fortunes, Het- erogeneity, Emirates of Northern Nigeria, Indirect Rule, Africa.
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Anqi Zhang (Institute of Belt & Road and Global Governance, Fudan University, CHINA); Katsushi S. Imai (Department of Economics, The University of Manchester, UK, Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration, Kobe University, JAPAN)
    Abstract: This paper estimates the long-term impacts of PROGRESA, the Mexican conditional cash transfer programme, on the educational attainment and the labour market performance of children aged 18 years or younger in 1997. Based on the household panel in 1997-2017, we utilise the initial experimental design where the programmes were allocated randomly at the village level in a phased manner. After controlling for the attrition bias by Inverse Probability Weights and the unobservable time-invariant household characteristics, we estimate the intent to treat (ITT) effect by Propensity Score Matching and weighted OLS and Probit models. After 20 years, children of the poor eligible households in the early treated villages outperformed the matched children in the control villages. Regardless of age groups and gender, early beneficiaries achieved better educational attainments in both durations and levels and were more likely to work and earn a higher salary in the regular and non-regular labour markets. We also find spillover effects on children of non-poor households in the treated villages for education but not for employment. The study provides robust evidence to support Heckman's (2012) conclusion that the education of disadvantaged children should be prioritised by public policies not only for the sake of fairness and social justice but also for the productivity of the economy.
    Keywords: Labour market; CCT; Impact evaluation; Mexico
    JEL: I26 I28 I38 J24
    Date: 2021–10
  3. By: Marie Christelle Mabeu; Roland Pongou (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON)
    Abstract: We study the long-term impacts of Cameroon's colonial history and its interplay with postcolonial institutions. We exploit both the arbitrary division of the German Colony of Kamerun between France and Britain after World War I and the 1961 reunification of British Southern Cameroons and the French-speaking République du Cameroun. Comparing individuals from the same ethnic homeland but living on either side of the British-French border within Cameroon, we find that individuals on the British side had higher educational attainment before the reunification, but that this initial advantage was partially erased by post-reunification governance. Despite achieving higher educational attainment overall, individuals on the British side have worse employment outcomes and roughly similar infant mortality rates. We provide further evidence of the interaction between colonial origins and postcolonial institutions by analyzing how the outcomes of individuals in former Southern Cameroons differ from their hypothetical outcomes, had they instead opted to join Nigeria in the 1961 plebiscite. We find that they have lower educational attainment, higher infant mortality rates, and worse employment outcomes relative to their co-ethnics living on the Nigerian side of the border between former Southern Cameroons and Nigeria.
    Keywords: Colonial history, Postcolonial institutions, Cameroon, British Southern Cameroons, French Cameroons, République du Cameroun, Reunification, Federalism, Centralization.
    Date: 2021
  4. By: Maria Caridad Araujo (Inter-American Development Bank - Inter-American Development Bank); Karen Macours (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)
    Abstract: In 1997, the Mexican government designed the conditional cash transfer program Progresa, which became the worldwide model of a new approach to social programs, simultaneously targeting human capital accumulation and poverty reduction. A large literature has documented the short and medium-term impacts of the Mexican program and its successors in other countries. Using Progresa's experimental evaluation design originally rolled out in 1997-2000, and a tracking survey conducted 20 years later, this paper studies the differential long-term impacts of exposure to Progresa. We focus on two cohorts of children: i) those that during the period of differential exposure were in-utero or in the first years of life, and ii) those who during the period of differential exposure were transitioning from primary to secondary school. Results for the early childhood cohort, 18–20- year-old at endline, shows that differential exposure to Progresa during the early years led to positive impacts on educational attainment and labor income expectations. This constitutes unique long-term evidence on the returns of an at-scale intervention on investments in human capital during the first 1000 days of life. Results for the school cohort - in their early 30s at endline - show that the short-term impacts of differential exposure to Progresa on schooling were sustained in the long-run and manifested themselves in larger labor incomes, more geographical mobility including through international migration, and later family formation.
    Date: 2021–10
  5. By: Shifa, Muna; Leibbrandt, Murray
    Abstract: This paper provides within-country spatial and national inequality estimates in SSA using comparable data from the DHS. Two indicators are used to measure household welfare. First, detailed information on living standards indicators is used to calculate asset indices using data from 24 SSA countries with comparable data in recent years. The inequality estimates based on the asset indices are used to provide contemporary asset inequality estimates in SSA. Results reveal high levels of within-country spatial and national asset inequalities in SSA, with large variations across countries. The second indicator of household welfare is based on data on access to basic services. Access to basic services is measured by deriving an index calculated using indicators such as access to water, sanitation, electricity, a telephone, and education. We compare changes in inequalities in access to basic services using data from 27 SSA countries that have comparable data for at least two periods between 1995 and 2018. The findings suggest that, apart from a few countries, within-country spatial and national inequalities in access to basic services have declined over time. Nevertheless, the level of inequality and the magnitude of the changes in inequality over time varies greatly across countries, and disparities in access to basic services remain quite large in some SSA countries. Our findings, using both indices, show that within-country regional inequality is a significant component of national inequality in the majority of SSA nations, with significant policy implications.
    Keywords: Spatial inequality,asset inequality,basic services,Africa
    JEL: D31 D10 D4
    Date: 2021
  6. By: Aroop Chatterjee (WITS - University of the Witwatersrand [Johannesburg]); Léo Czajka (UCL - Université Catholique de Louvain = Catholic University of Louvain); Amory Gethin (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, WIL - World Inequality Lab)
    Abstract: Can government redistributive policies successfully curb rising inequality and foster inclusive growth in emerging economies? This paper sheds new light on this question by combining survey, tax, and historical administrative data to measure the incidence of taxes and transfers on the distribution of growth in South Africa since the end of the apartheid regime. Our new database is fully consistent with macroeconomic totals reported in the national accounts and allocates the entirety of government revenue and expenditure to individuals, including indirect taxes and inkind transfers, with unprecedented level of detail. We document a dramatic divergence in the growth of top and bottom income groups: between 1993 and 2019, the pretax income of the top 1% rose by 50%, while that of the poorest 50% fell by a third. However, the widening of pretax income gaps has been almost fully compensated by the growing size and progressivity of the taxand-transfer system, effectively mirroring a "chase between rising inequality and enhanced redistribution". The decline of racial inequalities since the end of apartheid has been entirely driven by the boom of top Black income groups, which is only marginally reduced by taxes and transfers. Our results have important implications for fiscal policy, the measurement of poverty, and the analysis of the link between inequality and growth.
    Date: 2021–09
  7. By: Tina Fransman (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University)
    Abstract: Citizens ought to hold the state accountable for service delivery. This is usually done through the power of the vote. Literature on democratic governance suggests that theoretically, when good quality public services are provided, citizens would continue to vote for the political party in power. Therefore, it is expected that the inverse would occur should poor quality public services be provided. However, surprising evidence has recently emerged to suggest that political accountability does not work as theory assumes, indicating a negative relationship between improvements in public service provision and support for the incumbent for Southern African democracies. Using a unique panel dataset, this study tests whether a breakdown in the relationship between public service delivery and voting behaviour in South Africa indeed exists. It further investigates whether this distortion is the result of South Africans' preference to access other forms of political participation as a more effective route to political accountability, rather than voting in elections. The results seem to broadly confirm a breakdown in the relationship between improvements in public service provision and voting behaviour in South Africa. The findings suggest that South Africans consider protest action as an alternative route to political accountability. Furthermore, regression results provide some evidence to support the notion of spoiled ballots being a plausible alternative accountability route.
    Keywords: Accountability, elections, political participation, protest action, public service delivery, spoiled ballots, South Africa, voter turnout and voting behaviour.
    JEL: D72 H11 H41 H50
    Date: 2021
  8. By: Joseph-Simon Görlach (Joseph-Simon Görlach)
    Abstract: As wages in migrant sending countries catch up with those in destinations, migrants adjust on several margins, including their duration of stay, the number of migrations they undertake, as well as the amount saved while abroad. This paper combines Mexican and U.S. data to estimate a dynamic model of consumption, emigration and re-migration, accounting for financial constraints. An increase in Mexican household earnings shortens migration duration, but raises the number of trips per migrant. For lower-income migrants, a rise in Mexican wages leads to a more than proportional effect on consumption expenditure in Mexico, arising from repatriated savings.
    Keywords: migration duration, repeat migration, borrowing constraints
    JEL: J61 D15 F22
    Date: 2021–10
  9. By: David Grover (GEM - Grenoble Ecole de Management); Swaroop Rao (GEM - Grenoble Ecole de Management, IREGE - Institut de Recherche en Gestion et en Economie - USMB [Université de Savoie] [Université de Chambéry] - Université Savoie Mont Blanc)
    Abstract: Article 6 of the Paris Agreement provides for the creation of a successor to the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), the parameters of which are currently being operationalised. This paper uses the broad literature on the relationship between general foreign direct investment (FDI) and inequality in FDI host countries to develop expectations about the likely impact of past and future international mitigation investment on inequality, unemployment and poverty outcomes. Using 2000 and 2010 census data for small geographic areas in Brazil, we compare the change in those outcomes in areas that experienced CDM project activity to the same in areas that did not, using a difference-indifference approach. We find that areas with CDM project activity experienced improvements in those outcomes, which appear to be driven by project types that are associated with 'primary' sector activity. Including measurement and reporting procedures for these broader sustainable development outcomes in the rulebook of a post-2020 agreement could be favourable to the interests of both developed and developing countries.
    Date: 2020
  10. By: Jonas Hjort (Columbia University [New York]); Vinayak Iyer (Columbia University [New York]); Golvine de Rochambeau (ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Evidence suggests that firms in poor countries stagnate because they cannot access growth-conducive markets. We hypothesize that overlooked heterogeneity in marketing ability distorts market access. To investigate, we gave a random subset of Liberian firms vouchers for a week-long program that teaches how to sell to corporations, governments, and other large buyers. Firms that participate win about three times as many contracts, but only firms with access to the Internet benefit. We use a simple model and variation in online and offline demand to show evidence that this is because ICT dampens traditional information frictions, but not marketing barriers.
    Date: 2020–07–01

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