nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2022‒02‒21
sixteen papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Aid's impact on democracy By Miguel Niño-Zarazúa; Ana Horigoshi; Rachel M. Gisselquist
  2. Managing the Impact of Climate on Migration: Evidence from Mexico By Chort, Isabelle; de la Rupelle, Maëlys
  3. Wheels of Change: Transforming Girls’ Lives with Bicycles By Nathan Fiala; Ana Garcia-Hernandez; Kritika Narula; Nishith Prakash
  4. Women, Violence and Work: Threat of Sexual Violence and Women's Decision to Work By Chakraborty, Tanika; Lohawala, Nafisa
  5. Does the uptake of multiple climate smart agriculture practices enhance household savings, food security and household vulnerability to climate change? Insights from Zimbabwe By Boscow Okumu; Herbert Ntuli; Edwin Muchapondwa; Gibson Mudiriza; Alfred Mukong
  6. Widowhood and Consumption of Private Assignable Goods: The Role of Socio-Economic Status, Rainfall Shocks and Historical Institutions By Sutirtha Bandyopadhyay; Bipasha Maity
  7. Labelled Loans and Human Capital Investments By Britta Augsburg; Bet Caeyers; Sara Giunti; Bansi Malde; Susanna Smets
  8. Incentivizing Demand for Supply-Constrained Care: Institutional Birth in India By Alison Andrew; Marcos Vera-Hernandez
  9. Disability types and children’s schooling in Africa By Zhang, Huafeng; Holden, Stein Terje
  10. Estimating the production function for human capital: results from a randomized controlled trial in Colombia By Orazio Attanasio; Sarah Cattan; Emla Fitzsimons; Costas Meghir; Marta Rubio Codina
  11. Gendered perceptions in maize supply chains: Evidence from Uganda By Van Campenhout, Bjorn; De, Anusha
  12. Recall Bias Revisited: Measure Farm Labor Using Mixed-Mode Surveys and Multiple Imputation By Dang, Hai-Anh H.; Carletto, Calogero
  13. Re-evaluating RCTs with nightlights - An example from biometric smartcards in India By Stein, Merlin
  14. Political Competition and Public Healthcare : Evidence from India By Kailthya, Subham; Kambhampati, Uma
  15. Critical Periods in Cognitive and Socioemotional Development: Evidence from Weather Shocks in Indonesia By Duncan Webb
  16. Entry and Spatial Competition of Intermediaries: Evidence from Thailand’s Rice Market By Bunyada Laoprapassorn

  1. By: Miguel Niño-Zarazúa; Ana Horigoshi; Rachel M. Gisselquist
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of foreign aid on democratic outcomes using a panel of countries for the period between 1995 and 2018. In so doing, it speaks to a major critique of foreign aid, which is that it negatively impacts democratic governance. The analysis distinguishes between developmental aid and democracy aid, and examines democracy aid to specific sectors, in order to explore variation across different aid types.
    Keywords: Foreign aid, Democracy, Democracy aid, Development aid, Development
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Chort, Isabelle; de la Rupelle, Maëlys
    Abstract: While there is a growing literature on the impact of climate and weather-related events on migration, little is known about the mitigating effect of different policies directed to the agricultural sector, or aimed at insuring against environmental disasters. This paper uses state-level data on migration ows between Mexico and the U.S. from 1999 to 2012 to investigate the mitigating impact of an agricultural cashtransfer program (PROCAMPO) and a disaster fund (Fonden) on the migration response to weather shocks. We find that Fonden decreases migration in response to heavy rainfall, hurricanes and droughts. Increases in PROCAMPO amounts paid to small producers are found to play a more ambiguous role on the migration response to shocks. Changes in the distribution of PROCAMPO favoring more vulnerable producers in the non irrigated ejido sector however seem to mitigate the impact of droughts on migration.
    Keywords: International migration,Weather shocks,Public policies,Weather variability,Natural disasters,Mexico-U.S. migration,Inequality
    JEL: F22 Q54 Q18 J61
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Nathan Fiala (University of Connecticut, Makerere University and RWI-Leibniz Institute for Economic Research); Ana Garcia-Hernandez (Universidad del Rosario and Innovations for Poverty Action); Kritika Narula (Analysis Group); Nishith Prakash (University of Connecticut, IZA, GLO, HiCN, and CReAM)
    Abstract: Reducing the gender gap in education is a primary goal for many countries. Two major challenges for many girls are the distance to school and their safety when commuting to school. In Zambia, we studied the impact of providing a bicycle to a school-going girl who lives more than 3 km from the school. We randomized whether a girl received a bicycle with a small cost to her family to cover replacement parts, a bicycle where these costs are covered by the program, and therefore is zero cost to the family, or a control group. One year after the intervention, we find that the bicycle reduced average commuting time to school by 35%, reduced late arrival by 66%, and decreased absenteeism by 27%. We find continued improvement in girls’ attendance and reduction in dropouts two, three, and four years after the intervention. We also find evidence of improved math test scores, girls expressing higher feelings of control over their lives and, for those who received bicycles with a small cost to her family, higher levels of aspirations, self-image, and a desire to delay marriage and pregnancy. Heterogeneity analysis by distance to school shows an inverted U-shape for most of the schooling and empowerment results, suggesting greater impact for girls that live further away from school. These results suggest that empowerment outcomes worked through increased attendance in school.
    Keywords: Girls’ Education, Attendance, Dropout, Grade Transition, Test Scores, Bicycles, Female As-piration, Female Empowerment, Safety, Zambia
    JEL: H42 I21 I25 J16 O15
    Date: 2022–02
  4. By: Chakraborty, Tanika; Lohawala, Nafisa
    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 an additional sexual crime per 1000 women in a district reduces the probability that a woman is employed outside her home by roughly 1%. 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: 2022
  5. By: Boscow Okumu; Herbert Ntuli; Edwin Muchapondwa; Gibson Mudiriza; Alfred Mukong
    Abstract: Climate change and variability poses a significant hindrance on agricultural productivity. The adverse effects are particularly concerning in many African countries that rely more on rainfed subsistence agriculture for livelihood. The promotion of climate smart agriculture technologies as a pathway to enhancing food security, farmer’s welfare, and providing climate adaptation and mitigation benefits is one of the several interventions aimed at improving agricultural productivity. However, there has been a dearth of evidence on the determinants of adoption of climate smart agriculture practices as well as the impact of climate smart agriculture practices on food security and household welfare. This paper contributes to this knowledge gap by using the probit model to explore the drivers of uptake of climate smart agriculture practices and the inverse probability weighting regression model and the instrumental variable approach to assess the impact on food security and household savings and household vulnerability. We find that the adoption of climate smart agriculture practices among smallholder farmers is influenced by land ownership, climatic variables, land terrain, and household sociodemographic characteristics. The study further revealed that adoption of climate smart agriculture practices leads to reduction in household savings and household vulnerability but leads to improved food security. The findings suggest the need to promote climate smart agriculture practices aimed at livestock management, enhanced agricultural extension work and reduced resource constraints that inhibit farmer’s capacity to adopt complementary practices among others.
    Keywords: Climate Smart, food security, savings, Vulnerability
    JEL: Q01 Q18 Q54 O13
    Date: 2022–01
  6. By: Sutirtha Bandyopadhyay (Indian Institute of Management, Indore); Bipasha Maity (Ashoka University)
    Abstract: We study how weather shocks interact with cultural norms biased against women to affect female poverty within the household. Using expenditure on female assignable clothing per adult woman as a measure of women's intra-household access to consumption, we document that spending on female assignable goods is lower in households with at least one widowed woman relative to households with no widows in India. However, selection into widowhood appears to be plausibly random and economic hardship on account of death of a male member is unlikely to explain why households with a widow have lower spending on female assignable goods. We then study how rainfall shocks influence the spending on female assignable goods by the presence of a widow in the household. We find that although beneficial rainfall shocks increase overall spending on female assignable goods; this increase is lower in households with a widow. We obtain opposite findings for spending on male assignable goods. We find that regions where widow persecution was widespread historically are associated with poorer outcomes for widows at present. Our analysis shows that persistence in historical norms can potentially prevent women from realizing gains in access to consumption resources within the household even in the event of beneficial environmental shocks.
    Keywords: India; widows; private assignable goods; rainfall shocks; historical persistence
    Date: 2021–12–06
  7. By: Britta Augsburg (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies); Bet Caeyers (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies); Sara Giunti (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies); Bansi Malde (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Kent); Susanna Smets (Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: Making lumpy human capital investments is difficult, particularly since returns may accrue with a significant time lag. Lack of commitment impedes savings and diverts funds from intended investments. We draw on a cluster randomised controlled trial in rural India to provide the first evidence that labelled microcredit is effective in increasing take-up of a lumpy human capital investment, a safe toilet. Testing predictions from a theoretical model provides novel evidence that loan labels influence household borrowing and investment decisions. Not all loans are used for sanitation investments, suggesting that loan labels offer a soft commitment incentive.
    Date: 2020–07–03
  8. By: Alison Andrew (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies); Marcos Vera-Hernandez (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London)
    Abstract: We examine how the effects of incentivizing individuals to use healthcare depend on the capacity of the health system. We study a conditional cash transfer program (JSY) in India that paid women to give birth in medical facilities. We find that JSY doubled the number of deliveries for which the average facility was responsible. In areas with below-median capacity, JSY increased perinatal mortality. Adverse effects spilled over onto rates of childhood vaccinations suggesting a diversion of resources from routine services. Our results indicate that health-system capacity is of first-order importance in determining whether demand-side policies are beneficial or harmful.
    Date: 2020–02–06
  9. By: Zhang, Huafeng (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences); Holden, Stein Terje (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences)
    Abstract: The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set up by the United Nations include an overarching principle of “leaving no one behind” and aim for, among other goals, equal access to education for children with disabilities. Our study contributes to the knowledge on the school enrolment of disabled children with different disability types, with a focus here on eight countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Comparing the situation with children without disabilities as a benchmark, we assess early school enrolment for young children below ten years old, school enrolment for older children aged 10–17 years old, and the dropout rates of children from school. We perform our analysis as a natural experiment where different types of disabilities are considered as random treatments, which allows us to assume that the average deviation in certain school performance indicators from the average for non-disabled children is a result of the disability type, specifically vision, hearing, walking, intellectual capacity, and multi-disability. Our study finds that, compared with non-disabled children, children with vision and hearing disabilities do not lag behind in school enrolment. In contrast, children with walking disability have a higher risk of starting school late. Children with intellectual disabilities are less likely to enrol in school, less likely to remain enrolled, and more likely to drop out than their counterfactual peers. Children with multiple disabilities tend to experience the most severe challenges in enrolling at school, both at a young age and later. However, once enrolled in school, children with multiple disabilities are not more likely to drop out earlier than other children. Based on the first and probably the only large-scale application to date of the standard Washington Group Child function module as a disability measurement tool, our study is the first comprehensive multi-country study of disabled children’s schooling in Sub-Saharan Africa based on recent nationally representative data.
    Keywords: Children with disability; disability types; disability effects on schooling; SDG; Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: I24
    Date: 2022–02–07
  10. By: Orazio Attanasio (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Yale University); Sarah Cattan (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies); Emla Fitzsimons (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London); Costas Meghir (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Yale University); Marta Rubio Codina (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: We examine the channels through which a randomized early childhood intervention in Colombia led to signi?cant gains in cognitive and socio-emotional skills among a sample of disavantaged children aged 12 to 24 months at baseline. We estimate the determinants of parents’ material and time investments in these children and evaluate the impact of the treatment on such investments. We then estimate the production functions for cognitive and socio-emotional skills. The effects of the program can be explained by increases in parental investments, emphasizing the importance of parenting interventions at an early age.
    Date: 2020–01–22
  11. By: Van Campenhout, Bjorn; De, Anusha
    Abstract: In situations with imperfect information, the way that value chain actors perceive each other is an important determinant of the value chain's structure and performance. Inaccurate perceptions may result in inefficient value chains, and systematic bias in perceptions may affect nclusiveness. In a case study on perceptions in Ugandan maize supply chains, a random sample of farmers were asked to rate upstream and downstream value chain actors-agro-input dealers, traders, and processors-on a set of important attributes that included ease of access, quality of services rendered, price competitiveness, and overall reputation. These value chain actors were then tracked and asked to assess themselves on the same set of attributes. We find that input dealers, traders, and processors assess themselves more favourably than farmers do. We also focus on heterogeneity in perceptions related to gender and find that for self- assessments, the gender of the value chain actor does not matter. However, the difference between how actors assess themselves and how farmers perceive them is larger for male than for female farmers, as female farmers appear to rate dealers, traders, and processors signicantly higher in several dimensions. The gender of the actor being rated does not affect the rating they receive, and gender-based homophily among women is not present in rating behaviour.
    Keywords: UGANDA; EAST AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA; gender; maize; supply chains; women; value chains; farmers; trade
    Date: 2021
  12. By: Dang, Hai-Anh H.; Carletto, Calogero
    Abstract: Smallholder farming dominates agriculture in poorer countries. Yet, traditional recall-based surveys on smallholder farming in these countries face challenges with seasonal variations, high survey costs, poor record-keeping, and technical capacity constraints resulting in significant recall bias. We offer the first study that employs a less-costly, imputation-based alternative using mixed modes of data collection to obtain estimates on smallholder farm labor. Using data from Tanzania, we find that parsimonious imputation models based on small samples of a benchmark weekly in-person survey can offer reasonably accurate estimates. Furthermore, we also show how less accurate, but also less resource-intensive, imputation-based measures using a weekly phone survey may provide a viable alternative for the more costly weekly in-person survey. If replicated in other contexts, including for other types of variables that suffer from similar recall bias, these results could open up a new and cost-effective way to collect more accurate data at scale.
    Keywords: farm labor,agricultural productivity,multiple imputation,missing data,survey data,Tanzania
    JEL: C8 J2 O12 Q12
    Date: 2022
  13. By: Stein, Merlin
    Abstract: Satellite data and randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are a powerful combination for analyzing causal effects beyond traditional survey-based indicators. The usage of remotely collected data for evaluating RCTs is cost-effective, objective and possible for anyone with treatment assignment data. By re-evaluating one of the largest RCTs - the smartcard intervention of Muralidharan et al. (2016) covering 20 million people - with Indian nighttime luminosity, this paper finds that nightlights as a specific type of satellite data likely often are too noisy to evaluate RCTs. Building upon a post-treatment and a Difference-in-Differences approach, we do not find any statistically significant effects of the biometric smartcards on nightlights, contrasting Muralidharan et al. (2017)'s results of higher income level in treated areas. This can be mainly explained either with the noisiness-caused inability of nightlights to specifically capture economic effects or the absence of an increased economic activity due to a simple redistributive effect of the intervention. The former is more likely when looking at GDP implications of the noisiness in the luminosity data. Per head estimates, sensitivity checks for spillovers, subdistrict-level instead of village-level observations and different time-wise aggregations of nightlight data do not lead to changed results. Although limited with nightlights, nonetheless, the potential for re-evaluating RCTs with satellite data in general is enormous in three ways: (1) For confirming claimed treatment effects, (2) to understand additional impacts and (3) for cost-effectively understanding long-term impacts of interventions. Using daytime imagery for analyzing RCTs is a promising direction for future research.
    Keywords: RCT,randomized,nightlight,daylight,satellite,remote-sensing,nighttimeluminosity,India,Census,Muralidharan,state capacity,GDP,nightlights
    JEL: C33 C81 C93 E01 H53 H55 I32 I38 J65 O47 R12
    Date: 2021
  14. By: Kailthya, Subham (Department of Economics, University of Warwick); Kambhampati, Uma (Department of Economics, University of Reading)
    Abstract: In this paper, we examine the causal effect of political competition on public provision of healthcare. Specifically, we investigate whether the effect of political competition on more visible public goods (e.g. health centre access) differs from its impact on less visible public goods (e.g. health centre capacity such as doctors, medical supplies, etc.). Using granular data from three recent waves of the Indian District Level Household Survey (DLHS) during 2002-2013 and an instrumental variable approach, we find that incumbents respond to electoral competition, measured as the effective number of parties (ENP), by trading-off less visible health centre capacity for more visible access to health centres. We provide suggestive evidence that focusing on more visible health centres boosts the incumbent party’s re-election prospects providing a clear motive for incumbent’s action. In addition, we examine the effect of election-year cycles and the role of political alignment in healthcare provision and find compelling evidence of a political economic mechanism at work. By contrast, political competition has no measurable impact on key health outcomes. We conduct several robustness checks to ensure that our estimates are reliable. Thus, our results suggest that electoral competition must be accompanied by strong checks on accountability to improve health outcomes.
    Date: 2022
  15. By: Duncan Webb (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: A large literature points towards the importance of early life circumstance in determining long-run human capital and wellbeing outcomes. This literature often justifies a focus on the very early years by citing the first 1000 days of life as a 'critical period' for child development, but this notion has rarely been directly tested. In a setting in which children are potentially subject to shocks in every year of their childhood, I estimate the impact of early life weather shocks on adult cognitive and socioemotional outcomes for individuals born in rural Indonesia between 1988 and 2000. There is a strong critical period for these shocks at age 2 for cognitive development, but no similar critical period for socioemotional development. The impacts of the shocks are likely to be taking place through nutritional and agricultural income channels. These impacts are initially latent, only appearing after age 15. I show suggestive evidence for dynamic complementarity in early life investments.
    Keywords: Critical period,Human capital,Early childhood development,Dynamic complementarity
    Date: 2022–01
  16. By: Bunyada Laoprapassorn
    Abstract: How does the market power along the agricultural value chains mediate the effects of policies on the welfare of farmers? Using microdata on farmers and rice mills in Thailand, I document heterogeneity in the spatial density of rice mills. I further provide reduced-form evidence that a one standard deviation increase in local competition among rice mills leads to a 7.7% increase in farmer prices. Informed by the empirical findings, I propose and estimate a quantitative spatial model that accounts for the market power and entry-location choices of intermediaries. I then simulate two policy counterfactuals. I find that gains to farmers from a country-wide improvement in road infrastructure are regressive; the percentage increase in income of the top decile farmers is on average 11% larger than that of the bottom decile. Changes in the entry decisions of the rice mills further exacerbate the regressive effect, more than doubling the gap between the percentage change in income of the top and bottom decile farmers. The second counterfactual simulation shows that the market power of intermediaries could lead to a lower than socially optimal level of technology adoption among farmers.
    Keywords: Intermediaries; Spatial Competition; Trade costs
    JEL: D43 F12 L13 O13
    Date: 2022–01

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