nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2022‒03‒21
eleven papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Land Misallocation and Productivity By Chaoran Chen; Diego Restuccia; Raul Santaeulalia-Llopis
  2. Are Fairness Perceptions Shaped by Income Inequality? Evidence from Latin America By Leonardo Gasparini; Germ\'an Reyes
  3. Heterogeneous Paths of Industrialization By Federico Huneeus; Richard Rogerson
  4. Impact of conflict-related violence and presence of armed groups on food security: Evidence from longitudinal analysis in Mali By Tranchant, Jean-Pierre; Gelli, Aulo; Masset, Edoardo
  5. Desert Locust Swarms and Child Health By Le, Kien; Nguyen, My
  6. Natural Resource Management and Nutrition Outcomes : A Quasi-experimental Evaluation of Fisheries Decentralisation in Laos By Chipperfield, Benjamin
  7. Who claims the rights to livestock? Exploring gender patterns of asset holdings in smallholder households in Uganda By Hillesland, Marya; Doss, Cheryl; Slavchevska, Vanya
  8. Maternal Displacements during Pregnancy and the Health of Newborns By Stefano Cellini; Livia Menezes; Martin Foureaux Koppensteiner
  9. The Long-Term Effects of War on Foreign Direct Investment and Economic Development: Evidence from Vietnam By Nguyen, Cuong Viet; Tran, Tuyen Quang; Vuc, Huong Van
  10. Present Bias Predicts Low Adoption of Profitable Technologies : The Case of Livestock Vaccination in Northern Laos By Creed, Christian
  11. Effects of fiscal consolidation on income inequality By Dante Cardoso; Laura Carvalho

  1. By: Chaoran Chen; Diego Restuccia; Raul Santaeulalia-Llopis
    Abstract: Using detailed household-level data from Malawi on physical quantities of outputs and inputs in agricultural production, we measure total factor productivity (TFP) for farms controlling for land quality, rain, and other transitory shocks. We find that operated land size and capital are essentially unrelated to farm TFP implying substantial factor misallocation. The agricultural output gain from a reallocation of factors to their efficient use among existing farmers is a factor of 2.8-fold nationwide and 1.8-fold within enumeration areas, the narrowest geographical category in our data. Constructing a panel to estimate household-farm productivity that controls for transitory variation such as potential measurement error, the agricultural output gain is still quite substantial, between 1.7 to 2.0-fold, while the pattern of misallocation of near zero correlation of inputs and productivity remains essentially the same. We also provide suggestive evidence of the connection between misallocation and land markets and illustrate how an efficient allocation can substantially reduce agricultural income inequality and poverty.
    Keywords: misallocation, land, productivity, agriculture, Malawi, micro data.
    JEL: O1 O4
    Date: 2022–03–04
  2. By: Leonardo Gasparini; Germ\'an Reyes
    Abstract: A common assumption in the literature is that the actual level of income inequality shapes individuals' beliefs about whether the income distribution is fair ("fairness views," for short). However, individuals do not directly observe income inequality (which often leads to large misperceptions), nor do they consider all inequities to be unfair. In this paper, we empirically assess the link between objective measures of income inequality and fairness views in a context of high but decreasing income inequality. To do this, we combine opinion poll data with harmonized data from household surveys of 18 Latin American countries from 1997-2015. We find a strong and statistically significant relationship between income inequality and unfairness views across countries and over time. Unfairness views evolved in the same direction as income inequality for 17 out of the 18 countries in our sample. We find that individuals who are older, unemployed, and left-wing are, on average, more likely to perceive the income distribution as very unfair. Finally, we find that fairness views and income inequality have predictive power for individuals' self-reported propensity to mobilize and protest independent of each other, suggesting that these two variables capture different channels through which changes in the income distribution can affect social unrest.
    Date: 2022–02
  3. By: Federico Huneeus (Yale University); Richard Rogerson (Princeton University)
    Abstract: Industrialization experiences differ significantly across countries. We use a bench-mark model of structural change to shed light on the sources of this heterogeneity and, in particular, the phenomenon of premature deindustrialization. Our analysis leads to three key findings. First, benchmark models of structural change robustly generate hump-shaped patterns for the evolution of the manufacturing sector. Second, heterogeneous patterns of catch-up in sectoral productivities across countries can generate variation in industrialization experiences similar to those found in the data, including premature deindustrialization. Third, differences in the rate of agricultural productivity growth across economies can account for a large share of the variation in peak manufacturing employment shares.
    Keywords: Structural transformation, Productivity growth, Industrialization
    JEL: E24 O11
    Date: 2020–07
  4. By: Tranchant, Jean-Pierre; Gelli, Aulo; Masset, Edoardo
    Abstract: We assess the impact of conflict exposure on households’ food security in rural areas of Mopti, Mali over the period 2012-17. Our main data source is a unique panel dataset of 1,617 households for which the baseline round was collected before the conflict broke out. We estimate the impact of conflict with a weighted difference-in-differences approach. We find that exposure to high level of conflict-related fatalities within a radius of 50km leads to a reduction of daily calorie intake per adult equivalent of 311 kcal (0.39 SD) and a reduction of dietary diversity score by one food group (0.56 SD). The presence of armed groups leads to lower dietary diversity (by 1.2 food group) but has no independent effect on calories. The negative impact of conflict on dietary diversity is concentrated on households with higher scores at baseline. We also estimate whether receiving food assistance mitigates the impact of conflict. We find that school-feeding protects households facing intense conflict by supporting calorie intake.
    Keywords: MALI; WEST AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA; conflicts; armed conflicts; violence; food security; dietary diversity; armed groups; calorie intake
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Le, Kien; Nguyen, My
    Abstract: This study evaluates how in-utero exposure to an insect pest invasion, particularly, the outbreak of desert locust swarms, affects early childhood health in Africa and Asia over the past three decades (1990-2018). Employing the difference-in-differences model, we find that children being prenatally exposed to the outbreak have their height-for-age, weight-for-height, and weight-for-age z-scores lower by 0.159, 0.148, and 0.155 standard deviations, respectively, compared to unexposed children. Our heterogeneity analyses show that the health setbacks disproportionately fall on children of disadvantaged backgrounds, i.e., those born to lower-educated mothers, poorer mothers, and rural mothers. To the extent that poor health in early life exerts long-lasting irreversible consequences over the life cycle, the study calls for effective measures to minimize the pernicious effects of the desert locust swarm outbreak.
    Keywords: Desert Locust; Child Health; Developing Countries.
    JEL: I1
    Date: 2022–01
  6. By: Chipperfield, Benjamin (Monash University)
    Abstract: We estimate the impact of a national fisheries decentralisation policy on the nutritional status of children in Lao PDR. Using a double robust estimator that combines propensity score and OLS regression, our results show that the causal impacts of this policy are heterogeneous and driven by nutritional gains among younger children living in villages that rely more heavily on natural resources, with girls benefiting more than boys. We identify higher consumption of fish as one mechanism that explains these gains. This change is not accompanied by greater allocation of time to fishing or investment in fishing assets, allaying fears that decentralisation of fisheries management may lead to over-exploitation of local resources. Our findings show that nationally implemented decentralised natural resources management policies can improve welfare.
    Keywords: Fisheries decentralisation ; Laos ; Height for age z-score JEL Classification: Q22 ; Q28
    Date: 2021
  7. By: Hillesland, Marya; Doss, Cheryl; Slavchevska, Vanya
    Abstract: This study investigates the gendered patterns of livestock ownership in rural households in Uganda using a detailed data set with information on ownership, management, and decision-making across different types of livestock. Drawing on the bundle of rights frameworks developed by Schlager and Ostrom (1992) and Benjaminsen and Ba (2009), the analysis demonstrates the importance of going beyond considering ownership to also consider these other rights. We find that people may claim to be owners, but not to have the management or fructus rights, but also people may have these latter rights without claiming ownership. Using interviews from both the husband and wife in the household, we analyze the patterns of disagreement regarding claims to these rights and find substantial disagreement.
    Keywords: UGANDA; EAST AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA; gender; livestock; smallholders; rural areas; households; ownership; gender asset gap; intrahousehold dynamics
    Date: 2021
  8. By: Stefano Cellini (University of Surrey); Livia Menezes (University of Birmingham); Martin Foureaux Koppensteiner (University of Surrey)
    Abstract: In this paper, we estimate the effect of maternal displacements during pregnancy on birth outcomes by leveraging population-level administrative data from Brazil on formal employment linked to birth records. We find that involuntary job separation of pregnant single mothers leads to a decrease in birth weight (BW) by around 28 grams (-1% ca.) and an increase in the incidence of low BW by 10.5%. In contrast, we find a significant positive effect on the mean BW and a decrease in the incidence of low BW for mothers in a marriage or stable union. We document more pronounced negative effects for single mothers with lower earnings and no effect for mothers in the highest income quartile, suggesting a mitigating role of self-insurance from savings. Exploiting variation from unemployment benefits eligibility, we also provide evidence on the mitigating role of formal unemployment insurance using a Regression Discontinuity design exploiting the cutoff from the unemployment insurance eligibility rule.
    Keywords: Dismissals, birth outcomes, informal insurance, unemployment insurance
    JEL: D14 I10 J65
    Date: 2022–03
  9. By: Nguyen, Cuong Viet; Tran, Tuyen Quang; Vuc, Huong Van
    Abstract: In this study, we find that the negative effect of unexploded ordnance (UXO) on the geographical density of foreign direct investment and large firms is a new channel through which the war legacy impedes local development in Vietnam. A 1% increase in the proportion of UXO-contaminated area leads to a 0.78% relative decrease in the density of FDI firms within districts. Point estimates for the elasticity of the density of joint-venture FDI firms and state-owned enterprise (SOEs) due to UXO are smaller, equal to -0.56 and -0.54. Consequently, a 1% increase in the proportion of UXO-contaminated areas leads to a 0.46% relative decrease in the intensity of nighttime light.
    Keywords: War,FDI, unexploded ordnance,local development,Vietnam
    JEL: R12 O12 O15
    Date: 2022
  10. By: Creed, Christian (Monash University)
    Abstract: Can behavioural characteristics explain the low adoption of profitable technologies? We explore this question by quantifying the importance of present bias on cattle producers’ decision to vaccinate against foot-and-mouth disease, a simple and well-known technology that, despite its high returns, is largely overlooked. Our results show that producers who exhibit a stronger present bias are much less likely to vaccinate their cattle, an effect which is robust to a large set of control variables (including wealth and access to information), larger than the effect of any other observed covariate and insensitive to plausible assumptions about the importance of unobserved determinants of adoption. We discuss some of the potential implications of these results for the design of vaccine delivery and to other policies that aim to overcome self-control problems.
    Keywords: Technology Adoption ; Vaccination ; Present Bias JEL Classification: O10 ; O13 ; Q16
    Date: 2021
  11. By: Dante Cardoso (University of Sao Paulo); Laura Carvalho (University of Sao Paulo)
    Abstract: Based on a narrative dataset constructed by David and Leigh (2018) that covers nine South American economies in the period 1982-2017, this paper estimates dynamic effects of fiscal consolidations on income inequality from Jordá (2005)'s local projections method. Results suggest that fiscal consolidations lead to a rise in income inequality in all specifications and data panels. When decomposing fiscal shocks, spending-based fiscal consolidations appear to significantly increase the Gini index, while tax-based fiscal consolidations do not show statistically significant effects on income inequality. The rise in the Gini index for disposable income caused by a spending-based fiscal adjustment of 1% of GDP varies between 1.74 and 3.22% in five years depending on the selected data panel (country-years). The magnitude of this effect is higher than in most of the previous studies carried out for OECD countries.
    Keywords: income inequality; fiscal consolidation; fiscal austerity; South America; local projections
    JEL: D30 D63 E60 E62
    Date: 2021

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