nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2022‒04‒04
sixteen papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Place-based policies and agglomeration economies: Firm-level evidence from special economic zones in India By Görg, Holger; Mulyukova, Alina
  2. Citations, funding and influence in Energy-Policy research on Developing Economies By Ali, M.; Couto, L. C.; Unsworth, S.; Debnath, R.
  3. Long-term and Spillover Effects of Rice Production Training in Uganda By Yoko KIJIMA
  4. Effect of Nigeria’s e-voucher input subsidy program on fertilizer use, rice production, and household income By Yoko KIJIMA
  5. Residential segregation matters to racial income gaps: Evidence from South Africa By Florent Dubois; Christophe Muller
  6. Why Healthcare CCTs may not Improve Children's Health:Insights from India's Janani Suraksha Yojana By Harsh Malhotra
  7. Migration, Remittances and Clean Fuel Usage in Sri Lanka: The Mediating Role of Household Wealth By J.M.D. Sandamali Wijayarathne; Gazi M. Hassan; Mark J. Holmes
  8. Artisanal mining in Africa By Victoire Girard; Teresa Molina-Millán; Guillaume Vic
  9. Gone with the Wind: The Welfare Effect of Desert Locust Outbreaks By Marending, Myriam; Tripodi, Stefano
  10. Electrifying Nigeria: the Impact of Rural Access to Electricity on Kids' Schooling By Enrico Nano
  11. Closing the Gender Gap in Secondary School Enrolment in sub-Saharan Africa: Does women’s political empowerment matter? By Issa Dianda; Idrissa Ouedraogo; Jean de Dieu Goumbri
  12. Can Technology Mitigate the Impact of Heat on Labor Productivity? Experimental Evidence from India By Anna Custers; Prathap Kasina; Deepak Saraswat; Anjali P. Verma
  13. Sibling Gender, Inheritance Customs and Educational Attainment: Evidence from Matrilineal and Patrilineal Societies By Collins, Matthew
  14. Does Higher Education Reduce Mortality? Evidence from a Natural Experiment By Gonzalez, Felipe; Martinez, Luis R.; Muñoz, Pablo; Prem, Mounu
  15. Exports Promotion Policies for African Manufacturing Firms : Does electricity infrastructure matter more than exchange rate undervaluation ? By Kabinet Kaba
  16. Interdependence between climate change and migration: Does Agriculture, geography and development level matter in sub-Saharan Africa? By Bannor, Frank; Magambo, Isaiah Hubert; Mahabir, Jugal; Tshitaka, Jean-Luc Mubenga

  1. By: Görg, Holger; Mulyukova, Alina
    Abstract: This paper exploits time and geographic variation in the adoption of Special Economic Zones in India to assess the direct and spillover effects of the program. We combine geocoded firm-level data and geocoded SEZs using a concentric ring approach, thus creating a novel dataset of firms with their assigned SEZ status. To overcome the selection bias we employ inverse probability weighting with time-varying covariates in a difference-in-differences framework. Our analysis yields that conditional on controlling for initial selection, the establishment of SEZs induced no further productivity gains for within SEZ firms, on average. This effect is predominantly driven by relatively less productive firms, whereas more productive firms experienced significant productivity gains. However, SEZs created negative externalities for firms in the vicinity which attenuate with distance. Neighbouring domestic firms, large firms, manufacturing firms and non-importer firms are the main losers of the program. Evidence points at the diversion of inputs from non-SEZ to SEZ-firms as a potential mechanism.
    Keywords: Special Economic Zones,India,TFP growth,firm performance,spillovers,time-varyingtreatment
    JEL: O18 O25 P25 R10 R58 R23 F21 F60
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Ali, M.; Couto, L. C.; Unsworth, S.; Debnath, R.
    Abstract: Energy research seeking to influence policy in low- and -middle-income countries (LMICs) is often funded by – and conceptualised by authors in - institutions from high-income countries (HICs). Research agendas and policy recommendations determined in HICs potentially yield the most influence on policymaking for LMICs. This leaves a multidimensional gap in how LMICs frame, contextualise, evidence and enact policy processes. The unique contribution of this paper is analysing the dynamics of prevalent energy research on LMICs through a multi-method approach using bibliometric, network science and regression-based techniques. An innovative data-driven framework was established using a sample of 6,636 papers from the Web of Science database, combined with journal impact data from Scimago Journal Ranking and country economic data from the World Bank. Results show the existence of a cycle of imbalances across research practices. Most papers recommending energy policy for LMICs have a first author based in a HIC, funded by a HIC institution. Total citations of articles on energy policy in LMICs increase with the GDP of the first author’s country (a 1% increase in GDP is correlated with a 0.68% increase in total citations). Funders support authors based in countries of the same income band as them, or higher. Therefore, we recommend revising research practices and HIC funding policies to place local actors and knowledge at the heart of energy policy research, enabling high-impact policymaking in LMICs.
    Keywords: developing countries, Energy policy, energy research, funding, science collaboration
    JEL: Q49 O39 I28
    Date: 2022–03–05
  3. By: Yoko KIJIMA (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), Tokyo, Japan.)
    Abstract: Using panel data from 2009, 2011, and 2015, this study estimates the impact of rice production training conducted in Uganda on the adoption of improved cultivation practices and productivities. Since the training program encouraged participants to share information with fellow farmers, we estimate the effects of the training on non-participants living in training villages (spillover effects). Due to the non-random assignment of project villages and training participation, a difference-in-differences model with household fixed effects was combined with inverse probability weighting approach to mitigate biases. Spillover effects to non-participants in training villages are indicated by increased total rice production by 0.4 tons and expanded cultivation area by 0.26 hectare. Although training increases adoption rates for better cultivation practice, namely, transplanting in rows among training participants, both in the short and long term, there were no measurable improvements in non-participants’ rice cultivation knowledge or in rice productivity.
    Keywords: Agricultural training project, Spillover effects, Impact evaluation, Sub-Saharan Africa
    Date: 2022–03
  4. By: Yoko KIJIMA (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), Tokyo, Japan.)
    Abstract: Nigeria introduced an e-voucher fertilizer subsidy program that distributes vouchers directly to a beneficiary’s mobile phone for enhancing agricultural productivity and food security by changing land use from extensive to intensive farming. By using panel data on rice-growing households in 2012 and 2014 and applying a household fixed effects approach and inverse probability weighting methods, we assess whether and how much the e-voucher program increases fertilizer application on rice production. We do not find evidence that the program results in higher fertilizer application. This is because there is a strong crowding-out effect in the study areas in which the private fertilizer market is active. This finding suggests that introducing a potentially innovative device is not sufficient to boost agricultural production and food security.
    Keywords: e-voucher, fertilizer subsidy, rice production, Nigeria
    Date: 2022–03
  5. By: Florent Dubois (University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom and EconomiX, University Paris Nanterre, 92000 Nanterre, France); Christophe Muller (Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, AMSE, Marseille, France.)
    Abstract: We contend that residential segregation should be an essential component of the analyses of socio-ethnic income gaps. Focusing on the contemporary White/African gap in South Africa, we complete Mincer wage equations with an Isolation index that reflects the level of segregation in the local area where individuals dwell. We decompose the income gap distribution into detailed composition and structure components. Segregation is found to be the main contributor of the structure effect, ahead of education and experience, and to make a sizable contribution to the composition effect. Moreover, segregation is found to be harmful at the bottom of the African income distribution, notably in relation to local informal job-search networks, while it is beneficial at the top of the White income distribution. Specific subpopulations are identified that suffer and benefit most from segregation, including for the former, little educated workers in agriculture and mining, often female, confined in their personal networks. Finally, minimum wage policies are found likely to attenuate most segregation’s noxious mechanisms, while a variety of policy lessons are drawn from the decomposition analysis by distinguishing not only compositional from structural effects, but also distinct group-specific social positions.
    Keywords: residential segregation, post-apartheid South Africa, distribution analysis, generalized decompositions
    JEL: J15 D31 R23
    Date: 2022–03
  6. By: Harsh Malhotra
    Abstract: This paper evaluates a conditional cash transfer program, Janani Suraksha Yojana, which drove a large expansion in the use of public health facilities by mothers and their newborn children in India.The program did not improve children’s mortality (as previous research documents and I confirm). I focus on understanding why. Using birth-histories from the Indian Human Development Survey (2011 and 2005), I estimate within-mother effects of the staggered arrival of the program across districts in India. The key finding is that families’ preference for sons over daughters has an important bearing on the program’s effects, especially in regions where the health system is less developed. A triple difference strategy reveals that families that were more likely to desire a son - those with no sons at baseline - increased fertility under the program (relative to the other families), and, exhibited a worsening of newborn mortality for daughters, but not for sons. This finding holds for under-developed regions where healthcare is of poor quality. This highlights a challenge for demand-side interventions in healthcare: the character of demand may reflect social biases that undermine children’s health in the first place. In settings where the quality of healthcare is low, this may have stark consequences.
    Date: 2022–02
  7. By: J.M.D. Sandamali Wijayarathne (University of Waikato); Gazi M. Hassan (University of Waikato); Mark J. Holmes (University of Waikato)
    Abstract: The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 ensures universal access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy services by 2030. However, one-third of the world's population still lacks access to clean cooking fuel, and it will account for 2.3 billion by 2030. The transition from solid to clean, modern fuel is challenging because it is influenced by various factors, with household income being one of the most influential. Nowadays, the overwhelming majority of people in low and middle-income countries heavily rely on migrant remittances as a source of income, and this will have a favourable impact on clean cooking fuel choice. To explore this, we use three waves of Sri Lankan Households' Income and Expenditure Survey data (2009, 2012, and 2016). The results of propensity score matching analysis reveal that migrants use about 5% more clean fuel for cooking than non-migrants. Furthermore, we use the instrumental variable approach and the log of the distance to the nearest bank as the instrument to address the endogeneity of remittances. Accordingly, the control function estimates show that a 10% increase in migrant remittances increases clean cooking fuel use by 3.2%. The instrumental variable mediation analysis results find that household wealth significantly mediates this relationship. The findings suggest that policies encouraging migrant remittances can assist in developing and implementing energy policies to achieve SDG 7 by 2030.
    Keywords: clean fuels; solid fuels; remittances; migration; household wealth; sustainable development goals
    JEL: F22 F24 Q40 R20
    Date: 2022–03–25
  8. By: Victoire Girard; Teresa Molina-Millán; Guillaume Vic
    Abstract: The livelihoods of 130 to 270 million people depend on artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM), a labor-intensive method of mineral extraction. Based on geological mapping and gold price variations in a yearly panel of 10,628 fine-grained cells, we provide the first estimation of the environmental and wealth impacts of the main form of ASM, gold ASM, throughout the African continent. We first demonstrate that artisanal mining leads to tropical deforestation and vegetation degradation. We find that the historical increase in the gold price accounts for 20 percent of the total deforestation in the gold-prone tropical regions in Africa. Second, we contrast these negative environmental impacts with the positive economic effects of ASM, which increases nighttime light emissions and households wealth. Last, we show how droughts magnify the effects of ASM, suggesting that mining may be a way for households to diversify their livelihoods when agricultural incomes fall short. These results are policy relevant: a one standard deviation increase in artisanal gold mining revenues increases wealth by 2% of a standard deviation, an effect larger than the effect of drought alone on wealth.
    Keywords: Artisanal mining, drought, gold, natural resources
    JEL: O13 O55 Q32 Q56
    Date: 2022
  9. By: Marending, Myriam (Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School); Tripodi, Stefano (Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School)
    Abstract: Desert locust outbreaks and other pests pose a significant threat to food security for millions of people. In this paper we quantify the size of the productivity and welfare loss caused by a desert locust outbreak that hit Ethiopia in 2014. We identify the causal effect of locust swarms on agricultural output and children’s nutritional status by modelling swarms’ movements based on wind speed and direction to identify areas in which they likely land (affected areas). We corroborate our finding by using a “recentered” measure of exposure to swarms that removes the bias due to non random exposure. We find that agricultural output is about 10-11% lower in areas hit by the shock compared to areas that are not affected. On average, children nutritional status is not negatively impacted by the shock, but each additional swarm affecting an enumeration area decreases BMI and weight-for-height z-scores by about 0.03 standard deviations, compared to children living in non affected areas.
    Keywords: agricultural shocks; desert locust swarms; food security; Ethiopia; child health
    JEL: D13 I15 Q12 Q18 Q54
    Date: 2022–01–24
  10. By: Enrico Nano (IHEID, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva)
    Abstract: As of 2020, 770 million people still lack access to electricity worldwide and 10% of this population is in Nigeria. Nevertheless, the country has received so far little attention in this respect from the academic community. The economic literature also does not generally agree on the impact of access to electricity on education outcomes, despite being the object of several programmes and policies, and one of the key SDGs of the 2030 Agenda. This paper aims at filling these gaps in the literature by providing a medium-term analysis of the effect of village-level electricity access on kids' schooling in rural Nigeria. It also contributes to the methodological debate using a novel instrument in this context, namely the frequency of lightning strikes in the area surrounding households. The results show that electricity access leads to an increase in school enrolment and a decrease in the grade-for-age (GFA) gap, a measure of educational performance. The paper also discusses some of the mechanisms that can lead to the observed findings, their robustness and heterogeneity, as well as the role of the quality of electricity received.
    Keywords: Energy Access; Rural Electrification; Education; School Enrolment; Nigeria
    JEL: O12 O13 I25 Q48
    Date: 2022–03–08
  11. By: Issa Dianda (CEDRES, Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso); Idrissa Ouedraogo (CEDRES, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso); Jean de Dieu Goumbri (CEDRES, Koudougou, Burkina Faso)
    Abstract: This study investigates the effect of female political empowerment on gender equality in secondary school enrolment in a sample of 20 sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries over the period 2000-2017. Results from Ordinary Least Square (OLS) and Instrumental variable (IV)-Two-Stage Least Squares (2SLS) reveal that the gender gap in secondary education decreases with female political empowerment. Therefore, increasing the representation of women in politics is an important lever of economic policy to improve the secondary education of women, allowing them to be more productive and more fulfilled.
    Keywords: Women’s political empowerment, Gender equality; Secondary education enrolment; Sub-Saharan Africa
    Date: 2021–01
  12. By: Anna Custers (World Bank); Prathap Kasina (Innovations for Poverty Action); Deepak Saraswat (University of Connecticut); Anjali P. Verma (University of Texas at Austin)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the role of technology in reducing heat-induced labor productivity losses. For this, we use a field experiment in India which randomized the use of productivity-augmenting digital mode versus classic paper-and-pen mode for conducting 2000 household surveys. Combining this experimentally induced variation in survey mode with day-to-day variation in temperature, we estimate the impact of survey mode on surveyor productivity as temperature rises. We find that as temperature rises and working conditions start to deteriorate, using digital-mode results in 5 per-cent higher surveyor-productivity compared to paper surveys. These relative productivity gains are mainly concentrated in extremely hot days - where the adverse impact of heat is likely at its peak. Further analysis shows that these impacts are not driven by differences in effort of surveyors or differences in the characteristics of respondents, thereby pointing to the role of technology in reducing the adverse effects of heat.
    Keywords: Temperature, Labor Productivity, Mode of Survey, Productivity Augmenting Technology
    JEL: J24 M11 Q51 Q55
    Date: 2022–03
  13. By: Collins, Matthew (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: Using data from 27 sub-Saharan African countries, I identify the causal effect of sibling gender on education and how it varies according to inheritance customs. Boys who inherit their father's property experience no effect of sibling gender, while boys who do not inherit experience a significant negative effect of having a brother. Having a brother has a small negative effect on the education of girls, regardless of inheritance customs. The effect of sibling gender converges after the introduction of laws guaranteeing that children inherit from their parents, suggesting that parents substitute between transferring inheritance and investing in their children’s education.
    Keywords: sibling gender; patriliny; matriliny; educational attainment
    JEL: D13 I20 J16
    Date: 2022–03–07
  14. By: Gonzalez, Felipe; Martinez, Luis R.; Muñoz, Pablo; Prem, Mounu
    Abstract: We provide new evidence on the causal eect of education on health. Our empirical strategy exploits the reduction in access to college experienced by individuals reaching college age shortly after the 1973 military coup in Chile, which led to a sharp downward kink in enrollment for the aected cohorts. Using data from the vital statistics for the period 1994-2017, we document an upward kink in the age-adjusted yearly mortality rate for these cohorts, a pattern that we also observe in matched individual-level records for hospitalized patients. Leveraging the downward kink in college enrollment, we estimate a negative eect of college on mortality, which is larger for men, but also sizable for women. Aected individuals have worse labor market outcomes, lower income, and are more likely to be enrolled in the public health system. They also report lower consumption of health services, which suggests that economic disadvantage and limited access to care plausibly contribute to the eect of education on health.
    Date: 2022–02–28
  15. By: Kabinet Kaba (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne)
    Abstract: This paper studies the effects of power outages and exchange rate undervaluation on the allocation of manufacturing firms between the domestic and the exports market. I apply the instrumental variables approach to a sample of 12,062 manufacturing firms operating in 33 sub-Saharan African countries. The main results show that a 1% increase in the length of power outages reduces the share of exports in total sales by 0.939 percentage points. An undervaluation of 1% leads to an increase in the share of exports by 0.540 percentage points. The collateral damage effects show a negative impact of power outages and exchange rate undervaluation on the share of foreign inputs and a positive effect on the share of domestic inputs in the total purchase of inputs. Moreover, power outages and exchange rate undervaluation affect more the share of exports of firms in countries with low access to electricity, non-innovative firms, firms making less self-generation and firms operating in non-resource-rich countries. The robustness check indicates that the access to electricity and the exchange rate (undervaluation and depreciation) are substitutes. Indeed, a 1% improvement in electricity access per population reduces the positive impact of exchange rate undervaluation and depreciation on the share of exports by 0.172 and 0.583 percentage points, respectively.
    Keywords: Power outages,Exchange rate,Manufacturing firms,Exports,Domestic sales,Africa
    Date: 2021–10–26
  16. By: Bannor, Frank; Magambo, Isaiah Hubert; Mahabir, Jugal; Tshitaka, Jean-Luc Mubenga
    Abstract: Concerns about the human effects of climate change have contributed to forecasts of how populations in drought-prone, and flood-prone areas would respond to these events. Empirical studies have predicted that human migration has been among the critical resilient strategy in responding to the impact of climate change. To obtain a more comprehensive understanding of the climate–migration relationship, the impacts of climate change on international migration flows from Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) nations to South Africa are investigated empirically in this paper. The study employed a fixed effects model and panel data from 35 countries in SSA, spanning 1990 to 2017. The findings are as follows: (1) the analysis show that temperature has a positive and statistically significant effect on outmigration in agriculture-dependent nations. (2) the analysis shows that agricultural-value-added as a share in GDP has a negative and statistically significant effect on outmigration in agriculture-dependent nations. (3) the results also show that geographic location, and development level of a country, in addition to dependency on agriculture are key factors in the climate change–international migration nexus. Policy implications are discussed.
    Keywords: International migration,Sub-Saharan Africa,South Africa,Climate change,Agriculture
    JEL: F22 J61 Q50 Q54
    Date: 2022

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