nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2022‒05‒23
eleven papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Agroforestry Programs in the Colombian Amazon: Selection, Treatment and Exposure Effects on Deforestation By Bhattacharjee, Arnab; Aravena, Claudia; Castillo, Natalia; Ehrlich, Marco; Taou, Nadia; Wagner, Thomas
  2. The Colonial Legacy of Education: Evidence from of Tunisia By Mhamed Ben Salah; Cédric Chambru; Maleke Fourati
  3. "Earthquake exposure and schooling: impacts and mechanisms". By Khalifany-Ash Shidiqi; Antonio Di Paolo; Álvaro Choi
  4. Decentralized Targeting of Agricultural Credit Programs: Private versus Political Intermediaries By Pushkar Maitra; Sandip Mitra; Dilip Mookherjee; Sujata Visaria
  5. (Mis-)information technology: Internet use and perception of democracy in Africa By Joël Cariolle; Yasmine Elkhateeb; Mathilde Maurel
  6. Does mobile money services adoption foster intra-African goods trade? By Fayçal Sawadogo; Abdoul-Akim Wandaogo
  7. Deadweight Losses or Gains from In-kind Transfers? Experimental Evidence from India By Klaus Abbink; Gaurav Datt; Lata Gangadharan; Digvijay Negi; Bharat Ramaswami
  8. A Partial Identification Approach to Identifying the Determinants of Human Capital Accumulation: An Application to Teachers By Nirav Mehta
  9. The Distribution of the Gender Wage Gap : An Equilibrium Model By Bhalotra, Sonia R.; Fernandez, Manuel; Wang, Fan
  10. Enhanced Intergenerational Occupational Mobility through Trade Expansion: Evidence from Vietnam By Mitra, Devashish; Pham, Hoang; Ural Marchand, Beyza
  11. Women’s Mobility and Labor Supply: Experimental Evidence from Pakistan By Field, Erica; Vyborny, Kate

  1. By: Bhattacharjee, Arnab; Aravena, Claudia; Castillo, Natalia; Ehrlich, Marco; Taou, Nadia; Wagner, Thomas
    Abstract: Tropical rainforests play a critical role in the fight against climate change. However, record high levels of deforestation have been experienced in the Amazon which, together with land use change, has led to loss of biodiversity and sustainable livelihoods. Agroforestry and silvo-pastoral conservation programs are particularly promising in this context because of their potential to simultaneously offer sustainable forest cover and support local livelihoods. Together with sustainable animal husbandry, they are critical in addressing the twin challenges of food security and climate change. But empirical estimates of the effectiveness of planned agroforestry on deforestation are largely absent. We study the effects of an innovative and ambitious agroforestry program, part of the UN REDD initiative in Colombia, upon deforestation in the Amazon. Enrolment on the program is not random but based on matching and choice. Achieving reduced deforestation through planned agroforestry is challenging. When selected farms undergo 'treatment' under the program, they initially experience reduction in secondary vegetation in the medium run (5-20 years). Using a quasi-experimental difference-in-differences approach, and both traditional and new econometric methods, we estimate treatment, exposure and selection effects. The findings emphasize that agroforestry programs can stall deforestation and even promote permanent forest cover. However, this requires continuous upscaling with continued and very rapid expansion of the program, entailing substantial costs to society but also significant return.
    Keywords: Agroforestry programs, Selection, Treatment and Exposure effects, Difference-in-differences, Colombian Amazon, Deforestation
    JEL: C21 Q23 Q15 C55 Q56 C23
    Date: 2022–05
  2. By: Mhamed Ben Salah (IHEID, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva); Cédric Chambru (University of Zurich); Maleke Fourati (Mediterranean School of Business, South Mediterranean University)
    Abstract: We study the effect of exposure to colonial public primary education on contemporary education outcomes in Tunisia. We assemble a new data set on the location of schools with the number of pupils by origin, along with population data during the French protectorate (1881-1956). We match those with contemporary data on education at both district and individual level. We find that the exposure of local population to colonial public primary education has a long-lasting effect on educational outcomes, even when controlling for colonial investments in education. A one per cent increase in Tunisian enrolment rate in 1931 is associated with a 1.69 percentage points increase in literacy rate in 2014. Our results are driven by older generations, namely individuals who attended primary schools before the 1989/91 education reform. We suggest that the efforts undertaken by the Tunisian government after independence to promote schooling finally paid off after 40 years and overturned the effects of history.
    Keywords: Colonial investment; Primary education; Tunisia
    JEL: D10 N37 N47
    Date: 2022–05–16
  3. By: Khalifany-Ash Shidiqi (Department of Economics, Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta, Faculty of Economics and Business, Indonesia & University of Barcelona, Faculty of Economics and Business, 690 Diagonal Av. 08034, Barcelona, Spain.); Antonio Di Paolo (AQR-IREA, University of Barcelona, Faculty of Economics and Business, 690 Diagonal Av. 08034, Barcelona, Spain.); Álvaro Choi (University of Barcelona, Faculty of Economics and Business, 690 Diagonal Av. 08034, Barcelona, Spain.)
    Abstract: Natural disasters are a significant threat to human development. In this paper, we analyze the effects of being exposed to a strong earthquake during school age on schooling outcomes. We merge geolocated data about the intensity of the shock at the district level with individual information from the Indonesia Family Life Survey. The identification strategy exploits variation in exposure to the natural shock by birth cohort and district of residence, considering as the treated group individuals who were residing in affected districts while they were in school age. Earthquake exposure reduces years of schooling by somewhat less than one year and negatively affects the probability of completing compulsory education but does not alter the chances of enrolling into post-compulsory education. Falsification analysis and several robustness checks corroborate the causal interpretation of our findings. The analysis of the potential mechanisms indicates that induced migration and casualties occurring at the family level as a consequence of the earthquake do not seem to play a relevant role. However, damages in educational infrastructures do represent a relevant channel through which natural disasters harm human capital formation. Part of the overall impact of the earthquake represents a delay in schooling progression, but a substantial share of its effect consists in a permanent loss of human capital among affected individuals.
    Keywords: Natural disasters, Earthquake, Schooling, Educational infrastructures. JEL classification: I25, I24, O15, Q54.
    Date: 2022–05
  4. By: Pushkar Maitra (Department of Economics, Monash University); Sandip Mitra (Sampling and Official Statistics Unit, Indian Statistical Institute); Dilip Mookherjee (Department of Economics, Boston University); Sujata Visaria (Department of Economics, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
    Abstract: We conduct a field experiment in India comparing two approaches to appointing a local commission agent to select eligible smallholder farmers for a subsidized credit program: a private trader in TRAIL, versus a political appointee in GRAIL. Although both schemes had similar loan take-up and repayments and similar treatment impacts on borrowing and farm output, only TRAIL raised farm profits significantly. This cannot be explained by greater connectedness between TRAIL agents and farmers, or differential patterns of borrower selection. Instead, TRAIL agents increased their interactions with treated farmers, and we argue this helped them procure inputs at lower prices.
    Keywords: Targeting, Intermediation, Decentralization, Community Driven Development, Agricultural Credit, Networks
    JEL: H42 I38 O13 O16 O17
    Date: 2021–01
  5. By: Joël Cariolle (FERDI - Fondation pour les Etudes et Recherches sur le Développement International); Yasmine Elkhateeb (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Cairo University); Mathilde Maurel (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, FERDI - Fondation pour les Etudes et Recherches sur le Développement International)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of internet use as a means of accessing news on African citizens' demand for and perception of the supply of democracy. This question is addressed using cross-sectional data from the last three rounds of the Afrobarometer survey for a sample of 25 African countries between 2011 and 2018. Using an instrumental variable approach to control for the possible endogeneity bias between internet use and citizens' perceptions, we found that using the internet to get news has a negative and significant effect on the demand for and on the perceived supply of democracy. The negative effect is channeled through two main factors. The first factor is the confidence in governments and governmental institutions, which is undermined by the use of the internet. In particular, we find that this internet-induced lower confidence translates into a higher probability of engaging in street protests instead of increased political participation. The second driving factor is the (mis-)information channel. On the one hand, we show that internet users' perception of the supply of democracy negatively diverges from experts' ratings. On the other hand, we document further that internet use increases the likelihood of incoherence in the respondent's stance about her demand for democracy. Finally, we show that the negative effect we found is mitigated when the internet is complemented by traditional media sources, especially the radio, to get informed. The findings of this study suggest that internet use is not neutral and tends to undermine citizens' preferences for democracy and alter perceptions about the functioning of political institutions.
    Keywords: Internet news,democracy,Africa
    Date: 2022–03
  6. By: Fayçal Sawadogo (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne); Abdoul-Akim Wandaogo (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne)
    Abstract: Using a propensity score matching methodology, we study the causal effect of mobile money services adoption on intra-African goods trade. We find that countries that adopted MM register a higher goods trade share in GDP of about 0.6 percent in comparison to non-adopters.
    Keywords: JEL classification : F10,O23,O33,O55 Mobile money,Goods trade,Impact analysis,Africa
    Date: 2021–02
  7. By: Klaus Abbink (Department of Economics, Monash University); Gaurav Datt (Centre for Development Economics and Sustainability, Monash University,); Lata Gangadharan (Department of Economics, Monash University); Digvijay Negi (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, India); Bharat Ramaswami (Ashoka University, India.)
    Abstract: Are in-kind transfers associated with deadweight losses? To answer this, we conducted an incentivized field experiment in India, which offered low-income households the choice between a free quantity of rice and varying amounts of cash to elicit their willingness to pay for rice. Contrary to expectation, we find evidence of deadweight gain on average, though with a striking contrast between a deadweight loss among respondents from female-headed households and a deadweight gain among respondents from male-headed households. Our results highlight the role of gender differences in bargaining power in shaping the choice between cash or rice.
    Keywords: deadweight loss, in-kind transfer, cash transfer, food subsidy, field experiment
    JEL: C93 D13 I38 J16 Q18
    Date: 2022–05
  8. By: Nirav Mehta
    Abstract: This paper views teacher quality through the human capital perspective. Teacher quality exhibits substantial growth over teachers’ careers, but why it improves is not well understood. I use a human capital production function nesting On-the-Job-Training (OJT) and Learning-by-Doing (LBD) and experimental variation from Glewwe et al. (2010), a teacher incentive pay experiment in Kenya, to discern the presence and relative importance of these forces. The identified set for the OJT and LBD components has a closed-form solution, which depends on experimentally estimated average treatment effects. The results provide evidence of an LBD component, as well as an informative upper bound on the OJT component.
    Keywords: human capital, teacher quality, on-the-job training, learning-by-doing, partial identification
    JEL: I20 I28 J20 J24 J45 C10
    Date: 2022
  9. By: Bhalotra, Sonia R. (University of Warwick); Fernandez, Manuel (Universidad de los Andes); Wang, Fan (University of Houston)
    Abstract: We develop an equilibrium model of the labor market to investigate the joint evolution of gender gaps in labor force participation and wages. We do this overall and by task-based occupation and skill, which allows us to study distributional effects. We structurally estimate the model using data from Mexico over a period during which women's participation increased by fty percent. We provide new evidence that male and female labor are closer substitutes in high-paying analytical task-intensive occupations than in lower-paying manual and routine task-intensive occupations. We find that demand trends favored women, especially college-educated women. Consistent with these results, we see a widening of the gender wage gap at the lower end of the distribution, alongside a narrowing at the top. On the supply side, we find that increased appliance availability was the key driver of increases in the participation of unskilled women, and fertility decline a key driver for skilled women. The growth of appliances acted to widen the gender wage gap and the decline of fertility to narrow it. We also trace equilibrium impacts of growth in college attainment, which was more rapid among women, and of emigration, which was dominated by unskilled men. Our counterfactual estimates demonstrate that ignoring the countervailing effects of equilibrium wage adjustments on labor supplies, as is commonly done in the literature, can be misleading. JEL classifications: J16, J21, J24, J31, O33
    Keywords: Female labor force participation ; gender wage gap ; technological change ; supply-demand framework ; task-based approach ; wage distribution ; wage inequality
    Date: 2022
  10. By: Mitra, Devashish (Syracuse University); Pham, Hoang (Oregon State University); Ural Marchand, Beyza (University of Alberta, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Using eight rounds of the Vietnam Household Living Standards Surveys (VHLSSs) spanning 16 years and exploiting the US Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA) in 2001 as a large export shock, we investigate the impact of this shock on intergenerational occupational mobility in Vietnam employing a difference-in-differences research design. Our analysis suggests that the BTA has led to substantial upward occupational mobility, allowing both sons and daughters to have better occupations than their parents, with the effects being larger for daughter-mother pairs. The effect is larger in the long-run compared to the short-run. We find evidence that the driving force is an increase in skill demand via gender-biased expansion in export volumes. The effects are largely driven by intersectoral resource reallocation rather than within-sector upgrades. In addition, the BTA induced a higher likelihood of college education for both sons and daughters, but of vocational training only for sons. Overall, the BTA shock accounts for 36% of the overall increase in mobility for both genders. Our results control for Vietnam's own tariff reductions, which do not seem to have any statistically significant impact on mobility.
    Keywords: International Trade; Export Market Access; Intergenerational Mobility
    JEL: F13 F16 F66 J62 O19
    Date: 2022–04–26
  11. By: Field, Erica (Duke University); Vyborny, Kate (Duke University)
    Abstract: In cities with conservative norms or high crime, female workers may face greater restrictions on their physical mobility. This limits women’s labor market opportunities and the pool of workers that firms can attract. In this study, we experimentally vary access to a transport service in Lahore, Pakistan, to quantify the overall impact of transport to work on men, women, and the differential impact of transport exclusively for women. We show that reducing physical mobility constraints has a large impact on job searching for women, including women who are not searching at baseline. Women’s response is driven by a women-only transport treatment arm, suggesting that safety and social acceptability, rather than simply cost, are key constraints.
    Keywords: transport; mobility; gender; female labor force participation
    JEL: J16 J22 J28 L91
    Date: 2022–04–28

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