nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2022‒05‒30
nine papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. The response of illegal mining to revealing its existence By Saavedra, S
  2. Exploring household heterogeneities of the Deaton-Paxson puzzle: Evidence for Argentina By Echeverría, Lucía; Molina, José Alberto
  3. Increasing production diversity and diet quality through agriculture, gender, and nutrition linkages: A cluster-randomized controlled trial in Bangladesh By Ahmed, Akhter; Coleman, Fiona; Ghostlaw, Julie; Hoddinott, John F.; Menon, Purnima; Parvin, Aklima; Pereira, Audrey; Quisumbing, Agnes R.; Roy, Shalini; Younus, Masuma
  4. Causes behind Tenancy Contract among the Marginal Farmers of West Bengal, India and Its’ Impact on their Livelihood By Kundu, Amit; Goswami, Pubali
  5. Roles of public expenditures and public investments on the demand and productivity of agricultural inputs/services: Some insights from Nigeria By Takeshima, Hiroyuki; Edeh, Hyacinth; Andam, Kwaw S.
  6. Assessing the development impacts of bio-innovations: The case of genetically modified maize and cassava in Tanzania By Benfica, Rui; Zambrano, Patricia; Chambers, Judith A.; Falck-Zepeda, José Benjamin
  7. "School Performance and Child Labor: Evidence from West Bank Schools" By Sameh Hallaq; Ayman Khalifah
  8. India’s Banks: Lending to Productive Firms? By Mr. Divya Kirti; Soledad Martinez Peria; Siddharth George; Rajesh Vijayaraghavan
  9. Weather variability and extreme shocks in Africa: Are female or male farmers more affected? By Nico, Gianluigi; Azzarri, Carlo

  1. By: Saavedra, S
    Abstract: New monitoring technologies can help curb illegal activities by reducing informa- tion asymmetries between enforcing and monitoring government agents. I created a novel dataset using machine learning predictions on satellite imagery that detects illegal mining. Then I disclosed the predictions to government agents to study the response of illegal activity. I randomly assigned municipalities to one of four groups: (1) information to the observer (local government) of potential mine locations in his jurisdiction; (2) information to the enforcer (National government) of potential mine locations; (3) information to both observer and enforcer, and (4) a control group, where I informed no one. The effect of information is relatively similar regardless of who is informed: in treated municipalities, illegal mining is reduced by 11% in the disclosed locations and surrounding areas. However, when accounting for negative spillovers — increases in illegal mining in areas not targeted by the information — the net reduction is only 7%. These results illustrate the benefits of new technologies for building state capacity and reducing illegal activity.
    Keywords: Illegal mining, Monitoring Technology, Colombia
    JEL: H26 K42 O13 O17 Q53
    Date: 2022–05–09
  2. By: Echeverría, Lucía; Molina, José Alberto
    Abstract: Theory predicts that economies of scale associated with the consumption of shared household public goods make larger families better off, given the same level of per capita expenditure or income. Public goods are relatively cheaper, while per capita expenditure on the private good will increase, as long as it is not easily substitutable, as in the case of food. However, Deaton and Paxson (1998) found exactly the opposite: food share declines with the number of heads, keeping household per capita expenditure constant. This paper aims to better understand the heterogeneities underlying the Deaton-Paxson paradox in food consumption, using data from the Argentinean Household Expenditure Survey (ENGH, Spanish acronym) for the period 2017/2018. We first differentiate the impact of an additional adult from an additional child on food demand, in families of different sizes. Second, we evaluate the relationship between food demand and household size on the distribution of income. Third, we explore potential associations beyond the conditional mean of food consumption. Because standard analysis focuses on average effects of family size on food demand, the existence of the paradox at the lower and upper end of the conditional food distribution remains unknown. Our evidence supports the findings of Deaton and Paxson (1998), and reveals important differences driving this food puzzle. Our results shed light on the crucial role of economies of scale in poor households.
    Keywords: Leyes de Engel; Tamaño de Hogar; Economías de Escala; Consumo de Alimentos;
    Date: 2022–01
  3. By: Ahmed, Akhter; Coleman, Fiona; Ghostlaw, Julie; Hoddinott, John F.; Menon, Purnima; Parvin, Aklima; Pereira, Audrey; Quisumbing, Agnes R.; Roy, Shalini; Younus, Masuma
    Abstract: A growing body of evidence indicates that agricultural development programs can potentially improve production diversity and diet quality of poor rural households; however, less is known about which aspects of program design are effective in diverse contexts and feasible to implement at scale. We address this issue through an evaluation of the Agriculture, Gender, and Nutrition Linkages (ANGeL) project. ANGeL is a randomized controlled trial testing what combination of trainings focused on agricultural production, nutrition behavior change communication, and gender sensitization were most effective in improving production diversity and diet quality among rural farm households in Bangladesh. We find that trainings focused on agriculture improved production diversity in terms of greater production of fruits and vegetables grown on the homestead, eggs, dairy, and fish; adding trainings on nutrition and gender did not significantly change these impacts. Trainings focused on both agriculture and nutrition showed the largest impacts on diet quality, with evidence indicating that households in this arm also significantly increased consumption out of homestead production for fruits and vegetables, eggs, dairy, and fish. Findings indicate that agricultural training that promotes production of diverse, high-value, nutrient-rich foods can increase production diversity, and this can improve diet quality, but diet quality impacts are larger when agricultural training is combined with nutrition training. Relative to treatments combining agriculture and nutrition training, we find no significant impact of adding the gender sensitization on our measures of production diversity or diet quality.
    Keywords: BANGLADESH; SOUTH ASIA; ASIA; production; diversification; diet; agriculture; gender; nutrition; agricultural production; dietary diversity; nutrition-sensitive agriculture; randomized controlled trials; diet quality
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Kundu, Amit; Goswami, Pubali
    Abstract: The basic objective of this paper is to identify the possible factors which influence the marginal farmer households of West Bengal to go for tenancy contracts. In our study area, the target group is marginal farmer households where the only fixed-rent contract is observed, and all the contracts are verbal. Comparatively big landowners among the marginal farmer households where lack of motivation is observed among the younger generations to pursue agricultural activities for their livelihood and have higher earnings from different non-farm activities influence them to lease out the land. On the contrary, landless or the marginal farmer households owned very small size of land are more eager to take land in a lease for cultivation. The availability of family labour force among these types of households and earnings from alternative sources play an important role during the time of taking such a decision. After applying Heckman’s two-step treatment effect models, it is observed that marginal farmer households who lease out land are economically better off than the marginal farmer households who are not interested in any such tenancy contract. Besides that, it is also observed that farm households even after taking land in the lease are economically worse-off than the farm households who are not interested in any tenancy contract. But most of the marginal farmer households whichever type are living below the poverty line.
    Keywords: Agriculture, Tenancy Contract, Marginal farmers, Impact Evaluation, Poverty
    JEL: C31 I32 Q15 R23
    Date: 2021–03–03
  5. By: Takeshima, Hiroyuki; Edeh, Hyacinth; Andam, Kwaw S.
    Abstract: Knowledge gaps remain as to how longer-term public investments (PI) such as agricultural research and development (R&D), and short-term interventions through other public expenditures in agriculture (PEA) complement each other in enhancing productivity and efficiency in the agrifood sector. This study attempts to partly fill this gap by using nationally representative panel household survey data, subnational PEA data, locations of national agricultural R&D, and various spatial agroclimatic data in Nigeria. The analyses generally indicate that marginal returns to agricultural inputs/services (fertilizer, agricultural mechanization, irrigation, extension, agricultural equipment, and family labor) often increase by PI that raise overall agroclimatic similarity (AS) (through R&D locations), as well as increase PEA-share by subnational governments. There is often complementarity between these PI and PEA, particularly for extension services, investment in agricultural equipment, irrigation, and in the northern part of the country. Promoting further adoptions of modern inputs/services, increasing PEA-share, and selecting PI for agricultural R&D given in-country variations in agroclimatic conditions can help raise agricultural profitability and incomes in Nigeria.
    Keywords: NIGERIA; WEST AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA; public expenditure; public investment; farm inputs; services; productivity; mechanization; fertilizers; agricultural productivity; research; agricultural services; stratified difference-in-difference propensity-score matching
    Date: 2022
  6. By: Benfica, Rui; Zambrano, Patricia; Chambers, Judith A.; Falck-Zepeda, José Benjamin
    Abstract: Tanzania’s agriculture faces persistent low crop productivity due to endogenous and exogenous factors, particularly low and unpredictable rainfall, and the incidence of pests. To address these challenges, the government and partners are making efforts to develop and deploy Genetically Modified (GM) Maize varieties with drought tolerance and insect resistant traits (WEMA), and Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD) resistant varieties. This analysis overcomes limitations from earlier assessments of the impacts of those GM crops by accounting for trade-offs in resource competition and considering the indirect effects of adoption and yield gains from GM maize and cassava varieties on the broader economy, the Agri-Food System (AFS), and on household level outcomes. It extends the BioRAPP analysis to an ex-ante economywide framework. We reveal several findings. First, GM maize and cassava (individually and jointly) have positive impacts in the economy, the AFS, and the poverty, particularly in rural areas and among the poorest households. Second, given its relatively greater relevance in output and employment, and the stronger linkages in the AFS, the effects of GM maize on GDP and AFS growth, and poverty is relatively stronger than those from GM cassava. Third, as expected, relatively greater effects are found in higher adoption and high yield gains scenarios, and, in each scenario, the effects on the poorest households are greater than that for the higher quintiles. Furthermore, differential impact across scenarios is also greater amongst the poorest, while the differences are minimal for the top quintile. Finally, the high variation of results across scenarios, and the significant effects of the high adoption/high yield change scenario, suggest that efforts will be critical to ensure the realization of the maximization of adoption rates while ensuring the materialization of the yield growth potential of the GM varieties through the efficient use of technical recommendations on crop production management, and the introduction of the right investments and policy incentives.
    Keywords: TANZANIA; EAST AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA; agricultural production; models; poverty reduction; maize; cassava; agrifood systems; computable general equilibrium models; genetically modified foods; policies; innovation adoption; yields
    Date: 2022
  7. By: Sameh Hallaq; Ayman Khalifah
    Abstract: The current study aims to investigate the impact of academic achievement on child labor. The study utilizes survey data collected from Palestinian children in West Bank schools who are in the primary grades (5th-9th). The results show that increasing a child's academic achievement is significantly associated with decreasing the probability that a child works for money in the following period. Our findings varied among children according to their gender, age, and parental academic background. Our analyses are subject to different specifications, including two-stage least squares (2SLS) to account for potential endogeneity. The results provide robust evidence about the linkage between school performance and child labor in the West Bank. Further, the study proposes an assessment of the child’s mental health problems by the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) as a potential mechanism through which the child's achievement at school affects child labor.
    Keywords: Academic Achievement; Child Labor; West Bank
    JEL: D15 I21 J13 I12
    Date: 2022–05
  8. By: Mr. Divya Kirti; Soledad Martinez Peria; Siddharth George; Rajesh Vijayaraghavan
    Abstract: Capital misallocation is widely thought to be an important factor underpinning productivity and income gaps between advanced and emerging economies. This paper studies how well Indian banks allocate capital across firms with varying levels of productivity. The analysis reveals that the link between productivity and bank credit growth is weaker for firms with significant ties to public sector banks, especially in years when public sector banks represent a large share of new credit. Large flows of credit to unproductive firms represent important missed growth opportunities for more productive firms. These results suggest that measures to improve governance of public sector banks, potentially including privatization, would help reduce capital misallocation.
    Keywords: Productivity, bank lending, allocation of credit; capital misallocation; public sector bank; PSB dependence; PSB share; credit growth; Bank credit; Credit; Productivity; State-owned banks; Commercial banks; Global
    Date: 2022–04–29
  9. By: Nico, Gianluigi; Azzarri, Carlo
    Abstract: Agriculture in Africa has been traditionally seen as an important employment provider, supporting agriculture-based livelihoods of the vast majority of the African population, (James, 2014; World Bank, 2011) and absorbing the largest share of the employed population. Data suggest that almost 224 million people aged 15 and above are directly engaged in agriculture in Africa (ILO, 2021), corresponding to nearly half of the total employed population in the continent and absorbing ¼ of global agricultural employment.
    Keywords: AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; CENTRAL AFRICA; EAST AFRICA; NORTH AFRICA; SOUTHERN AFRICA; WEST AFRICA; employment; agriculture; weather variability; literature reviews; gender; women; men; farmers; shock; climate change; weather shock
    Date: 2022

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