nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2022‒07‒18
fifteen papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Risk Pooling and Precautionary Saving in Village Economies By Marcel Fafchamps; Aditya Shrinivas
  2. School-age exposure to conditional cash transfers and adult mental health: Evidence from Mexico’s Progresa By Clotilde Mahé; Philipp Hessel
  3. Civil conflict, cash transfers, and child nutrition in Yemen By Olivier Ecker; Jean-François Maystadt
  4. The Impact of Civil Conflict on Child Health: Evidence from Colombia By Noemi Kreif; Andrew Mirelman; Marc Suhrcke; Giancarlo Buitrago; Rodrigo Moreno Serra
  5. Unpacking the Links between Conflict and Child Welfare: Evidence from a Foreign Insurgency By Heidi Kaila; Larissa Nawo; Hyuk Harry Son
  6. Commodity Booms, Conflict, and Organized Crime The Economics of Oil Palm Mafia Violence in Indonesia By Paul D. Kenny; Rashesh Shrestha; Edward Aspinall
  7. A 'bright' side of war? Armed conflict and female teen marriage in Azerbaijan By Orsola Torrisi
  8. Within Growing Season Weather Variability and Land Allocation Decisions: Evidence from Maize Farmers in Ethiopia By Ahmed, Musa Hasen; Tesfaye, Wondimagegn Mesfin; Gassmann, Franziska
  9. Welfare Impact of Hosting Refugees in Ethiopia By Ashenafi Belayneh Ayenew
  10. Weathering shocks: the effects of weather shocks on farm input use in sub-Saharan Africa By Aimable Nsabimana
  11. Can weather shocks give rise to a poverty trap? Evidence from Nigeria By Giulia Malevolti
  12. Impact Evaluation of Support to Collective Action for Agricultural Value Chain Development in Nepal By Raitzer, David; Batmunkh, Odbayar
  13. Saving on the Phone - Evidence from Ghanaian Cocoa Farmers By Possner, Annkathrin; Rosero, Gabriel; Musshoff, Oliver
  14. Implications of Farm Size and Staple Production on Rural and Urban Food Security and Dietary Diversity By Lin, Jessie; Gupta, Anubhab
  15. Motivating Farmer Trainers. Experimental evidence from rural Uganda By Bertelli, Olivia; Fall, Fatou

  1. By: Marcel Fafchamps; Aditya Shrinivas
    Abstract: We propose a new method to test for efficient risk pooling that allows for intertemporal smoothing, non-homothetic consumption, and heterogeneous risk and time preferences. The method is composed of three steps. The first one allows for precautionary savings by the aggregate risk pooling group. The second utilizes the inverse Engel curve to estimate good-specific tests for efficient risk pooling. In the third step, we obtain consistent estimates of households' risk and time preferences using a full risk sharing model, and incorporate heterogeneous preferences in testing for risk pooling. We apply this method to panel data from Indian villages to generate a number of new insights. We find that food expenditures are better protected from aggregate shocks than non-food consumption, after accounting for non-homotheticity. Village-level consumption tracks aggregate village cash-in-hand, suggesting some form of coordinated precautionary savings. But there is considerable excess sensitivity to aggregate income, indicating a lack of full asset integration. We also find a large unexplained gap between the variation in measured consumption expenditures and cash-in-hand at the aggregate village level. Contrary to earlier findings, risk pooling in Indian villages no longer appears to take place more at the sub-caste level than at the village level.
    JEL: D14 D31 D64 O12
    Date: 2022–06
  2. By: Clotilde Mahé; Philipp Hessel
    Abstract: Conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs have been shown to improve human capital and mental health in the short-run. However, it remains unclear whether those effects are long-lasting. Using data from Mexico, we test whether school-age exposure to the Progresa CCT program affects adult mental health. We exploit variation in the timing of the introduction of Progresa across municipalities before the program rollout, and compare adult mental health outcomes of cohorts that were differently exposed to Progresa transfers during expected schooling ages (5-17). Instrumental variables estimates reveal strong heterogeneity in the effect of Progresa exposure during schooling ages on adult mental health. A one standard deviation (SD) increase in per capita Progresa transfers in schooling ages implies a 1.64 and 1.87 percentage point decrease in self-reported mild anxiety among male and urban respondents during adulthood, respectively, equivalent to 0.08 and 0.07 SD effects, and a 0.69 (0.48) percentage point decrease in self-reported (severe) depression in rural areas, corresponding to a 0.06 (0.08) SD effect. In the longer term, Progresa exposure is also associated with more years of schooling, greater employability, and better self-rated health, possibly explaining the positive effect of the program on mental health we estimated. ***** Se ha demostrado que los programas de transferencias monetarias condicionadas (CCT, por sus siglas en inglés) mejoran el capital humano y la salud mental a corto plazo. Sin embargo, no es cierto que esos efectos permanezcan a largo del plazo. Usando datos de México, evaluamos si la exposición en edad escolar al programa de CCT Progresa afecta la salud mental de los adultos. Explotamos la variación del momento de entrada a Progresa en los municipios antes de la implementación del programa y comparamos los resultados de salud mental en adultos de cohortes expuestas de manera diferente a las transferencias durante las edades escolares (5 a 17 anos). Los resultados evidencian una alta heterogeneidad en el efecto de la exposición a Progresa durante las edades escolares sobre la salud mental en los adultos. Un aumento de una desviación estándar (SD, por sus siglas en inglés) en las transferencias per cápita de Progresa en edades escolares implica una disminución de 1,64 y 1,87 puntos porcentuales en la ansiedad entre los encuestados masculinos y urbanos durante la edad adulta, respectivamente, equivalente a efectos de 0,08 y 0,07 SD, y una disminución de 0,69 (0,48) puntos porcentuales en la depresión (grave) en las zonas rurales, lo que corresponde a un efecto de 0,06 (0,08) SD. A más largo plazo, la exposición a Progresa también se asocia con más anos de escolaridad, mayor empleabilidad y mejor salud subjetiva, lo que posiblemente explique el efecto positivo del programa sobre la salud mental que obtenemos.
    Keywords: Transferencias monetarias condicionadas, salud mental, México, AméricaLatina
    JEL: I10 I38
    Date: 2022–04–12
  3. By: Olivier Ecker (Development Strategy and Governance Division, International Food Policy Research Institute, United States); Jean-François Maystadt (Department of Economics, Lancaster University Management School, United Kingdom)
    Abstract: The most dramatic outcomes of protracted civil conflict include increased malnutrition among children and the resulting consequences for lifelong health and prosperity. Little is known about how to mitigate the nutritional impact of conflict. Knowing the potential of economic interventions is particularly important for post-conflict reconstruction, when the threat of violence resurgence is high. We use quarterly panel data from Yemen to estimate the impact of civil conflict on child nutrition in Yemen and the effects of unconditional cash transfers in mitigating the adverse nutritional impact. Our results show that a one-standard-deviation increase in armed conflict intensity reduces the weight-for-height z-scores (WHZ) of children by 9.6%, on average. We also find that the studied cash transfer program reduces the nutritional impact by 35.8% for WHZ. Our analysis suggests that if relative stability is restored, unconditional cash transfer programs can be an effective tool to curb rising acute child malnutrition in situations of complex emergencies.
    Keywords: Civil conflict, child nutrition, cash transfer, mitigation, Yemen
    JEL: D74 I15 O15
    Date: 2021–09
  4. By: Noemi Kreif (Centre for Health Economics, University of York); Andrew Mirelman (Centre for Health Economics, University of York); Marc Suhrcke (Luxembourg Institute of Socio-economic Research); Giancarlo Buitrago (Clinical Research Institute, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Hospital Universitario Nacional de Colombia); Rodrigo Moreno Serra (entre for Health Economics, University of York)
    Abstract: Internal armed conflicts have become more common and more physically destructive since the mid-20th century, with devastating consequences for health and development in low-and middle-income countries. This paper investigates the causal impacts of the long-term internal conflict on child health in Colombia, following an identification strategy based on the temporal and geographic variation of conflict intensity. We estimate the effect of different levels of conflict intensity on height-for-age (HAZ), weight-for-age (WAZ), and weight-for-height z-scoresamong children under five years old, and explore the underlying potential mechanisms, through maternal health behavior and health care utilization. We find a harmful effect of exposure to conflict violence during pregnancy for HAZ and WAZ, in the full sample and even more strongly in the rural sample, yet these estimates are smaller than those found for shorter term conflicts. The underlying pathways appear to operate around the time of the pregnancy and birth (in the form of maternal alcohol use, use of antenatal care and skilled birth attendance), rather than during the post-birth period (via breastfeeding or vaccination). The most adverse impacts of conflict violence on child health and utilization of maternal healthcare were observed in municipalities which suffered from intermittent presence of armed groups.
    Keywords: Conflict, Violence, Child health
    Date: 2020–10
  5. By: Heidi Kaila (World Bank); Larissa Nawo (University of Dschang, Dschang-Cameroon); Hyuk Harry Son (Cornell University)
    Abstract: Violent conflicts have enduring effects on child welfare, but little is understood about the mechanisms underlying these effects. Using data from Cameroon collected from a decade before to shortly after the eruption of the Boko Haram insurgency in the country, we study the immediate impacts of terrorist attacks on child welfare. We find that Boko Haram attacks lead to an immediate decrease in weight-for-height for children under five – an indicator of short-term health and nutrition. Furthermore, we find a reduction in health care service utilization which can prolong and aggravate fever and diarrhea. We do not find effects on dietary diversity. Our results are not driven by changes in the sample of children alive, as child mortality is un-affected by the conflict. The results underscore the importance of health care service provision in conflict-affected areas urgently after the eruption of violence to prevent irreversible impacts from taking place.
    Keywords: Terrorism, Boko Haram, Child health and nutrition, Child labor, Cameroon
    JEL: D74 I1 I32 J13 O15
    Date: 2021–10
  6. By: Paul D. Kenny (Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences, Australian Catholic University); Rashesh Shrestha (Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia.); Edward Aspinall (Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, Australian National University)
    Abstract: This paper examines the relationships between agrarian commodity booms and the incidence of group conflict and criminality in the context of Indonesia's expanding oil palm sector. It theorizes that commodity boom violence takes two main forms: low level but organized criminal violence involved in the extortion of "rents" produced by a given commodity extraction and production process (extortion); and violent competition among a range of groups, including "mafias", youthgangs, landholders, and commercial producers for control of these rents (competition). Extortion and competition violence are associated with distinct temporal distributions consistent with our theory. Criminality–especially theft–is higher in villages with established and productive oil palm plantations (extortion), whereas villages undergoing planation expansion have a higher incidence of group conflict (competition). A dynamic analysisutilizing panel data at the sub-district level support our causal interpretation, as the relationship between the area under oil palm cultivation and resource conflict (competition) changes over time and with prevailing commodity prices. Our results are robust to the use of instrumental variable analysis to account for the potential endogeneity of plantation expansion. Our theorized mechanism is given further support by a targeted primary survey of nearly 1,920 respondents in oil palm producing and non-producing villages, which shows that villages experience different rates of extortion and competition violence depending both on if, and when, oil palm production commenced.
    Keywords: Oil palm, mafia, natural resources, political economy, violence, organized crime
    JEL: D74 L73 O13 Q33 Q34
    Date: 2020–11
  7. By: Orsola Torrisi (The London School of Economics (LSE))
    Abstract: Does exposure to armed conflict influence female teen marriage? Despite increasing attention to early marriage, its drivers and consequences, quantitative research on whether teen unions are affected by situations of armed violence is minimal. This paper addresses this gap by examining the relationship between exposure to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh over 1992- 1996 and teen marriage outcomes in Azerbaijan. Using data from the 2006 Demographic and Health Survey and from the Uppsala Conflict Data Program, I compare cohorts at risk of teen union before and during the conflict climax years with a modelling strategy that exploits information on forced displacement and spatial variation in conflict exposure. Results show that exposure to war violence in adolescent ages, its intensity and frequency, are associated with a lower risk of teen marriage. The largest reductions are observed in the cohorts who spent most of their adolescent ages under conflict and who were displaced as a result. For never-migrant conflict-affected girls, declines extend to the youngest cohorts. The combination of age at conflict exposure, its duration and the experience of disruptive events like forced migration matters for teen marriage outcomes.
    Date: 2021–11
  8. By: Ahmed, Musa Hasen; Tesfaye, Wondimagegn Mesfin; Gassmann, Franziska
    Abstract: We investigate if and how farmers adjust their land allocation decisions in response to within-growing season weather variability using novel crop-specific data collected over seven consecutive years. By focusing on maize-producing smallholder farmers in Ethiopia, we show that farmers respond quickly to growing season weather variability by adjusting their land allocation decisions. In addition to quantifying a substantial adaptation margin that has not been documented before, our findings also reveal the presence of a weather variability-induced expansion of maize production into areas that are less suitable for maize cultivation.
    Keywords: Crop Production/Industries, Production Economics
    Date: 2022–04
  9. By: Ashenafi Belayneh Ayenew
    Abstract: This paper examines the welfare impact of hosting refugees in Ethiopia, one of the largest refugee-hosting countries worldwide. The findings reveal different implications depending on the type of household welfare metric. While reducing consumption expenditure per capita and increasing the probability of falling into consumption poverty, it has no effect on wealth and the status of wealth poverty. Decomposing consumption expenditure per capita into food, education, and other non-food components, the results further reveal that it alters the composition of consumption, as it solely affects food consumption expenditure. The consumption effects prevail in rural areas with no effects in urban centers while no heterogeneity is found concerning wealth and wealth poverty results. Key mechanisms explaining the adverse consumption effects include displacement of hosts from salaried employment and a spike in prices of agricultural inputs but not changes in the extent of societal cooperation.
    Keywords: Refugees, Consumption, Wealth, Poverty, Employment, Price, Cooperation
    JEL: O12 O15 E24 Z13
    Date: 2020–11
  10. By: Aimable Nsabimana
    Abstract: There has been much discussion on climate change and its adverse effects on agriculture, including excessive loss of food production. In regions such as sub-Saharan Africa, where agriculture is the major source of household livelihoods, shocks in weather patterns affect farmers' expectations of farm yield and hence the decision to adopt farm inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides and the extent of their utilization, particularly given the relatively high cost of these inputs.
    Keywords: Farm inputs, Agriculture, Climate change, Sub-Saharan Africa, Weather shock
    Date: 2022
  11. By: Giulia Malevolti
    Abstract: As extreme weather events are becoming more frequent, the chronic poor, being overly exposed to these shocks, risk suffering the highest price. The 2012 flood in Nigeria was the worst in 40 years and hit more than 3 million people. Using nationally representative panel data from LSMS project, I study households’ asset dynamics over about a decade. I find that households hit by the flood converge to multiple equilibria consistent with the poverty trap narrative. In particular, households whose assets fell below the threshold converge to a low-level equilibrium point, whereas better endowed households converge to a high steady state. This is consistent across several empirical methods, ranging from parametric to non-parametric methods, as well as panel threshold estimation. Robustness checks further examine the validity of the finding, testing different asset indexes and flood definitions, as well as controlling for conflict-related events. Identifying a poverty trap is crucially helpful for designing poverty alleviation policies and fostering a country’s development.
    Keywords: poverty traps; flood; climate shocks; asset poverty; Nigeria; poverty
    JEL: D31 I32 O12 Q54
    Date: 2022
  12. By: Raitzer, David (Asian Development Bank); Batmunkh, Odbayar (University of San Francisco)
    Abstract: Matching grant programs administered to agricultural groups and cooperatives have emerged as a means of helping smallholder farmers to commercialize in Nepal. These programs help farmers to access information on new technologies, overcome barriers to productive investment, and connect with output markets, although the combinations of support received by individual households vary. This study disentangles the causal effects of different elements of support through an inverse probability weighted two-way fixed effects analysis of data from a panel of 2,268 households, of which 47% belong to 246 farmer groups in three provinces. It finds that group membership without receiving support has important effects on commercialization and income, as does receiving any support. The forms of support with largest effects on production, income, and/or human capital include production training, marketing support, and a combination including both training and assets. In contrast, only modest or even negative effects are detected from provision of either inputs or credit in isolation.
    Keywords: matching grants; microcredit; extension; asset transfer; agriculture
    JEL: Q12 Q13 Q14 Q16
    Date: 2022–06–03
  13. By: Possner, Annkathrin; Rosero, Gabriel; Musshoff, Oliver
    Abstract: The poor and rural population in Sub Saharan Africa suffers from low financial inclusion. Yet, excluding population parts from accessing formal financial services means lost opportunity for household level, as well as for the whole economy. Evidence suggests that formal saving helps to accumulate larger amounts: Recent studies show how saving contributes to smoothing consumption and increasing resilience. A powerful tool for enhancing marginalized groups’ financial inclusion are mobile financial services. In Ghana’s rapidly developing banking and savings sector open questions remain. We investigate factors affecting Ghanaian cocoa farmers decision to save, as well as their savings amount. Among other factors, we focus on different savings instruments such as mobile saving on the phone, bank accounts or the traditional group saving method Susu. We employ data from a structured telephone survey conducted in 2021 among 405 randomly sampled cocoa farmers. The results of a two-step Heckman approach show that, while Susu or a bank account enhance savings, saving on the phone is associated with lower amounts. However, female farmers seem to benefit from this technology. In the light of recent policies issued by the Ghanaian government, directed at fortifying the digital finance sector, our results provide valuable information for public policy makers as well as the private sector.
    Keywords: Agricultural Finance, Consumer/Household Economics
    Date: 2022–04
  14. By: Lin, Jessie; Gupta, Anubhab
    Abstract: We investigate how the distribution of domestic staple crop production by smallholders and commercial farms influence staple prices, and the implications it has on food security and dietary diversity in rural and urban areas. Using three waves of the World Bank’s Living Standards Measurement Survey (LSMS) data as well as data from other national sources in Ethiopia, we find that proportional shift towards commercial and large-scale farms of staple crops significantly decreases their prices in both rural and urban areas, which then increases dietary diversity. Previous literature has focused on commercialization and its implications for food security in rural areas. This paper contributes to the literature by including food security and dietary diversity in urban areas. Our findings provide governments and international organizations insights on how to consider contextual specificities when implementing programs and policies aimed at either sustaining smallholder farming or incentivizing commercialized farms, keeping in mind their implications for consumer welfare, food security, and diet.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Demand and Price Analysis, Farm Management, Food Security and Poverty
    Date: 2022–04
  15. By: Bertelli, Olivia; Fall, Fatou
    Abstract: Finding the most effective ways for motivating agents to volunteer for the benefit of the community is a main concern for resource-constrained organizations. This paper tests the effects of three non-monetary mechanisms in the context of a large-scale volunteer Farmer Trainer program in rural Uganda. Farmers identified by local communities were randomly selected to become Farmer Trainers in dairy farming. To encourage their volunteer activity of trainer, three non-monetary mechanisms were randomly assigned to a subset of Farmer Trainers: (i) vouchers for accessing professional Extension Agents, (ii) sign-post advertising their trainer’s activity, (iii) extra training to learn to customize training sessions based on the farmers’ needs. Results show that connecting Farmer Trainers to professional extension agents is the most effective way to increase their training efforts and to diffuse information to a large number of farmers even outside of their social network. This evidence speaks in favor of providing cost-effective non-monetary incentives to Farmer Trainers for the diffusion of information.
    Keywords: Farm Management, Institutional and Behavioral Economics
    Date: 2022–04

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