nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2022‒08‒08
sixteen papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. A Shot at Economic Prosperity: Long-term Effects of India’s Childhood Immunization Program on Earnings and Consumption Expenditure By Amit Summan; Arindam Nandi; David E. Bloom
  2. Victims of electoral violence and their children experience irreversible stunting: The long-term welfare effects of electoral violence By Roxana Gutiérrez-Romero
  3. Terrorism and Child Mortality: Evidence from Africa By Daniel Meierrieks; Max Schaub
  4. Ideology and Rifles: the Agrarian Origins of Civil Conflict in Colombia By María del Pilar López-Uribe; Fabio Sanchez Torres
  5. Trust, Violence, and Coca By Melissa Rubio-Ramos
  6. Out of communal land: Clientelism through delegation of agricultural tenancy contracts By Takashi Kurosaki; Saumik Paul; Firman Witoelar
  7. Medication Against Conflict By Andrea Berlanda; Matteo Cervellati; Elena Esposito; Dominic Rohner; Uwe Sunde
  8. Irrigation inequality, rice farming productivity and food insecurity in rural Cambodia By Budy P. Resosudarmo; Kimlong Chheng
  9. Pathways from irrigation to prosperity, nutrition and resilience: The case of smallholder irrigation in Mali By Nkonya, Ephraim M.; Magalhaes, Marilia; Kato, Edward; Diaby, Mahamadou; Kalifa, Traore
  10. Intergenerational mobility in education in Latin America By Neidhöfer, Guido; Ciaschi, Matías; Gasparini, Leonardo
  11. Traditional Norms, Access to Divorce and Women's Empowerment By Bargain, Olivier; Loper, Jordan; Ziparo, Roberta
  12. Financial access of midstream agricultural firms in Africa: Evidence from the LSMS-ISA and World Bank enterprise surveys By Ambler, Kate; de Brauw, Alan; Herskowitz, Sylvan; Pulido, Cristhian
  13. Post-Harvest Losses and Climate Conditions in Sub-Saharan Africa By Curzi, Daniele; Nota, Paolo; Di Falco, Salvatore
  14. New Perspectives on Inequality in Latin America By Manuel Fernández; Gabriela Serrano
  15. Informal versus Formal: Microfirms' Productivity Gaps By Gutiérrez, L. H.; Rodríguez- Lesmes, P.
  16. Farm Size and Productivity -The Role of Family Labor By Muhammad Ayaz; Mazhar Mughal

  1. By: Amit Summan; Arindam Nandi; David E. Bloom
    Abstract: Routine childhood vaccinations are among the most cost-effective interventions. In recent years, the broader benefits of vaccines, which include improved cognitive and schooling outcomes, have also been established. This paper evaluates the long-term economic benefits of India’s national program of childhood vaccinations, known as the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP). We combine individual-level data from the 68th round of the National Sample Survey of India (2011–2012) with district-wise data on the rollout of UIP in 1985–1990. We employ age-district fixed effects regression models to compare the earnings and per capita household consumer spending of 21- to 26-year-old adults who were born in UIP-covered districts vis-à-vis non-UIP districts in 1985–1990. We find that exposure to UIP in infancy increases weekly wages by 13.8% (95% CI: 7.6% to 20.3%, p
    JEL: I15 I18 J31 J38
    Date: 2022–06
  2. By: Roxana Gutiérrez-Romero (Queen Mary University of London, School of Business and Management,)
    Abstract: Despite the extensive literature on civil conflict, little is known about the medium- and long-term effects of electoral violence on young children and adolescents. This paper shows that electoral violence of low scale yet recursive nature has a detrimental effect on the height of children and adolescents of affected households. Our identification strategy uses the variation of electoral violence across time and space in Kenya during 1992−2013. We find that infants and adolescents exposed to electoral violence are shorter as adults if compared to similar people not exposed to violence during their growing age. We also find inter-generation effects as the children of the victims of electoral violence, particularly boys, also have reduced height-for-age. Higher food prices and changes in diet experienced during outbreaks of violence are important mechanisms. No impact is found on the educational attainment of school-aged pupils as electoral violence has been concentrated during the school holidays.
    Keywords: electoral violence, household victimization, height-for-age, education, Kenya, Africa
    JEL: D74 I1 J24 O55
    Date: 2021–12
  3. By: Daniel Meierrieks (WZB Berlin Social Science Center); Max Schaub (University of Hamburg)
    Abstract: How does terrorism affect child mortality? We use geo-coded data on terrorism and highly spatially disaggregated data on child mortality to study the relationship between both variables for 52 African countries between 2000 and 2017 at the 0.5×0.5 degree grid-cell level. A two-way fixed-effects approach indicates that higher levels of terrorist activity correlate with higher levels of child mortality risk. Our estimates suggest that moderate increases in the terrorism index are linked to several thousand additional deaths of children under the age of five per year. Employing instrumental-variable and panel event-study approaches, we also provide causal evidence that terrorism increases the risk of death for children under the age of five. Effect sizes associated with these causal estimates are several times larger than those from the more conservative two-way fixed-effects approach. Finally, interrogating our data, we show that the direct effects of terrorism (e.g., in terms of its lethality and destruction of public health infrastructure) tend to be very small. This, in turn, suggests that increases in child mortality primarily emerge through the behavioral response of economic agents (e.g., parents, doctors, medical staff, aid workers and policymakers) to terrorism. Indeed, we provide evidence that higher levels of terrorist activity unfavorably correlate with several proximate causes of child mortality.
    Keywords: Africa, child mortality, instrumental-variable approach, panel event-study, Terrorism
    JEL: D74 I10 I12
    Date: 2022–05
  4. By: María del Pilar López-Uribe; Fabio Sanchez Torres
    Abstract: We investigate the relationship between land dispossessions of peasants and the origin of the civil conflict in Colombia. Using a matching-pair instrumental variable approach, we show that the historical dispossession of peasants' lands by landlords that led to the rise of peasant grievances is associated with the activity of the rural guerrilla movement -Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC) - during the first stage of the Colombian civil conflict ( 1964-1985). We exploit the random variation in floods to identify the effect of peasants' land dispossessions during 1914-1946 on the rise of rural guerrilla movements. Using a novel municipal-level data set, the study documents that municipalities experiencing floods b etween 1914 and 1946 were substantially more likely to experience land dispossession than municipalities that did not. Floods temporarily worsened the conditions of the land and its value, facilitating the dispossession of peasant land by large landowners. We propose two mechanisms through which previous land dispossession resulted in the emergence of rebel-armed groups. On the one hand, the ideological cohesion stemming from radical liberals and communists exacerbated the grievances and helped to shape the political objectives of the rebel armed groups. On the other hand, exposure to prior violent events gave military training, access to weapons, and military experience to the rural population, that likely emboldened the formation of rebel groups.
    Keywords: Land reform, Land Conflict, Property Rights, Weather shocks, Civil Conflict.
    JEL: N46 N56 D74
    Date: 2022–06–28
  5. By: Melissa Rubio-Ramos (University of Cologne)
    Abstract: "How does violence affect social capital? I argue that its impact depends on two factors: i) the ability to identify the perpetrating group, and ii) the intensity of the violence. These factors help to reconcile the seemingly contradictory effects of violence on social capital presented in the literature. I study this question in the context of Colombia by exploiting changes in violence attributed to cross-border shocks on coca markets in neighboring countries interacted with a novel index of suitability for coca cultivation. This index uses satellite data from ecological conditions for growing coca. I document that violence has a negative effect on social capital measures such as trust, participation in community organizations, and cooperation. Notably, this effect is stronger when it is not possible to identify the enemy. The results are robust to a large number of controls that account for potential confounders. In particular, I show evidence that this effect is not related to the presence of drug cartels in Colombia during the Escobar and Cali era."
    Keywords: Causal effects of violence, social capital, coca production, instrumental variables, Colombia
    JEL: C36 D74 N46 O54 Z10
    Date: 2022–07
  6. By: Takashi Kurosaki; Saumik Paul; Firman Witoelar
    Abstract: Do local institutions influence the nature of political clientelistic exchange? We find a positive answer in the context of a village institution prevalent in Java since the Dutch colonial rule, where democratically elected village heads receive usufruct rights over a piece of communal village land (bengkok land) as a compensation for their service in lieu of salary. To formulate how limited-term private ownership of bengkok land promotes clientelism, we model a timely delegation of agricultural tenancy contracts to villagers-cum-voters as an incumbent re-election strategy. Based on a household survey fielded in 2018 across 130 villages in Java, Indonesia, we find that the chances of a bengkok plot being rented out increase by 6 percentage points as the time of the next election becomes closer by one year, and sharecropping is preferred to a fixed-rental contract as the election approaches. The empirical results are statistically significant and remain largely unchanged against a series of robustness checks. We also find suggestive evidence of short-term efficiency loss from clientelistic politics over bengkok land.
    Keywords: tanah bengkok, political budget cycle, clientelism, agricultural tenancy, electoral competition, Indonesia.
    JEL: D72 H77 H83 O17 O18
    Date: 2021
  7. By: Andrea Berlanda (University of Lausanne); Matteo Cervellati (University of Bologna and CEPR); Elena Esposito (University of Lausanne); Dominic Rohner (University of Lausanne, E4S and CEPR); Uwe Sunde (University Munich and CEPR)
    Abstract: The consequences of successful public health interventions for social violence and conflict are largely unknown. This paper closes this gap by evaluating the effect of a major health intervention – the successful expansion of anti-retroviral therapy (ART) to combat the HIV/AIDS pandemic – in Africa. To identify the effect, we combine exogenous variation in the scope for treatment and global variation in drug prices. We find that the ART expansion significantly reduced the number of violent events in African countries and sub-national regions. The effect pertains to social violence and unrest, not civil war. The evidence also shows that the effect is not explained by general improvements in economic prosperity, but related to health improvements, greater approval of government policy, and increased trust in political institutions. Results of a counterfactual simulation reveal the largest potential gains in countries with intermediate HIV prevalence where disease control has been given relatively low priority.
    Keywords: HIV, conflict, social violence, ART expansion, trust, Africa, health intervention, domestic violence
    JEL: C36 D47 I15 O10
    Date: 2022–04
  8. By: Budy P. Resosudarmo; Kimlong Chheng
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impacts of inequality access to irrigation on rice farming productivity as measured by rice yield and revenue per hectare and on food insecurity among rice farmers in rural Cambodia. Using our own household survey administered in 2014 to 251 rice farming households in 32 rural villages in four provinces, we show that better irrigation access, particularly reservoir, dike, or canal irrigation, provide households with significantly higher rice production and revenue. We also show that productivity of rice farming is significantly and negatively associated with household food insecurity. Hence, developing irrigation networks such as reservoirs, dikes, or canals to reduce irrigation inequality is a key policy option to tackle food insecurity in Cambodia.
    Keywords: irrigation, inequality, rice farming productivity, food insecurity.
    JEL: D33 I31 O12 Q15 Q18
    Date: 2021
  9. By: Nkonya, Ephraim M.; Magalhaes, Marilia; Kato, Edward; Diaby, Mahamadou; Kalifa, Traore
    Abstract: Irrigation is increasingly promoted in Africa south of the Sahara, but the benefit streams of small-scale irrigation in Mali remain largely unknown. This study collected detailed quantitative data of irrigators and non-irrigators in two regions of Mali: Mopti, which is in the Sahelian zone, and Sikasso, the southernmost region of the country, which receives more rainfall. Econometric results show that the irrigation suitability, female household headship, proximity to markets and market participation increase the propensity to irrigate. The results suggest that small-scale irrigation investments have the potential to benefit women farmers directly. We used Two-Stage Weighted treatment effects multivariate regression to identify the impact of irrigation on selected outcomes. The impact assessment results show that crop income and diversification, market participation, employment, and dietary quality were substantially higher in irrigated farms compared to non-irrigated farms. Likewise, irrigating households had higher food security and higher dietary diversity. The results show that irrigation is a key entry point for combatting climate variability and change. However, the low adoption levels of improved water-lifting technologies are a major challenge. Limited promotion of solar and motorized pumps has contributed to the low adoption of these improved water-lifting technologies. A less profitable option, lifting water with a rope-and-bucket system, remains the most common water-lifting technology in the study areas. We find that investing in effective advisory services that target agricultural water management could increase uptake of more profitable irrigation technologies.
    Keywords: MALI; WEST AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA; irrigation; nutrition; resilience; living standards; smallholders; households; extension
    Date: 2022
  10. By: Neidhöfer, Guido; Ciaschi, Matías; Gasparini, Leonardo
    Abstract: This document provides a comprehensive analysis of intergenerational mobility in Latin America, focusing on the association between parental education and the education of their children. It updates the estimates provided by Neidhöfer et al. (2018), and shows additional heterogeneities by country, cohort, gender, and city size. A positive trend in intergenerational mobility is found in most countries in the region. In particular, it is observed that the upward mobility of children from the bottom of the distribution has been increasing for decades. This encouraging picture is seriously challenged by the educational disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Keywords: Desarrollo, Educación, Familia, Género, Investigación socioeconómica, Niñez, Políticas públicas,
    Date: 2021
  11. By: Bargain, Olivier (Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV); Loper, Jordan (GATE, University of Lyon); Ziparo, Roberta (Aix-Marseille University)
    Abstract: Social norms can mitigate the effectiveness of formal institutions, in particular the way legal reforms may affect women's autonomy. We examine this question in the context of ethnic variation in traditional post-marital cohabitation, i.e. matrilocality versus patrilocality. We use within-country variation in ethnic kinship practices in Indonesia, exploiting a major legal reform that exogenously fostered women's access to justice and their ability to divorce. We theoretically establish that compared to women of patrilocal tradition, matrilocal women should divorce relatively more after the reform and, for those in stable marriages, experience a relative increase in empowerment. We test these predictions using double-difference estimations with fixed effects. We confirm the relative increase in divorce among matrilocal women and, for those who stay married, a relative improvement in a wide range of outcomes for them and their children. We also predict higher benefits for matrilocal women experiencing a larger drop in divorce costs, which we test with triple-difference estimations exploiting the distance to courthouses. Our results encourage tailored policies that may transcend cultural contexts and overcome the adherence to informal laws.
    Keywords: legal reforms, divorce, ethnic norms, intra-household decision-making
    JEL: D13 I15 I38 J16 K36 Z13
    Date: 2022–06
  12. By: Ambler, Kate; de Brauw, Alan; Herskowitz, Sylvan; Pulido, Cristhian
    Abstract: The midstream of agricultural value chains are rapidly changing in response to shifting domestic and international demand. While the performance of this segment may have important implications for the entire sector, evidence on midstream actors and their financial needs remain thin. We use data from both the Living Standards Measurement Study – Integrated Surveys on Agriculture and the World Bank Enterprise Survey from seven African countries to identify these agricultural midstream firms and assess their access to formal credit, comparing them to other, non-agricultural midstream firms. We find that the identified agricultural midstream firms are larger and more productive than their non-agricultural midstream counterparts and are less likely to report barriers to accessing credit, though overall access levels remain low. Among agricultural midstream firms, those owned or managed by women are more likely to report barriers to accessing credit. Taken together, these findings help build our understanding about the financial needs of micro-, small-, and medium-size enterprises in the agricultural midstream.
    Keywords: AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; CENTRAL AFRICA; EAST AFRICA; NORTH AFRICA; SOUTHERN AFRICA; WEST AFRICA; financial institutions; agro-industry; World Bank; surveys; value chains; demand; credit; enterprises; small and medium enterprises; finance
    Date: 2022
  13. By: Curzi, Daniele; Nota, Paolo; Di Falco, Salvatore
    Abstract: Post–harvest losses (PHL) are particularly critical for developing countries. This is especially evident in Sub-Saharan (SSA) countries, where PHL are estimated to be about 37% of the total food production. Climate is a core determinant of cereal losses, as biodeterioration factors are sensitive to the temperature and humidity. In this paper we analyse to what extent climatic conditions affect PHL. The analysis considers Sub-Saharan countries and focuses on maize production over the period 2000-2020 period. Data on PHL are taken from APHLIS (African Postharvest Losses Information System), which represents a network of cereals and grain experts in SSA countries. Data collected by APHLIS are aimed at improving existing aggregated data on PHL (e.g. FAO data). PHL data quantify the percentage loss for each phase of the post-harvest chain. APHLIS has some unique characteristics, as it provides PHL at the province (Administrative 1 - ADM1) level over time. The main results of our analysis suggest that humidity is the most relevant determinant of PHL in this region. Our results are relevant, especially if we consider the future instability of the climate in this area.
    Keywords: Productivity Analysis, Environmental Economics and Policy, Crop Production/Industries
    Date: 2022–04
  14. By: Manuel Fernández; Gabriela Serrano
    Abstract: Latin American countries have some of the highest levels of income inequality in the world. However, earnings inequality significantly changed over the last three decades, increasing during the 1980s and 1990s, declining sharply in the 2000s, and stagnating or even increasing in some countries during the last decade. Macroeconomic instability in the region in the 1980s and early 1990s, and the introduction of structural reforms like trade, capital, and financial liberalization, affected the patterns of relative demand and relative earnings across skill-demographic groups in the 1990s, increasing inequality. Significant gains in educational attainment, the demographic transition, and rising female labor force participation changed the skill-demographic composition of labor supply, pushing education and experience premium downward, but this was not enough to counteract demand-side trends. At the turn of the century, improved external conditions, driven by China's massive increase in demand for commodities boosted economies across Latin America, which began to grow rapidly. Growth was accompanied by a positive shift in the relative demand for less-educated workers, stronger labor institutions, rising minimum wages, and declining labor informality, a confluence of factors that reduced earnings inequality. In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, particularly after the end of the commodities price boom in 2014, economic growth decelerated, and the pace of inequality decline stagnated. There is extensive literature trying to explain the causes of earnings inequality dynamics during the last three decades in Latin America. We discuss this literature regarding themes, methodological approaches, and key findings, emphasizing the latest perspectives. The focus is on earnings inequality and how developments in labor markets have shaped it.
    Keywords: inequality, Latin America, education premium, experience premium, trade reforms, minimum wage, informality
    JEL: D31 D33 F16 J21 J23 J31 O54
    Date: 2022–07–14
  15. By: Gutiérrez, L. H.; Rodríguez- Lesmes, P.
    Abstract: Although evidence of a productivity gap between formal and informal firms is observed, this 'formality premium' is less explored for microfirms. The informality of microfirms is a central concern in low- and middle-income countries, and a crucial demand is noted for designing policies addressing this issue because they are the bulk of the economic tissue. We fill this void by estimating a productivity premium for the case of Colombia, considering two margins of informality: extensive, referring to business registration, and the intensive, which includes as well labor regulations. We use a unique longitudinal dataset from the Microenterprise Survey by the Colombian Statistics Department, which follows approximately 39,000 micro-establishments with up to 9 employees during 2012–2016. We utilize the transition into and out of formality to estimate the productivity premium (yearly sales per worker) between informal and formal firms, thereby exploring differences concerning initial productivity. We use a fixed-effects quantile regression to explore differential effects along the productivity distribution. We find evidence of a premium for both the extensive (20%) and intensive margins (6%), a gap that is decreasing along with the firm's productivity. The evidence of these premiums is related to two growth strategies of firms: an increase in capital investments for the extensive margin and an increase in human capital quality for the intensive margin. Further, we find the premium is notoriously wider for young firms (less than three years in the business) with a steeper gradient. We do not find systematic differences across sectors, gender of the owners, and motivation. These results are new evidence that supports the existence of a premium and the transition into and out of formality of microfirms in middleincome countries. Moreover, they suggest that microfirms' formalization and growth policies should be oriented toward promoting and enhancing formality's benefits.
    Keywords: Microfirms, firm informality, productivity premium, Colombia
    Date: 2022–07–05
  16. By: Muhammad Ayaz (TREE - Transitions Energétiques et Environnementales - UPPA - Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Mazhar Mughal (ESC PAU - Ecole Supérieure de Commerce, Pau Business School, TREE - Transitions Energétiques et Environnementales - UPPA - Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: In this study, we draw a theoretical model to demonstrate that small farms achieve lower total factor productivity (TFP) compared to large farms, even though their yield may be higher. We argue that taking into account family labor modifies the farm size-productivity relationship. We test our hypotheses on geocoded data from 5,645 agriculture farms in Pakistan using Pakistan household integrated economic survey 2018-19 and labor force survey 2018 combined with remote sensing data to account for farm-specific topographic features. We base our analysis on OLS and stochastic frontier analysis. We find that family labor is the key to understanding the nature and strength of the farm size-productivity relationship. Farm size's association, both with yield and TFP, turns positive when we measure family labor in terms of market wage rate rather than marginal product. Farm yield decreases by-0.07% with a one percent increase in farm size but gets insignificant or increases by 0.034% when family labor cost is measured at market wages rather than the marginal product. We find that higher family labor intensity, labor market distortion due to the notion of family dishonor, and suboptimal crop selection by small farms play a crucial role in this context.
    Keywords: technical efficiency,family dishonor,TFP,family labor,productivity,Farm size,Pakistan.
    Date: 2022–05–16

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