nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2022‒10‒17
twelve papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Immigration, Labor Markets and Discrimination: Evidence from the Venezuelan Exodus in Perú By Andre Groeger; Gianmarco León-Ciliotta; Steven Stillman
  2. Public Attention and Environmental Action: Evidence from Fires in the Amazon By Rafael Araujo; Francisco Costa; Teevrat Garg
  3. Does Hotter Temperature Increase Poverty? Global Evidence from Subnational Data Analysis By Hai-Anh H. Dang; Minh Cong Nguyen; Trong-Anh Trinh
  4. Intergenerational Mobility in the Land of Inequality By Paolo Pinotti; Diogo G. C. Britto; Alexandre Fonseca; Breno Sampaio; Lucas Warwar
  5. Agricultural Modernization and Land Conflict By Stefano Falcone; Michele Rosenberg
  6. Skills and Liquidity Barriers to Youth Employment: Medium-term Evidence from a Cash Benchmarking Experiment in Rwanda By Craig McIntosh; Andrew Zeitlin
  7. War and Intimate Partner Violence in Africa By Le, Kien; Nguyen, My
  8. The slow demographic transition in regions vulnerable to climate change By Thang Dao; Matthias Kalkuhl; Chrysovalantis Vasilakis
  9. Digital 'nudges' to increase childhood vaccination compliance: Evidence from Pakistan By Shehryar Munir; Farah Said; Umar Taj; Maida Zafar
  10. Effect of the Duration of Membership in the GATT/WTO on Human Development in Developed and Developing Countries By Gnangnon, Sèna Kimm
  11. Malaria and Chinese Economic Activities in Africa By Cervellati, Matteo; Esposito, Elena; Sunde, Uwe; Yuan, Song
  12. Noisy Night Lights Data: Effects on Research Findings for Developing Countries By Omoniyi Alimi; Geua Boe-Gibson; John Gibson

  1. By: Andre Groeger; Gianmarco León-Ciliotta; Steven Stillman
    Abstract: Venezuela is currently experiencing the biggest crisis in its recent history. This has led more than 5.6 million Venezuelans to emigrate, one million of those to Peru, which amounted to an increase of over 2 percent in the Peruvian population. Venezuelan immigrants in Peru are relatively similar in cultural terms, but, on average, more skilled than Peruvians. In this paper, we first examine Venezuelans’ perceptions about being discriminated against in Peru. Using an instrumental variable strategy, we document a causal relationship between the level of employment in the informal sector – where most immigrants are employed – and reports of discrimination. We then study the impact of Venezuelan migration on local’s labor market outcomes, reported crime rates and attitudes using a variety of data sources. We find that inflows of Venezuelans to particular locations led to increased employment and income among locals, decreased reported crime, and improved reported community quality. We conduct a heterogeneity analysis to identify the mechanisms behind these labor market effects and discuss the implications for Peruvian immigration policy.
    Keywords: immigration, forced migration, discrimination, labor markets, Peru, Venezuela
    JEL: F22 J15 O15 R23
    Date: 2022–05
  2. By: Rafael Araujo; Francisco Costa; Teevrat Garg
    Abstract: International agreements to reduce anthropogenic environmental disasters rely on public pressure driving local action. We study whether focused media and increased public outcry can drive local environmental action, reducing environmental damage. Although an annual affair, forest fires in the Brazilian Amazon received unprecedented public scrutiny in August 2019. Comparing active fires in Brazil versus those in Peru and Bolivia in a difference-in-differences design, we find that increased public attention reduced fires by 22% avoiding 24.8 million MtCO2 in emissions. Our results highlight the power of public attention to compel local action on pressing environmental issues.
    Keywords: forest fires, media attention, carbon emission, Amazon, climate change
    JEL: Q51 Q54 L82 F55
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Hai-Anh H. Dang (World Bank); Minh Cong Nguyen (World Bank); Trong-Anh Trinh (Monash University)
    Abstract: Despite a vast literature documenting climate change negative effects on various socio-economic outcomes, surprisingly hardly any evidence exists on the global impacts of hotter temperature on poverty. Analyzing a new global panel dataset of subnational poverty in 139 countries, we find higher temperature to increase poverty. Our panel fixed effects model shows that a 1°C increase leads to a 9.1 percent increase in poverty, using the US$ 1.90 daily poverty threshold. The estimated poverty increase is lower at 5.2 percent for the long-differences model, which suggests potential long-run adaptation. Regional heterogeneity exists, with Sub-Saharan African and South Asian countries being most vulnerable to higher temperature. We find suggestive evidence that reductions in crop yields could be a key channel that explains the effects of rising temperature. Further simulation indicates that global warming effects could be more pronounced in poorer regions and under scenarios of higher greenhouse gas emissions without mitigation policies.
    Keywords: Climate change, global warming, poverty, agriculture, subnational data
    JEL: Q54 I32 O1
    Date: 2022–09
  4. By: Paolo Pinotti (Bocconi University); Diogo G. C. Britto (Bocconi University); Alexandre Fonseca (Federal Revenue of Brazil); Breno Sampaio (Universidade Federal de Pernambuco); Lucas Warwar (Universidade Federal de Pernambuco)
    Abstract: We provide the first estimates of intergenerational income mobility for a developing country, namely Brazil. We measure formal income from tax and employment registries, and we train machine learning models on census and survey data to predict informal income. The data reveal a much higher degree of persistence than previous estimates available for developed economies: a 10 percentile increase in parental income rank is associated with a 5.5 percentile increase in child income rank, and persistence is even higher in the top 5%. Children born to parents in the first income quintile face a 46% chance of remaining at the bottom when adults. We validate these estimates using two novel mobility measures that rank children and parents without the need to impute informal income. We document substantial heterogeneity in mobility across individual characteristics - notably gender and race - and across Brazilian regions. Leveraging children who migrate at different ages, we estimate that causal place effects explain 57% of the large spatial variation in mobility. Finally, assortative mating plays a strong role in household income persistence, and parental income is also strongly associated with several key long-term outcomes such as education, teenage pregnancy, occupation, mortality, and victimization.
    Keywords: Intergenerational Mobility, Inequality, Brazil, Migration, Place Effects
    JEL: J62 D31 I31 R23
    Date: 2022–10
  5. By: Stefano Falcone; Michele Rosenberg
    Abstract: Modernization of production in the agricultural sector is a critical driver of economic development. However, it can generate conflictual claims on previously uncontested land. This paper shows that the expansion of commercial farming induced by a market-oriented reform and technological innovation increased land conflict since the mid-1990s in Brazil. We find mechanisms involving the decline of economic opportunities for the rural poor: the reduction of informally accessible land for traditional farmers, the loss of employment for rural workers and the rise in land inequality. Moreover, suggestive evidence indicates that agricultural modernization strengthened the landless movement's political incentive to engage in land disputes.
    Keywords: land conflict, agricultural investments, tenure rights
    JEL: D74 J43 O13 P14 P16 Q15
    Date: 2022–02
  6. By: Craig McIntosh; Andrew Zeitlin
    Abstract: We present results of an experiment benchmarking a workforce training program against cash transfers for underemployed young adults in Rwanda. 3.5 years after treatment, the training program enhances productive time use and asset investment, while the cash transfers drive productive assets, livestock values, savings, and subjective well-being. Both interventions have powerful effects on entrepreneurship. But while labor, sales, and profits all go up, the implied wage rate in these businesses is low. Our results suggest that credit is a major barrier to self-employment, but deeper reforms may be required to enable entrepreneurship to provide a transformative pathway out of poverty.
    Date: 2022–09
  7. By: Le, Kien; Nguyen, My
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the impacts of armed conflict on intimate partner violence against women in Africa. Exploiting both spatial and temporal variations in the number of battles proxying for armed conflict intensity, we find that women residing in conflict-affected areas are prone to suffering intimate partner violence. In particular, a one standard deviation increase in the number of battles (equivalent to the increase by 4.8 battles) raises the composite indices of less severe violence, more severe violence, emotional abuse, and sexual abuse against women by 8.74, 10.34, 10.64, and 7.14% relative to the sample averages, respectively. Given the long-term consequences of intimate partner violence, our findings call for expanding efforts in the prevention and mitigation of armed conflict.
    Keywords: Armed Conflicts; Intimate Partner Violence; Africa
    JEL: D0 I3
    Date: 2022
  8. By: Thang Dao; Matthias Kalkuhl; Chrysovalantis Vasilakis
    Abstract: This paper considers the persistent effects of climate change on the speed of demographic transition, and hence on the size of the population in regions that are the least developed and the most vulnerable to climate change, such as Sub-Saharan Africa. These effects are transmitted through interactions between the education gender gap within families, fertility, and the local environment, through which the demographic transition is delayed. Environmental conditions affect intra-household labor allocation because of the impacts on local resources under the poor infrastructural system. Examples include the collection of essential resources, e.g. clean water and firewood, by women for their families’daily lives. Climate change causes damage to local resources, offsetting (partially) the role of technological progress and infrastructure investment in saving time that women spend on their housework duties. Hence, the gender inequality in education/income is upheld, delaying declines in fertility and creating population momentum. The bigger population, in turn, degrades local resources and the environment through expanded production. The interplay between local resources, gender inequality, and population, under the persistent effect of climate change, may thus generate a slow demographic transition and stagnation of the least developed regions. We provide empirical confirmation for our theoretical predictions using data from 44 African countries in the period from 1960 to 2017.
    Date: 2022–09
  9. By: Shehryar Munir; Farah Said; Umar Taj; Maida Zafar
    Abstract: Pakistan has one of the lowest rates of routine childhood immunization worldwide, with only two-thirds of infants 2 years or younger being fully immunized (Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey 2019). Government-led, routine information campaigns have been disrupted over the last few years due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. We use data from a mobile-based campaign that involved sending out short audio dramas emphasizing the importance of vaccines and parental responsibilities in Quetta, Pakistan. Five out of eleven areas designated by the provincial government were randomly selected to receive the audio calls with a lag of 3 months and form the comparison group in our analysis. We conduct a difference-in-difference analysis on data collected by the provincial Department of Health in the 3-month study and find a significant 30% increase over the comparison mean in the number of fully vaccinated children in campaign areas on average. We find evidence that suggests vaccination increased in UCs where vaccination centers were within a short 30-minute travel distance, and that the campaign was successful in changing perceptions about vaccination and reliable sources of advice. Results highlight the need for careful design and targeting of similar soft behavioral change campaigns, catering to the constraints and abilities of the context.
    Date: 2022–09
  10. By: Gnangnon, Sèna Kimm
    Abstract: The present article has examined the effect of the duration of the membership in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and/or the World Trade Organization (WTO) (and not the mere membership in the GATT/WTO) on human development, considered as a measure of citizens' welfare. The theoretical hypothesis underpinning the analysis is that by fostering export product upgrading, the duration of the membership in the GATT/WTO would reduce economic growth volatility, and consequently promotes human development. The analysis has relied on a panel dataset of 148 developed and developing countries, over the period from 1990 to 2019. It has provided support for the theoretical hypothesis by showing that the membership duration fosters human development in countries that enjoy a high level of export product upgrading, measured through export product diversification, the quality of export products, and the level of economic complexity. Countries with low levels of export product upgrading experience no significant effect of the membership duration on the growth of human development. Interestingly, the membership duration is associated with a higher growth of human development regardless of countries' degree of economic growth volatility. However, the lower the level of economic growth volatility, the larger is the magnitude of the positive effect of the membership duration on the growth of human development. Finally, there exists an heterogenous effect of the membership duration on the growth rate of human development across countries in the full sample, reflecting the degree of stringency of countries' accession procedures to the GATT/WTO.
    Keywords: Duration of the membership in the GATT/WTO,Human development,Export product upgrading,Economic growth volatility
    JEL: F13 F14 O15
    Date: 2022
  11. By: Cervellati, Matteo (University of Bologna, CEPR and IZA); Esposito, Elena (HEC and University of Lausanne); Sunde, Uwe (LMU Munich, CEPR and IZA); Yuan, Song (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: We present novel evidence for the influence of malaria exposure on the geographic location of Chinese economic activities in Africa. The hypothesis is based on the observation that many Chinese aid projects and infrastructure contractors rely on Chinese personnel. High malaria exposure might constitute an important impediment to their employment and productivity. Combining data on Chinese aid and construction projects with geo-localized information about the presence of individuals from internet posts reveals a lower density of Chinese activities and of Chinese workers in areas with a high malaria exposure. This effect is mitigated partly through heterogeneity across sectors and immunity of the local population, through the selection of Chinese workers from regions in China with historically high malaria risk, and through the availability of malaria treatment.
    Keywords: infrastructure projects; malaria; disease prevalence; immunity; weibo;
    JEL: F2 F6 J2 J6
    Date: 2021–11–11
  12. By: Omoniyi Alimi (University of Waikato); Geua Boe-Gibson (University of Waikato); John Gibson (University of Waikato)
    Abstract: Night lights data are increasingly used by economists, especially for developing country research. Many of these countries have limited capacity to generate timely and accurate sub-national statistics on economic activity so satellite data seem attractive. Most studies have used Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) data that are flawed by blurring, lack of calibration, and top- and bottom-coding. These noisy data are only weakly related to traditional economic activity measures for lower levels spatial units. More accurate data from VIIRS (the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) are available since 2012 but are rarely used by economists. This paper examines how recent published findings for developing countries based on DMSP data for very small spatial units change when the more accurate VIIRS night lights data are used. Our first example finds that economic activity is far more concentrated in low-lying, flood-prone, urban areas than is apparent with the DMSP data. Our second example shows that urbanization, as proxied by night lights, is not ceteris paribus associated with better child nutritional outcomes in Nigeria, contrary to claims in a study using DMSP data. In both examples, spatially mean-reverting errors in the DMSP data cause econometric bias that distorts policy implications.
    Keywords: Anthropometrics; DMSP; flooding; night lights; satellite data; VIIRS
    JEL: C80 O12 Q54
    Date: 2022–09–30

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