nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2022‒10‒31
23 papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. How Accurate Is a Poverty Map Based on Remote Sensing Data ? An Application to Malawi By Van Der Weide,Roy; Blankespoor,Brian; Elbers,Chris T.M.; Lanjouw,Peter F.
  2. Combining Survey and Geospatial Data Can Significantly Improve Gender-DisaggregatedEstimates of Labor Market Outcomes By Merfeld,Joshua David; Newhouse,David Locke; Weber,Michael; Lahiri,Partha
  3. Small Area Estimation of Monetary Poverty in Mexico Using Satellite Imagery and Machine Learning By Newhouse,David Locke; Merfeld,Joshua David; Ramakrishnan,Anusha Pudugramam; Swartz,Tom; Lahiri,Partha
  4. Natural Disasters and Economic Dynamics : Evidence from the Kerala Floods By Beyer,Robert Carl Michael; Narayanan,Abhinav; Thakur,Gogol Mitra
  5. Road Access, Fertility and Child Health in Rural India By Aparajita Dasgupta; Anahita Karandikar; Devvrat Raghav
  6. The impact of access to improved sanitation facilities on child health in Pakistan By Hanif Ammazia; Yuko Nakano; Midori Matsushima
  7. Impact evaluation report: Egypt’s Takaful Cash Transfer Program: Second round report By El Enbaby, Hoda; Elsabbagh, Dalia; Gilligan, Daniel; Karachiwalla, Naureen; Koch, Bastien; Kurdi, Sikandra
  8. Scaling Up Oportunidades and ItsImpact on Child Nutrition By Maria Gabriela Farfan Betran; Genoni,Maria Eugenia; Rubalcava,Luis; Teruel,Graciela M.; Thomas,Duncan
  9. Labor Informality and Market Segmentation in Senegal By Rodriguez Castelan, Carlos; Vazquez, Emmanuel
  10. Putting a Price on Safety — A Hedonic Price Approach to Flood Risk in African Cities By Erman,Alvina Elisabeth; Dallmann,Ingrid
  11. Refugees, Diversity and Conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa By Bertinelli,Luisito; Comertpay,Rana; Maystadt,Jean-François
  12. Poverty and Violence : The Immediate Impact of Terrorist Attacks against Civilians in Somalia By Nunez,Gonzalo Ignacio; Pape,Utz Johann
  13. Is Dirt Cheap ? The Economic Costs of Failing to Meet Soil Health Requirements onSmallholder Farms By Gourlay,Sydney; Kilic,Talip
  14. Poverty-Adjusted Life Expectancy : A Consistent Index of the Quantity and the Quality of Life By Baland,Jean-Marie; Cassan,Guilhem; Decerf,Benoit Marie A
  15. Agricultural Productivity in Burkina Faso: The Role of Gender and Risk Attitudes By Sepahvand, Mohammad H.
  16. The Effects of Internally Displaced Peoples on Consumption and Inequality in Mali By World Bank; Foltz,Jeremy David; Shibuya,Sakina
  17. Incentivizing Social Learning for the Diffusion of Climate-Smart Agricultural Techniques By Adjognon,Guigonan Serge; Nguyen Huy,Tung; Guthoff,Jonas Christoph; van Soest,Daan
  18. Global Job Quality : Evidence from Wage Employment across Developing Countries By Hovhannisyan,Shoghik; Montalva Talledo,Veronica Sonia; Remick,Tyler; Rodriguez Castelan,Carlos; Stamm,Kersten Kevin
  19. Two Heads Are Better Than One : Agricultural Production and Investment in Côte d’Ivoire By Donald,Aletheia Amalia; Goldstein,Markus P.; Rouanet,Lea Marie
  20. Consequences of Forced Displacement in Active Conflict: Evidence from the Republicof Yemen By D'Souza,Anna; Favari,Eliana; Krishnaswamy,Siddharth; Tandon,Sharad Alan
  21. Is Inequality Systematically Underestimated in Sub-Saharan Africa ? A Proposal toOvercome the Problem By Clementi,Fabio; Fabiani,Michele; Molini,Vasco; Schettino,Francesco
  22. The Impact of Gas Flaring on Child Health in Nigeria By Alimi,Omoniyi Babatunde; Gibson,John
  23. Return Migration and Labor Market Outcomes : Evidence from South Asia By Bossavie,Laurent Loic Yves; He Wang

  1. By: Van Der Weide,Roy; Blankespoor,Brian; Elbers,Chris T.M.; Lanjouw,Peter F.
    Abstract: This paper assesses the reliability of poverty maps derived from remote-sensing data. Employingdata for Malawi, it first obtains small area estimates of poverty by combining the Malawi household expenditure surveyfrom 2010/11 with unit record population census data from 2008. It then ignores the population census data and obtainsa second poverty map for Malawi by combining the survey data with predictors of poverty derived from remote sensing data.This allows for a clean comparison between the two poverty maps. The findings are encouraging - although thatassessment depends somewhat on the evaluation criteria employed. The two approaches reveal the same patterns in thegeography of poverty. However, there are instances where the two approaches obtain markedly different estimates ofpoverty. Poverty maps obtained using remote sensing data may do well when the decision maker is interested in comparisonsof poverty between assemblies of areas, yet may be less reliable when the focus is on estimates for specific small areas.
    Date: 2022–09–13
  2. By: Merfeld,Joshua David; Newhouse,David Locke; Weber,Michael; Lahiri,Partha
    Abstract: Better understanding the geography of women’s labor market outcomes within countries is importantto inform targeted efforts to increase women’s economic empowerment. This paper assesses the extent to which amethod that combines simulated survey data from urban areas in Mexico with broadly available geospatial indicators fromGoogle Earth Engine and OpenStreetMap can significantly improve estimates of labor force participation andunemployment rates. Incorporating geospatial information substantially increases the accuracy of male and femalelabor force participation and unemployment rates at the state level, reducing mean absolute deviation by 50 to 62percent for labor force participation and 25 to 52 percent for unemployment. Small area estimation using a nested errorconditional random effect model also greatly improves municipal estimates of labor force participation, as themean absolute error falls by approximately half, while the mean squared error falls by almost 75 percent when holdingcoverage rates constant. In contrast, the results for municipal unemployment rate estimates are not reliablebecause values of unemployment rates are low and therefore poorly suited for linear models. The municipal results holdin repeated simulations of alternative samples. Models utilizing Basic Geo-Statistical Area (AGEB)–level auxiliaryinformation generate more accurate predictions than area-level models specified using the same auxiliary data.Overall, integrating survey data and publicly available geospatial indicators is feasible and can greatly improvestate-level estimates of male and female labor force participation and unemployment rates, as well as municipalestimates of male and female labor force participation.
    Date: 2022–06–09
  3. By: Newhouse,David Locke; Merfeld,Joshua David; Ramakrishnan,Anusha Pudugramam; Swartz,Tom; Lahiri,Partha
    Abstract: Estimates of poverty are an important input into policy formulation in developing countries. Theaccurate measurement of poverty rates is therefore a first-order problem for development policy. This paper showsthat combining satellite imagery with household surveys can improve the precision and accuracy of estimated povertyrates in Mexican municipalities, a level at which the survey is not considered representative. It also shows that ahousehold-level model outperforms other common small area estimation methods. However, poverty estimates in 2015derived from geospatial data remain less accurate than 2010 estimates derived from household census data. These resultsindicate that the incorporation of household survey data and widely available satellite imagery can improve on existingpoverty estimates in developing countries when census data are old or when patterns of poverty are changing rapidly,even for small subgroups.
    Date: 2022–09–14
  4. By: Beyer,Robert Carl Michael; Narayanan,Abhinav; Thakur,Gogol Mitra
    Abstract: Exceptionally high rainfall in the Indian state of Kerala caused major flooding in 2018. Thispaper estimates the short-run causal impact of the disaster on the economy, using a difference-in-difference approach.Monthly nighttime light intensity, a proxy for aggregate economic activity, suggests that activity declined for threemonths during the disaster but boomed subsequently. Automated teller machine transactions, a proxy for consumerdemand, declined and credit disbursal increased, with households borrowing more for housing and less forconsumption. In line with other results, both household income and expenditure declined during the floods. Despite astrong wage recovery after the floods, spending remained lower relative to the unaffected districts. The paper arguesthat increased labor demand due to reconstruction efforts increased wages after the floods and provides corroboratingevidence: (i) rural labor markets tightened, (ii) poorer households benefited more, and (iii) wages increased mostwhere government relief was strongest. The findings confirm the presence of interesting economic dynamics during andright after natural disasters that remain in the shadow when analyzed with annual data.
    Date: 2022–06–13
  5. By: Aparajita Dasgupta (Ashoka University); Anahita Karandikar (University of British Columbia); Devvrat Raghav (Ashoka University)
    Abstract: Expansion in access to public infrastructure can have varied, micro-level impacts. In this paper, we use quasi-random access to rural paved roads through a large-scale road-construction program in India to study how road access impacts fertility decisions and investments in child health. We find that increased access to paved roads at the district-level leads to a rise in fertility, improved investments in children—measured through breastfeeding duration and immunization—and lower infant mortality. We also investigate the potential labor market mechanisms that drive these effects, and heterogeneity in the impacts by plausibly exogenous variation in levels of female labor force participation (FLFP). We find that in districts with erstwhile lower levels of FLFP, the effects on fertility and child health are driven by paved road access causing women to drop out of the labour force, while men shift from unpaid work to paid work. On the other hand, in districts with higher FLFP due to women’s involvement in agriculture, we find that the increase in fertility can be explained by women substituting away from (paid) employment towards full-time domestic work.
    Keywords: Healthcare; Fertility; mortality; Gender norms; Infrastructure; Labour markets
    Date: 2022–10–13
  6. By: Hanif Ammazia; Yuko Nakano; Midori Matsushima
    Abstract: Poor sanitation is a major public health issue linked to various significant health outcomes. Several studies have associated poor sanitation with malnutrition and childhood diarrhoea. Improved sanitation, however, is determined by household decisions, which may induce endogeneity. Such endogeneity of household sanitation choices has been insufficiently explored in most of the previous literature. Using the Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey (PDHS), we examine the impact of improved sanitation on children’s height-for-age, weight-for-age, and weight-for-height z scores, as well as diarrhoea. We address potential endogeneity using an instrumental variable approach. Our findings highlight the significance of better domestic sanitation in improving child health in Pakistan: improved sanitation was found to positively and significantly affect children’s growth, mainly height-for-age and weight-for-age in those below five years old. In contrast, no significant impact was identified on weight-for-height and diarrhoea prevalence. The sub-sample analysis showed that particularly girls, children older than two years, children with uneducated mothers, and those from households with poor economic status are positively and significantly affected by access to improved sanitation facilities. Our results were robust throughout different model specifications. We suggest that policies concerning the provision of and enhanced access to improved sanitation are effective in reducing child malnutrition.
    Date: 2022–10
  7. By: El Enbaby, Hoda; Elsabbagh, Dalia; Gilligan, Daniel; Karachiwalla, Naureen; Koch, Bastien; Kurdi, Sikandra
    Abstract: Egypt introduced the Takaful and Karama Program (TKP), a pair of targeted cash transfer schemes in March 2015. Takaful and Karama was designed as a conditional cash transfer program providing income support targeted to the poor and most vulnerable; namely poor families with children (under 18 years of age), poor elderly (aged 65 years and above) and persons with severe disability. Originally implemented as an unconditional cash transfer, the program is now a conditional cash transfer program, but the conditionalities have yet to be monitored. Starting July 2017, households received EGP60 for each child under 6 years old, EGP80 for each child in primary education, EGP100 for children in preparatory educa-tion, and EGP140 for secondary education. As of June 2017, 90% of TKP beneficiaries were women. In 2018, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) completed the first round of impact evaluation of TKP, based on household survey data collected after the first 15 months of the program. The evaluation found that TKP substantially improved wellbeing for poor households, increasing household consumption per adult equivalent by 8.4 percent. and reducing the probability that a beneficiary household is poor (
    Keywords: EGYPT, ARAB COUNTRIES, MIDDLE EAST, NORTH AFRICA, YEMEN, SOUTHWESTERN ASIA, ASIA, resilience, poverty, nutrition, agricultural policies, nutrition policies, social protection, cash transfers
    Date: 2022
  8. By: Maria Gabriela Farfan Betran; Genoni,Maria Eugenia; Rubalcava,Luis; Teruel,Graciela M.; Thomas,Duncan
    Abstract: Oportunidades was an innovative anti-poverty program that put additional resources in thehands of women and their families and encouraged parents to invest in the human capital of their children. This programwas the first in its kind, and early evaluations demonstrating its success informed its large expansionwithin Mexico and the implementation of similar conditional cash transfer programs across the world. However, theexisting evidence, which arguably captures causal positive impacts, relies on a sample of very poor rural children.This paper conducts the first evaluation of the program using representative data. It focuses on child height as amarker of long-term nutritional status. The causal impact of the program on child height is isolated by exploitinginsights from the biology of child growth in combination with the timing of the rollout of Oportunidades and thepanel dimension of the survey. Height for age among children exposed during the first four years of life is contrastedwith similar children who were not exposed. Consistent with previous evidence, this analysis finds positive and sizableeffects on children who lived in rural poor communities incorporated at the beginning of the intervention. Incontrast, the impacts of the program in rural localities incorporated later and in suburban and urban communitiesare, at best, very modest.
    Date: 2022–06–14
  9. By: Rodriguez Castelan, Carlos (World Bank); Vazquez, Emmanuel (Universidad Nacional de la Plata)
    Abstract: Understanding the selection of workers into informality is a policy priority to design programs to increase formalization across Sub-Saharan Africa, where nine out of ten workers are informal. This paper estimates a model of self-selection with entry barriers into the formal sector to identify the extent of involuntary informality in Senegal, a representative country in terms of levels of informality in West Africa and with one of the most rigid labor markets in the world. The results show that the desire of being formal is greater for workers with formal education, married, and a lower proportion of children younger than age five living in the household. The individual's preference for the formal sector also grows with age at a decreasing rate. The results also show that labor informality is mainly a voluntary phenomenon, with 30 percent of informal workers being involuntarily displaced into the informal sector. The results are robust to different model specifications, definitions of labor informality, and heterogeneous groups of workers.
    Keywords: labor informality, segmentation, labor markets, Senegal
    JEL: J42 J46 N37
    Date: 2022–09
  10. By: Erman,Alvina Elisabeth; Dallmann,Ingrid
    Abstract: This paper uses a hedonic propertyprice function to estimate the relationship between flood risk and rents in four Sub-Saharan Africa cities: Accra,Antananarivo, Dar es Salaam, and Addis Ababa. The analysis relies on household survey data collected after flood eventsin the cities. Flood risk is measured with self-reported data on past flood exposure and perception of future risk offlooding of households. The study finds that flood risk is associated with lower rents in Accra, Antananarivo, andAddis Ababa, ranging from 14 to 56 percent lower. In contrast, risk is associated with higher rent in Dar esSalaam, which could be potentially attributed to a combination of lack of awareness of flood risk amongrenters, high transaction costs and omitted variable bias. For example, only 12 percent of households living inflood-prone areas were aware of the flood risk when they moved in. In Antananarivo, job density is associated withhigher rents while in Accra and Addis Ababa, higher job density is associated with lower rents. Results are negativebut not significant in Dar es Salaam. When interacting job density with flood risk for each city, the negative effectof job density on rents is higher (in absolute value) when flood risk is high in Accra and Addis Ababa, and thepositive effect of job density on rents becomes negative when flood risk is high in Antananarivo. This relationshipis not found in Dar es Salaam. The finding seems to suggest that access to jobs is a factor driving people to settle inflood-prone areas.
    Date: 2022–07–21
  11. By: Bertinelli,Luisito; Comertpay,Rana; Maystadt,Jean-François
    Abstract: Despite mixed empirical evidence, refugees have been blamed for spreading conflict in thecountries that receive them. This paper hypothesizes that such a relationship largely depends on the resulting changein ethnic composition of refugee-hosting areas. To test this, this paper investigates changes in diversity inrefugee-hosting areas across 23 countries in sub-Saharan Africa between 2005 and 2016. The paper then assesses thelikelihood of conflict in relation to the changing level of ethnic fractionalization and ethnic polarization. Ethnicfractionalization measures the probability that two individuals drawn at random from a society will belong totwo different ethnic groups and thus increases with the number of ethnic groups present. Ethnic polarizationcaptures antagonism between individuals and is maximized when the society is divided into two equally sized anddistant ethnic groups. Refugee polarization is found to exacerbate the risk of conflict, with a one standarddeviation increase in the polarization index increasing the incidence of violent conflict by 5 percentage points. Suchan effect corresponds to a 10 percent increase at the mean. The opposite effect is found for the fractionalizationindex. Additional analyses are also conducted based on individual data. Ethnic polarization increases thelikelihood of experiencing physical assault by 2.1 percentage points. Inversely, the equivalent change in theethnic fractionalization index decreases the likelihood of experiencing physical assault by 1.9 percentage points.Similar effects are found for interpersonal crime. The results should not be interpreted as evidence that refugeesper se impact the likelihood of violence. Indeed, there is no evidence of a significant correlation between the numberof refugees and the occurrence of conflict. Instead, the analysis points to the risk of conflict when refugeesexacerbate ethnic polarization in the hosting communities. In contrast, a situation where refugee flows increase thelevel of ethnic fractionalization is likely to see an attenuated risk of violence. This certainly calls forspecific interventions in polarized refugee-hosting communities.
    Date: 2022–05–18
  12. By: Nunez,Gonzalo Ignacio; Pape,Utz Johann
    Abstract: Somalia, one of the poorest countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, still faces many challenges as itremains fragile. Terrorist groups and their attacks are threatening the government and limiting its capacity toimplement effective development policies. Using difference-in-difference and instrumental variablesapproaches with micro-data from two waves of the Somali High Frequency Survey, this paper estimates the immediate (withina week) impact of terrorist attacks on households. The consumption of households exposed to terrorist incidentsdecreases by 33 percent, mainly on food items. As a result, poverty and the depth of poverty among the poor increases.The decline in consumption seems to be explained by a smaller share of household members working and earningincome after an attack. In addition, the effect on consumption is restricted to a 4-kilometer radius fromincidents and has a heterogeneous impact, not affecting households in the top 20 percent of the consumptiondistribution. The paper also finds a deterioration in people’s perception of police competence. Achieving peace isa fundamental first step to increase welfare conditions that will also bring other wider long-term benefits in Somalia.
    Date: 2022–09–08
  13. By: Gourlay,Sydney; Kilic,Talip
    Abstract: Agricultural productivity is hindered in smallholder farming systems due to several factors,including farmers’ inability to meet crop-specific soil requirements. This paper focuses on soil suitability formaize production and creates multidimensional soil suitability profiles of smallholder maize plots in Uganda,while quantifying forgone production due to cultivation on less-than-suitable land and identifying groups of farmersthat are disproportionately impacted. The analysis leverages the unique socioeconomic data from a subnational surveyconducted in Eastern Uganda, inclusive of plot-level, objective measures of maize yields and soil attributes.Stochastic frontier models of maize yields are estimated within each soil suitability class to understand differencesin returns to inputs, technical efficiency, and potential yield. Only 13 percent of farmers are cultivating soil thatis highly suitable for maize production, while the vast majority are cultivating only moderately suitable plots.Farmers cultivating highly suitable soil have the potential to increase their observed yields by as much as 86 percent,while those at the opposite end of the suitability distribution (with marginally suitable land) operate closerto the production frontier and can only increase yields by up to 59 percent, given the current technology set. There isheterogeneity in potential gains across the wealth distribution, with poorer households facing more heavilyconstrained potential. Assuming no change in technologies and management practices used by Ugandan farmers, there arelimited economic gains tied to closing suitability class-specific productivity gaps, or even at the extremereaching the average potential productivity levels observed in the high suitability class.
    Date: 2022–06–27
  14. By: Baland,Jean-Marie; Cassan,Guilhem; Decerf,Benoit Marie A
    Abstract: Poverty and mortality are arguably the two major sources of loss of well-being. Most mainstreammeasures of human development capturing these two dimensions aggregate them in an ad-hoc and controversial way. Thispaper develops a new index aggregating the poverty and the mortality observed in a given period in a consistent way. Itis called the poverty-adjusted life expectancy index. This index is based on a single normative parameter thattransparently captures the trade-off between well-being losses from being poor or from being dead. The paper firstshows that the poverty-adjusted life expectancy index follows naturally from an expected life-cycle utilityapproach a la Harsanyi. The paper then proceeds to empirical comparisons between countries and across time and focuses onsituations in which poverty and mortality provide conflicting evaluations. Once it is assumed that being pooris (at least weakly) preferable to being dead, the analysis finds that about a third of these conflicting comparisonscan be unambiguously ranked by the poverty-adjusted life expectancy index. Finally, the paper shows that this indexnaturally defines a new and simple index of multidimensional poverty, the expected deprivation index.
    Date: 2022–07–29
  15. By: Sepahvand, Mohammad H. (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: This study analyzes how risk attitudes influence the agricultural productivity of men and women in a sub-Saharan African country, Burkina Faso. By using a large representative panel survey of farmers, the results show that as female farmers increase risk taking, the productivity of female-owned plots goes down. The study controls for various socio-economic factors and explores how the diversity of the regions of the country affects gender differences. Findings show that agricultural policy interventions in Burkina Faso need to be gender sensitized when addressing issues related to credit constraints, improved inputs, and policies that support increase in productivity.
    Keywords: Risk attitudes; Gender differences; Agriculture; Productivity; Sub-Saharan Africa; Burkina Faso
    JEL: D13 D81 J16 O13 Q12 Q18
    Date: 2022–10–19
  16. By: World Bank; Foltz,Jeremy David; Shibuya,Sakina
    Abstract: A series of civil conflicts in Mali has generated more than 346,000 internally displaced people(UNHCR, 2020). This study estimates the effect of conflict-generated internal displacement on consumption,poverty, and inequality in host communities. Using comprehensive nationwide household survey data this studyfinds that wealth at the commune and household level is non-decreasing in IDP hosting communes relative to non-IDPhost communes. This study also finds some partial evidence of increasing consumption at the household level althoughinequality and poverty at the commune level remain the same. The evidence suggests a fairly successful hosting and aidprocess in Mali for IDPs in terms of mitigating economic disruption for host communities.
    Date: 2022–05–18
  17. By: Adjognon,Guigonan Serge; Nguyen Huy,Tung; Guthoff,Jonas Christoph; van Soest,Daan
    Abstract: Unsustainable land use is a key threat to both economic development and environmentalconservation in developing countries. This study implemented a randomized controlled trial in arid Burkina Faso to testthe effectiveness of financial incentives in stimulating the adoption of sustainable land management practices (SLMPs).It did so in the context of a so-called cascade training program, in which some farmers were trained in theimplementation of sustainable land management practices, who were then asked to disseminate their newly acquiredknowledge and expertise to other farmers in their social networks. The study finds that offering payments conditionalon adoption improves both the transfer of information from the trained to the peer farmers, as well as the peerfarmers' sustainable land management practices adoption rates. Offering financial incentives thus mitigates two ofthe most important barriers to the adoption of sustainable land management practices – the (perceived) lack of privatebenefits and insufficient diffusion of the technical implementation information from the trained farmers to theirpeers. Finally, the study documents that adoption of sustainable land management practices generates substantialincreases in crop productivity and agricultural income already after one agricultural cycle.
    Date: 2022–05–11
  18. By: Hovhannisyan,Shoghik; Montalva Talledo,Veronica Sonia; Remick,Tyler; Rodriguez Castelan,Carlos; Stamm,Kersten Kevin
    Abstract: Measuring job quality across countries has been challenging and has relied typically on asingle indicator, such as formality or wages. To contribute to this critical policy issue, this paper presents a firstglobal estimate of job quality departing from microdata. It assembles a harmonized global data set of labor force andhousehold surveys to produce a measure of job quality across four dimensions: sufficient income, access to employmentbenefits, job stability, and adequate working conditions. The results for 40 developing countries show significantvariation in job quality across countries, economic sectors, and sociodemographic characteristics, including age,location, and educational attainment. Countries in the Latin America and the Caribbean region have relatively higherlevels of job quality, while countries in Sub-Saharan Africa display the lowest levels of job quality. Most workers inthe sectors of finance and business services, public administration, and utilities have, on average, better jobs.Higher education matters in securing greater job quality, while the average job quality of wage employment isrelatively similar between men and women but with some variation in income and working conditions.
    Date: 2022–08–01
  19. By: Donald,Aletheia Amalia; Goldstein,Markus P.; Rouanet,Lea Marie
    Abstract: Low levels of agricultural productivity and investment hinder economic growth indeveloping countries. This paper presents results from a field experiment in Côte d'Ivoire, which randomizedwives’ participation in an agricultural extension training for rubber, a male-dominated export crop that takes sixyears to start producing latex but requires upfront care. The training included a planning portion, consisting offilling out an action plan for rubber farming over the next two years, and a skills portion. In the without-wife group,households witnessed a 26.4 percent drop in the value of the crop harvested and a 18.4 percent drop in productivity, withlabor going to planting rubber seedlings. In the group with wife participation, households had higher levels ofinvestment (planting 20 percent more rubber seedlings) and were able to maintain pre-program levels of agriculturalproduction on older trees and other crops. These householdsincreased their labor hours and agricultural input use, resulting in no drop in overall production or productivity.This outcome did not come through increased skills or incentives. Rather, underlying these results are increasesin planned agricultural management by wives, increased retention of the action plan, and a reduction in genderedtask division. The results show how including women in economic planning can improve the efficiency of householdfarm production and promote higher levels of investment.
    Date: 2022–05–16
  20. By: D'Souza,Anna; Favari,Eliana; Krishnaswamy,Siddharth; Tandon,Sharad Alan
    Abstract: This paper investigate the consequences of forced displacement using a panel ofhouseholds that were surveyed during the Republic of Yemen's conflict both before and after they becamedisplaced. It demonstrates that forced displacement resulted in an immediate but temporary decline in food access. Pre-and post-displacement food access outcomes were indistinguishable within four months of displacement and,for later months, there were no economically large declines in food access. The quick rebound is partially explained byan increase in assistance to displaced households that had worse food access prior to displacement. Households thatwere slightly better off prior to displacement did not receive an increase in assistance. These are the firstestimates that directly address how non-security dimensions of well-being change immediately following forceddisplacement and demonstrate that, in some contexts, forcibly displaced households are more resilient than istypically assumed.
    Date: 2022–09–14
  21. By: Clementi,Fabio; Fabiani,Michele; Molini,Vasco; Schettino,Francesco
    Abstract: In Africa, evidence on the interactions among poverty, growth, and income distributionpresents a puzzle: While growth has been robust in recent decades, the growth elasticity of poverty has remained low.This suggests that inequality has dampened the pro-poor effects of growth. However, when using standard inequalitymeasures, there is only scattered evidence of high and growing inequality in Africa outside the extremely unequalsouthern cone. This paper argues that inequality mismeasurement could be the main culprit responsible forthis paradox: consumption-based measures miss important information at the top end of the consumption distribution,leading to underestimation of inequality. This paper proposes distinct solutions, arguing that by reevaluatingthe importance of distributional issues in Africa, the need becomes apparent for refreshing the research agenda onAfrican development in such a way that the interaction between poverty and inequality becomes a core concern.
    Date: 2022–05–24
  22. By: Alimi,Omoniyi Babatunde; Gibson,John
    Abstract: Burning off the gas coming out of oil wells—gas flaring—is a common practice in oil-producingdeveloping countries. This economically wasteful and environmentally damaging process occurs becauseinfrastructure has been built with a focus on oil production rather than gas capture and because weak regulations andlimited environmental monitoring make flaring an attractive choice for oil producers. Moreover, gas flaring is harmfulto human health, especially because of pollutants. This research focuses on Nigeria, where over 10 percent of allgas produced is flared and about 2 million people in the Niger Delta live within four kilometres of a gas flare.While several studies from developed countries examine relationships between gas flaring and human (especiallyinfant) health, a lack of data limits what research is possible in developing countries. This paper uses infanthealth data from Demographic Health Surveys, and satellite-detected data on gas flaring to examine theeffects of flaring on disease incidence and infant mortality in oil-producing regions of Nigeria. The findings show astrong positive association between gas flaring and the incidence of respiratory diseases and fever among childrenyounger than five years. The study contributes to the literature measuring the wider cost to society of oil andgas production and adds to a growing body of work using satellite data to understand well-being in places whereconventional data sources are unavailable or unreliable.
    Date: 2022–08–30
  23. By: Bossavie,Laurent Loic Yves; He Wang
    Abstract: Despite the magnitude of return migration from overseas to South Asia, the labor marketoutcomes of return migrants to this region have been understudied. This paper aims at filling this gap byexamining systematic differences between the labor market outcomes of return migrants and nonmigrants in Bangladesh,Nepal, and Pakistan using nationally-representative surveys that include information on past migration. Conditionalregression analysis is used with a focus on four labor market outcomes: (i) labor force status (ii) sectoral choice(iii) employment type, and (iv) earnings. The paper finds that return migrants are somewhat less likely to be employedthan nonmigrants, which is mainly driven by returnees who returned at an older age. As evidenced in other contexts,return migrants in Bangladesh and Pakistan are more likely to become entrepreneurs compared with nonmigrants.Self-employed returnees are also more likely to hire paid employees and to be engaged in non-farm activities, comparedwith nonmigrant entrepreneurs. Return migrants who become employees earn a small wage premium relative to nonmigrants,compared with contexts where temporary migrants are higher-skilled. The returnee wage premium, however, islarger in the construction sector where most temporary migrants were employed overseas.
    Date: 2022–09–14

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