nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2022‒11‒21
nine papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. The Long and Winding Roads: Roads, Inequality, and Growth in Colombia By Quintero, Luis; Sinisterra, Guillermo
  2. Persistent Agricultural Shocks and Child Poverty: Evidence from Ethiopia By Ashish K. Sedai; Lackson D. Mudenda; Ray Miller
  3. Climate Change and Political Participation: Evidence from India By Amrit Amirapu; Irma Clots-Figueras; Juan Pablo Rud
  4. Agricultural Productivity in Burkina Faso: The Role of Gender and Risk Attitudes By Mohammad Sepahvand
  5. Subnational democratization and the onset of the Mexican drug war By Luis Sanchez; Vassilis Sarantides
  6. NAFTA and Drug-Related Violence in Mexico By Eduardo Hidalgo; Erik Hornung; Pablo Selaya
  7. Releasing the killer from the kitchen? Ventilation and air pollution from biomass cooking By Lenz, Luciane; Bensch, Gunther; Chartier, Ryan; Kane, Moustapha; Peters, Jörg; Jeuland, Marc
  8. Colonial Origins of Comparative Development in Ghana By Iddrisu Kambala, Mohammed
  9. Returning to a Land of Opportunity? Effects of Land Restitution in Colombia By Margaryta Klymak

  1. By: Quintero, Luis; Sinisterra, Guillermo
    Abstract: We measure the impact on economic performance and land ownership inequality in municipalities of a large scale program of road network expansions and improvements that occurred in Colombia between 1993 to 2012. The treatment is measured as improvements in market access to incorporate network effects. We find that roads improve market access, and this increases both municipality GDP and land ownership inequality. We address endogeneity concerns by using two instruments. First, using detailed geographical information we create a least cost path counterfactual for the Colombian road networks linking important cities in 1938. We use this least cost path to calculate a counterfactual market access measure that is determined by exogenous topographic accidents. Next, we build an alternative market access measure which focuses on semi-random market access changes stemming from increased exposure to markets of smaller cities which were not determinant in defining the road network shape.
    Keywords: Desarrollo, Infraestructura, Investigación socioeconómica, Vialidad,
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Ashish K. Sedai; Lackson D. Mudenda; Ray Miller
    Abstract: This study shows how persistent agricultural shocks in Ethiopia affect education, health and labour outcomes through a time-use study of young people, aged 0-22. Leveraging five rounds of the Young Lives Study from 2002-2016, we use dynamic panel instrumental variable regressions to account for the unobserved heterogeneity and serial correlation in the estimation of persistent shocks. Agricultural shocks significantly reduce schooling participation and time spent in schooling, deteriorate health, and increase both labour force participation and labour time. Household wealth acts as a buffer and mitigates the adverse effects of shocks on schooling. Interestingly, children from wealthier households have a higher likelihood of joining agricultural labour during shocks, but their intensity of child labour is significantly lower compared to the poorer households. The study recommends agricultural insurance for the poor and incentives for school participation in areas susceptible to agricultural shocks.
    Keywords: Agriculture, Shocks, Labour, Education, Wealth, Time Use
    JEL: D13 I20 I25 I31
    Date: 2022–10
  3. By: Amrit Amirapu; Irma Clots-Figueras; Juan Pablo Rud
    Abstract: Can democratic politics provide a means for responding to climate change? We explore this question by studying the effects of extreme temperatures on Indian elections between 2009 and 2017. We find that areas exposed to extreme temperatures experience an increase in voter turnout and a change in the composition of the pool of candidates who stand for election. As a consequence, electoral outcomes are affected. We provide evidence that the negative effect of climate change on agricultural productivity is the most important driver of our results. In particular, we show that the positive relationship between temperatures and turnout mirrors the negative effect on agricultural productivity and we find that winning candidates are more likely to have an agricultural background. Politicians with an agricultural background invest more on irrigation, which mitigates the effects of high temperatures, both on agricultural production and on turnout. Our paper provides new evidence about the ways in which agents in developing countries (including both voters and candidates) may respond to climate change via political channels.
    Keywords: climate change; political economy; voter turnout
    JEL: O13 P48 Q54
    Date: 2022–11
  4. By: Mohammad Sepahvand
    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
    Date: 2022–10
  5. By: Luis Sanchez (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield, 9 Mappin Str, Sheffield S1 4DT, UK.); Vassilis Sarantides (Athens University of Economics and Business, Patission 76, Athens 10434, Greece)
    Abstract: The Mexican drug war escalated dramatically since 2007. However, its origin is in the 1990s turf wars involving the main drug trafficking organisations operating in the country. In this study we seek to examine the main cause of turf wars at the municipal level between 1995-2006. In particular, we highlight the significant role of a large-scale land titling reform (PROCEDE) that secured property rights for the electorate, previously controlled by the state party (PRI) for seven decades. Our results indicate that political change at the municipality level after the rollout of PROCEDE is a significant determinant of organised crime deaths (OCDs). We further provide evidence that the effect is exacerbated when municipal political change is combined with a change at the gubernational level. We also show that increased intercartel violence is inextricably linked to the geographic expansion of cartel operations. Overall, the fall of the PRI at the subnational level after the rollout of PROCEDE - to signify its strong local roots - broke the equilibrium between corrupted local officials and local drug cartels making the latter more vulnerable to expansion operations of rival cartels resulting in more OCDs.
    Keywords: land reform; PROCEDE; PRI; democratisation; organised crime deaths
    JEL: D72 K42 O54 Q15
    Date: 2022–10
  6. By: Eduardo Hidalgo; Erik Hornung; Pablo Selaya
    Abstract: We study how NAFTA changed the geography of violence in Mexico. We propose that this open border policy increased trafficking profits of Mexican cartels, resulting in violent competition among them. We test this hypothesis by comparing changes in drug-related homicides after NAFTA’s introduction in 1994 across municipalities with and without drug-trafficking routes. Routes are predicted least cost paths connecting municipalities with a recent history of detected drug trafficking with U.S. land ports of entry. On these routes, homicides increase by 2.3 per 100,000 inhabitants, which is equivalent to 27% of the pre-NAFTA mean. These results cannot be explained by changes in worker’s opportunity costs of using violence resulting from the trade shock.
    Keywords: violence, NAFTA, free trade, Mexico, illegal drug trafficking, conflict
    JEL: K42 F14 D74 O54
    Date: 2022
  7. By: Lenz, Luciane; Bensch, Gunther; Chartier, Ryan; Kane, Moustapha; Peters, Jörg; Jeuland, Marc
    Abstract: Household air pollution from biomass cooking is the most significant environmental health risk in the Global South. Interventions to address this risk mostly promote less-polluting stoves and clean fuels, but their diffusion proves difficult. This paper assesses the potentially complementary role of ventilation in reducing household air pollution. Using state-of-the-art measurements of kitchen concentrations of particulate matter (PM2.5) and personal exposure from 419 households in rural Senegal, we show that higher ventilation is strongly related to lower kitchen concentration, though absolute pollution levels remain high. This association is robust to controlling for a comprehensive set of potential confounders. Yet, these reductions in concentration do not translate into lower pollution exposure among cooks, probably due to avoidance behaviour. Our findings indicate that ventilation interventions may reduce smoke concentration nearly as good as many real-world clean stove interventions and can hence be an important complement to existing strategies. However, a more holistic approach is needed in order to reduce personal exposure in line with international health standards.
    Keywords: Cookstoves,biomass burning,ventilation,particulate matter concentration,exposure,household air pollution
    JEL: D12 O18 Q41 Q53
    Date: 2022
  8. By: Iddrisu Kambala, Mohammed
    Abstract: A striking feature of Ghana’s development landscape is the stark development disparity between a relatively developed South and a trailing North. Explanations for the disparity have often been hinged on differences in geography and past colonial experience. In this study, I provide an empirical justification for the historical hypothesis that the dynamics of colonial rule contributed significantly to the development divergence between the North and the South. I exploit the asymmetric regional distribution of past colonial public investments in education, health and infrastructure to show that the dynamics of colonial rule explain a significant portion of the development disparity between the two regions. I also survey compelling historical anecdotes to show that prior to the colonial project the North was a relatively prosperous region.
    Keywords: Colonial rule; development disparity; colonial investments; Northern Ghana; Southern Ghana
    JEL: N00 O10 Z0
    Date: 2022–01–01
  9. By: Margaryta Klymak
    Abstract: Millions of people are internally displaced by wars and conflicts with wide-ranging adverse social and economic consequences. Yet, we still know very little about how they fare upon return to their homes. Colombia’s 50-year internal armed conflict resulted in the world’s highest number of internally displaced people. In this paper, we study the effects of a recently implemented law allowing displaced Colombians to apply to receive land restitution. Although everyone could apply for restitution immediately, the implementation of claims happened in a phased manner. Using agricultural census data coupled with geospatial location of formal land restitution, and individual level information on applications, we shed light on the effect of land restitution on three sets of outcomes: social integration, labour investments and market integration. Our results suggest restituted households are integrating into the community - they are more likely to be a member of an association, more likely to partake in reciprocal farm work and sell their produce. We also find evidence that in the short run, unlike the findings in the literature relating to land formalisation, restituted households are not more likely to hire permanent workers but instead increase the use of day workers and household members on their land.
    Keywords: forced displacement; land restitution; conflict; Colombia
    JEL: D13 Q15 O12
    Date: 2022

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