nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2022‒12‒05
eleven papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. The Deforestation Effects of Trade and Agricultural Productivity in Brazil By Carreira, Igor; Costa, Francisco J M; Pessoa, Joao Paulo
  2. Public Attention and Environmental Action: Evidence from Fires in the Amazon By Araujo, Rafael; Costa, Francisco J M; Garg, Teevrat
  3. Rainfall shocks, soil health, and child health outcomes By Kishore, Siddharth
  4. Keeping Girls in Schools Longer: The Kanyashree Approach in India By Gitanjali Sen; Dhanushka Thamarapani
  5. Climate Exposures and Household Dynamics in Sub-Saharan Africa By Piringer, Niklas; Vardanega, Gabrielle; Thiede, Brian C.
  6. Intergenerational Mobility in Income and Consumption: Evidence from Indonesia By Zafar, Rafia
  7. Saving lives with cooking gas? Unintended effects of LPG subsidies in Peru By THIVILLON, Thomas
  8. Demand for informal caregiving and human capital accumulation: Evidence from elderly deaths in Senegal By THIVILLON, Thomas
  9. Environmental Shocks and Child Labor: A Panel Data Ethiopia & India By Feridoon Koohi-Kamali; Amit Roy
  10. The human capital effect on productivity and agricultural frontier expansion in Brazil By Henrique Batista de Barros, Pedro; Henrique Leite de Castro , Gustavo; Menezes-Filho, Naercio
  11. Climatic Variability and Internal Migration in Asia: Evidence from Integrated Census and Survey Microdata By Thiede, Brian C.; Robinson, Abbie; Gray, Clark

  1. By: Carreira, Igor; Costa, Francisco J M (FGV EPGE Brazilian School of Economics and Finance); Pessoa, Joao Paulo
    Abstract: This paper quantifies the relative footprint of trade and agricultural productivity on deforestation in Brazil between 2000 and 2017. Using remote-sensing data, we find that these two phenomena have distinct effects on land use. Greater exposure to new genetically engineered soy seeds is associated with faster deforestation through the expansion of cropland. We find no association between exposure to demand from China and deforestation – although, trade induces conversion of cropland to pastureland. Our results suggest that, when taken together, agriculture productivity gains, and not trade, were the main driver of deforestation and the expansion of the agriculture sector.
    Date: 2022–06–27
  2. By: Araujo, Rafael; Costa, Francisco J M (FGV EPGE Brazilian School of Economics and Finance); Garg, Teevrat
    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.
    Date: 2022–08–10
  3. By: Kishore, Siddharth (Colorado State University)
    Abstract: This paper explores the impact of monsoon rainfall shocks on child health outcomes in rural India at varying levels of soil organic carbon. I combine high resolution spatial data on soil organic carbon content and weather with the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) for India (2015-2016) to estimate the linkage between monsoon rainfall shock, soil health, and child health. Weather variables and soil determine crop productivity and thus affect human health through food access in low- and middle-income countries. I contribute to the literature by demonstrating direct and indirect impact of soil health on childhood outcome of wasting. Using a coarsened exact matching method, I estimate that having high soil health can result in 26 percent improvement in child wasting. I also demonstrate that having high soil health can moderate adverse impacts from weather shocks.
    Date: 2022–08–22
  4. By: Gitanjali Sen (Department Of Economics, Shiv Nadar University); Dhanushka Thamarapani (California State University)
    Abstract: In response to curtailing girls from prematurely dropping out of schools, we show that inducing economic empowerment of the girl child is possible with targeted policies that promote her reproductive empowerment. Using a conditional cash transfer program (Kanyashree Prakalpa) implemented in West Bengal, India that directly incentivized school attendance to delay child marriage, we find a strong association between the program participation and successfully lowering the historically higher dropout rates post-Middle School. The program eligible girls are 12 percent (7 percent) more likely to be enrolled in or complete Secondary (Higher Secondary) School. Program participation is associated with approximately 5 more months of education. In fact, the efficacy of the program is highly correlated with the length of exposure and the most benefits are reaped by children in the poorest households. We discuss three policy interventions, including directly targeting girls, as they embark on transitioning from childhood to young adulthood.
    Keywords: Education, Enrollment, India, Cash Transfers, Kanyashree
    JEL: I25 I28 O53
    Date: 2022–10–14
  5. By: Piringer, Niklas; Vardanega, Gabrielle; Thiede, Brian C. (The Pennsylvania State University)
    Abstract: Climatic variability has been linked to multiple demographic and health outcomes, but few studies have examined its impact on household size. Household size is an important correlate of wellbeing and is driven by multiple demographic processes that may be affected by environmental shocks. This paper describes these links conceptually, and then empirically examines the effects of exposure to climate anomalies on household size and three underlying components: fertility, marriage, and family agglomeration (partition). We examine these relationships by linking harmonized census microdata from eleven sub-Saharan African countries with high-resolution climate data from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) and modeling the effects of recent temperature and precipitation exposures on the outcomes of interest. Our analyses find little evidence that recent temperature and precipitation exposures lead to overall changes in household size. When examining underlying demographic dynamics, however, we find that family agglomeration responds to both temperature and rainfall, marriage responds to rainfall and cold shocks, and higher temperatures are associated with increases in fertility. By studying these outcomes in one unified conceptual and empirical framework, our results suggest that many components of household size are associated with climate exposures, but in a manner that does not translate into significant net changes in household size.
    Date: 2022–07–13
  6. By: Zafar, Rafia
    Abstract: This paper estimates absolute and relative intergenerational mobility for Indonesia. My preferred estimates that address both measurement error bias and life-cycle bias show lower intergenerational mobility than standard estimates. I also examine absolute mobility, which separates upward mobility from downward mobility. At the bottom of both the income and consumption distribution, I find lower absolute intergenerational mobility compared to people at the top of the distribution. This paper makes a unique contribution to the literature by showing that household survey data on income and consumption can facilitate reliable estimates for intergenerational mobility in developing countries. (Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality Working Paper)
    Date: 2022–09–13
  7. By: THIVILLON, Thomas
    Abstract: I evaluate the effect of the conversion of households from wood-fuel cooking to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cooking on infant mortality using data from sixteen waves of Peru’s continuous Demographic and Health Survey. I exploit the sequential introduction of LPG subsidies targeting low-income households and compare early-treated districts to later or never treated districts using a staggered difference-in-difference estimation strategy. I find that infant mortality increased by 15% as a result of the massive fuel switch induced by the intervention, which corresponds to at least 6,600 additional infant deaths between 2010 and 2020. Subsidizing LPG also caused a higher incidence of symptoms of acute respiratory infections in children under five and of moderate or severe anemia among adult women, two conditions which are known to be induced by exposure to air pollution from cooking fuels. I show that these unexpected results are most likely explained by the fact that the switch to LPG led households which were previously cooking outdoors to start mainly cooking indoors, thus radically modifying the ventilation quality of their cooking area. These findings suggest that clean cooking interventions need to pay more attention to choices of cooking location and to cooking area ventilation.
    Date: 2022–09–04
  8. By: THIVILLON, Thomas
    Abstract: Women carry a disproportionate share of the burden of informal caregiving to functionally dependent relatives such as old age individuals. In developing economies, this burden tends to fall on the shoulders of female adolescents in particular for cultural and economic reasons. This paper uses original panel data from Senegal to evaluate the effect of co-residence with elderly individuals on the educational attainment of female children. To identify this effect, I exploit the deaths of elderly co-residents which occur during the study period in an empirical strategy which relies on triple-differences with child fixed-effects. I show that an event of elderly death is associated with 23% additional education completed over a period of 4 years by affected girls. I present evidence that changes in demand for informal caregiving within the household are one of the mechanisms at play. These results call for increased attention to specific forms of domestic child labor in public policies in order to reduce gender inequalities in education.
    Date: 2022–09–22
  9. By: Feridoon Koohi-Kamali; Amit Roy (Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA))
    Abstract: Environmental shocks, particularly high impact natural disasters, force children into the labor market to meet the basic survival needs in straitened times. Currently India has the largest number of child labor in the world while the disaster-prone African economy of Ethiopia is experiencing a surge in child labor. Using Young Lives Longitudinal Survey Data on Ethiopia and India covering 2002-2016, this paper examines the dynamics between child labor and environmental shocks, employing different panel data models of child labor supply. The paper has two notable features. First, it uses the Young Lives Survey Datasets (2020), a data set rich on child welfare information not previously explored. Second, it employs the panel-data fix and random effects estimators to analyze the impact of environmental shocks on child labor, to our knowledge, a first attempt of its kind to deal with observable and unobservable endogenous time-invariant influences on child labor supply. We control for a relatively large set of child, household and community levels covariates, and obtain robust, statistically significant evidence of the positive impact of climate disaster on the incidence and amount of child labor in both Ethiopia and India and in all different models employed. We also report strong negative effects of link between child education and child labor, and some less clear evidence of the negative link between child health (stunning and obesity) and child labor. The evidence presented indicate that the traditional public policy devises like parents’ education and inadequate social safety programs do not make statistically robust contribution to reducing child labor supply in face of environmental disasters, suggesting income gains from such programs are not sufficient to meet the survival needs of poor households and hence to prevent child labor.
    Keywords: environmental shocks, child labor, panel data
    JEL: C33 J13 Q54
    Date: 2021–10
  10. By: Henrique Batista de Barros, Pedro (Departamento de Economia, Universidade de São Paulo); Henrique Leite de Castro , Gustavo (Departamento de Economia, Universidade de São Paulo); Menezes-Filho, Naercio (Departamento de Economia, Universidade de São Paulo)
    Abstract: Agricultural production expansion is an important strategy to encourage structural changes and lead to economic development. However, the increase in the agricultural production can occur in two different ways: through productivity - intensive margin - and through area expansion - extensive margin. Human capital can enhance production both ways, but its effects remain little explored in the literature. This paper aims to investigate the effect of human capital on the increase in agricultural productivity and on the expansion of the agricultural frontiers in Brazil. The results indicate that human capital has a positive effect on these albeit with varying intensities and significant heterogeneities. Human capital affects agricultural productivity more in agricultural frontier regions where there is often a shortage of skilled labor. However, human capital does not affect the expansion of agricultural area in consolidated agricultural regions of the country.
    Keywords: Agricultural Productivity; Frontier Expansion; Human Capital; Education
    JEL: E24 O13 O15 Q10 Q12
    Date: 2022–10–27
  11. By: Thiede, Brian C. (The Pennsylvania State University); Robinson, Abbie; Gray, Clark
    Abstract: The potential effects of climate change on human migration have received widespread attention, driven in part by concerns about possible large-scale population displacements. Recent studies demonstrate that climate-migration linkages are often more complex than commonly assumed, and climatic variability may increase, decrease, or have null effects on migration. However, the use of non-comparable analytic strategies across studies makes it difficult to disentangle substantive variation in climate effects from methodological artifacts. We address this gap by using census and survey micro-data from six Asian countries (n=54,987,838), which today are collectively home to nearly one-quarter of the world’s population, to measure climate effects on interprovincial migration. We examine climate effects overall and among sub-populations defined by age, sex, education, and country of residence. We also evaluate whether climate effects differ according to the distance and type of migration. We find non-linear precipitation effects across the sample, with exposure to precipitation deficits leading to substantively large reductions in out-migration. Both precipitation and temperature effects vary among focal sub-populations. Precipitation deficits reduce internal migration to both adjacent and non-adjacent provinces and, among the subset of samples with data on the reasons for migration, also reduce the probability of work-related moves. Temperature anomalies reduce work-, education-, and family-related moves. Our findings provide evidence of climate-related reductions in migration (i.e., trapped populations) and suggest these effects are driven largely by economic factors. Our analysis complements similar uses of harmonized data and methods in studies from South America and sub-Saharan Africa, which collectively reveal significant heterogeneity in demographic responses to climate variability around the world.
    Date: 2022–08–05

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