nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2023‒01‒16
thirteen papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Aid and Child Health: Local Effects of Aid on Stunting in Malawi By Durevall, Dick; Isaksson, Ann-Sofie
  2. Violence in Guatemala pushes adults and children to seek work in Mexico By Roxana Guti\'errez-Romero
  3. The Gender Education Gap in Developing Countries: Roles of Income Shocks and Culture By Sylvain Dessy; Luca Tiberti; David Zoundi
  4. Liquidity or Capital?: The Impacts of Easing Credit Constraints in Rural Mexico By Aparicio, Gabriela; Bobicì, Vida; De Olloqui, Fernando; Fernández Díez, María Carmen; Gerardino, María Paula; Mitnik, Oscar A.; Vargas, Sebastián
  5. How Early Nutrition and Foundational Cognitive Skills Interconnect? Evidence from Two Developing Countries By Sanchez, Alan; Favara, Marta; Sheridan, Margaret; Behrman, Jere R.
  6. The effects of a private-sector-driven smallholder support programme on productivity, market participation and food and nutrition security: Evidence of a nucleus-outgrower scheme from Zambia By Sakketa, Tekalign Gutu; Herrmann, Raoul; Nkonde, Chewe; Lukonde, Mwelwa; Brüntrup, Michael
  7. The Local Human Capital Costs of Oil Exploitation By Balza, Lenin; De Los Rios, Camilo; Jimenez Mori, Raul Alberto; Manzano, Osmel
  8. The Effect of Primary School Construction on Later Outcomes By Hakan Ercan; Ahmet Ozturk; Semih Tumen
  9. How Foreign Aid Affects Migration: Quantifying Transmission Channels By Léa Marchal; Claire Naiditch; Betül Simsek
  10. Does Maternal Education Curb Female Genital Mutilation? Evidence from a Natural experiment in Egypt By Ahmed Shoukry Rashad; Mesbah Fathy Sharaf
  11. Does Climate Change Affect Child Malnutrition in the Nile Basin? By Amira Elayouty; Hala Abou-Ali; Ronia Hawash
  12. Digitalization in MENA and Sub-Saharan Africa: A Comparative Analysis of Mobile Internet Uptake and Use in Sub-Saharan Africa and MENA Countries By Izak Atiyas; Mark Dutz
  13. Coping with shocks: How Self-Help Groups impact food security and seasonal migration By Timothée Demont

  1. By: Durevall, Dick (Department of Economics); Isaksson, Ann-Sofie (Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg)
    Abstract: Motivated by a recent setback in the fight against child malnutrition, this study explores whether aid projects help to reduce stunting, or impaired growth, among children in the local area. Focusing on Malawi, a country with very high stunting prevalence and for which we have access to geo-referenced data on aid projects from a broad range of donors, we geographically match spatial data on 778 aid project sites of 22 different donors with anthropometric and background data on 26, 604 children under the age of 5. To identify the effect of aid, we rely on spatial and temporal variation in aid project coverage and survey rollout, coupled with variation in childbirth years in relation to project start. The empirical results consistently indicate a positive impact of early life aid exposure on child growth. The positive treatment effect materializes already for children born in the early project implementation phase and lasts for children born up to 3 years after project start and is seemingly driven primarily by multilateral aid and projects focusing on rural development, vulnerability, infrastructure, and education.
    Keywords: Aid; Stunting; Malnutrition; Child health; Malawi; Africa
    JEL: F35 I15 O12 O15
    Date: 2022–12–16
  2. By: Roxana Guti\'errez-Romero
    Abstract: This article estimates the impact of violence on emigration crossings from Guatemala to Mexico as final destination during 2009-2017. To identify causal effects, we use as instruments the variation in deforestation in Guatemala, and the seizing of cocaine in Colombia. We argue that criminal organizations deforest land in Guatemala, fueling violence and leading to emigration, particularly during exogenous supply shocks to cocaine. A one-point increase in the homicide rate differential between Guatemalan municipalities and Mexico, leads to 211 additional emigration crossings made by male adults. This rise in violence, also leads to 20 extra emigration crossings made by children.
    Date: 2022–12
  3. By: Sylvain Dessy; Luca Tiberti; David Zoundi
    Abstract: When exposed to an adverse income shock, cash-constrained households may lean on culture to select the gender of offspring whose outcomes will be sacrificed to enhance survival. We test this by studying how culture mediates the impact of drought on the gender education gap in two separate settings: Malawi and Indonesia. In so doing, we proxy culture with kinship traditions (matrilocality and patrilocality) and exploit drought episodes' spatial and temporal randomness as a source of exogenous variation in rural households' exposure to adverse income shocks. After accounting for the grid and year-fixed effects, we find that patrilocal households, but not matrilocal ones, sacrifice their daughters' schooling in favor of sons' when they experience droughts and schooling requires payment of fees. These results survive numerous robustness checks and are driven by disparities in women's empowerment and the extent of son preference between matrilocal and patrilocal groups.
    Keywords: Drought; Kinship traditions; Matrilocality; Patrilocality; Gender education gap.
    JEL: I24 I25 I28 O12 O57
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Aparicio, Gabriela; Bobicì, Vida; De Olloqui, Fernando; Fernández Díez, María Carmen; Gerardino, María Paula; Mitnik, Oscar A.; Vargas, Sebastián
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the effectiveness of easing credit constraints for rural producers in Mexico through loans provided by a national public development finance institution. In contrast to most of the existing literature, the study focuses on the effect of medium-sized loans over a two- to four-year time horizon. This paper looks at the effects of such loans on production and investment decisions, input use, and yields. Using a multiple treatment methodology, it explores the differential impacts of providing liquidity for working capital versus providing credit for investments in fixed assets. It finds that loans increased the likelihood that producers grow and sell certain key annual crops, in particular among recipients of working capital loans. It also finds significant effects on production value and sales (per hectare), with similar impacts for recipients of both types of loans, with gains in yields driven by changes in labor quality and more intensive use of key inputs. There is no evidence of significant effects on the purchase of large machinery, but there are impacts on the acquisition of cattle. Overall, the results reported in this paper suggest that lack of liquidity is at least as important as lack of funding for new investment in capital for rural producers in Mexico. Producers benefit from easing their credit constraints, regardless of the type of loan used for that purpose.
    Keywords: agricultural finance;credit constraints;development finance institutions;investmentcapital;working capital
    JEL: O13 G21 O16 Q14
    Date: 2021–06
  5. By: Sanchez, Alan (Group for the Analysis of Development (GRADE)); Favara, Marta (University of Oxford); Sheridan, Margaret (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill); Behrman, Jere R. (University of Pennsylvania)
    Abstract: While the long-term consequences of early stunting on educational attainment and on school achievement tests are well-known, there is scarce evidence about the specific mechanisms through which early stunting leads to poorer educational outcomes, especially in LMIC contexts. We use unique data collected in Ethiopia and Peru as part of the Young Lives to investigate the relationship between early undernutrition and four foundational cognitive skills, the first two of which measure executive functioning: working memory, inhibitory control, long-term memory, and implicit learning. We exploit the rich longitudinal data available to control for potential confounders at the household level and for time-invariant community characteristics and we use data for paired-siblings to obtain household fixed-effects estimates. We find that stunting is negatively related with the development of executive functions, predicting reductions in working memory and inhibitory control by 12.6% and 5.8% of a standard deviation.
    Keywords: foundational cognitive skills, early nutrition, executive functions, Ethiopia, Peru
    JEL: I15 I25 J24
    Date: 2022–12
  6. By: Sakketa, Tekalign Gutu; Herrmann, Raoul; Nkonde, Chewe; Lukonde, Mwelwa; Brüntrup, Michael
    Abstract: Nucleus-outgrower schemes (NOSs) are supposed to be a particularly effective private-sector mechanism to support smallholder farmers and contribute towards mitigating the problematic aspects of pure large-scale agricultural investments. This discussion paper uses panel household survey data collected in two rounds in Zambia to analyse some agro-ecological and socio-economic impacts of the outgrower programme of one of the largest agricultural investments in Zambia: Amatheon Agri Zambia (AAZ) Limited. The descriptive results show that the type of participation in the programme varies across participants and components, with most participating in trainings. Econometric results suggest the following key findings. First, although the overall impact of the AAZ outgrower programme on the uptake of conservation agriculture practices is robust and promising, impacts on the adoption of other agricultural technologies is less obvious and the effect depends on the type of support provided. Second, the programme has had a significant impact on maize productivity promoted in the initial phase but not on the other crops - mainly oilseeds - promoted later. Third, the initially less productive farmers seem to benefit slightly more than already better performing ones. Fourth, although the impact on overall household security was insignificant, there is some suggestive evidence (although the effect is weak) that the programme has a positive effect on improving women's uptake of micronutrients. Finally, our findings show that the three components of the programme (trainings, seed loans and output purchases) have different effects on the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices and productivity, and to some extent on food security. Overall, the results suggest that NOSs, with all their risks, can play a role in the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices, improving farm-level agricultural technologies, providing input credit, and thereby improving productivity and smallholder livelihoods. However, this is not automatically the case, as it crucially depends on the design and management of the project; the availability of good policies and institutions governing the rules of operation; the types of crops promoted; the duration of the project; and the political commitment of host countries, among others.
    Keywords: Agriculture, conservation agriculture, Nucleus-Outgrower-Schemes, large-scale agricultural investments, rural development, food security, agricultural productivity, Zambia
    Date: 2022
  7. By: Balza, Lenin; De Los Rios, Camilo; Jimenez Mori, Raul Alberto; Manzano, Osmel
    Abstract: This paper explores the impacts of oil exploitation on human capital accumulation at the local level in Colombia, a resource-rich developing country. We provide evidence based on detailed spatial and temporal data on oil exploitation and education, using the number of wells drilled as an intensity treatment at the school level. To find causal estimates we rely on an instrumental variable approach that exploits the exogeneity of international oil prices and a proxy of oil endowments at the local level. Our results indicate that oil has a negative impact on human capital since it reduces enrollment in higher education. Furthermore, it generates a delay in the decision to enroll in higher education and leads students to prefer technical areas of study and programs in social science, business, and law. However, we do not find any effects on quality or tertiary education completion. Our results are robust to a number of relevant specification changes and we stress the role of local markets and spillovers as the main transmission channel. In particular, we find that higher oil production causes an increase in formal wages but that there is no premium to tertiary education enrollment.
    Keywords: Colombia;human capital;natural resource exploitation
    JEL: Q32 Q35
    Date: 2021–07
  8. By: Hakan Ercan (Middle East Technical University); Ahmet Ozturk (Statistical, Economic, and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC)); Semih Tumen (TED University)
    Abstract: Improving the later outcomes of children through increasing their school attainment is a key policy priority in developing countries; yet, whether increasing government spending can improve school attainment is still an issue of debate. In this paper, we investigate the effect of a massive primary school construction program—which was launched as part of the 1997 schooling reform—on high school completion and labor force participation rates in Turkey. With this program, Turkey increased the number of primary education classrooms approximately by 31 percent from 1998 to 2002. Using the 2011 Population and Housing Census, we employ an identification strategy based on provincial differences in the intensity of construction program and the variation in exposure across birth cohorts induced by the timing of the program. The estimates suggest that the construction program increased high school completion rates by 2.1-2.4 percentage points for men and by 2.3-2.5 percentage points for women. While the program had no significant effect on male labor force participation, it led to a 2.2-2.6 percentage-point rise in female labor force participation. These findings suggest that the program has been effective in reducing the gender gaps in later outcomes. The results suggest that increasing primary school availability helps reducing gender gaps in later outcomes in a developing country context.
    Date: 2021–12–20
  9. By: Léa Marchal (UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Claire Naiditch (LEM - Lille économie management - UMR 9221 - UA - Université d'Artois - UCL - Université catholique de Lille - Université de Lille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Betül Simsek (University of Hamburg)
    Abstract: This is the first global study that quantifies the transmission channels through which foreign aid impacts migration to donor countries. We estimate a gravity model derived from a RUM model, using OECD data between 2011 and 2019 and an instrumentation strategy. Our identification takes advantage of data on multilateral aid provided by multilateral agencies which is non-donor specific. We find evidence that aid donated by a country increases migration to that country through an information channel. If that channel were the only one at play, a 1% increase in bilateral aid would induce a 0.17% increase in migration. In addition, a 1% increase in multilateral aid reduces migration from the less poor origin countries by 0.05% via a development channel.
    Keywords: Aid, Gravity, Migration
    Date: 2022–11
  10. By: Ahmed Shoukry Rashad (Dubai Department of Economic Development, Government of Dubai); Mesbah Fathy Sharaf (University of Alberta)
    Abstract: In this study, we exploit a natural experiment, an education policy change reducing compulsory schooling from nine to eight years in Egypt, to estimate the causal impact of maternal education on mothers’ attitude toward female genital mutilation (FGM), the probability that their daughters undergo FGM, and their intention to perform FGM to her daughters in the future. We use a nationally representative sample of 16, 572 ever-married women aged between 15-49 from the 2008 Egypt’s Demographic and Health Survey and utilize a fuzzy regression discontinuity (FRD) framework to estimate the causal impact of maternal education on the three FGM outcomes. Our main findings suggest that maternal education did not discourage the actual implementation of the FGM practice in Egypt. It did not reduce either the probability of having a circumcised daughter or the motivation to perform FGM in the future. However, our results suggest maternal education had a favorable impact on the sentiment toward the FGM practice. The unexpected results maybe explained by the poor quality of schooling in Egypt on human capital protection and the power of traditionalism versus education
    Date: 2021–10–20
  11. By: Amira Elayouty (Cairo University); Hala Abou-Ali (Cairo University); Ronia Hawash (Butler University)
    Abstract: Children’s nutritional status is expected to be negatively impacted by global climate change given their relative vulnerability to food insecurity shocks. The developing countries in Africa are relatively even more vulnerable to these negative impacts. This study investigates the impact of climate change on the geographical variation of the prevalence of stunting among children under the age of five in the Nile basin region using the Demographic and Health Surveys of the three countries Egypt, Ethiopia and Uganda. Survey data is spatially and temporally merged with high resolution climate change datasets to investigate whether and how the change in temperatures and precipitation has an influence on children’s malnutrition. The prevalence of stunting among children under five years of age and its socioeconomic determinants are modelled using Bayesian geospatial regression model. The prevalence and determinants of stunting varied across Egypt, Ethiopia, and Uganda. The result of this paper highlights the fact that social policies and public health interventions targeted to reduce the burden of childhood stunting should consider geographical heterogeneity and adaptable risk factors.
    Date: 2022–11–20
  12. By: Izak Atiyas (Sabanci University); Mark Dutz (The World Bank)
    Abstract: This paper focuses on uptake and use of mobile internet-enabled smartphones as a key access technology enabling benefits from digitalization. Geographically, the paper focuses on three regions of the African continent and the Middle East, namely sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), North Africa (NAfr) and non-rich Middle East (NRME) countries. The paper documents positive causal impacts of internet availability on the probability of employment, labor force participation, and falling poverty rates. The paper provides the following new findings. First, the main constraint to the benefits arising from broader digitalization lies not in internet coverage but in too little uptake and use of internet and the range of productive technologies that are enabled by internet. The paper finds that SSA, followed by NRME, South Asia and NAfr regions have the highest uptake gaps in the world, namely the highest percentage of their populations that have no internet use even though they are covered by at least a 3G network. Second, on the demand side, the most important conditional correlates of low uptake and use include low affordability as reflected in low incomes, high data prices and higher income inequality, low capabilities as reflected in low levels of education and skills, low levels of other complementary assets (especially electricity), and low attractiveness as reflected in low perceptions of useful content. The paper finds evidence of a significant positive correlation between lower uptake and lower incomes, lower capabilities, and lower access to electricity. Third, on the supply side, given levels of demand, the offered variety, quality, and price of internet and enabled digital services are critically associated with the level of market competition. The level of competition, in turn, depends on the policy and regulatory frameworks that govern the evolution of these markets. The paper finds evidence of a significant negative correlation between uptake and the degree of concentration in the mobile market as well as the key regulatory variable of Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs). Finally, when explored in a joint regression framework that combines selected demand and supply-side variables, quantitatively the most important variable associated with internet uptake is affordability (proxied by GDP per capita), followed by skills and electricity. Regulatory stance also matters: the statistical significance of market concentration and not MTRs suggests that regulatory actions and timing, including how they affect the nature and sequencing of entry may be more important than policies focusing on MTRs.
    Date: 2022–05–20
  13. By: Timothée Demont (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Combining seven years of household data from an original eld experiment in villages of Jharkand, East India, with meteorological data, this paper investigates how Indian Self-Help Groups (SHGs) enable households to withstand rainfall shocks. I show that SHGs operate remarkably well under large covariate shocks. While credit access dries up in control villages one year after a bad monsoon, reecting strong credit rationing from informal lenders, credit ows are counter-cyclical in treated villages. Treated households experience substantially higher food security during the lean season following a drought and increase their seasonal migration to mitigate expected income shocks. Credit access plays an important role, together with other SHG aspects such as peer networks. These ndings indicate that local self-help and nancial associations can help poor farmers to cope with climatic shocks and to implement risk management strategies.
    Keywords: Micronance,credit,climatic shocks,risk management,resilience,seasonal migration,food security
    Date: 2022–07

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