nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2023‒03‒13
ten papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Traditional versus improved varieties of seed: Is there a trade-off between productivity and risk? By Mintewab Bezabih; Finn Tarp; Hailemariam Teklewold; Alemu Mekonnen; Tagel G/Hiwot
  2. International Commodity Prices Transmission to Consumer Prices in Africa By Thibault Lemaire; Paul Vertier
  3. Pastoral conflicts and (dis)trust: Evidence from Nigeria using an instrumental variable approach By Tuki, Daniel
  4. A mother's voice: Impacts of spousal communication training on child health investments By Björkman Nyqvist, Martina; Jayachandran, Seema; Zipfel, Céline
  5. Informality, Education-Occupation Mismatch, and Wages: Evidence from India By Bahl, Shweta; Sharma, Ajay
  6. The Great Green Wall, a bulwark against food insecurity? Evidence from Nigeria By Pauline Castaing; Antoine Leblois
  7. Mining Competition and Violent Conflict in Africa: Pitting Against Each Other By Anouk S. Rigterink; Tarek Ghani; Juan Sebastian Lozano; Jacob N. Shapiro
  8. Rapid Economic Growth but Rising Poverty Segregation: Will Vietnam Meet the SDGs for Equitable Development? By Dang, Hai-Anh; Dhongde, Shatakshee; Do, Minh N.N.; Nguyen, Cuong Viet; Pimhidzai, Obert
  9. Conflict, parenting, and early childhood mental health in conflict-affected settings: Evidence from Colombia By Juliana Sanchez-Ariza
  10. Individual Pay for Collective Performance and Deforestation: Evidence from Brazil By Po Yin Wong; Karlygash Kuralbayeva; Liana O. Anderson; Ana M. Pessoa; Torfinn Harding

  1. By: Mintewab Bezabih (Environment and Climate Research Center, Policy Studies Institut); Finn Tarp (University of Copenhagen); Hailemariam Teklewold (Environment and Climate Research Center, Policy Studies Institute); Alemu Mekonnen (Department of Economics, Addis Ababa University); Tagel G/Hiwot (Environment and Climate Research Center, Policy Studies Institute)
    Abstract: This paper presents an empirical analysis of how the choice of seed technology impacts farm productivity and management in a setting characterized by high risks. The findings reveal that risk aversion and climate are important driving forces for crop technology choice. Risk averse farmers can hedge against the risks they face by skewing their choices towards traditional varieties. A comparison of the relative importance of traditional versus improved varieties shows that the latter lead to gains in crop income. We also found notable differences from adopting a singular versus a combination of the varieties, with the combination having lower impact on income, compared to improved-varieties-only and higher income compared to traditional-varieties only. The exact opposite holds for the impact of alternative varieties on the cost of risk. The implication is that the risk prone nature of Ethiopian agriculture leads to marked tradeoffs in terms of productivity and risk between the two sets of varieties.
    Keywords: traditional and improved varieties, crop revenue, risk premium, multinomial switching regression, Ethiopia
    JEL: Q16 Q57 C22
    Date: 2023–02–26
  2. By: Thibault Lemaire (UP1 UFR02 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - École d'économie de la Sorbonne - 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); Paul Vertier (Banque de France - Banque de France - Banque de France)
    Abstract: Global commodity prices spikes can have strong macroeconomic effects, particularly in developing countries. This paper estimates the global commodity prices pass-through to consumer price inflation in Africa. Our sample includes monthly data for 48 countries over the period 2002m02-2021m04. We consider 17 commodity prices separately to take into account both the heterogeneity in price variations and the cross-correlations between them, and to depart from aggregate indices that use weights unrepresentative of consumption in African countries. Using local projections in a panel dataset, we find a maximum passthrough of 24%, and a long-run pass-through of about 20%, higher than usually found in the literature. We also consider country-specific regressions to test whether estimated pass-through are related to countries' observable characteristics.
    Keywords: Commodity prices, food prices, energy prices, inflation, pass-through, Africa
    Date: 2023–01–18
  3. By: Tuki, Daniel
    Abstract: Although the incidence of conflicts between Fulani nomadic pastoralists and sedentary farmers in Nigeria have risen significantly during the last decade, no study has, to the best of my knowledge, examined how these conflicts influence distrust of members of the Fulani ethnic group and the larger Muslim population, nor the conditions under which these conflicts, which are primarily about competition over land and water resources, morph into religious conflicts. Using novel survey data collected from Kaduna, the state with the third highest incidence of pastoral conflicts in Nigeria, this study fills these gaps. The regression results show that exposure to pastoral conflicts cause distrust of members of the Fulani ethnic group and Muslims; although the size of the effect is much larger for the Fulani compared to Muslims. This shows that the population in Kaduna tend to conflate the Fulani with Muslims. Religious polarization was found to catalyze the process of resource conflicts turning religious.
    Keywords: Pastoral conflict, Farmer-herder conflict, trust, Fulani, Religion, KadunaState, Nigeria
    JEL: D74 O13 Q34
    Date: 2023
  4. By: Björkman Nyqvist, Martina (Mistra Center for Sustainable Markets (Misum)); Jayachandran, Seema (Princeton University); Zipfel, Céline (Mistra Center for Sustainable Markets (Misum))
    Abstract: Building on prior evidence that mothers often have a stronger preference for spending on children than fathers do, we use a randomized experiment to evaluate the impacts of a communication training program for mothers on child health in Uganda. The hypothesis is that the training will enable women to better convey their knowledge and preferences to their husbands and, thereby, boost investments in children’s health. We find that the program increases spousal discussion about the family’s health, nutrition, and finances. However, this does not increase overall adoption of health-promoting behaviors or improve child anthropometrics. One exception is that the communication training increases women’s and children’s intake of protein-rich foods as well as household spending on these foods.
    Keywords: Spouse; Communication; Child health; Investments; Uganda
    JEL: I12 I15 J12 O15
    Date: 2023–02–14
  5. By: Bahl, Shweta; Sharma, Ajay
    Abstract: This article examines the intertwining relationship between informality and education-occupation mismatch (EOM) and the consequent impact on the workers' wages. In particular, we discuss two issues - first, the relative importance of informality and education-occupation mismatch in determining the wages; and second, the relevance of EOM for formal and informal workers. The analysis reveals that although both informality and EOM are significant determinants of wages, the former is more crucial for a developing country like India. Further, we find that EOM is one of the crucial determinants of wages for formal workers, but it is not critical for informal workers. The study highlights the need for considering the bifurcation of formal-informal workers to understand the complete dynamics of EOM especially for developing countries where informality is predominant.
    Keywords: Informality, Education-Occupation Mismatch, India
    JEL: I25 I31 O17
    Date: 2023
  6. By: Pauline Castaing (World Bank Group); Antoine Leblois (CEE-M - Centre d'Economie de l'Environnement - Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement - Institut Agro Montpellier - Institut Agro - Institut national d'enseignement supérieur pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement - UM - Université de Montpellier)
    Abstract: The Great Green Wall is a crosscountry initiative to improve the environment of desertification areas in Sub-Saharan Africa. This paper refers to the implementation of Great Green Wall projects in Nigeria to document the local impact of environmental restoration on children's food security and health. Our identification strategy uses two types of variation to capture these effects. The spatial variation comes from the heterogeneous exposure of the children to these new environmental restoration programs. The temporal variation comes from sudden changes between 2013 and 2016. Taking the height-to-age z-score as main outcome of interest, we find a significant and robust health improvement for children living next to community-based orchards whereas proximity to shelterbelts generates mixed impacts. Gains in health (+0.5 standard deviation in the height index) coexist with higher dietary diversity score for children living near orchards.
    Keywords: Environmental Restoration, Food security, Nigeria, Nutrition, Impact evaluation
    Date: 2023–02–07
  7. By: Anouk S. Rigterink (Durham University); Tarek Ghani (Washington University St. Louis); Juan Sebastian Lozano (Princeton University); Jacob N. Shapiro (Princeton University)
    Abstract: Explanations for the well-established relationship between mining and conflict interpret violence near resource extraction sites as part of conflict over territory or government. We provide evidence that competition between artisanal and industrial miners is also an important source of natural resources related conflict, from qualitative case studies at mining sites in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe and a large-N analysis. For the latter, we use machine learning to estimate the feasibility of artisanal mining across the continent of Africa based on geological conditions. We find the impact of price shocks on violent conflict is roughly three times as large in locations with industrial mining where artisanal mining is feasible as it is in places with industrial mining but no potential for artisanal mining. Back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that 31 to 55% of the observed mining-conflict relationship is due to violent industrial-artisanal miner competition. This implies new avenues for conflict-mitigation.
    Keywords: Democratic Republic of Congo; Zimbabwe; DRC; Civil War; Insurgency; Terrorism Violence
    JEL: Q34 D74 L72
    Date: 2023–01
  8. By: Dang, Hai-Anh (World Bank); Dhongde, Shatakshee (Georgia Institute of Technology); Do, Minh N.N. (National Economics University Vietnam); Nguyen, Cuong Viet (National Economics University Vietnam); Pimhidzai, Obert (World Bank)
    Abstract: Vietnam is widely regarded as a success story for its impressive economic growth and poverty reduction in the last few decades. Yet, recent evidence indicates that the country's economic growth has not been uniform. Compiling and analyzing new extensive province-level data from the Vietnam Household Living Standards Surveys (VHLSSs) for every alternate year between 2002 and 2020 and other data sources, we find within-province inequality to be much larger than between-province inequality. Furthermore, this inequality gap is rising over time. Despite the country's fast poverty reduction, the poor were increasingly segregated in certain provinces. We find beneficial impact of economic growth on poverty reduction, but this can depend on inequality levels. We also find greater inequality to have negative impact on economic growth and poverty reduction. Our results suggest that policy makers in Vietnam should focus on reducing spatial disparities and income inequality in order to attain sustainable economic development.
    Keywords: poverty, inequality, pro-poor growth, convergence, household surveys, Vietnam
    JEL: C15 D31 I31 O10 O57
    Date: 2023–02
  9. By: Juliana Sanchez-Ariza
    Abstract: We examine the effect of the exposure (or reduction in the exposure) to conflictrelated violence on parental mental health, caregivers' parenting stress and responsive caregiving, and early childhood mental health. We use data collected from the impact evaluation of a psychosocial group intervention in Tumaco, Colombia, a community chronically affected by the armed conflict. Using an Instrumental Variables approach, we use the program's randomization into cohorts and staggered design of the data collection to exploit a natural experiment in which the armed groups in the municipality agreed to a Truce and municipal violence rates dropped between data collections. We find that the exposure to recent conflict-related violence had negative effects across the four main dimensions: increased parental mental health problems in 0.68 sd (SE=0.342 ; q-value=0.074), increased parenting stress in 0.76 sd (SE=0.389 ; q-value=0.074), reduced responsive caregiving in -1.023 sd (SE=0.434 ; q-value=0.074) and increased child mental health problems in 0.556 sd (SE=0.343 ; q-value=0.074). By providing causal evidence on the direct effect of conflict-related violence on parenting outcomes, we conduct an exploratory mediation analysis to assess whether parental mental health, parenting stress and responsive caregiving behaviors may partially account for the association between violence and child mental health. Yet, correlational links between violence and parental mental health and parenting behavior outcomes as mediators suggest important associations for understanding children's mental health vulnerability in conflict settings.
    Keywords: Early childhood mental health, parental mental health, violence, parenting, conflict, early childhood development, responsive caregiving.
    JEL: I1 I3 J13 D91
    Date: 2022–09–22
  10. By: Po Yin Wong (School of Business and Management, Queen Mary University of London.); Karlygash Kuralbayeva (King's College London); Liana O. Anderson (National Center for Monitoring and Early Warning of Natural Disasters (CEMADEN)); Ana M. Pessoa (National Institute for Space Research (INPE)); Torfinn Harding (University of Stavanger Business School)
    Abstract: We study Brazil’s Bolsa Verde program, which pays extremely poor households for implementing sustainable activities and maintaining forest cover at the communal level. Using difference-in-differences, we find that the program keeps deforestation 22% lower inside treated areas compared to similar untreated areas. The estimated program benefits in terms of emissions reductions are about four times the program costs. Heterogeneous effects across property types suggest that the program provides protection against deforestation pressure from groups other than program recipients. Data on fines and satellite-based alarms point to monitoring and reporting as a mechanism through which the program reduces illegal deforestation.
    Keywords: Deforestation, Poverty, Conservation, Evaluation, Brazil
    JEL: I38 O13 Q23 Q28 Q56
    Date: 2023–02

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