nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2023‒05‒29
nine papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Money (Not) to Burn: Payments for Ecosystem Services to Reduce Crop Residue Burning By B. Kelsey Jack; Seema Jayachandran; Namrata Kala; Rohini Pande
  2. Agricultural Shocks and Social Conflict in Southeast Asia By Justin Hastings; David Ubilava
  3. Financial Inclusion, Economic Development, and Inequality: Evidence from Brazil By Julia Fonseca; Adrien Matray
  4. Unexpected Colonial Returns: Self-Selection and Economic Integration of Migrants over Multiple Generations By Gielen, Anne C.; Webbink, Dinand
  5. A Mother’s Voice: Impacts of Spousal Communication Training on Child Health Investments By Martina Bjorkman Nyqvist; Seema Jayachandran; Celine Zipfel
  6. "How Does Flood Affect Children Differently? The Impact of Flood on Children’s Education, Labor, Food Consumption, and Cognitive Development" By Chinh T. Mai; Akira Hibiki
  7. Transfer Estimates for Causal Effects across Heterogeneous Sites By Konrad Menzel
  8. Female Early Marriage and Son Preference in Pakistan By Mughal, Mazhar; Javed, Rashid; Lorey, Thierry
  9. Trade Policy and Jobs in Vietnam: The Unintended Consequences of Trump’s Trade War By Rotunno, Lorenzo; Roy, Sanchari; Sakakibara, Anri; Vezina, Pierre-Louis

  1. By: B. Kelsey Jack (University of California at Santa Barbara); Seema Jayachandran (Princeton University); Namrata Kala (MIT Sloan School of Management); Rohini Pande (Yale University)
    Abstract: Particulate matter significantly reduces life expectancy in India. We use a randomized controlled trial in the state of Punjab to evaluate the effectiveness of conditional cash transfers (also known as payments for ecosystem services, or PES) in reducing crop residue burning, which is a major contributor to the region’s poor air quality. Credit constraints and distrust may make farmers less likely to comply with standard PES contracts, which only pay the participant after verification of compliance. We randomize paying a portion of the money upfront and unconditionally. Despite receiving a lower reward for compliance, farmers offered partial upfront payment are 8-12 percentage points more likely to comply than are farmers offered the standard contract. Burning measures based on satellite imagery indicate that PES with upfront payments significantly reduced burning, while standard PES payments were inframarginal. We also show that PES with an upfront component is a cost-effective way to improve India’s air quality.
    Keywords: India, Life Expectancy, Payments for Ecosystem Services, PES
    JEL: O13 Q01 Q56
    Date: 2023–03
  2. By: Justin Hastings; David Ubilava
    Abstract: Social conflicts are inevitable, but their occurrence and intensity have varied over time and across locations. In lower-income economies, where employment and income from agriculture are substantial, forms of political violence and social conflict may be linked with this sector. We investigate this linkage using granular conflict data covering a 13-year period across seven Southeast Asian countries. We focus on changes in conflict incidents during the rice harvest season, which is the most produced and consumed cereal crop in the region. We observe an increase in political violence but a decrease in social unrest in rice-producing areas during the harvest season. We investigate different plausible mechanisms that may lead to such effects, by incorporating shocks associated with rice prices and growing season rainfall, and by comparing regions with predominantly irrigated vs predominantly rainfed rice production practices. These findings offer important insights to policymakers as they point to possible temporal and geographic displacements of conflict, which can be linked with locations where a crop is produced and times when it is harvested.
    Date: 2023–04
  3. By: Julia Fonseca (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign); Adrien Matray (Princeton University, NBER, and CEPR)
    Abstract: We study a financial inclusion policy targeting Brazilian cities with low bank branch coverage using data on the universe of employees from 2000–2014. The policy leads to bank entry and to similar increases in both deposits and lending. It also fosters entrepreneurship, employment, and wage growth, especially for cities initially in banking deserts. These gains are not shared equally and instead increase with workers’ education, implying a substantial increase in wage inequality. The changes in inequality are concentrated in cities where the initial supply of skilled workers is low, indicating that talent scarcity can drive how financial development affects inequality.
    Keywords: Brazil, Financial Inclusion Policy, Wage Inequality, Banks
    JEL: D63 E24 E58 G21 J30
    Date: 2022–09
  4. By: Gielen, Anne C. (Erasmus University Rotterdam); Webbink, Dinand (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    Abstract: A ban on migration from Suriname, a former Dutch colony, to the Netherlands induced a mass migration and changed the selection of migrants. We exploit this historical episode to study the relationship between the self-selection of migrants and their long-term economic integration over three generations. 'Beat-the-ban' migrants, those arriving just before the ban, are negatively selected compared to economic migrants arriving earlier. This difference in selection is reflected in the outcomes of the first generation. However, the inequality in outcomes between differently selected migrants is not persistent. The offspring of negatively selected migrants has a faster catch-up to natives which can be explained by inequities in the country of origin.
    Keywords: mass migration, economic integration, intergenerational mobility, migrant selection
    JEL: J24 J6
    Date: 2023–04
  5. By: Martina Bjorkman Nyqvist (Stockholm School of Economics); Seema Jayachandran (Princeton University); Celine Zipfel (Stockholm School of Economics)
    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: Spousal Communication, Children's Health, Uganda
    JEL: D10 I12 O12
    Date: 2023–02
  6. By: Chinh T. Mai (Graduate School of Economics and Management, Tohoku University); Akira Hibiki (Graduate School of Economics and Management, Tohoku University)
    Abstract: This paper contributes an in-depth study of the short- and long-term effects of floods on the cognitive development of school-aged children. Specifically, we exploit individual-level microdata from a longitudinal study of childhood poverty in Vietnam. Our analyses indicate that floods immediately imposed negative impacts on children’s cognitive skills, but these impacts would be mitigated in the long run. Changes in child schooling, time allocation between school and work, and household food consumption (child nutrition) appear to be potential channels behind these impacts. Girls, older children, firstborn children, and children belonging to ethnic minorities are more vulnerable to the adverse effects of flooding. Our results suggest that policies to alleviate the credit constraints of households in the above groups could mitigate the damage imposed by natural disasters on human capital accumulation.
    Date: 2023–04
  7. By: Konrad Menzel
    Abstract: We consider the problem of extrapolating treatment effects across heterogeneous populations (``sites"/``contexts"). We consider an idealized scenario in which the researcher observes cross-sectional data for a large number of units across several ``experimental" sites in which an intervention has already been implemented to a new ``target" site for which a baseline survey of unit-specific, pre-treatment outcomes and relevant attributes is available. We propose a transfer estimator that exploits cross-sectional variation between individuals and sites to predict treatment outcomes using baseline outcome data for the target location. We consider the problem of obtaining a predictor of conditional average treatment effects at the target site that is MSE optimal within a certain class and subject to data constraints. Our approach is design-based in the sense that the performance of the predictor is evaluated given the specific, finite selection of experimental and target sites. Our approach is nonparametric, and our formal results concern the construction of an optimal basis of predictors as well as convergence rates for the estimated conditional average treatment effect relative to the constrained-optimal population predictor for the target site. We illustrate our approach using a combined data set of five multi-site randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to evaluate the effect of conditional cash transfers on school attendance.
    Date: 2023–05
  8. By: Mughal, Mazhar; Javed, Rashid; Lorey, Thierry
    Abstract: In this study, we employ pooled data from four rounds of Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey (PDHS) to examine whether, and to what extent, does the incidence of early marriage shape the married women's perspectives on gender preference associated with reproduction. We employ a number of econometric techniques (Probit, OLS, Cox Hazard Model, IV Probit and treatment effects) and a large set of model specifications, and find significant evidence supporting the role of early marriage in perpetuating disproportionate preference for boys. Women who married before turning 18 not only state a greater desire for boys but are also less likely to stop reproduction as long as they do not have a boy. Early-age marriage is associated with 7.7 - 12.5% higher incidence of fertility discontinuation among women without a son. This son-preferring behaviour is stronger at higher birth order and also reflects in differential spacing patterns. Women's education appears to be the strongest channel through which these effects are mediated. The divergence between early- and late-marrying women appears to have sharpened over time. The findings of this study underscore the role played by early marriage in altering the gender-specific attitudes prevalent in the society, and highlight existing gender inequality traps.
    Keywords: Child marriage, Age at marriage, gender bias, son preference, Pakistan
    JEL: D13 J13 O15 C13 Z13
    Date: 2023
  9. By: Rotunno, Lorenzo; Roy, Sanchari; Sakakibara, Anri; Vezina, Pierre-Louis
    Abstract: We use the US-China trade war as an exogenous shock to export opportunities in Vietnam and examine its effect on Vietnam’s exports and labor markets. We find that Vietnamese exports to the US were around 40 percent higher in 2020 relative to 2017 in sectors hit by US tariffs on Chinese products. This increase is driven by both new export product varieties and increased exports in existing categories. This expansion in export opportunities led to job creation and increased working hours in affected sectors relative to non-affected ones. It also led to an increase in wages, even more so for women workers.
    Date: 2023–04–22

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