nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2023‒07‒10
eight papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. The Impact of a Rise in Expected Income on Child Labor: Evidence From Coca Production in Colombia By Diego A. Martin
  2. Impact of Early Childhood School Intervention on Enrollment and Learning Outcomes: Evaluation of a Public Program in India By Bhattacharya, Nilanjan; Pakrashi, Debayan; Saha, Sarani; Sahoo, Soham
  3. Campaign Connections By Bazzi, Samuel; Labanca, Claudio
  4. Taxing Mobile Money in Kenya: Impact on Financial Inclusion By Diouf, Awa; Carreras, Marco; Santoro, Fabrizio
  5. The relationship between education and fertility preferences in Mexico: Lessons from Italy By del Rosario de Fatima Juárez Carcaño, María; De Rose, Alessandra; Testa, Maria Rita
  6. The Connectivity Trap: Stuck Between the Forest and Shared Prosperity in the Colombian Amazon By Patricio Goldstein; Timothy Freeman; Alejandro Rueda-Sanz; Shreyas Gadgin Matha; Sarah Bui; Nidhi Rao; Timothy Cheston; Sebastian Bustos
  7. Inequality and Social Unrest in India By Mathieu Couttenier; Jeremy Laurent-Lucchetti; Lore Vandewalle
  8. Economic Globalisation and Africa’s Quest for Greener and More Inclusive Growth: The Missing Link By Isaac K. Ofori; Andreas Freytag; Simplice A. Asongu

  1. By: Diego A. Martin (Growth Lab)
    Abstract: Can households' beliefs about future income shocks affect child labor? This paper examines whether the three-year gap between the announcement (in 2014) and the start (in 2017) of the Illicit Crop Substitution Program (ICSP) increased child labor in Colombia. The ICSP provides farmers with financial support for not planting and harvesting coca leaves – the key input of cocaine. My results from a difference-in-differences model using differences in historical coca production show that due to the ICSP announcement, children became four percentage points more likely to work in municipalities with historical coca production than in non–coca-growing areas. Although the likelihood of working increased in coca–growing areas, the hours worked per child declined modestly after the ICSP announcement. The expansion of the children working in coca fields but the decline in working hours per child produce null effects of the announcement on education outcomes. The rise in the expected income affects the time allocation decision within households in rural areas.
    Keywords: Child labor, Coca cultivation, Anticipated effects, Policy announcements
    JEL: J13 J22 K42 O13
    Date: 2023–06
  2. By: Bhattacharya, Nilanjan (Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur); Pakrashi, Debayan (Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur); Saha, Sarani (Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur); Sahoo, Soham (Indian Institute of Management Bangalore)
    Abstract: We evaluate the impact of introducing a pre-primary schooling program in government schools in the Indian state of West Bengal in 2013 on children's early enrolment in schools and subsequent test scores. Using double difference, triple difference, and synthetic control methodologies, we find that the program significantly increased enrolment in the pre-primary sections of the government schools. However, the rise in enrolment did not translate into improved performance of the students. Analyzing the test scores, we find that after the program's introduction, both math and reading scores of treated children did not improve compared to the control group. We attribute this result to the deteriorating physical and learning infrastructure in the state government schools, captured via a decline in the availability of classrooms and teachers.
    Keywords: pre-primary education, learning outcomes, enrollment
    JEL: I21 I25 I28
    Date: 2023–05
  3. By: Bazzi, Samuel (University of California, San Diego); Labanca, Claudio (Monash University)
    Abstract: This paper explores the labor market returns to working on a victorious political campaign. Using unique administrative data from Brazil, we track the earnings and employment of campaign workers before and after close elections spanning nearly 20 years. We identify sizable returns to working for a winning campaign, especially in areas with a large informal sector and for workers connected to newly elected challengers. The returns are concentrated in the public sector, where connected hires are relatively more qualified. Our results suggest a potential upside to patronage as campaign connections create new pathways to public administration for young, high-ability workers.
    Keywords: electoral campaigns, labor markets, patronage, political connections
    JEL: D72 D73 J45 J46 P00 O17
    Date: 2023–05
  4. By: Diouf, Awa; Carreras, Marco; Santoro, Fabrizio
    Abstract: Many people argue that mobile money has the potential to increase financial inclusion and improve the livelihoods of poor people in Africa. However, while many African governments impose specific taxes on mobile money transactions, very little is known about their effect on the use of mobile money services. This study assesses the short- and long-term impact of the tax on money transfer fees that the Kenyan government introduced in 2013. The tax, more specifically an excise duty, was imposed on fees incurred in all money transactions, including mobile money. It was introduced at 10 per cent and increased to 12 per cent in 2018. Our analysis has two parts. We use country-level data to see if the tax affected the use of mobile money – transaction values and volume – and the number of active mobile money agents. In addition, we use four rounds of nationally representative survey data to estimate changes in the use of mobile money after introduction of the tax. We find that the excise duty did not have a significant impact on different aggregated indicators relating to the use of mobile money. However, survey data shows that the tax may have reduced the rate of increase in use of mobile money services affected by the changes in tax, such as sending and receiving money, compared to services that were not, like savings and paying bills. Importantly, while the amounts transacted may not change, users send and receive money within households less regularly. In addition, the tax seems to have a more detrimental impact on poorer households, which were less likely to be financially included before the tax was introduced. Larger households also show more negative effects after the tax.
    Keywords: Finance,
    Date: 2023
  5. By: del Rosario de Fatima Juárez Carcaño, María; De Rose, Alessandra; Testa, Maria Rita
    Abstract: Education is an important determinant of reproductive preferences. How, its role has changed in countries at different level of fertility transition has been largely under-investigated, due to the lack of adequate data. In this paper we analyze the role of education as determinant of fertility preferences in Mexico, a country which is fast approaching the end of fertility transition, although with substantial within-country territorial differences. We contrast the results with evidence from a very low fertility country, Italy, using survey data. Findings indicate a persistent negative relationship between fertility preferences and educational level in Mexico. However, a more refined analysis at the territorial areas reveals that in the most developed regions – such as Mexico City - the relationship is reversing, with more educated women showing an attitude toward having a child more similar to that observed in Italy, where the effect of higher education on fertility intentions is positive.
    Date: 2023–06–06
  6. By: Patricio Goldstein (Center for International Development at Harvard University); Timothy Freeman; Alejandro Rueda-Sanz; Shreyas Gadgin Matha; Sarah Bui; Nidhi Rao; Timothy Cheston (Center for International Development at Harvard University); Sebastian Bustos (Center for International Development at Harvard University)
    Abstract: The Colombian Amazon faces the dual challenge of low economic growth and high deforestation. High rates of deforestation in Colombia have led to a perceived trade-off between economic development and protecting the forest. However, we find little evidence of this trade-off: rising deforestation is not associated with higher economic growth. In fact, the forces of deforestation of some of the world’s most complex biodiversity are driven by some of the least complex economic activities, like cattle-ranching, whose subsistence-level incomes are unable to meet the economic ambitions for the region. All the while, the majority of the Amazonian departments’ population works in non-forested cities and towns, at a distance from the agriculture frontier that forms the “arc of deforestation.” The relative urbanization of the Amazonian departments, despite the vast land mass available, recognizes that prosperity is achieved through close social-economic interactions to expand the knowledge set available to be able to produce more, and more complex activities. Achieving economic goals therefore relies on creating new productive opportunities in non-forested, urban areas.
    Keywords: Colombia, Peru, Amazon Rainforest, deforestation
    Date: 2023–02
  7. By: Mathieu Couttenier (ENS de Lyon); Jeremy Laurent-Lucchetti (GSEM, Geneva); Lore Vandewalle (IHEID, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva)
    Abstract: We show that inequality triggers social unrest in rural India. We develop a theoretical framework where social unrest is rationally used by civilians to oppose (unfair) surplus sharing by the elite. We predict that the probability of observing social unrest in a village increases with the sum of distances between the (log) average and the lowest incomes. We bring our measure to the data using bank account details in 2, 197 Indian villages. We document that a 10% increase in our inequality measure increases by 6.5% the unconditional probability of observing social unrest in a village in a given month.
    Keywords: Inequality; Social unrest; Development; Redistribution
    JEL: D31 D63 D74
    Date: 2023–06–08
  8. By: Isaac K. Ofori; Andreas Freytag; Simplice A. Asongu
    Abstract: This study examines the contingency and threshold effects of economic freedom in the economic globalisation (EG) and inclusive green growth (IGG) relationship in Africa. Based on macro data for 22 African countries and the Driscoll-Kraay standard errors with fixed effects instrumental variable regression, the following findings are established. First, Africa’s mostly unfree economic setting, conditions EG to reduce IGG. Second, when we disaggregate EG into its financial and trade globalisation components, we find that the IGG-impeding net effect of the latter is rather striking. Third evidence from our threshold analysis suggests that by improving Africa’s mostly unfree economic architecture to 60% (moderately free) or 80% (free), the IGG-deteriorating net effects of EG are mitigated (but not nullified). We conclude that unless effort is made to improve Africa’s economic architecture level, the envisaged IGG gains of economic globalisation might prove elusive.
    Keywords: Africa, economic freedom, economic globalisation, inclusive green growth
    JEL: F14 F40 O56 Q01
    Date: 2023

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