nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2023‒08‒14
eight papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan, Universiteit Utrecht

  1. April 2023 Update to the Multidimensional Poverty Measure: What's New By Carolina Diaz-Bonilla; Carlos Sabatino; Haoyu Wu; Minh C. Nguyen
  2. Unintended Consequences of Sanitation Investment: Negative Externalities on Water Quality and Health in India By Kazuki Motohashi
  3. COVID-19 Lockdown and Neonatal Mortality: Evidence from India By Abu S. Shonchoy; Shatakshee Dhongde; Erdal Asker
  4. Aid and fragile states By Anke Hoeffler; Patricia Justino
  5. Ethnic conflict: the role of ethnic representation By Sonia Bhalotra; Irma Clots-Figueras; Lakshmi Iyer
  6. The Impact of Maternal Education on Early Childhood Development: The Case of Turkey By Deniz Karaoglan; Serap Sagir; Meltem Dayioglu; Durdane Sirin Saracoglu
  7. Songlines By Kampanelis, Sotiris; Elizalde, Aldo; Ioannides, Yannis M.
  8. Drivers of services sector growth acceleration in developing countries By Gideon Ndubuisi; Solomon Owusu; Rex Asiama; Elvis Korku Avenyo

  1. By: Carolina Diaz-Bonilla; Carlos Sabatino; Haoyu Wu; Minh C. Nguyen
    Abstract: This note presents the 5th edition of the World Bank’s Multidimensional Poverty Measure (MPM) database, based on country data from the Global Monitoring Database (GMD) as of April 2023. The MPM captures the percentage of households in a country that are deprived in three dimensions of well-being: monetary poverty, education, and basic infrastructure services. Monetary poverty is now measured using the International Poverty Line at $2.15 per person per day in 2017 PPP. The latest data provides estimates for 121 economies in the GMD circa 2018 and revises estimates published in October 2022. An update to the accompanying dashboard allows users to visualize the latest MPM data and modify the weights used when aggregating indicators in the MPM headcount ratio.
    Date: 2023–05
  2. By: Kazuki Motohashi
    Abstract: Developing countries have increased sanitation investment to reduce diarrheal diseases. However, the direct health benefits of latrine construction can be offset by water pollution externalities due to poor treatment of fecal sludge. I estimate these negative externalities of a sanitation policy in India that subsidized the construction of over 100 million latrines. Exploiting geographical variation in soil characteristics and the differential increase in latrine coverage across districts, I find that the policy increases river pollution by 72%. While it reduces diarrheal mortality overall, this positive health effect is two-thirds smaller in areas with lower capacities for treatment of fecal sludge where water pollution externalities are consequently larger.
    Date: 2023–07
  3. By: Abu S. Shonchoy (Department of Economics, Florida International University); Shatakshee Dhongde (Department of Economics, Georgia Institute of Technology); Erdal Asker (Department of Economics, Georgia Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: Using nationally representative data from India, we document the first survey-based evidence of the unintended consequences of lockdown on neonatal mortality in a developing country. Event-study shows neonatal mortality significantly increased during the first nationwide lockdown and became insignificant one-month later. The difference-in-difference estimates show neonatal mortality increased to 47 from 30 per 1, 000 births during the lockdown. Negative in-utero exposure, forgone healthcare (through service interruption and avoidance), and delaying vaccinations are crucial impact mechanisms. Our findings stimulate the debate on the efficacy of strict lockdown, its duration, and missing policy directives in resource-poor countries, particularly for the care-dependent population.
    Keywords: COVID-19, India, Neonatal and nfant mortality, Lockdown, In-utero exposure, Child vaccinations, Antenatal care visits
    JEL: I18 J13
    Date: 2023–07
  4. By: Anke Hoeffler; Patricia Justino
    Abstract: Aid is still an important feature of the development landscape. Fragile states, in particular, have the greatest development needs but due to their poor governance they are the least likely countries to use aid effectively to meet their development challenges. In this paper, we explore which fragile states receive most aid flows, which donors are particularly active in fragile states, and which type of projects are the focus of these aid flows to fragile states.
    Keywords: Aid, Development, Fragility, Conflict, Post-conflict, Fragile states
    Date: 2023
  5. By: Sonia Bhalotra; Irma Clots-Figueras; Lakshmi Iyer
    Abstract: We investigate the impact of the political representation of minority groups on the incidence of ethnic conflict in India. We code data on Hindu-Muslim violence and Muslim political representation in India and leverage quasi-random variation in legislator religion generated by the results of close elections. We find that the presence of Muslim legislators results in a large and significant decline in Hindu-Muslim conflict. The average result is driven by richer states and those with greater police strength.
    Keywords: Conflict, Violence, Religion, political representation, Elections
    Date: 2023
  6. By: Deniz Karaoglan (Department of Economics, Gebze Technical University); Serap Sagir (Department of Economics, Middle East Technical University); Meltem Dayioglu (Department of Economics, Middle East Technical University); Durdane Sirin Saracoglu (Department of Economics, Middle East Technical University)
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate the relationship between mother’s education level and the development of young children in Turkey using representative microdata from the 2018 Turkey Demographic and Health Survey (TDHS). The data include detailed information about the developmental status of young children of 36-to-59 months old. We find that only when the mother has at least a high school level education, there is a positive impact on the child’s developmental status as summarized the Early Childhood Development (ECD) index, which is an index constructed based on the child’s four developmental domains. We also show that the household’s wealth is also positively associated with the child’s developmental status, particularly in the socio-emotional and the learning readiness domains.
    Keywords: Early Childhood Development, Mother’s Education, Socioeconomic Status, Turkey
    JEL: C5 I00 O15
    Date: 2023–07–27
  7. By: Kampanelis, Sotiris; Elizalde, Aldo; Ioannides, Yannis M.
    Abstract: This paper examines the long-term economic impacts of the adoption of local knowledge during European colonisation. We use the case of Australia, where Aboriginal knowledge of the landscape was integral to colonial exploration and settlement. To quantify the effects of this knowledge, we construct a newly digitised and georeferenced dataset of trade routes created by Aboriginal people based on oral traditions, known as Songlines. Our results indicate that Aboriginal trade routes are strongly associated with current economic activity as measured by nighttime satellite imagery. We attribute this association to path dependence and agglomeration effects that emanate from the transport infrastructure built by Europeans roughly along these routes, which have agglomerated economic activity. Finally, by exploiting exogenous variation in optimal travel routes, we provide evidence that our results are not entirely determined by the inherent characteristics of Australian topography, but rather by Aboriginal knowledge.
    Keywords: Aboriginal trade routes, Songlines, colonialism, agglomeration, Australia
    JEL: N77 O10 R12 Z10 Z13
    Date: 2023
  8. By: Gideon Ndubuisi; Solomon Owusu; Rex Asiama; Elvis Korku Avenyo
    Abstract: The services sector is dominant and continues to experience unprecedented growth in many developing economies. However, in-depth empirical analysis of the drivers of services sector growth acceleration is limited. This paper examines and identifies the underlying factors that explain services sector growth accelerations and episodes in developing countries, and how these factors may differ across services types (market services and non-market services) and regions.
    Keywords: Services, Economic growth
    Date: 2023

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