nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2023‒09‒04
seven papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan, Universiteit Utrecht

  1. The Epidemic Effect: Epidemics, Institutions and Human Capital Development By Francis Annan; Belinda Archibong; Uche Ekhator-Mobayode
  2. Linking Physical Violence to Women's Mobility in Chile By Contreras, Hugo Alejandro; Candia, Cristian; Olchevskaia, Rodrigo Vladislav Troncoso; Ferres, Leo; Celedón, María Loreto Bravo; Lepri, Bruno; Rodriguez-Sickert, Carlos
  3. How Is Fertility Behavior in Africa Different? By Portner, Claus C.
  4. Does Trade Liberalization Foster Intimate Partner Violence? By Alberto Chong; Daniel Velasquez
  5. Can Competition Reduce Conflict? By Teevrat Garg; Caterina Gennaioli; Stefania Lovo; Gregor Singer
  6. Women's Education, Marriage, and Fertility Outcomes: Evidence from Thailand's Compulsory Schooling Law By Chaijaroen, Pasita; Panda, Pallavi
  7. Aid, Reform, and Interest Groups By Heckelman, Jac C; Wilson, Bonnie

  1. By: Francis Annan; Belinda Archibong; Uche Ekhator-Mobayode
    Abstract: Epidemics can negatively affect economic development unless they are mitigated by global governance institutions. We examine the effects of sudden exposure to epidemics on human capital outcomes using evidence from the African meningitis belt. Meningitis shocks reduce child health outcomes, particularly when the World Health Organization (WHO) does not declare an epidemic year. These effects are reversed when the WHO declares an epidemic year. Children born in meningitis shock areas in a year when an epidemic is declared are 10 percentage points (pp) less stunted and 8.2 pp less underweight than their peers born in non-epidemic years. We find evidence for the crowd-out of routine vaccination during epidemic years. We analyze data from World Bank projects and find evidence that an influx of health aid in response to WHO declarations may partly explain these reversals.
    Keywords: Africa; World Bank; Disease; Aid; WHO; Epidemic; Vaccination
    JEL: O12 I18 H84 I15 I12 O19
    Date: 2023–07–19
  2. By: Contreras, Hugo Alejandro; Candia, Cristian; Olchevskaia, Rodrigo Vladislav Troncoso; Ferres, Leo; Celedón, María Loreto Bravo; Lepri, Bruno; Rodriguez-Sickert, Carlos
    Abstract: Despite increased global attention on violence against women, understanding the factors that lead to women becoming victims remains a critical challenge. Notably, the impact of domestic violence on women's mobility—a critical determinant of their social and economic independence—has remained largely unexplored. This study bridges this gap, employing police records to quantify physical and psychological domestic violence, while leveraging mobile phone data to proxy women's mobility. Our analyses reveal a negative correlation between physical violence and female mobility, an association that withstands robustness checks, including controls for economic independence variables like education, employment, and occupational segregation, bootstrapping of the data set, and applying a generalized propensity score matching identification strategy. The study emphasizes the potential causal role of physical violence on decreased female mobility, asserting the value of interdisciplinary research in exploring such multifaceted social phenomena to open avenues for preventive measures. The implications of this research extend into the realm of public policy and intervention development, offering new strategies to combat and ultimately eradicate domestic violence against women, thereby contributing to wider efforts toward gender equity.
    Date: 2023–08–02
  3. By: Portner, Claus C. (Seattle University)
    Abstract: Sub-Saharan Africa’s fertility decline has progressed much slower than elsewhere. However, there is still substantial disagreement about why, partly because four leading potential causes—cultural norms, expected offspring mortality, land access, and school quality—are challenging to measure. I use large-scale woman-level data to infer what role each explanation plays in fertility differences between Sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia, South Asia, and Latin America, based on estimations of fertility outcomes by region, cohort, area of residence, and grade level. I show that the differences in fertility between Sub-Saharan Africa and the other regions first increase and then decrease with years of education. For women without education, fertility rates in Sub-Saharan Africa are comparable to those in Latin America. Similarly, for women with secondary education or higher, fertility rates in Sub-Saharan Africa align with those in South and East Asia. There are substantial and statistically significant differences for women with some primary education for all three comparison regions. The differences are more pronounced for children ever born than for surviving children. Overall, the results suggest that offspring mortality and the lower quality of primary schooling are the dominant reasons why fertility decline in Sub-Saharan Africa lags behind other regions.
    Date: 2023–08–07
  4. By: Alberto Chong (Department of Economics, Georgia State University and Department of Economics, Universidad del Pacifico); Daniel Velasquez (Department of Economics, University of Michigan)
    Abstract: We exploit unexpected and drastic unilateral tariffs reductions in Peru during the 2000s. We find that in districts where male employment was more vulnerable to these reductions, we observe a statistically significant increase in intimate partner violence with respect to less vulnerable districts. Our findings show that several causal paths may be at play, which appear to highlight the fact that these paths may complement and even exacerbate each other. Our findings hold when applying a broad array of robustness tests.
    Date: 2023–08
  5. By: Teevrat Garg; Caterina Gennaioli; Stefania Lovo; Gregor Singer
    Abstract: We examine the effect of inter-group fiscal competition on within-group violent conflict. Using a triple difference design, we exploit exogenous variation in the degree to which villages in sub-districts compete for public funds. We find that higher competition between villages reduces conflict but only up to moderate levels of competition. The conflict-reducing effects of competition are largest in the most ethnically fractionalized and segregated villages and exist regardless of the eventual outcome of the competition. Our results are consistent with external competition favoring coordination within otherwise divided communities and boosting village identity relative to ethnic identity.
    Keywords: community-driven development, competition, conflict
    JEL: D74 O12 H40
    Date: 2023
  6. By: Chaijaroen, Pasita; Panda, Pallavi
    Abstract: Increased education affects market and non-market outcomes. This paper investigates the causal impact of the extension of compulsory education from 6 to 9 years on females' education, marriage, and fertility outcomes in Thailand. Using data from the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) and a donut-hole Regression Discontinuity (RD) design, we show that the new law increases lower secondary school completion in girls, leading to decreased probabilities of giving birth in the school-age years (14-17 years). The policy primarily affects the marginal child leading to the postponement of the timing of their fertility to after-school years. We also document heterogeneity and show that the fertility effects are stronger for Muslim women. The policy leads to a consistent drop in the probability of marriage and cumulative births for Muslim women, which sustain beyond the completion of schooling years. The results hold with alternative empirical model specifications and falsification tests.
    Keywords: Compulsory Schooling, Education, Marriage, Fertility, Thailand, Social Norms
    JEL: J13 J12 I25 I28 I21
    Date: 2023
  7. By: Heckelman, Jac C; Wilson, Bonnie
    Abstract: Foreign aid is often granted to encourage market-oriented reform. It is not clear that this approach to reform has been effective. We seek to understand this seeming failure of aid. We ask whether and how political markets for institutions have influenced the impact of aid allocations on reform, and we explore the extent to which the impact of aid on reform is conditional on the influence of a particular player in those markets - special interest groups. In a panel of 92 aid-receiving nations over four decade-long time periods, for several measure of reform, we find evidence that the aid-reform relation is conditional on the influence of interest groups. We find that only under relatively extreme and rare conditions has aid been positively associated with reform. Mostly, we find that aid has been associated with reform backsliding. The effects are economically meaningful in magnitude.
    Keywords: aid, reform, institutions, special interest groups
    JEL: O1 O19 P11
    Date: 2023–07

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