nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2023‒09‒25
nine papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan, Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Effects of Climate Vulnerability on Household Sanitation Access, Functionality and Practices in Rural Cambodia By Sattar, Rana Abdel; Rogla, Jennifer PhD; Toeur, Veasna; Kozole, Tyler; Nicoletti, Chris; Harper, James
  2. Foreign Aid and Female Empowerment By Perrotta Berlin, Maria; Bonnier, Evelina; Olofsgård, Anders
  3. Do Households Where Women Own Land Fare Better for Food Security? Evidence for Tanzania By Burrone, Sara; Giannelli, Gianna Claudia
  4. Urbanization and Women Empowerment: Evidence from India By Dhamija, Gaurav; Roychowdhury, Punarjit; Shankar, Binay
  5. Premature deindustrialization: an empirical analysis in latecomer developing countries By Taguchi, Hiroyuki
  6. The Long-Run Decline of Education Quality in the Developing World By Alexis Le Nestour; Laura Moscoviz; Justin Sandefur
  7. Resource Risk and the Origins of Inequality: Evidence from a Pastoralist Economy By Konstantinos Angelopoulos; Spyridon Lazarakis; Rebecca Mancy; Dorice Agol; Elissaios Papyrakis
  8. Do Public Sector Employment Reductions Promote Informality? By Antonis Adam; Thomas Moutos
  9. Empowering youth: the impact of comprehensive sex education on teenage pregnancy in Ecuador By Kamila Aguirre; Vanessa D. Carrión-Yaguana

  1. By: Sattar, Rana Abdel; Rogla, Jennifer PhD; Toeur, Veasna; Kozole, Tyler; Nicoletti, Chris; Harper, James
    Abstract: With climate events increasing in frequency and severity, effects on human life, particularly those most vulnerable, are projected to increase in coming decades. Defined as climate vulnerability, risks from climate events can take many forms, including flood damage to basic infrastructure, like household toilets. In this study of households in rural Cambodia, we investigate how climate vulnerability correlates with toilet dysfunction and abandonment using two household surveys, a latrine sales database, two flood-extent maps, and a composite climate vulnerability index. Using multiple linear regression and measures of association, we show that together and individually, increasing climate vulnerability and poverty increased toilet abandonment. Toilet dysfunction occurred more frequently in flood-prone regions during the rainy season and increased with more household members. How living in flood-prone regions affected households’ perceptions, practices, and experiences with sanitation was also characterized in detail. The results highlight the need for more scientifically rigorous evidence to improve climate-resilient toilet designs that provide access to a functional toilet year-round. Beyond technology, household behavior towards and maintenance of sanitation infrastructure is a critical concern, as unsafe practices were found to be more common among climate vulnerable households. Resources from the private, non-profit and government sectors must be re-routed to improve access to affordable sanitation in climate vulnerable regions. The sector should also strive to improve access to safely managed sanitation in rural communities, particularly ones who are most affected by climate change, in order to prevent pollution of natural resources and further protect public health.
    Date: 2023–08–15
  2. By: Perrotta Berlin, Maria (Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics); Bonnier, Evelina (Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics); Olofsgård, Anders (Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics)
    Abstract: We estimate the community-level impact of foreign aid projects on women’s empowerment in the country with the most complete recent record of geo-coded aid project placement, Malawi. Our estimates can thus be interpreted as the average impact of aid from many different donors and diverse projects. We find that aid in general has a positive impact, in particular on an index of female agency and women’s sexual and fertility preferences. Gender-targeted aid has a further positive impact on women’s sexual and fertility preferences, and more tentatively on an index focusing on gender-based violence. However, the positive impact of gender-targeted aid disappears in patrilineal communities, and men’s attitudes towards female agency in the areas of sexuality and fertility are even negatively affected. This suggests that donors need to consider that the impact of aid on female empowerment can depend on the community context when they decide on aid project design and placement.
    Keywords: foreign aid; gender; development; geo-coded data; impact analysis
    JEL: F35 J16 O19
    Date: 2023–08–31
  3. By: Burrone, Sara (University of Florence); Giannelli, Gianna Claudia (University of Florence)
    Abstract: This paper aims to study the relationship between women's land ownership and household food security in Tanzania, using data from three waves of the Tanzanian National Panel Survey. The analysis focuses on the Household Dietary Diversity Scale (HDDS) as a measure of food security, and we categorize land ownership by gender and whether it is solely or jointly owned. Additionally, we examine the impact of the gendered division of crop cultivation on household food security, distinguishing between cash crops and food crops. We estimate several fixed-effects specifications and perform a heterogeneity analysis to disentangle the effects of women's land ownership across households with varying levels of dependence on home-produced food. The findings reveal that women's land ownership significantly influences household dietary diversity. Specifically, women's sole ownership of food crops and joint ownership of cash crops have positive effects on household food security, especially for households reliant on purchased food. These results underscore the importance of women's ownership of income-generating crops in enhancing food security. Overall, this research provides valuable insights for policymakers, emphasizing the significance of women's land ownership in driving household food security in Tanzania. By uncovering the positive impacts of women's land ownership, the study highlights the importance of gender equity in agricultural systems and the potential for women's empowerment to foster sustainable development and food security.
    Keywords: gender equity, food security, land ownership, Tanzania
    JEL: O12 Q15
    Date: 2023–08
  4. By: Dhamija, Gaurav; Roychowdhury, Punarjit; Shankar, Binay
    Abstract: The paper examines the short-term implications of urbanization on women empowerment in India. In theory, urbanization can affect women either positively or negatively. Women in urban areas, compared to their rural counterparts, are thought to enjoy greater social, economic, and political opportunities and freedoms. At the same time, research shows barriers to women's empowerment remain widespread in urban environments. We measure urbanization using satellite-based nighttime light intensity data. Fixed effects estimation results show that urbanization positively affects women's labor market participation, agency within households, mobility, access to information, and attitudes toward domestic violence (thereby making them more likely to report incidences of violence). However, the effect of urbanization on women's financial autonomy is negative, and on health is mixed. These results, we show, are robust to unmeasured confounders to a large extent. In light of the rapid urbanization that India is currently experiencing, the importance of these findings cannot be overemphasized. They suggest that while urbanization could go a long way toward economically empowering women in India, the government also needs to devise complementary policies and interventions that could tackle the adverse consequences of urban expansion.
    Keywords: Gender, India, Nighttime Lights, Urbanization, Women Empowerment
    JEL: J16 O12
    Date: 2023
  5. By: Taguchi, Hiroyuki
    Abstract: This study examines whether latecomer developing countries worldwide have experienced premature deindustrialization. The main findings of this study are as follows. First, the fixed effect model based on panel data, as a baseline analysis for examining the manufacturing-income nexus using the latecomer index, identified the existence of premature deindustrialization in latecomer developing economies under globalization in the post-1990 period. Second, from a geographical perspective, the acceleration of premature deindustrialization was confirmed in Latin America and some areas of Africa. Third, the quantile regression, which served for checking the robustness of the fixed effect model estimation results, also supported the existence of premature deindustrialization in latecomer developing economies. Finally, alternative estimations demonstrated that partaking in global value chains (GVC) facilitated industrialization, whereas natural resource abundance prevented it. Regarding policy implications, GVC participation can be a viable policy for mitigating premature deindustrialization in latecomer developing economies; for resource-rich economies to prevent the Dutch disease effect from accelerating premature deindustrialization, their resource revenues could be mobilized to productive uses, like infrastructure development.
    Keywords: Premature deindustrialization, latecomer developing countries, fixed effect model, globalization, global value chains
    JEL: F10 O14
    Date: 2023–08
  6. By: Alexis Le Nestour (Center for Global Development); Laura Moscoviz (Center for Global Development); Justin Sandefur (Center for Global Development)
    Abstract: We use comparable, survey-based literacy tests for repeated cross-sections of men and women born between 1950 and 2000 to study education outcomes across cohorts in 87 countries. We find that education quality, defined as literacy conditional on completing five years of schooling, stagnated or declined across the developing world over half a century, with pronounced drops in both South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Increases in schooling outpaced the decline in education quality, leading to large increases in unconditional literacy. Shifts in student composition can explain only part of the downward trend in education quality we observe: the decline pre-dates the abolition of school fees in most countries, and patterns in adult height suggest students in later decades were healthier and wealthier than those in earlier cohorts.
    Keywords: literacy, school quality, access to education
    JEL: I25 N37 O15
    Date: 2022–02–23
  7. By: Konstantinos Angelopoulos; Spyridon Lazarakis; Rebecca Mancy; Dorice Agol; Elissaios Papyrakis
    Abstract: Resource risk is a core ingredient of models of wealth inequality in modern economies, but remains understudied in explanations of inequality in early human and small-scale societies that can inform us about the origins of inequality. Resource risk generates variation in resources and leads to wealth inequality via savings decisions, given the available production and storage technology and the institutional arrangements that govern property rights and insurance. We examine whether this mechanism can explain wealth inequality in a pastoralist economy where wealth is held in livestock, production and storage technology resembles that of early human societies and there is virtually no financial market penetration. Our analysis uses original survey data from traditional Turkana pastoralist communities in Kenya to measure wealth inequality and relevant shocks to resources and to inform a model of wealth accumulation under resource risk. The data reveal substantial wealth inequality and resource risk, including via shocks to the growth rate of livestock holdings, which depends on droughts. Asset accumulation decisions also show that livestock is not used as a buffer stock with respect to shocks to livestock. The wealth accumulation model accurately reproduces the empirical wealth distribution while also predicting the pattern of asset accumulation decisions in response to different shocks to resources observed in the data. These results demonstrate that resource risk and the economic decision making it implies explain the wealth inequality observed in the Turkana pastoralist economy we study. Our findings highlight the role of the resource risk mechanism as a driver of inequality in a small-scale economy, suggesting its importance in the origins of inequality in early human societies.
    Keywords: origins of inequality, risk exposure, small-scale economy, Turkana pastoralists
    JEL: E21 N30 O15 D31
    Date: 2023
  8. By: Antonis Adam; Thomas Moutos
    Abstract: Using information from all IMF conditionality programs from 1990 to 2018, we implement a dynamic Augmented Inverse Probability Weighting Regression Adjustment approach to examine the effects of programs, including public sector dismissals, on the size of the shadow economy. The estimated effect five years after the policy intervention indicates an increase in the share of the shadow economy to GDP by about 1.3 percentage points. More importantly, this change involves a sizable reallocation of private economic activity from its formal to its informal part, i.e., the size of the formal private sector relative to the size of the informal sector decreases by seven percentage points. We interpret these findings through the lens of a two-sector model in which there is interdependence between worker incomes and the allocation of product demand across the formal and informal sectors.
    Keywords: shadow economy, public sector employment, IMF programs, informality
    JEL: O17 J45
    Date: 2023
  9. By: Kamila Aguirre; Vanessa D. Carrión-Yaguana
    Abstract: This paper analyses the impact of comprehensive sex education on teenage pregnancy rates in Ecuador, specifically examining its implementation in schools. The inclusion of sex education as a mandatory cross-cutting theme in the updated and strengthened educational curriculum of 2010 provides a potential source of exogenous variation in access to comprehensive sex education. Using a difference-in-differences model, the study finds that the provision of comprehensive sex education in schools contributed to a reduction in teenage pregnancy rates in Ecuador.
    Keywords: Youth, Education, Difference-in-differences, Ecuador
    Date: 2023

This nep-dev issue is ©2023 by Jacob A. Jordaan. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.