nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2023‒10‒02
ten papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan, Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Pass-through of cocoa prices along the supply chain: What's left for farmers in Côte D'Ivoire? By Bensch, Gunther; Kaestner, Kathrin; Vance, Colin
  2. Participatory Teaching Improves Learning Outcomes: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Tanzania By Martina Jakob; Konstantin Büchel; Daniel Steffen; Aymo Brunetti
  3. Adolescent Girls’ Safety In and Out of School: Evidence on Physical and Sexual Violence from across Sub-Saharan Africa By David K. Evans; Susannah Hares; Peter Holland; Amina Mendez Acosta
  4. Cultural Distance and Ethnic Civil Conflict By Eleonora Guarnieri
  5. Does hotter temperature increase poverty and inequality? Global evidence from subnational data analysis By Dang, Hai-Anh H.; Cong Nguyen, Minh; Trinh, Trong-Anh
  6. The Paradox of Gender Equality and Economic Outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Role of Land Rights By Evelyn F. Wamboye
  7. Parent Training and Child Development at Low Cost? Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment in Mexico By Sergio Cárdenas; David K. Evans; Peter Holland
  8. Aid's impact on social protection in low- and middle-income countries By Miguel Niño-Zarazúa; Alma Santillán Hernández
  9. Adolescent Refugee Girls’ Secondary Education in Ethiopia: An Empirical Analysis of Multiple Vulnerabilities in Low-Resource Displacement Settings By Shelby Carvalho
  10. Higher education and mortality: legacies of an authoritarian college contraction By Felipe Gonzalez; Luis R. Martinez; Pablo Munoz; Mounu Prem

  1. By: Bensch, Gunther; Kaestner, Kathrin; Vance, Colin
    Abstract: Cocoa farmers in Côte d'Ivoire face precarious livelihoods. Low farm-gate prices that are a fraction of the world market price compel land-extensive farming practices that perpetuate a cycle of poverty and environmental degradation. This paper seeks to understand the drivers of the low pass-through of cocoa prices in the world's largest cocoa-producing country and to identify potential inefficiencies and remedies. The analysis comprehensively covers price formation along all segments of the in-country supply chain. Our approach couples econometric analyses using secondary cocoa price data and primary farm household survey data with qualitative assessments of institutional factors specific to the cocoa value chain in Côte d'Ivoire. Notwithstanding the country's highly regulated system of setting cocoa prices, we do not find evidence for inefficiencies that would explain persistently low farm-gate prices. Nor do we find that the recently introduced ''Living Income Differential'', a price premium on internationally traded cocoa, has benefited farmers. We conclude by advocating for the international cocoa industry to strengthen its development programmes in cocoa-growing communities, complemented by government provision of infrastructure and other public goods. Such efforts can ultimately serve to increase the opportunity cost of cocoa production, drawing farmers into other employment sectors while improving the resilience and livelihoods of those who remain.
    Keywords: Cocoa, pass-through, price, policy impact, value chain
    JEL: O12 O13 Q11
    Date: 2023
  2. By: Martina Jakob; Konstantin Büchel; Daniel Steffen; Aymo Brunetti
    Abstract: Participatory teaching methods have been shown to be more successful than traditional rote learning in high-income countries. It is, however, less clear if they can help address the learning crisis in low- and middle-income countries, where classes tend to be large and teachers have fewer resources at their disposal. Based on a field experiment with 440 teachers from 220 schools in Tanzania, we use official standardized student examinations to assess the impact of a pedagogy-centered intervention. A five-day in-service teacher training on participatory and practice-based methods improved students' test scores 18 months later by 0.15 SD. The additional provision of laptops with a learning software allowing teachers to refresh their content knowledge did not yield further learning gains for students. Complementary results from qualitative surveys and interviews suggest that the program was highly appreciated by different stakeholders, but that participants are unable to assess its impact along different dimensions, giving equally positive evaluations of its successful and its less successful elements.
    Keywords: productivity in education, participatory teaching, teacher content knowledge, computer-assisted learning, development economics
    JEL: C93 I21 J24 O15
    Date: 2023–09–05
  3. By: David K. Evans (Center for Global Development); Susannah Hares (Center for Global Development); Peter Holland (World Bank); Amina Mendez Acosta (Center for Global Development)
    Abstract: This study characterizes rates of physical and sexual violence against adolescent girls and compares rates of violence against girls who are enrolled versus unenrolled in school, to contribute to an understanding of the relative risks associated with school attendance. We look at rates of violence across countries that together represent 80 percent of sub-Saharan Africa’s girls aged 15-19. The analysis shows high rates of violence overall: 28.8 percent report having experienced physical or sexual violence. However, in none of the twenty countries do adolescent girls enrolled in school report a statistically significantly higher likelihood of having been sexually assaulted than girls not enrolled in schools. Another source of data sees significantly higher rates in just one country. This pattern of results is robust to the inclusion of a range of control variables, and to analysis using different sub-groups. The evidence on physical violence is more mixed. Girls face significant rates of physical and sexual violence whether they are enrolled in school or not. These findings underline the importance of confronting violence against girls both in school and in the community, with tailored programs appropriate to each setting.
    Keywords: gender-based violence, education, girls’ education
    Date: 2021–12–06
  4. By: Eleonora Guarnieri
    Abstract: Ethnically diverse countries are more prone to conflict, but why do some groups engage in conflict while others do not? I show that civil conflict is explained by ethnic groups’ cultural distance to the central government: an increase in cultural distance, proxied by linguistic distance, increases an ethnicity’s propensity to fight over government power. To identify this effect, I leverage within-ethnicity variation in linguistic distance resulting from power transitions between ethnic groups over time. I provide evidence that the effects can be attributed to differences in preferences over both the allocation and the type of public goods.
    Keywords: ethnic civil war, culture, linguistic distance, Africa, Bantu expansion
    JEL: D74 Z10 O55
    Date: 2023
  5. By: Dang, Hai-Anh H.; Cong Nguyen, Minh; Trinh, Trong-Anh
    Abstract: Despite a vast literature documenting the harmful effects of climate change on various socioeconomic outcomes, little evidence exists on the global impacts of hotter temperature on poverty and inequality. Analysis of a new global panel dataset of subnational poverty in 134 countries finds that a one-degree Celsius increase in temperature leads to a 9.1 percent increase in poverty, using the US$1.90 daily poverty threshold. A similar increase in temperature causes a 1.4 percent increase in the Gini inequality index. The paper also finds negative effects of colder temperature on poverty and inequality. Yet, while poorer countries—particularly those in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa—are more affected by climate change, household adaptation could have mitigated some adverse effects in the long run. The findings provide relevant and timely inputs for the global fight against climate change as well as the current policy debate on the responsibilities of richer countries versus poorer countries.
    Keywords: climate change; temperature; poverty; inequality; subnational data; Knowledge for Change (KCP) grant
    JEL: Q54 I32 O10
    Date: 2023–09–01
  6. By: Evelyn F. Wamboye (Penn State University; Center for Global Development)
    Abstract: Equal rights and proactive protection of the right for women and girls to inherit and own land in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is important to the expansion of the capabilities of women and girls to lead the kind of lives they value, and have reason to value. This study provides an in-depth analysis of the role of women’s ownership and access to land in SSA in determining gender equality and women’s economic and social outcomes, and provides suggestions to inform effective gender-sensitive land policies. Using cross-sectional regression analysis, we find that ownership of land by women positively contributes to women’s absolute employment. Conversely, results from pairwise correlation showed that lack of ownership of land by women is highly correlated with increased women’s unemployment. Despite these findings, the proportion of women who own land in SSA is 40 percent lower than that of men, whereby about 30 percent of women own land in SSA, compared to 70 percent of men. Moreover, women usually acquire this land either through purchase from the market system or marriage.
    Keywords: Land inheritance, gender equality, sub-Saharan Africa, Land ownership
    JEL: B54 J16 J21 O55
    Date: 2021–12–08
  7. By: Sergio Cárdenas (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE)); David K. Evans (Center for Global Development); Peter Holland (World Bank)
    Abstract: Can at-scale, government-implemented parent training programs improve parenting practices and child development outcomes? This paper presents evidence on the effects of a low-cost, group-based early childhood education program that provided parent training and direct child stimulation in rural communities in six Mexican states. Despite limited take-up, the program had positive impacts on observed parent behaviors in its first year. An index of observed parenting behaviors increased by 0.20 standard deviations, with larger effects (0.32 standard deviations) for parents of the youngest children (ages 0-35 months). An index of impacts on child development showed no statistically significantly effects, but certain aspects of child development showed suggestive evidence of positive impacts in the first year. For both parenting practices and child development, effect sizes were smaller and not statistically significant in the second year. The fade-out of effects is consistent with existing literature on parenting programs. Impacts of the program on child development were not significantly different for girls versus boys or for younger versus older children. These results suggest that parent training can be implemented at low cost, although design changes to improve implementation and take-up would likely be needed to generate sustained impacts on parenting practices.
    Keywords: Early childhood education, early childhood development, low- and middle-income countries, human capital, parenting
    Date: 2023–08–09
  8. By: Miguel Niño-Zarazúa; Alma Santillán Hernández
    Abstract: This study conducts an international comparative analysis of the recent evolution of social protection systems in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), and Asia-Pacific (APAC) regions, paying particular attention to the role of foreign aid in these dynamics. It asks: Has foreign aid contributed to the development of social protection systems? If so, what actors have driven this process? What modalities and financial instruments have been used to support social protection systems?
    Keywords: Foreign aid, Social protection, Global south, Instrumental variable
    Date: 2023
  9. By: Shelby Carvalho (Harvard University; The Center for Global Development)
    Abstract: Refugee girls are one of the most marginalized groups in the world when it comes to school participation, with girls half as likely to enroll in secondary school as their male peers. Gender disparities can be made worse by conflict and displacement and increase as children get older. As many low- and middle-income host countries move toward more inclusive models of refugee education, it’s critical to identify barriers that may differentially limit refugee girls’ inclusion. This paper uses two unique household surveys in Ethiopia to examine household and community factors shaping participation in secondary school. The findings suggest that the magnitude and sources of disadvantage vary across groups. Domestic responsibilities at home and concerns about safety in the community are more likely to limit secondary school participation for refugee girls compared to boys and host community girls, while other factors including parental education and exposure to gender-based violence are less likely to differ between refugees and host communities. These findings have implications for policies targeting girls’ education for both refugees and host communities.
    Keywords: education, gender, refugees, displacement, education in emergencies, sub-Saharan Africa, Ethiopia
    JEL: F22 I21 I24 J16 O15 N37
    Date: 2022–01–13
  10. By: Felipe Gonzalez (Queen Mary University); Luis R. Martinez (University of Chicago); Pablo Munoz (University of Chile); Mounu Prem (Einaudi Institute)
    Abstract: We provide new evidence on the causal effect of higher education on mortality. Our empirical strategy exploits the reduction in college openings introduced by the Pinochet regime after the 1973 coup in Chile, which led to a sharp downward kink in college enrollment among those cohorts reaching college age in the following years. Using administrative data from the vital statistics, we document an upward kink in the age-specific yearly mortality rate of individuals in the affected cohorts. We estimate a negative effect of college on mortality between ages 34-74, which is larger for men, but also sizable for women. Individuals in the affected cohorts experience worse labor market outcomes, are more likely to be enrolled in the public health system, and report lower consumption of health services. This suggests that economic disad-vantage and limited access to care play an important mediating role in the link between higher education and mortality.
    Date: 2023–09–18

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