nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2023‒10‒30
fourteen papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan, Universiteit Utrecht

  1. The Welfare Effects of including Household Preferences in School Assignment Systems: Evidence from Ecuador By Elacqua, Gregory; Jacas, Isabel; Krussig, Thomas; Méndez, Carolina; Neilson, Christopher
  2. Educational Assortative Mating and Harsh Parenting in Sub-Saharan Africa By Pesando, Luca Maria; De Cao, Elisabetta; La Mattina, Giulia; Ciancio, Alberto
  3. Ocean Salinity, Early-Life Health, and Adaptation By Guimbeau, Amanda; Ji, Xinde James; Long, Zi; Menon, Nidhiya
  4. Drought Shocks and Labor Reallocation in Rural Africa: Evidence from Ethiopia By Musungu, Arnold L.; Kubik, Zaneta; Qaim, Matin
  5. Improving Early Literacy through Teacher Professional Development: Experimental Evidence from Colombia By Álvarez Marinelli, Horacio; Berlinski, Samuel; Busso, Matías; Martínez Correa, Julián
  6. The long-term impact of (un)conditional cash transfers on labour market outcomes in Ecuador By Juan Ponce; Jos\'e-Ignacio Ant\'on; Mercedes Onofa; Roberto Castillo
  7. Climate Change and Political Participation: Evidence from India By Amrit Amirapu; Irma Clots-Figueras; Juan Pablo Rud
  8. The Impact of Smart Subsidies on Agricultural Production: Innovative Evidence from Argentina Using Survey and Remote Sensing Data By Schling, Maja; Pazos, Nicolás
  9. Long Run Consequences of Ethnic Conflict On Social Capital: Evidence from South Africa By Paz, Santiago
  10. Digging Deep: Resource Exploitation and Higher Education By Balza, Lenin; De Los Rios, Camilo; Rivera, Nathaly M.
  11. Economic Mobility and Fairness in a Developing Country: Evidence from Peru By Castro, Juan Francisco; Yamada, Gustavo; Medina, Santiago; Armas, Joaquin
  12. Does Economic Freedom Moderate Perceived Corruption for Firms in India? By Dutta, Nabamita; Kar, Saibal; Stivers, Adam
  13. Country Transition Projections up to 2040: Gavi, the Global Fund, and the World Bank’s IDA By Adrian Gheorghe; Peter Baker
  14. Long-term Effects of Weather-induced Migration on Urban Labor and Housing Markets By Busso, Matías; Chauvin, Juan Pablo

  1. By: Elacqua, Gregory; Jacas, Isabel; Krussig, Thomas; Méndez, Carolina; Neilson, Christopher
    Abstract: We study the welfare produced by a coordinated school assignment system that is based exclusively on minimizing distance to schools, comparing the matches it produces to a system that includes household preferences using a deferred acceptance algorithm. We leverage administrative data and a mechanism change implemented in the city of Manta, Ecuador in 2021 to estimate household preferences and show that considering applicant preferences produces large welfare gains. Our counterfactual exercises show that differences across alternative assignment mechanisms are small. Survey data on household beliefs and satisfaction support these conclusions. The evidence indicates that coordinated school choice and assignment systems can have large welfare effects in developing country contexts.
    Keywords: Mechanism design;centralized student assignment;school choice;Ecuador
    JEL: I20 I21 I22
    Date: 2022–11
  2. By: Pesando, Luca Maria (New York University); De Cao, Elisabetta (London School of Economics); La Mattina, Giulia (University of South Florida); Ciancio, Alberto (University of Glasgow)
    Abstract: Leveraging underused information on child discipline methods, this study explores the relationship between parental educational similarity and violent childrearing practices, testing a new potential pathway through which parental educational similarity may relate to child outcomes. The study uses data from Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) and Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) covering 27 sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. Results suggest that educationally similar couples are less likely to adopt violent childrearing practices relative to educationally dissimilar ones, with differences by age of the child, yet less so by sex and birth order. Homogamous couples where both partners share high levels of education are also less (more) likely to adopt physically violent (non-violent) practices relative to homogamous couples with low levels of education. Relationships are stronger in countries characterized by higher GDP per capita, Human Development Index, and female education, yet also in countries with higher income and gender inequalities. Besides stressing the importance of female education, these findings underscore the key role of status concordance vs discordance in SSA partnerships. Tested micro-level mechanisms and country-level moderators only weakly explain result heterogeneity, calling for more research on the topic.
    Keywords: education, assortative mating, child discipline, parenting, status consistency, sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: I21 J12 J13 O12 O15 O57
    Date: 2023–09
  3. By: Guimbeau, Amanda (University of Sherbrooke); Ji, Xinde James (University of Florida); Long, Zi (Brandeis University); Menon, Nidhiya (Brandeis University)
    Abstract: We study the effects of in utero exposure to climate change induced high ocean salinity levels on children's anthropometric outcomes. Leveraging six geo-referenced waves of the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Surveys merged with gridded data on ocean salinity, ocean chemistry and weather indicators (temperature, rainfall and humidity) from 1993 to 2018, we find that a one standard deviation increase in in utero salinity exposure leads to a 0.11 standard deviation decline in height-for-age. Effects on weight-for-height and weight-for-age for a similar magnitude increase in salinity are 0.13 and 0.15 standard deviations, respectively. Analyses of parental investments and health-seeking behaviors demonstrate that compensating actions along these dimensions to attenuate the detrimental effects of salinity are few and restricted to poorer households. Using satellite-sourced datasets on agriculture and land-use, we find that increasing salinity constrains farmers' land use choices, leading to lower agricultural profitability. In particular, the effects of salinity on child health originate in areas with lower agricultural intensity caused by the progressive salinization of productive lands. These results highlight highlight the costs of environmental insults on early-life health outcomes in vulnerable populations.
    Keywords: ocean salinity, early-life health, climate change, height-for-age, weight-for-height, weight-for-age, children, adaptation, Bangladesh
    JEL: Q54 Q15 Q56 I15 O13 J13
    Date: 2023–09
  4. By: Musungu, Arnold L.; Kubik, Zaneta; Qaim, Matin
    Abstract: We study how rural households in Ethiopia adapt to droughts through labor reallocation. By using three waves of panel data and exploiting spatial-temporal variations in drought exposure, we find that households reduce on-farm work and increase off-farm self-employment in response to both short-term and persistent droughts, without abandoning family farming. Diversification into off-farm activities is driven by drought-related productivity declines in agriculture and contributes to consumption smoothing. Households with better access to markets and financial services find it easier to reallocate labor off-farm. Our results highlight the importance of strengthening the rural non-farm economy to enhance rural households’ climate resilience.
    Keywords: Labor and Human Capital
    Date: 2023–10–08
  5. By: Álvarez Marinelli, Horacio; Berlinski, Samuel; Busso, Matías; Martínez Correa, Julián
    Abstract: Teachers are the most fundamental input of students' learning. For this reason, developing teaching skills is a policy priority for most governments around the world. We experimentally evaluate the effectiveness of "Let's All Learn to Read, " a one-year professional development program that trained and coached teachers throughout the school year and provided them and their students with structured materials. Following a year of instruction by the trained teachers, students' literacy scores in treated schools grew by 0.386 of a standard deviation compared to students in the control group. These gains persisted through the second and third grades. We also show that an early intervention in rst grade is more cost-effective at improving literacy skills than implementing remediation strategies in third grade.
    Date: 2022–10
  6. By: Juan Ponce; Jos\'e-Ignacio Ant\'on; Mercedes Onofa; Roberto Castillo
    Abstract: Despite the popularity of conditional cash transfers in low- and middle-income countries, evidence on their long-term effects remains scarce. This paper assesses the impact of the Ecuador's Human Development Grant on the formal sector labour market outcomes of children in eligible households. This grant -- one of the first of its kind -- is characterised by weak enforcement of its eligibility criteria. By means of a regression discontinuity design, we find that this programme increased formal employment rates and labour income around a decade after exposure, thereby curbing the intergenerational transmission of poverty. We discuss possible mediating mechanisms based on findings from previous literature and, in particular, provide evidence on how the programme contributed to persistence in school in the medium run.
    Date: 2023–09
  7. By: Amrit Amirapu (University of Kent); Irma Clots-Figueras (University of Kent/IZA); Juan Pablo Rud (University of London/IZA/Institute of Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: We study the effects of temperature shocks on electoral outcomes in Indian elections. Taking advantage of localized, high-frequency data on temperatures, we find that exposure to extreme temperatures the year before an election increases voter turnout, changes the composition of the candidate pool, and leads to different electoral outcomes (e.g. winning candidates are more likely to have an agricultural background). The effects are driven by reductions in agricultural productivity and are strongest in rural areas. We also show that temperature shocks increase the value voters place on agricultural issues and on policies which mitigate the effects of extreme temperatures, such as irrigation.
    Date: 2023–10
  8. By: Schling, Maja; Pazos, Nicolás
    Abstract: This study assesses the impact of the Program for Rural Development and Family Agriculture (PRODAF), a smart subsidies project that benefited the family farming stratum in northeastern Argentina. The evaluation draws on two complementary data sources. The first is a survey of agricultural households with a sample of 898 farmers (534 treated and 364 control) conducted after the end of the project. The second uses plot georeferencing to measure agricultural yields with satellite data for a subsample of 195 farmers over a 10-year period. Using the inverse probability weighting methodology, we find that PRODAF increased the technology adoption rate by 21 percentage points, and increased access to credit by 47 percentage points. Overcoming these barriers enabled the beneficiary farmers to increase the value of their sales and net income, although impacts varied among the four prioritized chains. In contrast, the analysis only detected a significant impact on yields for the citrus chain, which may be due to the type of technology adopted in this chain. Finally, we construct the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) to estimate productivity in the cotton and citrus chains. Applying the event study method, we confirm that technology adoption is a complex process whose full impact on yields only materializes between the second and third year post-treatment. We additionally confirm that the use of satellite data is an effective tool that accurately estimates yield changes and can be used to monitor and assess this type of intervention in real time and at a low cost.
    Keywords: Technology Adoptation;Productivity;Remote Sensing;Impact Evaluation;Argentina
    JEL: H43 O12 O13 Q12 Q16
    Date: 2022–08
  9. By: Paz, Santiago (Universidad de los Andes)
    Abstract: This paper studies the following research question: What are the consequences of historical ethnic conflict on contemporary levels of social capital? This question is relevant, since understanding the consequences of historical ethnic violence on contemporary social capital can provide useful inputs to design effective State-building policies. I exploit Mfecane, a period of ethnic upheaval in South African history, as a setting to examine the causal effects of historical ethnic conflict on contemporary levels of social capital. For this end, I use a combination of a historical approximation of the Mfecane warzone with geocoded data from the Afrobarometer project (2000-2016). Using an instrumental variables strategy, I find that historical ethnic conflict decreases contemporary trust in people among individuals living within the borders of Mfecane, while increasing trust in relatives and neighbors. Increases in in-group trust appear to be driven by the long run persistence of parochial altruism. Conversely, lower levels of betweengroup trust can be explained by the lack of economic incentives to cooperate with strangers in former warzones. These results are suggestive of a degree of substitutability between in-group and between-group social capital, at the community level.
    Keywords: Violence; Social Capital; Trust; Ethnic Conflict; South Africa
    JEL: D74 N00 O10 O12 O13 Q34
    Date: 2023–09–21
  10. By: Balza, Lenin; De Los Rios, Camilo; Rivera, Nathaly M.
    Abstract: Do resource-extraction booms crowd out postsecondary education? We explore this question by examining the higher education-related decisions of Chilean high school graduates during the 2000s commodities boom. We find mineral extraction increases a person's likelihood of enrolling in postsecondary technical education while reducing the likelihood of completing a four-year professional degree program. Importantly, effects are heterogeneous across economic backgrounds. The impact on college dropouts is primarily present among students that graduated from public high schools, which generally cater to low-income groups. Our findings show that natural resources may affect human capital accumulation differently across income groups in resource-rich economies.
    Keywords: Resource Curse;ResourceBooms;Education;Latin America;Chile
    JEL: Q32 Q33 I23 I25 I26
    Date: 2022–10
  11. By: Castro, Juan Francisco (Universidad del Pacifico); Yamada, Gustavo (Universidad del Pacifico); Medina, Santiago (Harvard University); Armas, Joaquin (Stanford University)
    Abstract: Periods of rapid economic growth in developing countries have been well studied in terms of poverty and income inequality reduction, but much less is known about the performance of these countries in terms of economic mobility. We study intragenerational mobility in Peru using an asset-based measure of wealth and longitudinal data from the Young Lives project (2002 - 2016). We find that Peruvian households enjoyed a moderately large degree of mobility in this period. Averages, however, mask significant differences between Spanish-speaking households and those that speak an indigenous language. We estimate a positive mobility gap in favor of Spanish-speaking households of 12.7 percentiles, and find that half of this gap persists after controlling for a comprehensive set of household characteristics that impact their ability to accumulate wealth. We propose a new measure of individual mobility and use it to assess the degree of inequality of opportunity for mobility, that is, to what extent is mobility caused by circumstances outside of households' control. We find that this fraction is at least 17.4% for the most disadvantaged half of the population, but only 1.9% for the more advantaged half.
    Keywords: economic mobility, inequality of opportunity, development, wealth
    JEL: D63 D31 J60
    Date: 2023–09
  12. By: Dutta, Nabamita (University of Wisconsin, La Crosse); Kar, Saibal (Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta); Stivers, Adam (University of Wisconsin, La Crosse)
    Abstract: Available wisdom suggests that a negative relationship prevails between economic freedom and perceived corruption among firms. However, the relationship is far from linear and a number of complex interactions make it fairly nuanced. We show that greater competition may accentuate the problem of corruption. This is contrary to the general observation that regulations create conditions for corrupt practices. This study uses a broad-based survey for India to examine the role of economic freedom in influencing perceived corruption. The firm-level data helps to explore the relationship between economic freedom across Indian states and the perceived corruption in the formal sector. A statistically significant negative relationship as we obtain implies a fall in perceived corruption as a function of rise in contemporaneous and lagged economic freedom. These results hold when we design matching models and add a number of covariates with potentially opposite impact overall. The empirical structure clearly highlights the process of identification and shows that small and young firms and those with sole ownership perceive greater benefits from higher economic freedom. However as claimed above, older firms perceive higher corruption when economic freedom is higher. This lends support to the idea that competition facilitated by economic freedom can increase rent seeking behavior. Our study contributes to the literature by emphasizing that the relationship between economic freedom and corruption in India is layered, with firm characteristics playing a crucial role.
    Keywords: perceived corruption, economic freedom, firm size, ownership, India
    JEL: D73 E26 J54 L11 P37
    Date: 2023–09
  13. By: Adrian Gheorghe (Center for Global Development); Peter Baker (Center for Global Development)
    Abstract: Many countries are facing a much harsher budgetary prospect than a few years ago. For low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in particular, domestic health expenditure is expected to plateau or contract (in real terms) for many until 2027, development assistance for health has already plateaued, and a debt crisis is looming – all likely to squeeze budgetary space for health for many years ahead. This paper updates a previous CGD mapping of potential transitions for health aid in light of up-to-date 2023 economic projections and transition policies of three mechanisms with explicit eligibility rules: Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance (Gavi); the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (GFATM); and the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA). By “transition, ” we refer to the year when a country is expected to no longer meet eligibility rules for one of the three mechanisms and for the related health aid to stop (gradually, as applicable). We find that, of 104 LMICs included in our analysis, 45 countries will be above the eligibility threshold of at least one mechanism by 2040. This is higher than expected based on projections informed by April 2017 economic prospects (26 countries), which suggests that events during the past three years have not derailed transition prospects. However, eligibility and transition policies need to respond to the reality that these countries’ budgetary space may be more constrained (e.g., by debt repayments) than in previous transition phases. There are important differences between the three mechanisms due to differences in their eligibility polices, with fewer transitions in Gavi’s and GFATM’s portfolios than in IDA’s. In addition, 60 countries are not projected to cross any eligibility threshold by 2040. This implies a commitment to supporting these countries well beyond the Sustainable Development Goals era, which may not be the policy intent of their donors. We argue that these findings call for a coordinated reexamination of the principles and content of eligibility and transition policies of the major global health financing mechanisms.
    Date: 2023–10–11
  14. By: Busso, Matías; Chauvin, Juan Pablo
    Abstract: This paper explores the effects of weather-induced rural-urban migration on urban labor and housing markets in Brazil. In order to identify causal effects, it uses weather shocks to the rural municipalities of origin of migrants. We show that larger migration shocks led to an increase in employment growth and a reduction in wage growth of 4 and 5 percent, respectively. The increased migration flows also affected the housing market in destination cities. On average, it led to 1 percent faster growth of the housing stock, accompanied by 5 percent faster growth in housing rents. These effects vary sharply by housing quality. We find a substantial positive effect on the growth rates of the most precarious housing units (with no effect on rents) and a negative effect on the growth of higher-quality housing units (with a positive effect on rents). This suggests that rural immigration growth slowed down housing-quality upgrading in destination cities.
    Keywords: Weather-induced migration;Rural-urban migration;Urban labor markets;Urban housing markets;developing countries
    JEL: J46 J61 O18 R23
    Date: 2023–01

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