nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2023‒11‒13
twelve papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan, Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Climate change and migration: the case of Africa By Bruno Conte
  2. From drought to distress: unpacking the mental health effects of water scarcity By Richard Freund
  3. Employment shifts and the debate on job polarization in Latin America: the cases of Argentina, Chile and Mexico By Roxana Maurizio; Ana Paula Monsalvo; Sol Catania; Silvana Martínez
  4. COVID-19, Crises and Women's Control of Resources: Evidence from Mexico By Casco José L.
  5. Effective Land Ownership, Female Empowerment, and Food Security: Evidence from Peru By Schling, Maja; Pazos, Nicolás
  6. Violent Conflicts and Educational Outcomes: The LRA Insurgency in Northern Uganda Revisited By Douglas Kazibwe
  7. The Impact of Parental Health Shocks on Child Schooling and Labor: Evidence from Thailand By Sasiwooth Wongmonta
  8. Cooperative Property Rights and Development: Evidence from Land Reform in El Salvador: A Comment By Anders Kjelsrud; Andreas Kotsadam; Ole Rogeberg
  9. Government fragmentation and educational outcomes: evidence on the creation of municipalities in Chile By Alcaíno, Manuel; Jaimovich, Analia; Méndez, Carolina; Vásquez, Diana
  10. Telementoring and Homeschooling during School Closures: A Randomized Experiment in Rural Bangladesh By Hassan, Hashibul; Islam, Asad; Siddique, Abu; Choon Wang, Liang
  11. Unintended Consequences of Youth Entrepreneurship Programs: Experimental Evidence from Rwanda By Blimpo, Moussa; Pugatch, Todd
  12. Seeking for the shift towards challenge-oriented innovation policies: Tracing digitalization policies over two decades in Africa By Otioma, Chuks; Nsanzumuhire, Silas U.; Grillitsch, Markus; Jirström, Magnus

  1. By: Bruno Conte
    Abstract: How will future climate change affect rural economies like sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in terms of migration and welfare losses? How can policy enhance SSA’s capacity to adapt to this process? I answer these questions with a quantitative framework that, coupled with rich spatial data and forecasts for the future, estimates millions of climate migrants and sizeable and unequal welfare losses in SSA. Investigating migration and trade policies as mitigating tools, I find a tradeoff associated with the former: reducing SSA migration barriers to the European Union (EU) standards eliminates aggregate welfare losses at the cost of more climate migration and high regional inequality. Reducing tariffs to the EU levels attenuates this cost.
    Keywords: climate change, migration, economic geography
    JEL: O15 Q54 R12
    Date: 2023–10
  2. By: Richard Freund
    Abstract: I provide quasi-experimental evidence of the effect of drought exposure on young adults’ experiences of anxiety and depression by leveraging a natural experiment: the 2021 drought in Ethiopia. My analysis applies a difference-in-differences strategy and couples 40 years of rainfall data with longitudinal data on mental health. I find that exposure to below long-run average rainfall increases in the probability of experiencing at least mild anxiety and depression by 0.35 and 0.29 standard deviations, respectively. These effects are strongest among those who grew up in the poorest households and those with low childhood reading ability. The impact on depression is also pronounced among those with low self-esteem. Additional evidence on mechanisms suggests the mental health effects may partly be explained by the drought’s impact on food insecurity, inflation, and perceived household poverty.
    Keywords: mental health , drought , climate change , anxiety , Ethiopia , depression
    Date: 2023
  3. By: Roxana Maurizio (IIEP-University of Buenos Aires); Ana Paula Monsalvo (National University of General Sarmiento); Sol Catania (IIEP-University of Buenos Aires); Silvana Martínez (University of Buenos Aires)
    Abstract: This article examines the changes in the structure of employment and income in three Latin American countries -Argentina, Chile and Mexico- during different subperiods over the first two decades of the new millennium. It applies the “jobs approach”, which combines occupation type and branch of activity. The study is carried out for all workers and also for different subgroups defined on the basis of gender, age, educational level and formality status. The results show a wide variation of structural change patterns between periods and countries. In Argentina, an inverted U-shaped pattern is found in employment growth for the period 2003–12, while a certain polarizing trend is observed between 2012 and 2019. In Chile, no clear pattern is identified between 2000 and 2009, and a certain pattern of upgrading is found from 2009 until 2017. In Mexico, there is no evidence of significant changes between 2006 and 2010, while an inverted U-shaped pattern is found in the following decade. In the three countries, when the nearly two decades under analysis are considered as a whole, a reallocation of jobs from the lower end of the distribution to jobs in the middle and upper part of the distribution can be observed. Lastly, mean wages behaved differently from what was observed in jobs, as lower-income occupations experienced greater increases during the period studied.
    Keywords: job polarization, structural change, jobs, Latin America, employment
    Date: 2023–10
  4. By: Casco José L.
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of crises on the intra-household allocation of resources. To study this issue, I use survey data from Mexico and estimate a structural model of household behavior to recover how much resources are allocated to each household member. Then, I construct a proxy for women's bargaining power using the women's control of resources and document how it evolves over periods of economic stability and contraction. The results suggest that during the COVID-19 crisis period, women's control of resources decreased relative to the non-recession period (4-5 percentage points) and the financial crisis (6-8 percentage points). This effect was more pronounced for households with children than those without children. Finally, I look into how this resource reallocation affects household consumption and individual poverty. The results of this paper highlight the heterogeneous behavior of intra-household inequality and women's bargaining power over the business cycle. It also suggests that the hypothesis that the financial crisis was a "man-cession" and the COVID-19 crisis was a "she-cession" holds in terms of intra-household resource allocation.
    Keywords: Crisis;Resource shares;Control of resources;COVID-19
    JEL: D10 I14 I30 J10 H12
    Date: 2023–10
  5. By: Schling, Maja; Pazos, Nicolás
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of women's effective land ownership on female empowerment and household food security in the context of Peruvian family farming. Using an instrumental variable approach, we explore whether self-declared informal ownership of plots provides women with increased bargaining power, empowering them to participate more actively in productive decision-making that leads to improved crop diversity and food security. While our results do not find significant effects of informal land ownership on women's empowerment, we do find that owning land significantly decreases the daily time dedicated to agricultural work, possibly freeing up time for the woman to engage in other activities. Results also show that female land ownership significantly increases the level of crop diversity and improves the households probability of being food secure by 20 percentage points. This suggests that equal access to land, even without formal title, plays an important role in improving household welfare among smallholder family farmers.
    Keywords: Gender empowerment;food security;land property rights;Peru;Latin America
    JEL: C26 O12 O13 Q15 Q18
    Date: 2021–12
  6. By: Douglas Kazibwe (Deakin University)
    Abstract: I investigate the consequences of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency on the educational outcomes of individuals in Northern Uganda. I employ an identification strategy that exploits variations in conflict intensity across birth cohorts and geographic locations using a Difference-in-Differences (DiD) model. Empirical results show that individuals exposed to the conflict experience a decline in completed years of schooling and literacy. There are differential effects between gender and place of residence, but not between duration of exposure. Additionally, we examine the possible supply and demand transmission mechanisms explaining the main result. Evidence suggests that conflict-induced degradation of school infrastructures, increases in school size, and the teacher-student ratio due to displacement, as well as the reduction in household education expenditure due to direct exposure to violent events, exacerbate educational outcomes. These key mechanisms are vital in formulating effective policy interventions that address the critical supply and demand barriers to education and improve access to education during and in the post-conflict period.
    Date: 2023–09
  7. By: Sasiwooth Wongmonta
    Abstract: This paper uses household panel data from the Thai Socio-Economic Surveys of 2012 and 2017 to examine the effects of parental health shocks on child education and labor. Three measures of parental health are analyzed: chronic illness, hospitalization, and self-reported health problem. The results show that illness of the parents decreases school enrollment and leads to fewer years of education completed. Additionally, it finds that paternal illness has a relatively more detrimental effect on children’s educational outcomes than maternal illness, especially for the educational attainment. Girls are less likely to have attended school if any parent self-reported having any health problems. Parents’ chronic illness increases the probability of entering the labor force for youths aged 15 and over; however, only maternal illness increases their time spent at work. Households having both parents hospitalized are most likely associated with the significant decrease in household income and education expenditures. The results suggest that targeted government support to low-income families affected by major illnesses of parents could help them to maintain their children in school.
    Keywords: education; child labor; human capital; health shocks; Thailand
    JEL: I14 I24 O15
    Date: 2023–10
  8. By: Anders Kjelsrud (Oslo Business School, Oslo Metropolitan University); Andreas Kotsadam (The Frisch Centre, Oslo/Norway); Ole Rogeberg (The Frisch Centre, Oslo/Norway)
    Abstract: Montero (2022) explores a discontinuity in a land reform in El Salvador and reports two main findings. First, relative to outside-owned haciendas operated by contract workers, the productivity of worker-owned cooperatives is higher for staple crops and lower for cash-crop. Second, cooperative property rights increase workers' incomes and compress wage distributions. In this comment, we show that the latter result rests on two mistakes: three-quarters of the observations are duplicates and income inequality is calculated over too few workers to be meaningful. When corrected, the data sources and research design provide no credible evidence regarding the causal effects of ownership structure on income levels and inequality.
    Date: 2023–03–10
  9. By: Alcaíno, Manuel; Jaimovich, Analia; Méndez, Carolina; Vásquez, Diana
    Abstract: We explore how government fragmentation affects public education provision by examining the case of Chile, which created 11 municipalities between 1994 and 2004. Using territories that sought, but failed to, achieve independence as controls, we find that schools in newly created municipalities, on average, experienced a standard deviation decline of 0.2 in elementary school mathematics performance. In addition, fragmentation led to a high turnover and increased job insecurity of classroom teachers and school management teams in newly created municipalities. In contrast, we found that reducing the size of the original municipalities school networks does not impact student outcomes or school personnel. Overall, our findings point to specific unintended educational effects of policies that seek to enhance horizontal decentralization.
    Keywords: Municipalities;Education;Chile
    JEL: I21 I28 H83
    Date: 2022–01
  10. By: Hassan, Hashibul (Jagannath University); Islam, Asad (Monash University); Siddique, Abu (King's College London); Choon Wang, Liang (Monash University)
    Abstract: Using a randomized experiment in 200 Bangladeshi villages, we evaluate the impact of an over-the-phone learning support intervention (telementoring) among primary school children and their mothers during Covid-19 school closures. Post-intervention, treated children scored 35% higher on a standardized test, and the homeschooling involvement of treated mothers increased by 22 minutes per day (26%). We also found that the intervention forestalled treated children's learning losses. When we returned to the participants one year later, after schools briefly reopened, we found that the treatment effects had persisted. Academically weaker children benefited the most from the intervention that only cost USD 20 per child.
    Keywords: randomized experiment, primary education, school closure, COVID-19, homeschooling, telementoring, rural Bangladesh
    JEL: C93 I21 I24
    Date: 2023–10
  11. By: Blimpo, Moussa (University of Toronto); Pugatch, Todd (Oregon State University)
    Abstract: The persistently high employment share of the informal sector makes entrepreneurship a necessity for youth in many developing countries. We exploit exogenous variation in the implementation of Rwanda's entrepreneurship education reform in secondary schools to evaluate its effect on student economic outcomes up to three years after graduation. Using a randomized controlled trial, we evaluated a three-year intensive training for entrepreneurship teachers, finding pedagogical changes as intended and increased entrepreneurial activity among students. In this paper, we tracked students following graduation and found that increased entrepreneurship persisted one year later, in 2019. Students from treated schools were six percentage points more likely to be entrepreneurs, an increase of 19 percent over the control mean. However, gains in entrepreneurship faded after three years, in 2021. Employment was six percentage points lower in the treatment group. By some measures, income and profits were lower in the treatment group, with no robust differences in these outcomes overall. Lower incomes and profits were concentrated among marginal students induced into entrepreneurship by the program. Youth entrepreneurship programs may therefore steer some participants away from their comparative advantage. Nonetheless, the program increased university enrollment, suggesting the potential for higher long run returns.
    Keywords: entrepreneurship education, youth employment, secondary school, pedagogy, randomized controlled trials, Rwanda
    JEL: I25 I26 I28 J24 O12 O15
    Date: 2023–09
  12. By: Otioma, Chuks (UNU Merit); Nsanzumuhire, Silas U. (UNU Merit); Grillitsch, Markus (CIRCLE, Lund University); Jirström, Magnus (Lund University)
    Abstract: The current innovation-policy discourse suggests a shift towards challenge-orientation and calls for a whole of government approach to tackle grand societal challenges such as climate change, inequality, and poverty. We seek for such a shift in two countries highly exposed to these challenges, South Africa and Rwanda, and in relation to digitalization policies, which hold strong transformative potential. To do so, we develop an analytical framework, which differentiates between policy goals (intended economic, social, or environmental outcomes) and policy rationales (technology-push, system building, or transformative change). Our empirical results show little resemblance to the temporality assumed in the literature, namely that policy goals and policy rationales should shift towards challenge-orientation and transformation over time. In contrast, we find that the policies relevant for the digital transformation have been challenge-driven from the beginning addressing besides economic growth also inclusivity and poverty reduction. Also, we find a potentially generalizable pattern in transformation processes, embarking from system building, then focusing on developing products, processes, and business models, and finally specializing the instruments to address specific shortcomings. The findings complement and contrast existing studies often centered on the Global North and often covering a narrower set of innovation policies.
    Keywords: Innovation policy; grand challenges; digitalization; South Africa; Rwanda; transformation; system innovation; policy evolution
    JEL: O10 O30 O33 O38 O55
    Date: 2023–10–30

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