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World Development
Journal Prestige (SJR): 2.122
Citation Impact (citeScore): 4
Number of Followers: 218  
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 0305-750X - ISSN (Online) 1873-5991
Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3206 journals]
  • Improving access to savings through mobile money: Experimental evidence
           from African smallholder farmers
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2020Source: World Development, Volume 129Author(s): Catia Batista, Pedro C. Vicente Investment in improved agricultural inputs is infrequent for smallholder farmers in Africa. One barrier may be limited access to formal savings. This is the first study to use a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the impact of using mobile money as a tool to promote agricultural investment. For this purpose, we designed and conducted a field experiment with a sample of smallholder farmers in rural Mozambique. This sample included a set of primary farmers and their closest farming friends. We work with two cross-randomized interventions. The first treatment gave access to a remunerated mobile savings account. The second treatment targeted closest farming friends and gave them access to the exact same interventions as their primary farmer counterparts. We find that the remunerated mobile savings account raised mobile savings, but only while interest was being paid. It also increased agricultural investment in fertilizer, although there was no change in investment in other complementary inputs that were not directly targeted by the intervention, unlike fertilizer. These results suggest that fertilizer salience in the remunerated savings treatment may have been important to focus farmers’ (limited) attention on saving some of their harvest proceeds, rather than farmers being financially constrained by a lack of alternative ways to save. Our results also suggest that the network intervention where farming friends had access to non-remunerated mobile money accounts decreased incentives to save and invest in agricultural inputs, likely due to network free-riding because of lower transfer costs within the network. Overall this research shows that tailored mobile money products can be used effectively to improve modern agricultural technology adoption in countries with very low agricultural productivity like Mozambique.
  • A fine predicament: Conditioning, compliance and consequences in a labeled
           cash transfer program
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2020Source: World Development, Volume 129Author(s): Carolyn J. Heinrich, Matthew T. Knowles The Kenya Cash Transfer Programme for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (CT-OVC) presents a valuable opportunity to examine the effects of imposing monetary penalties for noncompliance with conditions in cash transfer programs, in contrast to providing only guidance (or “labeling”) for cash transfer use. We take advantage of random assignment to a conditional arm within the CT-OVC treatment locations to understand the impact of imposing conditions with penalties on program beneficiaries, as well as how this effect varies by household wealth. Program beneficiaries (orphans and vulnerable children) were expected to visit health facilities for immunizations, growth monitoring and nutrition supplements and to enroll in and attend school. We find little difference in program outcomes between households in the conditional treatment arm compared to those in the treatment arm with labeling only (in which information was provided about these expectations but compliance was not monitored). However, among the poorest CT-OVC beneficiaries, assignment to the conditional arm was associated with penalty fines and a significant decrease in non-food consumption. This suggests that in comparison to labeled cash transfers, conditional cash transfers may produce unintended, regressive policy effects for the most vulnerable participants.
  • Farm diversification as an adaptation strategy to climatic shocks and
           implications for food security in northern Namibia
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2020Source: World Development, Volume 129Author(s): Chalmers K. Mulwa, Martine Visser Limited non-farm opportunities in the rural areas of the developing world, coupled with population growth, means agriculture will continue to play a dominant role as a source of livelihood in these areas. Thus, while rural transformation has dominated recent literature as a way of improving welfare through diversifying into non-farm sectors, improving productivity and resilience to shocks in smallholder agricultural production cannot be downplayed. This is especially so given the changing climatic conditions affecting agricultural production, and thus threatening many livelihoods in rural areas. Farm diversification is an important strategy for creating resilience against climatic shocks in farm production. Using cross-sectional data from northern Namibia, the study assesses the barriers and success factors related to effective crop and livestock enterprises diversification and the effect of these on food security outcomes. A Seemingly Unrelated Regression model is used to assess the joint factors explaining total farm diversification, while a step-wise error correction model is used to evaluate the conditional effect of diversification in each of the two farm enterprises on two measures of food security: food expenditure and dietary diversity. We find that past exposure to climate shocks informs current diversification levels and that access to climate information is a key success factor for both livestock and crop diversification. In terms of food security, greater diversification in either crop or livestock production leads to higher food security outcomes, with neither crop nor livestock diversification showing dominance in affecting food security outcomes. However, an overall higher level of diversification in both livestock and crop enterprises is dominant in explaining food security outcomes.
  • Chinese development assistance and household welfare in Sub-Saharan Africa
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2020Source: World Development, Volume 129Author(s): Bruno Martorano, Laura Metzger, Marco Sanfilippo We study the impact of Chinese aid on household welfare in Sub-Saharan Africa by combining data on Chinese development projects with data from Demographic and Health Surveys. Using difference-in-differences estimations and a matching technique, we analyze the effect of Chinese aid on three social development outcomes: education, and child health and nutrition. We find that Chinese aid projects improve education and child mortality in treatment areas but have no effects on child nutrition. A sectoral analysis further reveals that social sector projects successfully improve households’ health and education. Improvements in these outcomes may additionally be driven indirectly by a positive effect of Chinese aid on economic welfare in treatment areas. Regarding the distribution and scale of Chinese projects we find that our results hold for lower treatment intensity levels only, suggesting a non-linear effect of Chinese aid.
  • Agriculture in the process of development: A micro-perspective
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2020Source: World Development, Volume 129Author(s): Jeffrey D. Michler This paper compares national-level data from India with 40 years of household panel data from rural India to track sectoral changes in employment and income as well as examine the hypothesis of induced innovation in agricultural production. In the national data, India appears to be in the midst of a structural transformation. The share of agriculture in GDP and employment has shrunk while agricultural output continues to grow. This productivity growth appears to adhere to the induced innovation hypothesis, as productivity per hectare has increased more rapidly than productivity per worker. Many of the same patterns exist in the household data. Tracking households across time, I observe agricultural output has increased, despite more households engaging in off-farm labor. Household agricultural production is highly specialized and has increased its reliance on improved inputs. However, while agricultural income has grown, industrial and service income has remained stagnant, and the relative income of these households has declined in recent years.
  • Risk, poverty or politics' The determinants of subnational public
           spending allocation for adaptive disaster risk reduction in Bangladesh
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2020Source: World Development, Volume 129Author(s): Azreen Karim, Ilan Noy We examine the directly observable determinants of sub-national (central to local) public spending allocations for disaster risk reduction and climate adaptation in Bangladesh, a country with a very high exposure to weather risk. We use a comprehensive dataset for the 483 sub-districts (Upazilas) in Bangladesh, tracking disaster risk reduction and adaptation funding provided to each sub-district by the central government during fiscal years’ 2010–11 to 2013–14, disaggregated by the various types of social protection programs. We assess to what extent the primary determinants of such funding flows—such as current hazard risk, socio-economic vulnerability, and political economy considerations—contribute to these funding allocation decisions. We find that flood hazard risk and socio-economic vulnerability are both positively correlated with the sub-district fiscal allocations. We find that political factors do not seem to significantly correlate with these allocations and neither does proximity to the centres of Dhaka and Chittagong. Public spending for adaptive disaster risk reduction, as investigated here, can be a useful complementary intervention tool to other DRR programs, such as insurance or broader social transfers, provided that it is allocated rationally. Broadly, this appears to be the case in Bangladesh. We leave the measuring of the relative efficacy and efficiency of each financing tool for future work.
  • The wage-productivity nexus in the world factory economy
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2020Source: World Development, Volume 129Author(s): Giovanni Dosi, Maria Enrica Virgillito, Xiaodan Yu This paper highlights new findings on the wage-productivity nexus in the World Factory Economy. After presenting the long-run macro-elasticity characterizing the phase of Chinese economic development since the eighties, we look at the wage-productivity nexus from a micro level perspective using a detailed firm-level dataset covering the period of ownership restructuring (1998–2007). A few results are quite robust under different estimation strategies. First, throughout the impressive Chinese economic miracle, elasticities of real wages to productivities – that is the ratios of rates of variation of the former to the latter – are always positive both under pooled and longitudinal estimates, both at firm- and sectoral-levels. Second, such elasticities are dramatically low, and falling in many distinct phases since the late seventies. That is, even in the manufacturing sector, the distribution of gains from the impressive labour productivity growth appears to be markedly uneven. Finally, third, governance institutions seem to matter a lot, with the majority of ownership types exhibiting firm-specific wage determination processes. The low elasticities of wages to productivity are plausibly the consequence of the massive flow of migrant workers from the rural areas to the coasts, somewhat resembling the early phase of the English Industrial Revolution with the pattern of enclosure in the country-side and massive migrations to the industrial towns.
  • A meta-analysis of the effects of remittances on household education
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2020Source: World Development, Volume 129Author(s): Zohid Askarov, Hristos Doucouliagos As a source of income, remittances can be spent on consumption and investment. The aim of this study is to quantify the effect of remittances on investment in education: Do remittances increase household education expenditure' To answer this question we apply meta-regression analysis to 1343 estimates of this effect drawn from 73 studies, covering 30 countries. Our findings confirm the importance of economic resources to educational choices. When the evidence base is corrected for sample selection, reverse causality, and research design differences, the incidence of international remittances increases education expenditure by about 35% in most countries, and by about 53% in Latin America, though remittances have no effect in Eastern Europe and East Asia. Remittances from domestic migration have smaller effects on education expenditure than international remittances. We find no differences in the effect between males and females.
  • Investing in local capacity to respond to a federal environmental mandate:
           Forest & economic impacts of the Green Municipality Program in the
           Brazilian Amazon
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2020Source: World Development, Volume 129Author(s): Erin Sills, Alexander Pfaff, Luiza Andrade, Justin Kirkpatrick, Rebecca Dickson
  • Budgetary influence under information asymmetries: Evidence from
           Nigeria’s subnational agricultural investments
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2020Source: World Development, Volume 129Author(s): Tewodaj Mogues, Tolulope Olofinbiyi With emerging recognition of changing climates’ impact on agricultural productivity, a sharper lens is focused on how to target agricultural public investments for development. This paper contributes to an understanding of budget decision-making processes in agricultural development, by examining to what extent those with superior information and expertise on a sector have sway over how public resources to the sector are allocated. The empirical qualitative analysis of this paper employs process tracing with an embedded case study design, based on interviews of 79 senior public sector key-informants in Nigeria. We also analyzed quantitative public expenditure data in the study areas. We draw insights from theories of information asymmetries in the public sector along three dimensions. Within the first type of information asymmetry, we find that, despite the higher agricultural technical expertise that sector bureaucrats have vis-à-vis the elected non-sector-specific chief executives, it is the latter who heavily influence agricultural resource allocation. In the second form of information asymmetry, the benefits from superior lower-tier information are only exploited at one subnational (state) level but not at the other (local government) level. Within the third kind of information asymmetry, public leaders prioritize funding for those types of public investments that are more visible by their nature, and outputs of which materialize relatively rapidly; this disfavors agriculture. Going beyond the literature on the impact of information interventions, this study sheds light on the extent to which information already in the public sector is tapped into to guide the provision of public goods and services.
  • A payment by any other name: Is Costa Rica’s PES a payment for services
           or a support for stewards'
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2020Source: World Development, Volume 129Author(s): Mollie Chapman, Terre Satterfield, Hannah Wittman, Kai M.A. Chan Financial incentives are increasingly popular in development and conservation. A common application involves paying for conservation activities, such as for farmers to set aside land for forests, known as payments for ecosystem services (PES). Debates about incentives such as PES center around the promise and perils of applying market logics to conservation or development goals. A key concern is the potential of financial motivations to crowd out non-financial motivations such as altruism or responsibility. Theoretical debates about the potential impacts of PES programs often assume that PES programs are understood as such by participants—as transactions characterized by a payment for a service—but research has not sufficiently investigated the extent to which these assumptions hold in practice. We studied Costa Rica’s long-standing PES program in the traditional cattle ranching region of Guanacaste via in-depth interviews with program managers, local experts and participants to better understand the range of values and views associated with program payments. We find that whereas program leadership primarily communicated the program as clearly-defined payments for specific services provided, most farmer participants framed financial payments from the program as a form of non-transactional support recognizing their ongoing care for the land and forest. This finding—that market framings did not fully transfer from program leadership through local managers to farmer participants—shows how participants might experience PES programs not as payments for services per se, but as acknowledgement for land stewardship and an additional form of rural development assistance. The support for stewards framing of PES, as suggested by participants themselves, points to a potential leverage point in designing PES programs that enhance (rather than undermine) connections to nature. More broadly, incentive programs of all sorts might consider program framings that reinforce the kinds of values (e.g., social cohesion, health) they seek to improve.Graphical abstractGraphical abstract for this article
  • Risk aversion and certification: Evidence from the Nepali tea fields
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2020Source: World Development, Volume 129Author(s): Sarah Mohan By setting out rules for how food should be produced and processed to meet market requirements, agricultural standards can connect farmers to lucrative markets. Yet their adoption has been far from widespread. Demographic factors have been shown to affect farmers’ decision to get certified to an agricultural standard. However, little is known about the relationship between risk and certification, despite evidence that risk aversion affects farmers’ production decisions. This paper examines the role of individual risk attitudes in the decision to get certified to an agricultural standard. I conducted a survey and a field experiment to elicit the risk preferences of Nepali small-scale tea farmers who faced the decision of whether to get certified to the organic standard. The analysis uses an expected utility framework to investigate the relationship between risk preferences and certification decisions. Results indicate that farmers who are more risk averse have a higher propensity to get certified. These findings suggest that risk considerations should be incorporated into analysis of certification. They also provide concrete evidence against previous assumptions that only risk lovers get certified. Instead, they suggest that certification schemes may provide a benefit not yet considered in the literature: that of providing risk-reduction opportunities to risk averse farmers in developing countries.
  • Can roads contribute to forest transitions'
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2020Source: World Development, Volume 129Author(s): David J. Kaczan New roads are widely seen to aid economic development. New roads have also been shown to cause deforestation, suggesting development-environment tradeoffs for the locations where studies have focused to date. Yet in other settings, multiple mechanisms could support a different road-forest relationship, at least partially alleviating this tradeoff. New roads could promote reforestation by: (1) raising the relative productivity of labor in non-agricultural sectors, thereby reducing agricultural activity; (2) facilitating price convergence across regional forest-product markets, raising profits from forest management or plantations; and/or (3) encouraging substitution from locally collected fuelwood to other energy sources. India’s Rural Roads Program offers an opportunity to explore these hypotheses in a large country with little previous investigation of the road-forest relationship. Program rules prioritized construction by village population ranges, which differentiated construction timing across villages. I exploit this with a generalized difference-in-differences estimation strategy, having combined satellite, survey and census data to create a village-level, countrywide panel for 2000–2014. Road impacts are found to have considerable variation across economic settings within India: frontier-like settings saw reductions in tree cover due to new roads, while less isolated settings with greater existing agricultural development saw increases in tree cover. These results inform the spatial targeting of roads for environmentally-sensitive development, while broadening the set of mechanisms used to explain “forest transitions” (the reversal of forest cover loss).
  • Climate change and land: Insights from Myanmar
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2020Source: World Development, Volume 129Author(s): Saturnino M. Borras, Jennifer C. Franco, Zau Nam Climate change and land are linked – politically. Climate change politics intersects with the global land rush in extensive and complex ways, the impacts of which affect villagers profoundly. These interconnections occur in direct and indirect ways and are often subtle, but that does not make them less important; it only makes the challenge of governing such dynamics in the interests of marginalized working poor people even more difficult. In this paper, we focus our analysis on indirect and subtle interconnections. Examining empirical cases in Northern Shan State in Myanmar, we conclude that these interconnections occur in at least three broad ways, in which climate change politics can be: (i) a trigger for land grabbing, (ii) a legitimating process for land grabs, or (iii) a de-legitimating process for people’s climate change mitigation and adaptation practices. These interconnections in turn stoke old and provoke new political axes of conflict within and between state and social forces.
  • Cooperative behavior and common pool resources: Experimental evidence from
           community forest user groups in Nepal
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2020Source: World Development, Volume 129Author(s): Randy Bluffstone, Astrid Dannenberg, Peter Martinsson, Prakash Jha, Rajesh Bista This paper examines whether cooperative behavior by respondents measured as contributions in a one-shot public goods experiment correlates with reported forest collective action behaviors and forest outcomes, such as more carbon storage, regeneration and mature trees. Forest collective action behaviors are costly and form the basis of most community forestry programs. Using our experiment, combined with regression analysis, we find significant evidence that more cooperative individuals engage in collective action behaviors that support common forests, once we adjust for demographic factors, wealth and location. Those who contribute more in the public goods experiment are found to be more likely to report that they have planted trees in community forests during the previous month and invested in biogas. They also planted more trees on their own farms, likely spent more time monitoring community forests and planted more trees in community forests. We then find that forest collective action behaviors are associated with some aspects of better forest quality and especially forest regeneration, which shows robust results across forest collective action behaviors. These results suggest that policies to support forest collective action, such as democratization of local governance, assuring fair distribution of benefits, graduated sanctions, etc., could be very important for forest quality and economic outcomes associated with forest resources.
  • Welfare and forest cover impacts of incentive based conservation: Evidence
           from Kenyan community forest associations
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2020Source: World Development, Volume 129Author(s): Boscow Okumu, Edwin Muchapondwa This paper examines whether offering landless forest-adjacent communities options to grow appropriate food crops inside forest reserves during early stages of reforestation programmes increases incomes of low-income households and conserve forests. We consider the forest cover and household welfare impacts of a unique incentive scheme in Kenya known as the Plantation Establishment and Livelihood Improvement Scheme (PELIS). PELIS seeks to deepen community participation in forestry, and improve the livelihoods of adjacent communities. Using cross sectional data collected from 22 Community Forest Associations and 406 households, we use propensity score matching methods to evaluate the mean impact of the scheme on forest cover and household welfare. We also assess the heterogeneous impacts of the scheme on household welfare using an endogenous quantile treatment effects model. The results show that on average, PELIS has a significant and positive impact on the welfare of participating households (estimated between 15.09% and 28.14%) and on forest cover (between 5.53% and 7.94%). However, the scheme cannot be defended on equity grounds as it has inequitable distributional impacts on household welfare. The scheme raises welfare of groups other than the poorest and marginalized sections of the community. Our observations from the field blame elite capture for this outcome.
  • Estimating poverty rates in subnational populations of interest: An
           assessment of the Simple Poverty Scorecard
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2020Source: World Development, Volume 129Author(s): Emmanuel Skoufias, Alexis Diamond, Katja Vinha, Michael Gill, Miguel Rebolledo Dellepiane The performance of the Simple Poverty Scorecard is compared against the performance of established regression-based estimators. All estimates are benchmarked against observed poverty status based on household expenditure (or income) data from household socioeconomic surveys that span nearly a decade and are representative of subnational populations. When the models all adopt the same “one-size-fits-all” training approach based on the national sample, there is no meaningful difference in performance and the Simple Poverty Scorecard is as good as any of the regression-based estimators. The “one-size-fits-all” training approach based on the national sample results in overestimating poverty in the regions with lower poverty rates (wealthier regions) and underestimating poverty in the regions with higher poverty rates (poorer regions). In the poorest strata (regions/districts), average SPS discrepancies are as high as 15–25 percentage-points. The findings change, however, when the regression-based estimators are “trained” on “training sets” that more closely resemble potential subpopulation test sets. In this case, regression-based models outperform the nationally calculated Simple Poverty Scorecard in terms of bias and variance. These findings highlight the fundamental trade-off between simplicity of use and accuracy.
  • Gender wage inequality during Sri Lanka’s post-reform growth: A
           distributional analysis
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2020Source: World Development, Volume 129Author(s): Prathi Seneviratne This paper investigates gender wage inequality in Sri Lanka during 1992–2014, a period of robust economic growth following pro-market reforms. The gap in mean wages between men and women decreased steadily over this period. Unconditional quantile regression reveals the decline in gender wage inequality was driven by the upper half of the distribution, and was due to improvements in women’s observable human capital. Yet, the pay structure became more unequal, indicating widening gender gaps in the returns to labor market characteristics and in unobservable determinants of wages. The gender gap in pay structure widened disproportionately in the lower half of the distribution, coinciding with falling absolute and relative returns to women in manufacturing industries and production occupations facing greater international competition. The study also demonstrates selection bias underestimates the gender wage gap and overestimates the gains in equality over time. Factors that hinder gender equality in the labor market are discussed along with policy implications.
  • Plant clinics, farm performance and poverty alleviation: Panel data
           evidence from Rwanda
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2020Source: World Development, Volume 129Author(s): Justice A. Tambo, Bellancile Uzayisenga, Idah Mugambi, Mary Bundi, Silvia Silvestri An estimated 40% of potential global crop production is lost annually to pests and diseases. Reducing this level of crop loss is critical to increasing agricultural productivity, which is essential in achieving the sustainable development goals of zero hunger and no poverty. However, the lack of access to timely and relevant advice on crop health problems poses a significant challenge to farmers to take action at the right time to mitigate crop losses. In efforts to address this issue, over 4000 plant clinics have been established in 34 countries worldwide where farmers who are struggling with plant pests and diseases can take samples of their ‘sick’ crops to trained plant doctors for diagnosis and plant health advice. The plant clinic initiative began in 2003, but thus far, there has not been a rigorous assessment of the impact of this innovative approach of delivering targeted agricultural extension services. Using a recent panel survey of smallholder maize producers in rural Rwanda, this paper attempts to address this gap by analysing the impact of plant clinics on farm performance (measured by technology adoption, and maize yield and income) and on poverty alleviation (measured by the Progress out of Poverty Index). Employing the correlated random effects estimation methods to account for unobserved heterogeneity, we find that plant clinics significantly increase the adoption of crop protection technologies to control devastating maize pests, such as fall armyworm and maize stalk borer, and this, in turn, results in significant maize yield and net income gains of 28% and 23%, respectively. We also show that seeking plant health advice from plant clinics is significantly associated with a 5% reduction in the likelihood of a household falling below the extreme poverty line of $1.25 per day. The results imply that policies and programmes aimed at promoting the establishment of and farmers’ participation in plant clinics can contribute to increased agricultural productivity and poverty reduction.
  • Outgrower schemes and sugar value-chains in Zambia: Rethinking
           determinants of rural inclusion and exclusion
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2020Source: World Development, Volume 129Author(s): S. Manda, A. Tallontire, A.J. Dougill Integration of smallholders in outgrower schemes has been advanced as a strategy for poverty reduction in the global south, but how terms and conditions of inclusion and exclusion shape divergent outcomes, and processes underpinning these local dynamics remain an under-researched area. This study, set in Zambia’s southern ‘sugarbelt’ region of Mazabuka, draws on two contrasting outgrower schemes to examine determinants of smallholder inclusion in sugar value-chains, and consider how various terms and conditions underpining inclusion shape various interests, reactions and pathways for value capture among different local groups. Our study reaveals terms and conditions are important in shaping divergent outcomes for smallholders included in sugar value-chains. It shows determinants of inclusion and exclusion are complex and go beyond market imperatives that are production related (structural) to include social-cultural dynamics (non-structural). The centrality of the paper points to lived realities and experiences for different groups and political reactions from below, underlining how socially contested intersection of global–local value-chain produces diverse but interdependent hierarchies of inclusion and exclusion. For an early stage in planning of outgrower schemes by state and non-state actors, recognition of the various social groups and their complex engagement and reactions to changes in land-use and land control will not only expose competing interests but should inform polices, institutions and investments to improve value-chain impacts. This paper hopes to contribute towards a more nuanced understanding of the complex engagement of smallholders in changes in land use and land control in developing countries in the era of land-grabbing.
  • Can rural outmigration improve household food security' Empirical
           evidence from Ethiopia
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2020Source: World Development, Volume 129Author(s): Degnet Abebaw, Assefa Admassie, Habtemariam Kassa, Christine Padoch Food insecurity in Ethiopia is a persistent development challenge. In this paper, we investigate the effects of rural outmigration on indicators of household food security in Ethiopia. The empirical data come from a two-year panel data collected from three regions of the country. To control for the potential endogeneity of migration and migration selection bias, our estimation uses a combination of a difference-in-difference (DID) model and an inverse-probability of treatment weighting (IPTW) approach (IPTW-DID). We find that, on average, rural outmigration has significantly improved the amount of daily calories consumed per adult equivalent by around 22%. Our estimation results also show that outmigration has significantly reduced food poverty gap and severity of food poverty by seven and four percentage points, respectively.
  • Adaptive policy implementation: Process and impact of Indonesia’s
           national irrigation reform 1999–2018
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2020Source: World Development, Volume 129Author(s): G.J. Alaerts After two decades of implementation, Indonesia’s program to reform its irrigation sector can be assessed yielding lessons on water policy reform. This reform coincided with state-wide decentralization, and shifted decision-making from a central ministry to a distributed arrangement in which local governments and Water User Associations assume part of irrigation authority and budget. The policy was formulated with different stakeholders in 1999–2004 based on field pilots and was implemented using an adaptive, sequential approach while developing institutional capacity of local governments and farmers. Relatively coherent longitudinal monitoring data sets are available on field-level practices, economic returns on projects (with and without, and before and after reform), and rice production. Institutional development was monitored by performance indicators. The overall reform effectiveness is assessed by analyzing the appropriateness of the new arrangement, and the processes of the policy design and of its implementation. After two decades well over three quarters of the country is applying the policy albeit with varying quality. At field level water supply and allocation turned more reliable, and conflicts better managed. Rice production increased year over year after 2005 correlating with policy roll-out. Irrigation Departments proved less adequate in partnering with farmers, however. Institutional capacity generated one quarter to two thirds of the economic benefit from investments that combined scheme rehabilitation and institutional capacity development. As institutional capacity develops slowly full roll-out may require up to three decades. The analysis shows that in the context of ‘wicked’ policy implementation, not only normative policy design matters, but equally importantly, the sequencing of the process of implementation allowing adaptation to physical, institutional and political realities; still, to be successful a process must build on a credible realistic ‘model’. This is especially true in developing and emerging economies with weaker institutional capacities and more fragmented governance structures.
  • A Bayesian framework for estimating human capabilities
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2020Source: World Development, Volume 129Author(s): Heath Henderson, Lendie Follett The capabilities approach provides a rich framework for welfare assessment, but its practical relevance is limited by methodological difficulties associated with the measurement of human capabilities. We argue that, unlike existing approaches to capability estimation, Bayesian stochastic frontier analysis (BSFA) is consistent with the key features of the capabilities approach and thus provides a natural framework for estimating capabilities. Using simulated data, we show that BSFA outperforms the leading alternatives (e.g., structural equation models) in comparable settings. We further show that our approach is more flexible than the alternatives: BSFA can provide cardinal representations of entire capability sets and can be used with continuous, discrete, and multivariate outcomes. Finally, we provide an empirical illustration of our estimator by examining the impact of Uganda’s Youth Opportunities Program on the educational capabilities of children in the treated households.
  • Who are the climate migrants and where do they go' Evidence from rural
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2020Source: World Development, Volume 129Author(s): Barbora Sedova, Matthias Kalkuhl In this paper, we move from the large strand of research that looks at evidence of climate migration to the questions: who are the climate migrants' and where do they go' These questions are crucial to design policies that mitigate welfare losses of migration choices due to climate change. We study the direct and heterogeneous associations between weather extremes and migration in rural India. We combine ERA5 reanalysis data with the India Human Development Survey household panel and conduct regression analyses by applying linear probability and multinomial logit models. This enables us to establish a causal relationship between temperature and precipitation anomalies and overall migration as well as migration by destination. We show that adverse weather shocks decrease rural-rural and international migration and push people into cities in different, presumably more prosperous states. A series of positive weather shocks, however, facilitates international migration and migration to cities within the same state. Further, our results indicate that in contrast to other migrants, climate migrants are likely to be from the lower end of the skill distribution and from households strongly dependent on agricultural production. We estimate that approximately 8% of all rural-urban moves between 2005 and 2012 can be attributed to weather. This figure might increase as a consequence of climate change. Thus, a key policy recommendation is to take steps to facilitate integration of less educated migrants into the urban labor market.
  • End-of-conflict deforestation: Evidence from Colombia’s peace
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2020Source: World Development, Volume 129Author(s): Mounu Prem, Santiago Saavedra, Juan F. Vargas Armed conflict can endanger natural resources through several channels such as direct predation from fighting groups, but it may also help preserve ecosystems by dissuading extractive economic activities through the fear of extortion. The effect of conflict on deforestation is thus an empirical question. This paper studies the effect on forest cover of Colombia’s recent peace negotiation between the government and the FARC insurgency. Using yearly deforestation data from satellite images and a difference-in-differences identification strategy, we show that areas controlled by FARC prior to the declaration of a permanent ceasefire experienced a differential increase in deforestation after the start of the ceasefire. The deforestation effect of peace is attenuated in municipalities with higher state presence and judicial capacity, and is exacerbated by land intensive economic activities. Our results highlight the importance of complementing peacemaking milestones with state building efforts to avoid environmental damage.
  • Unprogrammed abandonment of female genital mutilation/cutting
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2020Source: World Development, Volume 129Author(s): Brian Engelsma, Gerry Mackie, Brandon Merrell The sparsity of historical data on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) poses a challenge for researchers who seek to identify long-term trends in FGM/C participation or evaluate the role of macro-level factors that may predict FGM/C abandonment. This study introduces a means of overcoming this barrier and provides a new cross-national dataset of FGM/C prevalence over time. We compile self-reported FGM/C data from more than 700,000 women born in 23 African countries between 1940 and 2002 who subsequently participated in Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) or Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS). These data allow us to estimate the proportion of women born in each country-year who eventually underwent FGM/C. We then use these estimates to assess country-level trends in FGM/C prevalence and to explore macro-level factors that may contribute to the persistence or decline of the practice, including population density, female education rates, political stability, laws banning the practice, economic development, democratization, and international exposure. Our exploratory analysis suggests that population density, female education, and laws banning FGM/C are associated with FGM/C prevalence. Our results and approach should facilitate additional research on the mechanisms through which economic growth, institutional changes, and international engagement can influence the abandonment of FGM/C and other harmful social norms.
  • Property rights and deforestation: Evidence from the Terra Legal land
           reform in the Brazilian Amazon
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2020Source: World Development, Volume 129Author(s): Molly Lipscomb, Niveditha Prabakaran This paper estimates the early impacts of Terra Legal, a large property rights reform, on deforestation and farming in the Brazilian Amazon. Twelve and a half million hectares, more than 2.5% of the Brazilian Amazon, have been registered under this program. The establishment of property rights may increase a farmer’s incentive to invest in his land and expand his farm due to a lower risk of expropriation. On the other hand, the enforcement of conservation requirements may be easier when farmers have legal titles to their land. We use county level data from 2007 to 2012 on farm registrations, deforestation, crop choice and bovine management to test the impact of the Terra Legal land reform. While we find no overall impact of the program on deforestation during the period in our sample, we do show that there is substantial heterogeneity in impacts across counties. Counties with the largest area registered do have an increase in the level of area deforested, but they also have a decrease in the rate of deforestation. We investigate the extent to which changes in deforestation are related to the amount of registration that occurs among small, medium and large farms, and find limited support for less deforestation among counties with more area registered by small farms; more area registered by large farms is associated with a higher level of deforestation, but a decreased deforestation rate. Our results suggest that land tenure reform can create incentives to decelerate deforestation. Farm size has a strong impact on the farm management changes generated by improved property rights; coupling land tenure reforms with incentives to intensify production rather than expand could lead to reduced deforestation, particularly among small farms.
  • Power tariffs for groundwater irrigation in India: A comparative analysis
           of the environmental, equity, and economic tradeoffs
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2020Source: World Development, Volume 128Author(s): Balsher Singh Sidhu, Milind Kandlikar, Navin Ramankutty Groundwater irrigation using electric pumps plays a key role in India’s agricultural water supply. Power utilities across different states use two common tariff modes to charge groundwater consumers: flat tariffs, where payments are fixed according to a pump’s power rating, and metered tariffs based on units of power actually consumed. In this review, we use empirical evidence from past studies across multiple jurisdictions in India to compare the two tariff structures in terms of three key features: administrative burden on utilities; equity of groundwater access between high-income and low-income farmers; and influence on farmers’ pumping behavior. Our analysis shows that flat tariffs have low administrative costs and more equitable distributional outcomes, but provide no incentive to farmers for water conservation. Conversely, metered tariffs have the potential to encourage judicious consumption, but are expensive to manage and disadvantageous to low-income farmers who often buy water from wealthier groundwater well owners. Flawed tariff policies, in conjunction with large subsidies for agricultural power, have caused rapid groundwater depletion in many regions as well as massive financial losses to power utilities and governments – both state and central. Since there is considerable heterogeneity in agricultural practices and groundwater availability across India, we propose location-specific strategies for rationalizing agricultural power tariffs in different regions. While the groundwater-abundant eastern regions can benefit from a hybrid flat-cum-metered tariff that encourages farmer-to-farmer water sales, western states facing unsustainable groundwater exploitation should develop tariff policies that ration power, prioritize its supply during the most critical seasons, and reward farmers who reduce their groundwater consumption. Not only will such tariff policies help conserve groundwater, but also augment government financial resources for social welfare programs such as education, health, energy access etc. Thus, improved power policies can provide substantial assistance in India’s progress towards multiple UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Diagnosis of sustainability of trans-boundary water governance in the
           Great Lakes basin
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2020Source: World Development, Volume 129Author(s): Byomkesh Talukder, Keith W. Hipel Trans-boundary water governance is crucial for addressing water-related issues caused by a growing population in combination with increasing demand, human intervention, conflict and above all climate change impacts on water resources. A literature review demonstrates that there is indeed a positive relationship between governance and the mitigation of tensions and meeting of sustainability goals in a given basin. Understanding the impacts of trans-boundary water governance from a sustainability perspective is very important. In this paper, Gibson’s Sustainability Criteria are used to assess the sustainability performance of the trans-boundary water governance in the Great Lakes basin. The findings reveal that the trans-boundary water governance in this region is particularly weak in addressing Gibson’s Sustainability Criteria factors of Intra-Generational Equity, Inter-Generational Equity, Precautionary and Adaptation, and Immediate and Long-Term Integration but successful in fostering Livelihood Sufficiency and Opportunity, Resource Maintenance and Efficiency, Principle of Democracy and Civility and many aspects of Socio-Ecological System Integrity. It is expected that the findings of this study will have implications for understanding the sustainability of present and future trans-boundary water governance around the world.
  • Agricultural production diversity, dietary diversity and nutritional
           status: Panel data evidence from Tanzania
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2020Source: World Development, Volume 129Author(s): Martin J. Chegere, Jesper Stage Household agricultural production for self-consumption is often highlighted by nutritionists as the main route to increasing household food security and nutritional status, especially for the poor in developing countries. At the same time, the income gains from specializing in fewer crops and selling the surplus product could be an alternate route to improved nutritional status. We use Tanzanian data to study linkages between the diversity and market orientation of a household’s agricultural production, the quality and diversity of their diets, and the nutritional status of their children. We find that diversifying a household’s agricultural production significantly increases diversity in that household’s diet, but the positive nutritional effects are small. We also find that market orientation has no clear effect on dietary diversity. At the same time, however, the nutritional status of children is not found to be linked clearly to general dietary diversity. On the other hand, factors such as education and overall income have strong and significant effects on both household dietary diversity and child nutrition. Thus, policies for increasing the quality of children’s diets, improving children’s nutritional status and enhancing the overall dietary diversity of farm households should incorporate those factors.
  • Home-biased gravity: The role of migrant tastes in international trade
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2020Source: World Development, Volume 129Author(s): Penglong Zhang Immigrants tend to buy products from their home countries. As a result, the more immigrants of a given ethnicity a country has, the more it will tend to import from those immigrants’ countries of origin. This effect of migrant heterogeneity is ignored by the standard gravity literature that assumes homogeneous preferences among resident consumers. This paper embeds that observed regularity into a structural gravity model. Gravity derived from the Almost Ideal Demand System generates bilateral trade shares with three distinct components: ethnic composition of the resident population, bilateral trade cost, and per capita income. Using international trade and transnational migration data among 40 countries, this paper estimates the home bias of each ethnic group in tastes. The results show that consumers’ tastes for products from their country of origin deviate from unbiased levels by 35 percent on average. Ethnic taste bias is found to explain half of the trade bias. Counterfactuals suggest that anti-immigration policy significantly impedes trade with immigrants’ countries of origin.
  • Green economy, degradation narratives, and land-use conflicts in Tanzania
    • Abstract: Publication date: May 2020Source: World Development, Volume 129Author(s): Mikael Bergius, Tor A. Benjaminsen, Faustin Maganga, Halvard Buhaug The implementation of the green economy in Tanzania is currently re-arranging space in significant ways. The Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) has been presented by the government as well as investors and aid donors as a model for the green economy in Africa combining investments in large-scale farming with environmental conservation. The Kilombero valley is centrally situated within SAGCOT and has become a national hotspot of land-use conflicts. The valley is dominated by an expanding sector of agricultural capital investments combined with a substantial increase in areas under environmental conservation. While some smallholder farmers are dispossessed through these expansions, others are contracted as outgrowers. Pastoralists are, however, only in the way, and are also thought to cause widespread environmental degradation. This is a long-held view, which also plays a key role in the implementation of SAGCOT. It has led to a series of pastoral evictions in the country. In 2012, ‘Operation Save Kilombero’ was implemented consisting of violent evictions of all pastoralists from the valley. This eviction had been planned to conserve the wetland ecosystem that was seen by the government and aid donors to be threatened by pastoral overstocking. The arrival of the green economy in Kilombero re-enforced the perceived need to clear the valley of livestock and pastoralists to conserve the environment and make space for investments in agriculture. The pastoral eviction in Kilombero in 2012 was also only one in a series; every eviction leading to the spill-over of pastoralists to other areas creating new farmer-herder conflicts as well as conservation conflicts. While land-use conflicts in Africa are commonly thought to be caused by natural resource scarcity and environmental degradation mainly resulting from population growth, we demonstrate how degradation narratives may themselves be a key driver of conflicts, in this case to legitimize and pave the way for agricultural investments and environmental conservation under a ‘green economy’.
  • Rethinking development policy: What remains of structural
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2020Source: World Development, Volume 128Author(s): Manoj Atolia, Prakash Loungani, Milton Marquis, Chris Papageorgiou This paper takes a fresh look at the current theories of structural transformation and the role of private and public fundamentals in the process. It summarizes some representative past and current experiences of various countries vis-a-vis structural transformation with a focus on the roles of manufacturing, policy, and the changing nature of global production in shaping the trajectory of structural transformation. The salient aspects of the current debate on premature deindustrialization and its relation to a middle-income trap are described as they relate to the path of structural transformation. Conclusions are drawn regarding prospective future paths for structural transformation and development policies as well as for the need for further empirical analysis to inform our current understanding of the process of economic development.
  • Will urban migrants formally insure their rural relatives' Family
           networks and rainfall index insurance in Burkina Faso
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2020Source: World Development, Volume 128Author(s): Harounan Kazianga, Zaki Wahhaj Large segments of the population in developing countries, especially in rural areas, have a high level of vulnerability to weather-related shocks but have limited means to insure themselves against them. In recent years, microfinance institutions have experimented with micro-insurance products, including rainfall index insurance, but the uptake of these products has generally been very low. We present findings from a pilot study exploring whether and how existing ties between urban migrants and rural farmers may be used to provide the latter improved access to formal insurance. Urban migrants in Ouagadougou (the capital of Burkina Faso) originating from nearby villages were offered, at the prevailing market price, a rainfall index insurance product that can potentially protect their rural relatives from adverse weather shocks. The product had an uptake of 22% during the two-week subscription window. Half the urban migrants in the study were randomly offered an insurance policy in which payouts would be made, not to the subscriber, but directly to the intended beneficiary. This feature increased uptake rates by 17–22 percentage points. We argue that rainfall index insurance can complement informal risk-sharing networks by mitigating problems of informational asymmetry and self-control issues.
  • The rise and decline of the populist social contract in the Arab world
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 August 2019Source: World DevelopmentAuthor(s): Raymond Hinnebusch The wave of populist authoritarian republics (PA) established in the Arab world in the 1950s–1960s legitimized themselves by a combination of nationalism, developmentalism and populism. Their reneging on this contract goes far to explaining the Arab Uprisings half a century later. PA regimes, with initially little popular support, needed, as part of their struggle to consolidate power at the expense of the old oligarchy and other rivals, to incorporate the middle and lower classes into a cross-class coalition. They developed a tacit populist social contract in which their putative constituencies were offered social-economic benefits in return for political support; this accorded with the inherited moral economy of the region in which government legitimacy was conditional on its delivery of socio-economic equity and justice. Additionally, however, authoritarian populism was made possible by developments at the global level such as bi-polarity, which enabled political protection and economic assistance from the Soviet bloc, and the developmentalist ideology that corresponded with the Keynesian era of global economic expansion in which the power of finance capital was balanced by labour and the regulatory state. However, by the eighties, Keysianism had been superseded by neo-liberalism, driven by the restoration of the global dominance of chiefly Anglo-American finance capital. This global turn was paralleled by the exhaustion of the statist-populist development model in MENA. The demands made on MENA governments by international financial institutions for privatization were used by regime elites to foster crony capitalism as they and their cronies acquired public sector assets; in parallel pressures for structural adjustment legitimized enforcing austerity on the masses: in essence regimes started to renege on the populist social contract. The Arab Uprising was a direct consequence of this. Evidence for this claim is adduced from public opinion polling, the timing of the uprising and the especial vulnerability of the region’s republics to the uprising.
  • Does microcredit increase aspirational hope' Evidence from a group
           lending scheme in Sierra Leone
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2020Source: World Development, Volume 128Author(s): Adriana Garcia, Robert Lensink, Maarten Voors Microcredit has received considerable attention due to its potential to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular through its effects on poverty alleviation, female empowerment and self-employment. To date, its effectiveness has largely been evaluated in terms of relieving external constraints of the poor, such as a lack of financial capital for business development. The current study examines whether, and to what extent, microcredit can change internal constraints, such as aspirational hope. We use a cross-sectional dataset of 1295 women in Sierra Leone, 854 of whom are active borrowers of a Microfinance Institution, BRAC. To assess the relationship between microcredit, aspirational hope and economic welfare, we rely on BRAC’s eligibility criteria, that only allow access to finance for women living with-in 4 km of a BRAC branch. We find statistically significant and economically meaningful positive associations with both aspirational hope and economic welfare. Overall, this study suggests that microcredit could play an important role in reducing internal psychological constraints, and via this channel contributes to the realization of the SDGs.
  • Assessing the downstream socioeconomic impacts of agroforestry in Kenya
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2020Source: World Development, Volume 128Author(s): Karl Hughes, Seth Morgan, Katherine Baylis, Judith Oduol, Emilie Smith-Dumont, Tor-Gunnar Vågen, Hilda Kegode Agroforestry is widely purported to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers, rehabilitate degraded landscapes, and enhance the provisioning of ecosystem services. Yet, evidence supporting these longer-term impacts is limited. Using a quasi-experimental impact evaluation design informed by a theory-based and mixed methods framework, we investigated selected intermediate and final outcomes of a nine-year effort led by Vi Agroforestry, a Swedish non-governmental organization (NGO), to promote agroforestry in large sections of Bungoma and Kakamega counties in western Kenya. We compared households belonging to 432 pre-existing farmer groups operating in 60 program villages and 61 matched comparison villages. To address potential self-selection bias, we used program targeting as an instrument for program participation, combined with the difference-in-differences approach to control for time-invariant differences between our treatment and comparison groups. We complemented the above with semi-structured interviews with a sub-sample of 40 purposively selected program participants. Despite evidence of variable program exposure and agroforestry uptake, we found modest, yet statistically significant, effects of Vi Agroforestry’s program on intermediate outcomes, such as agroforestry product income, fuelwood access, and milk yields among dairy farmers. We also found that this program modestly increased asset holdings, particularly among households represented by female program participants.
  • Incorporating local nature-based cultural values into biodiversity No Net
           Loss strategies
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2020Source: World Development, Volume 128Author(s): Victoria F. Griffiths, Joseph W. Bull, Julia Baker, Mark Infield, Dilys Roe, Dianah Nalwanga, Achilles Byaruhanga, E.J. Milner-Gulland Achieving “No Net Loss” (NNL) of nature from a development typically requires projects to follow a ‘mitigation hierarchy’, by which biodiversity losses are first avoided wherever possible, then minimised or remediated, and finally any residual impacts offset by conservation activities elsewhere. Biodiversity NNL can significantly affect people, including their cultural values. However, empirical research is lacking on how to incorporate impacts on cultural values of nature into NNL strategies. We use the Bujagali and Isimba Hydropower Projects and Kalagala Offset in Uganda as a case study to explore local people’s perceptions of the importance of cultural heritage to their wellbeing, how the developments affected their cultural heritage, and how these perceived impacts could be incorporated into NNL strategies. We sampled six villages experiencing different levels of hydropower development along the Victoria Nile River. Many river features, particularly rapids and waterfalls, are important cultural sites, associated with spirits and are worshipped by local communities. Spiritual beliefs, rituals and ceremonies, nature, and how cultural heritage is changing were frequently mentioned when respondents described cultural heritage. People perceived cultural heritage to be an important component of their wellbeing, but its importance differed between villages and socio-demographic groups. Men and the less poor found it to be very important, whilst people who had lived in the village for a short time and who had higher education levels found it less important. Respondents in villages where sacred sites are well-known or still intact described cultural heritage as being an important factor contributing to wellbeing. The study highlights the complex relationships between cultural heritage, nature and people’s wellbeing, and how essential it is to understand and account for cultural heritage when planning developments and associated offsets, if they are to be sustainable and fair to local people.
  • The political prioritization of welfare in India: Comparing the public
           distribution system in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2020Source: World Development, Volume 128Author(s): Vasudha Chhotray, Anindita Adhikari, Vidushi Bahuguna The idea of state responsibility for ensuring food security has gained ground, with strong popular mobilizations for the Right to Food around the world; but important variations prevail, both in the articulation of demands around food security interventions and in political responses to these. This paper takes a close look at India’s Public Distribution System (PDS), a program with a long history and clear national-level, legislative backing, but considerable differences in prioritization at the subnational level. We focus on the unique paired comparison of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, both amongst the poorest regions in India and the world which share the same moment of state creation in 2000 and ask why the opportunities afforded by statehood allowed Chhattisgarh to politically prioritize the PDS, but not Jharkhand. The paper finds that the explanation lies in the interrelated dimensions of political-electoral competition, the nature of pressures exerted by influential societal groups, and the developmental orientation of the political leadership and its enablement of bureaucratic capacity. This paper contributes to the emerging literature on the political conditions that allow the deployment of state capacity for the promotion of welfare in emerging welfare states. In doing so, the paper also seeks to advance the repertoire of conceptual tools available for understanding the expansion of social policy in varied institutional contexts across the Global South.
  • Willingness to pay for electricity access in extreme poverty: Evidence
           from sub-Saharan Africa
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2020Source: World Development, Volume 128Author(s): Maximiliane Sievert, Jevgenijs Steinbuks Improving electricity access in low-income countries is complicated because of high service costs and low electricity consumption levels in rural areas. This study elucidates this problem by analyzing poor Sub-Saharan African households’ willingness-to-pay for different types of electricity access, including both grid and lower cost off-grid technologies. We show both theoretically and empirically that at low levels of income, low-cost decentralized off-grid solar technologies provide the highest utility from the households’ perspective. We, therefore, recommend concentrating the near-term rural household electrification efforts on these technologies.
  • The customer is king: Evidence on VAT compliance in Tanzania
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2020Source: World Development, Volume 128Author(s): Odd-Helge Fjeldstad, Cecilia Kagoma, Ephraim Mdee, Ingrid Hoem Sjursen, Vincent Somville Value Added Tax (VAT) has emerged as one of the main modes of raising tax revenue worldwide, but has significantly underperformed as a revenue source in African countries. To improve compliance, Tanzania has introduced Electronic Fiscal Devices (EFDs), which automatically transmit information about business transactions to the tax administration. However, VAT collection has not improved as expected. In this paper, we examine EFD compliance and identify factors that influence it. An innovation in this study is the direct observation of EFD usage: our enumerators waited for customers departing from business premises, and then checked their receipts, interviewed them and interviewed the businesses. This design enabled us to observe each business’s actual compliance in issuing EFD receipts, thus mitigating the problem of dishonest reporting of compliance, which is common in self-reported survey data. We find that EFD compliance is associated not only with the business’s perception of other businesses’ compliance and its satisfaction with public services, but also, and more strongly, with the customer’s perception of detection and penalty risks.
  • Is collective titling enough to protect forests' Evidence from
           Afro-descendant communities in the Colombian Pacific region
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2020Source: World Development, Volume 128Author(s): Maria Alejandra Vélez, Juan Robalino, Juan Camilo Cardenas, Andrea Paz, Eduardo Pacay During the mid-1990s, one of the most ambitious land reforms in recent decades took place in Colombia. The reform recognized collective land rights of almost 6 million hectares to Afro-Colombian communities, with the dual goals of improving livelihoods and preserving valuable ecosystems. We estimate the impact of this collective land titling program on forest cover using panel data and a difference-in-difference empirical strategy. We find that overall, collective titling significantly reduces deforestation rates, but the effect varies substantially by sub-region. We observe that the larger effects are in Nariño and Valle del Cauca. Our qualitative analysis suggest that this might be the result of local community-based organization defining the rules for community use of natural resources and the expulsion of private companies dedicated to timber exploitation and oil palm plantations. We conclude that under the adequate conditions, collective titling can lead to forest conservation.
  • Gender differences in associations of household and ambient air pollution
           with child health: Evidence from household and satellite-based data in
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2020Source: World Development, Volume 128Author(s): Masamitsu Kurata, Kazushi Takahashi, Akira Hibiki Reduction in health risks from household air pollution (HAP) and ambient air pollution (AAP) is critical for achieving sustainable development globally, especially in low-income countries. Children are at particularly high risk because their respiratory and immune systems are not fully developed. Previous studies have identified the adverse impacts of air pollution on child health. However, most studies do not focus on HAP and AAP simultaneously nor address differences in the timings and magnitudes of prenatal and postnatal exposures across genders. Therefore, this study examines how prenatal and postnatal exposures to ambient particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter of 2.5 μm or less (PM2.5) along with household use of solid fuels (a main cause of HAP) are correlated with child health in Bangladesh. We combine individual-level data from nationally representative surveys with satellite-based high-resolution data on ambient PM2.5. We find that (1) the use of solid fuels is associated with respiratory illness among girls but not boys, (2) prenatal exposure to ambient PM2.5 is associated with stunting in boys but not girls, and (3) postnatal exposure is associated with stunting in both genders. These results provide new evidence for heterogeneous influences of AAP and HAP on child health across gender and timing of exposure. The main policy implications are that interventions against HAP would be more effective by targeting girls, and interventions against AAP should also target pregnant women. In sum, our findings highlight the importance of protecting women from air pollution and achieving Target 3.9 of the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • From ‘MeToo’ to Boko Haram: A survey of levels and trends of gender
           inequality in the world
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2020Source: World Development, Volume 128Author(s): Stephan Klasen This survey argues that after decades of seemingly continuous progress in reducing gender inequality in developing and developed countries, since about 2000, there has been an unexpected stagnation and regress in many dimensions of gender inequality in many parts of the world. This is most visible in labor markets, but also visible across a range of dimensions of gender inequality. After documenting these developments, the paper suggests causes for this change before suggesting policies that might tackle remaining gender inequalities more effectively.
  • Does trade reduce infant mortality' Evidence from sub-Saharan Africa
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2020Source: World Development, Volume 128Author(s): Pallavi Panda Trade can affect the development process of a country via various direct and indirect mechanisms. Empirically, it is difficult to identify causal effects, as trade is likely to be endogenous to other socio-economic factors that also affect development. To overcome this problem, this study uses a trade policy experiment called the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) which conferred many sub-Saharan African countries largely duty-free and quota-free access to US markets. Using retrospective birth histories from Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), I develop a large micro panel dataset that spans 30 sub-Saharan African countries and carry out a within-mother variation in survival of infant to find a causal impact of the policy. Identification in this analysis is based on each country’s exposure to the trade policy at different points in time. I find that the policy reduces infant mortality by about 9% of the sample mean, even after controlling for country-time linear trends as well as mother’s time invariant characteristics. Event study reveals no effects prior to AGOA implementation, corroborating that the decrease in infant mortality is due to AGOA. I also find strong heterogeneous effects at the country and household level. The effects range from there being no significant effect to a strong increase or a strong decrease in infant deaths at the country level. The effect of AGOA on infant survival is stronger for countries that export large amounts of agricultural goods and mineral ores as compared to oil exporting countries. At the micro level, I see stronger effects for the uneducated, rural, and poor women via those women employed in agriculture or using manual labor, indicating increasing incomes as a possible mechanism. This study provides the first estimates of the effects of AGOA on infant mortality and adds to the literature on the quantitative impact of trade on health.
  • International linkages, technology transfer, and the skilled labor wage
           share: Evidence from plant-level data in Indonesia
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2020Source: World Development, Volume 128Author(s): Mahmut Yasar, Roderick M. Rejesus This paper examines whether technology transfer through international linkages (such as the importing of intermediate inputs and foreign direct investments) influences skilled labor wage shares in Indonesian plants. Using a variety of specifications, estimators, and robustness checks (including Correlated Random Effects Probit, quantile fixed effects regression, and a moment-based instrumental variable (IV) approach), we find that the import of intermediate inputs and foreign direct investment likely facilitate the transfer of technologies from advanced nations, which then results in skill-biased technological change and increased relative skilled labor wage share. These results indicate that, contrary to standard trade theory predictions, international linkages can lead to increased demand for skilled labor and a potential widening of the skilled-unskilled labor wage gap in Indonesia. Our findings support the theoretical explanation provided by Acemoglu (2003). Since firms in developing countries like Indonesia mainly rely on technologies from advanced nations, trade is likely to increase (rather than decrease) the skilled wage premium.
  • Ability or opportunity to act: What shapes financial well-being'
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2020Source: World Development, Volume 128Author(s): Jonathan Fu This paper draws on nationally representative survey data from 11 emerging and developed economies to measure consumer financial well-being and provide a systematic analysis of its predictors. Whereas the extant literature has been dominated by studies emphasizing the role of individuals’ levels of financial literacy and formal financial inclusion, the paper shifts focus towards contextual-level predictors by exploiting subregional variation in structural and institutional features of financial sectors, both within and across countries. It develops a conceptual framework that categorizes such features into 1) those that enhance or inhibit decision-making when selecting or using formal products and 2) those that provide viable substitutes or complements to formal products. It then provides empirical evidence on several examples. Specifically, it highlights the relative importance of having greater prevalence of independent information resources concerning financial products and services, additional provider choice, and some forms of semi-formal and informal finance. The main policy implications are that current efforts to improve broader welfare outcomes through financial literacy and inclusion interventions may still be too narrowly framed. Structural and institutional features related to financial sectors may hinder or enhance financial well-being, even if individuals have adequate financial literacy or be included in formal financial markets. The financial well-being concept may also serve as a useful indicator for monitoring progress towards SDGs 1, 3, 10, and 16.
  • Just a bit of cushion: The role of a simple savings device in meeting
           planned and unplanned expenses in rural Niger
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2020Source: World Development, Volume 128Author(s): Jenny C. Aker, Melita Sawyer, Markus Goldstein, Michael O'Sullivan, Margaret McConnell The welfare impacts of expanding access to new financial services depend upon whether such services better meet households’ financial needs in terms of savings, investment and insurance. We report the results of a randomized control trial in Niger, whereby households were provided with access to a simple savings device – an individual lockbox – or SMS reminders. Overall, take-up and usage of the lockbox was high. Overall savings in the lockbox treatments was higher at endline, although this is not statistically significant at conventional levels. The lockboxes did not affect households’ ceremonial or overall health expenditures, but did partially help households to cope with the negative impacts of a health shock. Overall, there were no additional effects of the SMS reminders. Taken together, these results provide further evidence that simple savings devices can meet an unmet demand for a secure place to save.
  • Education, skills and a good job: A multidimensional econometric analysis
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2020Source: World Development, Volume 128Author(s): Jaya Krishnakumar, Ricardo Nogales Education, skills and labor market outcomes are tightly linked. Most empirical evidence about their interconnections is obtained using rich longitudinal datasets coming from developed countries, and often treat earnings as the sole outcome of interest. Much less is known about the same in developing countries due to lack of appropriate data. This paper is an attempt to fill this gap by operationalizing the technology of skill formation framework using a static dataset with some information on past variables. Following the theoretical underpinnings of modern development paradigms, we define our variable of interest to be a multidimensional concept of work-related well-being, going beyond wages to include employment opportunities, decent working time and safe work environment. We thus apply a suitably adapted version of the above framework, resulting in a simultaneous equation model with latent variables, to Bolivian data. We find that an above-average well-being in terms of employment opportunities and earnings is only observed in the top-most quintile of the skills distributions, whereas the top three quintiles are relatively well-off in the safe work dimension. Overwork is responsive to cognitive skills but not to non-cognitive skills, and it is highly prevalent across the entire distribution of the former. These two types of skills are also differently influenced by education. An individual with a primary schooling is already in the above-average group in terms of non-cognitive skills, a condition requiring an undergraduate college degree in the case of cognitive skills. From a policy perspective, we note that, contrary to the general findings in a developed country context, the premium for cognitive skills on the labor market is higher than that for non-cognitive skills. This can be explained by the relative scarcity of the former, which is mostly acquired through formal education, a situation often encountered in many developing countries.
  • Exploring the linkages between energy, gender, and enterprise: Evidence
           from Tanzania
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2020Source: World Development, Volume 128Author(s): Ana Pueyo, Marco Carreras, Gisela Ngoo The productive use of electricity is essential for poverty reduction in newly electrified rural communities as well as for the financial sustainability of electricity suppliers. Because men and women assume different roles in the rural economy, the inclusion of gender concerns in interventions to promote productive uses of energy could improve development outcomes. Using a multi-methods approach, this study provides new evidence about how men and women use energy in rural micro-enterprises in Tanzania, and which benefits they obtain from it. In our research region, most businesses are owned by men and men-owned enterprises use electricity more frequently and intensely than women owned enterprises. The latter dominate the productive use of cooking fuels like charcoal and firewood. Electricity use is consistently associated with better business performance, but women entrepreneurs do not use it as much as men. There are multiple reasons for this gender imbalance. First, women enjoy less favourable starting conditions for enterprise creation due to poor access to finance, education, and other resources. Furthermore, women are required to balance care responsibilities with paid work and are subject to social norms that determine the acceptability of certain productive activities. Typically, female activities are less profitable and less mechanised than men’s. Consequently, in the absence of gender interventions, male entrepreneurs are more likely to benefit from the promotion of productive uses of electricity. The paper discusses several approaches to improve the gender equity of PUE interventions.
  • What do we know about the impact of microfinance' The problems of
           statistical power and precision
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2020Source: World Development, Volume 128Author(s): Mahesh Dahal, Nathan Fiala We review all eight randomized control trial studies of microfinance published in peer-reviewed journals. The studies generally show no or minimal impact from providing microloans to clients and have led many researchers and policy makers to conclude that microfinance has been proven to have little or no positive impacts on people’s lives. We review these studies in detail and find four main results. First, we are able to replicate the results using the researcher’s original data. Second, we observe that while the results are generally insignificant at traditional levels, most estimated coefficients are large. Third, every one of the studies is underpowered to detect reasonable effect sizes, often due to low take-up of the financial product offered. Pooling the data from the studies together improves power for most outcomes, but minimum detectable effect sizes are still large. Finally, when we run analysis on a pooled sample, we find a treatment effect on business profits, business revenue and household assets, significant at the 1% level. We argue that existing research on the impact of microfinance is generally underpowered to identify impacts reliably and suggests that we still know very little about the impact of microfinance. We end by discussing ways to improve future research.
  • Legal identity for all' Gender inequality in the timing of birth
           registration in Mexico
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2020Source: World Development, Volume 128Author(s): Imke Harbers Despite recent advances, many low and middle-income countries do not have a comprehensive system for civil registration. Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goal of providing ‘legal identity for all’ therefore requires an effort to ensure timely birth registration among societal groups that have remained at the margins. Timely registration is crucial for the effective guarantee of individual identities, since delays are associated with under-registration, and incorrect records. The paper examines gender inequality in registration. Based on demographic data for Mexico, a higher middle-income country that has recently made considerable progress with regard to birth registration, it shows that gender bias is expressed not only in the under-registration of girls, but also in systematically longer delays compared to their male counterparts. To understand this, the paper conceptualizes registration as an informed decision by citizens about the perceived costs and benefits of obtaining documents. The paper leverages a novel data source – a dataset of roughly 80 million records for births registered by the Mexican state between 1985 and 2014 – to investigate not just whether citizens obtain documents, but also when they do so. The analysis demonstrates that delays in registration decrease when obtaining documents provides tangible benefits for citizens. The introduction of Progresa, a conditional cash transfer program targeting poor households, is associated with shorter delays in registration among younger cohorts, and an increase in registration among women. Positive incentives for registration thus ensure that parents actively seek documents for their children. Conditional cash transfer programs, which operate in many countries, can play an important role in creating such incentives.
  • Pay, talk or ‘whip’ to conserve forests: Framed field
           experiments in Zambia
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2020Source: World Development, Volume 128Author(s): Hambulo Ngoma, Amare Teklay Hailu, Stephen Kabwe, Arild Angelsen Despite many efforts to conserve tropical forests, high rates of deforestation and forest degradation continue, threatening the products and environmental services they supply. We conducted framed field experiments (FFEs) in Zambia to test, ex-ante, the impacts of different conservation policies: community forest management (CFM), command and control (CAC), and two versions of payments for environmental services (PES). Our FFEs mimicked how local dwellers use forests in real life. Relative to open access (OA), PES to individuals reduced harvest by 15 percentage points (pp) while CFM reduced harvest rates by 8 pp. We conjecture that free and easy-riding, combined with uncertainty on how others will reciprocate, dampens the positive effects of group-based PES. Impatience and risk-loving among participants significantly increased harvest rates while pro-social behavior (altruism) was associated with more pro-conservation. We conclude that conservation outcomes might be achieved by combinations of CFM and individual PES, by which individual households receive clear material benefits that compensate for their reduced forest use.
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Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
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