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World Development
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  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 0305-750X
Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3185 journals]
  • To diversify or not to diversify, that is the question. Pursuing
           agricultural development for smallholder farmers in marginal areas of
           Ghana
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: World Development, Volume 125Author(s): Mauricio R. Bellon, Bekele Hundie Kotu, Carlo Azzarri, Francesco Caracciolo Many smallholder farmers in developing countries grow multiple crop species on their farms, maintaining de facto crop diversity. Rarely do agricultural development strategies consider this crop diversity as an entry point for fostering agricultural innovation. This paper presents a case study, from an agricultural research-for-development project in northern Ghana, which examines the relationship between crop diversity and self-consumption of food crops, and cash income from crops sold by smallholder farmers in the target areas. By testing the presence and direction of these relationships, it is possible to assess whether smallholder farmers may benefit more from a diversification or a specialization agricultural development strategy for improving their livelihoods. Based on a household survey of 637 randomly selected households, we calculated crop diversity as well as its contribution to self-consumption (measured as imputed monetary value) and to cash income for each household. With these data we estimated a system of three simultaneous equations. Results show that households maintained high levels of crop diversity: up to eight crops grown, with an-average of 3.2 per household, and with less than 5% having a null or very low level of crop diversity. The value of crop species used for self-consumption was on average 55% higher than that of crop sales. Regression results show that crop diversity is positively associated with self-consumption of food crops, and cash income from crops sold. This finding suggests that increasing crop diversity opens market opportunities for households, while still contributing to self-consumption. Given these findings, crop diversification seems to be more beneficial to these farmers than specialization. For these diversified farmers, or others in similar contexts, interventions that assess and build on their de facto crop diversity are probably more likely to be successful.
       
  • Ask me why: Patterns of intrahousehold decision-making
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: World Development, Volume 125Author(s): Tanguy Bernard, Cheryl Doss, Melissa Hidrobo, Jessica Hoel, Caitlin Kieran
       
  • Beyond the neoliberal-statist divide on the drivers of innovation: A
           political settlements reading of Kenya’s M-Pesa success story
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: World Development, Volume 125Author(s): Matthew Tyce While there is now broad consensus that innovation is a key driver of productivity growth, debates about the state’s role in promoting innovation remain polarised between two competing analytical and ideological paradigms. The first is neoliberalism, which confines the state to correcting market failures, ensuring competition and supporting the innovative force of the private-sector. Drawing on the developmental state phenomenon, the second calls for a strong and visionary state to drive innovation by targeting industries for investment and protecting firms until they are ready to face competition. The literature broadly falls within these camps, identifying innovation as a market- or state-driven process. This paper challenges both, arguing that there are multiple pathways to innovation, many of which represent a messier middle ground. The case of Kenya, which has become a hotbed for mobile money innovation since launching its pioneering M-Pesa service in 2007, is used to make this argument. Neoliberal and statist accounts fail to explain this story, which needs to be framed in relation to underlying power relations that span this divide. The M-Pesa success has played out within a highly-particularistic and patronage-based political context, whereby the interests of key groups within Kenya’s political settlement have crystallised to shield M-Pesa's parent company Safaricom, whose ownership structure and strategic partnerships draw in elites from across the political spectrum, from competition. This has afforded Safaricom space to innovate with M-Pesa, engendering a form of ‘developmental patrimonialism’ within which it has become a vehicle for rents to be centralised and deployed within strategic industries according to a long-term vision, with profits parcelled back to elites through generous dividend pay-outs. Concluding, the paper calls for more nuanced political economy understandings of the drivers of innovation, and mobile money adoption in particular.
       
  • Improving learning and accountability in foreign aid
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: World Development, Volume 125Author(s): Paul Clements Learning and accountability in foreign aid require project comparisons, but the dominant framework for aid evaluation institutionalizes inconsistency. Today, most aid evaluations are organized in terms of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) criteria: relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability. Usually the evaluators determine how to apply each criterion. Also, with donor agencies organizing their own evaluation systems, project monitoring tends to be weak and many evaluations are superficial, positively biased, and/or poorly timed. Logically, the most effective way to improve learning and accountability would be to implement independent and consistent evaluation for cost effectiveness. We substantiate and illustrate this argument by explaining why evaluation should be oriented to cost effectiveness and how this could be accomplished by an evaluation association, and by discussing six evaluations of health projects and several documents that summarize many evaluations.The proposed association would provide a stronger foundation in evidence and incentive environment for aid managers to make decisions that maximize the cost effectiveness of their interventions. This would enhance the professionalism of foreign aid and hasten an end to poverty.
       
  • Gender differences in the relationship between land ownership and
           managerial rights: Implications for intrahousehold farm labor allocation
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: World Development, Volume 125Author(s): Munsu Kang, Benjamin Schwab, Jisang Yu Recent research has increased interest in the intersection of land tenure and gender roles in African agriculture. While formalization of land ownership has been found to have important gender impacts, time use and management remain critical to both the productivity of agricultural operations as well as the welfare of household members. Thus, it is important to understand how gender intersects with the relationship between the ownership and operation of plots. We use plot level data from nationally representative household surveys in Ethiopia and Malawi to characterize the structure (sole male; sole female; or joint) and domain (plot ownership; plot management; or output management) of control over land in each household. We then answer the following research questions: 1) are there any gender gaps in the degrees of the concordance among different domains of controls' and 2) how does the structure of ownership and managerial rights affect labor allocations on plots' We find that for both males and females, sole managerial rights are most likely to occur in plots owned exclusively by either gender. However, on jointly owned plots, instances of sole planting rights are almost exclusively male. We also find that while females supply more of their own labor to plots they control, the pattern of own-gender bias in labor allocation varies with each structure-domain combination. The heterogeneity suggests gender inequality analyses related to land rights are sensitive to the choice of domain of control.
       
  • Managing risk, changing aspirations and household dynamics: Implications
           for wellbeing and adaptation in semi-arid Africa and India
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: World Development, Volume 125Author(s): Nitya Rao, Chandni Singh, Divya Solomon, Laura Camfield, Rahina Sidiki, Margaret Angula, Prathigna Poonacha, Amadou Sidibé, Elaine T. Lawson Semi-arid regions across Africa and Asia are characterized by rapidly changing biophysical regimes, structural vulnerabilities, and increasing livelihood precarity. Gender, class, and caste/ethnic identities and relationships, and the specific social, economic and political power, roles and responsibilities they entail, shape the choices and decisions open to individuals and households in managing the risks they face. Unpacking the multiple, intersecting inequalities confronting rural populations in these climate hotspots is therefore vital to understand how risk can be managed in a way that supports effective, inclusive, and sustainable local adaptation. Drawing on empirical evidence from six countries, generated through a mixed methods approach, we examine how changes in household dynamics, structure, and aspirations, shape risk management with implications for household well-being, adaptive capacity, and ultimately sustainable development. The ability of individuals within households, differentiated by age, marital status, or education, to manipulate the very structure of the household and the material and social resources it offers, differentiates risk management strategies such as livelihood diversification, migration, changing agricultural practices and leveraging social support. Our evidence suggests that while greater risks can drive conflictive behavior within households, with women often reporting lower subjective wellbeing, new forms of cooperative behavior are also emerging, especially in peri-urban spaces. Through this study, we identify entry points into enabling sustainable and inclusive adaptation behavior, emphasizing that interventions should work for both women and men by challenging inequitable social and gender norms and renegotiating the domains of work and cooperation to maintain overall household wellbeing.
       
  • Does historical land inequality attenuate the positive impact of India’s
           employment guarantee program'
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: World Development, Volume 124Author(s): Kartik Misra By providing 100 days of guaranteed employment to every rural household, the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) can challenge the hegemony of landed elites as major employers in the Indian countryside. Using the colonial classification of landlord and non-landlord-based land-revenue institutions in India, this paper provides a political economy explanation for regional variation in the labor market impact of NREGA. The extractive landlord-based system led to high inequality in landownership and political domination by a large landlord class. Comparing the labor market impacts of NREGA between the landlord and non-landlord districts in a difference-in-differences and triple-difference framework, we find that the provision of public employment under NREGA and correspondingly, its impact on rural wages is muted in landlord districts. In these districts, public employment under NREGA substitutes for self-farming but has no impact on private wage employment. However, the program is highly successful in raising wages by generating more public employment in non-landlord districts. In these districts, the provision of public employment under NREGA crowds-out labor primarily from unpaid domestic work, reflecting an increase in women’s participation in the program. These findings suggest that NREGA has not become a credible alternative to private employment in regions historically characterized by exclusionary economic and political institutions since large land-owning elites in these regions have managed to keep wages depressed by virtue of their position as major employers in the countryside.
       
  • Land titling and its effect on the allocation of public goods: Evidence
           from Mexico
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: World Development, Volume 124Author(s): Aurora Alejandra Ramírez-Álvarez In this paper, I study the effect of land ownership reforms in the allocation of local public goods in rural Mexico. I estimate the impact of acquiring dominio pleno, the private ownership of areas of land known as ejidos, on the allocation of local public goods (i.e., piped water and electricity). Using a first-differences matching estimator, I show that private property rights can be associated with lower growth of local public goods. During the period I study, there is lower growth in the percentage of households with access to water and electricity in dominio pleno ejidos. I suggest that this result is explained by a deteriorated role of the ejido leader, which is consistent with lower turnout rates in municipal elections observed in these areas.
       
  • The relationship between energy intensity and economic growth: New
           evidence from a multi-country multi-sectorial dataset
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: World Development, Volume 124Author(s): Uwe Deichmann, Anna Reuter, Sebastian Vollmer, Fan Zhang This paper revisits the relationship between energy intensity and economic growth, using a flexible piecewise linear regression model. Based on a panel data set of 137 economies during 1990–2014, the analysis identifies a threshold effect of income growth on energy intensity change: although energy intensity is negatively correlated with income growth throughout the entire sample and study period, the declining rate significantly slows by about 25 percent after the level of per capita income reaches $5,000. Based on index decomposition, the analysis also finds that although structural change is important for intensity levels in all countries, the efficiency effect is more important in higher-income countries. The results suggest that one can expect to see relatively rapid reduction in energy intensity as the economies in today’s poor countries grow. However, when countries move beyond lower-middle-income levels, energy efficiency policies become far more critical for sustaining the rate of reduction in energy intensity.
       
  • Political geography of violence: Municipal politics and homicide in Brazil
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: World Development, Volume 124Author(s): Matthew C. Ingram, Marcelo Marchesini da Costa Violence has harmful effects on individuals and society. This is especially true in Latin America, a region that stands out globally for its high homicide rate. Building on research on subnational politics, democratization, and an inter-disciplinary literature that seeks to understand sources of violence, we examine the effect of municipal politics on homicide rates in Brazil while controlling for conventional socio-structural accounts. Specifically, we test the effect of four key political variables – party identification of mayors, partisan alignment of mayors and governors, electoral competition, and voter participation – and examine the locally varying effect of these variables with geographically weighted regressions (GWR). Our emphasis on political explanations of criminal violence is a rare departure from dominant accounts of violent crime, suggesting comparisons with the literature on political violence, and the spatial approach allows an analysis of the territorially uneven effect of political variables. The results show the statistical significance, direction, and magnitude of key political factors vary substantially across Brazil’s 5562 municipalities, showcasing the uneven effect of predictors of violence across space, and generating new hypotheses regarding the conditional effect of key predictors. In the time period examined (2007–2012), the largest left party in Brazil, Workers' Party (PT), had a beneficial effect, reducing violence in large parts of Brazil, the center party that held most local governments (PMDB) had a harmful effect in certain areas of Brazil, and the largest center-right party (PSDB) had mixed effects – helpful in some parts of Brazil and harmful in others. These results help us understand key features of the relationship between Brazilian politics and public security across different parts of the country, illuminating the political geography of violence in the region's largest country.
       
  • 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.
       
  • Measurement properties of the project-level Women's Empowerment in
           Agriculture Index
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: World Development, Volume 124Author(s): Kathryn M. Yount, Yuk Fai Cheong, Lauren Maxwell, Jessica Heckert, Elena M. Martinez, Gregory Seymour Women’s empowerment is a process that includes increases in intrinsic agency (power within); instrumental agency (power to); and collective agency (power with). We used baseline data from two studies—Targeting and Realigning Agriculture for Improved Nutrition (TRAIN) in Bangladesh and Building Resilience in Burkina Faso (BRB)—to assess the measurement properties of survey questions operationalizing selected dimensions of intrinsic, instrumental, and collective agency in the project-level Women’s Empowerment in Agricultural Index (pro-WEAI). We applied unidimensional item-response models to question (item) sets to assess their measurement properties, and when possible, their cross-context measurement equivalence—a requirement of measures designed for cross-group comparisons. For intrinsic agency in the right to bodily integrity, measured with five attitudinal questions about intimate partner violence (IPV) against women, model assumptions of unidimensionality and local independence were met. Four items showed good model fit and measurement equivalence across TRAIN and BRB. For item sets designed to capture autonomy in income, intrinsic agency in livelihoods activities, and instrumental agency in: livelihoods activities, the sale or use of outputs, the use of income, and borrowing from financial services, model assumptions were not met, model fit was poor, and items generally were weakly related to the latent (unobserved) agency construct. For intrinsic and instrumental agency in livelihoods activities and for instrumental agency in the sale or use of outputs and in the use of income, items sets had similar precision along the latent-agency continuum, suggesting that similar item sets could be dropped without a loss of precision. IRT models for collective agency were not estimable because of low reported presence and membership in community groups. This analysis demonstrates the use of IRT methods to assess the measurement properties of item sets in pro-WEAI, and empowerment scales generally. Findings suggest that a shorter version of pro-WEAI can be developed that will improve its measurement properties. We recommend revisions to the pro-WEAI questionnaire and call for new measures of women’s collective agency.
       
  • Economic performance, gender and social networks in West African food
           systems
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: World Development, Volume 124Author(s): Olivier J. Walther, Michel Tenikue, Marie Trémolières The objective of this article is to measure the effects of income and gender on informal social networks in the rice value chain. Using primary data collected on 490 entrepreneurs in Benin, Niger and Nigeria, the paper first demonstrates that the monthly profit of entrepreneurs is determined by their structural position within the rice value chain. The most prosperous actors are simultaneously deeply embedded in their community through numerous ties and capable of building connections with other communities outside their own ethnic groups and countries. The paper then analyses to what extent gender is a strong predictor of social ties. An econometric analysis shows that women are less central than men and that their income is much lower after controlling for age, experience, education, religion and matrimonial status.
       
  • Temples, travesties, or something else' The developmental state,
           ecological modernization, and hydroelectric dam construction in India
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: World Development, Volume 124Author(s): Grant Alan Burrier, Philip Hultquist Hydroelectric power is the world’s largest source of renewable energy. It can encourage economic development while reducing carbon emissions, but large hydroelectric projects have serious social and environmental consequences. Democratic Developmental and Ecological Modernization theorists counseled the adoption of new regulations and institutions to increase citizen participation and socioenvironmental protection. Environmental impact assessments (EIAs) and public audiences are considered best practice, but do these new protections and procedures alter government behavior when it makes critical development decisions' We argue scholars have paid too little attention to how bureaucratic hierarchies and weak cross-agency harmonization weaken environmental regimes. To highlight these issues, we provide an in-depth case study of hydroelectric dam construction in India, a country simultaneously confronting widespread underdevelopment and an energy matrix overwhelmingly reliant on carbon-based sources. Our multi-method analysis includes: innovative ArcGIS techniques to create an original database of large hydroelectric projects, field research, and a longitudinal analysis of three distinct periods of dam construction. We find the Indian government gradually shifted from large, multipurpose impoundment dams to smaller run-of-the-river (ROR) projects. ROR dams maintain a smaller footprint by requiring less flooding, but they are less efficient and versatile. Facing greater constitutional protections, concerns about resettlement costs, and past social mobilization, the Indian government is prioritizing smaller projects in remote locations to mitigate the social consequences of dam projects. Nevertheless, environmental concerns have been perfunctory. No fish ladders, exposed riverbeds, compromised waterflow regimes, and minimal riparian rehabilitation mean the environmental consequences of ROR dams remain extremely severe. These findings can be attributed to bureaucratic hierarchies, which limit the power of environmental agencies. Additionally, EIAs have been largely cursory and public audiences have not tangibly improved environmental outcomes because civil society generally prioritizes the social impacts of projects. In conclusion, our study finds India is better reconciling economic development with greater social protection and inclusion. The continued negative environmental externalities of contemporary hydroelectric projects highlight significant space for improving environmental protection.
       
  • Constraints to adopting soil fertility management practices in Malawi: A
           choice experiment approach
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: World Development, Volume 124Author(s): Kwabena Krah, Hope Michelson, Emilie Perge, Rohit Jindal Though problems related to low and declining soil fertility continue to impede agricultural production and food security in Sub-Saharan Africa, smallholder farmers in this region – those cultivating two hectares or less – have shown reluctance to adopt practices at scale that help conserve or enhance soil quality. Employing a discrete choice-based experiment, we find evidence that farmers’ propensity to adopt soil fertility management (SFM) practices increases with improved access to mineral fertilizers, and when farmers receive relevant technical training on soil fertility improving technologies. A unique aspect of our study is our focus on understanding how smallholders’ stated SFM preferences relate to their perceptions of recent local climatic variation. We find that farmers who perceive that rainfall amounts are decreasing are less willing to adopt crop rotations to improve soils. Our findings suggest that policies designed to increase adoption of SFM practices are more likely to succeed when they provide farmers with inputs that farmers perceive as complementary to SFM, including mineral fertilizer, and when they are built around an understanding of farmers’ perceptions of climatic variability.
       
  • Policy Diffusion in the Rural Sanitation Sector: Lessons from
           Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS)
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: World Development, Volume 124Author(s): Valentina Zuin, Caroline Delaire, Rachel Peletz, Alicea Cock-Esteb, Ranjiv Khush, Jeff Albert Worldwide, 892 million people practice open defecation, most of whom live in rural areas of South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) is the most widely deployed approach to generate demand for, and use of sanitation facilities. CLTS relies on behavioral change and community self-enforcement to end open defecation. Since its genesis in Bangladesh in 1999, CLTS has spread to approximately 60 countries, mostly in Asia and Africa, and is employed by the majority of development organizations operating in rural sanitation. This paper uses a qualitative approach to analyze the reasons and processes that drove the wide diffusion of CLTS. We show that CLTS was embraced because it was perceived as a fast and effective solution to the problem of open defecation, one which was in line with the decentralization and community participation paradigms, at a time when donors and governments were looking for strategies to meet the MDG for sanitation. CLTS spread under the leadership of influential donors, NGOs, persuasive practitioners, and academics. Face-to-face interactions among members of this network and local governments at conferences and workshops played a central role in the diffusion of the approach. The use of experiential learning during study tours and workshop field visits has been crucial to persuade government actors at different levels, NGOs, and donors to use the CLTS approach. Notably, robust scientific evidence played little role in the diffusion of CLTS. We conclude by making suggestions to strengthen the evidence base for rural sanitation policies.
       
  • Can health insurance reduce household vulnerability' Evidence from
           Viet Nam
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: World Development, Volume 124Author(s): Thang T. Vo, Pham Hoang Van This study provides new evidence on the impact of health insurance coverage on household vulnerability using the Vietnam Access to Resources Household Surveys (VARHS) for 2010 and 2012. We apply propensity score matching to address the non-random selection of households into health insurance status. The VARHS data allow us to include risk preference as a predictor of health insurance propensity, an important source of endogeneity between health insurance coverage and vulnerability. We estimate that health insurance helps rural households in Vietnam reduce the idiosyncratic component of utility loss by 81 per cent and the probability of becoming poor by 19 per cent. Our results are robust to alternative statistical specifications. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper measuring the impact of health insurance coverage on household ex-ante vulnerability. Our findings suggest that expanding access, reducing costs and improving efficiency in health care would have big benefits of reducing vulnerability for the poor.
       
  • Microcredit contract design: A macroeconomic evaluation
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: World Development, Volume 124Author(s): Khan Islam, Melanie O’Gorman There is now a vast literature investigating the impact of microcredit on poverty in the developing world. Such studies are by and large at the micro-level – investigating the impact of the provision of microcredit loans or a feature of microcredit contracts for a specific microfinance institution (MFI) on measures of well-being such as poverty or female empowerment. While these studies are crucial for understanding the effectiveness of microcredit in various contexts, very little analysis has been at the macroeconomic level with a view to understanding the general equilibrium effects of microfinance. This paper does this, by providing a comprehensive theory that allows the relative importance of the various factors influencing microcredit’s impact to be quantified. We build on Buera et al. (2012) and develop a model of financial intermediation which highlights the roles of credit market imperfections, MFI efficiency and occupational choice. We exploit the large cross-country variation in microcredit features to decipher the important features of microcredit contracts, calibrating the model to data for 21 countries in the early 2000s. We then use the calibrated model to investigate the impact of a number of counterfactual scenarios which may lend insight into microcredit policy, such as training for microcredit clients, credit information-sharing and microcredit itself. We investigate the impact of each policy experiment on poverty, income per capita and entrepreneurship. This paper highlights that the impact of credit policies differs significantly across countries, and therefore that no credit-based policy is a panacea for improving welfare.
       
  • Forests as pathways to prosperity: Empirical insights and conceptual
           advances
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 August 2019Source: World DevelopmentAuthor(s): Daniel C. Miller, Reem Hajjar The role of forests in supporting current consumption and helping people cope with seasonal, climatic, and other stressors is increasingly well understood. But can forests help rural households climb out of poverty' And can forests provide a pathway to prosperity that includes more widely shared economic benefits and improvements in other aspects of human well-being' This introduction to the Special Issue on “Forests as Pathways to Prosperity” reviews the literature on forest livelihoods in developing countries to synthesize evidence relating to these questions. We find that available research primarily examines poverty mitigation aspects of forests rather than the potential role of forest conservation, management, and use in alleviating poverty or promoting broader prosperity. To increase understanding of forest-livelihood relationships we propose a framework based on the concept of prosperity, which draws particular attention to human well-being beyond economic and material dimensions. We argue that explicitly taking a more expansive view can enable better accounting for the diverse ways forests contribute to human welfare, expand the constituency for forests, and inform policies to more sustainably manage forests within wider landscapes. Together, our review and the other articles in this volume advance these objectives by providing new analytical frameworks, empirical insights, and theoretical understanding to build knowledge on linkages between forests, poverty, and broader prosperity.
       
  • Market access, agro-ecological conditions, and Boserupian agricultural
           intensification patterns in Kenya: Implications for agricultural programs
           and research
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: World Development, Volume 124Author(s): Sarah A. Kopper, Thomas S. Jayne While Boserupian intensification processes have been documented in many parts of Africa, there is regional variation in the trends in relative prices of land, labor, and capital inputs such as fertilizer. Some rural areas are experiencing unprecedented spikes in land values associated with growing land scarcity, improved market access, and agricultural commercialization potential, while others remain economically isolated and less influenced by the transformational changes occurring elsewhere in the region. This study uses a panel spanning 13 years of 1208 smallholders in Kenya to assess whether households’ response to changes in relative factor prices varies by agro-ecological potential and market access. In areas of low agro-ecological potential, households respond to rising land prices by cultivating less land and applying fertilizer more intensively but do not appear to adjust fertilizer use in response to changing fertilizer prices. By contrast, households in areas of high agro-ecological potential do not appear to adjust the quantity of land under cultivation in response to changing input prices but increase fertilizer use as land prices rise and fertilizer prices fall. Finally, households with better market access conditions appear slightly more responsive to land price changes than do those with poor market access. Given anticipated trends in factor price ratios, this heterogeneity suggests that sustainable forms of agricultural productivity growth will require anticipating the kinds of farm management technologies that will be suitable for farmers in different conditions. This highlights the need for agricultural technology generation and diffusion programs that assist smallholders to overcome the constraints that may prevent them from adapting sufficiently on their own.
       
  • Whose resilience matters' Like-for-like comparison of objective and
           subjective evaluations of resilience
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: World Development, Volume 124Author(s): Lindsey Jones, Marco d'Errico As resilience continues its rise to top of the international policy agenda, development funders and practitioners are under mounting pressure to ensure that investments in resilience-building are effective and targeted at those most in need. It is here that robust resilience measurement can make valuable contributions: identifying hotspots; understanding drivers; and inferring impact. To date, resilience measurement has been dominated by objectively-oriented approaches. These rely on external definitions of resilience (often informed by outside ‘experts’, literature reviews or resilience practitioners) and measured through observation or external verification. More recently, the potential for subjective approaches has been proposed. These take a contrasting approach, soliciting people’s judgements of what resilience means to them, and getting them to self-evaluate their own resilience.While both approaches have their strength and weaknesses, little is known about how objective and subjective modes of resilience measurement compare. To shed light on this relationship, we provide like-for-like comparisons of these two approaches using a regionally representative household survey of 2308 households in Northern Uganda. In so doing, we introduce a new measurement approach named the Subjective self-Evaluated Resilience Score (SERS). Outcomes from SERS are directly compared with an objectively-evaluated approach, the Resilience Index Measurement Analysis (RIMA), widely used by resilience practitioners.Findings from the survey suggest a moderate correlation between objectively- and subjectively-evaluated resilience modules. More importantly, both approaches share similar associations with many key socio-economic drivers of resilience. However, there are notable differences between the two. In some case, the approaches differ entirely regarding contributions of important traits, including coping strategies, levels of education and exposure to prior shocks. Our results highlight the need for resilience evaluators to consider a diversity of knowledge sources and seek greater use of evidence in indicator selection. We also investigate the properties of the SERS module itself. We find that characterisations of resilience that mimic various commonly-used frameworks produce similar resilience outcomes, suggesting that debates over the exact composition of resilience-characteristics may matter little. In addition, shorter SERS modules match the performance of the full set of SERS questions, allowing for quicker administration and reduced survey burden. Lastly, we call for evaluators to consider the strengths and weaknesses of subjective and objective measurement approaches, including options for combining both formats.
       
  • Conservation equity for local communities in the process of tourism
           development in protected areas: A study of Jiuzhaigou Biosphere Reserve,
           China
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: World Development, Volume 124Author(s): Weiye Wang, Jinlong Liu, John L. Innes China has built a large Protected Areas (PA) system with more than 2700 PAs. This has occurred in a modern, industrialized economy in a highly populated country, and the designation of PAs has had significant impacts on local people. Equitable sharing of responsibilities and benefits arising from biodiversity conservation with local/indigenous people is important, especially for countries such as China, which has millions of people living in and around PAs. This paper seeks to understand the notion of conservation equity and demonstrate how it works in practice. Perceptions of conservation equity changed over time and across development stages, where variance in the economic activity of locals (agriculture to tourism), state control, degree of input from locals, and local government implementation was observed. In order to achieve conservation equity, policymakers often recognize three aspects of equity: distribution equity, participation equity, and recognition equity. This study examines these notions of equity among the different stakeholders (central government, local government, and local people) during the process of PA establishment and tourism development. It focuses on four villages in Jiuzhaigou Biosphere Reserve (JBR) in China during three different periods of development. Interviews with local residents, village leaders, and government officers were conducted. Distribution equity was identified by participants as the most important of the three equities. Policies created by the central government usually address equity issues, but when these policies are implemented by the local government, equity is sometimes ignored. When local people engage in specific direct actions to improve their livelihood, they are able to better pursue participation equity and recognition equity.
       
  • The triple nexus: A potential approach to supporting the achievement of
           the Sustainable Development Goals'
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: World Development, Volume 124Author(s): Paul Howe The United Nations and its member states are currently engaged in extensive discussions about how best to support countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Recognizing the strong interrelationship between humanitarian, development, and peace efforts, they have increasingly emphasized the importance of working at the ‘triple nexus’ where these dimensions intersect. However, to date, there has been significant confusion over what the triple nexus means in both conceptual and practical terms and how this approach concretely contributes to progress on the Sustainable Development Goals. This paper attempts to address this gap. It proposes and schematically presents a conceptual framework that identifies the range of potential nexus relationships that actions can support, including the triple nexus, double nexuses, and nexus-sensitivity. It then illustrates what each of these types of actions looks like in practice, drawing on examples from Afghanistan. Based on the framework and practical examples, it explains how the triple nexus can be used to more effectively support the achievement of the 2030 Agenda, but also highlights the very real risks associated with a simplistic application of the approach. By bringing greater clarity to the critical interrelationship between humanitarian, development and peace issues in both theory and practice, and demonstrating the opportunities and challenges of the triple nexus approach, it is hoped that this paper will support broader efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, especially in countries affected by conflict.
       
  • Does health insurance improve health for all' Heterogeneous effects on
           children in Ghana
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: World Development, Volume 124Author(s): Lisa Bagnoli This paper assesses whether health insurance is successful in improving health. More specifically, it investigates whether a same health insurance scheme has differentiated impacts on children depending on the way it is implemented and on the characteristics of the beneficiaries. To do so, I analyze the case of Ghana’s National Health Insurance Scheme that provides free coverage for children and has decentralized operations. I exploit the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey of 2011 and I use propensity score matching to account for selection in the scheme. The study finds that, even though the NHIS is successful in improving health outcomes among insured children in Ghana, gains are not shared equally across regions. To understand this regional heterogeneity, mechanisms are investigated. The positive impact of health insurance is concentrated among the lower-income households in regions with a high quality of public health care. Further evidence points to the importance of health care utilization to explain these results. This paper sheds a new light on the mixed results of the literature on the impact of health insurance on health outcomes. It provides an understanding of the sources of the heterogeneous impact of a National Health Insurance Scheme and highlights the importance of context and implementation as drivers of its effectiveness. Such evidence is relevant for both the evaluation and monitoring of existing health care schemes and for the implementation of new large-scale public policies.
       
  • Rural women’s empowerment and children’s food and nutrition
           security in Bangladesh
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: World Development, Volume 124Author(s): Cara Holland, Anu Rammohan Women’s empowerment and child stunting remain key development challenges in Bangladesh. The objective of this study is to analyse the influence of female empowerment in agriculture, on child food security. This study uses household survey data from two waves of the Bangladesh Integrated Household Survey (BIHS), a rich panel dataset of over 6500 households in rural Bangladesh which includes detailed child anthropometric measurements of children under five years old. We adopt a multidimensional approach to female empowerment by analysing five key empowerment indicators from the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI). The multivariate regression analysis explores the relationship between five key empowerment indicators and child stunting, a proxy for child food security. Our empirical analysis finds that women’s autonomy in household productive decisions and confidence in public speaking are associated with significantly higher children’s height-for-age z-scores (haz) and a decreased probability of stunting in this sample. These results suggest expanding women’s empowerment is likely to complement nutritional interventions to reduce stunting in Bangladesh, while making progress towards other social and development goals.
       
  • Nutrition and food security impacts of quality seeds of biofortified
           orange-fleshed sweetpotato: Quasi-experimental evidence from Tanzania
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: World Development, Volume 124Author(s): Kelvin Mashisia Shikuku, Julius Juma Okello, Stella Wambugu, Kirimi Sindi, Jan W. Low, Margaret McEwan This study examined the nutrition and food security impacts of a project that was designed to improve availability of disease-free planting materials of biofortified orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP) in rural Tanzania. Difference-in-difference and matching techniques were employed to estimate causal effects using panel data. Participation in the project increased agronomic and nutritional knowledge of households, raised uptake rate for OFSP varieties, and improved food security status. Effects on nutrition are, however, weak. These results suggest that timely access to quality seeds accompanied by a transfer of skills is important to reduce barriers to adoption of biofortified crops with resulting positive effects on the welfare of rural households. Adequate promotion of both agronomic and nutrition aspects of the technologies may enhance nutrition effects.
       
  • Experimental results from a four-year targeted education voucher program
           in the slums of Delhi, India
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: World Development, Volume 124Author(s): Pauline Dixon, Anna J. Egalite, Steve Humble, Patrick J. Wolf We present experimental evidence from a school choice program carried out in a 20-square kilometer, highly urbanized slum area known as Shahdara, which is situated in East Delhi, India. The lottery-based allocation of vouchers allows us to structure an impact evaluation as a randomized controlled trial. We conduct an Intent-to-Treat (ITT) analysis of the impact of the offer of a voucher as well as a Treatment-on-Treated (TOT) analysis of the impact of using a voucher, employing the lottery results as an instrumental variable. Four years after random assignment, we find large positive impacts of voucher use on student test scores in English (0.31σ, p 
       
  • Back to the plough: Women managers and farm productivity in India
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: World Development, Volume 124Author(s): Kanika Mahajan In India, role of women as farm managers has been veiled behind image of men as primary decision makers on farms. Data shows that approximately 8% farm households had women farm managers in India in 2004, and this number increased to 11% in 2011. This rising phenomenon of farm management by women begets an in depth understanding about these farms, including, differentials in productivity levels across men and women managers. This paper uses three measures to capture productivity – production value, profit value and crop specific yields. Results show that total farm production and profits are lower by approximately 11% in households where women manage farms. This falls to 7% when controls for crop choice, input usage, location and farmer characteristics are included. The main mediating factors in explaining the productivity gap are crop choice and input usage, explaining almost 45% of the productivity gap. Further, the paper provides suggestive evidence on mechanisms contributing to the remaining productivity difference that cannot be explained by differences in observed characteristics. It shows that inadequate experience of women farm managers in agricultural production processes can be an important factor behind the remaining gap. The study makes two contributions to the literature – one, it is the first quantitative study in the Indian context on gender differentials in farm productivity and second, it applies semi-parametric decomposition techniques to look at the productivity differentials along the entire distribution.
       
  • Environmental governance in motion: Practices of assemblage and the
           political performativity of economistic conservation
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: World Development, Volume 124Author(s): Peter R. Wilshusen This article critically explores the dynamic, constitutive processes that animate economistic conservation and sustainable development as an expression of governance-beyond-the-state. I focus attention on governance in motion—expanding logics, hybrid practices, diffuse networks, and shifting social technologies that incrementally reshape power dynamics and the institutional domains that enable and constrain them. While the majority of institutional approaches to environmental governance emphasize intentional designs rooted in collective choices, less attention has been focused on dynamic processes of assemblage resulting from differentially coordinated actions across interrelated networks. Building from Foucauldian perspectives on governmentality and biopower, I argue that processes of assemblage help to constitute new techniques of governance aligned with the language and practices of economics. I examine two business and biodiversity initiatives—the Natural Capital Finance Alliance and the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Programme—in terms of five practices of assemblage: authorizing knowledge, forging alignments, rendering technical, reassembling, and anti-politics. I highlight four dimensions of political performativity associated with business and biodiversity initiatives that exemplify environmental governance in motion: discursive amplification, organizational articulation, institutional re-shaping, and technical instrumentation. Governance in motion reflects the distributed power dynamics of diverse individuals and collectives in generating economistic techniques of governance.
       
  • The productivity and income effects of adoption of improved soybean
           varieties and agronomic practices in Malawi
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: World Development, Volume 124Author(s): Adane Hirpa Tufa, Arega D. Alene, Julius Manda, M.G. Akinwale, David Chikoye, Shiferaw Feleke, Tesfamicheal Wossen, Victor Manyong Soybean constitutes an important component of the maize-based smallholder cropping systems in Malawi and holds considerable potential for countering soil fertility decline, enhancing household food and nutrition security, and raising rural incomes. A number of yield-enhancing improved soybean varieties and agronomic practices (ISVAPs) have been developed and disseminated in Malawi, but there is limited evidence on the adoption and impacts of these technologies. This paper assesses the productivity and income effects of adopting ISVAPs using plot level data collected from a nationally representative sample of 1237 soybean growing households in Malawi. Our results show that over a third of the sampled households have adopted ISVAPs. Furthermore, results from a stochastic dominance analysis showed that soybean yields and net crop incomes for adopters are significantly higher than those of non-adopters over the entire probability distribution of ISVAPs adoption. Endogenous switching regression model results further demonstrated that adoption of ISVAPs is associated with an average of 61% yield gain and 53% income gain for adopters. Overall, the results point to the need for further scaling of ISVAPs for greater adoption and impact on the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Malawi.
       
  • Promoting biodiversity enrichment in smallholder oil palm monocultures –
           Experimental evidence from Indonesia
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: World Development, Volume 124Author(s): Miriam Romero, Meike Wollni, Katrin Rudolf, Rosyani Asnawi, Bambang Irawan This study evaluates the effects of two policy instruments on the adoption of native tree planting in oil palm plantations. The first instrument is an information campaign on tree planting in oil palm. The second instrument combines the information campaign with a structural intervention that provides native tree seedlings for free. We implemented a randomized controlled trial in oil-palm growing villages in Jambi, Indonesia. Our study addresses the underlying mechanisms of behavioral change, by investigating how the policy instruments shape farmers’ perceptions, intentions and actual adoption decisions. The results show that information campaigns and structural interventions can motivate tree planting among smallholder oil palm farmers in Indonesia. While both treatments have a positive and significant effect, the intervention combining information with seedling provision leads to significantly higher adoption rates, indicating that overcoming structural barriers is critical. While changes in perceptions and intentions fully mediate the effect of the information campaign on adoption, they can only partially explain the effect of the combined intervention. Facilitating easy access to high-quality inputs is critical to motivate wider adoption among large numbers of potential users.
       
  • Political economy of bioenergy transitions in developing countries: A case
           study of Punjab, India
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: World Development, Volume 124Author(s): Pritam Singh, Nadia Singh Occupying an important place in the sustainable development discourse, bioenergy was widely touted as the ‘fuel of the future’ at the beginning of the 21st century. However, in recent years, many adverse impacts of commercial bioenergy projects have come to the forefront. These include limited ecological benefits, heightened food insecurity across many developing countries as well as exploitation of local residents by bioenergy producers. There remains a dearth of empirical evidence devoted to investigating bioenergy’s potential as a sustainable energy alternative in developing countries.It is against this background that our paper is aimed at making two contributions: one, to provide a ground level empirical data on bioenergy initiatives in the Indian Punjab region and, two, to examine the theoretical contribution of eco-socialist perspective to assess the sustainability potentials of bioenergy in developing economies. The eco-socialist perspective treats environmental degradation as a ‘systemic issue’ and considers the power and class structures in capitalism as the central explanatory parameters in explaining the process of environmental degradation. As a part of the transition from capitalism to eco-socialism, the eco-socialists advocate for a participatory approach to environmental decision making to ensure that ecological justice emerges as the central parameter of sustainable development.The theoretical framing of the case study research on bioenergy projects in the region of Punjab, India was informed by the eco-socialist vision. The case study employed a ‘multiple stakeholder’ approach to explore the opportunities and contestations surrounding bioenergy projects in Punjab. Identifying key flaws as well as the promises of bioenergy in Punjab that were investigated, our research revealed that in order to be a sustainable energy alternative that meets the objective of ecological and social justice, bioenergy policies need to address the needs of local communities and be cognizant of the inherent socio-economic embeddedness of these initiatives.
       
  • Paving the electoral way: Urban infrastructure, partisan politics and
           civic engagement
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: World Development, Volume 124Author(s): Felipe Livert, Xabier Gainza, Jose Acuña This paper analyses the incidence of political factors and social capital on the allocation of public investment in the Santiago Metropolitan Area, Chile. Considering panel data on a decentralized investment program distributed through local governments and a program that is geared directly to citizen organizations, the paper explores whether investment is equally subject to electoral concerns and rent seeking under different program designs. Our estimations show that decentralized investment favours aligned municipalities where competition is stronger, but long-lasting local leaders also seek their own benefits. By contrast, transfers directly channelled to beneficiaries are free from political clout and, additionally, there is no sign of capture by organized interests. Based on these results, the paper discusses the implications for metropolitan governance, highlighting the potential role of the local social capital and a two-tier governance scheme to retain the gains from decentralization, acquire economies of scale in metropolitan service provision and reduce the margin for pork barrelling.
       
  • Supporting pathways to prosperity in forest landscapes – A PRIME
           framework
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 August 2019Source: World DevelopmentAuthor(s): Priya Shyamsundar, Sofia Ahlroth, Patricia Kristjanson, Stefanie Onder We develop a framework to conceptualize the multiple ways forests contribute to poverty reduction and inform development interventions in forest landscapes. We identify five key strategies for reducing poverty in forest landscapes: a) improvements in productivity (P) of forest land and labor; b) governance reform to strengthen community, household and women’s rights (R) over forests and land; c) investments (I) in institutions, infrastructure and public services that facilitate forest-based entrepreneurship; d) increased access to markets (M) for timber or non-timber forest products; and e) mechanisms that enhance and enable the flow of benefits from forest ecosystem services (E) to the poor. We test the utility of the framework through a review of the forestry portfolio of the World Bank Group, the largest public investor in forestry. Many of these projects include several, but not all, PRIME components. We devote particular attention to forest-related investments in two contrasting countries, Vietnam and Mexico, to examine synergies among the pathways. Results suggest that each strategy in the PRIME framework may play an important role in alleviating poverty, but pronounced impacts may require multiple pathways to be jointly pursued. The PRIME framework can guide research to address knowledge gaps on pathways to prosperity in forest landscapes, serve as an easily remembered checklist for managers, and nudge forest program designers in government and development organizations, who are interested in poverty reduction, to focus on the importance of both a comprehensive framework and synergies across different pathways.
       
 
 
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