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World Development
Journal Prestige (SJR): 2.122
Citation Impact (citeScore): 4
Number of Followers: 156  
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 0305-750X
Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3162 journals]
  • Is resilience to climate change socially inclusive' Investigating
           theories of change processes in Myanmar
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2018Source: World Development, Volume 111Author(s): Tim Forsyth Approaches to resilience to climate change can be socially exclusionary if they do not acknowledge diverse experiences of risks or socio-economic barriers to resilience. This paper contributes to analyses of resilience by studying how theories of change (ToC) processes used by development organizations might lead to social exclusions, and seeking ways to make these more inclusive. Adopting insights from participatory monitoring and evaluation, the paper first presents fieldwork from four villages in Myanmar to compare local experiences of risk and resilience with the ToCs underlying pathways to resilience based on building anticipatory, absorptive, and adaptive capacities. The paper then uses interviews with the development organizations using these pathways to identify how ToC processes might exclude local experiences and causes of risk, and to seek ways to make processes more inclusive. The research finds that development organizations can contribute to shared ToCs for resilience, but adopt tacitly different models of risk that reduce attention to more transformative socio-economic pathways to resilience. Consequently, there is a need to consider how resilience and ToCs can become insufficiently scrutinized boundary objects when they are shared by actors with different models of risk and intervention.
  • Natural disasters and human capital: The case of Nepal’s earthquake
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2018Source: World Development, Volume 111Author(s): Jayash Paudel, Hanbyul Ryu We exploit the quasi-random spatial and temporal nature of ground tremors to evaluate the long-term impact of the 1988 earthquake on educational outcomes among affected children of rural Nepal. We employ difference-in-differences research design to show that infants born in districts severely affected by the earthquake are 13.8% less likely to complete middle school and 10% less likely to complete high school. Our findings demonstrate that children belonging to high caste groups mitigate the negative environmental shock in the long run. However, infants belonging to low caste groups are 17.6% less likely to complete middle school and 11.9% less likely to complete high school. We also find that male infants exposed to a severe earthquake perform significantly better than their female counterparts, suggesting prospects of gender bias in a patriarchal society. Together, these results provide strong evidence that earthquakes lead to deterioration of human capital in a developing country setting.
  • Democracy’s comparative advantage: Evidence from aggregated trade
           data, 1962–2010
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2018Source: World Development, Volume 111Author(s): Jiahua Yue, Shangsi Zhou Scholars have long debated the nexus between political institutions and economic outcomes. The thesis of democratic advantage has been under careful scrutiny and empirical evidence is notoriously inconclusive. One topic that has drawn extensive scholarly attention is democratic institutions as a source of comparative advantage in international trade. Using a new data set that covers around 140 countries from 1962 to 2010, we find that on average, democratic countries have the comparative advantage in exporting differentiated products, which reflects lower transaction costs in trade and higher economic complexity. Echoing literature on electoral autocracy, we also make the distinction between different subtypes of authoritarian regimes. Similarly, authoritarian countries with electoral institutions have the comparative advantage in exporting differentiated products relative to other authoritarian countries, though the magnitude is much smaller and inconsistent over time. Our results are robust to a large set of control variables and multiple model specifications. In sum, our paper provides new insights into the relationship between democracy and trade and complements existing literature on the effect of authoritarian institutions on economic development.
  • Corrigendum to “The price of persecution: The long-term effects of the
           Anti-Rightist Campaign on economic performance in post-Mao China” [World
           Dev. 109 (2018) 249–260]
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: World Development, Volume 110Author(s): Zhaojin Zeng, Joshua Eisenman
  • Media exposure and political participation in a transitional African
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: World Development, Volume 110Author(s): Jeffrey Conroy-Krutz Legal changes in the 1990s resulted in greater pluralism in African media, particularly FM radio. Theorists have long argued that media freedoms are necessary for democratic development, but effects on individual-level orientations and behaviors have not been fully explored. Specifically, there has been limited work on the effects of radio exposure on political participation in Africa, and individuals’ self-selection of the media they consume complicates the measurement of causal effects. However, the fact that access to FM radio signals is largely exogenously determined provides a possible identification strategy. Here, data on station technicalities and local topography are used to predict FM propagation in Uganda soon after the implementation of media liberalization. Analyses of results from an Afrobarometer survey demonstrate that radio exposure is significantly associated with higher self-reported political participation. With regard to mechanisms, there is no evidence that exposure is associated with significantly greater efficacy, interest in politics, attitudinal extremism, or perceptions about distributional politics or violence, but those who listened to the radio with greater frequency were more knowledgeable about politics.
  • Caste and development: Contemporary perspectives on a structure of
           discrimination and advantage
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: World Development, Volume 110Author(s): David Mosse Inherited caste identity is an important determinant of life opportunity for a fifth of the world’s population, but is not given the same significance in global development policy debates as gender, race, age, religion or other identity characteristics. This review asks why addressing caste-based inequality and discrimination does not feature in intergovernmental commitments such as the Sustainable Development Goals, and whether it should. Taking India as its focus, it finds that caste has been treated as an archaic system and source of historical disadvantage due compensation through affirmative action in ways that overlook its continuing importance as a structure of advantage and of discrimination in the modern economy, especially post-liberalization from the 1990s. A body of recent literature from anthropology, economics, history and political science is used to explore the modern life of caste in society, economy and development. Questions are asked about caste as social hierarchy, the role of caste in post-liberalization rural inequality, in urban labor markets and in the business economy, and the effect of policies of affirmative action in public-sector education and employment. Caste is found to be a complex institution, simultaneously weakened and revived by current economic and political forces; it is a contributor to persisting national socioeconomic and human capital disparities, and has major impacts on subjective wellbeing. Caste effects are not locational; they travel from the village to the city and into virtually all markets. Caste persists in the age of the market because of its advantages – its discriminations allow opportunity hoarding for others; and the threat of the advancement of subordinated groups provokes humiliating violence against them. The evidence points to the need for policy innovation to address market and non-market discrimination and to remove barriers, especially in the informal and private sector; and to ensure caste has its proper place in the global development policy debate.
  • Effects of public policy on child labor: Current knowledge, gaps, and
           implications for program design
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: World Development, Volume 110Author(s): Ana C. Dammert, Jacobus de Hoop, Eric Mvukiyehe, Furio C. Rosati Household decisions about child labor are influenced by income, uncertainty, and relative returns to work and education. The complexity of the phenomenon implies that a large set of policy instruments can be used to address child labor or can affect child labor. This review of 33 impact evaluations provides a comprehensive look at pathways through which social protection (credit and microfinance, cash transfers, vouchers, food programs), and labor programs affect child labor. Despite the complexity of integrating findings across different child labor definitions, implementation contexts, and policy instruments, some patterns emerge. For example, programs that address child labor by reducing the vulnerability of the household produce the desired effect. Transfers reduced child labor in most cases. Similarly, programs that help the household cope with exposure to risk, for example, health insurance, reduce household reliance on child labor. On the other hand, policies aimed at increasing adult household members’ participation in the labor market or entrepreneurial activities, can generate demand for adolescent and child work. Of course, such programs are an important component of anti-poverty strategies, but they could be modified and integrated with additional interventions to ensure that they do not produce adverse effects on child labor. While progress has been made over the past decade, there is still much to learn about the effects of public policy on the labor participation of many children in developing countries.
  • Gender and multidimensional poverty in Nicaragua: An individual based
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: World Development, Volume 110Author(s): José Espinoza-Delgado, Stephan Klasen Most existing multidimensional poverty measures, such as the global-MPI and the MPI-LA, use the household as the unit of analysis, which means that the multidimensional poverty condition of the household is equated with the multidimensional poverty condition of all its members; accordingly, these measures ignore the intra-household inequalities and are gender-insensitive. Gender equality is, however, at the center of the sustainable development, as emphasized by Goal 5 of the SDGs; therefore, individual-based measures are indispensable to track progress in reaching this Goal. We contribute to the literature on multidimensional poverty and gender inequality by proposing an individual-based multidimensional poverty measure for Nicaragua and estimate the gender gaps in the three I’s of multidimensional poverty (incidence, intensity, and inequality). Overall, we find that in Nicaragua, the gender gaps in multidimensional poverty are lower than 5%, and poverty does not seem to be feminized. However, the inequality among the multidimensionally poor is clearly feminized, especially among adults, and women are living in very intense poverty when compared to men. We also find that adding a dimension (employment, domestic work, and social protection) under which women face higher deprivation into the analysis leads to larger estimates of the incidence, intensity, and inequality of women’s poverty. Finally, we find evidence that supports earlier studies that challenge the notion that female-headed households are worse off than those led by males in terms of poverty.
  • Women’s empowerment in East Africa: Development of a cross-country
           comparable measure
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: World Development, Volume 110Author(s): Stephanie Spaid Miedema, Regine Haardörfer, Amy Webb Girard, Kathryn M. Yount Women’s empowerment is an indicator of social change and a priority of the Sustainable Development Goals. Debate continues on what domains constitute women’s empowerment and how to measure empowerment across countries. Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) are the most widely available source of data on women’s empowerment. However, measurement invariance often is assumed, but not tested. We used DHS data from Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda to test factor structure and measurement invariance of women’s empowerment among married women ages 15–49. Factor analysis confirmed a three-latent-domain model of women’s empowerment in each country capturing women’s human/social assets, gender attitudes related to wife abuse, and women’s participation in household decisions. Multi-country confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) identified an invariant three-factor model of women’s empowerment and a subset of country-specific items. Our results offer a standardized, invariant measure of women’s empowerment that can be applied to monitor women’s empowerment cross-nationally in East Africa, and possibly beyond.
  • Investing in land to change your risk exposure' Land transactions and
           inequality in a landslide prone region
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: World Development, Volume 110Author(s): Kewan Mertens, Liesbet Vranken The poor and vulnerable tend to be increasingly exposed to natural hazards such as landslides. Land markets are one of the channels through which farmers get exposed to such hazards. This paper investigates the consequences of land transactions for the (un)equal distribution of exposure to landslide risk and of total land holdings in a rural area in Western Uganda. We propose and empirically test a mechanism through which land holdings and exposure to landslide risk evolve over a farmer’s lifetime. A structured household survey and detailed information on land transaction as well as georeferenced information on plots was used to construct a panel dataset of land transactions. Regressions with household fixed effects were run to identify how landholdings and exposure to landslide susceptibility evolves over a farmer’s lifetime. We find that farmers that are initially more exposed to landslides manage to reduce their average exposure to some extent by acquiring plots outside landslide prone areas. This goes at a cost, as farmers that are initially highly exposed acquire land more slowly than farmers that have a lower exposure on their first plot. Over a lifetime, in our case study, land transactions therefore have a somewhat levelling effect on inequality in exposure to landslides, but increase the inequality in land ownership. As such, one of the ways through which unequal risk exposure contributes to propagating inequality in total land ownings is theoretical and empirically identified.
  • Metering water: Analyzing the concurrent pressures of conservation,
           sustainability, health impact, and equity in use
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: World Development, Volume 110Author(s): Maryann R. Cairns This study focuses on the impacts of water and sanitation (WatSan) development with particular attention to how the technopolitical practice of water metering prompts critical discussion on the conflicting pressures of conservation, sustainability, health impact and equable access to water resources. The very act of metering is imbued with political and social expectations stemming from development organizations. The study utilizes a mixed-method approach, triangulating data from interviews, focus groups, surveys, participatory mapping, and participant observation over a period of two years. Data show that while metering regimes were designed by NGOs to ensure equal access, system sustainability and safety, and deforestation prevention (goals that community members supported), through both the meters’ presence as technological constructs and due to the cost of water as gauged by the meters the practice placed undue pressure on certain groups, including large families, students, renters, and households with low incomes or seasonal income shortages. In short, water metering served to delimit true and equal access to safe water. This calls into question the utility of the ubiquitous practice and the continued proliferation of water metering in WatSan development, especially in areas that are water-rich and already have non-capitalocentric and/or locally-generated water management and conservation practices, policies, and trainings (whether formal or informal). This discussion is useful as a window into the unforeseen and hidden aspects of implementing power-laden development technologies, such as metering, and the ways in which individuals may eschew such systems in passive ways that go unchecked by monitoring and evaluation schemas. Additionally, the work critically interrogates the pairing of metering with systems that require water to remove waste from households (e.g., through flush toilets) and the appropriate design of these systems.
  • Trade liberalization and child mortality: A Synthetic Control Method
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: World Development, Volume 110Author(s): Alessandro Olper, Daniele Curzi, Johan Swinnen We study the effect of trade liberalization on child mortality using data from emerging and developing countries over the 1960–2010 period. To capture possible heterogeneity of effects, we use the Synthetic Control Method (SCM) for comparative case studies. The SCM allows to compare the trajectory of post-reform health outcomes of treated countries (those which experienced trade liberalization) with the trajectory of a combination of similar but untreated countries. On average, trade liberalization significantly reduced child mortality. The average reduction is around 9% ten years after the liberalization. But there is significant heterogeneity in the impact. For the cases for which the SCM could provide a reliable counterfactual, trade liberalization significantly reduced child mortality in approximately half the cases. In most other cases there was no significant effect. In the majority of the significant cases, the reduction in child mortality was more than 20%. On average, trade liberalization reduced child mortality more (a) in democracies compared to autocracies, (b) when incomes were higher and (c) when it reduced taxation of farmers.
  • How women’s incumbency affects future elections: Evidence from a
           policy experiment in Lesotho
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: World Development, Volume 110Author(s): Amanda Clayton, Belinda Tang How do women incumbents affect women’s future electoral success' Using causal evidence from a government-initiated policy experiment in Lesotho, in which districts reserved for women village councilors were first randomized and then withdrawn, we find that women win more frequently in previously reserved areas after the policy’s removal. We present evidence that this effect is driven by incumbent women’s electoral success in formerly reserved districts, as well as by new women candidates who are more likely to win in the absence of incumbent men. This occurs for two reasons: (1) new women candidates have more success against incumbent women than incumbent men and (2) women incumbents run for reelection less frequently than incumbent men, leaving more open seats. Contrary to previous work, we find no evidence that women incumbents increase the number of new women candidates in their districts, increase the vote share new women candidates receive, or increase party support for new women candidates. These findings suggest that, at least in the short term, women’s incumbency affects subsequent patterns of women’s representation by disrupting patterns of male incumbency rather than changing voters’ or parties’ demand for women candidates.
  • Maternity protection in formal and informal economy workplaces: The case
           of Ghana
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: World Development, Volume 110Author(s): Bianca Stumbitz, Suzan Lewis, Abigail A. Kyei, Fergus Lyon Maternity protection (MP) in the workplace is a vital element of ensuring women’s and children’s wellbeing. It aims to minimize the difficulties that working women face because of giving birth and to protect the health of mothers and their babies. Most research on MP around the world is carried out in larger organizations in developed countries. This cannot be applied uncritically to developing countries, where work in small firms and the informal economy tends to dominate and enterprises are more influenced by their local communities and environment. This paper explores different forms of MP found in various forms and sizes of enterprise in Ghana. Specifically, it examines 1) how workplaces in the formal and informal economy manage MP and 2) how reciprocity shapes workers’ access to the different forms of MP support. The paper draws on 63 qualitative interviews with employers and women employees across three geographic regions of Ghana. The findings show that there are a range of measures related to pregnancy, maternity leave, family-friendly flexible working conditions, breastfeeding and childcare. While large formal economy organizations mostly offer MP measures corresponding to regulatory entitlements, women working in small informal economy businesses often only benefit from informal MP support. However, neither statutory nor informal supports alone provide adequately for women’s needs. The paper highlights the important roles of reciprocity and relationships built on trust as conditions for family-friendly MP provisions, particularly in the informal economy workplaces. It concludes by identifying lessons that can be learnt by both formal and informal economy businesses.
  • Politicising inequality: The power of ideas
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: World Development, Volume 110Author(s): Alice Evans A contemporary challenge is inequality. This paper illustrates why ideas matter, and how they can change over time. Inequalities are reinforced when they are taken for granted. But this can be disrupted when marginalised people gain self-esteem; challenge hitherto unquestioned inequalities; and gain confidence in the possibility of social change. Slowly and incrementally, social mobilisation can catalyse greater government commitment to socially inclusive economic growth. This is illustrated with ethnographic research from Latin America, where income inequality has recently declined. Clearly, however, no single paper can provide a comprehensive account of political change in an incredibly diverse region. By highlighting some ways in which ideas matter (and the limitations of alternative hypotheses about increased fiscal space and democratisation), this paper merely seeks to persuade political economists to go beyond ‘incentives’. Future efforts to tackle inequality might harness the power of ideas: tackling ‘norm perceptions’ (beliefs about what others think and do); publicising positive deviance; and strengthening social movements.
  • Climate, the Earth, and God – Entangled narratives of cultural and
           climatic change in the Peruvian Andes
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: World Development, Volume 110Author(s): Morgan Scoville-Simonds How different groups perceive climate-related problems and changes is of growing interest in research and practice, especially in relation to the adaptation of vulnerable communities to climate change. However, research on local climate perceptions to date has tended to focus on what changes are perceived, not on how those changes are interpreted in particular socio-cultural contexts and given meaning within local worldviews and systems of values and beliefs. Based on fieldwork in agro-pastoral communities in highland Cusco, Peru, this study examines climate perceptions in terms of how local community members understand and explain changing climatic conditions. Specifically, two local climate narratives are identified and found to relate to Andean re-interpretations of Catholic and Evangelical religious traditions. The Andean practice of ritual offering to the earth (pago a la tierra) is found to play a key role both in the shifting religious identifications encountered at the local level, and in giving meaning to changing climatic conditions. The article further explores how these perspectives are rooted in diverging ontological and epistemological foundations. While in the local Catholic view the earth is conceived of as a non-human sacred/social person (pachamama or Santa Tierra) with whom a relationship of reciprocity must be maintained, the local Evangelical perspective instead conceives of the earth as an object, not a subject, more closely mirroring modernist Nature/Culture dualism. More broadly, the study suggests that how people interpret changing climatic conditions cannot simply be extracted and purified from the contexts of meaning production, and proposes the concept of ‘entangled narratives’ as a way of accounting for the social and cultural embeddedness of climate perceptions. Fulfilling our obligation to address climate change in socially just ways will require deepening our understanding of its human dimensions, including taking seriously what these changes may mean to the impacted groups.
  • Redistributing teachers using local transfers
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: World Development, Volume 110Author(s): Siddhant Agarwal, Athisii Kayina, Abhiroop Mukhopadhyay, Anugula N. Reddy In this paper we show that local redistribution of educational resources via teacher transfers between neighboring public schools can improve equity in access to teachers. Transfers from teacher surplus schools to deficit schools within a 10 km radius in Haryana, a state of India for which we have geo-coded location of schools in 2013, enables 19 percent of deficit schools to meet the minimum requirement. We use the mandated norms in the Right to Education Act in India, to define deficit and surplus schools. In the process we also provide a characterization of schools that are in deficit and those in surplus. We find that connectedness, the social composition of the enrolled students, the income of the neighborhood are important determinants of a school being in deficit. Surplus schools mirror the results on deficit, but not always so: they are far more heterogenous, leading to possibilities that they may in fact be no different than some low shortage deficit schools. Keeping in the background this heterogeneity in surplus schools, we design local transfers between schools and evaluate them on how well they match characteristics of the donor and recipient schools. The chosen algorithm is compared to another transfer rule that reduces the variance of shortages across schools and is found to be better in matching characteristics, that is, the donor and recipient schools are, on an average, matched in characteristics: in terms of the development of the region, its rural/urban location, connectivity and school characteristics. A comparison of transfers that follow our redistribution rule to transfers resulting from an actual transfer policy shows that while our rule removes deficits in rural areas, the actual transfers favored more developed regions.
  • Leader and villager behavior: Experimental evidence from Cameroon
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: World Development, Volume 110Author(s): Niccoló F. Meriggi, Erwin Bulte We use an inter-village study in rural Cameroon to explore how behavior of local chiefs is associated with specific behavior of common villagers. Our key variables are based on the behavior of the chief and villagers in lab-in-the-field experiments. As measures of leadership quality we use trustworthiness of the chief as measured in a trust game. As measures of norms of civil conduct we use within-village altruism, trust and trustworthiness as measured in dictator and trust games. We mainly document negative associations between leader and villager behavior, which is consistent with the view that good leadership crowds out good behavior by villagers.
  • Can social groups impact schooling decisions' Evidence from castes in
           rural Senegal
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: World Development, Volume 110Author(s): Ababacar S. Gueye, Martine Audibert, Valérie Delaunay Alongside classical determinants of education, there is a growing literature of social interactions in education which seems to be particularly concentrated in developed countries. This seems paradoxical as norms, culture and social capital appear to play a more important role in everyday life in Africa. We use a rich data set collected in Niakhar in rural Senegal, between 2001 and 2008 to study whether the school attendance of a child depends on the school attendance of other children in the same social group. Social groups are defined using geographical proximity and caste groups. While it is particularly difficult to empirically identify the impact of social group behavior, we take advantage of the temporal structure of the data to deal with a number of endogeneity issues. We rely moreover on different empirical strategies and placebo tests to argue that our results are not subject to confounding interpretations. Results show evidence of a strong and positive effect of social interactions on school attendance and the impact is greater for members of the highest caste.
  • Urban poverty across the spectrum of Vietnam’s towns and cities
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: World Development, Volume 110Author(s): P. Lanjouw, M.R. Marra Vietnam’s urban population is growing rapidly: by 2020 45% of Vietnamese are forecasted to be residing in cities. Even though poverty today remains predominantly a rural phenomenon, there is a need to better understand the landscape of poverty in urban areas. Drawing on small-area estimation methods we estimate welfare outcomes at the level of individual towns and cities in Vietnam, including even the smallest towns. Such estimates could not be produced using national sample surveys alone. Results show an inverse relationship between poverty and city size in Vietnam, with the urban poor being disproportionately concentrated in small towns and cities. This relationship is robust to the location of the poverty line as well as to alternative city-size definitions. Interestingly, our evidence of a clear gradient between absolute poverty and city size is not replicated for subjective welfare, measured by self-reported food sufficiency. The absolute poverty-city size gradient does, however, accord with the observation of striking variation in service availability across cities of different size in Vietnam. Small town residents are typically confronted with far lower per-capita availability of basic services than are large city dwellers. The results suggest that policymakers concerned to tackle urban poverty in Vietnam should not neglect attending to smaller towns. Addressing inequalities in access to key basic services across the entire urban population may represent one means to this end.
  • The impact of armed conflict and terrorism on foreign aid: A sector-level
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: World Development, Volume 110Author(s): Piotr Lis We examine whether armed conflict, international and domestic terrorism affect distribution of bilateral and multilateral foreign aid. We argue that the two types of aid may respond differently to security challenges because of donors’ disparate objectives and aid-giving motives. The results show that armed conflict reduces the amounts of obtained aid of all types, conditional on a country being an aid recipient. Multilateral donors are also less likely to include a conflict-ridden country on a recipient list. Domestic terrorism increases bilateral aid, but this effect appears to be entirely driven by assistance from the United States, arguably a terrorist prime-target country. When we disaggregate aid flows by their purposes, we find that international and domestic terrorism are associated with increases in bilateral aid for promotion of governance, education, health and society.
  • Does rural development aid reduce international migration'
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: World Development, Volume 110Author(s): Jonas Gamso, Farhod Yuldashev In recent years, interest has emerged in policy circles and among academics about the use of foreign aid to reduce international migration. Scholars have investigated this aid-migration nexus, but results have been mixed and questions remain. This paper contributes to the literature by comparing the effects of rural and urban development aid on international migration. Specifically, we hypothesize that while increases in rural development aid to developing countries reduce emigration from those countries, greater urban aid produces the opposite effect – higher rates of emigration. These hypotheses are informed by two theoretical mechanisms. The first mechanism focuses on the divergent preferences of rural and urban populations regarding emigration. Aid targeting these respective populations provides each with resources to follow through on their migratory ambitions, or lack thereof. The second mechanism focuses on contrasting impacts of rural and urban aid on agricultural sector development and the effects of this sort of development on emigration. We analyze cross-national time series data to test our hypotheses regarding rural and urban development aid, finding that countries that receive larger amounts of rural development aid have lower emigration rates. Then we turn to survey data from the Arab Barometer to assess whether the attitudes of survey respondents match our theorized mechanisms. Results from survey data suggest that investments in agricultural sector capacity building will lead to reductions in emigration from developing countries; however, these findings do not indicate that rural and urban populations differ in terms of their desire to emigrate.
  • Constitutional economics of Ghana’s decentralization
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: World Development, Volume 110Author(s): Emmanuel Frimpong Boamah This paper concerns the rules that are often chosen to frame decentralization in Ghana. It perceives the challenges of multi-level governance in postcolonial sub-Saharan African countries, such as weak local government capacity for urban planning, as effects of ill-conceived constitutional rules. The paper draws ideas from constitutional political economy (CPE) to problematize the constitutional rules underlying Ghana’s current state of decentralization. I argue that these constitutional rules, embodied in Ghana’s 1992 Constitution and Local Government Act (462), evince both continued dominance of state control over local governance and a systemic transfer of the logics and instruments of the authoritarian Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) military regime to the choice of constitutional rules for Ghana’s decentralization. In other words, Ghana’s decentralization patterns and processes must be examined in the context of the constitutional regime from which they were born. One such pattern is the creation of new local governments (a gerrymandering strategy) by successive governments without commensurate improvement in local democratic and pro-poor developmental outcomes. The paper’s discussions, largely conceptual but interlaced with empirical moments, serve to stimulate debate about the relationships between the constitutional rules for decentralization and their socioeconomic and political effects. I conclude by reflecting on the conceptual and methodological challenges of using CPE to analyze constitutional rules for decentralization and offer ideas to address these challenges in future research.
  • Bloated bodies and broken bricks: Power, ecology, and inequality in the
           political economy of natural disaster recovery
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: World Development, Volume 110Author(s): Benjamin K. Sovacool, May Tan-Mullins, Wokje Abrahamse Disaster recovery efforts form an essential component of coping with unforeseen events such as earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and typhoons, some of which will only become more frequent or severe in the face of accelerated climate change. Most of the time, disaster recovery efforts produce net benefits to society. However, depending on their design and governance, some projects can germinate adverse social, political, and economic outcomes. Drawing from concepts in political economy, political ecology, justice theory, and critical development studies, this study first presents a conceptual typology revolving around four key processes: enclosure, exclusion, encroachment, and entrenchment. Enclosure refers to when disaster recovery transfers public assets into private hands or expands the roles of private actors into the public sphere. Exclusion refers to when disaster recovery limits access to resources or marginalizes particular stakeholders in decision-making activities. Encroachment refers to when efforts intrude on biodiversity areas or contribute to other forms of environmental degradation. Entrenchment refers to when disaster recovery aggravates the disempowerment of women and minorities, or worsens concentrations of wealth and income inequality within a community. The study then documents the presence of these four inequitable attributes across four empirical case studies: Hurricane Katrina reconstruction in the United States, recovery efforts for the 2004 tsunami in Thailand, Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, and the Canterbury earthquakes in New Zealand. It next offers three policy recommendations for analysts, program managers, and researchers at large: spreading risks via insurance, adhering to principles of free prior informed consent, and preventing damage through punitive environmental bonds. The political economy of disaster must be taken into account so that projects can maximize their efficacy and avoid marginalizing those most vulnerable to those very disasters.
  • Give a Man a Fishpond: Modeling the Impacts of Aquaculture in the Rural
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: World Development, Volume 110Author(s): Mateusz Filipski, Ben Belton The rapid growth of fish farming over the past three decades has generated heated debate over the role of aquaculture in rural development and poverty reduction. Central to these debates is the question of whether and how aquaculture impacts local incomes and employment, yet little empirical evidence exists on the issue. To address this question, we propose a Local Economy-wide Impact Evaluation (LEWIE) model which nests fish farm models within a general-equilibrium model of their local economy. The model is calibrated using primary data collected from 1102 households in Myanmar’s main aquaculture zone, representative of 60% of the country’s aquaculture farms. Using this model, we examine the impact of aquaculture on the incomes and labor market outcomes of fish farming households, but also crop farms and non-farm households in the cluster. Simulating one-acre increases in pond/plot surface we find that: (1) aquaculture generates much higher incomes per-acre than agriculture; (2) aquaculture generates larger income spillovers than agriculture for non-farm households by way of retail and labor markets; (3) small commercial fish farms generate greater spillovers than large fish farms. These results bolster the notion that fish-farming, and in particular small-scale commercial aquaculture, may have a significant role to play in rural development and poverty reduction.
  • Earnings, savings, and job satisfaction in a labor-intensive export
           sector: Evidence from the cut flower industry in Ethiopia
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: World Development, Volume 110Author(s): Aya Suzuki, Yukichi Mano, Girum Abebe While labor-intensive export-oriented industries typically bring positive economic benefits to countries through employment generation, the effects of employment in these industries on various aspects of workers’ welfare are less well-studied. This paper considers the case of the cut flower industry in Ethiopia to provide such quantitative evidences. We collected workers’ primary data and conducted incentivized experiments to measure their cognitive abilities, risk preference, and other behavioral characteristics. Based on propensity-score matching and doubly robust estimations to facilitate rigorous comparisons, we find that production workers in the cut flower sector earn significantly more than similar workers in other sectors, most probably due to the flower farms’ interest to reduce costly worker turnovers. In addition, workers in the sector save more regularly than workers in other sectors who have similar characteristics, and the amount saved relative to the income level is also higher, after controlling for the frequency of wage payment and employment status. The subjective valuation of their jobs is also higher in the cut flower sector, particularly in terms of the income level, stability, and future prospect, but workers in the sector are not necessarily more satisfied with the type of work they do. Unlike other sectors where wage payment decreases with worker’s age, wage in the flower sector does not vary with age. Risk-averse individuals are more satisfied in the cut flower sector, while work experience reduces the satisfaction level on future prospect more in this sector relative to other sectors.
  • How do diffusion entrepreneurs spread policies' Insights from
           performance-based financing in Sub-Saharan Africa
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: World Development, Volume 110Author(s): Lara Gautier, Jale Tosun, Manuela De Allegri, Valéry Ridde There has been growing interest in the diffusion of policy innovations across countries. Research on policy diffusion is characterised by coherent explanatory models that assess the importance of diffusion mechanisms. This study takes a different perspective on diffusion studies and advances public policy literature by introducing the concept of “diffusion entrepreneurs”. These entrepreneurs represent (groups of) individuals, networks, and organisations promoting a certain policy innovation with a view to gain influence. First, drawing from the diffusion literature and linking it to studies investigating policy diffusion in polycentric contexts, we introduce analytical categories to study diffusion entrepreneurs’ key features and actions. Second, to illustrate the analytical value of the concept, we conduct an in-depth analysis of the literature on the diffusion entrepreneurs of health performance-based financing (PBF) in Sub-Saharan Africa. We show how and why this recently diffused policy innovation provides a unique case for demonstrating our conceptual notion: in PBF, a nexus of strongly dedicated diffusion entrepreneurs have strived to induce policy diffusion. Specifically, we explore how the features of PBF diffusion entrepreneurs and their actions affect the outcomes of diffusion processes. Lastly, we reflect on the relevance of our conceptual propositions and offer practical insights to guide future investigations.
  • From corn to popcorn' Urbanization and dietary change: Evidence from
           rural-urban migrants in Tanzania
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: World Development, Volume 110Author(s): Lara Cockx, Liesbeth Colen, Joachim De Weerdt There is rising concern that the ongoing wave of urbanization will have profound effects on eating patterns and increase the risk of nutrition-related non-communicable diseases. Yet, our understanding of urbanization as a driver of changes in food consumption remains limited. Data from the Tanzania National Panel Survey, which tracked out-migrating respondents, allow us to compare individuals’ dietary patterns before and after they relocated from rural to urban areas and assess whether those changes differ from household members who stayed behind or moved to a different rural area. Our study shows that moving to an urban area does not have any significant effect on the intake of fats, animal-source foods, and dietary diversity. However, individuals who moved to urban areas do experience a more pronounced shift away from the consumption of traditional staples, and towards high-sugar, more conveniently consumed and prepared foods. These effects occur across the whole spectrum of urban locations, ranging from smaller secondary towns to large cities. Further exploring the factors underlying these changes in dietary patterns upon moving, we demonstrate that – depending on the food category considered – a substantial part of the impact of relocating to an urban area is related to the transition out of farming, differences in food prices, and especially income changes. The latter appears to explain the more pronounced growth of unhealthy food consumption after rural-urban migration. As such, health concerns over diets can be expected to spread to less urbanized areas as soon as income growth takes off there. Our findings call for more in-depth research on the extent and consequences of changes in diets related to living in more urbanized areas that may contribute to improved projections on food demand and help to improve health and food and nutrition security policies as well as agricultural and trade strategies.
  • A poverty dynamics approach to social stratification: The South African
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: World Development, Volume 110Author(s): Simone Schotte, Rocco Zizzamia, Murray Leibbrandt The wave of upbeat stories on the developing world’s emerging middle class has reinvigorated a debate on how social class in general and the middle class in particular ought to be defined and measured. In the economics literature, most scholars agree that being middle class entails being free from poverty, which means being able to afford the basic things in life – not only today, but also tomorrow. In consequence, there is an increasing tendency to define the middle class based on a lack of vulnerability to poverty. In this paper, we strengthen and expand on these existing approaches in three ways: First, we incorporate the differentiation between the middle class and a (non-poor) vulnerable group into a broader social-stratification schema that additionally differentiates between transient and chronic poverty. Second, in estimating the risk of poverty, we employ a multivariate regression model that explicitly allows for possible feedback effects from past poverty experiences and accounts for the potential endogeneity of initial conditions, unobserved heterogeneity, and non-random panel attrition – four factors insufficiently addressed in existing studies. Third, we highlight the value of paying attention to these conceptual and modelling issues by showing that class divisions based on monetary thresholds inadequately capture a household’s chances of upward and downward mobility. We then apply our conceptual framework to the South African case. We find that only one in four South Africans can be considered stably middle class or elite. Access to stable labor market income is a key determinant of achieving economic stability. A lack of jobs as well as the prevalence of precarious forms of work drive high levels of vulnerability, which in turn constrains the development of an emergent middle class – not only in South Africa but potentially also in other parts of the developing world that face similar labor market challenges.
  • Hybrid regulatory landscapes: The human right to water, variegated
           neoliberal water governance, and policy transfer in Cape Town, South
           Africa, and Accra, Ghana
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: World Development, Volume 110Author(s): Julian S. Yates, Leila M. Harris Drawing on an analysis of water access and supply in Cape Town (South Africa) and Accra (Ghana), we illustrate that neoliberal and human right to water-oriented transformations co-constitute each other discursively, practically, and in policy implementation. Focusing on the transfer of policies and experiences (particularly conjoined demand management-free basic water programs and related social contestation), we provide examples of how neoliberal logics and human right to water principles intersect in evolving hybrid regulatory landscapes, which are characterized by contradiction. The human right to water makes a difference by influencing the drafting and implementation of water-related policies that affect to the lives of poor and vulnerable populations. Yet this process unfolds unevenly, as human right to water principles and practices are contextually applied, often alongside neoliberalizing policy instruments within evolving regulatory landscapes. Our analysis reveals the uneven effects of policy experimentation, transfer, and adaptation. The analysis shows that the principle of the human right to water affects the transformation of policy options circulating in the water sector, but it does so in relation to the institutional histories and policy options associated with uneven patterns of variegated neoliberalization in the water sector.
  • The distributional effect of investment in early childhood nutrition: A
           panel quantile approach
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: World Development, Volume 110Author(s): Abraham Abebe Asfaw This article examines the distributional effects of early nutritional investments on child health outcomes. Depending on the difference between a child’s actual and potential health status, the effects of investment in early childhood nutrition can differ across child health status distributions. To establish a causal inference, I merge village-level rainfall data with a child-level longitudinal survey—the Ethiopian Rural Household Survey—and apply a Correlated Random Effect quantile regression for panel data model. The findings suggest that a standard deviation increase in a village-level precipitation z-score has heterogeneous effects across the weight-for-height and weight-for-age z-score distributions and gender. The positive effects are more pronounced at the lower end of health status distributions and on girls. To the extent that the increase in a village-level precipitation z-score increases investment in child nutrition, its stronger effect on girls and at the lower end of the health status distribution implies that policy interventions that aim to promote nutritional investment reduces the health inequality gap across health status and gender.
  • Real exchange rate policies for economic development
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: World Development, Volume 110Author(s): Martin Guzman, Jose Antonio Ocampo, Joseph E. Stiglitz This paper analyzes the role of real exchange rate (RER) policies in promoting economic development. Markets provide a suboptimal amount of investment in sectors characterized by learning spillovers. We show that a stable and competitive RER policy may correct for this externality and other related market failures. The resulting development of these sectors leads to overall faster economic growth. A system of effectively multiple exchange rates is required when spillovers across different tradable sectors differ. The impact of RER policies is increased when they are complemented by traditional industrial policies that increase the elasticity of the aggregate supply to the RER. Among the instruments required to implement a stable and competitive RER are interventions in the foreign exchange market and regulation of capital flows. We also discuss the trade-offs associated with alternative stable and competitive RER policies and the relationship between the use of exchange rate policies for macro-stability and for development.
  • The impact of foreign remittances on poverty in Nepal: A panel study of
           household survey data, 1996–2011
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: World Development, Volume 110Author(s): Udaya R. Wagle, Satis Devkota Using data from the longitudinal panel surveys of 1996, 2004, and 2011, this paper examines the dynamics of foreign remittances and their impact on poverty in Nepal. The intent is to explore how foreign remittances have evolved and impacted poverty and economic well-being of households. Focusing on a consistent set of households across the three survey rounds in a balanced panel format helps examine the effect of foreign remittances with appropriate controls. Results from methodologically consistent, random-effects regressions that correct for potential attrition and heterogeneity bias support significant poverty-reducing and, more accurately, economic well-being-enhancing effects of foreign remittances especially when originating in countries other than India. This and other findings are valuable to the assessment of policies on utilizing foreign labor migration and remittances as a vehicle to reduce poverty in Nepal.
  • Upgrading for whom' Relationship coffee, value chain interventions and
           rural development in Indonesia
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: World Development, Volume 110Author(s): Mark Vicol, Jeffrey Neilson, Diany Faila Sophia Hartatri, Peter Cooper Value chain upgrading interventions have emerged in recent years as a dominant approach to rural development. In coffee value chains, upgrading opportunities are presented by the growth in consumption of specialty coffees, which are associated with direct engagement with producer communities by roasting firms, along with an apparent increased commitment to social responsibility. Known in the industry as “relationship coffee”, such interventions align with a value chain approach to development and are promoted as offering upgrading opportunities for otherwise marginalized rural communities. In this article, we critique the dominant development discourse of relationship coffee in Indonesia via three case studies of livelihoods and local agrarian dynamics across three coffee-growing communities on the islands of Sulawesi, Bali and Java. We find that the relationship coffee model does present opportunities for producer upgrading. However, these benefits have been subsequently captured by key individuals within the producer community who are able to accumulate wealth and consolidate their social position. As it is currently implemented in Indonesia, the relationship coffee model has reproduced local patterns of inequality rather than contributing to poverty alleviation efforts. These insights suggest the urgent need to develop a critical political economy of upgrading in the global value chain and rural development literature.
  • Corruption and averting AIDS deaths
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: World Development, Volume 110Author(s): Willa Friedman This paper looks at the impact of corruption on the effectiveness of antiretroviral drugs in preventing AIDS deaths and the potential channels that generate this relationship. This is based on a unique panel dataset of countries in sub-Saharan Africa, which combines information on all imported antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) from the World Health Organization’s Global Price Reporting Mechanism, with measures of corruption, estimates of the HIV prevalence, and the number of AIDS deaths in each year and in each country. Countries with higher levels of corruption experience a significantly smaller drop in AIDS deaths as a result of the same quantity of ARVs imported. This is robust to different measures of corruption and to a measure of overall death rates as well as HIV-specific death rates as the outcome. A case-study analysis of the Kenyan experience illustrates one potential mechanism for the observed effect, demonstrating that disproportionately more clinics begin distributing ARVs in areas that are predominantly represented by the new leader’s ethnic group.
  • A decomposition method on employment and wage discrimination and its
           application in urban China (2002–2013)
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2018Source: World Development, Volume 110Author(s): Yiu Por (Vincent) Chen, Yuan Zhang Labor market discrimination is an important issue in developing countries where path-dependent institutions have been dominant, while effective institutional arrangements and policies have been hidden by local customs and culture. However, the existing applications of classical Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition face criticism for their imprecise understanding of the factors affecting institutional discrimination in labor markets, as well as for their lack of power in formulating well-targeted anti-discrimination policies. Following Oaxaca (1973), we propose a new method to decompose the total discrimination index (TDI) to analyze employment and wage discrimination in the labor markets of developing countries. The TDI is decomposed into the employment discrimination index (EDI) and the wage discrimination index (WDI), then into the underpayment index to majorities (UPI) and the overpayment index to minorities (OPI). We apply this method to the institutional discrimination against rural migrants in China’s urban areas. Using national representative data from 2002 to 2013, we have found that, 1) the TDI increased quickly after China entered the WTO, then dropped after anti-discrimination policies were implemented. 2) The TDI is mainly determined by the UPI, while the TDI’s fluctuation is mainly determined by the WDI. Our method provides insights into the changing composition of employment and wage discrimination and their respective labor market outcomes in developing countries. As a result, appropriate policy measures may be developed accordingly.
  • Searching for win-win forest outcomes: Learning-by-doing, financial
           viability, and income growth for a community-based forest management
           cooperative in the Brazilian Amazon
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 15 June 2018Source: World DevelopmentAuthor(s): Shoana Humphries, Thomas Holmes, Dárlison Fernandes Carvalho de Andrade, David McGrath, Jeremias Batista Dantas After more than two decades of investment by donors and governments in community forest management (CFM) initiatives for timber production from natural tropical forests, also known as community-based forest enterprises (CFEs), the sustainability of this livelihood alternative aimed at improved prosperity remains uncertain. Although many studies have focused on the environmental and social dimensions of CFEs, very little is known about their financial viability and socio-economic impacts, even though these elements are critical to ensuring the broad potential benefits of CFM. Furthermore, the lack of a consistent methodology for financial analyses severely limits the ability to learn from CFE case studies across initiatives and time. In an effort to measure the financial viability and identify critical factors that contribute to the poverty-alleviation potential of CFE timber production, we applied a simplified tool for financial analysis in collaboration with a CFE in the Brazilian Amazon three times over six years. The CFE operates in a national forest and is organized as a cooperative with more than 200 members from local communities experiencing high rates of poverty. We analyzed changes in labor productivity and the growth in incomes generated for seasonal and full-time workers, the value of goods and services purchased from the local economy, profits generated, and the overall financial viability of the timber operation. During the study period, the cooperative: (1) demonstrated substantial gains in efficiency and financial viability due to increasing returns to labor inputs, consistent with a model of learning-by-doing; (2) quadrupled the value of labor payments to local communities; and (3) generated substantial other economic benefits. We discuss strategies used by the CFE to improve its financial viability over time, maximize income opportunities for local residents, and respond to financial, social, and political challenges. Our findings indicate the importance of initial support from governments and other partners for start-up capital, subsidized access to trainings and technical assistance, and navigating complex bureaucratic systems, and the positive effect that improved productivity over time, scale economies, and access to markets can have in influencing the poverty-alleviation potential of CFE timber production initiatives in the tropics.
  • Rethinking power and institutions in the shadows of neoliberalism: (An
           introduction to a special issue of World Development)
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 31 May 2018Source: World DevelopmentAuthor(s): Prakash Kashwan, Lauren M. MacLean, Gustavo A. García-López Despite the recognition that institutions matter for international development, the debates over institutional reforms tend to obscure the role of power. Neoliberal models of development are often promoted in terms of their technical merits and efficiency gains and rarely account for the multiple ways that social, economic and political power shape institutional design and institutional change. Even recent efforts to address power tend to conceptualize it too narrowly. This special issue seeks to rethink the role of power in institutional creation and change in the context of persistent neoliberalism. In the introduction, we synthesize the literature on the nature of power to develop a new conceptual framework – a power in institutions matrix – that highlights the multiple dimensions of power involved in institutional development and change. We argue that such a theoretically-informed mapping of power in institutions will enable scholars, practitioners, and citizen groups to go beyond the standard critiques in order to analyze the multifaceted effects of neoliberal institutional change. Our introduction draws on an extensive literature review as well as the special issue contributors who examine institutional change in a variety of policy sectors in Africa, South Asia, Latin America, and North America. We find that a range of diverse local, national and transnational actors, with disparate access to power, negotiate institutional changes from above and below through overt imposition of and resistance to new rules, influence of agendas, and promotion of discourses. Neoliberalism thus creates a new distributive politics. The special issue thus offers a theoretically-grounded approach for linking international and domestic power differences to the process of institutional change, with a specific focus on equity and sustainability. In a departure from the current literature’s focus on elite bargains, we showcase the efforts by less powerful groups to gain a foothold in decision-making processes.
  • Transparency and sustainability in global commodity supply chains
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 31 May 2018Source: World DevelopmentAuthor(s): T.A. Gardner, M. Benzie, J. Börner, E. Dawkins, S. Fick, R. Garrett, J. Godar, A. Grimard, S. Lake, R.K. Larsen, N. Mardas, C.L. McDermott, P. Meyfroidt, M. Osbeck, M. Persson, T. Sembres, C. Suavet, B. Strassburg, A. Trevisan, C. West Over the last few decades rapid advances in processes to collect, monitor, disclose, and disseminate information have contributed towards the development of entirely new modes of sustainability governance for global commodity supply chains. However, there has been very little critical appraisal of the contribution made by different transparency initiatives to sustainability and the ways in which they can (and cannot) influence new governance arrangements. Here we seek to strengthen the theoretical underpinning of research and action on supply chain transparency by addressing four questions: (1) What is meant by supply chain transparency' (2) What is the relevance of supply chain transparency to supply chain sustainability governance' (3) What is the current status of supply chain transparency, and what are the strengths and weaknesses of existing initiatives' and (4) What propositions can be advanced for how transparency can have a positive transformative effect on the governance interventions that seek to strengthen sustainability outcomes' We use examples from agricultural supply chains and the zero-deforestation agenda as a focus of our analysis but draw insights that are relevant to the transparency and sustainability of supply chains in general. We propose a typology to distinguish among types of supply chain information that are needed to support improvements in sustainability governance, and illustrate a number of major shortfalls and systematic biases in existing information systems. We also propose a set of ten propositions that, taken together, serve to expose some of the potential pitfalls and undesirable outcomes that may result from (inevitably) limited or poorly designed transparency systems, whilst offering guidance on some of the ways in which greater transparency can make a more effective, lasting and positive contribution to sustainability.
  • Agricultural production amid conflict: Separating the effects of conflict
           into shocks and uncertainty
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 10 April 2018Source: World DevelopmentAuthor(s): María Alejandra Arias, Ana María Ibáñez, Andrés Zambrano This paper examines the effect of conflict on agricultural production of small farmers. First, an inter-temporal model of agricultural production is developed in which the impact of conflict is transmitted through violent shocks and uncertainty brought about by conflict. We test the model using a unique household survey applied to 4800 households in four micro-regions of Colombia. Our findings suggest households learn to live amid conflict, albeit at a lower income trajectory. When presence of non-state armed actors prolongs, farmers shift to activities with short-term yields and lower profitability from activities that require high investments. If violence intensifies in regions with presence of non-state armed actors, farmers concentrate on subsistence activities.
  • Political autonomy and resistance in electricity sector liberalization in
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 April 2018Source: World DevelopmentAuthor(s): Christopher D. Gore, Jennifer N. Brass, Elizabeth Baldwin, Lauren M. MacLean Electricity access in sub-Saharan Africa is the lowest amongst all regions of the world. In response, since the 1990s, the World Bank and other donors have pushed African countries to reform their electricity sectors. While a “standard model” of liberalization reforms has been endorsed, the timing, pace and extent of reform adoption and implementation undertaken by countries varies significantly. This paper asks: why do some countries adopt electricity sector reforms more quickly and more fully than others' The paper uses a comparative historical analysis of Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda to answer this question. Each country’s experience with reform varies. Our study finds that the timing of reform was largely contingent on economic factors, primarily the need for financing to improve sector efficiency. The pace of reform was shaped largely by international political considerations, namely differences in the countries’ reliance on aid from key donors, especially the World Bank. And the extent of reform was determined primarily by internal national political factors. Specifically, where elite decision-makers faced a historically-grounded national ideology that created citizen expectations that the state provide electricity, a competitive democratic regime, and stronger civil society, electricity sector reforms were less extensive. The paper makes an important contribution to understanding the politics of institutional change. We show how African governments exercise autonomy and resistance, both internationally with donors, and domestically, in the rewriting of institutional rules; that reforms are contingent on political calculations by national political elites about domestic conditions and needs; and that global norms are not sufficient to cause policy change. Overcoming energy poverty in Africa is expected to remain a challenge for the foreseeable future. As new development partners replace or complement the World Bank’s role in African energy sectors, attention to how domestic institutions and politics engage with global norms is critical.
  • The politics of rural–urban water conflict in India: Untapping the power
           of institutional reform
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 April 2018Source: World DevelopmentAuthor(s): Bharat Punjabi, Craig A. Johnson Animating the contemporary politics of water governance in India is a combination of institutional path dependence and a neo-liberal restructuring that has extended the ability of Indian cities to establish new forms of water entitlement in rural and peri-urban areas. This paper explores the politics of rural–urban water conflicts that are occurring in this changing political context. Building upon Schlager and Ostrom’s conceptualization of operational and collective choice rules, it examines the role of agrarian institutions (primarily in the form of land rights) in shaping the politics of rural–urban water transfers in Mumbai and Chennai, two of India’s largest and fastest-growing cities. By doing so, it makes the case that Mumbai’s ability to secure water entitlement has been facilitated by an institutional legacy of prior appropriation that has been applied in a context of weak and limited tribal authority over land and resources. Chennai by contrast has become far more dependent upon the commodification of water in the form of quasi-market and allocation contracts, reflecting the riparian rights of commercial farmers in the Chennai region. The paper generates theoretical and empirical insights about the ways in which variations in urban and agrarian institutions affect the politics of rural–urban water allocation.
  • Rethinking elite persistence in neoliberalism: Foresters and
           techno-bureaucratic logics in Mexico’s community forestry
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 31 March 2018Source: World DevelopmentAuthor(s): Gustavo A. García-López Problems of elite capture continue to present challenges for sustainable and equitable forest governance around the world. Our understanding of elite capture, however, remains limited by conceptual approaches that pay insufficient attention to power in its various dimensions. Drawing on critical institutionalism and political ecology, I analyze how the power veiled in political-economic structures or ‘power fields’, embedded with local institutions and relations of conflict and negotiation, helps (re)produce elite power and persistence. I pay particular attention to the role of foresters as crucial yet understudied elite actors in community forestry. I employ an over-time comparative case study of processes of elite capture in four regional inter-community forestry associations (FAs) in the state of Durango, Mexico. I argue that foresters’ persistent capture of FAs is related to multi-layered power inequalities and persistent democratic deficits reproduced by techno-bureaucratic forestry and authoritarian corporatist logics. At the same time, I posit that this capture is not definite but is continually transformed by social struggles and grassroots institutional innovations.
  • Commodifying sustainability: Development, nature and politics in the palm
           oil industry
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 14 March 2018Source: World DevelopmentAuthor(s): Oliver Pye Palm Oil is a highly successful flex crop that has become a development engine in Southeast Asia and elsewhere. If the industry-led stakeholder initiative, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is to be believed, there is also a mechanism in place that can guarantee sustainable production along the supply chain. But what counts as sustainable and what does this mean on the ground in producing countries like Malaysia and Indonesia' This article argues that the form of sustainability offered by certification schemes such as the RSPO fetishes the commodity palm oil in order to assuage critical consumer initiatives in the North. This technical-managerial solution is part of a larger project: the “post-political” climate politics regime (Swyngedouw) that attempts to “green” the status quo. But certification obscures the problem that it is not the commodity itself but the social relations of nature in the production of the commodity that need to become sustainable. It will be shown that despite certification, these social relations of nature are contested in Southeast Asia. Social and political struggles over land rights, workers’ rights and environmental justice are repoliticising debates over palm oil, opening up trajectories of eco-social transformation that make alternative sustainability futures for palm oil possible.
  • Augmenting the IAD framework to reveal power in collaborative governance
           – An illustrative application to resource industry dominated processes
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 March 2018Source: World DevelopmentAuthor(s): Marie Claire Brisbois, Michelle Morris, Rob de Loë Collaborative governance is often used as a strategy to address seemingly intractable common pool resource (CPR) problems. However, significant power imbalances can constrain the creation, adoption and implementation of socially and environmentally desirable policies. This study integrates theory on power with the institutional analysis and design (IAD) framework in order to provide a conceptual framework for examining power that is not captured through the IAD’s focus on action situations. We examined the use of collaboration in CPR governance contexts characterized by significant power imbalances. Two Canadian collaborative processes that involve large energy industry interests were studied. We assessed the ability of these collaborative processes to address social and environmental goals. Results revealed significant hidden power dynamics related to inaction and non-decisions. Collaboration was unable to produce progressive outcomes because of i) the restriction of the collaborative agenda by powerful actors; ii) selective enforcement of rules; and; iii) a broader neoliberal context that inherently favoured increasing resource extraction. These findings indicate that the achievement of progressive social and environmental outcomes through collaboration is constrained where powerful resource industries are present as participants.
  • The impact of food assistance on food insecure populations during
           conflict: Evidence from a quasi-experiment in Mali
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 March 2018Source: World DevelopmentAuthor(s): Jean-Pierre Tranchant, Aulo Gelli, Lilia Bliznashka, Amadou Sekou Diallo, Moussa Sacko, Amidou Assima, Emily H. Siegel, Elisabetta Aurino, Edoardo Masset Mali, a vast landlocked country at the heart of West Africa in the Sahel region, is one of the least developed and most food insecure countries in the world. Mali suffered from a series of political, constitutional and military crises since January 2012, including the loss of government control of northern territories from April 2012 until January 2013. A range of humanitarian aid interventions were scaled up in response to these complex crises. In this study, we exploit data from a unique pre-crisis baseline to evaluate the impact of humanitarian aid on the food security of rural populations. We design a quasi-experimental study based on two survey rounds, five years apart, in the Mopti region in Northern Mali. Data was collected from 66 communities randomly selected from within food-insecure districts. Study outcomes include household expenditures and food consumption and a proxy for child nutritional status (height measurements). We estimate program impact by combining propensity score matching and difference-in-difference. Food assistance was found to increase household non-food and food expenditures and micro-nutrient availability. Disaggregating by degree of conflict exposure showed that the effects on children’s height and caloric and micro-nutrient consumption were mostly concentrated in areas not in the immediate vicinity of the conflict, unlike the increase in food expenditures that were driven by households located in close proximity to armed groups. The effects were also concentrated on households receiving at least two forms of food assistance. In villages where armed groups were present, food assistance improved household zinc consumption and also appeared to support food expenditures. Food transfers are thus found to exert a protective effect among food insecure population in conflict context.
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