The Latest in Development Economics

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AutoInsuranceMM.Info – Inexpensive health insurance – The Latest in Development Economics

There’s a post over at the World Bank’s blog providing brief summaries of the papers presented at the North East Universities Development Consortium last weekend. If you want to see some of the latest research in development economics, check it out. Here are a few that peaked my interest:

  • How does a massive refugee influx affect the receiving economy’s agricultural productivity? In Tanzania, receiving refugees from Burundi and Rwanda in the 1990s resulted in some pluses, some minuses, but ultimately an insignificant change. (Tsuda)
  • In South Africa, income affects psychological well-being AND psychological well-being affects income. The former effect is particularly strong among the poor. (Alloush)
  • Psychology and economics affect each other! An intervention to increase women’s beliefs in their own ability to attain their goals “produces large and persistent increases in employment” in India. And “women who received a job offer have significantly higher [beliefs in their own ability] several months later.” (McKelway)
  • Ukrainian firms from counties with fewer ethnic Russians experienced a deeper decline in trade with Russia because of increased inter-ethnic tensions and a differential rise in negative attitudes toward Russia. (Makarin and Korovkin)
  • Poorly managed schools have poorer teacher practices and poor student outcomes. (Lemos, Muralidharan, & Scur)
  • School disruptions caused by teacher strikes leads to adverse labor market outcomes in Argentina: unemployment is higher, skill levels of the occupations are lower and earnings drop by 3.2 for men and 1.9 percent for women. “This amounts to an aggregate annual earnings loss of $2.34 billion, equivalent to the cost of raising the employment income of all Argentinian primary school teachers by 62.4 percent”. (Jaume and Willén)
  • Getting married one year later in India results in “a significant decline in physical violence, although it has no impact on sexual or emotional violence.” (Dhamija & Roychowdhury)
  • Cash transfers in Kenya reduced physical violence against wives regardless of whether the husband or wife received them, but they reduced sexual violence against wives only when the wives received them. (Haushofer et al.)
  • A multi-year intervention that “engaged adolescents in classroom discussions about gender equality” improved gender attitudes and reported gender-equitable behavior (e.g., “boys report helping out more with household chores”). (Dhar, Jain, & Jayachandran) #RCT
  • A soda tax in Mexico increased gastrointestinal disease because of low-quality drinking water. (Gutierrez & Rubli)
  • Games in Kenya show that spouses don’t totally trust each other. Letting them communicate increase trust a bit. (Castilla, Masuda, & Zhang) #LabInField
  • Christian missionaries settled in healthier, safer and more developed locations in 43 sub-Saharan African countries (early 20th century) and in Ghana (18th-20th century) – this endogeneity led to an overly optimistic account of the importance of colonial missions for long-term development. (Jedwab, Meier zu Selhausen, and Moradi) #RDD
  • A novel index of ethnic segregation – taking into account both ethnic and spatial distances between individuals and computed for 159 countries – reveals that countries where ethnically diverse individuals lived far apart, have higher-quality government, higher incomes and higher levels of trust. (Hodler, Valsecchi, and Vesperoni)
  • An alcohol ban led to an increase in crime in the Indian State of Bihar. Since state capacity and supply of police is fixed, diverting law enforcement resources towards implementing the alcohol ban effectively reduces capacity to prevent crimes. (Dar and Sahay)
  • Workers will privately accept jobs at a wage below the prevailing norm in India, but not when other workers can observe them making the choice. “Workers give up 38% of average weekly earnings in order to avoid being seen as breaking the social norm.” (Breza, Kaur, & Krishnaswamy)
  • Fear of sexual assault reduces women’s labor market participation in India: a one standard deviation increase in sexual assault reports within one’s own district reduced women’s employment probability by 0.36 percentage points, especially among highly educated married urban women. There is no effect of lagged physical assault reports on employment outside home. (Siddique)
  • Cash transfers in Indonesia decreased suicides by 18%. (Christian, Hensel, & Roth)
  • In Brazil, trade with China reduced unemployment for areas exporting stuff and increased unemployment for areas importing stuff. (Brummond & Connolly)