Items in this collection
Eyes in the Sky, Boots on the Ground: Assessing Satellite, and Ground-Based Approaches to Crop Yield Measurement and Analysis
2022-07-15, David B. Lobell, George Azzari, Burke,Marshall Benajah, Gourlay,Sydney, Zhenong Jin, Kilic,Talip, Murray,Siobhan
Understanding the determinants of agricultural productivity requires accurate measurement of crop output and yield. In smallholder production systems across low- and middle-income countries, crop yields have traditionally been assessed based on farmer-reported production and land areas in household and farm surveys, occasionally by objective crop cuts for a sub-section of a farmer’s plot, and rarely using full-plot harvests. In parallel, satellite data continue to improve in terms of spatial, temporal, and spectral resolution needed to discern performance on smallholder plots. This study evaluates ground and satellite-based approaches to estimating crop yields and yield responsiveness to inputs, using data on maize from Eastern Uganda. Using unique, simultaneous ground data on yields based on farmer reporting, sub-plot crop cutting, and full-plot harvests across hundreds of smallholder plots, we document large discrepancies among the ground-based measures, particularly among yields based on farmer-reporting versus sub-plot or full-plot crop cutting. Compared to yield measures based on either farmer-reporting or sub-plot crop cutting, satellite-based yield measures explain as much or more variation in yields based on (gold-standard) full-plot crop cuts. Further, estimates of the association between maize yield and various production factors (e.g., fertilizer, soil quality) are similar across crop cut- and satellite-based yield measures, with the use of the latter at times leading to more significant results due to larger sample sizes. Overall, the results suggest a substantial role for satellite-based yield estimation in measuring and understanding agricultural productivity in the developing world.
Saving for Dowry: Evidence from Rural India
2022-01, Anukriti, S., Kwon, Sungoh, Prakash, Nishith
The ancient custom of dowry, i.e., bride-to-groom marriage payments, remains ubiquitous in many contemporary societies. Using data from 1986–2007, this paper examines whether dowry impacts intertemporal resource allocation and other household decisions in rural India. Utilizing variation in firstborn gender and dowry amounts across marriage markets, we find that the prospect of higher dowry payments at the time of a daughter’s marriage leads parents to save more in advance. The higher savings are primarily financed through increased paternal labor supply. This implies that people are farsighted; they work and save more today with payoff in the distant future.
The Medium-Term Effects of Scholarships in a Low-Income Country
2014-09, Filmer, Deon
Despite progress in recent decades, a substantial fraction of children in developing countries attain little schooling, and many adults lack skills that are valued in the labor market. We evaluate the medium-term effects of a program that provided scholarships for three years to poor children upon graduation from elementary school in Cambodia, a low-income country. To do this we use a sharp regression discontinuity design. We show that scholarships have substantial effects on school attainment. By the time children would have been in grade 11 had they remained in school, two years after they stopped being eligible for scholarships, those who were offered scholarships have attained 0.6 more grades of completed schooling. Nevertheless, we find no evidence that scholarships had significant effects on test scores, employment, earnings, or the probability of getting married or having a child in adolescence.
Relationship of Freshwater Aquaculture Production to Renewable Freshwater Resources
2012-05-25, Boyd, Claude E., Li, Li, Brummett, Randall
At the country-level, freshwater aquaculture production was correlated (P 1,000 ton/km3 (n = 12). Most renewable freshwater isin countries with no freshwater aquaculture or low AFR; countries with high AFR contain 11.1% of global renewable freshwater. By FAO region, AFR values were: Oceania,1.56 ton/km3; Latin America and Caribbean, 31.1 ton/km3; North America, 50.0 ton/km3; Europe, 68.7 ton/km3; Africa, 84.1 ton/km3; and Asia, 2,409 ton/km3. Renewable freshwater appears adequate for considerable expansion of aquaculture, especially outside Asia.
Locally financed and outside financed regional fiscal multipliers
2022-04, Pennings, Steven
The size of regional fiscal multipliers determines the efficacy of fiscal stimulus, the costs of fiscal austerity and whether countercyclical fiscal policy is more effective at the federal or local level. This paper studies fiscal multipliers in regions of a monetary union—US states, Eurozone members, or countries with a hard exchange-rate peg—and how multipliers are affected by the way spending is financed: local deficit financing, local tax financing or outside financing (federal or foreign aid). I present analytical and quantitative government purchase and transfer multipliers using a New Keynesian model consistent with estimated transfer multipliers in Pennings (2021), focusing on the persistence of the fiscal shock. I find that at business-cycle frequencies, financing has little effect on impact multipliers: outside-financed multipliers are only about 0.07–0.16 larger than local deficit-financed multipliers. This suggests efforts to enable local countercyclical fiscal policy may be a partial substitute for greater fiscal centralization or foreign financing.
Engaging Men to Transform Inequitable Gender Attitudes and Prevent Intimate Partner Violence: A Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial in North and South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo
2020-05-27, Vaillant, Julia, Koussoubé, Estelle, Roth, Danielle, Pierotti, Rachael Susan, Hossain, Mazeda, Falb, Kathryn L
Globally, one in three women worldwide report experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV) in their lifetime. The study objective was to understand the effectiveness of Engaging Men through Accountable Practice (EMAP), a group-based discussion series which sought to transform gender relations in communities, on intimate partner violence (IPV), gender inequitable attitudes and related outcomes. Interventions engaging men have the potential to change gender attitudes and behaviours in conflict-affected areas. However, while EMAP led to changes in gender attitudes and behaviours related to perpetration of IPV, the study showed no overall reduction of women’s experience of IPV. Further research is needed to understand how working with men may lead to long-term and meaningful changes in IPV and related gender equitable attitudes and behaviours in conflict areas.
Playing Broken Telephone : Assessing Faith-inspired Health Care Provision in Africa
2012-07-05, Olivier, Jill, Wodon, Quentin
In the literature on the religious contribution to health and development, it is commonly stated that faith-inspired institutions (FIIs) provide from 30 to 70 per cent of all health care provision in Africa. This article tracks the sources of such statements back to the 1960s, highlighting a process of ‘broken telephone’ whereby estimates are passed on and frequently distorted by policy- and advocacy-oriented influences at both the national and international levels. This demonstrates how estimates are being wielded bluntly, often resulting in poorly substantiated claims to the detriment of more careful research, thereby weakening the empirical knowledge-base and improved practice.
Addressing declining female labor force participation in India: Does political empowerment make a difference?
Despite income growth, fertility decline, and educational expansion, female labour force participation in rural India dropped precipitously over the last decade. Nation-wide individual-level data allow us to explore if random reservation of village leadership for females affected women’s access to job opportunities, their demand for participation in the labour force, and income as well as intra-household bargaining in the short-and medium term. Gender reservation of local leadership affected female but not male participation in public works and regular labour markets, their income, and their influence on key household decisions with a lag, suggesting that such reservation affected social norms and stereotypes.
The use of video vignettes to measure health worker knowledge: Evidence from Burkina Faso
2018-09, Banuri, Sheheryar, de Walque, Damien, Keefer, Philip, Haidara, Ousmane Diadie, Robyn, Paul Jacob, Ye, Maurice
The quality of care is a crucial determinant of good health outcomes, but is difficult to measure. Survey vignettes are a standard approach to measuring medical knowledge among health care providers. Given that written vignettes or knowledge tests may be too removed from clinical practice, particularly where “learning by doing” may be an important form of training, we developed a new type of provider vignette. It uses videos presenting a patient visiting the clinic with maternal/early childhood symptoms. We tested these video vignettes with current and future (students) health professionals in Burkina Faso. Participants indicated that the cases used were interesting, understandable and common. Their performance was consistent with expectations. Participants with greater training (medical doctors vs. nurses and midwives) and experience (health professionals vs. students) performed better. The video vignettes can easily be embedded in computers, tablets and smart phones; they are a convenient tool to measure provider knowledge; and they are cost-effective instruction and testing tools.
The Effects of School-based Management in the Philippines : An Initial Assessment Using Administrative Data
2012-06-19, Khattri, Nidhi, Ling, Cristina, Jha, Shreyasi
This paper estimates the effect of school-based management on student performance in the Philippines using the administrative dataset of all public schools in 23 school districts over a three-year period, 2003–2005. The authors test whether schools that received early school-based management interventions (training in school-based management and direct funding for school-based reforms, based on school improvement plans) attained higher average test scores than those that did not receive such inputs. The analysis uses school-level overall composite test scores (comprising all subject areas tested) and test scores in three separate subject areas: English, mathematics, and science. Their preferred estimator, difference-in-difference with propensity score matching, shows that the average treatment effect of participation in school-based management was higher by 1.5 percentage points for overall composite scores, 1.2 percentage points for mathematics scores, 1.4 percentage points for English scores, and 1.8 percentage points for science scores. These results suggest that the introduction of school-based management had a statistically significant, albeit small, overall positive effect on average school-level test scores in 23 school districts in the Philippines. The paper provides a first glimpse of the potential for school-based management in a Southeast Asian context based on available administrative data. The authors suggest that the next order of research is to answer policy-related questions regarding the reforms: what aspects of the reform lead to desired results; are there differential effects across subpopulations; and what are the potential downsides to the reforms? The authors recommend that countries embarking on implementation of school-based management reforms specify their school-based management model and theories of change clearly and advance mechanisms for rigorous evaluations simultaneously. Such evaluations should not only provide more accurate estimates of the effectiveness of the reforms, but also help answer policy-related questions regarding design and implementation of those reforms in different sociocultural contexts.