Journal articles published externally

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These are journal articles by World Bank authors published externally.

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Migration and Economic Mobility in Tanzania : Evidence from a Tracking Survey

2011-08, Beegle, Kathleen, Dercon, Stefan

This study explores to what extent migration has contributed to improved living standards of individuals in Tanzania. Using a thirteen-year panel survey, we find that migration between 1991 and 2004 added 36 percentage points to consumption growth. Although moving out of agriculture resulted in much higher growth than staying in agriculture, growth was always greater in any sector if the individual physically moved. As to why more people do not move given the high returns to geographical mobility, analysis finds evidence consistent with models in which exit barriers set by home communities prevent the migration of some categories of people.

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Child Mortality in Rural India

2011, van der Klaauw, Bas, Wang, Limin

This paper focuses on infant and child mortality in rural areas of India. We construct a flexible duration model, which allows for frailty at multiple levels and interactions between the child's age and individual, socioeconomic, and environmental characteristics. The model is estimated using the Indian National Family and Health Survey 1998/1999. The estimation results show that socioeconomic and environmental characteristics have significantly different impacts on mortality rates at different ages. These are particularly important immediately after birth. The parameter estimates indicate that child mortality can be reduced substantially, particularly by improving the education of women, providing safe water, and reducing indoor air pollution caused by dirty cooking fuels. Finally, we still found substantial differences in mortality rates between states, which are associated with differences in schooling expenditures, female immunization, and poverty rates.

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Cash Transfers, Children and the Crisis : Protecting Current and Future Investments

2011, Fiszbein, Ariel, Srinivasan, Santhosh

In a mix of responses to the food, fuel, and financial crises of 2008-9, some developing countries have introduced new safety-net programmes, while others have modified and/or expanded existing ones. Many have introduced conditional cash transfers (CCTs) in recent years, and these have been used as an important starting point for a response. This article aims to describe these various experiences with CCTs, to distil lessons about their effectiveness as crisis-response programmes for households with children, to identify design features that can facilitate their ability to respond to transient poverty shocks, and to assess how they can complement other safety-net programmes.

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Assessing the Impact of Migration on Food and Nutrition Security

2011, Zezza, Alberto, Carletto, Calogero, Davis, Benjamin, Winters, Paul

Migration has become a key component in the livelihood strategies of an increasing number of households across the developing world and remittances have expanded dramatically in the last decade. This has come at a time when an increased emphasis has been placed on reducing malnutrition to achieve Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets. While this is the case, there has been little attention on the interface between migration and nutrition even though migration can influence nutrition through a number of channels. The objective of this special issue is to present state-of-the-art analyses of the link between migration and nutrition in developing countries. In this paper, an overview of the conceptual and empirical issues in identifying the link between migration and nutrition are considered. Further, the results from seven country case studies are synthesized and policy implications are drawn.

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Aggregate Income Shocks and Infant Mortality in the Developing World

2011-08, Baird, Sarah, Friedman, Jed, Schady, Norbert

Health and income are strongly correlated both within and across countries, yet the extent to which improvements in income have a causal effect on health status remains controversial. We investigate whether short-term fluctuations in aggregate income affect infant mortality using an unusually large data set of 1.7 million births in 59 developing countries. We show a large, negative association between per capita GDP and infant mortality. Female infant mortality is more sensitive than male infant mortality to negative economic shocks, suggesting that policies that protect the health status of female infants may be especially important during economic downturns.

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The Impact of the Global Financial Crisis on Off-Farm Employment and Earnings in Rural China

2011, Huang, Jikun, Zhi, Huayong, Huang, Zhurong, Rozelle, Scott, Giles, John

This paper examines the effect of the financial crisis on off-farm employment of China's rural labor force. Using a national representative dataset, we find that there was a large impact. By April 2009 off-farm employment reached 6.8% of the rural labor force. Monthly earnings also declined. However, while we estimate that 49 million were laid-off between October 2008 and April 2009, half of them were re-hired in off-farm work by April 2009. By August 2009, less than 2% of the rural labor force was unemployed due to the crisis. The robust recovery appears to have helped avoid instability.

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Gender Implications of Biofuels Expansion in Africa : The Case of Mozambique

2011, Arndt, Channing, Benfica, Rui, Thurlow, James

We use a gendered dynamic CGE model to assess the implications of biofuels expansion in a low-income, land-abundant setting. Mozambique is chosen as a representative case. We compare scenarios with different gender employment intensities in producing jatropha feedstock for biodiesel. Under all scenarios, biofuels investments accelerate GDP growth and reduce poverty. However, a stronger trade-off between biofuels and food availability emerges when female labor is used intensively, as women are drawn away from food production. A skills-shortage among female workers also limits poverty reduction. Policy simulations indicate that only modest improvements in women's education and food crop yields are needed to address food security concerns and ensure broader-based benefits from biofuels investments.

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Purchasing Power Parity Exchange Rates for the Global Poor

2011-04, Deaton, Angus, Dupriez, Olivier

The global poverty count uses a common global poverty line, often referred to as the dollar-a-day line, currently $1.25 at 2005 international prices, whose construction and application depends on purchasing power parity (PPP) exchange rates for consumption. The price indexes that underlie the PPPs used for this purpose are constructed for purposes of national income accounting, using weights that represent patterns of aggregate consumption, not the consumption patterns of the global poor. We use household surveys from 62 developing countries to calculate global poverty-weighted PPPs and to calculate global poverty lines and new global poverty counts.

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Was Vietnam's Economic Growth in the 1990s Pro-poor? An Analysis of Panel Data from Vietnam

2011, Glewwe, Paul, Dang, Hai-Anh Hoang

International aid agencies and almost all economists agree that economic growth is necessary for reducing poverty, yet some economists question whether it is sufficient for poverty reduction. Vietnam enjoyed rapid economic growth in the 1990s, but a modest increase in inequality during that decade raises the possibility that the poor in Vietnam benefited little from that growth. This article examines the extent to which Vietnam's economic growth has been "pro-poor," giving particular attention to two issues. The first is the appropriate comparison group. When comparing the poorest x% of the population at two points in time, should the poorest x% in the first time period be compared to the poorest x% in the second time period (some of whom were not the poorest x% in the first time period) or to the same people in the second time period (some of whom are no longer among the poorest x%)? The second is measurement error. Estimates of growth among the poorest x% of the population are likely to be biased if income or expenditure is measured with error. Household survey data show that Vietnam's growth has been relatively equally shared across poor and nonpoor groups. Indeed, comparisons of the same people over time indicate that per capita expenditures of the poor increased much more rapidly than those of the nonpoor, although failure to correct for measurement error exaggerates this result.

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The Long Term Educational Cost of War: Evidence from Landmine Contamination in Cambodia

2011, Merrouche, Ouarda

The economic impact of war may be visible in the long run and particularly through its impact on human capital. This paper uses unique district level data on landmine contamination intensity in Cambodia combined with survey data on individuals to evaluate the long-run impact of Cambodia's 30 years of war (1970-1998) on education levels and earnings. These effects are identified using difference-in-differences (DD) and instrumental variables (IV) estimators. In the DD framework I exploit two sources of variation in an individual's exposure to the conflict: age in 1970 and landmine contamination intensity in the district of residence. The IV specification uses the distance to the Thai border as an exogenous source of variation in landmine contamination intensity. The most conservative result indicates that individuals who were too young to have attended school before the start of the war received on average 0.5 less years of education. And, immediately after the war there was no visible effect on earnings. The effects are therefore overall weak. I argue that the destruction of physical capital may be what contributes to drive down the returns to education in Cambodia post-war. The estimates reported may be very conservative due to both error in our measure of conflict intensity and possible selection bias in the placement of prosperous regions.