Items in this collection
PublicationHow Infrastructure and Financial Institutions Affect Rural Income and Poverty : Evidence from Bangladesh(2010) Khandker, Shahidur R.; Koolwal, Gayatri B.The mechanisms by which the poor benefit from economic growth remain a topic of debate in development literature. We address this issue in the context of rural Bangladesh, using a pooled dataset of three household panels between 1991-2001. Expansion of irrigation, paved roads, electricity, and access to formal and informal credit have (through different veins) led to higher rural farm and non-farm incomes, accounting for exogenous local agroclimatic endowments that explain a large part of the variation in the growth of infrastructure and credit programmes. However, this has not translated into substantial reductions in poverty for the poorest households. PublicationConditional Cash Transfers and Female Schooling : The Impact of the Female School Stipend Programme on Public School Enrolments in Punjab, Pakistan(2010) Chaudhury, Nazmul; Parajuli, DilipInstead of mean-tested Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programmes, some countries have implemented gender-targeted CCTs to explicitly address intra-household disparities in human capital investments. This study focuses on addressing the direct impact of a female school stipend programme in Punjab, Pakistan--Did the intervention increase female enrolment in public schools? To address this question, we draw upon data from the provincial school censuses 2003 and 2005. We estimate the net growth in female enrolments in grade 6-8 in stipend eligible schools. Impact evaluation analysis, including difference-and-difference (DD), triple differencing (DDD) and regression-discontinuity design (RDD), indicate a modest but statistically significant impact of the intervention. The preferred estimator derived from a combination of DDD and RDD empirical strategies suggests that the average programme impact between 2003 and 2005 was an increase of six female students per school in terms of absolute change and an increase of 9% in female enrolment in terms of relative change. A triangulation effort is also undertaken using two rounds of a nationally representative household survey before and after the intervention. Even though the surveys are not representative at the sub-provincial level, the results corroborate evidence of the impact using school census data. PublicationOrphanhood and Human Capital Destruction: Is There Persistence into Adulthood?(2010) Beegle, Kathleen; Dercon, StefanThis article presents unique evidence that orphanhood matters in the long run for health and education outcomes in a region of northwestern Tanzania. We study a sample of 718 non-orphaned children surveyed in 1991-1994 who were traced and reinterviewed as adults in 2004. A large proportion, 19%, lost one or more parents before age 15 in this period, allowing us to assess permanent health and education impacts of orphanhood. In the analysis, we control for a wide range of child and adult characteristics before orphanhood, as well as community fixed effects. We find that maternal orphanhood has a permanent adverse impact of 2 cm of final height attainment and one year of educational attainment. Expressing welfare in terms of consumption expenditure, the result is a gap of 8.5% compared with similar children whose mothers survived until at least their 15th birthday. PublicationRoad Network Upgrading and Overland Trade Expansion in Sub-Saharan Africa(2010) Buys, Piet; Deichmann, Uwe; Wheeler, DavidRecent research suggests that poor economic integration and isolation from regional and international markets have contributed significantly to poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa. Poor transport infrastructure and border restrictions are major deterrents to trade expansion which would stimulate economic growth and poverty reduction. Using spatial network analysis techniques and gravity trade model estimations, this paper quantifies the economics of upgrading a primary road network that connects the major urban areas in the region. The results indicate that continental network upgrading is worth serious consideration from an economic perspective. Our simulations suggest that overland trade among Sub-Saharan African countries might expand by about $250 billion over 15 years, with major direct and indirect benefits for the rural poor. Financing the programme would require about $20 billion for initial upgrading and $1 billion annually for maintenance. PublicationMultinationals and Anti-sweatshop Activism(2010) Harrison, Ann; Scorse, JasonDuring the 1990s, anti-sweatshop activists campaigned to improve conditions for workers in developing countries. This paper analyzes the impact of antisweatshop campaigns in Indonesia on wages and employment. Identification is based on comparing the wage growth of workers in foreign-owned and exporting firms in targeted regions or sectors before and after the initiation of antisweatshop campaigns. We find the campaigns led to large real wage increases for targeted enterprises. There were some costs in terms of reduced investment, falling profits, and increased probability of closure for smaller plants, but we fail to find significant effects on employment. PublicationIntentions to Participate in Adolescent Training Programs : Evidence from Uganda(2010) Bandiera, Oriana; Burgess, Robin; Goldstein, Markus; Gulesci, Selim; Rasul, Imran; Sulaiman, MunshiAlmost one-third of the population in developing countries is under age 15. Hence improving the effectiveness of policy interventions that target adolescents might be especially important. We analyze the intention to participate in training programs of adolescent girls in Uganda, a country with perhaps the most skewed age distribution anywhere in the world. The training program we focus on is BRAC's Adolescent Development Program, which emphasizes the provision of life skills, entrepreneurship training, and microfinance. We find that girls who are more likely to benefit from the program are more likely to intend to participate. The program attracts girls who are likely to place a high value on financial independence: single mothers and girls who are alienated from their families. The program attracts girls who are more likely to benefit from training: girls who believe they could be successful entrepreneurs but currently lack the quantitative skills to do so. Reassuringly, girls who are in school full-time are less likely to intend to participate. We also find that the program attracts girls from poorer villages but we find no evidence that poorer girls within each village are more likely to want to participate. Finally, girls from villages who have previously been exposed to NGO projects are less likely to intend to participate. PublicationPoverty and Civil War: Revisiting the Evidence(2010) Djankov, Simeon; Reynal-Querol, MartaPrevious research has interpreted the correlation between per capita income and civil war as evidence that poverty is a main determinant of conflict. In this paper, we find that the relationship between poverty and civil war is spurious and is accounted for by historical phenomena that jointly determine income evolution and conflict. In particular, the statistical association between poverty and civil wars disappears once we include country fixed effects. Also, using cross-section data for 1960 to 2000, we find that once historical variables like European settler mortality rates and the population density in 1500 are included in civil war regressions, poverty does not have an effect on civil wars. These results are confirmed using longer time series from 1825 to 2000. PublicationInside Informality : The Links between Poverty, Microenterprises, and Living Conditions in Nairobi's Slums(2010) Gulyani, Sumila; Talukdar, DebabrataUsing households rather than enterprises as the analytical unit, this study of 1,755 households in Nairobi's slums reveals that informal household microenterprises are indeed helping offset poverty. Microenterprises are helping households that are, a priori, more likely to be poor. Better microenterprise performance is associated with certain "business-related" factors, such as sales area, time in, and sector of operation. But "living conditions"--residential tenure and infrastructure access--also strongly influence both creation and success of microenterprises. Interventions that improve infrastructure and reduce tenure insecurity and rent-induced pressures to move may be crucial for incubating microenterprises and reinforcing their contribution to poverty alleviation in Nairobi's slums. PublicationExploring the Links between HIV/AIDS, Social Capital and Development(2010) David, Antonio C.; Li, Carmen A.This paper attempts to quantify the impact of the HIV|AIDS epidemic on social capital with cross-country data. Using data from the World Values Survey (WVS), the authors estimate reduced-form regressions of the main determinants of social capital controlling for HIV prevalence, institutional quality, social distance, and economic indicators. The results obtained indicate that HIV prevalence affects social capital negatively. The empirical estimates suggest that a one standard deviation increase in HIV prevalence will lead to a decline of at least 1 per cent in trust, controlling for other determinants of social capital. Moving from a country with a relatively low level of HIV prevalence, such as Estonia, to a country with a relatively high level, such as Uganda, there is a more than 11 per cent point decline in social capital. These results are robust in a number of dimensions and highlight the empirical importance of an additional mechanism through which HIV|AIDS hinders the development process. PublicationDignity through Discourse : Poverty and the Culture of Deliberation in Indian Village Democracies(2010) Rao, VijayendraEmploying a view of culture as a communicative phenomenon involving discursive engagement, the authors argue that the struggle to break free of poverty is as much a cultural process as it is political and economic. The authors analyze public meetings in Indian village democracies, gram sabhas, where villagers are constitutionally empowered to make decisions regarding budgetary allocations for village development and beneficiary selection for antipoverty programs. They examine 290 transcripts of gram sabhas from South India, looking at how they create a culture of civic/political engagement and how the definition of poverty is understood within them. They highlight how gram sabhas impart discursive skills and civic agency and illustrate how the poor deploy these skills in a resource-scarce and socially stratified environment. The intersection of poverty, culture, and deliberative democracy sheds light on cultural processes that can be influenced by public action in a manner that helps improve the voice and agency of the poor.