172 research outputs found

    Urban-Rural Inequality in Living Standards in Africa

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    welfare, poverty, growth, income distribution

    Wage determination and gender discrimination in a transition economy : the case of Romania

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    The authors analyze wage determination and gender discrimination in Romania using the 1994 Romanian Household survey. They estimate wages for men and women in urban and rural areas using a Heckman selection model. They analyze gender discrimination in offered wages, to address the methodological shortcomings found in the literature. Increasing returns to education and experience are consistently significant for both men and women in urban and rural areas. Returns to education are greater in rural than in urban areas, especially for women. Labor markets are segmented regionally, probably as a result of the country's economic history, especially the spatial allocation of resources under a centrally planned economy. Only with economic liberalization has the specialization of specific regions translated into differences in regional performance and hence local economic differences. They found discrimination against women in both urban and rural labor markets, especially at low levels of education. The observed bias against women in urban areas is comparable to that found in other Western countries--but in the region's rural settings the bias is much greater than in the West. With the adjustment to market forces, as less-skilled workers face increasing difficulties in the region, women's relative wages may be expected to decline further. Discrepancy in pay also directly affects the level of pensions, unemployment benefits, and other means-tested benefits to workers, contributing to pauperization.Economic Theory&Research,Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Labor Policies,Environmental Economics&Policies,Public Health Promotion,Poverty Assessment,Health Economics&Finance,Banks&Banking Reform,Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Environmental Economics&Policies

    Inequality and Poverty in Africa in an Era of Globalization: Looking Beyond Income to Health and Education

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    This paper describes changes over the past 15-20 years in non-income measures of wellbeing?education and health?in Africa. We expected to find, as we did in Latin America, that progress in the provision of public services and the focus of public spending in the social sector would contribute to declining poverty and inequality in health and education, even in an environment of stagnant or worsening levels of income poverty. Unfortunately, our results indicate that in the area of health, little progress is being made in terms of reducing pre-school age stunting, a clear manifestation of poor overall health. Likewise, our health inequality measure showed that while there were a few instances of reduced inequality along this dimension, there was, on balance, little evidence of success in improving equality of outcomes. Similar results were found in our examination of underweight women as an indicator of general current health status of adults. With regard to education, the story is somewhat more positive. However, the overall picture gives little cause for complacency or optimism that Africa has reaped, or will soon reap the potential benefits of the process of globalization.health, education, wellbeing, Africa

    Expenditure incidence in Africa: microeconomic evidence

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    In this paper, we examine the progressivity of social sector expenditures in eight sub-Saharan African countries. We employ dominance tests, complemented by extended Gini/concentration coefficients, to determine whether health and education expenditures redistribute resources to the poor. We find that social services are poorly targeted. Among the services examined, primary education tends to be most progressive and university education is least progressive. The benefits associated with hospital care are also less progressive than other health facilities. Our results also show that, while concentration curves are a useful way to summarise information on the distributional benefits of government expenditures, statistical testing of differences in curves is important.

    Changes in inequality and poverty in Latin America: Looking beyond income to health and education

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    This paper uses Demographic and Health Survey data from six Latin American countries to analyze levels and trends of inequality for two important non-income measures of wellbeing, childrenz s stature and adult womenq s educational attainment. Our purpose is to determine whether the worrying trend of increasing income inequality in Latin America is also found in non-income dimensions of well-being. We find that it is not. Almost across the board, health inequality, measured by childreni s stature, and education inequality, measured by young womeni s years of schooling, have fallen in these countries in the late 1980s and 1990s, often dramatically. Further, by decomposing changes in non-income dimensions of poverty into shifts in the mean and changes in the distribution of health and education, we show that reduced inequality has contributed to significant reductions in education poverty, and to a lesser extent, health poverty. This, too, is a very different result from the income inequality literature.inequality, poverty, health, education, Latin America

    Assets as a Measure of Household Welfare in Developing Countries

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    This paper was commissioned for Inclusion in Asset Building: Research and Policy Symposium, an event hosted in September 2000 by the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis. The paper identifies and explores the use of an asset-based metric of welfare. The metric relies on assets data that are easy to collect and analyze. The authors demonstrate that the asset index functions well in identifying and profiling the poor, in targeting transfers, and even in estimating demand or production functions for outcomes that are useful for designing programs and policy

    CONSISTENT ESTIMATION OF LONGITUDINAL CENSORED DEMAND SYSTEMS

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    In this paper we derive a joint continuous/censored demand system suitable for the analysis of commodity demand relationships using panel data. Unobserved heterogeneity is controlled for using a correlated random effects specification and a Generalized Method of Moments framework used to estimate the model in two stages. While relatively small differences in elasticity estimates are found between a flexible specification and one that restricts the relationship between the random effect and budget shares to be time invariant, larger differences are observed between the most flexible random effects model and a pooled cross sectional estimator. The results suggest the limited ability of such estimators to control for preference heterogeneity and unit value endogeneity leads to parameter bias.Research Methods/ Statistical Methods,

    Partial Multidimensional Inequality Orderings

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    The paper investigates how comparisons of multivariate inequality can be made robust to varying the intensity of focus on the share of the population that are more relatively deprived. It follows the dominance approach to making inequality comparisons, as developed for instance by Atkinson (1970), Foster and Shorrocks (1988) and Formby, Smith, and Zheng (1999) in the unidimensional context, and Atkinson and Bourguignon (1982) in the multidimensional context. By focusing on those below a multidimensional inequality “frontier”, we are able to reconcile the literature on multivariate relative poverty and multivariate inequality. Some existing approaches to multivariate inequality actually reduce the distributional analysis to a univariate problem, either by using a utility function first to aggregate an individual’s multiple dimensions of well-being, or by applying a univariate inequality analysis to each dimension independently. One of our innovations is that unlike previous approaches, the distribution of relative well-being in one dimension is allowed to affect how other dimensions influence overall inequality. We apply our approach to data from India and Mexico using monetary and non-monetary indicators of well-being.Inequality, multidimensional comparisons, stochastic dominance

    Living Standards in Africa

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    Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the poorest regions in the world. Whether it is the poorest region is difficult to establish, for all of the conceptual and practical problems in inter-country poverty comparisons laid out in other chapters of this volume. We can avoid some of those problems, though certainly not all, when we make intertemporal poverty comparisons in one country. Here, too, Africa's performance is disappointing. Poverty reduction has been halting and irregular in Africa, in contrast to other regions of the world that have grown more rapidly and made greater progress on poverty reduction. The first task of this paper is to substantiate these two claims -- that Africa is poor compared to the rest of the world and that poverty in Africa is not declining consistently or significantly -- while fully recognizing the problems inherent in using income and expenditure data in Africa and elsewhere

    Childhood determinants of internal youth migration in Senegal

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    Background: Internal migration, mostly composed of young adults and the poor, constitutes the largest flow of people in developing countries. Few studies document the patterns and determinants of internal youth migration in sub-Saharan Africa. Objective: This paper analyzes the socioeconomic determinants of the decisions of young adults to internally migrate in Senegal. We focus on whether their decisions to migrate are influenced by individual characteristics, as well as the circumstances in the households and communities where they grew up, and whether these factors are differentiated by gender. Methods: Using a unique migration household survey in Senegal, we estimate multinomial logit models to analyze the role of childhood socioeconomic determinants in decisions to later migrate to rural and urban areas. Results: We find that young people undertake mostly rural-to-rural and urban-to-urban migrations, and more than half of them are temporary migrants. We also find that the determinants are heterogeneous by gender and destination. The higher the fathers' education, the more (less) likely are their daughters to move to urban (rural) areas. Young individuals who spend their childhood in better-off households are more likely to move to urban areas. The presence of younger siblings during childhood increases the propensity of moving to rural areas. Access to primary schools from the childhood residence decreases the likelihood of migrating to urban areas for both men and women. Contribution: We contribute to the sparse literature on internal youth migration in developing countries by highlighting the role of family- and community-level characteristics during childhood in predicting later migration
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