134 research outputs found

    Insecurity of Property Rights and Matching in the Tenancy Market

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    This paper analyzes the functioning of land rental markets in the Dominican Republic using a new data set collected specifically to characterize the entire market. We analyze the choice of the landlords and the tenants in the search for the optimal partner. We show how insecure property rights leads to segmentation in the tenancy markets along socio-economic group and hence severely limits access to land for the rural poor.insecurity of property rights, land markets, matching, Risk and Uncertainty,

    Land Titles and Conflicts in Guatemala

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    This paper analyzes the impact of formal property rights on plot use and credit access in 20 communities in Guatemala, and shows how these impacts differ depending on the community conflict context. The paper proposes a new instrument based on detailed information about the geographic location of the plots and historical titling processes to address the endogeneity concerns that are common in the property rights literature. The paper sheds light on whether the effect of land titles on plot use and credit access varies with the prevalence of conflicts and different types of conflict resolution mechanisms. The findings suggest that these factors might be crucial to understand the potential impacts on plot use of possible titling programs.Land titling, Conflicts, Latin America

    INSECURITY OF PROPERTY RIGHTS AND MATCHING IN THE TENANCY MARKET

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    This paper analyzes the effects of insecure property rights over land on the functioning of the land rental market in the Dominican Republic. It shows that insecurity of property rights not only reduces the level of activity of the land rental market, but also causes market segmentation. A principal-agent framework is used to model the utility maximization of both the tenant and the landlord, where the landlord accounts for the risk of losing the land when it is not traded within a narrow local circle of confidence. Using data collected with a new methodology that enable the entire market to be characterized, we show that insecure property rights lead to matching in the tenancy markets along socio-economic group and hence severely limit access to land for the rural poor. Our results also show the importance of a minimum endowment of assets to obtain access to land in the rental market.Land Economics/Use,

    Changing households'investments and aspirations through social interactions : evidence from a randomized transfer program

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    Low aspirations can limit households’ investments and contribute to sustained poverty. Vice versa, increased aspirations can lead to investment and upward mobility. Yet how aspirations are formed is not always well understood. This paper analyzes the role of social interactions in determining aspirations in the context of a program aimed at increasing households'investments. The causal effect of social interactions is identified through the randomized assignment of leaders and other beneficiaries to three different interventions within each treatment community. Social interactions are found to affect households’ attitudes toward the future and to amplify program impacts on investments in human capital and productive activities. The empirical evidence indicates that communication with motivated and successful nearby leaders can lead to higher aspirations and corresponding investment behavior.Debt Markets,Labor Policies,Investment and Investment Climate,Primary Education,Housing&Human Habitats

    Seasonal Migration and Early Childhood Development

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    This paper provides unique evidence of the positive consequences of seasonal migration for investments in early childhood development. We analyse migration in a poor shock-prone border region in rural Nicaragua where it offers one of the main household income diversification and risk coping strategies. IV estimates show, somewhat surprisingly, that mother?s migration has a positive effect on early cognitive development. We attribute these findings to changes in income and to the intra-household empowerment gains resulting from mother?s migration, which offset potential negative ECD effects from temporary lack of parenting. This paper, hence, illustrates how increased opportunities in seasonal migration due to higher South?South mobility might positively affect early childhood development and as such long term poverty reduction.Nicaragua, migration, income, households

    Relative deprivation and civil conflict in Nepal

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    This paper investigates the relationship between relative deprivation and the escalation of the civil conflict in Nepal. Poverty in Nepal decreased substantially between 1995 and 2003, which seems puzzling given the political instability and the raise and strengthening of the insurgency. We hypothesize that increasing differences in welfare among different groups - i.e., relative deprivation as opposed to absolute deprivation - can help explain this puzzle. The hypothesis is tested with data from 2 national-representative household surveys, matched with information regarding mass abductions by the Maoists, obtained from an extensive search of newspaper articles. The identification strategy relies on the fact that the months following finalization of the second round of data collection were characterized by a geographical escalation of the conflict. The paper shows that households with relatively large land holdings have gained disproportionately from recent growth, resulting in relative deprivation of the (near) landless. Land ownership is used as a proxy for socio-economic status, to reflect the importance that is attributed to land in Nepali society. The paper then shows that recruiting by Maoists through mass abduction of young people is more important in districts where inequality has increased. We find, in particular, that the expansion of Maoist recruitment activities beyond their initial heartlands occurred in districts where the relative deprivation of the (near) landless, had increased significantly in the preceding period

    Cash Transfers, Behavioral Changes, and Cognitive Development in Early Childhood: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment

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    Cash transfer programs have become extremely popular in the developing world. There is a large literature on the effects of these programs on schooling, health and nutrition, but relatively little is known about possible impacts on child development. This paper analyzes the impact of a cash transfer program on cognitive development in early childhood in rural Nicaragua. Identification is based on random assignment. We show that children in households assigned to receive benefits had significantly higher levels of development nine months after the program began. There is no fadeout of program effects two years after the program had ended and transfers were discontinued. We show that the changes in child development we observe are unlikely to be a result of the cash component of the program alone.

    Leveling the Intra-household Playing Field: Compensation and Specialization in Child Labor Allocation

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    This paper analyzes changes in the allocation of child labor within the household in reaction to exogenous shocks created by a social program in Nicaragua. The paper shows that households that randomly received a conditional cash transfer compensated for some of the intra-household differences, as they reduced child labor more for older boys who used to work more and for boys who were further behind in school. The results also show that households that randomly received a productive investment grant, in addition to the basic conditional cash transfer benefits, both targeted at women, show an increased specialization of older girls in nonagricultural and domestic work, but no overall increase in girls' child labor. The findings suggest that time allocation and specialization patterns in child labor within the household are important factors to understand the impact of a social program.Child labor; intra-household; human capital; impact evaluation; gender

    Cash transfers, behavioral changes, and cognitive development in early childhood : evidence from a randomized experiment

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    A variety of theories of skill formation suggest that investments in schooling and other dimensions of human capital will have lower returns if children do not have adequate levels of cognitive and social skills at an early age. This paper analyzes the impact of a randomized cash transfer program on cognitive development in early childhood in rural Nicaragua. It shows that the program had significant effects on cognitive outcomes, especially language. Impacts are larger for older pre-school age children, who are also more likely to be delayed. The program increased intake of nutrient-rich foods, early stimulation, and use of preventive health care-all of which have been identified as risk factors for development in early childhood. Households increased expenditures on these inputs more than can be accounted for by the increases in cash income only, suggesting that the program changed parents'behavior. The findings suggest that gains in early childhood development outcomes should be taken into account when assessing the benefits of cash transfer programs in developing countries. More broadly, the paper illustrates that gains in early childhood development can result from interventions that facilitate investments made by parents to reduce risk factors for cognitive development.Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Educational Sciences,Youth and Governance,Primary Education,Street Children

    TRANSITION AND AGRICULTURAL LABOUR

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    The paper provides an explanation for the wide variation in agricultural labour adjustments during transition. In particular, we analyse how various factors including initial conditions, price liberalisation, subsidy cuts, and institutional reforms affecting ownership of assets and the governance and organisation of agricultural production have affected labour use in agriculture. We conclude that all these factors have affected agricultural employment, and that especially the institutional reforms are key to understanding the remarkable differences in agricultural labour adjustments among transition countries.Labor and Human Capital,
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