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WORKING PAPERS (ISSN 1936-5071)

Working Papers 252-250

Working Papers 249-240

Working Papers 239-230

Working Papers 229-220

Working Papers 219-200

Working Papers 199-180

Working Papers 179-160

Working Papers 159-140

Working Papers 139-120

Working Papers 119-100

Working Papers 99-80

Working Papers 79-60

Working Papers 59-40

Working Papers 39-20

Working Papers 19-1

252. Sahn, David E., and Kira Villa
December 2015
The Role of Personality, Cognition, and Shocks in Determining Labor Outcomes of Young Adults in Madagascar
There is growing evidence that noncognitive skills affect economic, behavioral, and demographic outcomes in the developed world. However, there is little such evidence in developing country contexts. This paper estimates the joint effect of five specific personality traits and cognition measured through achievement test scores on the age of entry into the labor market, labor market sectoral selection, and within sector earnings for a sample of young adults in Madagascar. The personality traits that we examine are known as the Big Five Personality Traits: Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. Additionally, we look at how these traits interact with household-level shocks in determining their labor market entry decisions. We find that personality, as well as cognitive test scores, have an effect on these outcomes of interest, and that their impact on labor supply is, in part, a function of how individuals respond to exogenous shocks.
View Working Paper 252 (PDF FORMAT)


251. Almanza, Catalina Herrera, Fred Aubery, Francesca Marchetta, Aurore Pélissier, Harivelo Rajemison, Faly Rakotomanana, David Sahn, and Kira Villa
October 2013
MADAGASCAR YOUNG ADULT TRANSITIONS SURVEY: Preliminary Descriptive Results
The transition from adolescence to adulthood is a critical period in the life course. The decisions that young people and their families make regarding transitions from school into work, marriage, and parenthood will affect their opportunities and well-being for the rest of their lives. The purpose of this report is to present some descriptive statistics and related analysis of the 2012–13 survey data. We do not attempt to be comprehensive. Rather, our purpose is to provide the reader with a sense of the scope and nature of the data set and some information about the lives of young adults in Madagascar.
View Working Paper 251 (PDF FORMAT)


250. Alderman, Harold, and David E. Sahn
February 2015
Public and Private Returns to Investing in Nutrition
Although nutrition contributes to welfare in and of itself, it also contributes to individual economic productivity, as well as national income growth. The argument that improving nutrition is an investment on par with other productivity-enhancing expenditures rather than simply a form of government social spending designed to improve welfare and equity is hardly new (Leibenstein 1957; Berg and Muscat 1972). There is now extensive data to substantiate this point. This review recapitulates some recent evidence brought to this argument by economists.
In Oxford Handbook of Economics and Human Biology, edited by John Komlos, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.
See reprint section.



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249. Pingali, Prabu, Katie Ricketts, and David E. Sahn
August 2014
Agriculture for Nutrition: Getting Policies Right
The past fifty years have been a period of extraordinary food crop productivity growth, despite rising populations and increasing land scarcity, largely due to the Green Revolution. Despite these massive gains in productivity, malnutrition has persisted for close to a billion people in the developing world. In the specific domain of food systems and agricultural interventions, there is still a great deal of work to orient policy driven by nutritional goals, with a focus on rural women and children. We propose that a better understanding of the connection between a country’s stage of economic transition the process of structural transformation and population-level nutrition outcomes is essential for contextualizing agriculture policies capable of improving a countries unique nutrition challenges. We introduce a typology of agricultural systems that reflect the particular stage of structural transformation of a country and discuss the necessary agricultural initiatives that can potentially reduce undernutrition and micronutrient malnutrition.
In The Fight Against Hunger and Malnutrition: The Role of Food, Agriculture, and Targeted Policies, edited by David E. Sahn, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.
See reprint section.



248. Sahn, David E. and Stephen D. Younger
May 2016
The Incidence of Child Health Improvements
Economic growth accelerated during the first decade of the 2000s in many poor countries, especially in Africa. This welcome news is widely discussed, even in the popular press. Yet as economies grow, some analysts express concerns that such growth is not having as significant an impact on poverty as one would hope. Analysts and policymakers ask whether this growth is adequately pro-poor, shared, or inclusive. Less noticed is that improvements in children’s health are accelerating, too. This paper examines the extent to which these health improvements are equitably shared or “inclusive.≵ We use a descriptive method, which is analogous to growth incidence curves, and apply it to eight countries from Africa, Asia and Latin America. We draw two principal conclusions. First, within countries, health improvements often have a different distribution than income/expenditure growth, and that distribution is usually more hopeful in the sense that it is more likely to be strongly pro-poor than the distribution of income growth. Second, we have yet to see clear patterns in terms of the within-country relationship between growth incidence curves and health improvement incidence curves. Thus, one cannot rely on the information in the growth incidence curve to infer the inclusiveness of health improvements.
Now available as a reprint.


247. Herrera, Catalina, and David E. Sahn
January 2015
The Impact of Early Childbearing on Schooling and Cognitive Skills among Young Women in Madagascar
Female secondary school attendance has recently increased in Sub-Saharan Africa; however, the higher likelihood of attending school after puberty has put girls at risk of becoming pregnant while attending school. Using a panel survey designed to capture the transition from adolescence to early adulthood, we analyze whether teenage pregnancy contributes to lower school attainment and cognitive skills among young women in Madagascar. We address the endogeneity between fertility and education decisions by instrumenting early pregnancy with the young woman’s access to condoms at the community level, and her exposure to condoms since she was 15 years old. We control for an extensive set of community social infrastructure characteristics to deal with the endogeneity of program placement. Our instrumental variable results show that having a child increases by 42% the likelihood of dropping out of school and decreases the chances of completing lower secondary school by 44%. This school-pregnancy related dropout is associated with a reduction of 1.1 standard deviations in the Math and French test scores. These results are consistent with hazard model estimations: delaying the first birth by a year increases the probability of current enrollment by 5% and the Math and French test scores by 0.2 standard deviations.
View Working Paper 247 (PDF FORMAT)


246. Sahn, David E.
May 2013
Is Food the Answer to Malnutrition?
Many of the traditional strategies, such as food aid distribution programs, school feeding programs and food stamps, as well as interference in food markets through food subsidies and ration programs, do not address the most pressing and malnutrition. This reflects the fact that the critical period of undernutrition is generally in early life, and the causes of malnutrition often have little to do with food access and availability. Instead, pre-natal care, immunization programs, breastfeeding promotion, the quality of child care and nurturing behaviors, the sanitary and home environment, food supplementation and fortification schemes to deal with micronutrient deficiencies, and related education programs, are likely the critical inputs into the production of improved health and nutritional outcomes.
Now available as a reprint.


245. Herrera, Catalina and David E. Sahn
February 2013
Determinants of Internal Migration Among Senegalese Youth
We analyze the socio-economic determinants of young people’s decisions to internally migrate in Senegal. Far from a rural-to-urban story, youth undertake mostly rural-to-rural and urban-to-urban migrations. In our sample of 2,676 individuals, aged 21 to 35 years, 35% are internal migrants, and over half can be defined as temporary migrants. Using multinomial logit models, we estimate the role of early childhood household and community characteristics in young people’s decision to migrate. We find that determinants of youth migration 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 men and women, who spend their childhood in better off households, are more likely to move to urban areas. Also, the presence of younger siblings increases the propensity of moving to rural areas. Access to primary schools during childhood decreases the likelihood of migrating to urban areas for both men and women.
View Working Paper 245 (PDF FORMAT)


244. Sahn, David E.
December 2012
Health Inequality across Populations of Individuals
This paper discusses the many dimensions of health inequality, a multi-faceted concept, which examines the dispersion in the distribution of health spending, the provision of health services, health capabilities and health outcomes. The underlying concern is motivated by issues of both social justice and economic efficiency, recognizing health’s central role as a condition of human existence. While the paper includes a wide-ranging discussion of conceptual issues, most of it is devoted to introducing approaches to empirical analysis of health inequality, ranging from fiscal incidence to decomposition analysis. It also focuses on the distinction between the univariate and gradient approaches. The former involves making comparisons of cardinal or scalar indicators of health inequality and distributions of health, regardless of whether health is correlated with welfare measured along other dimensions. This univariate approach measures pure inequalities in health in a fashion that is similar to what is done for income distribution. In contrast, the gradient approach generally focuses on making comparisons of health across populations with different social and economic characteristics.
Now available as a reprint.


243. Marchetta, Francesca, and David E. Sahn
January 2015
The Role of Education and Family Background in Marriage, Childbearing, and Labor Market Participation in Senegal
This paper examines the role of education and family background on age at marriage, age at first birth, and age at labor market entry for young Senegalese women. We use a multiple-equation framework that allows us to account for the endogeneity that arises from the simultaneity of the four decisions that we model. Our results highlight the importance of a woman’s own education in delaying marriage, and that the relationship between her education and the timing of childbearing and of entering the labor market mainly operates through the influence of schooling decisions on the age at marriage. We show that marriage and motherhood decisions are interrelated and that the timing of first birth strongly depends on the duration of marriage. We also shed light on the composite influence of parental education and death shocks on all the outcomes we examine.
See reprint section.



242. Sahn, David E., and Stephen D. Younger
March 2014
Pro-Poor Policies in Sudan and South Sudan: Distributional Impact of Public Spending and Taxation
Using the 2009 National Baseline Household Survey, we examine the incidence of actual and proposed public expenditures in Sudan and South Sudan. Key results for Sudan are that public spending to support agriculture, if broad-based, is likely to be pro-poor, while petrol subsidies are not. For South Sudan, transfer payments, including in-kind food aid, are very poorly targeted. In both countries, subsidies for basic education services are pro-poor.
See reprint section.



241. Glick, Peter J., Christopher Handy, and David E. Sahn
November 2014
Schooling, Marriage and Age of First Birth in Madagascar
Low female schooling attainment, early marriage and low age at first birth are major policy concerns in developing countries. This paper jointly estimated the determinants of educational attainment, marriage age and age of first birth among females 12 to 25 years of age in Madagascar, explicitly accounting for the endogeneities that arose from modeling these related outcomes simultaneously. An additional year of schooling resulted in a delay of marriage by 1.5 years. Marrying one year later delayed the age of first birth by 0.5 years. Parental education and wealth also had important effects on schooling, marriage and age at first birth: among other findings, a woman’s first birth was delayed by 0.75 years for four additional years of schooling of her mother. Overall, the results provided rigorous evidence for the critical role of education— both own education and that of parents—in delaying marriage and fertility of young women.
See reprint section.



240. Glick, Peter J., David E. Sahn, and Thomas F. Walker
November 2014
Household Shocks and Education Investment in Madagascar
This paper measured the extent to which households in Madagascar adjust children’s school attendance in order to cope with exogenous shocks to household income, assets and labour supply. Our analysis was based on a unique data set with 10 years of recall data on school attendance and household shocks. We found that the probability of a child dropping out of school increased significantly when the household experienced an illness, death or asset shock. We proposed a test to distinguish whether the impact of shocks on school attendance could be attributed to credit constraints, labour market rigidities, or a combination of the two. The results of the test suggested that credit constraints, rather than labour market rigidities, explain the inability of households in Madagascar to keep their children in school during times of economic distress.
Now available as a reprint.


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239. Duclos, Jean-Yves, David E. Sahn, and Stephen D. Younger
April 2011
Partial Multidimensional Inequality Orderings
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.
Now available as a reprint.


238. Boone, Christopher, Peter Glick, and David E. Sahn
July 2010
Household Water Supply Choice and Time Allocated to Water Collection: Evidence from Madagascar
This paper uses household survey data from Madagascar to examine water supply choice and time spent in water collection. We find that the choice of water source is strongly influenced by a number of household characteristics, as well as distance to sources. There are also strong substitution effects across sources. For example, increasing the distance to a public tap by 1 km increases the probability of using a well by 43% in urban areas. With regards to time spent gathering water, we focus on the effects of gender, age, and distance to water. Women and girls spend the most time gathering water. The response to reducing distance to water sources differs in rural and urban areas, as well as by gender and age of household members. Investments to reduce to the distance to water sources will have larger impacts on adults than children, and on men than women.
Now available as a reprint.


237. Glick, Peter
June 2009
Household and Provider Behavior in the Health Sector in Africa: What Has Been Learned from Program Evaluations?
Despite a number of dramatic successes in health in the decades since independence, Africa remains behind most of the developing world in child and other health indicators, and progress in child health has slowed considerably in the last two decades. This paper examines evidence on the effectiveness of health interventions in the region, with a focus on policies designed to change the behavior of consumers (households) or health care providers. It begins with a discussion of approaches to program evaluation, with particular attention given to the benefits and limitations of randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Next, the issue of program take-up (household demand behavior) is considered, with evidence presented from RCTs and other sources on the impacts of positive pricing (and subsidies), service quality, and the role of behavioral and health externalities. Turning to the supply side, a number of policies to improve quality or coverage are discussed, including community monitoring of public health care providers, performance-based pay, and contracting with the private sector for service delivery. Also considered are the debate over, and policy options to counteract, negative supply side impacts of the free provision of health goods and services. The paper then reviews the evidence on interventions in Africa to reduce child morbidity and mortality from diarrheal illness and malaria, as well as evidence on community health programs that directly address the problem of low uptake. The final section summarizes the main findings from the literature and concludes with several observations on methodology and evaluation.
View Working Paper 237 (PDF FORMAT)


236. Kanbur, Ravi
April 2009
Macro Crises and Targeting Transfers to the Poor
A central question for policy makers concerned to help the poor through a macro crisis is how to target scarcer resources at a time of greater need. Technical arguments suggest that finer targeting, through tightening individual programs or reallocating resources towards more tightly targeted programs, uses resources more efficiently for poverty reduction. These arguments survive even when the greater informational costs and the incentive effects of finer targeting are taken into account. But political economy arguments suggest that finer targeting will end up with fewer resources allocated to that program, and that looser targeting, because it knits together the interests of the poor and the near-poor, may generate greater resources and hence be more effective for poverty reduction despite being “leakier.” Overall, the policy advice to tighten targeting and to avoid more loosely targeted programs during crises needs to be given with considerable caution. However, the advice to design transfer systems with greater flexibility, in the technical and the political economy senses, is strengthened by the arguments presented here. The case for external assistance, to design flexible transfer systems ex ante, and to relieve the painful tradeoffs in targeting during a crisis, is also shown to be very strong by the arguments in this paper.
Paper prepared for the Growth Commission. Revised version published in Journal of Globalization and Development, 2010.
View Working Paper 236 (PDF FORMAT)


235. Kanbur, Ravi
April 2009
Systemic Crises and the Social Protection System: Three Proposals for World Bank Action
In these brief comments I want to address what happens when our “normal” development discourse, about the “normal” development path of a country, has superimposed on it, and interacting with it, the prospect of major country level shocks over which the country itself has no control. By the “normal” development discourse I mean the usual things—education, health, infrastructure, public sector management, public/private partnerships, etc. I also include in this category idiosyncratic shocks that are uncorrelated across individuals (e.g., certain types of health shocks), and insurance or lack thereof, on which there is a large literature. What I am focusing on here are country level systemic shocks. And my concern is protection of the poor in the face of these shocks...
View Working Paper 235 (PDF FORMAT)


234. Randrianarisoa, Jean Claude, Christopher B. Barrett, and David C. Stifel
January 2009
The Demand for Hired Labor in Rural Madagascar
This paper estimates structural labor demand equations separately for farm and non-farm enterprises in rural Madagascar. We adapt recent labor supply estimation methods that address the general unobservability of both wage rates – due to widespread self-employment – and employers’ non-wage costs of hiring workers in order to fill a significant void in the existing literature. Labor demand in rural Madagascar appears strongly increasing in enterprise owners’ educational attainment, in enterprises’ capital stock, and in community-level public goods. Furthermore, labor demand appears wage inelastic, especially in the non-farm sector where government labor market policies, such as minimum wage laws, are more commonly enforced.
View Working Paper 234 (PDF FORMAT)

233. Glick, Peter, Jean Claude Randrianarisoa, and David E. Sahn
September 2011
Family Background, School Characteristics and Children’s Cognitive Achievement in Madagascar
This paper uses linked household, school, and test score data from Madagascar to investigate the relation of household characteristics and school factors to the cognitive skills of children ages 8 to 10 and 14 to 16. In contrast to most achievement test studies in developing countries, the study uses representative rather than school-based samples of children and combines detailed information on school and family background. Schooling of mothers matters far more for learning than schooling of fathers, perhaps reflecting differences in parental time spent with children on schoolwork. Even these effects, however, are significantly attenuated when controlling for choice of residence or school. Skills are also affected by aspects of primary schools, including teacher experience and infrastructure.
Now available as a reprint.


232. Barrett, Christopher B.
May 2008
Food Systems and the Escape from Poverty and Ill- Health Traps in Sub-Saharan Africa
Millienium Development Goal #1 is to halve extreme poverty ($1/day per person) and hunger. Progress toward this goal has been excellent at global level, led by China and India, but woefully insufficient in sub-Saharan Africa. In Africa, a disproportionate share of the extreme poor are “ultra-poor”, surviving on less than $0.50/day per person, a condition that appears both stubbornly persistent and closely associated with widespread severe malnutrition – “ultra hunger” – and ill health. Indeed, ill health, malnutrition and ultra-poverty are mutually reinforcing states that add to the challenge of addressing any one of them on its own and make integrated strategies essential. Food systems are a natural locus for such a strategy because agriculture is the primary employment sector for the ultra-poor and because food consumes a very large share of the expenditures of the ultra-poor. The causal mechanisms underpinning the poverty trap in which ultra-poor, unhealthy and undernourished rural Africans too often find themselves remain only partially understood, but is clearly rooted in the food system that guides their production, exchange, consumption and investment behaviors. Four key principles to guide interventions in improving food systems emerge clearly. But there remains only limited empirical evidence to guide detailed design and implementation of strategies to develop African food systems so as to break the lock of poverty and ill-health traps.
This paper was prepared for the Cornell University and United Nations University Symposium on The African Food System and its Interactions with Health and Nutrition, held at the United Nations, New York City, November 13, and at Cornell University, November 15, 2007.
View Working Paper 232 (PDF FORMAT)


231. Hoffmann, Vivian, Christopher B. Barrett, and David R. Just
March 2009
Do Free Goods Stick to Poor Households? Experimental Evidence on Insecticide Treated Bednets
If the market allocates goods to those willing and able to pay the most for them, efforts to target durable health goods such as insecticide-treated bednets (ITNs) to poor populations may prove ineffective, with the poor reselling donated goods to the non-poor who value them more highly. However, low market demand may be due to liquidity constraints rather than low valuation of nets. The endowment effect also militates against the resale of in-kind transfers. We quantify these two effects through a field experiment in Uganda. Our results indicate that very few nets will be resold by recipient households.
Now available as a reprint.


230. Stephens, Emma C. and Christopher B. Barrett
February 2009
Incomplete Credit Markets and Commodity Marketing Behavior
Seasonal market participation patterns for smallholder farmers in western Kenya indicate that a signicant proportion follow a ‘sell low, buy high’ marketing strategy, in which these households forego opportunities for intertemporal price arbitrage through storage and are observed to sell output post-harvest at prices lower than observed prices for purchases in the subsequent lean season. We use data from the region to examine whether this behavior can be partly explained by the presence of a binding liquidity constraint for these farmers. We estimate a multi-period market participation model in the presence of liquidity constraints and transactions costs using maximum likelihood. Access to credit and off-farm income indeed seem to influence crop sales and purchase behaviors in a manner consistent with the hypothesized patterns.
Now available as a reprint.


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229. Stifel, David, Felix Forster, and Christopher B. Barrett
March 2009
The Evolution of Groupwise Poverty in Madagascar, 1999-2005
This paper explores whether there exist differences in groupwise poverty in Madagascar; that is, whether there is a pattern over time of consistently poorer performance among subpopulations readily identifiable by one or more identity markers. Three key messages come out of this analysis. First, there exists a core type of household that remained persistently poor over the 1999-2005 period. These households were largely not members of the dominant ethnic group, land poor, lived in remote areas, and were headed by uneducated individuals, most commonly women. Second, in addition to establishing the existence of persistent differences in poverty across groups, relative differences in returns to education, land and remoteness underscore the existence of differences within groups, as one characteristic affects the returns to another. Third, persistent differences in groupwise poverty is associated with multiple different identities, some of which are offsetting and some of which are reinforcing. For example, women’s higher education tends to offset the disadvantages associated with being a head of household, while remoteness compounds the disadvantages associated with living in female-headed households.
Paper presented at workshop hosted by the Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity (CRISE): The Persistence of Inequalities, Department of International Development, University of Oxford, April 4, 2008
Now available as a reprint.


228. Duclos, Jean-Yves Duclos, Josée Leblanc, and David Sahn
December 2011
Comparing population distributions from bin-aggregated sample data: An application to historical height data from France
This paper develops a methodology to estimate the entire population distributions from bin-aggregated sample data. We do this through the estimation of the parameters of mixtures of distributions that allow for maximal parametric flexibility. The statistical approach we develop enables comparisons of the full distributions of height data from potential army conscripts across France’s 88 departments for most of the nineteenth century. These comparisons are made by testing for differences-of-means stochastic dominance. Corrections for possible measurement errors are also devised by taking advantage of the richness of the data sets. Our methodology is of interest to researchers working on historical as well as contemporary binaggregated or histogram-type data, something that is still widely done since much of the information that is publicly available is in that form, often due to restrictions due to political sensitivity and/or confidentiality concerns.
Now available as a reprint.


227. Glick, Peter and David E. Sahn
November 2009
Early Academic Performance, Grade Repetition, and School Attainment in Senegal: A Panel Data Analysis
Little is known in developing country environments about how a child’s cognitive skills manifested in the first years of schooling are related to his or her later educational success, because the panel data needed to analyze this question have been lacking. In this study we take advantage of unique data from Senegal, combining test score data for children from the second grade with information on their subsequent school progression from a follow-up survey conducted seven years later. We find that measures of skills from early in primary school, corrected for measurement error using multiple test observations per child, are very strongly positively associated with later school progression. A plausible interpretation is that parents invest more in a child’s education when the returns to doing so are higher. The results point to the need for remedial policies to target lagging students early on to reduce early dropout. A current policy targeting poorly performing students is grade repetition, which is pervasive in Francophone Africa. Using variation across schools in test score thresholds for promotion to identify the effects of second grade repetition, we find that a repeated student is more likely to leave school before completing primary than a student with similar ability who is not held back (and also does not learn more), pointing to the need for alternative measures to improve skills of lagging children.
Now available as a reprint .


226. Glick, Peter
September 2007
Are Client Satisfaction Surveys Useful? Evidence from Matched Facility and Household Data in Madagascar
Client satisfaction surveys in developing countries are increasingly being promoted as a means of understanding health care quality and the demand for these services. However, concerns have been raised about the reliability of responses in such surveys: for example, ‘courtesy bias’ may lead clients, especially if interviewed upon exiting clinics, to provide misleadingly favorable responses. This study uses unique data from Madagascar to investigate these and other issues. Identical questions about satisfaction with local health care centers were asked in user exit surveys and in a population based household survey; the latter would be less contaminated by courtesy bias as well as changes in provider behavior in response to being observed. We find strong evidence that reported satisfaction is biased upward in exit surveys for subjective questions regarding (for example) treatment by staff and consultation quality, but is not biased for relatively objective questions about facility condition and supplies. The surveys do provide useful information on the determinants of consumer satisfaction with various dimensions of provider quality. Still, to obtain reliable estimates of consumer perceptions of health service quality, household based sampling appears to be far superior to the simpler exit survey method.
This is an expanded version of a paper published in
Social Science and Medicine.
View Working Paper 226 (PDF FORMAT)


225. Sahn, David E. and Stephen D. Younger
August 2007
Living Standards in Africa
This paper substantiates two claims — that Africa is poor compared to the rest of the world and that poverty in Africa is not declining consistently or significantly, in contrast to other regions of the world. We consider poverty in the dimensions of health and education, in addition to income, stressing the inherent conceptual and measurement issues that commend such a broader perspective. We note a lack of consistency in the movement of the poverty measures. During similar periods, we often find them moving in opposite directions. We therefore discuss the need go beyond examining each poverty measure individually, and present an approach to evaluating poverty reduction in multiple dimensions jointly. The results of the multidimensional poverty comparisons reinforce the importance of considering deprivation beyond the material standard of living and provide insight into how to reconcile differing stories that arise from examining each indicator separately.
In Sudhir Anand, Paul Segal, and Joseph E. Stiglitz, Debates in the Measurement of Global Inequality, Oxford University Press, 2009.
Now available as a reprint.


224. Barrett, Christopher B.
August 2008
Smallholder Market Participation: Concepts and Evidence from Eastern and Southern Africa
This paper reviews the evidence on smallholder market participation, with a focus on staple foodgrains (i.e., cereals) in eastern and southern Africa, in an effort to help better identify what interventions are most likely to break smallholders out of the semi-subsistence poverty trap that appears to ensnare much of rural Africa. The conceptual and empirical evidence suggests that interventions aimed at facilitating smallholder organization, at reducing the costs of intermarket commerce, and, perhaps especially, at improving poorer households’ access to improved technologies and productive assets are central to stimulating smallholder market participation and escape from semi-subsistence poverty traps. Macroeconomic and trade policy tools appear less useful in inducing market participation by poor smallholders in the region.
Prepared for FAO workshop on Staple Food Trade and Market Policy Options for Promoting Development in Eastern and Southern Africa, Rome, March 1-2, 2007.
In Food Policy 33(4): 299-317, August, 2008

Now available as a reprint.


223. Barrett, Christopher B.
July 2007
Displaced Distortions: Financial Market Failures and Seemingly Inefficient Resource Allocation in Low-income Rural Communities
Poor households in rural areas of the developing world commonly lack access to (formal or informal) credit or insurance. These financing constraints naturally spill over into other behaviours and (asset, factor and product) markets as households rationally exploit other market and non-market resource allocation mechanisms to resolve, at least partly, their financing problems. These displaced distortions of financing constraints commonly manifest themselves in allocative inefficiency that may lead researchers and policymakers to mistakenly conclude that poor households routinely make serious allocation errors and to direct policy interventions towards the symptoms manifest in other markets rather than towards the root financial markets failures cause.
July 2007 draft for festschrift volume in honor of Arie Kuyvenhoven
Now available as a reprint.


222. Vanderpuye-Orgle, Jacqueline and Christopher B. Barrett
April 2009
Risk Management and Social Visibility in Ghana
In this paper we test for risk pooling within and among social networks to see if the extent of informal insurance available to individuals in rural Ghana varies with their social visibility. We identify a distinct subpopulation of socially invisible individuals who tend to be younger, poorer, engaged in farming, recent arrivals into the village who have been fostered and are not members of a major clan. While we cannot reject the null hypothesis that individual shocks do not affect individual consumption and that individual consumption tracks network and village consumption one-for-one among the socially visible, risk pooling fails for the socially invisible subpopulation. These results have important implications for the design of social protection policy.
Now available as a reprint .


221. Sahn, David E.
June 2007
Weights on the Rise: Where and for Whom
Using over 70 nationally representative surveys, I find evidence of a dramatic increase in the share of women who are overweight in developing and transition economies, especially in Latin America and the Middle East. Urban rates of overweight, measured by the body mass index, are also far higher than those in rural areas. In examining the inter-temporal changes in the entire standardized weight distribution, there are nonetheless many instances where it is not possible to reject the null of non- dominance, especially in rural areas. It is also clear that the distribution of women’s BMIs in most countries is becoming markedly less equitable, and that this increase in univariate inequality is driven largely by the increase in BMIs among overweight and obese women. This is somewhat analogous to the often discussed “rich get richer” story. That is, the increasing concentration of weight, standardized by heights, among the overweight is driving a significant share of the overall increase in BMI inequality. A related finding is that when I decompose the changes in the prevalence of overweight into the effect of shifts in the mean versus changes in the distribution, in many countries, even holding mean BMI constant, there would be a marked increase in the prevalence of clinically overweight women due to changes in the shape of the BMI distribution.
Now available as a reprint.


220. Hogset, Heidi and Christopher B. Barrett
October 2008
Social Learning, Social Influence and Projection Bias: A Caution on Inferences Based on Proxy-reporting of Peer Behavior
This paper explores the consequences of conflating social learning and social influence concepts and of the widespread use of proxy-reported behavioral data for accurate understanding of learning from others. Our empirical analysis suggests that proxy-reporting is more accurate for new innovations, about which social learning is more plausible, than for mature technologies. Furthermore, proxy-reporting errors are correlated with respondent attributes, suggesting projection bias. Self- and proxy-reported variables generate different regression results, raising questions about inferences based on error-prone, proxy-reported peer behaviors. Self-reported peer behavior consistently exhibits statistically insignificant effects on network members’ adoption behavior, suggesting an absence of social effects.
Now available as a reprint.


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219. Glick, Peter
May 2007
Reproductive Health and Behavior, HIV/AIDS, and Poverty in Africa
This paper examines the complex linkages of poverty, reproductive/sexual health and behavior, and HIV/AIDS in Africa. It addresses the following questions: (1) what have we learned to date about these links and what are the gaps in knowledge to be addressed by further research; (2) what is known about the effectiveness for HIV prevention of reproductive health and HIV/AIDS interventions and policies in Africa; and (3) what are the appropriate methodological approaches to research on these questions. With regard to what has been learned so far, the paper pays considerable attention in particular to the evidence regarding the impacts of a range of HIV interventions on risk behaviors and HIV incidence. Other sections review the extensive microeconomic literature on the impacts of AIDS on households and children in Africa and the effects of the epidemic on sexual risk behavior and fertility decisions. With regard to methodology, the paper assesses the approaches used in the literature to deal with, among other things, the problem of self-selection and non- randomness in the placement of HIV and reproductive health programs. Data requirements for different research questions are discussed, and an effort is made to assess what researchers can learn from existing sources such as Demographic and Health Surveys.
Presented at the AERC/Hewlett Foundation Workshop, “Poverty and Economic Growth: The Impact of Population Dynamics and Reproductive Health Outcomes in Africa” in Brussels, Belgium, November 5-6, 2006
Forthcoming in edited volume published by the African Economic Research Consortium, Nairobi, Kenya
View Working Paper 219 (PDF FORMAT)

218. Younger, Stephen D.
December 2006
Labor Market Activities and Fertility
“This paper focuses on one aspect of the demographic transition, women’s labor market activity, and how it relates to the basic variables of fertility and poverty. Just as there are differences in fertility and mortality in rich and poor countries, there are differences in women’s time use. In rich countries, women tend to work outside the home, usually in wage employment on a fixed hourly schedule. In poor countries, women tend to work at home or, especially in Africa, on their family’s farm or at own- account activities where time use is more flexible. Understanding the relationship between the demographic transition and these differences in time use is our main theme...”
Presented at the AERC/Hewlett Foundation Workshop, “Poverty and Economic Growth: The Impact of Population Dynamics and Reproductive Health Outcomes in Africa” in Brussels, Belgium, November 5-6, 2006
View Working Paper 218 (PDF FORMAT)

217. Randrianarisoa, Claude and Bart Minten
June 2005
Getting the Inputs Right for Improved Agricultural Productivity in Madagascar, Which Inputs Matter and Are the Poor Different?
We found that while farmers are willing to pay for improved irrigation infrastructure through water use associations, the amounts they are willing to contribute are significantly below the costs – and significantly below international standards – and this especially so for the poorest farmers. For chemical fertilizer, a more rational structuring of the fertilizer supply chain, with clear and consistent market signals, might help at least the more accessible regions to more readily adopt this input.
Paper presented during the workshop “Agricultural and Poverty in Eastern Africa,” June, 2005, World Bank, Washington D.C.
View Working Paper 217 (PDF FORMAT)

216. Stifel, David C. and Jean-Claude Randrianarisoa
April 2006
Agricultural Policy Impact Analysis: A Seasonal Multi-Market Model for Madagascar
We describe the main features and results of a multi-market model for Madagascar that focuses on income generating activities in an agricultural sector that is characterized by seasonal variability. We find evidence that investments in rural infrastructure and commercial food storage have both direct and indirect benefits on poor households.
Now available as a reprint .


215. Doss, Cheryl, John McPeak, and Barrett, Christopher B.
September 2006
Interpersonal, Intertemporal and Spatial Variation in Risk Perceptions: Evidence from East Africa
This study investigates variation over time, space and household and individual characteristics in how people perceive different risks. Using original data from the arid and semi-arid lands of east Africa, we explore which risks concern individuals and how they assess their relative level of concern about these identified risks. Because these assessments were gathered for multiple time periods, sites, households and individuals within households, we are able to identify the degree to which risk perceptions vary across time, across communities, across households within a community, and across individuals within a household. We find the primary determinants of risk rankings to be changing community level variables over time, with household specific and individual specific variables exhibiting much less influence. This suggests that community based planning and monitoring of development efforts that address risk exposure should be prioritized. We also find that individuals throughout this area are most concerned about food security overall, so that development efforts that directly address this problem should be given the highest priority.
Now available as a reprint .


214. Dostie, Benoit and David E. Sahn
June 2008
Labor Market Dynamics in Romania During a Period of Economic Liberalization
In this paper, we estimate a model of labor market dynamics among individuals in Romania using panel data for three years, 1994 to 1996. Our motivation is to gain insight into the functioning of the labor market and how workers are coping during this period of economic liberalization and transformation that began in 1990. Our models of labor market transitions for men and women examine changing movements in and out of employment, unemployment, and self-employment, and incorporate specific features of the Romanian labor market, such as the role of unemployment benefits. We take into account demographic characteristics, state dependence, and individual unobserved heterogeneity by modeling the employment transitions with a dynamic mixed multinomial logit.
View Working Paper 214 (PDF FORMAT)


213. Meyerhoefer, Chad and David E. Sahn
December 2006
The Relationship between Poverty and Maternal Morbidity and Mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa
“Good maternal health is of fundamental importance to a country’s well-being and ability to prosper, and there are few times when maternal health is more at risk than in the period surrounding childbirth. Protecting the health of mothers during reproduction safeguards their future contributions to society and ensures the health and productivity of future generations. If either the health of mothers or their newborn offspring is compromised, there will be serious negative consequences for their families, communities, and the entire process of economic and social development. This is why the United Nations has set as one of its eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the reduction of the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) by two-thirds in the developing world by the year 2015...”
Presented at the AERC/Hewlett Foundation Workshop, “Poverty and Economic Growth: The Impact of Population Dynamics and Reproductive Health Outcomes in Africa” in Brussels, Belgium, November 5-6, 2006
In Reproductive Health, Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction in Africa: Frameworks of Analysis, edited by Olu Ajakaiye and Germano Mwabu. University of Nairobi Press, 2010
Now available as a reprint .


212. Barrett, Christopher B., Michael R. Carter, and Peter D. Little
February 2006
Understanding and Reducing Persistent Poverty in Africa
This paper introduces a special issue exploring persistent poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. As a set, these papers break new ground in exploring the dynamics of structural poverty, integrating qualitative and quantitative methods of analysis and adopting an asset-based approach to the study of changes in well-being, especially in response to a wide range of different (climatic, health, political, and other) shocks. In this introductory essay, we frame these studies, building directly on evolving conceptualisations of poverty in Africa.
Now available as a reprint .


211. Santos, Paulo and Christopher B. Barrett
May 2008
What do we learn about social networks when we only sample individuals? Not much.
Much of the empirical analysis of social networks is based on a sample of individuals, rather than a sample of matches between pairs of individuals. This paper asks whether that approach is useful when one wants to understand the determinants of variables that are inherently dyadic, such as relationships. After reviewing the shortcomings of the data used in the literature, we use Monte Carlo simulation to show that the answer is positive only when relationships are themselves randomly formed, a very special and uninteresting case. Additional work that supports strategies to collect dyadic data as part of surveys usually used by economists seems to be needed.
View Working Paper 211 (PDF FORMAT)


210. Munyao, Kioko and Christopher B. Barrett
August 2007
Decentralization of Pastoral Resources Management and Its Effects on Environmental Degradation and Poverty. Experience from Northern Kenya
“Growing concerns about persistent poverty and environmental sustainability have helped fuel efforts at decentralizing governance throughout the developing world. The 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro brought widespread calls for greater community participation and equity in natural resources management and sustainable development planning, and these pressures have grown amid institutional reforms fostered by movements towards democratization and market-based economic policy, spurred by, among others, the Bretton Woods institutions (the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank) in the last two decades of the twentieth century (Goumandakoye 2003). Ironically, however, in many cases decentralization has been used by national governments not as a means to cede authority to local subjects, but rather to extend control still deeper into local community life and resource management, while still reaping the political capital associated with the rhetoric of bringing government services and development closer to the people. Often this involves the subtle but real transfer of influence, even control, from customary users of the resource to newcomers with better connections to government representatives... ”
Now available as a reprint .

209. Osterloh, Sharon M. and Christopher B. Barrett
August 2007
The Unfulfilled Promise of Microfinance in Kenya: The KDA Experience
“Microfinance offers promise for alleviating poverty by providing financial services to people traditionally excluded from financial markets. Small-scale loans can relieve capital constraints that might otherwise preclude cash-strapped entrepreneurs from investing in profitable businesses, while savings services can create opportunities to accumulate wealth in safe repositories and to manage risk through asset diversification. While this promise of microfinance is widely touted, it is infrequently subject to careful evaluation using detailed data. This chapter examines the extension of microfinance services to people in Kenya. Using data collected from seventeen Financial Service Associations (FSAs) founded by the Kenya Rural Enterprise Program (K-REP) Development Agency (KDA), we explore the intricacies of microfinance institutions emerging in these challenging environment...”
Now available as a reprint .

208. Sahn, David E. and Stephen D. Younger
April 2009
Measuring Intra-Household Inequality: Explorations Using the Body Mass Index
This paper examines the relationship between level of well-being and inequality at inter-country and intra-household levels, using individuals’ body mass index (BMI) rather than income as the indicator of well-being. BMI is useful for these purposes because (1) it is measured at the individual rather than household level; (2) it reflects command over food, but also non-food resources that affect health status like sanitary conditions and labour-saving technologies; (3) it accounts for caloric consumption relative to needs; (4) it is easily measured; and (5) any measurement error is likely to be random. We do not find any evidence to support the idea of an intra-household or inter-country Kuznets curve. We study the correlations between average household well-being, still measured by BMI, and differences in the BMIs of males and females, parents and children. Here, we find a tendency to protect the BMI of young children when living standards are very low. We find no clear patterns by gender. Perhaps the most striking finding in the paper is that about half of total BMI inequality at the country level is within households. Thus, standard measures of inequality that use household-level data may drastically understate true inequality.
Presented at the WIDER Conference on Advancing Health Equity, Helsinki, Finland, September 29-30, 2006, and the CIRPÉE Conference on Health Economics, Université Laval, March 30, 2007
Now available as a reprint.

207. Glick, Peter, Stephen D. Younger, and David E. Sahn
September 2006
An Assessment of Changes in Infant and under-Five Mortality in Demographic and Health Survey Data for Madagascar
Repeated rounds of nationally representative surveys are an important source of information on changes in the welfare of the population. In particular, policymakers and donors in many developing countries rely heavily on the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) to provide information on levels and trends in indicators of the health status of the population, including child survival. The reliability of observed trends, however, depends strongly on the comparability across survey rounds of the sampling strategy and of the format of questions and how interviews ask them. In Madagascar, the most recent (2003/4) DHS indicated very sharp declines in rates of infant and under-five mortality compared with the previous survey from 1997. However, retrospective under-one and under-five mortality data in 1997 and 2003/4 for the same calendar years also show large differences, suggesting that this trend may be spurious. We employ a range of descriptive and multivariate approaches to investigate the issue. Despite evidence of significant interviewer recording errors (with respect to date of birth and age at death) in 2003/4, the most likely source of problems is that the two samples differ: comparisons of time-invariant characteristics of households and of women suggests that the later DHS sampled a somewhat wealthier (hence lower mortality) population. Corrections to the data using hazard survival model estimates are discussed. These suggest a much more modest reduction in infant and under-five mortality than indicated by the raw data for the two surveys.
View Working Paper 207 (PDF FORMAT)


206. Santos, Paulo and Christopher B. Barrett
November 2008
Persistent Poverty and Informal Credit
This paper explores the consequences of nonlinear wealth dynamics for the formation of bilateral credit arrangements to help manage idiosyncratic risk. Building on recent empirical work that finds evidence consistent with the hypothesis of multiple equilibrium poverty traps, and using original primary data on expected wealth dynamics, social networks and informal loans among southern Ethiopian pastoralist households, we find that the threshold at which wealth dynamics bifurcate serves as a focal point at which lending is concentrated. Informal lending responds to recipients’ losses but only so long as the recipients are not “too poor”. Our results suggest that when shocks can have long term effects, loans are not scale-neutral. Furthermore,the persistently poor are excluded from social networks that are necessary to obtain loans given in response to shocks.
Forthcoming in Journal of Development Economics
View Working Paper 206 (PDF FORMAT)


205. Brown, Douglas R., Emma C. Stephens, James Okuro Ouma, Festus M. Murithi and Christopher B. Barrett
December 2006
Livelihood Strategies in the Rural Kenyan Highlands
The concept of a livelihood strategy has become central to development practice in recent years. Nonetheless, precise identification of livelihoods in quantitative data has remained methodologically elusive. This paper uses cluster analysis methods to operationalize the concept of livelihood strategies in household data and then uses the resulting strategy-specific income distributions to test whether hypothesized outcome differences between livelihoods indeed exist. Using data from Kenya’s central and western highlands, we identify five distinct livelihood strategies that exhibit statistically significant differences in mean per capita incomes and stochastic dominance orderings that establish clear welfare rankings among livelihood strategies. Multinomial regression analysis identifies geographic, demographic and financial determinants of livelihood choice. The results should facilitate targeting of interventions designed to improve household livelihoods.
Now available as a reprint .

204. Barrett, Christopher B.
February 2007
Poverty Traps and Resource Dynamics In Smallholder Agrarian Systems
Poverty traps and resource degradation in the rural tropics appear to have multiple and complex, but similar, causes. Market imperfections, imperfect learning, bounded rationality, spillovers, coordination failures and economically dysfunctional institutions all play a role, to varying degrees in different places and times. Pinning down these mechanisms empirically remains a challenge, however, but one essential to the design of appropriate interventions for reducing poverty and environmental degradation in areas where livelihoods depend heavily on natural resources.
Prepared for the international conference on “Economics of Poverty, Environment and Natural Resource Use,” held at Wageningen University, the Netherlands, May 17-19, 2006
Now available as a reprint .

203. Mude, Andrew, Christopher B. Barrett, John G. McPeak, Robert Kaitho and Patti Kristjansen
August 2009
Empirical Forecasting of Slow-Onset Disasters for Improved Emergency Response: an Application to Kenya’s Arid North
Mitigating the negative welfare consequences of crises such as droughts, floods, and disease outbreaks, is a major challenge in many areas of the world, especially in highly vulnerable areas insufficiently equipped to prevent food and livelihood security crisis in the face of adverse shocks. Given the finite resources allocated for emergency response, and the expected increase in incidences of humanitarian catastrophe due to changing climate patterns, there is a need for rigorous and efficient methods of early warning and emergency needs assessment. In this paper we develop an empirical model, based on a relatively parsimonious set of regularly measured variables from communities in Kenya’s arid north, that generates remarkably accurate forecasts of the likelihood of famine with at least three months lead time. Such a forecasting model is a potentially valuable tool for enhancing early warning capacity.
Presented at Policy Research Conference on “Pastoralism and Poverty Reduction in East Africa,” held in Nairobi, Kenya, June 27-28, 2006
Now available as a reprint .

202. Little, Peter D., John McPeak, Christopher B. Barrett and Patti Kristjanson
July 2008
Challenging Orthodoxies: Understanding Poverty in Pastoral Areas of East Africa
Understanding and alleviating poverty in Africa continues to receive considerable attention by a range of diverse actors, including politicians, international celebrities, academics, activists, and practitioners. Despite the onslaught of interest, there surprisingly is little agreement on what constitutes poverty in rural Africa, how it should be assessed, and what should be done to alleviate it. Based on data from an interdisciplinary study of pastoralism in northern Kenya, this article examines issues of poverty among one of the continent’s most vulnerable groups, pastoralists, and challenges the application of such orthodox proxies as incomes/expenditures, geographic remoteness, and market integration. It argues that current poverty debates ’homogenize‚ the concept of ’pastoralist‚ by failing to acknowledge the diverse livelihoods and wealth differentiation that fall under the term. The article concludes that what is not needed is another development label (stereotype) that equates pastoralism with poverty, thereby empowering outside interests to transform rather than strengthen pastoral livelihoods.
Overview Paper for the Policy Research Conference on “Pastoralism and Poverty Reduction in East Africa,” held in Nairobi, Kenya, June 27-28, 2006
Now available as a reprint .



201. Santos, Paulo and Christopher B. Barrett
June 2006
Heterogeneous Wealth Dynamics: On the Roles of Risk and Ability
This paper studies the causal mechanisms behind poverty traps, building on evidence of nonlinear wealth dynamics among a poor pastoralist population, the Boran from southern Ethiopia. In particular, it explores the roles of adverse weather shocks and individual ability to cope with such shocks in conditioning wealth dynamics. Using original data, we establish pastoralists’ expectations of herd dynamics and show both that pastoralists perceive the nonlinear long-term dynamics that characterize livestock wealth in the region and that this pattern results from adverse weather shocks. We estimate a stochastic herd growth frontier that yields herder-specific estimates of unobservable ability on which we then condition our simulations of wealth dynamics. We find that those with lower ability converge to a unique dynamic equilibrium at a small herd size, while those with higher ability exhibit multiple stable dynamic wealth equilibria. Our results underscore the criticality of asset protection against exogenous shocks in order to facilitate wealth accumulation and economic growth and the importance of incorporating indicators of ability in the targeting of asset transfers, as we demonstrate with simulations of alternative asset transfer designs.
Presented at the Policy Research Conference on “Pastoralism and Poverty Reduction in East Africa,” held in Nairobi, Kenya, June 27-28, 2006
View Working Paper 201 (PDF FORMAT)


200. Minten, Bart, Jean Claude Randrianarisoa and Christopher B. Barrett
December 2007
Productivity in Malagasy Rice Systems: Wealth-differentiated Constraints and Priorities
This study explores the constraints on agricultural productivity and priorities in boosting productivity in rice, the main staple in Madagascar, using a range of different data sets and analytical methods, integrating qualitative assessments by farmers and quantitative evidence from panel data production function analysis and willingness-to-pay estimates for chemical fertilizer. Nationwide, farmers seek primarily labor productivity enhancing interventions, e.g., improved access to agricultural equipment, cattle, and irrigation. Shock mitigation measures, land productivity increasing technologies, and improved land tenure are reported to be much less important. Research and interventions aimed at reducing costs and price volatility within the fertilizer supply chain might help at least the more accessible regions to more readily adopt chemical fertilizer
Invited panel paper prepared for presentation at the International Association of Agricultural Economists Conference, Gold Coast, Australia, August 12-18, 2006
Now available as a reprint .


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199. Postel-Vinay, Gilles and David E. Sahn
August 2008
Explaining Stunting in Nineteenth Century France
We examine the share of French men with stunted growth during the nineteenth century using data on potential conscripts into the army. The share of stunted men (height below 1.62 meters) in France’s 82 departments declines dramatically across the century, especially in the south and in the west. Our models examine the role of education expenditures, health care personnel, local wages, asset distribution, as well as a dummy variable for Paris as determinants of stunting, and decompose changes over time into the effects of levels and returns to covariates. All covariates are strongly significant, with education spending being particularly important. Living in congested Paris contributed to poor health status.
Prepared for the Third International Conference on Economics and Human Biology Conference, Strasbourg, France, June 22-24, 2006
Now available as a reprint .


198. Duclos, Jean-Yves, David E. Sahn and Stephen D. Younger
October 2007
Robust Multidimensional Poverty Comparisons with Discrete Indicators of Well-being
This paper provides a method to make robust multidimensional poverty comparisons when one or more of the dimensions of well-being or deprivation is discrete. Sampling distributions for the statistics used in these poverty comparisons are provided. Several examples show that the methods are both practical and interesting in the sense that they can provide richer information than do univariate poverty comparisons.
Now available as a reprint .



197. Lentz, Erin C. and Christopher B. Barrett
July 2008
Improving Food Aid’s Impact: What Reforms Would Yield The Highest Payoff?
Developing an integrated model of the food aid distribution chain, from donor appropriations through operational agency programming decisions to household consumption choices we simulate alternative policies and sensitivity analysis to establish how varying underlying conditions — e.g., delivery costs, the political additionality of food, targeting efficacy — affect the optimal policy for improving the well-being of food insecure households. We find that improved targeting by operational agencies is crucial to advancing food security objectives. At the donor level, the key policy variable under most model parameterizations is ocean freight costs associated with cargo preference restrictions on US food aid.
Now available as a reprint .



196. Glick, Peter
February 2008
Policy Impacts on Schooling Gender Gaps in Developing Countries: The Evidence and a Framework for Interpretation
In many regions of the developing world girls continue to receive less education than boys. This paper reviews the evidence on the effects of policies in the education sector and outside it on household schooling investments in girls and boys, distinguishing between policies that are ostensibly gender neutral and those that explicitly target girls. It is frequently (but certainly not universally) found that the demand for girl’s schooling is more responsive than boys’ to gender neutral changes in school cost or distance as well as quality. Although these patterns can be interpreted in terms of parental preferences, this paper shows that they can also plausibly be explained within a human capital investment framework through assumptions about the nature of schooling cost and returns functions. Among these policies, increasing the physical accessibility of schools emerges as a measure that may result in disproportionate enrollment gains for girls. Where gender gaps are large or persistent, however, direct targeting of girls is probably necessary. Formal evidence from a number of demand or supply side interventions, including subsidies to households and to schools to enroll girls and the provision of girls-only schools, suggests the potential for targeted measures to yield substantial gains for girls. Many other policies, such as subsidized childcare or flexible school scheduling that address the opportunity costs of girls’ time, hold promise but for the most part have yet to be subject to rigorous assessment. The paper discusses methodological problems in such assessments and concludes with suggestions for future research on policies to close schooling gender gaps.
View Working Paper 196 (PDF FORMAT)
This is an expanded version of a paper published in World Development 36(9): 1623-46, 2008.

195. Aryeetey, Ernest and Ravi Kanbur
November 2005
Ghana’s Economy at Half Century: An Overview of Stability, Growth and Poverty
As Ghana enters its second half century, we are faced with a paradox. Despite a solid transition to democracy in the political situation, despite recorded recovery in the last fifteen years from the economic malaise of the two decades preceding, and despite reductions in measured poverty, there is widespread perception of failure of the economic and political system in delivering improving living standards to the population. This essay introduces a volume of papers that call for a deeper examination of the macro level data on growth and on poverty. A sectoral and regional disaggregation reveals weaknesses in the levels and composition of private investment, in the generation of employment, in sectoral diversification, and in the distribution of the benefits of growth. At the same time, the push for decentralization, and for better allocation, monitoring and implementation of public expenditure has raised more questions than it has answered. These are the challenges that Ghana faces if it is to fulfill the bright promise of its independence in 1957. The papers in this volume set out an analytical agenda that we hope will help in laying the ground work for the path that the nation’s policy makers will have to steer on the road to 2057.
Introduction to Ernest Aryeetey and Ravi Kanbur (editors), The Economy of Ghana: Analytical Perspectives on Stability, Growth and Poverty, James Currey, 2008
Now available as a reprint .



194. Sahn, David E. and Stephen D. Younger
August 2007
Inequality and Poverty in Africa in an Era of Globalization: Looking Beyond Income to Health and Education
This paper describes changes over the past 15-20 years in non-income measures of well- being – 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, or will soon reap the potential benefits of the process of globalization.
Presented at the UNU-WIDER Conference on “The Impact of Globalization on the Poor in Africa,” Johannesburg, South Africa, 1-2 December, 2005
Now available as a reprint .



193. Glick, Peter and David E. Sahn
January 2008
Are Africans Practicing Safer Sex: Evidence from Demographic and Health Surveys for Eight Countries
We use repeated rounds of Demographic and Health Survey data from eight African countries to examine changes in and determinants of three HIV risk behaviors: age at first intercourse; number of current sexual partners, and use of condoms. As a prelude, we assess the within- country comparability of DHS surveys over time. We find some evidence of changes in sample composition, which is easily handled in a multivariate framework, and find evidence as well of changes in how people respond to questions about HIV behavior. Because of the latter, which likely represents an increase in social desirability bias over time, our estimates of risk reduction may be upper bounds on the true effects. Overall the picture is one of reductions in risk behaviors over recent 4-6 year intervals, especially with respect to condom use; in some cases the changes seem large given the short time periods involved. With some exceptions, however, the extent and pervasiveness of these changes seems inadequate in relation to the urgency of the public health crisis represented by AIDS. With respect to the determinants of behaviors, schooling and wealth have contradictory impacts on risk behavior: they both tend to increase the likelihood of using condoms while (for men) also increasing the demand for additional sexual partners.
Presented at the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) Seminar on “Interactions between Poverty and HIV/AIDS,” Cape Town, South Africa, December 2005.
Alternate version in Economic Development and Cultural Change 56(2):397-439, January, 2008
View Working Paper 193 (PDF FORMAT)


192. Dorosh, Paul and Bart Minten
November 2005
Rice Price Stabilization in Madagascar: Price and Welfare Implications of Variable Tariffs
Given the large share of major staples in the budgets of the poor, governments in many developing countries intervene in food markets to limit variation in the prices of staple foods. This paper examines the recent experience of Madagascar in stabilizing prices through international trade and the implications of adjustments in tariff rates. Using a partial equilibrium model, we quantify the overall costs and benefits of a change in import duties for various household groups, and compare this intervention to a policy of targeted food transfers or security stocks.
View Working Paper 192 (PDF FORMAT)


191. Minten, Bart, Lalaina Randrianarison, and Johan F. M. Swinnen
September 2005
Supermarkets, International Trade and Farmers in Developing Countries: Evidence from Madagascar
Global retail companies (“supermarkets”) have an increasing influence on developing countries, through foreign investments and/or through the imposition of their private standards. The impact on developing countries and poverty is often assessed as negative. In this paper we show the opposite, based on an analysis of primary data collected to measure the impact of supermarkets on small contract farmers in Madagascar, one of the poorest countries in the world. Almost 10,000 farmers in the Highlands of Madagascar produce vegetables for supermarkets in Europe. In this global supply chain, small farmers’ micro-contracts are combined with extensive farm assistance and supervision programs to fulfill complex quality requirements and phyto-sanitary standards of supermarkets. Small farmers that participate in these contracts have higher welfare, more income stability and shorter lean periods. We also find significant effects on improved technology adoption, better resource management and spillovers on the productivity of the staple crop rice. The small but emerging modern retail sector in Madagascar does not (yet) deliver these benefits as they do not (yet) request the same high standards for their supplies.
View Working Paper 191 (PDF FORMAT)


190. Barrett, Christopher B. and Michael R. Carter
June 2005
Risk and Asset Management in the Presence of Poverty Traps: Implications for Growth and Social Protection
This note suggests a behavioral approach to poverty and vulnerability that escapes the standard, troublesome dependence on an arbitrary money-metric poverty line. More importantly, our approach, which is based on an empirically estimable dynamic asset poverty threshold, has immediate implications for both the linkage between poverty, risk and growth and for the design of social protection policies. One can identify the dynamic asset poverty threshold either by testing for asset smoothing behavior or via tests for bifurcated/split accumulation dynamics. We illustrate the concept and the estimation of dynamic asset poverty thresholds through brief applications to Ethiopia and Honduras.
View Working Paper 190 (PDF FORMAT)


189. Glick, Peter and David E. Sahn
June 2007
Cognitive Skills among Children in Senegal: Disentangling the Roles of Schooling and Family Background
We use unique data to estimate the determinants of cognitive ability among 14–17-year olds in Senegal. Unlike standard school-based samples, tests were administered to current students as well as to children no longer – or never – enrolled. Years of schooling strongly affects cognitive skills, but conditional on years of school, parental education and household wealth, as well as local public school quality, have surprisingly modest effects on test performance. Instead, family background primarily affects skills indirectly through its impacts on years of schooling. Therefore closing the schooling gaps between poor and wealthy children will also close most of the gap in cognitive skills between these groups.
Presented at the Regional Conference on “Education in West Africa: Constraints and Opportunities” in Dakar, Senegal, November 1-2, 2005
This is an expanded version of a paper published in
Economics of Education Review.
View Working Paper 189 (PDF FORMAT)


188. Bahiigwa, Godfrey and Stephen D. Younger
July 2005
Children’s Health Status in Uganda
This paper studies trends and determinants of children's standardized heights, a good overall measure of children's health status, in Uganda over the 1990s. During this period, Uganda made impressive strides in economic growth and poverty reduction (Appleton, 2001). However, there is concern that improvements in other dimensions of well-being, especially health, has been much weaker.
We find that several policy variables are important determinants of children's heights. Most importantly, a broad package of basic health care services has a large statistically significant effect. Provision of some of these services, especially vaccinations, appears to have faltered in the late 1990s, which may help to explain the lackluster performance on stunting during that period. We also find that civil conflict, a persistent problem in some areas of the country, has an important (negative) impact on children's heights. Better educated mothers have taller children, but the only substantial impact is for children of mothers who have completed secondary school. Finally, we find that households that rely more on own-production sources of income tend to have more malnourished children, even after controlling for their overall level of income and a host of other factors. This latter conclusion is supportive of the Plan for Modernization of Agriculture, which aims to shift farmers from subsistence to commercial agriculture or other more productive activities.
View Working Paper 188 (PDF FORMAT)


187. Sahn, David E. and Stephen D. Younger
August 2007
Decomposing World Education Inequality
We decompose global inequality in educational achievement into within- and between- country components. We find that the former is significantly larger. This is different than results for international income inequality, but similar to results for international health inequality.
View Working Paper 187 (PDF FORMAT)


186. Ssewanyana, Sarah and Stephen D. Younger
January 2005
Infant Mortality in Uganda: Determinants, Trends, and the Millennium Development Goals
Unusually for an African economy, Uganda’s growth has been rapid and sustained for an extended period of time. Further, this growth has clearly translated into substantial declines in poverty for all socio-economic groups and in all regions of the country. Despite this, there is concern in the country that other indicators of well-being are not improving at the same rate as incomes. This paper studies one such indicator, infant mortality. We use three rounds of the Uganda Demographic and Health Surveys to construct a national time series for infant mortality over a long period of time, 1974-1999. We also use these survey data to model the determinants of infant mortality and, based on those results, to examine the likelihood that Uganda will meet the Millennium Development Goal of halving infant mortality by 2015.
Alternate version in Journal of African Economies 17(1):34-61, 2008
View Working Paper 186 (PDF FORMAT)


185. Bellemare, Marc F. and Barrett, Christopher B.
May 2006
An Ordered Tobit of Market Participation: Evidence from Kenya and Ethiopia
Do rural households in developing countries make market participation and volume decisions simultaneously or sequentially? This article develops a two-stage econometric model that allows testing between these two competing hypotheses regarding household-level market behavior. The first stage models the household’s choice of whether to be a net buyer, autarkic, or a net seller in the market. The second stage models the quantity bought (sold) for net buyers (sellers) based on observable household characteristics. Using household data from Kenya and Ethiopia on livestock markets, we find evidence in favor of sequential decision-making, the welfare implications of which we discuss.
Now available as a reprint .



184. Barrett, Christopher B.
January 2005
On the Relevance of Identities, Communities, Groups and Networks to the Economics of Poverty Alleviation
In The Social Economics of Poverty: Identities, Groups, Communities and Networks, Christopher B. Barrett (ed.), London: Routledge, 2005: This book aims to advance economists’ understanding of such questions by exploring how individuals’ social and moral identities affect their membership in communities, groups, and networks, how those identities and social affiliations affect microeconomic behavior, and how the resulting behaviors affect poverty. Humans do not live in isolation: their behavior depends on the relations that shape their world. Variation in relationships can perhaps lead to predictable variation in behaviors and economic outcomes, which, in turn, affect social relationships through subtle feedback mechanisms. Partly as a consequence, the dynamics of human social interactions and the effects on persistent poverty have become a very active area of economic research.

Now available as a reprint .


183. Glick, Peter J., Alessandra Marini, and David E. Sahn
October 2007
Estimating the Consequences of Unintended Fertility for Child Health and Education in Romania: An Analysis Using Twins Data
We use the natural experiment of twins at first birth to estimate the effects of unplanned fertility on the nutritional status and school enrollment of children in Romania, a country with a unique fertility history. A first birth twins shock has negative impacts on children’s human capital investments, particularly for later siblings. We infer that harsh pronatalist polices prior to the 1989 Revolution had adverse consequences for the human capital of Romanian children, and that policies to make fertility control easier will have significant positive impacts on children’s health and schooling.
Now available as a reprint .

182. Kanbur, Ravi
January 2005
Pareto’s Revenge
Consider a project or a policy reform. In general, this change will create winners and losers. Some people will be better off, others will be worse off. Making an overall judgment on social welfare depends on weighing up the gains and losses across individuals. How can we make these comparisons? In the 1930s, a strong school of economic thought led by Lionel Robbins held that economists qua economists have no business making such judgments. They only have a basis for declaring an improvement when no such interpersonal comparisons of gains and losses are involved. Only a change which makes nobody worse off and at least one person better off, can be declared an improvement. Such a change is called a Pareto Improvement (PI). If no such changes are possible, the state of affairs is described as being Pareto Efficient (PE), a Pareto Optimum, or Pareto Optimal (PO). Named after Vilfredo Pareto, PI and PE are central to post 1945 high economic theory. After all, PE makes an appearance in the two fundamental theorems of Welfare Economics. These are that every competitive equilibrium (CE) is PE, and every PE allocation can be achieved as a CE, under certain conditions. Through these theorems, the post second world war economic theory of Kenneth Arrow and Gerard Debreu links back to Lionel Robbins and Vilfredo Pareto, and thence to Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand of competitive markets. From there the links come full circle back to stances taken in current policy debates on the role of markets and government.
Now available as a reprint .


181. Kanbur, Ravi
January 2005
Reforming the Formula: A Modest Proposal for Introducing Development Outcomes in IDA Allocation Procedures
This paper develops a modest proposal for introducing final outcome indicators in the IDA aid allocation formula. It starts with a review of the current formula and the rationale for it. It is argued that this formula, and in particular the Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA) part of it, implicitly relies too heavily on a uniform model of what works in development policy. Even if this model were valid "on average", the variations around the average make it an unreliable sole guide to the country-specific productivity of aid in achieving the final objectives of development. Rather, it is argued that changes in the actual outcomes on these final objectives could also be used as part of the allocation formula. A number of conceptual and operational objections to this position are considered and debated. The paper concludes that there is much to be gained by taking small steps in the direction of introducing outcome variables in the IDA formula, and assessing the experience of doing so in a few years’ time.
Now available as a reprint .


180. Moser, Christine, Christopher B. Barrett, and Bart Minten
May 2009
Spatial Integration at Multiple Scales: Rice Markets in Madagascar
The dramatic increase in the price of rice and other commodities over the past year has generated new interest in how these markets work and how they can be improved. This article uses an exceptionally rich data set to test the extent to which markets in Madagascar are integrated across space at different scales of analysis and to explain some of the factors that limit spatial arbitrage and price equalization within a single country. We use rice price data across four quarters of 2000-2001 along with data on transportation costs and infrastructure availability for nearly 1,400 communes in Madagascar to examine the extent of market integration at three different spatial scales—subregional, regional, and national—and to determine whether non-integration is due to high transfer costs or lack of competition. The results indicate that markets are fairly well integrated at the subregional level and that factors such as high crime rates, remoteness, and lack of information are among the factors limiting competition.
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179. Minten, Bart and Christopher B. Barrett
May 2008
Agricultural Technology, Productivity, and Poverty in Madagascar
This paper uses a unique, spatially-explicit dataset to study the link between agricultural performance and rural poverty in Madagascar. We show that, controlling for geographical and physical characteristics, communes that have higher rates of adoption of improved agricultural technologies and, consequently, higher crop yields enjoy lower food prices, higher real wages for unskilled workers, and better welfare indicators. The empirical evidence strongly favors support for improved agricultural production as an important part of any strategy to reduce the high poverty and food insecurity rates currently prevalent in rural Madagascar.
Now available as a reprint .


178. Carter, Michael R. and Christopher B. Barrett
February 2006
The Economics of Poverty Traps and Persistent Poverty: An Asset-Based Approach
Longitudinal data on household living standards open the way to a deeper analysis of the nature and extent of poverty. While a number of studies have exploited this type of data to distinguish transitory from more chronic forms of income or expenditure poverty, this paper develops an asset-based approach to poverty analysis that makes it possible to distinguish deep-rooted, persistent structural poverty from poverty that passes naturally with time due to systemic growth processes. Drawing on the economic theory of poverty traps and bifurcated accumulation strategies, this paper briefly discusses some feasible estimation strategies for empirically identifying poverty traps and long term, persistent structural poverty. We also propose an extension of the Foster-Greer-Thorbecke class of poverty measures to provide a natural measure of long-term welfare status. The paper closes with reflections on how asset-based poverty can be used to underwrite the design of persistent poverty reduction strategies.

Now available as a reprint .


177. Eloundou-Enyegue, Parfait M. and David Shapiro
December 2004
Buffering Inequalities: The Safety Net of Extended Families in Cameroon
Extended family systems play an important role in buffering socioeconomic inequality in African societies, notably through fosterage of children across nuclear family units. Yet, there is concern that this support system would break down under the influence of globalization and recent economic crises. Whereas previous scholarship to address this concern has focused on trends in rates of family extension/ fosterage, we argue in this paper that a full account of trends in the buffering influence of extended families requires simultaneous attention to trends in (a) fosterage rates, (b) the distribution of fosterage opportunities, (c) the ameliorative effects of fosterage. This study focuses on the buffering influence of fosterage on schooling inequalities. Taking Cameroon as a case study and using the retrospective fosterage and schooling histories of 2,257 children, we examine the historical trends in these three proximate determinants of the buffering influence of extended families. Findings suggest that while the ameliorative effects of fosterage (once children are fostered) have not changed over time, both the rates and the distribution of fosterage opportunities have changed in ways that raise concern for children at the bottom quintile of the resource distribution.
View Working Paper 177 (PDF FORMAT)


176. Bhorat, Haroon, and Morné Oosthuizen
December 2004
Evolution of the Labour Market: 1995-2002
Since 1994, the South African economy has undergone significant changes with the government implementing various policies aimed at redressing the injustices of the past, fleshing out the welfare system and improving competitiveness as South Africa becomes increasingly integrated into the global economy. These policies have, directly or indirectly, impacted on the labour market and, consequently, on the lives of millions of South Africans. This paper’s chief objective is the analysis of some of the changes in the South African labour market in the post-apartheid era. The period, between 1995 and 2002, began with much promise and many challenges as the economy liberalised and normal trade relations were resumed with the rest of the world. Soon after the African National Congress came into power, the macro-economic strategy named “Growth, Employment and Redistribution” (or GEAR) was unveiled in 1996. This strategy predicted, amongst other things, employment growth averaging 270 000 jobs per annum from 1996 to 2000, with the number of new jobs created rising over time from 126 000 in 1996 to 409 000 in 2000 (GEAR 1996). Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, these projections were not realised. In fact, in terms of the labour market, the experience of the second half of the 1990s appears to have fallen short of even the baseline scenario contained in the GEAR document, which projected a net increase in (non-agricultural formal) employment of slightly more than 100 000 jobs per annum.

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175. Glick, Peter and François Roubaud
December 2006
Export Processing Zone Expansion in Madagascar: What are the Labor Market and Gender Impacts?
This paper analyzes part of the controversy over export processing zones—the labor market and gender impacts—using unique time-series labor force survey data from an African setting: urban Madagascar, in which the EPZ (or Zone Franche) grew very rapidly during the 1990s. Employment in the Zone Franche exhibits some basic patterns seen elsewhere in export processing industries of the developing world, such as the predominance of young, semi-skilled female workers. Taking advantage of microdata availability, we estimate earnings regressions to assess sector and gender wage premia. Zone Franche employment is found to represent a significant step up in pay for women who would otherwise be found in poorly remunerated informal sector work. Because it provides relatively high wage opportunities for those with relatively low levels of schooling, export processing development may also eventually have significant impacts on poverty. Further, by disproportionately drawing women from the low-wage sector informal sector (where the gender pay gap is very large) to the relatively well-paid export processing jobs (where pay is not only higher but also similar for men and women with similar qualifications), the EPZ has the potential to contribute to improved overall gender equity in earnings in the urban economy. Along many non-wage dimensions, jobs in the export processing zone are comparable to or even superior to other parts of the formal sector. However, the sector is also marked by very long working hours and high turnover, which may work to prevent it from being a source of long-term employment and economic advancement for women.
Paper prepared for the conference “African Development and Poverty Reduction: The Macro-Micro Linkage” Cape Town, South Africa October 2004

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174. Glick, Peter
August 2005
Scaling Up HIV Voluntary Counseling and Testing in Africa: What Can Evaluation Studies Tell Us About Potential Prevention Impacts?
Although there is a widespread belief that scaling up HIV voluntary testing and counseling (VCT) programs in Africa will have large prevention benefits through reductions in risk behaviors, these claims are difficult to establish from existing evaluations of VCT. Considerations from behavioral models and the available data suggest that as VCT coverage expands marginal program effects are likely to decline due to changes in the degree of client selectivity, and that potential uptake among those at highest risk is uncertain. The paper also assesses two other common perceptions about VCT in Africa: that a policy of promoting couples-oriented VCT would be more successful than one emphasizing individual testing, and that VCT demand and prevention impacts will be enhanced where scaling up is accompanied by the provision of anti-retroviral drugs.

Now available as a reprint .



173. Glick, Peter and David E. Sahn
April 2007
Changes in HIV/AIDS Knowledge and Testing Behavior in Africa: How Much and for Whom?
Demographic and Health Survey data from six African countries indicate that HIV prevention knowledge is improving and that more Africans are getting tested. Still, in many cases fewer than half of adult respondents can identify specific prevention behaviors; knowledge appears particularly inadequate in countries not yet fully gripped by the epidemic. Schooling and wealth impacts on prevention knowledge generally have either not changed or have increased, meaning that initial disparities in knowledge by education and wealth levels have persisted or widened. HIV messages therefore need to be made more accessible to and/or better understood by the poor and less educated.

Now available as a reprint .



172. León, Mauricio and Stephen D. Younger
August 2007
Transfer Payments, Mother’s Income, and Child Health in Ecuador
This paper evaluates the impact of the Bono Solidario, a transfer payment scheme in Ecuador, on children’s nutritional status. In addition to testing for pure income effects, because the program transfers money to mothers of young children, we are able to test whether mother’s income has a stronger effect on children’s heights and weights than ordinary household income. Using simple quasi-reduced form estimates that control for the endogeneity of household expenditures and the choice to participate in the program, we draw two main conclusions: that the Bono Solidario transfer payment scheme has had a statistically significant but quite modest impact on children’s nutritional status in Ecuador, and that this impact is no different than any other income effect on height and weight. In particular, the fact that the Bono is transferred to mothers has not made it more efficacious at reducing malnutrition than other household income. It is interesting to compare these results to Behrman and Hoddinott’s (2001) evaluation of the impact of the PROGRESA transfer payment scheme in Mexico. Even though the size of the monetary transfer is similar in each program, both in absolute terms and as a share of household resources, Behrman and Hoddinott find much larger impacts of PROGRESA on children’s heights than we find here. This contrast leads us to speculate that it is the non-income aspects of PROGRESA, particularly the required health care and public health lectures, which have had the larger effect on children’s nutritional status. If that is true, then the Ecuadorian government’s plan to begin to condition the Bono Solidario on health-seeking behaviors holds the promise of a more substantial impact on children’s heights and weights.
Now available as a reprint .


171. Dumas, Christelle, Peter Glick, Sylvie Lambert, David E. Sahn, and Leopold Sarr
July 2004
Progression through School and Academic Performance in Senegal: Descriptive Survey Results
This report provides a preliminary descriptive analysis of some of the data from The Progression through School and Academic Performance in Senegal Study, a joint research project of Cornell University, Centre de Recherche en Economie Appliquée (CREA), and INRA. This project is based around a nation-wide household survey with a special focus on schooling, complimented by academic and life skills tests and additional surveys of local schools and communities. The topics covered in this report focus on the household survey and test score data and include: enrollment rates; school attainment; grade repetition; dropouts and progression to secondary school; academic and life skills test scores; and perceptions about education and schooling.
View Working Paper 171 (PDF FORMAT)


170. Lentz, Erin and Christopher B. Barrett
July 2005
Food Aid Targeting, Shocks and Private Transfers Among East African Pastoralists
Public transfers of food aid are intended largely to support vulnerable populations in times of stress. We use high frequency panel data among Ethiopian and Kenyan pastoralists to test the efficacy of food aid targeting under three different targeting modalities, food aid’s responsiveness to different types of covariate shocks, and its relationship to private transfers. We find that, in this region, self-targeting food-for-work or indicatortargeted free food distribution more effectively reach the poor than do food aid distributed according to community-based targeting. Food aid flows do not respond significantly to either covariate, community-level income or asset shocks. Rather, food aid flows appear to respond mainly to more readily observable rainfall measures. Finally, food aid does not appear to affect private transfers in any meaningful way, either by crowding out private gifts to recipient households nor by stimulating increased gifts by food aid recipients.
View Working Paper 170 (PDF FORMAT)


169. Barrett, Christopher B., Paswel Phiri Marenya, John McPeak, Bart Minten, Festus Murithi, Willis Oluoch-Kosura, Frank Place, Jean Claude Randrianarisoa, Jhon Rasambainarivo and Justine Wangila
February 2006
Welfare Dynamics in Rural Kenya and Madagascar
This paper presents comparative qualitative and quantitative evidence from rural Kenya and Madagascar in an attempt to untangle the causality behind persistent poverty. We find striking differences in welfare dynamics depending on whether one uses total income, including stochastic terms and inevitable measurement error, or the predictable, structural component of income based on a household’s asset holdings. Our results suggest the existence of multiple dynamic asset and structural income equilibria, consistent with the poverty traps hypothesis. Furthermore, we find supporting evidence of locally increasing returns to assets and of risk management behaviour consistent with poor households' defence of a critical asset threshold through asset smoothing.
Now available as a reprint .


168. Glick, Peter, Josée Randriamamonjy, and David E. Sahn
April 2009
Determinants of HIV Knowledge and Condom Use among Women in Madagascar: An Analysis Using Matched Household and Community Data
We estimate the determinants of HIV/AIDS knowledge and related behavior (use of condoms) among women in Madagascar, a country where prevalence remains low but conditions are ripe for a rapid increase in infections. In both rural and urban areas, more educated and wealthier women are more likely to know about means of preventing infection, less likely to have misconceptions about transmission, and more likely to use condoms. Community factors such as availability of health centers and access to roads also are associated with greater HIV knowledge. However, most of the large rural-urban difference in mean knowledge is due not to location per se but to differences in schooling and wealth; rather than simply being geographically targeted, AIDS education efforts must be designed to target and be understood by uneducated and poor subpopulations.
Now available as a reprint .


167. Glick, Peter, Rumki Saha, and Stephen D. Younger
May 2004
Integrating Gender into Benefit Incidence and Demand Analysis
This report addresses two questions: To what extent does public spending mitigate or exacerbate gender inequities in welfare in developing countries? How can existing allocations of public expenditure be changed to improve gender equity in the use of services such as health and education? It does this through a detailed review and interpretation of the existing literature and through primary analyses on a large sample of developing country data sets. Regarding the first question, we integrate gender considerations into standard benefit incidence analysis, and address in particular the issue of whether and how gender gaps in benefits vary across the income distribution. The second question is addressed through gender-disaggregated econometric analysis of the demand for public services, including health care, education, and water. The paper also sets out the appropriate methodologies for integrating gender into benefit incidence analysis and for comparing impacts by gender of policies affecting the demand for services. The main lesson drawn from the empirical analysis—as well as from a careful reading of the existing literature—is that gender differences in the use of services, and the response of these gaps to changes in incomes and policies, are not universal and do not always occur where they might be most expected. Therefore they need to be investigated on a case by case basis.
View Working Paper 167 (PDF FORMAT)

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166. Glick, Peter, Harivelo Rajemison, Arsène Ravelo, Yolande Raveloarison, Mamisoa Razakamanantsoa, and David E. Sahn
March 2005
The Progression through School and Academic Performance in Madagascar Study: Preliminary Descriptive Results
This paper is a preliminary analysis of the Etude sur la Progression Scolaire et la Performance Academique en Madagascar (EPSPAM). The study is based on a nation-wide household survey with a special focus on schooling, complimented by academic and life skills tests and additional surveys of local schools and communities. The survey was designed to investigate the household, community, and school-level determinants of a range of education outcomes in Madagascar: primary and secondary enrollment, grade repetition and dropout during primary and lower secondary school cycles, transitions from primary to secondary school, and learning — both academic (math and French test scores) and non-academic ('life-skills'). It also seeks to understand the association of early academic performance, on the one hand, and subsequent school progression and scholastic attainment, on the other. The study also investigates the knowledge and perceptions of parents about the schools in their communities. In addition, the policy environment in education in Madagascar has been very dynamic in the last several years. Therefore the study also evaluates the implementation and impacts of several important recent policies in education, including the elimination of public primary school fees and the provision of books and supplies, as well as a series of administrative reforms such as the professionalization of the chefs CISCO and efforts to make school finances more transparent.
View Working Paper 166 (PDF FORMAT)


165. Sahn, David E. and Stephen D. Younger
June 2005
Changes in Inequality and Poverty in Latin America: Looking Beyond Income to Health and Education
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 well-being, children’s stature and adult women’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 children’s stature, and education inequality, measured by young women’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.
Now available as a reprint .


164. Eloundou-Enyegue, Parfait M., J. Mayone Stycos, and Fatou Jah
May 2004
Integrating Education and Population Policy: The Gender-Equity Payoffs of Reducing Pregnancy-Related Dropouts
Plausible arguments suggest that policies to avoid pregnancy-related dropouts can help close gender gaps in education in Africa but these payoffs require quantification. This research uses schooling life tables to simulate how the gender gaps in secondary school completion within 23 sub-Saharan African countries would narrow if these countries reduced the incidence of pregnancy-related dropouts. Results suggest that reducing pregnancy-related dropouts is neither indispensable nor sufficient to close current gender gaps in most cases, yet it could halve these gaps in one third of the countries studied.
View Working Paper 164 (PDF FORMAT)


163. Eloundou-Enyegue, Parfait M., Ngoube Maurice, Okene Richard, V.P Onguene,Serge Bahoken, Joseph Tamukong, Moses Mbangwana, Joseph Essindi Evina, and Caroline Mongue Djongoue
April 2004
Access to Schooling and Employment in Cameroon: New Inequalities and Opportunities
This report is about recent trends in education and access to employment in Cameroon. It focuses on five questions about (1) current levels of schooling, (2) recent trends in enrolment, (3) recent trends in schooling inequalities, (4) access to employment, and (5) risks and opportunities to improve education and employment outcomes. Based on these analyses, the report discusses several challenges and opportunities in improving education and employment outcomes.
View Working Paper 163 (PDF FORMAT)


162. Kanbur, Ravi
March 2005
Growth, Inequality and Poverty: Some Hard Questions
This commentary poses a series of progressively harder questions in the economic analysis of growth, inequality and poverty. Starting with relatively straightforward analysis of the relationship between growth and inequality, the first level of hard questions come when we ask what policies and institutions are causally related to equitable growth. Some progress is being made here by the economics literature, but relatively little is known about the second level, harder questions—how a society comes to acquire "good" policies and institutions, and what exactly it is that we are buying into when we accept the number one Millennium Development Goal of the United Nations—halving the incidence of income poverty by the year 2015.
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161. Kanbur, Ravi
November 2004
The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM): An Assessment of Concept and Design
The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) has been proposed as a key element of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). It is important that the APRM be thoroughly debated in terms of concept and design. This paper is a contribution to the debate. The paper derives design criteria for peer review mechanisms after looking at some functioning examples. These criteria are—Competence, Independence, and Competition. It is argued that while the APRM is a welcome addition to pan-African institutional structure, its design will have to be improved for it to be truly successful. First, APRM should greatly narrow the scope of its reviews if it is to deliver competent assessments. Second NEPAD should devote significant resources to allow civil society in the reviewed country to do assessments of their own, and to critique the APRM assessment.
Now available as a reprint .


160. Barrett, Christopher B.
March 2004
Mixing Qualitative and Quantitative Methods of Analyzing Poverty Dynamics
This paper outlines my current thinking and recent experience in mixing qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection and analysis so as to gain a firmer and more useful understanding of poverty dynamics, especially in rural Kenya. We first explore the very real differences between qualitative and quantitive poverty analysis methods, differences that make them useful complements. Then we debunk a few myths about differences that do not really exist. Finally, I discuss key lessons learned from four multi-year research projects in Kenya that have tried to implement mixed qualitative and quantitative research methods with a range of researchers from animal science, anthropology, economics, geography, range science, sociology and soil science.
Now available as a reprint.




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159. Sarr, Leopold R.
January 2004
The Impact of Family Literacy on the Earnings of Illiterates: Evidence from Senegal
This paper investigates the extent to which the sharing of literacy knowledge within the household affects the labor force participation and the earnings of illiterate workers in Senegal. Controlling for selection bias, selective sorting, endogeneity and measurement error in the literacy variables, I find evidence that parental literacy and education do not capture all sources of external literacy benefits and that illiterate members also benefit from other literate members of the household. It also appears that rural workers and male illiterates tend to participate more in the labor market than their urban and female counterparts. The earnings of an illiterate female worker (or an urban worker) are, on average, 44% (or 37%) higher than the ones of another illiterate female (urban) worker whose family’s ratio of literate to illiterate members is one point lower. This suggests that policies targeting isolated illiterate households, in both rural and urban zones as well as illiterate women—who appear to be better recipients and generators of external literacy benefits within households—are likely to mitigate their vulnerability and thus to reduce the incidence of illiteracy and poverty in Senegal.
View Working Paper 159 (PDF FORMAT)


158. Moser, Christine M. and Christopher B. Barrett
November 2006
The Complex Dynamics of Smallholder Technology Adoption: The Case of SRI in Madagascar
This paper explores the dynamics of smallholder technology adoption, with particular reference to a high-yielding, low-external input rice production method in Madagascar. We present a simple model of technology adoption by farm households in an environment of incomplete financial and land markets. We then use a probit model and symmetrically censored least squares estimation of a dynamic Tobit model to analyze the decisions to adopt, expand and disadopt the method. We find that seasonal liquidity constraints discourage adoption by poorer farmers. Learning effects—both from extension agents and from other farmers—exert significant influence over adoption decisions.
Now available as a reprint.


157. Bhorat, Haroon and Ravi Kanbur
January 2006
Poverty and Well-Being in Post-Apartheid South Africa
“The end of the first decade of democracy in South Africa naturally resulted in a wide-ranging set of political events to mark this date. South Africa’s formal baptism as a democracy in April 1994 received international acclaim and recognition — and to this day serves a model for other countries undergoing difficult and protracted political transitions. However, perhaps the greatest struggle since the early post-apartheid days has been the attempt to undo the economic vestiges of the system of racial exclusivity. Alongside the political evaluation and praise, therefore, there has been a vigorous local research programme broadly aimed at measuring the changes in well-being that occurred during this ten-year period. In addition, a number of studies have also concentrated on measuring the performance of the government in meeting its stated objectives of reducing poverty, inequality and unemployment. This volume brings together some of the core pieces of academic research that have been prominent in this ten-year review, focusing on poverty and policy in post-apartheid South Africa...”
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156. Sahn, David
May 2005
Equality of What? Evidence from India
This paper explores univariate health inequality in India using a representative sample of pre-school age children. I make comparisons, both spatially between states, and inter-temporally, to both illustrate the methods for measuring and decomposing health inequality, while providing some interesting empirical findings on health inequality. The results suggest that the changes in the distribution of height are less important than the changes in the mean values, when explaining the evolution of the nutrition poverty index over time in India. However, I also observe that the level of stunted growth would be reduced markedly among the various Indian states if the distribution of heights corresponded to the pattern that exists in Kerala, where health of children is relatively equally distributed. In addition, I compare the health inequality results to income inequality figures reported elsewhere, and find no correlation.
Presented at Poverty, Inequality and Development: A Conference in Honor of Erik Thorbecke, Cornell University, October 10-11, 2003.
In Poverty, Inequality and Development: Essays in Honor of Erik Thorbecke, Alain de Janvry and Ravi Kanbur, eds., Norwell, MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2005.

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155. Fafchamps, Marcel and Minten, Bart
January 2004
Public Service Provision, User Fees, and Political Turmoil
Following an electoral dispute, the central highlands of the island of Madagascar were subjected to an economic blockade during the first half of 2002. After the blockade ended in June 2002, user fees for health services and school fees were progressively eliminated. This paper examines the provision of schooling and health services to rural areas of Madagascar before, during, and after the blockade. We find that public services were more resilient to the blockade than initially anticipated, but that health services were more affected than schools. The removal of user fees had a large significant effect on public services that is distinct from the end of the blockade and the increase in school book provision.
View Working Paper 155 (PDF FORMAT)


154. Barrett, Christopher B. and John G. McPeak
December 2005
Poverty Traps and Safety Nets
This paper uses data from northern Kenya to argue that the concept of poverty traps needs to be taken seriously, and that if poverty traps indeed exist, then safety nets become all the more important. However, as presently practiced, safety nets based on food aid appear to be failing in northern Kenya.
In Poverty, Inequality and Development: Essays in Honor of Erik Thorbecke, Alain de Janvry and Ravi Kanbur, eds., Norwell, MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2005
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153. Barrett, Christopher B. and Brent M. Swallow
January 2006
Fractal Poverty Traps
This paper offers an informal theory of a special sort of poverty trap, one in which multiple dynamic equilibria exist simultaneously at multiple (micro, meso and/or macro) scales of analysis and are self-reinforcing through feedback effects. Small adjustments at any one of these levels are unlikely to move the system away from its dominant, stable dynamic equilibrium. Governments, markets and communities are simultaneously weak in places characterized by fractal poverty traps. No unit operates at a high-level equilibrium in such a system. All seem simultaneously trapped in low-level equilibria. The fractal poverty traps formulation suggests four interrelated strategic emphases for poverty reduction strategies.
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152. Barrett, Christopher B.
September 2005
Smallholder Identities and Social Networks: The Challenge of Improving Productivity and Welfare
This paper proposes a general framework for resolving the puzzle of how to reconcile the mass of recent evidence on the salutary effects of social capital at the individual level with the casual, larger-scale observation that social embeddedness appears negatively correlated with productivity and material measures of welfare. It advances an analytical framework that not only explains individual productivity or technology adoption behavior as a function of the characteristics or behaviors of others, but that also explains the aggregate properties of social systems characterized by persistently low productivity. Examples from Kenya and Madagascar are used to illustrate the phenomena discussed.
In The Social Economics of Poverty: Identities, Groups, Communities and Networks, Christopher B. Barrett, editor, London: Routledge, 2005.
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151. Younger, Stephen D.
October 2003
Growth and Poverty Reduction in Uganda, 1992-1999: A Multidimensional Analysis of Changes in Living Standards
This paper examines Uganda’s progress on poverty reduction when poverty is measured in multiple dimensions. In particular, I consider poverty measures that are defined across household expenditures per capita or household assets, children’s health status, and in some cases, mother’s literacy. The comparisons are robust to the choice of poverty line, poverty measure, and sampling error. In general, I find that multidimensional poverty declined significantly in Uganda during the 1990s, although results for the latter half of the decade are more ambiguous. While there was clear progress in the dimension of expenditures and assets, improvement in children’s height-for-age z-scores is less certain for the 1995-2000 period. I also make poverty comparisons for individual regions and urban and rural areas in the country. Rather surprisingly, progress on multivariate poverty reduction is less clear in Central region and in urban areas.
View Working Paper 151 (PDF FORMAT)


150. Andriantsoa, Pascal, Nancy Andriasendrarivony, Vincent Carbonneau, Steven Haggblade, Bart Minten, Mamy Rakotojaona, Frederick Rakotovoavy, and Harivelle Sarindra Razafinimanana
August 2003
Les médias malgaches: floraison spontanée d’une ressource nationale
More than hundred radio stations have been started up over the last decade in Madagascar. These are mostly private and co-exist with the National Malagasy Radio that used to have the monopoly in the country. In the same way, more than 15 private groups started TV stations which broadcast along side the national TV. Madagascar has a long history on written press. Today, on top of the five national newspapers, there exist more than hundred publications that are published on a weekly, monthly, three-month or other regular basis. This study on the Malagasy media aims to answer the following questions: Where is this explosive growth of media coming from? Will private investments be able to sustain this sector? Which types of messages and programs are being broadcasted in the media? Which part of the population is targeted? What is the role of the government?
View Working Paper 150 (PDF FORMAT)


149. Barrett, Christopher B.
March 2005
Rural Poverty Dynamics: Development Policy Implications
This paper summarizes a few key findings from a rich and growing body of research on the nature of rural poverty and, especially, the development policy implications of relatively recent findings and ongoing work. Perhaps the most fundamental lesson of recent research on rural poverty is the need to distinguish transitory from chronic poverty. The existence of widespread chronic poverty also raises the possibility of poverty traps. I discuss some of the empirical and theoretical challenges of identifying and explaining poverty traps. In policy terms, the distinction between transitory and chronic poverty implies a need to distinguish between "cargo net" and "safety net" interventions and a central role for effective targeting of interventions.
Prepared for invited presentation to the 25th International Conference of Agricultural Economists, August 17, 2003, Durban, South Africa.
Now available as a reprint .


148. Meyerhoefer, Chad, Christine R. Ranney, and David E. Sahn
August 2005
Consistent Estimation of Censored Demand System using Panel Data
We derive a joint continuous/censored commodity demand system for panel data applications. Unobserved heterogeneity is controlled for using a correlated random effects specification and a generalized method of moments framework used to estimate the model. While relatively small differences in elasticity estimates are found between a flexible random effects specification and one that restricts the random effect coefficient to be time invariant, larger differences are observed when comparing the flexible model to 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.
Now available as a reprint .


147. Rajemison, Harivelo, Steven Haggblade and Stephen D. Younger
September 2003
Indirect Tax Incidence in Madagascar: Updated Estimates Using the Input-Output Table
This paper uses a new method based on both household survey data and an input-output table to assess tax incidence in Madagascar, with special emphasis on taxes that fall primarily on intermediate inputs rather than final goods and services. We use this method to analyze the impact of Madagascar’s recent tax reforms. We find that the direct effects of Madagascar’s changes in tax policy in the late 1990s were not regressive. Changes in indirect taxes were roughly neutral, while the increasing share of direct taxes on wages in households’ overall tax burden made the system slightly more progressive. The one major tax change that was regressive was the increase in taxes on kerosene, a product with a very low income elasticity of demand. Despite this conclusion, we do find that the burden of taxes in Madagascar shifted toward the poor. This was not due to changes in tax policy, but rather to a shift in the pattern of consumption of the poor out of lightly taxed food and informal sector items and into more heavily taxed formal sector goods. This may be a consequence of the poor’s improved standard of living, which brings with it a greater (relative) share of the tax burden. In terms of methods, we have found that using the input-output table to map taxes on intermediate inputs to final consumers makes a significant difference in our analysis of tax incidence. In particular, petroleum duties, especially those on gasoline and diesel, are significantly less progressive than the pattern of final consumption suggests. Nevertheless, taxes on gasoline and diesel (but not kerosene) remain among the most progressive taxes in Madagascar, even after accounting for the indirect effects on the prices of goods that use these products as intermediate inputs.
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146. Pradhan, Menno, Fadia Saadah and Robert Sparrow
December 2002
Did the Healthcard Program Ensure Access to Medical Care for the Poor during Indonesia’s Economic Crisis?
The Indonesian Healthcard program was implemented in response to the economic crisis, which hit Indonesia in 1998, in order to preserve access to health care services for the poor. The Healthcard provided the households with subsidised care at public health care providers, while the providers themselves received budgetary support to compensate for the extra demand. This papers looks at the impact of this program on outpatient care utilisation, and, in particular, endeavours to disentangle the direct effect of the allocation of Healthcards from the indirect effect of the transfer of funds to health care facilities. It finds that the program resulted in a net increase in utilisation for the poor beneficiaries. For non-poor beneficiaries the program resulted in a substitution from private to public providers only. However, the largest effect of the program seems to have come from a general increase in the quality of public services resulting from the budgetary support they received through this program.
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145. Sahn, David E. and Stephen D. Younger
August 2005
Improvements in Children’s Health: Does Inequality Matter?
The literature on the contributions to poverty reduction of average improvements in living standards vs. distributional changes uses only one measure of well-being – income or expenditure. Given that poverty is defined by deprivation over different dimensions, we explore the role of average improvements and distributional changes in children’s health and nutrition using the height of young children as our measure of well-being. Similar to the income literature, we find that shifts in the mean level of heights, not changes in distribution, account for most improvements in heights. Unlike the literature on income inequality, however, there is a positive association between improvements in average heights and reduced dispersion of those heights.
Now available as a reprint .


144. Dorosh, Paul, Steven Haggblade, Christen Lungren, Tiaray Razafimanantena, and Zaza Randriamiarana
May 2003
Economic Motors for Poverty Reduction in Madagascar
This study aims to evaluate the effect of four investments to achieve pro-poor economic growth: 1. Increase in agricultural productivity of rice and cassava; 2. Investments in roads that lead to a reduction of marketing costs; 3. Increase in private investments in the Free Trade Zone; 4. Increase of investments in tourism. Given that the evaluation of the impact of such investments is complex, the authors use a newly constructed computable general equilibrium model (CGE) of Madagascar that captures all the interactions within the Malagasy economic system. As expected, the four investments have markedly different poverty effects. Agricultural research (leading to increased agricultural productivity and increased food production) and road construction increase incomes of the rural poor, and benefit poor urban consumers through reductions in food prices. The other two investments — the Free Trade zone and tourism — are more beneficial for urban households, both poor and non-poor. Tourism also has non-negligible effects on the rural poor in some regions through increased employment and earnings opportunities. Hence, each investment has a different and important role to play for poverty alleviation in Madagascar.
View Working Paper 144 (English) (PDF FORMAT)
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143. Barrett, Christopher B., Christine M. Moser, Oloro V. McHugh, and Joeli Barison
November 2004
Better Technology, Better Plots or Better Farmers? Identifying Changes In Productivity And Risk Among Malagasy Rice Farmers
We introduce a method for properly attributing observed productivity and risk changes among new production methods, farmers, and plots by controlling for farmer and plot heterogeneity. Results from Madagascar show that the new system of rice intensification (SRI) is indeed a superior technology. Although about half of the observed productivity gains appear due to farmer characteristics rather than SRI itself, the technology generates the estimated average output gains of more than 84%. The increased estimated yield risk associated with SRI would nonetheless make it unattractive to many farmers within the standard range of relative risk aversion.
Now available as a reprint .


142. Minten, Bart
May 2003
Compensation and Cost of Conservation Payments for Biodiversity
Slash-and-burn agriculture in poor tropical countries is one of the main causes of deforestation, leading to environmental costs and to potential externality effects on lowland agricultural productivity. Under innovative environmental policies, direct conservation payments to farmers are starting to be implemented to induce them to abandon slash-and-burn agriculture as well as the use of forest resources altogether. However, appropriate compensation levels are often difficult to get at. Using a stochastic payment card format in a case study in Madagascar, it is estimated that farmers would abandon slash-and-burn agriculture and forest use for median annual compensation payments at a lower bound of around 85$ and 177$ per household respectively. As expected, the econometric analysis shows that there exists a systematic relation between poverty and the required compensation for forgone land use. While poorer households depend relatively more on forest products, they accept a lower amount to abandon slash-and-burn agriculture and forest use. Better educated and older households require higher payments.
View Working Paper 142 (PDF FORMAT)


141. Barrett, Christopher B., and Winnie K. Luseno
August 2004
Decomposing Producer Price Risk: A Policy Analysis Tool With An Application to Northern Kenyan Livestock Markets
This paper introduces a simple method of price risk decomposition that determines the extent to which producer price risk is attributable to volatile inter-market margins, intra-day variation, intra-week (day of week) variation, or terminal market price variability. We apply the method to livestock markets in northern Kenya, a setting of dramatic price volatility where price stabilization is a live policy issue. In this particular application, we find that large, variable inter-market basis is the most important factor in explaining producer price risk in animals typically traded between markets. Local market conditions explain most price risk in other markets, in which traded animals rarely exit the region. Variability in terminal market prices accounts for relatively little price risk faced by pastoralists in the dry lands of northern Kenya although this is the focus of most present policy prescriptions under discussion.
Now available as a reprint .


140. Lybbert, Travis J., Christoper Barrett, John G. McPeak, and Winnie K. Luseno
March 2007
Bayesian Herders: Updating of Rainfall Beliefs In Response To External Climate Forecasts
Temporal climate risk weighs heavily on many of the world’s poor. Model-based climate forecasts could benefit such populations, provided recipients use forecast information to update climate expectations. We test whether pastoralists in southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya update their expectations in response to forecast information. The minority of herders who received these climate forecasts updated their expectations for below normal rainfall, but not for above normal rainfall. This revealed preoccupation with downside risk highlights the potential value of better climate forecasts in averting drought-related losses, but realizing any welfare gains requires that recipients strategically react to these updated expectations.
Now available as a reprint .




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139. Huysentruyt, Marieke, Christoper B. Barrett, and John G. McPeak
April 2009
Understanding Declining Mobility and Inter-household Transfers among East African Pastoralists
We model inter-household transfers between nomadic livestock herders as the state-dependent consequence of individuals’ strategic interdependence, resulting from the existence of multiple, opposing externalities—more specifically, a public-good security externality among individuals sharing a social (e.g. ethnic) identity in a potentially hostile environment, and a resource appropriation externality related to the use of common property grazing lands. Our model augments the extant literature on transfers, and is more consistent with the limited available empirical evidence on heterogeneous and changing transfers’ patterns among east African pastoralists. The core principles of our model possibly apply more broadly, for example to long-distance migrants or even ‘foot soldiers’in street gangs.
Now available as a reprint .

138. Fafchamps, Marcel and Christine Moser
November 2002
Crime, Isolation, and Law Enforcement
This paper investigates the relationship between criminal activity and geographical isolation. Using data from Madagascar, we show that, after we control for population composition and risk factors, crime increases with distance from urban centers and, with few exceptions, decreases with population density. In Madagascar, crime and insecurity are associated with isolation, not urbanization. This relationship is not driven by placement of law enforcement personnel which is shown to track crime but fails to reduce feelings of insecurity in the population. Other risk factors have effects similar to those discussed in the literature on developed countries. We find a positive association between crime and the presence of law enforcement personnel, probably due to reporting bias. Law enforcement personnel helps solve crime but appears unable to prevent it.
Now available as a reprint .


137. Fafchamps, Marcel and Bart Minten
May 2004
Crime, Transitory Poverty, and Isolation: Evidence from Madagascar
This paper investigates the relationship between poverty and crime. Following a disputed presidential election, fuel supply to the highlands of Madagascar was severely curtailed in early 2002, resulting in a massive increase in poverty and transport costs. Using original survey data collected in June 2002 at the height of the crisis, we find that crop theft increases with transitory poverty. We also find that an increase in law enforcement personnel locally reduces cattle theft which, in Madagascar, is a form of organized crime. Theft thus appears to be used by some of the rural poor as a risk coping strategy. Increased transport costs led to a rise in cattle and crop theft, confirming earlier findings that, in Madagascar, geographical isolation is associated with certain forms of crime.
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136. Duclos, Jean-Yves, David E. Sahn, and Stephen D. Younger
May 2005
Robust Multidimensional Spatial Poverty Comparisons in Ghana, Madagascar, and Uganda
We investigate spatial poverty comparisons in three African countries using multidimensional indicators of well-being. The work is analogous to the univariate stochastic dominance literature in that we seek poverty orderings that are robust to the choice of multidimensional poverty lines and indices. In addition, we wish to ensure that our comparisons are robust to aggregation procedures for multiple welfare variables. In contrast to earlier work, our methodology applies equally well to what can be defined as "union", "intersection," or "intermediate" approaches to dealing with multidimensional indicators of well-being. Further, unlike much of the stochastic dominance literature, we compute the sampling distributions of our poverty estimators in order to perform statistical tests of the difference in poverty measures. We apply our methods to two measures of well-being, the log of household expenditures per capita and children’s height-for-age z-scores, using data from the 1988 Ghana Living Standards Survey, the 1993 Enquête Permanente auprès des Ménages in Madagascar, and the 1999 National Household Survey in Uganda. Bivariate poverty comparisons are at odds with univariate comparisons in several interesting ways. Most importantly, we cannot always conclude that poverty is lower in urban areas from one region compared to rural areas in another, even though univariate comparisons based on household expenditures per capita almost always lead to that conclusion.
Now available as a reprint.


135. Fedorov, Leonid and David E. Sahn
May 2004
Socioeconomic Determinants of Children’s Health in Russia: A Longitudinal Study
The paper explores links between the health status of children and socioeconomic characteristics of their parents and communities. Children’s health is assumed to be generated by the household via a production function, and children’s height is taken as an indicator of the health status. The optimal amount of inputs into the health (height) production function is determined by the household by solving a utility maximization problem. Then, a dynamic conditional health demand function, where the current period height is a function of the previous period height and the current period socioeconomic determinants, is derived and estimated in a panel setting. The health demand function was estimated for the four-year-long panel of children from the Russia’s Longitudinal Monitoring Survey. It is found that household characteristics such as parental education and household expenditures, community characteristics such as location and the quality of the infrastructure, and economic variables such as prices of major food items and overall economic conditions have significant effects on height of children in Russia. This paper stresses the importance of the endogeneity of lagged height, which can be thought of as the catch-up effect or the lingering effect of poor health, and shows that while such an effect is significant, it could be over-estimated substantially if an incorrect estimation procedure is used. The paper also finds that a dynamic specification of the health demand function is preferred to a static specification, since a static health demand function tends to downplay the importance of time-varying socio-economic variables in child growth.
Now available as a reprint .


134. Sahn, David E. and Stephen D. Younger
October 2002
Estimating the Incidence of Indirect Taxes in Developing Countries
The first order effect of a price change on the welfare of a consumer is the resulting change in the consumption budget when consumption is kept constant, that is ignoring demand responses. This intuitive property is used to evaluate in a very simple way the distributional incidence of indirect taxation or reforms in it. Basic tools for that evaluation are introduced in this paper and some examples of application are briefly summarized. The paper also discusses the limitations of the first-order approximation and some other simplifying assumptions implicit in the preceding tools.
Now available as a reprint .


133. Sahn, David E. and David C. Stifel
July 2003
Urban-Rural Inequality in Africa
In this paper we examine the relative importance of rural versus urban areas in terms of monetary poverty and seven other related living standards indicators. We present the levels of urban-rural differences for several African countries for which we have data and find that living standards in rural areas lag far behind those in urban areas. Then we examine the relative and absolute rates of change for urban and rural areas, and find no overall evidence of declining differences in the gaps between urban and rural living standards. Finally, we conduct urban-rural decompositions of inequality, examining the within versus between (urban and rural) group inequality for asset inequality, education inequality, and health (height) inequality.
Presented at WIDER (World Institute for Development Economics Research) Conference on Spatial Inequality in Africa, University of Oxford, September 21-22, 2002.

Now available as a reprint .


132. Sahn, David E., Stephen D. Younger, and Chad Meyerhoefer
June 2002
Rural Poverty in Bulgaria: Characteristics and Trends
This paper explores the characteristics and determinants of rural poverty in Bulgaria. The impact on poverty of declining small-scale agricultural enterprises and wage earnings is investigated and found to be largely responsible for rural residents failure to recover from the 1996 economic crises to the extent of their urban counterparts. Nevertheless, household agricultural activities emerge as important coping strategies to declining real wages, and those rural households able to keep themselves out of poverty are found to have done so primarily through their access to, and use of small-scale holdings. An analysis of the urban and rural labor market is conducted to investigate the differential effects of demographic, human capital, and land holding variables as well as pensions and social assistance on employment and job choice. Although pensions reduce the probability of working, ex ante, pensioners in rural areas are particularly poor, and such transfers and other social assistance programs are vital to controlling rural poverty. Overall, poverty reduction in rural Bulgaria requires an arrest in the decline of wage employment opportunities and productivity. Agriculture stands to play a crucial role in such a revitalization of the rural economy, through its extensive forward and backward linkages to other sectors, and importance as a coping mechanism.
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131. Glick, Peter
September 2002
Women’s Employment and Its Relation to Children’s Health and Schooling in Developing Countries: Conceptual Links, Empirical Evidence, and Policies
This paper reviews several decades of empirical research on the effects of women’s work on investments in children’s human capital—their nutrition and schooling—in developing countries. No clear relationship between women’s work and nutrition emerges from a large body of studies examining this issue, but this is to be expected given the complexity of the relationship and the wide variation in methodological approaches. However, specific factors, such as quality of substitute care and age of the child, condition the relationship and point to areas where policy can intervene to prevent negative nutritional outcomes or enhance positive outcomes of maternal work. Less research has been done on the subject of women’s work and children’s schooling, but there is evidence that there can be negative effects on girl’s education because daughters are often obliged to substitute in the home for mothers who work. The paper considers a range of policies (including, in particular, childcare) that can reduce the potential conflicts, or increase the complimentarities, between women’s need or desire to work and their children’s well-being. Also discussed are trends in developing economies and in the global economy that are affecting women’s work and its relation to children’s welfare, as well as affecting the ability of governments to intervene to ease the domestic constraints on women.
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130. Younger, Stephen D.
December 2001
Cross-Country Determinants of Declines in Infant Mortality: A Growth Regression Approach
This paper examines the determinants of infant mortality rates in a cross section of countries using a "growth regression" approach. The paper argues that infant mortality is a valid measure of living standards, worthy of study in its own right. It also shows that first order differential equation implicit in the standard growth regression is appropriate to studies of infant mortality rates, perhaps more so than those of GDP. From the perspective of identifying possible determinants of declines in infant mortality, these results are rather discouraging. Only two policy variables, primary school enrolments and DPT vaccination rates for infants, show any consistent correlation with declining infant mortality, and even those correlations are not robust to the inclusion of fixed effects, a simple way to pick up time invariant unobserved variables. From the perspective of the growth regression literature, a more interesting "non-result" is the fact that there is no evidence at all that the black market premium, the M2/GDP ratio, inflation, or the real exchange rate, all policy variables that typically explain economic growth, help to explain declining infant mortality, and only weak evidence that real GDP per capita itself is correlated with these declines. We have long known from microeconomic data that income is not a very good predictor of children’s health status. These results confirm that in a growth regression context. They also suggest that the determinants of progress of nations in one welfare dimension, economic growth, are distinct from those in another, infant mortality.
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129. Minten, Bart, Rami Razafindralambo, Zaza Randriamiarana and Bruce Larson
February 2002
Water Pricing, the New Water Law, and the Poor: An Estimation of Demand for Improved Water Services in Madagascar
Generalized cost recovery is one of the basic principles of the new Water Law that has recently been adopted by the Malagasy government. However, the effect of this change in policy is still poorly understood. Based on contingent valuation surveys in an urban and a rural area in southern Madagascar, this study analyzes the effect of changes in prices for water services. The results suggest that a minimum size of 90 households in a village is necessary to reach full cost recovery for well construction. Given that this is significantly above the current size of villages in the survey area, full cost recovery seems therefore impossible and subsidies are necessary to increase access to improved water services. Cost recovery for maintenance is relatively easier to achieve. In urban areas, water use practices and willingness to pay for water services depend highly on household income. To better serve the poor, it is therefore suggested that rich households, who rely on private taps, cross-subsidize poor households as a significant number of households is unwilling or unable to pay for water from a public tap. Given that public taps make up a small part of the total consumption of the national water company JIRAMA, lower income from public taps are shown to have only a marginal effect on its total income. However, as experiences in other countries as well as in Madagascar have shown, a fee on public taps is necessary as water for free leads to spoilage, does not give any incentive for the distributor to expand networks, and might therefore be a bad policy for the poor overall.
View Working Paper 129 (PDF FORMAT)


128. Glick, Peter and Mamisoa Razakamanantsoa
December 2002
The Distribution of Social Services in Madagascar, 1993-99
While a number of benefit incidence studies of public expenditures have been carried out for African countries, there are very few studies that look at how the incidence of such expenditures has been changing over time. We use three rounds of nation-wide household surveys to analyze the distribution of public expenditures on education and health services in Madagascar over the decade of the 90s, a period of little economic growth but significant changes in social sector organization and budgets. Education and health services for the most part are found to be distributed more equally than household expenditures: therefore they serve to redistribute welfare from the rich to the poor. By stricter standards of progressivity, however, public services do poorly. Few services other than primary schooling accrue disproportionately to the poor in absolute terms. When we further adjust for differences in the numbers of potential beneficiaries in different expenditure quintiles (e.g., school-age children in the case of education), none of the education or health benefits considered appear to target the poor while several target the non-poor. We also find significant disparities in the use of services between rural and urban areas, and by province. On the other hand, for both education and health services, no notable gender differences exist in coverage. With regard to changes over the decade, primary enrollments rose sharply and also become significantly more progressive; since the country experienced little or no growth in household incomes during the period, this apparently reflects supply rather than demand side factors. The improvement in equity in public schooling occurred in part because the enrollment growth was in effect regionally targeted: it occurred only in rural areas, which are poorer. Also see, "The Distribution of Education and Health Services in Madagascar over the 1990s: Increasing Progressivity in an Era of Low Growth," in Journal of African Economies 15(3): 399-403, 2006..

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127. Younger, Stephen D.
October 2002
Benefits on the Margin: Observations on Marginal Benefit Incidence
This paper takes up the issue of average vs. marginal benefit incidence. It shows that standard benefit incidence techniques do, in fact, approximate a marginal benefit incidence—the one associated with a small increase in an ad valorem price subsidy, or any other benefit that is proportional to consumption. The paper then shows that this method is a poor approximation for other margins, such as the benefits from an expansion of service. Finally, using an example of secondary education in rural Peru, the paper explores the various options for estimating the benefits of service expansion. It finds that the results vary widely by method, but are statistically indistinguishable in many cases because of their large standard errors.
Now available as a reprint.


126. Pradhan, Menno
March 2001
Welfare Analysis with a Proxy Consumption Measure: Evidence from a Repeated Experiment in Indonesia
Every three years, Indonesia fields simultaneously two nationwide surveys which collect consumption data. One collects consumption using 23 questions, the other using 320 questions. Based on a repeated experiment in which the two questionnaires were randomly assigned across households, I examine the consequences of using a higher level of aggregation in questioning. A mapping of distribution functions reveals the combined effect of systematic differences in measurement and measurement error. Using a pseudo cross-section approach, I eliminate the effect of measurement error and find that using a high level of aggregation yields a lower consumption measure, and that the fraction of underestimation increases as consumption rises. A one percent increase in average consumption increases the fraction by which consumption is underestimated by about .4 percent point. Next, I examine the consequences of using the short consumption questionnaire in welfare analysis. Higher relative measurement error in the consumption measure derived from the short questionnaire results in higher poverty estimates even if the poverty line is adjusted to take account of the systematic underestimation. Small differences are found for analysis that is based on the rank the individual holds in the consumption distribution. In gradient analysis, it seems impossible to devise a simple correction factor for the higher consumption elasticities that follow when the short questionnaire is used.
View Working Paper 126 (PDF FORMAT)


125. Meyerhoefer, Chad D., David E. Sahn, and Stephen D. Younger
November 2007
The Joint Demand for Health Care, Leisure, and Commodities: Implications for Health Care Finance and Access in Vietnam
This paper explores linkages between the demand for health care providers and the consumption of food, non-food goods, and leisure in Vietnam, using a mixed continuous/discrete dependent variable model. Cross-price elasticities calculated from the model suggest there are strong substitution effects between health care, leisure, and certain commodities. The model allows us to explore the implications of replacing user fees with alternative forms of health care finance, such as commodity taxes. In particular, the results suggest financing public health care services with a non-food sales tax rather than user fees would be more progressive and would improve access to care.
Now available as a reprint .


124. Glick, Peter and David E. Sahn
February 2005
Intertemporal Female Labor Force Behavior in a Developing Country: What Can We Learn from a Limited Panel?
We analyze intertemporal labor market behavior of women in urban Guinea, West Africa using two distinct methodologies applicable to a short (two-year) panel. A multi-period multinomial logit model with random effects provides evidence of unobserved individual heterogeneity as a factor strongly affecting labor market sector choices over time. Results from simpler single period models that condition on prior sector choices are consistent with either heterogeneity or state dependence. Both approaches perform equally well in predicting individual labor market behavior conditional on past choices. In terms of observable characteristics, the estimates confirm the heterogeneous structure of the urban labor market: informal and formal employment appear to differ significantly in terms of skill requirements, compatibility with child care, and costs of entry.
Now available as a reprint.


123. Sahn, David E. and Stephen D. Younger
May 2004
Growth and Poverty Reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa: Macroeconomic Adjustment and Beyond
We begin this paper by taking a look back at the adjustment, growth, and poverty debate. Our analysis suggests that while the poor do not bear the disproportionate costs of adjustment policies, it is also the case that policy reforms have largely failed to contribute to the alleviation of poverty. We therefore explore the microeconomic, structural, and institutional constraints to growth and poverty reduction. The three areas that we concentrate on in terms of removing the structural and fundamentally microeconomic constraints that impede growth and poverty alleviation are human resource development, vulnerability and risk management, and fiscal management through decentralization.
Now available as a reprint.


122. Sahn, David E. and David C. Stifel
June 2002
Progress Toward the Millenium Development Goals in Africa
In this paper, we analyze a set of Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) to examine the progress of 24 African countries in achieving six of the seven Millennium Development Goals (MDG) toward reducing poverty set forth by the United Nations. Throughout the analysis, we disaggregate between rural and urban areas. Our results paint a discouraging picture. Despite some noteworthy progress in improved living standards in certain dimensions in a select number of countries, the preponderance of the evidence suggests that, in the absence of dramatic changes, the MDG are not going to be in reached for most indicators in most countries. The results are particularly sobering for rural areas, where living standards are universally lower, and where rates of progress generally lag behind urban areas.
Now available as a reprint.


121. Randrianarison, Jean-Gabriel, Naina Randrianjanaka, Jean Razafindravonona, and David Stifel
July 2001
Evolution de la pauvreté à Fianarantsoa: 1993-1999
This paper takes advantage of nationally representative cross-sectional household data sets from 1993, 1997 and 1999, to examine changes in poverty in one province of Madagascar, Fianarantsoa. The authors find that poverty in this province rose from an already high 74 percent in 1993 to 81 percent in 1999. This pattern of change, which corresponds to the evolution of macroeconomic policy during this period, was restricted primarily to urban areas. Populations in rural areas witnessed persistent increases in poverty despite market reforms, as structural constraints affected their ability to escape poverty. A strong correlation between "remoteness" (as measured by various proxies) and high levels of poverty support this finding. Small scale agricultural households were hit particularly hard in the 1990s, and the data suggest that these are the very households that have been extending their land use by clearing and cultivating increasingly fragile lands. The use of models of household consumption to decompose changes in poverty into returns and endowment effects, substantiate the hypothesis that decreases in land productivity among these small-holders contributed to increases in poverty. These decompositions also reveal that increased access and returns to education between 1993 and 1999 contributed to declines in poverty.
View Working Paper 121 (PDF FORMAT French text)


120. Paternostro, Stefano, Jean Razafindravonona, and David Stifel
July 2001
Changes in poverty in Madagascar: 1993-1999
This paper takes advantage of nationally representative cross-sectional household data sets from 1993, 1997 and 1999, to examine changes in poverty in Madagascar. The authors find that poverty in this Indian Ocean country rose from an already high level of 70 percent in 1993, to 73.3 in 1997, before falling to 71.3 in 1999. This pattern of change, which corresponds to the evolution of macroeconomic policy during this period, was restricted primarily to urban areas. Populations in rural areas witnessed persistent increases in poverty despite market reforms, as structural constraints affected their ability to escape poverty. A strong correlation between "remoteness" (as measured by various proxies) and high levels of poverty support this finding. Small scale agricultural households were hit particularly hard in the 1990s, and the data suggest that these are the very households that have been extending their land use by clearing and cultivating increasingly fragile lands. The use of models of household consumption to decompose changes in poverty into returns and endowment effects, substantiate the hypothesis that decreases in land productivity among these small-holders contributed to increases in poverty. These decompositions also reveal that increased access and returns to education between 1993 and 1999 contributed to declines in poverty.
View Working Paper 120 (PDF FORMAT)


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119. Pradhan, Menno, David E. Sahn, and Stephen Younger
June 2002
Decomposing World Health Inequality
This study explores global inequality in health status, and decomposes it into within- and between-country inequality. We rely on standardized height indicators as our health indicator since they avoid the measurement pitfalls of more traditional measures of health such as morbidity, mortality and life expectancy. They also avoid measurement problems associated with using incomes across time or place to compare welfare. Our calculation of world height inequality indicates that in contrast with similar research on income inequality, within-country variation is the source of most inequality, rather than the differences between countries.
Now available as a reprint.


118. Sahn, David E.
July 2001
Poverty Profile Without Poverty Lines: Romania, 1994 to 1997
This paper explores poverty trends in Romania from 1994 to 1997. It finds no reduction in poverty. Regional and other types of poverty decompositions are presented. The poverty profile relies on tests of stochastic dominance. This approach avoids the problem that poverty comparisons may not be robust to the subjective choice of a poverty line. In addition the use of tests of stochastic dominance avoids the potential that small movements across thresholds may have large impacts on poverty indexes. The results of tests of stochastic dominance are compared with the more traditional headcount indicator to determine the extent to which conclusions differ. Also examined is the extent to which the findings are sensitive to the choice of equivalence scales.
View Working Paper 118 (PDF FORMAT)


117. Barrett, Christopher B. and David E. Sahn
January 2001
Food Policy in Crisis Management
A wide range of economic crises—e.g., sharp adjustment in countries’ external terms of trade, hyperinflation, volatility in the domestic policy regime—or non-economic disasters—can dramatically increase vulnerability to becoming food insecure, to not having access to sufficient food, in terms of quality, quantity and diversity, for an active and healthy life without risk of loss of such access. In this paper, we review how food policy instruments can be deployed to try to preempt or relieve food insecurity, both chronic and transitory, caused by macroeconomic shocks.
View Working Paper 117 (PDF FORMAT)


116. Sahn, David E. and David C. Stifel
July 2001
Parental Preferences for Nutrition of Boys and Girls: Evidence from Africa
This paper models the determinants of pre-school age malnutrition in Africa using the Demographic Health Surveys. By examining the differences in the impact of mother's and father's education on the nutrition of boys and girls, we can draw certain inferences from our reduced-form equations regarding the existence of non-unified preferences. That is, women with more schooling are also able to earn more, which improves their fallback position. Thus, we are interested in testing whether mother's schooling has a larger impact on daughter's than son’s education, and whether father’s education favors son’s.
Now available as a reprint.


115. Sahn, David E. and Ari Gerstle
June 2003
Child Allowances and Allocative Decisions in Romanian Households
In this paper we test whether increasing child allowances will affect the intra-household allocation of consumption, measured by child and adult goods, holding total household resources constant. Our analysis is based on household survey data collected in Romania, where cash payments are made to families according to the number and age of children. We control for selectivity since there is the potential for self-selection bias in terms of the level of child allowances received. Our findings suggest that holding total household resources constant, child allowances increase demand for child goods and calories and reduce demand for adult goods.
Now available as a reprint.


114. Dissou, Yazid, Paul Dorosh, Benoît Dostie, Peter Glick, Steven Haggblade, Harivelo Rajemison, Soahiantana Rakotondrainibe, Bodo Ralantoaarilolona, Jeannine Ramarakoto, Patricia Ramaroson, Iarivony Randretsa, Josée Randriamamonjy, Julia Rachel Ravelosoa, Raymond Razafindrabe, Jean Razafindravonona, David Sahn, Kenneth Simler, and Stephen Younger
June 2000
Pauvreté à Madagascar: défi public et stratégies des ménages
Over the past thirty years, sluggish economic growth in Madagascar has steadily eroded standards of living, pulling two-thirds of the population below the poverty line. Poor households combat this situation vigorously and creatively, implementing a variety of strategies for survival, mutual assistance and economic advancement. Yet many forces affecting their welfare — the state of rural infrastructure, availability of new technologies, overall economic growth rates, job creation and rates of inflation — lie outside their control. Consequently, the efforts of the poor acting alone are not sufficient to combat Madagascar’s pervasive poverty. Public intervention is required to complement and support the considerable efforts the poor are already making on their own behalf. After reviewing the historical evidence on the evolution of poverty in Madagascar, this paper reviews strategies adopted by both households and government for reversing these troubling trends.
View Working Paper 114 (PDF FORMAT)


113. Glick, Peter and David E. Sahn
February 2006
The Demand for Primary Schooling in Madagascar: Price, Quality, and the Choice Between Public and Private Providers
We estimate a discrete choice model of primary schooling and simulate policy alternatives for rural Madagascar. Poor households are substantially more price-responsive than wealthy ones, implying that fee increases for public schools will have negative effects on equity in education. Among quality factors, multigrade teaching (several classes being taught simultaneously by one teacher) has a strongly negative impact on public school enrollments. Simulations indicate that providing teachers to reduce by half the number of multigrade classes in public schools would lead to modest improvements in overall enrollments, would be feasible in terms of costs, and would disproportionately benefit poor children. In contrast, consolidation of primary schools combined with quality improvement would be ineffective because of the negative effect of distance to school. Other simulations point to limits to a strategy of public support for private school expansion as a means of significantly increasing enrollment rates or education quality; such an expansion may also reduce overall education equity.
Now available as a reprint.


112. Randrianarisoa, Jean Claude and Bart Minten
September 2001
Agricultural Production, Agricultural Land and Rural Poverty in Madagascar
Rural areas dependent on agricultural income, are often among the poorest in developing countries. However, little distinction is generally made within the agricultural sector. This lack of distinction hinders targeting of agricultural investments towards poorer farmers. This paper illustrates, using a production function analysis with flexible marginal returns, how agricultural production activities and returns to agricultural production factors differ by poverty level in the case of Madagascar. The results show that access to primary education is relatively more beneficial for poorer agricultural households while additional secondary education has no effect on agricultural productivity. Returns to agricultural inputs are significantly higher for poorer agricultural households. Land inequality increases as land sales markets benefit the richer households and as the rich engage more in extensification while rental markets improve agricultural efficiency and may thus benefit poor and rich alike. Land titling has little effect on improved agricultural productivity. More formal land titling is therefore not sufficient to change the bad performance of agriculture of the last decades.
View Working Paper 112 (PDF FORMAT)


111. Pradhan, Menno, Asep Suryahadi, Sudarno Sumarto, and Lant Pritchett
July 2000
"Eating Like Which "Joneses?" An Iterative Solution to the Choice of a Poverty Line Reference Group
The standard method for calculating poverty lines (e.g. Ravallion 1994) is not fully specified. The choice of the "reference population" for determining food baskets is left to the decision of the individual analyst. However, the poverty line can be quite sensitive to the real income of the reference group because the "quality" of the food basket—measured as the food expenditures per calorie—rises sharply with income. We propose that the reference group be centered on the poverty line. To address the obvious circularity problem in choosing a reference population at the poverty line to define the poverty line, we use an iterative approach. This iterative method provides a methodological anchor that fixes the reference group.

Now available as a reprint.


110. Pradhan, Menno and Laura B. Rawlings
August 2002
The Impact and Targeting of Social Infrastructure Investments: Lessons from the Nicaraguan Social Fund
The benefit incidence and impact of projects financed by the Nicaraguan Emergency Social Investment Fund are investigated using a sample of beneficiaries, a national household survey, and two distinct comparison groups. The first group is constructed on the basis of geographic proximity between similar facilities and their corresponding communities; the second is drawn from the national Living Standards Measurement Study survey sample using propensity score matching techniques. The analysis finds that the social fund investments in latrines, schools, and health posts are targeted to poor communities and households, whereas those in sewerage are targeted to the better-off. Investments in water systems are poverty-neutral. Education investments have a positive, significant impact on school outcomes regardless of the comparison group used. The results of health investments are less clear. Using one comparison group, the analysis finds that use of health clinics increased as a result of the investments; using both, it finds higher use of clinics for children under age six with diarrhea. With neither comparison group does it find improvements in health outcomes. Social fund investments in water and sanitation improve access to services but have no effect on health outcomes.
Now available as a reprint.


109. Haggblade, Steven, Alice Ravoson, Andrianony Ratsimbazafy, Michel Galy, Monique Raveloarimanana Lupo, Pietro Lupo, Jean Marie Aubert, Lezlie Mornière, Fidèle Rabemananjara, Harivelo Rajemison, and Vincent Rakoto
June 1999
Mécanismes amortisseurs qui jouent en faveur des ménages vulnérables
Against a backdrop of gradually deteriorating standard of living, over the past 30 years, Madagascar's poor confront periodic shocks. Sometimes these shocks are favorable to the poor, as with improving coffee prices in 1986 and 1997 or good rainfall and rice harvest in 1993. More frequently, they are unfavorable - as with the droughts of 1985-86 and 1989-82, galloping inflation of the early 1980's and mid-1990's and most recently the locust invasion of 1998. In similar circumstances elsewhere, these shocks frequently unleash compensating social and institutional reactions to protect the poor. This paper summarizes the findings of three field studies aimed at identifying private sector safety nets available to different vulnerable groups in three different regions of Madagsacar.
View Working Paper 109 (PDF FORMAT)


108. Dostie, Benoît, Steven Haggblade, and Josée Randriamamonjy
December 1999
Seasonality of food consumption of poor households in Madagascar
Seasonal variation in food availability and prices induce noticeable reductions in food consumption and caloric intake among Madagascar's poor during the lean season. This compression in food intake generally becomes most pronounced between January and March, just before the major rice harvest. Rural households feel its effects most acutely since rural price movements roughly triple those in major urban centers. Because the seasonality of food shortages coincides with rising prevalence of sickness during the rainy season, when diarrhea is most acute, the lean season exacts a heavy toll in terms of increased rates of malnutrition and child mortality. To compensate for spiking rice prices during the lean season, most poor households substitute cassava, tubers and, to a lesser extent maize, for rice. These secondary food crops provide an important seasonal buffer due to their more uniform availability and counter-seasonal price movements. Yet even after compensating with increased cassava and tuber consumption, poor households' caloric intake falls by about 12% during the lean season. Because of this, seasonal reductions in food consumption pull about 1 million Malagasy below the poverty line during the lean season. This paper measures the probable impacts of three common seasonal food interventions: 1) seasonal income transfers to poor households; 2) rice imports during the lean season; and 3) increased agricultural productivity in key food crops.
Now available as a reprint.


107. Glick, Peter, Jean Razafindravonona, and Iarivony Randretsa
June 2000
Education and Health Services in Madagascar: Utilization Patterns and Demand Determinants
This study provides descriptive and econometric analysis of education and health care services in Madagascar, using household survey data in combination with community-level data on services in rural areas. The service provider data indicate that the quality of rural education and health care services, particularly in the public sector, is very poor. We estimate the choice of provider for primary schooling and curative health care as well as the determinants of secondary school enrollments. We find that poorer households are generally substantially more sensitive than the well-off to changes in the costs of services. There is evidence that utilization of services is reduced both by distance to providers and poor provider quality. Simulations indicate that an expansion of more expensive private education and health care providers will not be able fill the gaps in public service provision and may reduce overall equity in access to schooling and health care.
View Working Paper 107 (English) (PDF FORMAT)
View Working Paper 107 (French) (PDF FORMAT)



106. Rajemison, Harivelo and Stephen D. Younger
January 2000
Indirect Tax Incidence in Madagascar: Estimations Using the Input-Output Table
This study evaluates the incidence of Madagascar’s principal indirect taxes. It proposes an improved method for doing so, building on earlier work by Younger et al. That earlier work has evaluated tax incidence purely based on the distribution of final consumption by households. Using detailed consumption profiles from the EPM 1993/94, it is possible to impute the incidence of taxes paid by commodity and by income group. The innovation offered in this paper is to recognize that indirect taxes also raise producer input costs, which further upward pressure on producer prices. To capture this second source of tax impact on prices, this paper incorporates the 1995 Input-Output table for Madagascar in order to evaluate the price consequences of modified rates of taxation on intermediate production inputs.
View Working Paper 106 (PDF FORMAT)
View Working Paper 106 (French) (PDF FORMAT)

105. Sahn, David E. and David C. Stifel
August 2001
Robust Comparisons of Malnutrition in Developing Countries
We use Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) to make international and inter-temporal welfare comparisons. While most poverty analyses rely on expenditures or income, we use anthropometric measures of nutrition as indicators of living standards. The advantages are that we observe individual - not household - well-being, deflators and exchange rates are unnecessary, and measurement techniques are similar across surveys. We test the robustness of the headcount results, and find that applying higher order Foster-Greer-Thorbecke poverty measures adds little information; although stochastic dominance testing of nutrition distributions reveals that changes in malnutrition are sensitive to the choice of the "nutrition poverty line."

Now available as a reprint.


104. Sahn, David E., Stephen D. Younger and Garance Genicot
February 2002
The Demand for Health Care Services in Rural Tanzania
This paper examines the pattern of health care demand in rural Tanzania. We distinguish between hospital and clinic based care, in both the public and private sector using a two-level nested multinomial logit model. Own price elasticities of demand for all health care options are high, although, less so for public clinics and dispensaries than other choices. When prices of services are increased, there is a marked decline in use of those services. However, there is a high degree of substitution between public and private care. Consequently, price increases or user fees will result in small percentage of people opting for self-treatment. Another important contribution of this paper is that the quality of medical care has large effects on health demand. This applies to the quality and availability of doctors/nurses, drugs, and the clinic environment.
Now available as a reprint.


103. Younger, Stephen D.
May 2000
The Incidence of Public Services and Subsidies in Peru
This paper studies the incidence of public social sector expenditures in Peru using the traditional methods of benefit incidence analysis and several extensions of those methods. The data in Peru are unusually rich, with information on detailed social programs and a series of representative surveys over time. The paper finds that the most progressive public services and subsidies tend to fall into three categories: those that have an obvious benefit only to the poor, those that are explicitly focused on poverty reduction and are controlled locally, and those that have very broad coverage.
View Working Paper 103 (PDF FORMAT)

102. Pradhan, Menno and Martin Ravallion
January 2000
Who Wants Safer Streets? Explaining Concern for Public Safety in Brazil
Perceived public safety in Brazil varies little with income, but the desire for greater safety has as strong income effect; the poor put higher priority on other needs, but not because they feel less safe. Marginal income effects are higher for the poor. Thus, income inequality attentuates the demand for greater public safety, suggesting an explanation for why crime and inequality are correlated. There are strong neighborhood effects. Living in a poor area increases demand for public safety at given own-income-so much so that poor families in poor areas care more about improving safety than do rich families in rich areas. Education increases demand. We identify a significant but causal effect of lack of safety on the demand for greater safety.
Now available as a reprint.


101. Dorosh, Paul, Steven Haggblade, Harivelo Rajemison, Bodo Ralantoarilolona, and Kenneth Simler
April 1998
Structure et Facteurs Déterminants de la Pauvreté à Madagascar
Two-thirds of Madagascar's population lives below the poverty line. Using detailed, nationally representative household survey data, this study examines regional and structural features of poverty there. It identifies key vulnerable groups as well as policy levers likely to influence their welfare.
View Working Paper 101 (PDF FORMAT)

100. Dostie, Benoît, Josée Randriamamonjy, and Lala Rabenasolo
November 1999
La filière manioc: amortisseur oublié des vulnérables
Cassava provides 14% of all calories consumed in Madagascar, second only to rice. It is most important to poor households, particularly in the south where it accounts for over 25% of caloric intake. In spite of its importance in assuring food security to vulnerable households, regions and seasons, cassava markets and their functioning remain poorly understand, many times forgotten and frequently unappreciated in Madagascar. This paper reports the results of a series of rapid appraisal field missions, which, together with detailed quantitative consumption and production data, combine to provide a portrait of the scale, structure and functioning of Madagascar’s cassava market.
View Working Paper 100 (English) (PDF FORMAT)
View Working Paper 100 (French) (PDF FORMAT)


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99. Ravelosoa, Julia Rachel, Steven Haggblade, and Harivelo Rajemison
October 1999
Estimation des élasticités de la demande à Madagascar à partir d’un modèle AIDS
This study estimates elasticities of demand for 17 goods and for 6 different household groups in Madagascar. This level of disaggregation distinguishes clearly among the often highly variable behavior of households across geographic zones and across income strata. The analysis uses an AIDS (Almost Ideal Demand System) model for estimating consumption elasticities.
View Working Paper 99 (French) (PDF FORMAT)

98. Duclos, Jean-Yves, David E. Sahn, and Stephen D. Younger
October 2006
Robust Multidimensional Poverty Comparisons
We demonstrate how to make poverty comparisons using multidimensional indicators of well-being, showing in particular how to check whether the comparisons are robust to aggregation procedures and to the choice of multidimensional poverty lines. In contrast to earlier work, our methodology applies equally well to what can be defined as ‘union’, ‘intersection’ or ‘intermediate’ approaches to dealing with multidimensional indicators of well-being. To make this procedure of some practical usefulness, the article also derives the sampling distribution of various multidimensional poverty estimators, including estimators of the ‘critical’ poverty frontiers outside which multidimensional poverty comparisons can no longer be deemed ethically robust. The results are illustrated using data from a number of developing countries.
Now available as a reprint.


97. Stifel, David, and David Sahn
October 2002
Exploring Alternative Measures of Welfare in the Absence of Expenditure Data
We consider an asset-based alternative to the standard use of expenditures in defining well-being and poverty. Our primary motivation is to see if there exist simpler and less demanding ways to collect and analyze data to measure economic welfare and rank households. This is particularly important in Africa and other poor regions where there is limited capacity to conduct cons umption and expenditure surveys and to collect price data, and consequently where reliable data (including valid deflators) necessary to make inter-temporal and inter-regional poverty comparisons is scarce. We evaluate an index derived from a factor analysis on household assets using multipurpose surveys from ten countries. We find that the asset index is a valid predictor of what is arguably the most crucial manifestation of poverty — child malnutrition. Further, indicators of relative measurement error show that the asset index is measured as a proxy for long-term wealth with less error than expenditures.
Now available as a reprint.

96. Pradhan, Menno, and Nicholas Prescott
June 1999
Social Risk Management Options for Medical Care in Indonesia
This paper investigates the extent to which price subsidies for medical care are a suitable instrument to reduce the exposure to catastrophic financial risks associated with ill-health in Indonesia.
Now available as a reprint.


95. Sahn, David E., and David C. Stifel
August 1999
Poverty Comparisons Over Time and Across Countries in Africa
In this paper we compare "poverty" at two or more points in time for individual African countries, and between countries, as measured by our welfare index constructed from Demographic and Health Surveys. The index is the outcome of a factor analysis of various household characteristics and durables,as well as education of the household.
Now available as a reprint.


94. Sahn, David E., David Stifel, and Stephen D. Younger
May 1999
Inter-temporal Changes in Welfare: Preliminary Results from Nine African Countries
In this paper we examine changes in living standards over time using the comparable Demographic Health Surveys. We focus on the evolution of child nutrition, mortality, education, and an index of household wealth constructed based on assets using factor analysis.

View Working Paper 94 (PDF FORMAT)

93. Paternostro, Stefano, and David E. Sahn
February 1999
Wage Determination and Gender Discrimination in a Transition Economy: The Case of Romania
This paper analyzes wage determination and gender discrimination in Romania using the 1994 Romanian Household Survey. Wages for both males and females in rural and urban areas are estimated by implementing a Heckman selection model. Gender discrimination analysis is performed on offered wages, addressing the methodological shortcomings found in the literature.
View Working Paper 93 (PDF FORMAT)

92. Glick, Peter
January 1999
Patterns of Employment and Earnings in Madagascar
This study combines descriptive and econometric analysis of various aspects of the labor market in Madagascar. Topics covered include: labor force participation and unemployment of men, women, and children; sectoral composition of the labor force; and the determinants of earnings in different sectors of the labor market.
*Also available in French*
View Working Paper 92 (PDF FORMAT)

91. Younger, Stephen D., and David E. Sahn
October 1999
Fiscal Incidence in Africa: Microeconomic Evidence
This paper examines the degree to which public health and education expenditures redistribute resources to the poor in eight African countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Madagascar, Mauritania, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda.
View Working Paper 91 (PDF FORMAT)

89. Dissou, Yazid, Steven Haggblade, Hery Andriamasy et al.
October 1998
Politique Fiscale: Options et Impacts
This paper evaluates the distributional consequences of currently discussed alternatives for reforming fiscal policy in Madagascar. After reviewing the evolution of Madagascar’s fiscal policy over the past 40 years, analysis focuses on an evaluation of proposed alternatives for increasing tax revenues from the very low level of 9.4% of GDP which prevailed in 1997.
Now available as a reprint.


88. Dorosh, Paul A., and Steven Haggblade
1997
Growth, Linkages, Price Effects and Income Distribution in sub-Saharan Africa
This paper measures the size and distributional consequences of agricultural growth in ten different African countries for which social accounting matrices are available. Using both standard semi-input-output as well as a computable general equilibrium models, the paper examines impacts on the rural nonfarm economy, urban households, macroeconomic variables as well as overall distributional impacts on the poor.
Now available as a reprint.


87. Younger, Stephen D., and Jane Harrigan
October 1998
Aid, Debt, and Growth in Ghana
This paper reviews Ghana’s experience with aid flows and debt accumulation, arguing that it is difficult to find a link between either variable and economic growth.
Now available as a reprint..


86. Younger, Stephen D.
September 1997
The Relative Progressivity of Social Sciences in Ecuador
This paper analyzes the incidence of public expenditures on health and education services, using both traditional and econometric methods.
Now available as a reprint.


85. Younger, Stephen D., and Paul A. Dorosh
March 1997
Devaluation and Inflation in the CFA Zone: A Time Series Analysis
This paper uses time series methods to study the impact of the 1994 CFA devaluation on inflation in CFA countries.


84. Glick, Peter
July 1998
Simultaneous Determination of Home Work and Market Work of Women in Urban West Africa
Models the determinants of women’s hours of work in market and household activities in Conakry, Guinea. A simultaneous tobit framework is used to capture the jointness inherent in decisions regarding the time allocated to different activities.
Now available as a reprint.


83. Simler, Kenneth R.
November 1997
The Transition to a Market-Based Agricultural Economy in Malawi: A Multi-Market Analysis
This paper uses empirical data to develop a multi-market model for Malawi. The model is used to simulate the effects on production, consumption, real household income, and trade as a result of: changes in the world price of traded commodities, exogenous changes in the production level of important crops, increases in the efficiency of the domestic maize market, and a depreciation in the real exchange rate.
View Working Paper 83 (PDF FORMAT)
81.

Glick, Peter, and David E. Sahn
January 1997
Schooling of Girls and Boys in a West African Country: The Effects of Parental Education, Income, and Household Structure
We investigate the household determinants of several schooling indicators for boys and girls. Schooling investments increase with improvements in household income and parental education, but the effects are different for girls and boys.
Now available as a reprint.


80. Samba-Mamadou, Ousmane
December 1996
Devaluation du FCFA, Taux de Change Parallele de la Naira et Competitivité de l’Economie Nigerienne Face au Nigeria
This paper examines the effects of the 1994 CFA franc devaluation on the competitiveness of Niger’s industry relative to that in neighboring Nigeria. The author also uses co-integration techniques to show that exchange rate arbitrage holds for the CFA/Naira parallel exchange rate and the Naira/dollar parallel exchange rate.
Now available as a reprint.


79. Dorosh, Paul A., and Yazid Dissou
October 1996
Economic Linkages Between Nigeria and Niger in the Wake of the CFA Devaluation: A CGE Analysis
Nigeria and its neighbor to the north, Niger, share a porous border over which substantial parallel market trade takes place. This paper links computable general equilibrium (CGE) models for the two countries to analyze an oil price shock, Nigeria’s exchange rate policies and aspects of the CFA franc devaluation.
Now available as a reprint.


78. Sahn, David E., Stephen D. Younger, and Kenneth R. Simler
September 1999
Dominance Testing of Transfers in Romania
We compare the progressivity of different government transfer to households in Romania. We use distribution free standard errors to examine the differences between concentration curves that may be correlated, as well as employing sensitivity analysis using different household equivalence scales.
Now available as a reprint .

77. Dorosh, Paul A., Steven Haggblade, and Christian Rasolomanana
June 1996
Impact de la Politique Economique sur les Pauvres: Méthodes d’Analyses à Travers un Modèle à Equilibre Générale
This paper uses a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model for Madagascar to analyze the distributional impacts of economic policy options including a subsidy on rice imports, foreign capital inflows, an increase in the tax on petroleum imports and the implementation of a value-added tax.


76. Younger, Stephen D., David E. Sahn, Steven Haggblade, and Paul A. Dorosh
June 1996
Tax Incidence in Madagascar: An Analysis Using Household Data
In this paper, the authors use data from a 1994 national household survey in Madagascar to assess tax incidence in Madagascar. Results indicate that only two taxes (on kerosene and vanilla exports) are regressive, i.e. these taxes account for a larger share of the expenditures of poor households than of non-poor households.
Now available as a reprint.


75. Dorosh, Paul A.
March 1996
Implications of Macroeconomic Policy for the Poor in Nigeria: A CGE Analysis
This paper presents computable general equilibrium (CGE) model simulations of the effects of oil shocks and major macroeconomic policy changes on household incomes in Nigeria. Details of the construction of a social accounting matrix (SAM) for 1987 and the equations of the CGE model for Nigeria are also included.
ISBN 1-56401-175-5
View
Working Paper 75 (PDF FORMAT)


73. Barrett, Christopher B., and Paul A. Dorosh
April 1995
Rice Prices and Farmers’ Welfare in Madagascar: A Non-Parametric Analysis
This paper used nonparametric density estimation and kernel smoothing techniques to examine the distributional implications of increased and more variable rice prices in Madagascar.
ISBN 1-56401-173-9
Now available as a reprint.

72. Sahn, David E., Paul A. Dorosh, and Stephen D. Younger
September 1994
Economic Reform in Africa: A Foundation for Poverty Alleviation
This paper synthesizes the results of CFNPP’s work on the impacts of structural adjustment policies on the poor in Africa. Separate chapters discuss in depth, the impacts of trade and exchange rate, fiscal and agricultural policies. Differing views on the impacts of adjustment policies are discussed and directions for future policy are outlined.
ISBN 1-56401-172-0
View Working Paper 72 (PDF FORMAT)

71. Dorosh, Paul A.
August 1994
Adjustment, External Shocks, and Poverty in Lesotho: A Multiplier Analysis
This paper examines how poor households in Lesotho have been affected by the adverse external shocks and policy changes of the 1980s, and explores policy option for alleviating poverty.
ISBN 1-56401-171-2
View Working Paper 71 (PDF FORMAT)

70. Glick, Peter, and David E. Sahn
September 1994
Health and Earnings in a Heterogenous Urban Labor Market: Evidence from Guinea
This paper focuses attention on the effects of health on productivity in poor urban environments. Using comprehensive household survey data from Conakry; the study confronts the two major problems in doing empirical work on health and earnings; the definition and measurement of health status, and the simultaneity of the health-earnings relation.
ISBN 1-56401-170-4
Now available as a reprint.

67. Subramanian, Shankar
September 1994
The Oil Boom and After: Structural Adjustment in Cameroon
This paper uses a Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model to examine the following in Cameroon: the impact on growth and income distribution of the different components of price shocks and alternative adjustment policies the government could have followed as well as which policies would have made the country less vulnerable to the adverse shock in the terms of trade.
ISBN 1-56401-167-4
View Working Paper 67 (PDF FORMAT)



66. del Ninno, Carlo
March 1994
Welfare and Poverty in Conakry: Assessment and Determinants
This paper uses both a relative and absolute definitions to characterize and analyze the determinants of poverty in Conakry, Guinea.
ISBN 1-56401-166-6
View Working Paper 66 (PDF FORMAT)



64. Younger, Stephen, Sudarshan Canagarajah, and Harold Alderman
March 1994
A Comparison of Ghanaian Civil Servants’ Earnings Before and After Retrenchment
This paper analyzes the earnings of retrenched civil servants before and after their permanent layoff.
ISBN 1-56401-164-X
Now available as a reprint.


63. Dorosh, Paul, and René Bernier
March 1994
Agricultural and Food Policy Issues in Mozambique: A Multi-Market Analysis
A multi-market model is used to understand how various commodity markets interact and the likely effects of government interventions and exogenous shocks on markets and household incomes.
ISBN 1-56401-163-1
View Working Paper 63 (PDF FORMAT)

62. Sarris, A.H.
March 1994
A Social Accounting Matrix for Tanzania
This paper describes a Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) for Tanzania for 1976, the most recent year for which there exists an input-output matrix.
ISBN 1-56401-162-3
View Working Paper 62 (PDF FORMAT)

61. Dorosh, Paul A.
March 1994
Macroeconomic Adjustment and the Poor in Madagascar: A CGE Analysis
Using a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model of Madagascar’s economy, this paper analyzes several key policy changes in Madagascar during the 1980s, including stabilization measures, rice import policy and trade liberalization.
ISBN 1-56401-161-5
View Working Paper 61 (PDF FORMAT)

60. Dorosh, Paul A., and Steven Haggblade
March 1994
Growth Linkages in Madagascar: Implications for Sectoral Investment Priorities
This paper presents an analysis of the growth linkages of alternative industrial and agricultural development strategies, using a semi-input-output (SIO) model.
ISBN 1-56401-160-7
View Working Paper 60 (PDF FORMAT)


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59. Sarris, A. H., and P. Tinios
March 1994
Structural Changes in Tanzanian Poverty Over the Last 15 Years
This paper tries to assess how the degree of poverty in Tanzania has changed between 1976 and 1991 using the available summary statistics from the 1976 national household budget survey and the 1991 Cornell-ERB national household survey.
ISBN 1-56401-159-3
View Working Paper 59


57. Dorosh, Paul A., and Ousmane Samba Mamadou
March 1994
Terms of Trade and the Real Exchange Rate in the CFA Zone: Implications for Income Distribution in Niger
In this paper, the authors use a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model of Niger's economy to analyze the impacts of real exchange rates and fiscal policies on income distribution.
ISBN 1-56401-157-7
View Working Paper 57


56. Sahn, David E. and Carlo del Ninno
March 1994
Living Standards and the Determinants of Poverty and Income Distribution in Mozambique
This paper presents a decomposition of poverty and income distribution in Maputo, in addition to a model of the determinants of poverty. The importance of human capital is highlighted, in addition to the difficulty of identifying simple targeting criteria for identifying poor households.
ISBN 1-56401-156-9
View Working Paper 56


54. Sahn, David E., and Harold Alderman
March 1994
The Effect of Food Subsidies on Labor Supply in Sri Lanka
How did the food subsidy in Sri Lanka affect labor supply? This paper shows that for both men and women, in rural and urban areas, the receipt of the subsidy had a marked impact on the days worked, although, little effect on the decision as to whether or not to work.
ISBN 1-56401-154-2
Now available as a reprint.


53. Sahn, David E., and Jaikishan Desai
March 1994
The Emergence of Parallel Markets in a Transition Economy: The Case of Mozambique
The government set up a food rationing system for Maputo in response to acute shortages. In practice, however, the food aid that is supposedly destined for distribution through a state administered rationing scheme is largely diverted to the parallel market where it nonetheless reaches its targeted beneficiaries.
ISBN 1-56401-153-4
View Working Paper 53


52. Mills, Bradford, David E. Sahn, E.E. Walden, and Stephen D. Younger
April 1994
Public Finance and Public Employment: An Analysis of Public Sector Retrenchment Programs in Ghana and Guinea
This paper compares the public sector retrenchment programs in Ghana and Guinea, with special emphasis on the fiscal savings each program generated. The paper also addresses both administrative and political considerations that either contributed to or detracted from the programs’ effectiveness.
ISBN 1-56401-152-6
View Working Paper 52


51. Mills, Bradford.
March 1994
The Impact of Gender Discrimination on the Job Search Strategies of Redeployed Public Sector Workers
This paper examines whether differential access by gender to wage sector employment opportunities leads to different durations and outcomes of job search after departure from the public sector. It tries to answer the concern that women who leave the public sector have more difficulties than their male counterparts in finding private sector work.
ISBN 1-56401-151-8
View Working Paper 51


50. Dorosh, Paul, Carlo del Ninno, and David E. Sahn
March 1994
Food Aid and Poverty Alleviation in Mozambique: The Potential for Self-Targeting with Yellow Maize
Using econometric estimates of urban demand parameters and household survey data on distribution of expenditures, the authors present simulations from a multi-market model of the effects of changes in yellow maize food aid on real incomes, food consumption and extent of poverty in Maputo.
ISBN 1-56401-150-X
View Working Paper 50


49. Simler, Kenneth
February 1994
Agricultural Policy and Technology Options in Malawi: Modeling Responses and Outcomes in the Smallholder Subsector
This paper develops a set of farm household linear programming models that examine the effects of recent advances on agricultural technology and proposed policy reforms on farm and sector incomes, input demand, and output supply.
ISBN 1-56401-149-6
View Working Paper 49


48. Younger, Stephen D.
October 1993
Estimating Tax Incidence in Ghana: An Exercise Using Household Data
This study uses household income and consumption data from Ghana to estimate the incidence of different taxes across the income distribution. In addition to measuring the progressivity of taxes, it concludes that the overall tax system has become more progressive during adjustment.
ISBN 1-56401-148-8
View Working Paper 48


47. Tabatabai, Hamid
October 1993
Poverty and Food Consumption in Urban Zaire
This study is concerned with certain dimensions of poverty in urban Zaire: the extent of the poverty, the identification of the poor, and the factors associated with their poverty. As part of the larger Cornell project on Zaire, this study covers Kinshasa, the capital city, and Bandundu Town.
ISBN 1-56401-147-X
View Working Paper 47


46. Dorosh, Paul A., and Mattias K.A. Lundberg
June 1993
A General Equilibrium Analysis of Adjustment and the Poor in Gambia
In this paper the authors use a CGE (computable general equilibrium) model to show the crucial role of aid flows in limiting adverse effects of the reform process and external shocks on poor households in the Gambia.
ISBN 1-56401-146-1
View Working Paper 46


45. Sahn, David E., and René Bernier
June 1993
Evidence from Africa on the Intrasectoral Allocation of Social Sector Expenditures
Limiting their analysis to the issue of public expenditure policy as it applies to health care and education, the authors examine the challenge of the state to act as an efficient provider and promoter of social services, particularly health care and education.
ISBN 1-56401-145-3
Now available as a reprint.

44. Bagachwa, Mboya S.D., Alexander H. Sarris, and Platon Tinios
June 1993
Small Scale Urban Enterprises in Tanzania: Results from a 1991 Survey.
The paper reports the results of a survey covering 546 small enterprises producing in all sectors from five cities in Tanzania. The results suggest that the small scale sector in Tanzania is dynamic and merits more public support.
ISBN 1-56401-144-5
View Working Paper 44

43. Glick, Peter, and David E. Sahn
December 1993
Labor Force Participation, Sectoral Choice, and Earnings in Conakry, Guinea
This study uses household survey data to analyze the determination of sector of employment and earnings of men and women in a low income, African urban center. Earnings function for men and women are estimated to identify the roles of schooling, experience, and other factors in determining earnings in different sectors of the labor market.
ISBN 1-56401-143-7
Now available as a reprint.


42. Mills, Bradford, and David E. Sahn
June 1993
Is There Life After Public Service: The Fate of Retrenched Workers in Conakry, Guinea
This paper examines the Republic of Guinea’s attempts to reduce public sector employment levels and improve the conditions of service for remaining workers. Particular attention is given to the transition costs experienced by redeployed workers in locating alternative employment in the private sector.
ISBN 1-56401-142-9
View Working Paper 42


41. Benjamin, Nancy
March 1993
Income Distribution and Adjustment in an Agricultural Economy: A General Equilibrium Analysis of Cameroon
Using a multi-period computable general equilibrium model (CGE), this paper examines the implications of external shocks and adjustment policies for income distribution in Cameroon.
ISBN 1-56401-141-0
Now available as a reprint.

40. Dorosh, Paul A., and B. Essama Nssah
March 1993
External Shocks, Policy Reform and Income Distribution in Niger
In this paper, the authors present a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model for Niger and use the model to analyze the effects of external shocks and policy changes in the 1980s on household incomes.
ISBN 1-56401-140-2
View Working Paper 40



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39. Dorosh, Paul A., and David E. Sahn
February 1993
A General Equilibrium Analysis of the Effect of Macroeconomic Adjustment on Poverty in Africa
This paper presents an overview of key economic characteristics of poor households in sub-Saharan Africa and then uses computable general equilibrium CGE models of four African economies to analyze the effects of several major adjustment policies on low-income households.
ISBN 1-56401-139-9
Now available as a reprint.


38. Younger, Stephen D.
February 1993
Exchange Rate Management in Ghana
This paper reviews the history of exchange rate policy in Ghana, with special emphasis on the gradual liberalization of trade and exchange restrictions in the past 10 years. It describes and evaluates Ghana’s experience with special market structures, including the auction and the legal parallel market run through foreign exchange bureaus. It also considers options for the future of exchange rate management in Ghana.
ISBN 1-56401-138-0
Now available as a reprint.


37. Higgins, Paul A., and Harold Alderman
February 1993
Labor and Women’s Nutrition: A Study of Energy Expenditure, Fertility, and Nutritional Status in Ghana
The role of energy expenditures in contributing to female malnutrition is potentially more important in sub-Saharan Africa than anywhere else in the world. This paper examines the determinants of the nutritional status of adult women using household survey data from Ghana.
ISBN 1-56401-137-2
View Working Paper 37


36. Canagarajah, R.S., and S.E. Pudney
February 1993
Short Term Consumption Behavior, Seasonality, and Labor Market Uncertainty in Rural India
The authors examine the short-term consumption patterns of a sample of rural Indian households over a period of 52 weeks. They find that short-term income uncertainty due to illness and involuntary unemployment causes these residents to significantly reduce their consumption, while predictable seasonal income volatility has no such effect.
ISBN 1-56401-136-4
View Working Paper 36


35. Alderman, Harold, Sudharshan Canagarajah, and Stephen D. Younger
February 1993
Consequences of Permanent Lay-off from the Civil Service: Results from a Survey of Retrenched Workers in Ghana
One facet of Ghana’s economic reform programs in the "redeployment" that is, permanent lay off, of a large number of government employees. In this paper, the authors set out to examine the economic and social consequences of the program.
ISBN 1-56401-135-6
View Working Paper 35


34. Bernier, René, and Paul A. Dorosh
February 1993
Constraints on Rice Production in Madagascar: The Farmer’s Perspective
In the wake of rice market liberalization, there has been a slow response by rice farmers and production has just kept pace with population growth. Using a survey of rice farmers, the authors investigate the constraints on production increases. The report concludes that low productivity and economic profitability of fertilizer use are important barriers to augmented paddy production.
ISBN 1-56401-134-8
View Working Paper 34


33. Alexander H. Sarris
November 1992
Household Welfare During Crisis and Adjustment in Ghana
In this paper a model of the producing and consuming household is developed to derive comparative static indicators of real welfare changes between periods that depend on observable data. Analysis of representative households suggests that real incomes of all households declined in the period before the Economic Recovery Program, and have risen afterwards.
ISBN 1-56401-133-X
Now available as Reprint.


32. Amani, H.K.R., Rogier van den Brink, and W.E. Maro
November 1992
Tolerating the Private Sector: Grain Trade in Tanzania After Adjustment
By focusing on a study group of wholesale grain traders, this paper discusses current bottlenecks, and conditions needed for the private grain traders to operate more efficiently and indicates what the authors think the role of government in the liberalization process should be.
ISBN 1-56401-132-1
View Working Paper 32


31. Jebuni, Charles, and Wayo Seini
November 1992
Agricultural Input Policies Under Structural Adjustment: Their Distributional Implications
Since independence and especially since the early 1970s, governments of Ghana have intervened in agriculture on the supply side to encourage productivity through the provision of subsidized inputs, fertilizer in particular. This paper is dedicated to this and other inputs that have been the main targets of policy intervention.
ISBN 1-56401-131-3
View Working Paper 31


30. Canagarajah, R. Sudharshan
June 1992
Participation Rates, Efficiency, and Characteristics of Workers
This paper shows how the slack season participation rate of workers in a demand constrained economy can be related to their person-specific and household specific variables in order to shed light on the propositions about efficiency of workers developed in the efficiency wage literature.
ISBN 1-56401-130-5
View Working Paper 30

29. Sahn, David E., Yves Van Frausum, and Gerald Shively
May 1992
The Adverse Nutrition Effects of Taxing Export Crops in Malawi
In this paper the authors address two complementary issues: the effect on smallholder real incomes of moving to a regime of parity pricing for smallholder export crops, and how such a change in the level and composition of income affects nutrition in Malawi.
ISBN 1-56401-129-1
Now available as a reprint.

28. Alderman, Harold
May 1992
Food Security and Grain Trade in Ghana
The author discusses the results of a survey of 102 traders undertaken between March and June 1990 in two regions of Ghana. Observations are placed in the context of other studies of marketing in Ghana and neighboring countries.
ISBN 1-56401-128-3
View Working Paper 28


27. Alderman, Harold, and Paul Higgins
May 1992
Food and Nutritional Adequacy in Ghana.
The authors attempt to discern the levels and types of food available to households in different regions of Ghana. Toward this end, they analyze the data from the Ghana Living Standards Survey from its first year. They suggest that this approach should have general relevance to the design of food security and economic policies in Ghana.
ISBN 1-56401-127-5
View Working Paper 27


26. Alderman, Harold
May 1992
Incomes and Food Security in Ghana
The author analyzes data from two studies about food security at the household level in Ghana. The results of this analysis help illustrate the nature of a household food security component of agricultural policy.
ISBN 1-56401-126-7
View Working Paper 26


25. Sahn, David E., and Alexander H. Sarris
April 1992
The Political Economy of Economic Decline and Reform in Africa: The Role of the State, Markets, and Civil Institutions
In this paper the authors clarify five themes surrounding the role of the state in African economies by drawing on the experience of four countries: Guinea, Malawi, Mozambique, and Tanzania.
ISBN 1-56401-125-9
Now available as a reprint.

24. Younger, Stephen D.
April 1992
Testing the Link Between Devaluation and Inflation: Time Series Evidence from Ghana
The author addresses the question of whether devaluation invariably causes inflation, even in a tightly controlled economy.
ISBN 1-56401-124-0
Now available as a reprint.

23. Schnepf, Randall
March 1992
Nutritional Status of Rwandan Households: Survey Evidence on the Role of Household Consumption Behavior
The author uses the data from the first National Budget and Consumption Survey taken in Rwanda to examine the nutritional status of preschool children.
ISBN 1-56401-123-2
View Working Paper 23

22. Dorosh, Paul A., and Steven Haggblade, with René E. Bernier, Beby Raharimanana, Isadore Ramaroson, and Christian Rasolomanana
January 1992
Agricultural Growth Linkages in Madagascar
This paper describes a semi-input-output model that is built around a 37 - account Social Accounting Matrix (SAM). The model is used to examine the interrelationships between agriculture and the rest of the Malagasy economy.
ISBN 1-56401-122-4
View Working Paper 22


21. Quinn, Victoria
January 1992
A User’s Manual for Conducting Child Nutrition Surveys in Developing Countries
This paper describes the many aspects of conducting a child nutrition survey in a developing country in a non-famine situation, from taking anthropometric measurements to preparing a final report.
ISBN 1-56401-121-6
View Working Paper 21


20. Jabara, Cathy L., Mattias Lundberg, and Abdoulie Sirah Jallow
January 1992
A Social Accounting Matrix for Gambia
The Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) for Gambia presents for the first time a comprehensive and consistent account of the relationships between the producing and consuming parts of the Gambian economy.
ISBN 1-56401-120-8
View Working Paper 20


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19. van den Brink, Rogier, and Daniel W. Bromley
January 1992
The Enclosures Revisited: Privatization, Titling, and the Quest for Advantage in Africa
The authors discuss land reform in sub-Saharan Africa and suggest land titling as an example of rent-seeking behavior so often denounced by many of those who seem most enthusiastic about privatization of land.
ISBN 1-56401-119-4
View Working Paper 19


18. Dorosh, Paul A., and B. Essama Nssah.
December 1991
A Social Accounting Matrix for Niger: Methodology and Results
This paper describes a Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) for Niger. The SAM comprises the internally consistent data set that details relationships among production, factor payments, employment, and the distribution of income.
ISBN 1-56401-118-6
View Working Paper 18

17. 17. Younger, Stephen D.
December 1991
Aid and the Dutch Disease: Macroeconomic Management When Everybody Loves You
This paper analyzes several macroeconomic problems that develop from the strong inflows of foreign aid to Ghana.
ISBN 1-56401-117-8
Now available as a reprint.


16. Lynch, Sarah
December 1991
Income Distribution, Poverty, and Consumer Preferences in Cameroon
This paper is an analysis of consumer preferences and the economic characteristics of Cameroon by using data from the Ministry of Plan’s 1983/84 National Budget Survey.
ISBN 1-56401-116-X
View Working Paper 16

15. van den Brink, Rogier, and Jean-Paul Chavas
November 1991
The Microeconomics of an Indigenous African Credit Institution: Rotating Savings and Credit Associations
The authors present an analysis that provides a good example of the capacity that informal institutional structures have to meet the credit needs of agricultural development activities.
ISBN 1-56401-115-1
View Working Paper 15

14. Shekar, Meera
November 1991
The Tamil Nadu Integrated Nutrition Project: A Review of the Project with Special Emphasis on the Monitoring and Information System
This paper describes a review of selected aspects of The Tamil Nadu Integrated Nutrition Project undertaken in 1989 as part of a Rockefeller-funded project. The review is designed so researchers can better understand the organization and mode of operation of successful nutrition programs.
ISBN 1-56401-114-3
View Working Paper 14 (PDF FORMAT)


13. Van Frausum, Yves., and David E. Sahn
October 1991
An Econometric Model for Malawi: Measuring the Effects of External Shocks and Policies
This paper represents an econometric model developed for Malawi that simulates the effects of alternative government policies during the 1980s as well as what would have happened had Malawi not been hit by the adverse terms-of-trade shock caused by the increased cost of transport through war-torn Mozambique.
ISBN 1-56401-113-5
Now available as a reprint.

12. Younger, Stephen D.
August 1991
Competitive Allocation of Global Credit Ceilings: Alternative Rules for Direct Control of Domestic Credit in Developing Economies
The author points out two problems with the liberalization of credit markets to monetary control and proposes several alternative rules for dividing a global credit ceiling among banks to alleviate the latter problem.
ISBN 1-56401-112-7
View Working Paper 12

11. van den Brink, Rogier, Daniel W. Bromley, and Jean-Paul Chavas
June 1991
The Economics of Cain and Abel: Agro-pastoral Property Rights in the Sahel
The agro-pastoral production system of the West African Sahel is described in order to better understand the nature of property rights conflicts between nomads and farmers, an issue often overlooked by donors and policymakers.
ISBN 1-56401-111-9
View Working Paper 11

10. Alderman, Harold E., and Gerald Shively
May 1991
Prices and Markets in Ghana
The authors provide a rigorous analysis of monthly food commodity prices in Ghana from 1970 to 1990, focusing on the periods before and after Ghana’s economic recovery program. The study includes an investigation of time trends and seasonal price patterns, as well as analyses of inter-commodity price transmittal and market integration.
ISBN 1-56401-110-0
View Working Paper 10

9. Sahn, David E., and Jehan Arulpragasam
March 1991
Development Through Dualism? Land Tenure Policy and Poverty in Malawi
The authors explore how failure to alter laws and regulations contributes to widespread poverty and to poor agricultural performance in Malawi.
ISBN 1-56401-109-7
Now available as a reprint.

8. Younger, Stephen D.
March 1991
Monetary Management in Ghana
This study of macroeconomic policy draws lessons from the experience of Ghana in its transition to a liberal financial system.
ISBN 1-56401-108-9
Now available as a reprint.

7. Jabara, Cathy L., and Alberto Valdés
March 1991
Developing Countries in Sugar Markets
This paper examines the role that developing countries have in world sugar production, consumption, and trade, along with the effect of sugar policies of both developed and developing countries on that trade.
ISBN 1-56401-107-0
View Working Paper 7

6. Dorosh, Paul A., René E. Bernier, Arman Roger Randrianarivony, and Christian Rasolomanana.
March 1991
A Social Accounting Matrix for Madagascar: Methodology and Results
The paper describes and discusses a Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) for Madagascar.
ISBN 1-56401-106-2
*Also available in French*
ISBN 1-56401-200-X
View Working Paper 6

5. Pelletier, David L.
February 1991
The Uses and Limitations of Information in the Iringa Nutrition Program, Tanzania
This report part of a series to better understand the organization and mode of operation of successful nutrition programs in developing countries describes the results of a review of the Iringa Nutrition Program conducted in 1989.
ISBN 1-56401-105-4
View Working Paper 5

4. Gauthier, Madeleine, and Steven Kyle
January 1991
A Social Accounting Matrix for Cameroon
This paper presents the details of a Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) for Cameroon.
ISBN 1-56401-104-6
View Working Paper 4

3. Sahn, David E., and Alexander H. Sarris
January 1991
Structural Adjustment and Rural Smallholder Welfare: A Comparative Analysis from sub-Saharan Africa
This paper focuses on developing a model that employs data on the patterns of income, expenditures, and price movements to discern how the welfare of the poor is changing over time.
ISBN 1-56401-103-8
Now available as a reprint.


2. Sahn, David E.
December 1990
The Impact of Export Crop Production on Nutritional Status in Côte d’Ivoire
This paper examines the impact of households’ shifting from food to export production in Côte d’Ivoire. The case study provides compelling evidence that allocating land to export crops, rather than to food crops, would increase incomes and would not result in harmful nutritional effects.
ISBN 1-56401-102-X
Now available as a reprint.


1. Alderman, Harold
April 1990
Nutritional Status in Ghana and Its Determinants
This paper outlines nutritional status issues in Ghana.
ISBN 1-56401-101-1
View Working Paper 1

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