Food security is doubly threatened by climate change and population growth. Could better storage technologies address some of these challenges, in Ethiopia for example? Meanwhile, China is providing more and more development assistance across Africa. But how does this affect individuals in terms of wealth and educational attainment? Finally, migration is often stressful but what are the long-term health effects on children, in Eastern Europe for example? These are just a few of the questions tackled by our researchers in February 2018 — in six journal articles and nine working papers, among many others. Click here for the full list of our most recent publications.
‘The impacts of postharvest storage innovations on food security and welfare in Ethiopia’. This article analyses the impact of improved storage technologies on food and nutrition security and welfare using nationally representative data from Ethiopia. The study finds that the use of improved storage technologies increases dietary diversity and reduces child malnutrition and self-reported food insecurity. We also find that non-user households would have experienced these benefits had they used improved storage technologies. Overall, the study suggests that improved storage technologies can enhance food and nutrition security, and could play a key role in alleviating the challenges of feeding a growing population in the face of climate change. By PhD fellow Wondimagen Tesfaye and Dr. Nyasha Tirivayi.
‘The benefits of collective action: Exploring the role of forest producer organizations in social protection‘. This article reviews the literature to understand and document the role and practices of forest producer organisations in providing social protection. The review finds that most of the social protection benefits provided by forest producer organisations are in the form of social insurance, informal insurance through pooled funds and social services in the community. However, there is limited evidence of the effectiveness or socio-economic impact of the social protection benefits provided by forest producer organisations. The review’s findings suggest that forest producer organisations can potentially contribute to the expansion of social protection coverage among the rural poor in line with the targets of the sustainable development goal (SDG) 1. By Dr. Nyasha Tirivayi, PhD fellow Wondimagen Tesfaye et al.
‘Migration and child health in Moldova and Georgia’. This article uses nationally representative data collected in 2011–2012 in Moldova and Georgia to investigate how children’s health associates with five transnational characteristics: migrant and return-migrant household types, parental migration and parental divorce, maternal and/or paternal migration and caregiver’s identity, the duration of migration, and remittances. Findings show that, regardless of the transnational family setting, children of migrants have overall positive or no differing health compared to children in non-migrant households. However, significant gender differences are found in both countries. More often than not, Moldovan and Georgian girls are more at risk of having poorer health when living transnationally. These results add nuance to a field of research that has mainly emphasised negative outcomes for children in transnational care. By Dr. Victor Cebotari, Prof. Melissa Siegel et al.
Community mobilization and maternal care of women living with HIV in poor settings: the case of Mfuwe, Zambia’. This article explores the relevance of community mobilisation in the promotion of maternal health care among women living with HIV in resource-poor settings by using Mfuwe, a rural district in Zambia as a case study. By PhD fellow Choolwe Muzyamba, Dr. Sonila Tomini et al.
”The heterogeneous effect of shocks on agricultural innovations adoption: Microeconometric evidence from rural Ethiopia’. This article analyses the effect of idiosyncratic and covariate shocks on adoption of different agricultural innovations, assuming interdependence among the innovations. The article finds shocks to have heterogeneous effects on the adoption of agricultural innovations. Specifically, production and health shocks have negative effects on the adoption of high-cost innovations such as improved seeds, chemical fertiliser, and irrigation. However, production shocks are positively associated with low-cost innovations such as organic fertiliser. To enhance farmers’ adoption of agricultural innovations, especially high-cost innovations, there is a greater need towards the design of policies and interventions that would reduce household’s exposure to production and health shocks. By PhD fellow Wondimagen Tesfaye et al.
‘Defining and measuring innovation in all sectors of the economy‘. This article combines general definitions of innovation applicable in all economic sectors with a systems approach, to develop a conceptual framework for the statistical measurement of innovation. The resulting indicators can be used for monitoring and evaluation of innovation policies that have been implemented, as well as for international comparisons. The extension of harmonised innovation measurement to all economic sectors has implications for innovation research and for policy learning. By Prof. Fred Gault.
‘What is the potential of natural resource based industrialisation in Latin America? An input-output analysis of the extractive sectors’. This paper provides a clearer picture of the extent and evolution of productive linkages of NR sectors across a sample of middle- and high-income countries in Latin America as well as in other developing and developed regions. The paper focuses on the degree to which extractive industries, i.e. oil, gas, and mining, are connected to the rest of the economy by studying both backward and forward linkages using OECD IO data. The authors find that in most countries intersectoral linkages have become smaller despite the expansion of the extractive sector suggesting a higher level of enclaveness as predicted by the resource curse literature. By PhD fellow Beatriz Calzada Olvera and Dr. Neil Foster-McGregor.
‘Fluctuations in renewable electricity supply: Gains from international trade through infrastructure?’. This paper shows through a dynamic panel data analysis that imports of electric currents have increased and exports have decreased through the higher share of renewables in electricity production, controlling for other factors. On the one hand more cables have been built recently; but on the other hand some countries are blocking electricity shocks technologically as they suffer from free trade temporarily when receiving supply shocks. This shows that trade currently helps dealing with fluctuations of supply, but temporary losses for recipients of shocks may require payments to leave the borders open. By Dr. Thomas Ziesemer.
‘Foreign direct investment in sub-Saharan Africa: Beyond its growth effect‘. This paper relates Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to economic growth, institutional quality and manufacturing value added. The paper confirms that economic growth, institutional quality, and natural resources, each play a positive role in attracting FDI. Besides, institutional quality is not an ‘environmental variable’ that simply determines economic growth and FDI inflows; it is itself affected by both of these variables. While most of these results are in agreement with some previous studies, the study also identifies detrimental institutional and deindustrialising effects of FDI which have hitherto been overlooked. A policy implication is that countries should be selective on the type of FDI they try to attract by weighing its positive growth effect against its deindustrialising and adverse institutional effects. By PhD fellow Hassen Wako.
‘Chinese development assistance and household welfare in sub-Saharan Africa’. This paper investigates the effect of Chinese project assistance on household welfare in 13 sub-Saharan African countries. The paper’s findings consistently point to an overall positive effect of Chinese project assistance on household welfare: areas that receive Chinese projects are more likely to be wealthier, stay in school longer, and achieve a higher educational attainment than areas which did not receive such projects. By Dr. Bruno Martorano et al.
‘Sanctioning regimes and chief quality: Evidence from Liberia’. This paper investigates how different sanctioning regimes and the quality of local leaders affect public goods provision in Liberian villages. The study finds that real village leaders elicit higher contributions than random villagers or groups without sanctioning. We also report that the effectiveness of sanctioning is attenuated by chiefs who are perceived to be of low-quality, especially when the sanctioner has no material incentive to punish. This suggests that low-quality chiefs are less likely to exert effort for public goods if they do not also privately benefit from it. Finally the authors find that people’s preferred regime choice seems to depend on their real-life experiences in the village rather than their individual characteristics. Current development programmes heavily rely on community self-management and local institutions. The paper supports the idea that a programme’s success is likely to depend on whether villagers deem their leader to be credible norm enforcers. By Dr. Eleonora Nillesen.
‘Market integration and pro-social behaviour in rural Liberia’. This paper presents empirical evidence on the relation between market integration and pro-social behaviour among rural households in Liberia. This is particularly relevant in light of recent emphasis on promoting agricultural development through connecting small-scale farmers to markets and value chains. The study finds that increased levels of market integration have no robust impact on altruistic behaviour, as represented by amounts send in the dictator game, but are associated with lower offers in the ultimatum game. The findings support the idea that market integration makes people act more economically rational, especially when matched with traders. The study provides new evidence that contrary to popular belief, markets do not crowd out norms of generosity or fairness, or lead to some sort of negative externality by changing norms and preferences but rather strengthen strategic considerations and behaviour. By Dr. Stephan Dietrich and Dr. Eleonora Nillesen.
‘Agricultural extension and input subsidies to reduce food insecurity. Evidence from a field experiment in the Congo. This paper uses a field experiment in eastern DRC to test whether adding input subsidies to an extension programme provides synergistic benefits. The study’s results caution against overoptimistic views on the downstream effects of productivity enhancing technologies and that investments in structural changes in markets are likely needed to stimulate growth in the agricultural sector. By Dr. Eleonora Nillesen, PhD fellow Soazic Elise Wang Sonne et al.
‘Evaluating intergenerational persistence of economic preferences: A large scale experiment with families in Bangladesh‘. This paper contributes to the recent literature that has examined how and when economic preferences are formed, putting particular emphasis on the role of intergenerational transmission of economic preferences within families. This paper is the first to run incentivised experiments with fathers and mothers and their children. The authors find a large degree of intergenerational persistence as the economic preferences of mothers and fathers are significantly positively related to their children’s economic preferences. Importantly, we find that socio-economic status of a family has no explanatory power as soon as we control for parents’ economic preferences. By Prof. Klaus F. Zimmermann et al.
‘The effect of weather index insurance on social capital: Experimental evidence from Ethiopia’. This paper explores whether the introduction of weather index insurance crowds in or crowds out social capital in northern Ethiopia. The paper finds that weather index insurance crowds out social capital. The free-riding problem created by the positive externality of weather index insurance and development of self-sufficiency behaviour are found to be the causal mechanisms behind the crowding out phenomenon. The results indicate that formal insurance mechanisms do not occur in a vacuum and may have unintended effects. Hence, this study suggests that novel insurance product design and marketing strategies should be used to ameliorate such unintended effects. By PhD fellow Halefom Nigus, Dr. Eleonora Nillesen and Prof. Pierre Mohnen.
Olivier Girard / CIFOR