Topics in Economic Development: Explorations and Evidence From Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia
Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 10:15 AM - 12:15 PM
- Chair: Lynda Pickbourn, Hampshire College
Implications of Microfinance Debt Burden for Household Welfare: Lessons From Ghana
AbstractThis paper draws on the quantitative and qualitative evidence from a dataset generated from a survey of 499 households in Ghana to explore the implication of household debt burden from access to microfinance for household financial distress and overall welfare. The findings suggest that while access to microfinance is generally good for the household, being highly indebted compromises household welfare through a reduction in expenditures, in particular food expenditures, while increasing the probability of credit constraint. The evidence suggests that debt service above 30 percent of total household expenditures creates financial distress and the observed distress is stronger for female-headed households relative to male-headed households. The analysis further shows that, a household’s level of indebtedness is influenced by the type of microfinance, the interest rate, when the household is below the poverty line, and when the household holds more loans. The share of the loan allocated to investment and when the loan user is female, however, have a negative effect on the probability of a household being highly indebted. Contrary to expectations, neither financial literacy programs offered by microfinance institutions nor the education of the household head had any significant effect on a household’s level of indebtedness.
The Role of Women's Empowerment in Child Malnutrition: Evidence From Tanzania
AbstractChild malnutrition is a severe problem in Tanzania. Despite moderate improvement over the past decade, undernutrition among children is still highly prevalent with high rates of wasting (6.6%), stunting (34.8%), and infant and under-five mortality rates (35.2 and 48.7 per 1,000 live births, respectively) (World Development Indicators, 2015). Given that women are the primary caregivers in the household, the main question of this research is: can women’s empowerment eliminate child malnutrition?
The research questions will be addressed on a one-period model using the 2015 Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey (TDHS). Children's nutritional status will be captured by Z-scores for anthropometric measures of nutrition; height-for-age, weight-for-height, and weight-for-age. Following the framework of collective models of intrahousehold resource allocation, this study argues that economic and non-economic components of women's empowerment not only contribute to improve the lives of women themselves but also to better outcomes for the whole household. By examining the effect of women’s empowerment on child food security in Tanzania, this study contributes to a contemporary topic in development economics. The findings will provide insights into ways of improving child nutrition status in developing countries by developing new policies to ensure better child nutrition through women’s empowerment.
Impact of Armed Conflicts on Child Welfare in Côte d’Ivoire
AbstractCivilian populations, including children are often caught in the crossfire during contemporary armed conflicts. Children are also victims or perpetrators of atrocities with lifelong consequences on their wellbeing, the intergenerational transmission of poverty and the achievement of national Sustainable Development Goals. This study builds on previous work on the microeconomic effects of armed conflicts on children in line with Barker’s (1990) fetal origins hypothesis on the effects of early life shocks on child health. Unlike past studies in Côte d’Ivoire dealing with the 2002 civil conflict which led to 2007 Ouagadougou peace accord, this present study examines the impact of armed conflicts on child welfare focusing on the Ivoirian 2010-2011 post-electoral violence. It uses the 2011/2012 DHS surveys and data from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Database(ACLED) on conflicts’ exact locations and timings. The empirical evidence shows that children in conflict-affected regions have a lower height-for-age z-score compared to those in non-affected regions. Both children born before and during the war are impacted. Moreover, the results suggest that child welfare is negatively affected by conflict intensity, while the presence of UN peacekeepers might alleviate the negative effects of conflict on child welfare.
University of Rhode Island
University of Massachusetts-Amherst
University of Massachusetts-Amherst
- O1 - Economic Development
- J1 - Demographic Economics