Conference Program

The final program and book of abstratcts of the GlaD Conference 2021 are now available!

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Program overview with abstracts and video pitches

Monday, 5 July 2021 10:40-12:40 Parallel sessions 1

Kai Gehring (University of Zurich) Travers Barclay Child, Sarah Langlotz Austin L. Wright "ISIS Propaganda and Public Perceptions."
Questions by Tobias Korn. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.01.

This paper examines the effectiveness of terrorist propaganda at influencing public opinion in a conflict setting. From 2015 until the present, we examine various propaganda activities by ISIS in Afghanistan, including video circulation, radio broadcasts, graffiti, night letters, magazines, and leaflets. We leverage unique military-sourced microdata on conflict events, propaganda activities, and public opinion towards conflict actors. These data are supplemented with various additional sources providing a rich array of district- and household-level characteristics. With supervised machine learning we build a prediction model for the emergence of ISIS propaganda in Afghanistan. We then invoke panel data techniques to identify the impact of local and global propaganda efforts on public opinion towards conflict actors. Finally, we exploit the repeated construction/destruction of an ISIS radio tower in Northeast Afghanistan to capture exogenous variation in propaganda activities for strengthened identification.

Tobias Korn (Leibniz University Hannover). "Revisiting the Consequences of Civil Conflict Evidence from a New Measure for Subnational Conflict Exposure."
Questions by Eduard Hidalgo. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.02.

This paper proposes a new way to account for subnational conflict exposure and provides new evidence on the longevity of conflict’s detrimental effects. The literature disagrees whether civil conflicts have long-lasting negative effects on economic development. I trace this disagreement to different approaches in measuring conflict exposure. The common practice to use subnational aggregates of conflict intensity ignores essential intra-regional variation. As a more accurate measure, I propose the share of economic activity in proximity to conflict events. Estimating a Bartik-like IV model at the district level covering 70 countries, I provide causal evidence that conflict exposure significantly decreases economic activity up to four years after conflict, and that this effect aggravates over time.

Eduard Hidalgo (University of Cologne) Erik Hornung, Pablo Selaya "NAFTA and drug-related violence in Mexico."
Questions by Christian Ambrosius. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.03.

This paper investigates how the introduction of NAFTA in 1994 affected drug-related violence in Mexico. The literature suggests that NAFTA's open border policy increased profits for drugtrafficking organizations leading to increased competition over smuggling routes. Using a DiD approach, we inspect changes in drug-related homicides after the agreement across municipalities with and without predicted drug-trafficking routes. Homicides increase by approximately 2 deaths per 100.000 inhabitants in municipalities with a drug-trafficking route, equivalent to an increase of 24 % relative to the pre-NAFTA mean.

Christian Ambrosius (Freie Universität Berlin & Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) "Violent Crime and the Long Shadow of Immigration Enforcement: Evidence from Mexico."
Questions by Kai Gehring. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.04.

Whereas the literature on post-deportation experiences has emphasized difficult labor market integration and social stigma associated with enforced return, its broader effects in migrants’ communities of origin have remained largely unexplored. This paper employs a two-step strategy in order to test the effect of immigration enforcement on violent crime in Mexico, receiver of more than 3.5 million deportees from the US over the period 2000 to 2015. Using migrant’s exposure to deportation risk at destination as an exogenous source of identification, first step regressions predict rates of enforced return for a panel of more than 2,000 municipalities covering the years between 2000 and 2015. Second step regressions trace the causal effect of enforced return on indicators of violence and crime using municipal level indicators and household level survey data. Enforced return leads to more homicides and a stronger presence of cartels in migrants’ municipalities of origin, as well as a higher sense of insecurity among the population and a higher probability of being assaulted or kidnapped. These local effects of enforced return are a first step towards unpacking the various direct and indirect channels through which immigration enforcement affects migrants’ communities of origin.

Emma Riley (University of Oxford) "Resisting Social Pressure in the Household Using Mobile Money: Experimental Evidence on Microenterprise Investment in Uganda."
Questions by Bansi Malde. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.05.

In this paper, I examine whether changing the form that a microfinance loan is disbursed in, from cash to directly onto a digital account, enables female microfinance borrowers to grow their businesses. Using a field experiment of 3,000 female borrowers in Uganda, I compare the disbursement of a loan as cash to the disbursement of a loan onto a mobile money account. After 8 months, women who received their microfinance loan on the mobile money account had 11% higher levels of business capita and 15% higher business profits compared to a control group who received their loan as cash. Impacts were greatest for women who experienced pressure to share money with others in the household at baseline, suggesting that providing the loan in a digital account reduces sharing of the loan with others, to the benefit of both the woman's business and household.

Kim Fe Cramer (Columbia University) " Bank Presence and Household Health."
Questions by Emma Riley. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.06.

In this paper, I examine how bank presence affects health, using a nationwide natural experiment. To obtain exogenous variation in bank presence, I use a policy of the Reserve Bank of India from 2005. The objective of the policy is to incentivize banks to set up new branches in underbanked districts. An underbanked district is defined as a district that has a population-tobranch ratio that exceeds the national average. Using a regression discontinuity design, I compare households in districts that have a ratio just above and just below the national average. I find a strong and robust positive effect of bank presence on health. Six years after the policy was introduced, households in treatment districts are 36 percent less likely to be affected by an illness in a given month. This positively impacts their economic situation; they gain half a day of work or education and spend significantly less on medical expenses. Ten years after the policy was introduced, I observe persistently lower mortality rates, higher vaccination rates, and lower risks associated with pregnancies. I argue that an important mechanism driving the relationship between bank presence and health is an increase in health care supply as providers gain access.

Lisa Spantig (University of Essex) "Cash in hand and savings decisions."
Questions by Kim Fe Cramer. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.07.

Cash is an important means of transaction, generally assumed to be fungible. However, behavioral economics and consumer research show that “cash in hand”, physically holding on to cash and then handing it away, affects purchasing decisions. I study how cash in hand influences decisions in a different, but very important domain: savings. Savings accounts are a promising tool for reducing poverty, but the use of savings accounts is often puzzlingly low. Holding on to cash that needs to be physically deposited into a savings account may increase the psychological costs of saving. This study experimentally identifies the causal effect of cash in hand on savings deposits of microfinance clients in the Philippines. In contrast to many laboratory and several field studies with similar interventions, I do not find reduced savings deposits due to cash in hand.

Bansi Malde (University of Kent), Bet Caeyers and Britta Augsburg "Can labelled loans support public health subsidy programs?"
Questions by Lisa Spantig. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.08.

The low take-up of cost-effective and highly subsidised preventive health technologies in lowincome countries remains a puzzle. One under-studied reason is that subsidy schemes do not fully alleviate financial constraints. This paper analyses whether, and how, labelled microloans support a large public health subsidy program - the Swachh Bharat Mission - in achieving its aim of increasing uptake of individual household latrines. Exploiting a cluster randomised controlled trial of a sanitation microloan program that coincided with the launch of SBM, we show that the complementarity runs on two levels: First, labelled microloans allow subsidy-ineligible households to invest in sanitation by alleviating credit constraints. Second, labelled microloans alleviate short-term liquidity constraints induced by a remuneration-post-verification subsidy design for subsidy-eligible households. However, subsidy-eligible households living in areas experiencing large delays in subsidy disbursement, or high toilet costs, are more likely to take a sanitation loan, but less likely to construct a toilet.

Anna Gasten (University of Goettingen) Andrea Cinque, Krisztina Kis-Katos "Are FDI restrictions inducing international migration? Evidence from Indonesia."
Questions by Al-Mouksit Akim. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.09.

Using disaggregated dyadic panel data on international migration flows from Indonesian districts, this paper provides causal evidence for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and international migration being substitutes. Our empirical analysis exploits regulatory changes in the Negative Investment List, a product-specific FDI policy, that have been implemented by the Indonesian government from 2007 to 2014. Using a shift-share approach to measure the district-countrypair-level exposure to the sector-specific tightening of FDI regulation, we analyze the impact of changes in bilateral FDI inflows on international migratory movements of the population living in FDI receiving areas. We document that relative reductions in dyadic FDI inflows in the aftermath of the reform triggered an increase in emigration to the investor countries, especially among those with tertiary education.

Siwar Khelifa (University Lyon 2) Sylvie Démurger, Béatrice Rey Fournier “Rural-urban migration as a risk coping strategy: The role of income differentials.”
Questions by Anna Gasten. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.10.

This paper investigates how the rural-urban income differential interacts with the risk coping motive in order to shape the migration behavior of households. Using a model of migration under agricultural income risk, our theoretical results suggest that income differentials remain crucial in determining the migration decision, but, differently from their traditional definition, they are now additionally determined by the agricultural income risk. Empirical findings on Chinese farm households indicate that the incidence of migration as a risk coping mechanism is lower for households with a negative expected income differential. Moreover, we find that, when households care about income and their children’s human capital and are faced with an income risk, their income marginal utility increases as the educational performance of their children deteriorates. This result suggests that the best specification of the utility function to consider for these households is the non-separability between their earnings and their children's human capital.

Mahamat Moustapha (Paris Dauphine University) "Do international remittances increase internal cash transfers? Evidence from Senegal."
Questions by Siwar Khelifa. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.11.

This paper explores the impact of international remittances on internal cash transfers in Senegal. Using the instrumental variable approach and a large sample of individuals over the age of 13, I find that international remittances have a direct internal sharing effect. The results show that individuals who receive international remittances are more likely to make internal transfers. Specifically, I notice that receiving international remittances increases the probability of sending internal cash transfers by about 26%. Second, I find that the wealthy who receive international remittances are the most likely to send internal cash transfers. Regarding the recipients of this internal sharing, the results show that the poorest benefit the most. Moreover, when people receive international remittances and send internal cash transfers, the Gini index is 4.50% and 9.2% lower than a situation without international remittances and with international transfers but no internal sharing, respectively. These results illustrate the redistributive nature of international remittances in Senegal. Furthermore, the positive impact of receiving international remittances on sending domestic transfers remains regardless of the recipients’ location. The results are also robust to the variables used since I observed a positive and significant effect using intensive and extensive margins. Finally, I find similar results when using the propensity score matching approach as a robustness check.

Al-Mouksit Akim (Mohammed VI Polytechnic University), Firmin Ayivodji, Jeffrey Kouton "Do Remittances mitigate COVID-19 Employment Shock on Food Security? Evidence from Nigeria."
Questions by Mahamat Moustapha. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.12.

This paper assesses the mitigating role of remittances during the adverse COVID-19 employment shock on Nigeria’s food insecurity. Based on pre-COVID-19 and post- COVID-19 surveys, we use a difference-in-difference approach while controlling for time and household fixed effects. Results indicate that remittances are mitigating the negative consequences of COVID-19 employment shocks, especially in the short run. We find that 100% of the deterioration in food insecurity, owing to the shock, is offset by the remittances received. While the adverse effects of the shock persist over time, the mitigation effect of remittances appears to be effective only at the early stages of the pandemic. Furthermore, the mitigation effect of remittances is heterogeneous regarding the origin of remittances, residence area, and poverty status. The mitigation effect of remittances is higher for remittances from abroad than for domestic ones. We also find a higher mitigating effect of remittances in rural areas and for non-poor households. Finally, our results shed light on the capital channel as a crucial mechanism explaining the mitigation effect of remittances. Notably, our findings suggest that formal financial inclusion, capital ownership like livestock or rental earnings, amplifies the attenuating effect of remittances.

Sebastian Schmidt (University of Göttingen) Christian Dueben, Jonas F. Rudsinske "Real Iceberg Transport Costs: The Distance Effect of the North Atlantic Iceberg Drift on Trade."
Questions by Feicheng Wang. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.13.

We revisit the role of distance for international trade by exploiting the natural variation in effective shipping distance caused by the North Atlantic iceberg drift. Combining historic trade data with millions of ship locations, we observe exogenous variation in the distance of maritime transport routes between North America and Europe and its effect on trade. Variation in bilateral distances allows us to use country-pair fixed effects and to estimate the pure distance elasticity in a gravity framework. We find that the distance elasticity declines over time. This highlights that the “distance puzzle” in international trade is not about shipping distances, but rather about factors indirectly related to distance that normally cannot be adequately controlled for. Using quantile regressions for US states traded cotton quantity, we provide historical evidence for the subconvex nature of gravity.

Richard Haarburger (University of Göttingen) Henry Stemmler, Florian Unger "Taking over the world? Automation and Market Power."
Questions by Sebastian Schmidt. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.14.

This paper studies how automation technology affects market power in the global economy. We develop a theoretical model in which firms' mark-ups are endogenous to factor input choices based on technology levels, but are also affected by technological adoption of other domestic and foreign firms. In an empirical analysis, we find that market-power, measured as the mark-up of price over marginal cost, is on average decreasing with a higher rate of automation. There is however substantial heterogeneity, with firms in the highest revenue quintile gaining market power. Additionally, we find that exposure to foreign automation increases competition on the
local market and amplifies market concentration.

Elena Zaurino (KULeuven), Polanec Saso "Information frictions and the margins of trade: Evidence from Slovenian manufacturing."
Questions by Richard Haarburger. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.15.

We empirically investigate whether firms through exporting indirectly lower their information frictions associated with foreign sourcing. Using a panel of Slovenian manufacturing firms in the period 1996-2008, we estimate the probability of import entry in a new market when the firm is already exporting to the same country and we find a positive and significant relation. To control for the endogeneity of the export decision, we implement an IV approach exploiting two features of trade: the notion of sequential exporting and the presence of country-sector specific demand shocks. Moreover, we rule out productivity growth as being the only predictor of entry in a foreign market through several falsification tests. This points out that information frictions do play an important role for firms trading in international markets.

Feicheng Wang (University of Göttingen) Hartmut Lehmann, Zhe Liang "Import Competition and Informal Employment: Empirical Evidence from China."
Questions by Elena Zaurino. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.16.

This paper investigates the effects of trade liberalisation induced labour demand shocks on informal employment in China. We employ a local labour market approach to construct a regional measure of exposure to import tariffs by exploiting initial differences in industrial composition across prefectural cities and then link it with the employment status of individuals. Using three waves of household survey data between 1995 and 2007, our results show that workers from regions that experienced a larger tariff cut were more likely to be employed informally. Further results based on firm-level data reveal a consistent pattern; tariff reductions increased the share of informal workers within firms. Such effects are more salient among smaller and less productive firms. Our findings suggest an important margin of labour market adjustment in response to trade shocks in developing countries, i.e. labour reallocation between formal and informal sectors.

Monday, 5 July 2021 14:00-15:30 Parallel sessions 2

Yuanwei Xu (Leibniz University Hannover) "Paying for the Selected Son: Sex Imbalance and Marriage Payments in China."
Questions by Ajinkya Keskar. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.01.

This paper shows that the rising surplus of males in China has strengthened distortions in marriage formation by causing an increase in brideprice payments. The identification relies on the comparison between siblings from the same natal family who are born in different birth years and thus exposed to various demographic structures. I find robust evidence that a rise in male-female sex ratios significantly increases the incidence and market value of brideprices, but has no influence on dowries. Dowries are found to carry an intergenerational function for help and care in parents’ old age but brideprices are not. Such a positive effect on brideprices is found predominantly in natal families characterized by low education, smaller number of children, and with more daughters than sons. Further investigations suggest that dowry values are positively associated with female welfare. This paper provides the first empirical evidence showing that demographic imbalance causes marriage distortions with a rise in brideprices, and suggests that brideprices and dowries carry different significance in the Chinese society.

Ajinkya Keskar (Rice University), Rossella Calvi "Til Dowry Do Us Part: Bargaining and Violence in Indian Families."
Questions by Cara Ebert. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.02.

We develop a non-cooperative bargaining model with incomplete information linking dowry payments, domestic violence, resource allocation between a husband and a wife, and separation. Our model generates several predictions, which we test empirically using amendments to the Indian anti-dowry law as a natural experiment. We document a decline in women's decisionmaking power and separations, and a surge in domestic violence following the amendments. These unintended effects are attenuated when social stigma against separation is low and, in some circumstances, when gains from marriage are high. Whenever possible, parents increase investment in their daughters’ human capital to compensate for lower dowries.

Cara Ebert (RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research) Stephan Klasen and Sebastian Vollmer "Counting Missing Women – A Methodological Reconciliation of the ‘Flow Measure’ and the ‘Stock Measure’."
Questions by Yuanwei Xu. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.03.

Existing estimates of the `stock of missing women’ suggest that the problem is mostly concentrated in India and China, and often related to sex-selective abortions and post-birth neglect of female children. In contrast, estimates of yearly excess female deaths, referred to as the `flow of missing women’, suggest that gender bias in mortality is much larger than previously found (4-5 million per year), is as severe among adults as it is among children in India, and is larger in Sub-Saharan Africa than in China and India. We argue that these findings rely on the choice of the reference standard for sex-specific mortality from today’s rich countries and an incomplete correction for differences in the disease environment. When alternative reference standards are used, the results of the flow method can be reconciled with previous findings based on the stock method with respect to the regional and age composition of missing women.

Simone Schotte (UNU-WIDER), Michael Danquah, Robert Darko Osei and Kunal Sen "The labour market impact of COVID-19 lockdowns: Evidence from Ghana".
Questions by Inmaculada Matinez-Zarzoso. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.04.

In this paper, we provide causal evidence of the impact of stringent lockdown policies on labour market outcomes at both the extensive and intensive margins, using Ghana as a case study. We take advantage of a specific policy setting, in which strict stay-at-home orders were issued and enforced in two spatially delimited areas, bringing Ghana’s major metropolitan centres to a standstill, while in the rest of the country less stringent regulations were in place. Using a difference-in-differences design, we find that the three-week lockdown had a large and significant immediate negative impact on employment in the treated districts, particularly among workers in informal self-employment. While the gap in employment between the treated and control districts had narrowed four months after the lockdown was lifted, we detect a persistent nationwide impact on labour market outcomes, jeopardizing particularly the livelihoods of small business owners mainly operating in the informal economy.

Manuel Santos Silva (University of Münster) Laura Barros "Between sticky floors and glass ceilings: the effect of trade liberalization on double discrimination in Brazil."
Questions by Simone Schotte. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.05.

This article investigates how trade liberalization affects gender and racial pay inequalities in the short run. Guided by an intersectional perspective, we consider overlapping effects across gender, race, and wage levels. We exploit Brazil’s trade liberalization process (1988–95) as a natural experiment. On average, liberalization increased wages of nonwhite women relative to men and white women. However, this average effect masks substantial heterogeneity. When we decompose pay gaps along the wage distribution, we find that liberalization increased racial and gender discrimination at low wages, which reinforced preexisting ‘sticky floors’ for nonwhite women. In contrast, at the top of the distribution, liberalization reduced racial discrimination, which mitigated existing ‘glass ceilings’ by race.

Inmaculada Matinez-Zarzoso (University of Goettingen), Marica Lo Bue "Female Managers and Firm Performance: Evidence from the Caribbean Countries."
Questions by Manuel Santos Silva. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.06.

The main aim of this paper is to investigate whether firm performance significantly differs when comparing firms with female and male top managers in the Caribbean region. For this purpose, we use survey data for firms in thirteen Caribbean countries, for which a questionnaire that contains very detailed questions on gender is available. The main methodology applied is based on Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition and propensity score matching (PSM) econometric techniques, which allow to ascertain whether there is a gender gap in labour productivity in those countries and to what extent it depends on the characteristics of the management team, on those of the firm, and/or on the environmental constrains that hamper the normal development of the production or services activities. The main results show that although the regression analysis indicate that firms managed by females are on average 16 percent less productive than male managed firms, the difference is reduced to 8 percent when using PSM and comparing firms and management teams with very similar characteristics. Moreover, some level of gender diversity in the management team contributes to increase labour productivity.

Thomas Ginn (Center for Global Development) Michael Clemens "Global Mobility and the Threat of Pandemics: Evidence from Three Centuries."
Questions by Nobuyuki Nakamura. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.07.

Countries restrict the overall extent of international travel and migration to balance the expected costs and benefits of mobility. Given the ever-present threat of new, future pandemics, how should permanent restrictions on mobility respond? A simple model predicts two effects of reduced pre-pandemic exposure to international mobility: slightly slower arrival of the pathogen, but almost no reduction in final harm from the pathogen (for plausible parameters). We test these predictions across four global pandemics in three different centuries: the influenza pandemics that began in 1889, 1918, 1957, and 2009. We find that in all cases, even a draconian 50 percent reduction in pre-pandemic international mobility is associated with 1-2 weeks later arrival and no detectable reduction in final mortality. The case for permanent limits on international mobility to reduce the harm of future pandemics is weak.

Claudia Schupp (Leibniz University Hannover) Esther Gehrke, Friederike Lenel "Career goals and investments in education: Experimental evidence from Cambodia."
Questions by Thomas Ginn. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.08.

We analyze whether an interest exploration tool - combined with information about potential careers, paths to higher education and financing options - can provide guidance to students in rural Cambodia, help them to develop long-term career goals and thereby motivate them to continue in school. We target the intervention to adolescents in grade 9, who are about to decide whether to enroll in high school. The intervention was conducted just before schools were closed due to COVID-19. We use survey data, as well as individual-level administrative data obtained from treatment and control schools to track educational decisions during and after school closure. Our findings suggest that the intervention had no effects on average on high performing students and unintended effects on low-performing students. Treated low-performing students are less likely to study during school closure and more likely to work for pay; they are also less likely to apply for high school scholarships. It seems our intervention made low-performing students more realistic in their expectations and aware of alternative career paths.

Nobuyuki Nakamura (The University of Tokyo), Aya Suzuki "COVID-19 and the Intention to Migrate from Developing Countries: Evidence from Online Search Activities in Asian Countries."
Questions by Claudia Schupp. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.09.

COVID-19 has had an enormous effect on labor markets globally. Economic restrictions, notably strict border controls and lockdowns, have led many workers to lose their jobs and forced many migrants to return to their homes or change their migration plans. While adverse effects on labor mobility are expected, variations in the prevalence of COVID-19 and governmental responses to the pandemic across countries are likely to influence workers’ intentions to migrate in different ways. To understand the effects of pandemics on the international labor supply, we explore the impact of COVID-19 and the various economic restriction policies on job search behavior by considering cases from Southeast Asian countries using the difference-in-differences (DID) approach with data from Google Trends Index (GTI). We found that the search volume of queries related to the labor market dramatically increased over time following the outbreak of COVID19. However, we did not observe any positive impact on the search volume related to emigration, regardless of the infection control measures in the host countries. Our results imply that the job insecurity increases after the imposition of lockdown in the respective countries. On the other hand, the expectation to migrate outside of the country, which requires preparation time and incurs high costs, does not seem to have increased in developing countries.

Henry Stemmler (University of Goettingen) "Automated Deindustrialization."
Questions by Felix Forster. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.10.

This paper investigates whether small-scale solar panels can help farmers in rural areas in developing countries to mitigate income losses when experiencing climatic shocks. We exploit a large dataset containing information about loan re- payment as well as electricity usage from solar panels of individuals in Tanzania. Using machine-learning techniques we classify solar panels users into consumers and individuals that use the solar panels for business. We link customer locations to climatic stress events, while making use of temporal variation of when a climatic shock will most likely affect farmers in rural areas. Our analysis presents two findings that add to the current literature. On the one hand, being exposed to climatic shocks reduces the ability of farmers to continue loan repayments. Having access to a solar panel and using it for off-farm income generation however can mitigate these income shocks.

Sunghun Lim (Texas Tech University) Jaerim Choi "Tariffs, Agricultural Subsidies, and the 2020 US Presidential Election: Unintended Consequences."
Questions by Henry Stemmler. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.10.

This paper provides evidence on the unintended effects of US and Chinese agricultural trade policies on the 2020 US presidential election. In response to a series of US tariffs imposed on Chinese goods, China imposed retaliatory tariffs on US agricultural products. The US government then subsidized US farmers by providing direct payments through the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) to mitigate the Chinese retaliatory tariffs. Using the universe of actual countylevel MFP disbursement data, we assess whether the incumbent strategically manipulated MFP payments in order to win votes in the 2020 presidential election. By defining net MFP as the difference between the MFP payment and the damage of the Chinese retaliatory agricultural tariff at the county level, we document that Republican-leaning counties, not swing states, saw an increase in the net MFP, providing a more nuanced picture of possible strategic manipulation. We then find that US agricultural subsidies overcompensated US voters in ways that led to an increase in the Republican vote share in the 2020 presidential election. Finally, we uncover evidence that China’s retaliatory trade pol- icy and US agricultural policy unexpectedly exacerbated political polarization in the US, especially the rural-urban divide.

Felix Forster (University of Warwick) Dorothy Nakyambadde " Curbing Trade in Clunkers: Evidence from Uganda."
Questions by Sunghun Lim. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.10.

Many low-income countries rely on vintage-based import restrictions to curb local pollution from old vehicles. In this paper, we investigate one such policy – a progressive tariff according to vehicle age – levied on passenger vehicles in Uganda. We focus on a stark increase in the tariff on a subset of vehicles in 2015 and estimate its impact on imports and first-time registrations using a combination of reduced-form and structural methods. We find that the levy change reduced vehicle purchases by 6% and the consumer surplus by 7%. This is mostly driven by imports and registrations of 6-15 year old vehicles, which decline due to the levy increase. Importantly, we also find unintended substitution towards older vintages that undermines the policy's objective among vehicles over the age of 15 years. These results point to highly progressive tariff regimes or outright bans for effective import restrictions aimed at curbing vehicle emissions in LICs. To assess their impact, we simulate several such policy counterfactuals for our setting.

Monday, 5 July 2021 15:50-16:35

Carlo Birkholz (ZEW, Manheim) Zareh Asatryan, Thushyanthan Baskaran, David Gomtsyan "Favoritism and Firms: Micro Evidence and Macro Implications."
Discussed by Andreas Fuchs.

We study the economic implications of regional favoritism, a form of distributive politics that channels resources geographically within countries. We utilize enterprise surveys spanning many low and middle income countries, and exploit transitions of national political leaders for identication. We document strong evidence for regional favoritism among firms located close to current leader's birthplace, but not in other regions, nor in home regions before a leader takes office. Firms in favored regions become substantially larger in terms of sales and employment. They also increase their sales per worker, pay higher wages, and have higher measured total factor productivity. Several mechanisms suggests that leaders divert public resources into their home regions by generating higher demand for firms operating in the non-tradable sector. A simple structural model of resource misallocation that is calibrated to match our empirical estimates implies that favoritism generates aggregate output losses of 0.5% annually.

Torben Fischer (IDinsight) Doug Johnson, Daniel Stein "Informing Specific Decisions with Rigorous Evidence: Designing and Analyzing Decision-Focused Evaluations."
Discussed by Susan Steiner.

Impact evaluations of development interventions have increased dramatically over the past 20 years, expanding from a research tool of academics that has recently been awarded with a Nobel Prize to a decision-making tool by policy-makers. Despite this expansion in use cases, the methodological approach to design and analyze impact evaluations has remained mostly constant. This standard approach tends to test whether a program works, i.e. whether its effect is different than zero. Conclusions from this test implicitly assume that consumers of the research are an academic audience that is interested in generalizable knowledge and skeptical of any evaluation results. Therefore, the standard approach requires a relatively high level of certainty to convince the reader that results are “true.” We argue that in cases where the purpose of the evaluation is to inform a specific decision, researchers should consider alternative approaches to design and analyze impact evaluations. The unifying feature of the alternative approaches to design and analyze impact evaluations we discuss is that they explicitly consider the specific decision-makers’ circumstances and decision framework. While this approach isn’t necessarily new, we hope to provide practitioners with an accessible and practical treatment of the subject. Specifically, we outline two approaches. In the first, we retain the standard frequentist statistical approach to impact evaluations, but outline how certain “default” parameters can be modified to take specific decision frameworks into account. For instance, in certain cases, decision-makers may be Ok implementing a policy even with relatively high uncertainty as to its effectiveness. Second, we show how Bayesian analysis may more directly account for a decision-maker’s beliefs and preferences. We give an overview of a Bayesian approach to evaluation and illustrate how to implement it in practice, including hands-on guidance regarding sample size calculations, analysis, and interpretation of results. Finally, we discuss how an evaluator can choose between frequentist or Bayesian approaches.

Paula Gonzalez Martinez (Graduate Institute of Geneva and World Bank) Jed Friedman, Markus Goldstein, Sreelakshmi Papineni "Cash is queen Local Economy Growth Effects of Unconditional Cash Transfers to Women in West Africa."
Discussed by Lukas Menkhoff.

We study the direct and indirect effects of unconditional cash transfers on women’s labor supply and household welfare in Northern Nigeria. The study is conducted in an ultra-poor, rural setting where women face restrictive gender norms around work. In a cash transfer randomized controlled trial nested in a larger quasiexperimental design, we find women assigned to receive a cash transfer start businesses in the short-term (6 %points more likely to own a business relative to non-beneficiary women in non-program villages). In the longer-term, we also find cash transfer payments permeate the local market influencing non-beneficiary women in the community to start businesses too. One year after the cessation of cash transfer payments, we find substantial growth in business entry by beneficiary women plus positive local spillovers to non-beneficiary women (+22 pp cash transfer effect and +20 pp indirect effect on female business ownership, relative to non-beneficiary women in non-program villages).

Maria Hernandez-de-Benito (Georgetown University) "The Effect of Violent Crime on Intrahousehold Resource Allocation and Bargaining Power."
Discussed by Alexia Gaudeul.

This paper studies the effects of violent crime on household expenditures and intra-household bargaining power by exploiting the unexpected and geographically heterogeneous rise in drugrelated violence in Mexico in the late 2000s. I estimate a household demand model using a panel survey of Mexican households. The results show that the escalation in violence increased the expenditure share of male private goods, at the expense of food and other household necessities. These findings would typically be interpreted as a deterioration in women's bargaining power. But changes in local violence may have also affected consumption preferences. To show the results can be explained by changes in bargaining power, I complement the analysis with three further empirical exercises including a structural estimation of a collective model of the household.

Lisa Rogge (University of Hannover) Maja Marcus, Anna Reuter, Sebastian Vollmer "Did you know? The effect of SMS reminders on health screening uptake in Indonesia."
Discussed by Friederike Lenel.

With the rise of non-communicable diseases in low- and middle-income countries, individuals and health systems need to adjust their behavior towards preventive and regular measures such as health screening. We conducted a community-based RCT in Indonesia to assess whether personalized and targeted text messages can increase the demand for existing public screening services for diabetes and hypertension in the at-risk population. We find that our intervention increased screening uptake by approximately 6 percentage points compared to the pure control group. Among those who received and read the messages, the effect size increases to 17 percentage points. The intervention appears to work through a reminder rather than a knowledge effect, as it pushes recipients to make use of a service they are generally aware of. We conclude that text messages can be a cheap and easily scalable tool to reduce testing gaps in a middle-income country setting.

Laura Moritz (IAMO) Lena Kuhn, Ihtiyor Bobojonov, "How does one's peer influence the adoption of index insurance and savings as two climate adaptation strategies? Evidence from choice experiments in Uzbekistan."
Discussed by Renate Hartwig.

Index insurance is a promising climate adaption strategy. However, demand for it is low and little is known about related social dynamics and its influence on alternative risk instruments. This paper is the first to analyse detailed peer imitation in the simultaneous adoption of innovative index insurance and familiar precautionary savings. We present results from behavioural experiments with 199 Uzbek farmers, which approximate local farm conditions and offer marketable index insurance as well as a realistic savings option. Results indicate significant and stronger group imitation effects (bigger surrounding) compared to neighbour imitation (closer surrounding). While this signals superior trust in other’s perceptive skills, it requires a critical mass to establish credible innovation strategies. Additionally, credit uptake, trust and practical understanding positively affect index insurance adoption. Results suggest community-based extension interventions and offering credit-bundled products to increase innovation diffusion and thus improve climate resilience.

Claire Ricard (CERDI-University Clermont Auvergne & FSJES-University Hassan II) Jules Gazeaud "Conditional Cash Transfers and the Learning Crisis: Evidence from Tayssir scale-up in Morocco."
Discussed by Holger Strulik.

We use a regression discontinuity design in rural Morocco to study whether the enrollment gains from conditional cash transfer programs translate into learning benefits. Unlike most previous studies, we estimate the effects of a sustained exposure during whole primary school. We find small and seemingly negative effects on test scores at the end-of-primary school exam. Concomitant increases in class size suggest that the program constrained learning by putting additional pressure on existing resources in beneficiary areas. These results are particularly relevant for settings where transfers are geographically targeted with no measures to absorb the extra influx of students.

Wenliang Li (Paris Dauphine University) "Structural Change, Labor Reallocation and Productivity Growth in Post-reform China."
Discussed by Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso.

The paper empirically documents the pattern of China’s growth at provincial level during 1993-2016 by decomposing the structural effect on aggregate productivity growth. An original dataset of input-output on 8 sectors and 31 provinces of the period is constructed. The decomposition of labor productivity growth and total factor productivity growth shows in both case that the structural effect only contributes significantly for regions and sub-periods where labor flows from agriculture towards industry. When labor flows towards service and agriculture, the structural bonus becomes minimal and even negative. The intra-sector productivity growth fuels the growth of the economy, while being decreasing in recent years, which explains the downward pressure of China’s economic growth.

Tuesday, 6 July 2021 09:15-10:00

Guido Neidhoefer (ZEW Mannheim) Matías Ciaschi, Leonardo Gasparini, Joaquín Serrano "Social Mobility and Economic Development."
Discussed by Krisztina Kis-Katos.

We explore the role of social mobility as driver of economic development. First, we draw the geography of intergenerational mobility of education for 52 Latin American regions, as well as its evolution over time. Then, through a novel weighting procedure that considers the aggregate participation of cohorts to the economy in every year, we estimate the effect of changes in mobility on economic indicators, such as income per capita, poverty, child mortality, and luminosity. Our findings show that increasing social mobility had a significant and robust impact on the long-run development of Latin American regions.

Eva-Maria Egger (UNU WIDER) Cecilia Poggi, Héctor Rufrancos "Welfare and the Depth of Informality: Evidence from Five African Countries."
Discussed by Jann Lay.

This study explores the relationship between household poverty and depth of informality by proposing a new measure of informality at household level. It is defined as the share of activities (hours worked or income earned) without social insurance for wage workers in the household. We apply cross-sectional regressions to five urban sub-saharan African countries, showing that a household head informality dummy obscures a non-linear relationship between the depth of household informality and welfare outcomes. In some countries, a small share of income from formal jobs is associated with at least the same welfare as a fully formal portfolio. By assessing transitions between household portfolios with panel data for urban Nigeria, we also show that most welfare differences are explained by selection and that movements in and out of formality cannot sufficiently change welfare trajectories. The results call for better inclusion of informal profiles to social insurance programs.

Reetika Sindhi (Indian Institute of Management Bangalore) Nishith Prakash, Soham Sahoo, Deepak Saraswat "When Criminality Begets Crime: The Role of Elected Politicians in India."
Discussed by Marcela Ibanez.

This paper estimates the causal impact of criminally accused leaders and their nature of criminality on the crime environment in their constituencies. The impact is ex-ante ambiguous. On one hand, a nexus between criminally accused leaders and the mafias may lead to more crimes. On the other hand, influential politicians with extra-judicial violence (“godfathers”) may force some criminals to exercise restraint, reducing crimes. We use an instrumental variable strategy exploiting the quasi-experimental outcomes of close-elections between criminally accused and non-criminally accused politicians. We find that in institutionally weak states, if all the constituencies in a district have criminal leaders, then the total crime count goes up by 15 percent in the district. The effect is more pronounced at 25 percent when the leaders are accused of serious crimes, indicating that seriously accused leaders are more harmful to society. We also find a modest increase in the crimes against women.

Nicole Stoelinga (European University Institute) "Living in the caliphate: the impact of exposure to Boko Haram's ideology on school attendance."
Discussed by Martin Gassebner.

This paper estimates the effect of exposure to ideology on school attendance. This is done by focusing on the case of Boko Haram in North East Nigeria. The terrorist group occupied various areas around 2014, and the population of those areas was subsequently heavily exposed to the group's ideology. Other areas that were not occupied experienced comparable levels of violence, but no such exposure to ideology. This fact is exploited and the effect of ideology on school attendance is estimated using a differences-in-differences approach. The results indicate a strong, negative effect of exposure to Boko Haram's anti-educational ideology on school attendance rates in the north-east of Nigeria. Various alternative explanations for the decrease in school attendance are explored, but these do not seem capable of explaining the results. Moreover, additional tests, focusing on the acceptance of healthcare and women's employment decisions, seem to confirm the robustness of the identification strategy.

Yasmine Elkhateeb (Paris 1 Panthéon - Sorbonne University) Joël Cariolle, Mathilde Maurel" Internet Use & Citizens’ Perception of Democracy: Evidence from Africa."
Discussed by Axel Dreher.

This paper investigates the impact of internet use to get news on citizens’ perception of democracy. This question is addressed using cross-sectional data from the last three rounds of the Afrobarometer survey for a sample of 26 African coastal countries between 2011 and 2018. Using instrumental variable approach to control for the possible endogeneity bias between internet use and citizens’ perception, we found that internet as a source of news has a negative and significant impact on the perceived level and satisfaction with democracy. This relationship is stronger in countries with little press freedom and no censorship on online contents. The findings of this study suggest that internet use as an alternative information channel might influence citizens’ perception of political institutions.

Fernando Flores Tavares (University of Siena) "Individual-based fuzzy multidimensional poverty: a comprehensive analysis of gender inequalities in Brazil."
Discussed by Juliane Zenker.

Most studies on multidimensional poverty use households as the unit of identification. The problem in this approach is that many well-being elements are a characteristic of individuals, and several inequalities are generated/experienced inside dwellings. In this way, analysis on gender inequalities that are not individual-based might have serious biases. Another issue on the literature is that variables are usually assumed to be a rigid binary phenomenon (deprived/nondeprived), which neglects intermediate situations and can hold unrealistic assumptions. Using the Alkire-Foster method and a fuzzy-set approach, I propose a strategy to have a more comprehensive perspective (intrahousehold and interhousehold) on individual-based outcomes considering the limitations of household surveys. The strategy involves analysis for the whole population, analysis among household heads to have an individual-based interhousehold perspective, calculation of intracouple deprivation gaps, and estimation of inequality among the poor. Another contribution is the two multidimensional poverty indexes proposed: the standard index (SMPI), based on the OPHI/UNDP Global MPI index; and the economic autonomy index (EAI), both intended to explore gender and subgroups inequalities in Brazil. According to the SMPI results, multidimensional poverty in Brazil seems to be not feminized. However, people that live in female headed households are multidimensionally poorer than in male headed households. The EAI results reveals a distinct situation, in which women seems to be worse off with respect to men for most subgroups. The results of this paper offer additional evidence that, although women in Brazil are more educated than men and may be less multidimensional poor for the SMPI, they still appear to be in disadvantage in economic autonomy.

Claire Ricard (CERDI-University Clermont Auvergne & FSJES-University Hassan II) Francesca Marchetta "Birth order and transition into adulthood in Madagascar."
Discussed by Sebastian Vollmer.

Using data from the 2012 Madagascar Youth Transition Survey, we study how birth order influences the transition into adulthood in Madagascar. We find that earlier borns drop school at a younger age, attain less schooling, and thus have lower cognitive skills than later borns. They also start working out of the family firm earlier and girls marry younger. The precocious transition of firstborn is likely to finance younger siblings’ education. Results are robust to different specifications commonly used in the birth order literature and are not sensitive to the presence of fostered children in the household.

Rezanti Pramana (The SMERU Research Institute) Niken Kusumawardhani, Nurmala Saputri, Daniel Suryadarma "Heterogeneous Impact of Internet Availability on Female Labor Market Outcomes in Emerging Economy: Evidence from Indonesia."
Discussed by Atika Pasha.

Greater female labour market participation brings important positive implication not only for women empowerment and well-being of their families but also for the economy they live in. In this article, we examine various roles of internet availability in affecting female labor market outcomes in Indonesia. As each worker subgroup tends to respond differently to changes in technology, examining the heterogeneity in the impact of Internet availability on female labor market outcomes is central to our research. By constructing district-level longitudinal dataset covering the period of 2007 and 2018, this article finds that internet availability only has small significant effect on female labor force participation rate but no statistically significant effect on employment rate. However, internet availability increases the probability of women having a fulltime job, especially for women age 15-45 and low educated women. Our study shows that internet availability does not always bring favorable labor market outcomes for women. We find that internet availability lowers the probability of low educated women to work in highskill job or formal sector. Our results are robust to several robustness checks. Analysis from our qualitative interviews with subsample of recent mothers conclude that the ability to be prepared and attain a flexible working condition are two important values provided by the internet. We argue that women-friendly working environment, along with adequate IT infrastructure are crucial elements that would maximize the role of internet in helping womento achieve more favorable labor market outcomes.

Tuesday, 6 July 2021 10:20-11:50 Parallel sessions 3

Anna Reuter (University of Goettingen) Sebastian Vollmer "Parental HIV Treatment and Children's Education in South Africa."
Questions by Liza von Grafenstein. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.01.

The roll-out of antiretroviral therapy (ART) at the beginning of this century averted millions of AIDS-related deaths. While the impact of ART on health outcomes has been intensively studied, there is few evidence on its wider impact on the individual and families. This study investigates whether adult eligibility for ART improves children’s educational attainment in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, employing regression discontinuity designs.

Nicolas Büttner (University of Passau), Kenneth Harttgen, Michael Grimm, Isabel Günther, and Stephan Klasen "The lagging fertility transition in Sub-Saharan Africa: The role of structural change."
Questions by Anna Reuter. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.02.

We explore whether the lack of structural change can explain the demographic transition in SubSaharan Africa. For this end, we analyze the determinants of fertility transitions across the developing world using a novel regional level panel dataset from 60 countries over three decades. Our key hypothesis is that structural change is a key driver of the fertility transition. Our results strongly indicate that higher education of women, female employment in non-agricultural formal jobs, and a general increase in modern economic development as measured by an increase in nighttime light intensity are indeed important drivers of the fertility decline. Simulations show that if high-fertility countries in Sub-Saharan Africa had experienced the same structural change as the most demographically advanced regions in our sample, fertility levels would be at most 69 to 79% of what they are now.

Liza von Grafenstein (International Centre of Advanced Studies' Metamorphoses of the Political'), Abhijeet Kumar, Santosh Kumar, and Sebastian Vollmer "Long-Term Double Fortified Salt Usage for Child Health in Rural Bihar."
Questions by Nicolas Büttner. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.03.

Persistent impact of long-term treatments are hardly considered in the literature for randomized controlled trials. We provide evidence on child health, cognition, and education outcomes after a four year follow-up of a school-based nutrition intervention in India. Using panel data we examine the effectiveness of the use of iron and iodine fortified salt in school lunches to retain anemia reduction among children. Four years after the start, children in the treatment group have on average higher hemoglobin levels and lower likelihood of any and mild anemia.

Andrea Cinque (University of Hannover, University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne) Lennart Reiners, Elias Cisneros "Confined to stay: Natural disasters and Indonesia's migration ban."
Questions by Tamara Bogatzki. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.04.

This paper investigates the effects of international migration restrictions on individuals' capacity to absorb income shocks after natural catastrophes. We take advantage of an emigration ban to female Indonesians as a natural experiment. After an array of violent assaults against female servants in Saudi-Arabia, the Indonesian government issued a migration ban in 2011, preventing millions of female workers to migrate as domestic servants to Saudi Arabia. We exploit the exogenous timing of the ban and of natural disasters to estimate the causal effects of the absence of international migration as an adaptive strategy. Using a panel of all Indonesian villages, we compare poverty rates in the aftermath of natural disasters for villages whose main destination is Saudi Arabia against other villages, before and after the migration ban. We find that in villages with strong ex-ante propensity to migrate to Saudi-Arabia, poverty increases in face of natural disasters after the ban, further aggravating the already severe consequences of the natural shock.

Joop Adema (ifo Institute), Cevat Giray Aksoy, Panu Poutvaara "3G Internet Access and Desire to Emigrate: Global Evidence."
Questions by Andrea Cinque. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.05.

How does internet access affect migration intentions and behavior? To answer to this question, we combine a unique survey data set from 120 countries comprising more than 600,000 individuals with data on worldwide 3G mobile internet roll-out spanning from 2008 to 2018. Exploiting sub-national variation in 3G mobile internet network coverage, we provide the first global evidence that mobile internet coverage leads to an increase in the international desire to migrate. Similarly, we find a positive effect on plans to migrate (both in general and internationally) within 12 months and the preparation to migrate. We show that both migration desires and pans and preparations are strongly related to international realized migration flows. These results are robust to using country-level population weights, controlling for networks and employment, and considering alternative error structures, among others. We find substantial heterogeneity on income and education levels. We furthermore argue that pretrends in migration intention prior to expansion of 3G networks are unlikely to be present. Importantly, no statistically significant effects of 2G coverage have been found, excluding communication as a possible mechanism, allowing for internet-access and use-related explanations.

Tamara Bogatzki (Berlin Social Science Center (WZB)) "Heterogeneity in Migration Network Effects Across Cultures."
Questions by Joop Adema. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.06.

I empirically assess the importance of socially interdependent origin cultures as opposed to socially independent ones for network effects in international migration. I propose that societies that emphasise collectivist behaviour accumulate larger levels of community-specific social capital than individualist societies. Furthermore, while community-specific social capital makes migration away from the group costly it can be recovered by entering a corresponding network abroad. My estimates show consistent positive effects of social interdependence on the importance of migrant diasporas for bilateral emigration rates from all over the world to 30 OECD destinations across a plethora of specifications. For people from an origin with maximal emphasis on embeddedness the network effect can be up to more than twice as large as for people from the autonomy pole of the scale. The pattern is reflected when comparing trust in other people across different degrees of generalisation, suggesting that the heterogeneous diaspora effect may indeed be driven by higher ingroup-specific social capital in embeddedness cultures.

Lukas Wellner (University of Goettingen) Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Bradley C. Parks, and Austin M. Strange “Do China's Overseas Development Projects Buy Public Support for the Chinese Government?”
Questions by Antoine Boucher. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.07.

Foreign donors spend a considerable amount of time and money implementing aid projects and disseminating positive messages about their generosity and efficacy. This is true for the traditional donors as much for the most prominent emerging donor, China. The People’s Republic has increased its efforts in development aid dramatically over the last two decades, also to secure influence international stage. But is the country using its aid successfully as soft power instrument? We answer this question with newly collected data on the exact calendar days when Chinese development projects reached commitment, implementation, and completion stage, survey data from the Gallup World Poll that covers 125 countries from 2006 to 2018, and an event study model that includes high-dimensional fixed effects. We take advantage of the staggered rollout of the Gallup World Poll and the availability of exact interview dates by comparing respondents interviewed in the month before and after the occurrence of a Chinese aid event. Our findings demonstrate that public support for Beijing increases in the countries where Chinese development projects are completed. This effect is strongest among male and relatively poor people living in the rural areas. We corroborate this result with an instrumentalvariables estimator that relies on exogenous variation in the supply of Chinese government financing over time - from (i) changes in the production of potential project inputs inside China, and (ii) and net changes in China’s foreign exchange reserves - and variation across recipient countries that results from a country’s probability of receiving Chinese development finance in a given year. Again, findings suggest that Chinese foreign aid activities are perceived positively among the recipient country’s population. Finally, we also look at Chinese aid projects abroad and find that citizens dislike the completion of projects in countries of similar ethnicity.

Samuel Siewers (University of Goettingen) Andreas Fuchs "The Speed of Emergency Aid."
Questions by Lukas Wellner. Further discussion in Gather Town, Discussion Room OEC.08.

Timely assistance is a precondition for effective emergency relief in the aftermath of natural disasters. This article investigates whether donor countries react with more urgency to natural disasters in situations where they have stronger strategic interests. We analyze daily humanitarian aid decisions by 45 donor countries after 392 fast-onset natural disasters between 2000 and 2016 in a trilateral setting (i.e., lead donor, other donor, recipient. Our results show, first, that recipient-specific lead donors exert considerable influence on other donors and, second, that commercial competition between donors is an important driver of the speed of aid. In particular, donors are more likely to commit to provide aid in the days after the lead donor's decision if they have export structures more similar to the lead donor in the affected country.

Antoine Boucher (Université Paris Dauphine, Leda-DIAL) Lisa Chauvet, Marin Ferry “Political Cycle in World Bank’s Procurement Allocation”.
Questions by Samuel Siewers. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.09.

This paper investigates the existence of a political cycle in World Bank’s procure- ments contracts. Using a gravity model intended to predict the determinants of the number of procurement contracts won by a supplier firm in a given recipient country and year, our results suggest that more contracts are allocated around the election in the supplier firm’s origin country. Firms would indeed win 14.8% more World Bank pro- curement contracts one year before and during the election year in their home country. Our findings thus support the existence of a domestic political cycle rather than a cross- country one. Additional results also provide strong hints of cronyism in the attribution of procurement contract.

Tatiana Orozco Garcia (University of Goettingen) Marcela Ibanez "Discrimination in peacebuidling: The role of moral wiggle room."
Questions by Lennart Reiners. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.10.

Conflicts tend to polarize societies, these out/in-group stereotypes can persist when the conflict ends threatening sustainable peacebuilding. We study discriminatory preferences towards experpetrators, and whether individuals avoid information and use ”moral wiggle room” to excuse selfish behavior. After the 2016 peace agreement between the Colombian government and FARC, reconstruction has focused on ex-combatants’ economic reintegration. Unless the population is willing to support the reintegration efforts initiated by ex-combatants, there is a risk of recidivism. We employ an online experiment and elicit the Willingness to Pay (WTP) for a product produced by either ex-Farc combatants or other farmers. Additionally, we test if individuals strategically decide to re- main ignorant about the identity of the producer of the good to act selfishly. The data indicates that on average participants pay less for the coffee when the probability of receiving coffee produced by ex-combatants is higher, and avoiding information leads to a higher WTP.

Michael Grimm (University of Passau) Nicolas Büttner, Sidiki Soubeiga "Political instability and households' investment behavior. Evidence from Burkina Faso."
Questions by Tatiana Orozco Garcia. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.11.

There is a large macro-economic literature that shows that political instability is associated with poor economic outcomes including lower investment and reduced growth. We merge six rounds of household survey data, two rounds of surveys on household perceptions from the Afrobarometer, and a geo-referenced time series from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Base to analyze households’ decisions when exposed to instability. For identification, we exploit variation in the intensity of political instability across time and space while controlling for time-effects and municipality fixed effects as well as rainfall and nighttime light intensity, and many other potential confounders. We show a negative effect of political instability on financial savings, the accumulation of durables, investment in house improvements, as well as on investment in education and health. Instability seems, in particular, to lead to a reshuffling from investment expenditures to increased food consumption, implying lower growth prospects in the future.

Lennart Reiners (University of Göttingen) Elías Cisneros, Krisztina Kis-Katos, Jan Priebe "Cash Transfers and Conflict in Indonesia."
Questions by Michael Grimm. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.12.

Conditional cash transfers (CCT) have gained traction over the past decades as a swift means to alleviate poverty while addressing structural development constraints at the same time. Favourable results from systematic reviews mean ever-increasing number of programs 34 worldwide, but potentially adverse effects remain understudied, particularly in the long-term. We contribute towards closing this gap by studying one of the largest CCTs worldwide, Program Keluarga Harapan (PKH) in Indonesia, and its effect on village-level conflict. Combining experimental pilot and country-wide roll-out program with a novel violence database allows us to analyze a considerable panel in time and space. Against initial intuition, we find that villages with access to PKH experience a 0.7 - 1.8 percentage point increase in violence likelihood. This holds for both our experimental and non-experimental samples and is driven by violence with a low inhibition threshold.

Tuesday, 6 July 2021 14:30-16:00 Parallel sessions 4

Georgios Manalis (European University Institute / University of Cyprus) "Land Rights and Risk Sharing in Rural West Africa."
Questions by Luis Guillermo Becerra-Valbuena. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.01.

Despite arduous efforts of advancing land rights in Africa, most of the continent experiences low levels of formally recognized property. I propose a contextualisation of formal land titling that motivates a theoretical model to account for land reforms’ effects when implemented in weak institutional environments. Village communities have developed informal mechanisms of risksharing to provide households with a safety net, while land allocation is centrally decided by traditional leaders. I build a model of risk-sharing with limited commitment to explain the competing forces developed between statutory land reform and informal mutual insurance at the community level. Subsequently, I use data from Burkina Faso which implemented a land reform in 2009 to validate the theoretical predictions. Lastly, I study the competing dynamics when land can act as collateral to provide access to self-insurance.

Pauline Castaing (CERDI, Université Clermont Auvergne) Jules Gazeaud "Index Insurance and Agricultural Decisions: Assessing the External Validity of Multiple Randomized Controlled Trials."
Questions by Georgios Manalis. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.02.

The last decade has seen an explosion in the number of randomized experiments in Social Science. While the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics emphasized their value for causal identification, concerns remain regarding their external validity. The literature on index insurance makes no exception. Mounting experimental evidence suggests that index insurance favors risk taking. However, the extent to which internally valid estimates are informative about effects in other contexts is still unclear. Using data from multiple randomized controlled trials and a Bayesian framework, this paper will provide important inputs to gauge the external validity of index insurance experiments. In particular, we will present preregistered evidence on (i) the average effect of index insurance on production decisions, (ii) the degree of heterogeneity across studies, and (iii) the potential sources of heterogeneity.

Luis Guillermo Becerra-Valbuena (Paris School Economics – Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne) "Droughts and Agricultural Adaptation to Climate Change."
Questions by Pauline Castaing. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.03.

This article analyses the effects of droughts and climate variability on the short-term and the medium-term adaptation of Colombian rural households. I measure drought in a Differences in- Differences (DID) framework, as an alternative to the standard approaches decomposing the effects from climate and yearly weather deviations on agricultural productivity and those using the growing degree days and harmful degree days. In the short-term and medium-term, rural households adapt to the drought of 2010 by increasing the total area planted in crops and livestock, (increasing also the total gross agricultural productivity in value terms) and by working more on the farm. The droughts also increased the use of external sources of water in the farm and made rural households postpone non-housing investments in the farm. I find heterogeneous effects according to the long-run mean of temperature in the municipality. Higher temperature affects positively gross agricultural productivity in low-temperature municipalities but negatively in high-temperature municipalities. Cereals and coffee seem to benefit from higher temperatures, while vegetables and fruits are more affected.

Paul Schaudt (University of St. Gallen) Richard Bluhm, Roland Hodler "The undivided rule: Local majorities and economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa."
Questions by David Gomtsyan. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.04.

Ethnicity is salient in national politics in many diverse countries. Less is known about how the ethnic composition within a country's provinces or districts shapes the economic success of individual ethnic groups. We address this question using the first administrative-territorial structures that the European colonial powers imposed on their protectorates and colonies in SubSaharan Africa in the early 20th century. As the French had little interest in pre-colonial political units when setting up the administrative-territorial structure in their protectorates, we argue that there is plausibly exogenous variation in an ethnic group's population in the colonial districts intersecting its homeland. We find that ethnic groups who were in a local majority in most of the colonial districts where they were present are more economically developed today.

Gedeon Lim (University of Hong Kong) "Why Pay the Chief? Land Rents and Political Selection in Indonesia."
Questions by Paul Schaudt. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.05.

Much of modern development efforts are channeled through traditional local governance. Yet, despite their importance, local leaders are rarely paid a living wage. This paper studies the effect of awarding elected village chiefs cultivation rights over rice land, a stable revenue generating asset, during their term of office. I use a fuzzy spatial regression discontinuity design to exploit a historical natural experiment in Java where in the nineteenth century a homogeneous region was split, and in one part chiefs were awarded cultivation rights but not in the other. To measure political outcomes, I collect original survey data tracing the electoral history of 931 chiefs in 193 villages. Higher land rents cause positive chief performance and economic development. I find evidence consistent with historically positive political selection as a key mechanism. Overall, I provide evidence that paying leaders from a stable source of local revenue can be good for economic development.

David Gomtsyan (IOS Regensburg) Cemal Eren Arbatli "Sectarian Aid, Sanctions and Subnational Development."
Questions by Gedeon Lim. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.06.

Hezbollah, a Shia Islamist political party and militant group based in Lebanon, is believed to receive a significant amount of informal funding from Iran. In this paper we evaluate whether this funding has had any economically meaningful effect on subnational development in Lebanon. Since the amount of funding is not observed, we use Iranian oil rents and the intensity of sanctions against Iran as plausibly exogenous drivers of transfers to Hezbollah. Then, we leverage the well-established sectarian bias in Hezbollah's spending to obtain conservative estimates of the direct effect of funding to Hezbollah. Studying the 1993-2010 period, we find a positive and economically significant relationship between Iranian oil windfalls and nighttime lights. This effect is significantly stronger in areas with greater concentration of Shia population. Also, nighttime lights are relatively lower in Shia areas than elsewhere during periods when sanctions against Iran intensified. These novel results attest to the non-negligible developmental effects of informal aid as well as how economic sanctions against donors might offset such effects.

Lisa Rogge (University of Hannover) Sheraz Ahmad Khan, Zohaib Khan, Muhammad Jawad Noon, Andreas Landmann, Sebastian Vollmer "Information Constraints and Preventive Behavior amongst COVID-19 Risk Groups in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan."
Questions by Sebastian O. Schneider. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.07.

Avoiding a COVID-19 infection remains crucial for population groups that are at higher risk to experience a complicated disease course and live in settings with limited access to healthcare services. Our telephone survey with low-income households in Pakistan shows that gaps in knowledge and practice of individual preventive practices prevail. Using an RCT, we evaluated whether a more targeted and personalized SMS information campaign exploiting health insurance records could contribute to narrowing this gap. We find that the intervention helped the at-risk population to adhere to higher levels of handwashing in the time between the first and second wave of infections, and all message recipients were twice as likely to use tele-medical services compared to the control group. Light personalization based on household-specific risk factors seems to strengthen these effects. These results pave the way for targeted and personalized health information campaigns at scale beyond COVID-19 prevention.

Alicia Barriga (International Security and Development Center and University of Connecticut) "The Effect of Mass Migration on Malaria Incidence: Evidence from the Venezuelan Refugee Crisis."
Questions by Lisa Rogge. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.08.

This paper explores the effect of the recent Venezuelan exodus on malaria outbreaks in the Amazon Rainforest. Over the last years, migration skyrocketed due to recurrent economic and political crises. Migrants heading to Brazil commonly travel by land, crossing the Brazil – Venezuela Border in Pacaraima - Roraima. The border is in the Amazon region, a malaria endemic place, home of numerous species of malaria mosquitoes. By exploiting mass migration triggered by the Venezuelan economic collapse as a quasi-experiment, I find that incidence was 18.59 percent higher in the nearest municipality to the Venezuelan border after the crisis. Results from this research suggest that road access, places where refugees settle, and their living conditions have implications on disease trans- mission. Overcrowded camps lacking highly of sanitation services, latrines, and standing water produce the breeding grounds for mosquito proliferation which increases the risk of vector contact. Exploring the dynamics between migration and malaria is critical to anticipating changes in the geography of communicable diseases as low endemic places can promptly become epidemic places. Challenging physical environments and disease may pose additional hurdles to refugees struggling to seek employment and integrate to society.

Sebastian O. Schneider (Max Planck Insitute for Research on Collective Goods) Shyamal Chowdhury, Hannah Schildberg-Hörisch, Matthias Sutter "When information provision, but not cash transfers, saves lives: A randomized controlled trial to contain COVID-19 in rural Bangladesh at the pandemic’s onset."
Questions by Alicia Barriga. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.09.

Here we show through a randomized controlled trial how information provision about COVID- 19 at the onset of the pandemic can have a significant effect on knowledge, behavior and health outcomes of than 3,000 households from 150 villages in rural Bangladesh. The information campaign stressed the importance of social distancing and hygiene measures, and illustrated the effect of exponential spread within a village. On top of receiving information over the phone, about half of the treated households were additionally offered an unconditional cash transfer to promote adherence to social distancing rules. We find that treated households improve their knowledge about COVID-19 and change their behavior significantly in the short run of two weeks, while over a period of three months untreated households catch up. Cash transfers have hardly any additional effect on these outcomes. Most importantly, our information intervention yields considerably better health outcomes and reduces the number of reported deaths by about 50%, suggesting that all over the country an estimated 3,000 lives could have been saved in the first wave of the pandemic through timely information provision.

Karmini Sharma (University of Warwick) "Tackling Sexual Harassment: Evidence from India."
Questions by Wiebke Stein. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.10.

Sexual harassment imposes substantial socio-economic constraints on the victimized yet little is understood on what are effective tools to deter it. I provide sexual harassment awareness trainings to college students in New Delhi using an RCT and study the impact of these trainings for men on sexual harassment reported by women in their peer groups. I find that men's awareness about sexual harassment increases by 0.106 sd. The trainings lead to a significant and robust fall in extreme forms of sexual harassment reported by women by 0.125 sd but I cannot reject a null impact on milder forms of sexual harassment. I find that the training increases gender segregation and find evidence that this is driven by women. I show that this is consistent with a stronger change in perception of social disapproval against sexual harassment from peers than that in own intrinsic preferences or attitudes against sexual harassment.

Wiebke Stein (Leibniz University Hannover) Dorothee Buhler, Rasadhika Sharma "The Big Five Model in Rural Economies: Validation, Stability and Role in Income Determination."
Questions by Henrike Sternberg. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.11.

Can the Big Five personality model reflect personal characteristics in rural societies? The Big Five model is widely used to measure and analyse personality traits in developed countries. We show its applicability in rural Southeast Asia and thereby challenge recent concerns about the validity of the model in developing countries. We use a novel data set on personality traits from rural Thailand and Vietnam on around 4,000 households. The results demonstrate high external validity for the measures, and, we find a five factor structure that fits the Big Five model. A comparison of traits across two consecutive survey waves cannot completely rule out changes in personality traits over time. However, the distribution of these changes is independent of age, gender and education. In a further application, we demonstrate the economic relevance of the traits and show that openness and emotional stability positively influence rural incomes.

Henrike Sternberg (Technical University of Munich (School of Governance)) Janina Isabel Steinert, Sebastian Vollmer "On the Basis of (Mis)Trust? Spousal Trust and Trustworthiness in Household Decision Making: Experimental Evidence from India."
Questions by Karmini Sharma. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.12.

This paper examines the role of spousal trust in intra-household financial decision-making processes. We experimentally elicit spousal trust and trustworthiness by means of a binary trust game to assess heterogeneity in saving behavior among low-income slum dwellers in urban India. 360 married couples were randomly assigned to either a control group, receiving a shared saving device (a lockbox), or a treatment group, receiving a private saving device (a zip-purse) in addition to the lockbox. The supplementary receipt of the private device significantly increased the wife’s savings in couples with low levels of spousal trust. In couples with higher levels of trust, the effect coefficient turned negative. This heterogeneity is driven by the wife’s mistrust in absence of her husband’s trustworthiness, whereby the private device facilitates more effective hiding of the wife’s saving amounts. Our findings present novel evidence on the relevance of spousal trust in designing and evaluating household-based interventions.

Tuesday, 6 July 2021 16:20-18:20 Parallel sessions 5

Jenny C Aker (Tufts University) B Kelsey Jack "Harvesting the Rain: The Adoption of Environmental Technologies in the Sahel."
Questions by Frank Schilbach. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.01.

We study the adoption of an environmental technology (demi-lunes) in Niger. We implement a cluster randomized control trial in 180 villages with treatments designed to relax informational, credit and labor constraints. Relative to a pure control, training increases the probability of adoption by 90 percentage points. Combining training with either unconditional or conditional cash transfers has no additional effect on the extensive margin of adoption, but increases the intensity of adoption by 35-50 percent relative to training alone. We also observe increases in agricultural output, consistent with agronomic descriptions of the costs and benefits of adoption, as well as other measures of household well-being. Over 90 percent of treatment households have operational demi-lunes two years later. Using the pattern of results and our experimental design, we investigate the mechanisms underlying our findings.

Lisa Hoffmann (German Institute for Global and Area Studies) Alexander De Juan, Jann Lay "Large-scale agricultural investments and social conflict—experimental evidence from rural Liberia."
Questions by Jenny C Aker. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.02.

We investigate whether and how large-scale agricultural investments (LSAIs) influence the risk of social conflict, as measured by joy-of-destruction experiments in rural Liberia. We focus on ethnic intergroup competition, which may be reinforced by discrimination in the distribution of gains and losses induced by LSAIs. In the experiments, participants can reduce another participant’s experimental earnings, they are randomly paired either with members of the local chief’s ethnic group or with members of other ones. We compare behavioral outcomes in villages situated close to two oil palm investment sites: “treated villages” with access to plantation employment and less affected “control” villages. We find that LSAIs accompany significantly higher levels of destructive behavior. Contrary to expectations, this pattern cannot be explained by interethnic discrimination. Auxiliary descriptive analyses suggest an association between LSAIs, participation in village-level labor sharing, and social conflict, indicating a need for further inquiry into the role of village-level institutions.

Antonia Grohmann (Aarhus University) Tabea Lakemann, Helke Seitz "Savings Goal Calendars as Soft Commitment Devices: Evidence from Small Business Owners in Uganda."
Questions by Lisa Hoffmann. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.03.

This study examines the effect of a soft commitment device in the form of a savings goal calendar on savings for small business owners in Kampala, Uganda. We run a randomized controlled trial (RCT) under which the treatment group receives a calendar designed to set savings goals and to make a plan to reach this goal. The control group is given a plain calendar. We find no average effect on savings, but show that present-biased individuals save more when given the calendar. Further examinations indicate that present-biased individuals are more likely to use the calendar, suggesting that, in line with theory, present biased individuals have a demand for these.

Frank Schilbach (MIT) Supreet Kaur, Sendhil Mullainathan, and Suanna Oh "Do Financial Concerns Make Workers Less Productive?"
Questions by Antonia Grohmann. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.04.

We test whether increasing cash-on-hand raises the productivity of poor workers. Our motivation is psychological. Concerns about money can create mental burdens such as worry, stress, or sadness. These in turn could interfere with the ability to work effectively. We empirically test for this possibility using a field experiment with piece-rate manufacturing workers in India. We randomize the timing of income receipt, so that on a given day some workers have more cashon-hand than others. This manipulation holds constant wages and piece rates, as well as human and physical capital. On cash-rich days, average productivity increases by 0.11 standard deviations (6.2%); this effect is concentrated among relatively poorer workers. Mistakes also decline on these days — an effect that is again concentrated among poorer workers. Having more cash-on-hand thus enables workers to work faster while making fewer errors, suggesting improved cognition. We argue that mechanisms such as gift exchange, trust, and nutrition cannot account for our findings. Instead, our results suggest a range of psychological mechanisms wherein alleviating financial concerns allows workers to be more attentive and productive at work.

Sugat Chaturvedi (Indian Statistical Institute Delhi) Sabyasachi Das, Kanika Mahajan "The Importance of Being Earnest: What Explains the Gender Quota Effect in Politics?"
Questions by Roxana Manea. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.05.

The literature documenting the effect of electoral gender quotas on policy is extensive, and yet its potential mechanisms remain under-explored. In this paper, we examine the relative importance of differential preference of women leaders (supply) vis-a-vis greater demand expressed by women voters in the presence of female leadership in explaining the gender quota effect. We compile data on household level allocation of a politically salient good—toilet—for the entire rural population (over 25 million households) of Uttar Pradesh, the largest state of India. We argue and show that women exhibit a greater preference for toilets than men and this gender gap is significantly larger for Muslims than Hindus. Additionally, women in female headed households, relative to male headed ones, are more likely to express greater demand. We use the religious and gender identities of council presidents and household heads as proxies for toilet preference to disentangle demand and supply effects. Using a fuzzy regression discontinuity design, we find that gender quota among Muslim leaders has a large and statistically significant positive effect on toilet provision, while for Hindu leaders it doesn’t have any average effect. Hindu female leaders, however, allocate disproportionately more toilets to Muslim female headed households. We establish that greater demand expressed by households fully explains the heterogeneous effects of gender quota across Hindu and Muslim Sarpanches, while we do not find any evidence of the supply mechanism. Our results have important policy implications and can reconcile the mixed evidence on the effects of gender quotas in elections.

Francisco Eslava (University of British Columbia) "Conflict and Gender Leadership: Female Mayors in Colombia."
Questions by Sugat Chaturvedi. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.06.

Are female-led communities differentially affected by conflict? In this paper, I examine this question in the context of the Colombian conflict between 1997 and 2015. I exploit close races for the mayor’s office and find that municipalities where a female mayor was (narrowly) elected experienced a decrease in guerrilla attacks. This effect amounts to 60% of the average incidence during the sample period, is robust to various specifications, and shows both persistence in time and spatial spillovers. I find that the drop is not driven by ideological factors and cannot be explained solely by partisan affiliations. Instead, I show that these female politicians have a differential set of negotiation and executive skills. Finally, I use unique and novel data on the spatial distribution of guerrilla units and the gender of their leaders to show that the effect is stronger in municipalities under the influence of a female guerrilla commander.

Laura Barros (University of Goettingen) Yuanwei Xu "Natural Disasters and Intimate Partner Violence: Evidence from Peru."
Questions by Francisco Eslava. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.07.

This paper investigates if women are more vulnerable to intimate partner violence (IPV) in the aftermath of earthquakes in Peru. By combining household-level data on IPV and spatial data on all earthquakes that happened between 2000 and 2008, we show that exposure to very strong earthquakes increases the incidence of IPV by 12.7 percentage points. We document that the effect is less pronounced for women employed at the time of the earthquake, for households with less conservative gender norms and those residing in districts with protective institutions. Further evidence suggests that the increase in IPV following earthquakes is induced by a drop in female intra-household economic power and a rise in male psychological distress. Our findings shed light on a relatively neglected aspect of post-disaster settings and highlights the role of protective policies for women following large-scale disasters.

Roxana Manea (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies) Pedro Naso "Heterogeneous Impacts of School Fee Elimination in Tanzania: Gender and Colonial Infrastructure."
Questions by Laura Barros. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.08.

In this study, we investigate the impacts of the 2002 elimination of primary school fees in Mainland Tanzania. We explore how the magnitude of these effects depends on gender and the size of early investments in the educational infrastructure of Tanganyika. We use the 2002 and 2012 census waves as well as historical information on the location of schools in the late 1940s, and conduct a difference-in-differences analysis. We find that exposure to an average of 1.7 years of free primary education has reduced the proportion of people who have never attended primary education by 6.8 percentage points. The benefits of fee removal have been significantly larger for females compared to males, and females from districts where the size of investments in education was relatively larger during colonial rule have been the greatest beneficiaries.

Johannes Matzat (University of Goettingen) Axel Dreher, Sarah Langlotz, Anna Mayda, Christopher Parsons "Immigration, Political Ideologies and the Polarization of American Politics."
Questions by Panu Poutvaara. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.09.

We study the extent to which migrant inflows to the United States affect the political polarization of campaign donors and the ideology of politicians campaigning for the House of Representatives in the 1992-2016 period. Implementing various polarization measures based on ideology data derived from 16 million campaign finance contributors, our results show that migrant inflows causally increase the polarization of both campaign donations and leading political candidates. Our estimates hold over the medium-run, although the effects decline over time. The effects of migration are stronger if counties host migrants from more distant cultures, or if incoming migrants are similarly educated. Our main results hold when we focus on refugees as opposed to all immigrants on aggregate.

Apurav Yash Bhatiya (University of Warwick) "Do Enfranchised Immigrants Affect Political Behaviour?"
Questions by Johannes Matzat. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.10.

This paper analyses 3 million UK Parliament speeches between 1972 and 2011 to understand how immigration affects the incumbent’s behaviour towards existing and prospective immigrants. As a legacy of the British Empire, the immigrants from commonwealth countries in the UK have a right to vote in the national elections, while the non-commonwealth immigrants do not have this enfranchisement power. I find an increase in the share of enfranchised immigrants makes the incumbent spend more
time in the Parliament talking about existing immigrants, address existing immigrants with positive emotion and vote to make future immigration tougher. An increase in disenfranchised immigrants leads to the opposite effect. The enfranchised immigrants undertake more socio-political actions (signing a petition, participating in protests, contacting a politician etc.) compared to disenfranchised immigrants, which drives the incumbent’s behaviour. Disenfranchised immigrants only catch up with the enfranchised immigrants after naturalisation.

Thomas Gautier (Boston University) "Refugee Settlement and Social Integration: Evidence from Turkey."
Questions by Apurav Yash Bhatiya. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.11.

How do networks of immigrants influence the social integration of their members into the host community? Using mobile phone data collected from Syrian refugees living in Turkey, I document that refugees tend to make significantly more phone calls with locals as well as other refugees in villages with more refugees. I argue that this relationship is likely causal by using a distance-based instrumental variable strategy. The positive effect of refugee networks on social integration is more important when the concentration of refugees is low, and when the cultural gap between refugees and locals is wider. I argue that my results are consistent with the hypothesis that immigrant networks make it easier for refugees to interact with locals, by sharing information on local norms and creating new opportunities to meet locals.

Panu Poutvaara (University of Munich and ifo Institute) Cevat Giray Aksoy, Felicitas Schikora "First Time Around: Local Conditions and Multi-dimensional Integration of Refugees."
Questions by Thomas Gautier. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.12.

We study the causal effect of local labor market conditions and attitudes towards immigrants at the time of arrival on refugees’ multi-dimensional integration outcomes (economic, linguistic, navigational, political, psychological, and social). Using a unique dataset on refugees, we leverage a centralized allocation policy in Germany where refugees were exogenously assigned to live in specific counties. We find that high initial local unemployment negatively affects refugees’ economic and social integration: they are less likely to be in education or employment and they earn less. We also show that favorable attitudes towards immigrants promote refugees’ economic and social integration. The results suggest that attitudes toward immigrants are as important as local unemployment rates in shaping refugees’ integration outcomes. Using a
machine learning classifier algorithm, we find that our results are driven by older people and those with secondary or tertiary education. Our findings highlight the importance of both initial economic and social conditions for facilitating refugee integration, and have implications for the design of centralized allocation policies.

Jonah Rexer (Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania) "The local advantage: Corruption, organized crime, and indigenization in the Nigerian oil sector."
Questions by Bob Rijkers. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.13.

Despite productivity advantages, multinational firms may operate less effectively than their local competitors in markets plagued by corruption and conflict. In natural resource sectors where firms face predation by armed groups, local firms may more easily engage in efficient corruption to buy law enforcement protection for their assets. I study a twodecade indigenization drive in Nigeria’s turbulent oil sector, during which the share of local ownership grew substantially. Local takeover considerably increases oilfield output and reduces the share of nonproducing assets, despite evidence that local firms are of lower quality. Local firms increase output by reducing black-market activity: oil theft, maritime piracy, and militant violence all fall following local takeover. A simple bargaining model illustrates that political connections enable local firms to align law enforcement incentives, explaining their superior output performance. Data on anti-oil theft raids by government forces show that local firms receive preferential law enforcement protection. I find evidence that connections to high-level politicians and the security forces drive local firms’ advantage in obtaining state protection and reducing criminal activity.

Martin Mattsson (Yale University) "Service Delivery, Corruption, and Information Flows in Bureaucracies: Evidence from the Bangladesh Civil Service."
Questions by Jonah Rexer. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.14.

Government bureaucracies in low- and middle-income countries often suffer from corruption and slow public service delivery. Can better information flows within bureaucracies reduce delays? Paying bribes for faster service delivery is a common form of corruption, but does improving average processing times reduce bribes? To answer these questions, I conduct a largescale field experiment over 16 months with the Bangladesh Civil Service. I send monthly scorecards measuring delays in service delivery to government officials and their supervisors. The scorecards increase services delivered on time by 11% but do not reduce bribes. Instead, the scorecards increase bribes for high-performing bureaucrats. These results are inconsistent with existing theories suggesting that speeding up service delivery reduces bribes. I propose a model where bureaucrats’ shame or reputational concerns constrain corruption. When bureaucrats’ reputation improves through positive performance feedback, this constraint is relaxed, and bribes increase.

Lennart Kaplan (Georg-August University of Göttingen) Andreas Fuchs, Krisztina Kis-Katos, Sebastian S. Schmidt, et al. "Mask Wars: China's Exports of Medical Goods in Times of COVID-19."
Questions by Martin Mattsson. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.15.

The COVID-19 outbreak has cut China's supply of and raised the world's demand for face masks, disinfectants, ventilators, and other critical medical goods. This article studies the political and economic factors that facilitated access to Chinese medical equipment during the first two months of the global pandemic. Regression results show that both political and economic ties with Chinese provinces increased Chinese exports of critical medical goods to partner countries. Friendly political relations, such as local diplomatic missions and sister linkages, appear to work as a substitute for pre-existing economic ties at the provincial level. These findings imply that countries are well advised to diversify their sources or develop closer relations with China's provinces to secure better medical equipment access in crises.

Bob Rijkers (The World Bank Group) Andersen Jorgen Juel, Niels Johannesen "Elite Capture of Foreign Aid: Evidence from Offshore Bank Accounts."
Questions by Lennart Kaplan. Further discussion in GatherTown, Discussion Room OEC.16.

Do elites capture foreign aid? This paper documents that aid disbursements to highly aiddependent countries coincide with sharp increases in bank deposits in offshore financial centers known for bank secrecy and private wealth management, but not in other financial centers. The estimates are not confounded by contemporaneous shocks such as civil conflicts, natural disasters, and financial crises, and are robust to instrumenting using predetermined aid commitments. The implied leakage rate is around 7.5% at the sample mean and tends to increase with the ratio of aid to GDP. The findings are consistent with aid capture in the most aiddependent countries.