Journal of Development Economics

Published by Elsevier BV

Print ISSN: 0304-3878


A simultaneous equations model of internal migration with dynamic policy simulations and forecasting. Italy, 1952-1976
  • Article

February 1980


55 Reads

The purpose of this study is to determine, with a dynamic simultaneous equations model, the relative importance of the most significant socioeconomic forces leading to the large-scale labor migration from the South to the North of Italy from 1952 to 1976, and to analyze its implications for the past and prospective development of the South. The model is estimated by Full Information Maximum Likelihood, validated by dynamic simulation, stressing dynamic policy simulations, and also presenting the results of some forecasting.

Political freedom and the response to economic incentives: Labor migration in Africa, 1972–1987

January 1995


29 Reads

PIP This study examines the thesis that political institutions and the freedoms and civil rights generated by these institutions affect migration decisions. The hypothesis is based on one stated by Adam Smith in 1776, that economic conditions that reflect greater political freedoms and civil liberties harbor higher levels of resource mobility in response to economic incentives. Pooled cross-sectional and time-series analysis is based on data from the World Bank for 32 African countries during 1972-87. Findings support the hypothesis that migration rate is more affected by the expected returns ratio to labor in countries where civil liberties are greater than in nations with fewer civil liberties. The implication, from the inclusion of institutional factors in the model, is that civil liberties have an indirect impact on the rate of labor migration out of agriculture in Africa. The impact is a mix of economic incentives and civil liberties. In the political rights model, the most free countries had the largest migration elasticity. The findings on political rights impacts support findings by Friedman and McMillan that civil liberties are a more important determinant of economic growth than political rights. Further testing for measurement error confirmed that the data were flawed, but not so greatly that the basic findings were overturned. The migration out of African agriculture was found to be sensitive to the effect of price signals, which were conditioned by the degree of political rights and civil liberties. Policy makers are urged to consider both changes in pricing and institutions.

Capital Accumulation, Income Distribution and Endogenous Fertility in an Overlapping Generations General Equilibrium Model

February 1991


55 Reads

PIP A study is conducted in attempts to increase the understanding of the links between macroeconomic effects and causes of population growth in formulating policy. An overlapping generations general equilibrium model is employed aggregating household decisions about fertility, savings, and investment in the human capital of children with the objective of studying intertemporal relationships among population growth, income distribution, inter-generation social mobility, skill composition of the labor force, and household income. As a result of endogenous fertility, the equilibrium path attains steady state from the second generation. Income tax transfer, child taxation, and social security taxation policies are also examined in the paper. A structural explanation is given for the inverse household income-child quantity and negative child quality-quantity relationships seen in developing countries. In a Cobb-Douglas economy, these relationships hold in the short-run, potentially working over the long-run in other economies. Overall, the model shows that group interests may hinder emergence of perfect capital markets with private initiatives. Where developing countries are concerned, these results have strong implications for population policy. A policy mix of building good quality schools, or subsidizing rural education, introducing a formal social security program, and providing high-yield, risk-free investments, banking, and insurance services to the poor is recommended.

Table 3 
Table 6 Treatment by Caste 
Table 10 Treatment by Distance to Origin 
Social Affiliation and the Demand for Health Services: Caste and Child Health in South India
  • Article
  • Full-text available

August 2007


64 Reads

This paper assesses the role of social affiliation, measured by caste, in shaping investments in child health. The special setting that we have chosen for the analysis - tea estates in the South Indian High Range - allows us to control nonparametrically for differences in income, access to health services, and patterns of morbidity across low caste and high caste households. In this controlled setting, low caste households spend more on their children's health than high caste households, reversing the pattern we would expect to find elsewhere in India. Moreover, health expenditures do not vary by gender within either caste group, in contrast once again with the male preference documented throughout the country. A simple explanation, based on differences in the returns to human capital across castes in the tea estates is proposed to explain these striking results.

Women as agents of change: Female income and mobility in India

January 2011


349 Reads

Economic globalization will give many women in developing countries access to steady and relatively remunerative employment for the first time, potentially shifting bargaining power within their households and changing the choices that are made for their children. This paper exploits a unique setting - a group of tea plantations in South India where women are employed in permanent wage labor and where incomes do not vary by caste - to anticipate the impact of globalization on mobility across social groups in the future. The main result of the paper is that a relative increase in female income weakens the family's ties to the ancestral community and the traditional economy, but these mobility enhancing effects are obtained for certain historically disadvantaged castes alone. Although the paper provides a context-specific explanation for why the women from these castes emerge as agents of change, the first general implication of the analysis is that the incentive and the ability of women to use their earnings to influence household decisions depends importantly on their social background. The second implication is that historically disadvantaged groups may, in fact, be especially responsive to new opportunities precisely because they have fewer ties to the traditional economy to hold them back.

The Boserup theory of agricultural growth. A model for anthropological economics

February 1980


25,391 Reads

Ester Boserup's challenging counter-Malthusian theory of growth of primitive agriculture is formalized in a continuous time framework that permits investigation of the long-run properties of such a closed economy. It is discovered that from any initial conditions there are two asymmetric outcomes that are possible. The implications of the theory are further extended to Karl Polanyi's now classic argument concerning structural transformation as an economic system makes the transition from feudalism to capitalism and to Walter Rodney's claims about the origins of African underdevelopment.

Population growth, soil fertility, and agricultural intensification

September 1994


42 Reads

This paper presents a renewable resource model of soil fertility with a nonconvexity in the net benefit function. In this setting, recurring cycles of cropping and fallow can be the optimal soil management strategy. The model is used to illuminate the Boserup discussion of agricultural development, in which population growth leads to agricultural intensification, defined as an increase in cropping frequency. Previous formal models of the Boserup hypothesis focus on the land-labor ratio rather than cropping frequency and have not directly incorporated soil fertility dynamics. These models assume a convex production technology and are not optimistic about the prospect for agricultural development without technological progress. This paper explicitly models soil fertility dynamics and demonstrates that nonconvexities in the production technology are an important feature of the use of long fallow periods for soil management. As population grows, and the demand for food increases, the importance of the nonconvexity diminishes and more frequent cropping becomes economical. Given a nonconvexity in the production technology, it is possible, though not necessary, that average labor productivity increases with agricultural intensification. Thus, it is possible to reconcile the greater labor requirement of intensive farming with an increase in average labor productivity. In addition, Boserup argued that a larger and denser population facilitates the development of economic and social infrastructure which improve agricultural productivity.

Assessing the impact of AIDS on the growth path of the Malawian economy

May 1994


67 Reads

PIP More than 1% of people of sub-Saharan Africa aged 15-49 years are infected with HIV, with over half likely to develop AIDS in the next decade. As rates of HIV infection continue to climb, there will be staggering financial consequences to bear in the years ahead in terms of high medical treatment costs and crippled macroeconomies. The authors employ a modified Solow growth model to simulate the impact of the AIDS epidemic on output capacity and other key macroeconomic aggregates in Malawi. They compare a counterfactual no-AIDS scenario to medium and extreme AIDS projections and find that average real GDP growth over the 1985-2010 period will be 0.2-0.3 percentage points lower in the medium case and 1.2-1.5% lower in the extreme case relative to the no-AIDS case. The size of the economy by 2010 will therefore be reduced from a real GDP of 5.03 billion (constant 1985) Kwacha without AIDS to 4.81-4.77 and 3.80-3.46 billion Kwacha in the medium and extreme scenarios, respectively.

Nutrition, health, birth order and seasonality. Intrahousehold allocation among children in rural India

March 1988


96 Reads

"Nutrients available to children are determined largely by intrahousehold allocations. There are a number of reasons why birth order may affect these allocations. A model is developed to estimate critical parameters of parental preferences regarding the allocation of nutrients among their children. Latent variable estimates for rural south India indicate that parental preferences have productivity-equity tradeoffs and parents favor older children. The productivity-equity tradeoff, however, is much less for the lean season. Therefore, when food is scarcest, parents follow more closely a pure investment strategy, exposing their more vulnerable children to greater malnutrition risk."

Intrafirm trade and the developing countries : An assessment of the data

October 1979


11 Reads

PIP The state of general empirical knowledge of the extent of and trends in intrafirm international trade are surveyed with attention concentrated on United States and Canadian data sources. Focus is on conceptual and definitional distinctions, U.S. trade with U.S. majority-owned foreign affiliates, U.S. related-party imports, international subcontracting and value added tariffs, aggregative data from individual developing countries, and customs documents as micro-level data soruces. In this effort to outline the reasons for the growing concern with the phenomenon of intrafirm trade and to summarize the most readily available data on its nature and growth, the following were among the important points made: 1) it is essential to arrive at clear and uniform definitions as to what is meant by "intrafirm trade"; 2) the share of U.S. non-petroleum imports from developing countries which originates in majority-owned foreign affiliates of U.S. firms is declining; 3) very high proportions of some U.S. imports from developing countries originate with "related parties," and there are frequently large differences between import unit values in related-party trade and those in non-related-party trade; 4) international subcontracting, as indicated by the usage of value added tariff provisions, continues to be a rapidly growing element in manufactured goods trade between the U.S. and developing countries; and 5) further data should be collected and empirical research conducted.

Economic Analysis of Brain Drain

March 1987


98 Reads

"In this paper, we consider the brain drain problem arising from the possibility of signaling and individual's two-stage decision procedures within an asymmetric information framework. Where the ranking of the universities provides a signal to domestic employers, our results indicate that, at rational expectations equilibrium, there is an association between students of a particular quality and corresponding qualities of universities they will choose to attend to attain Ph.D.'s. Moreover, we can predict whether these graduating Ph.D.'s choose to return home or remain abroad."

Can a Brain Drain Be Good for Growth in the Source Economy?

September 1997


3,310 Reads

This paper analyzes the interaction between income distribution, human capital accumulation and migration. It shows that when migration is not a certainty, a brain drain may increase average productivity and equality in the source economy even though average productivity is a positive function of past average levels of human capital in an economy. It is also shown how the temporary possibility of emigration may permanently increase the average level of productivity of an economy. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science B.V.

Effects of Economic Shocks on Children''s Employment and Schooling in Brazil

October 2007


394 Reads

This paper uses longitudinal employment survey data to analyze the impact of household economic shocks on the schooling and employment transitions of young people in metropolitan Brazil. The paper uses data on over 100,000 children ages 10-16 from Brazil's Monthly Employment Survey (PME) from 1982 to 1999. Taking advantage of the rotating panels in the PME, we compare households in which the male household head becomes unemployed during a four-month period with households in which the head is continuously employed. Probit regressions indicate that an unemployment shock significantly increases the probability that a child enters the labor force, drops out of school, and fails to advance in school. The effects can be large, implying increases of as much as 50% in the probability of entering employment for 16-year-old girls. In contrast, shocks occurring after the school year do not have significant effects, suggesting that these results are not due to unobserved characteristics of households that experience unemployment shocks. The results suggest that some households are not able to absorb short-run economic shocks, with negative consequences for children.

On the optimal choice of capital intensity in LDCs with migration

September 1981


10 Reads

"Sen's classic work on the choice of capital intensity of investment is generalized in the light of new theoretical developments and empirical findings concerning rural-to-urban migration in LDCs. This is done by explicitly incorporating a migration function into the basic choice model. Revised conditions for maximization of surplus are derived and compared with Sen's original condition. Some justification for the particular migration function used in the presence of risk-aversion is suggested."

The Effect Of Immigrants' On Natives' Incomes Through The Use Of Capital

February 1985


15 Reads

"This paper deals with questions about the effects of immigrants on three types of capital: the private capital immigrants work with, the public (government) capital that immigrant workers use, and the public capital used for services by immigrants." The geographic focus is on the United States. The authors conclude that although the average cost to natives in 1975 dollars to provide services for immigrants is 4,172 dollars, this amount "is considerably smaller than the benefits of immigrants to natives through their relatively low use of welfare services and their relatively high contribution of taxes." Comments by Jacob Mincer (pp. 95-7) are included.

A child health production function estimated from longitudinal data. Cebu Study Team

May 1992


186 Reads


D Guilkey





Linda S. Adair
This research analyzes longitudinal data from the Philippines based on a sample of over 3,000 mother-infant pairs covering a period from the mother's pregnancy until the age two. The econometric methods alleviate problems, including unobserved heterogeneity and endogeneity of important explanatory factors, and exploit the longitudinal nature of the data set. The results indicate that a group of individual, household, and community factors importantly affect the outputs of the child health production function - diarrhea, febrile respiratory infection, and weight - by affecting the behaviors and inputs which produce these health outcomes.

Wars and Child Health: Evidence from the Eritrean-Ethiopian Conflict

November 2012


198 Reads

Conflict between and within countries can have lasting health and economic consequences, but identifying such effects can be empirically challenging. This paper uses household survey data from Eritrea to estimate the effect of exposure to the 1998-2000 Eritrea-Ethiopia war on children's health. The identification strategy exploits exogenous variation in the conflict's geographic extent and timing and the exposure of different birth cohorts to the fighting. The unique survey data include details on each household's migration history, which allows us to measure a child's geographic location during the war and without which war exposure would be incorrectly classified. War-exposed children have lower height-for-age Z-scores, with similar effects for children born before or during the war. Both boys and girls who are born during the war experience negative impacts due to conflict. Effects are robust to including region-specific time trends, alternative conflict exposure measures, and mother fixed effects.

Determinants of child mortality, health, and nutrition in a developing country

November 1982


70 Reads

The authors investigate the determinants of child mortality and health and nutrition status in Nicaragua using economic models of household behavior. In particular, they examine regional differences by degree of urbanization. Various factors affecting child mortality are considered. The results indicate that "income is not an important factor, there is an inverse relation with number of siblings, and there are positive associations with calorie intake, schooling (except in the relatively low-income areas), the availability of refrigeration, and the quality of sewage systems."

Malnutrition, child morbidity and the family decision process

July 1979


34 Reads

PIP A microeconomic model of the process by which infants and preschoolers are subject to malnourishment, diarrhea and other illnesses in developing countries is given. The model is econometrically based of a cross-section time-series for 1200 children from Candelaria, Colombia. Four primary issues are addressed: economic constraints and intra-family resource allocation decisions impacting on a child's nutritional and health status; the interrelationship between malnutrition, diarrhea, and other diseases; specific policy interventions (maternal-child health education, food supplementation and the encouragement of breast feeding) impacting on health and nutritional status; and the need to distinguish between the effect of different policy variables on a child's height and weight during infancy and preschool age. The observations were taken over a 7 year period during the Promotora maternal-child health program in Colombia.

Children and Savings in Less Developed Countries

October 1986


14 Reads

"A commonly cited motive for childbearing in LDCs is the support in old age provided by one's children. Alternative means of retirement support become available as a country develops. This paper presents a simple two period model in which financial institutions are allowed to substitute for children in the provision of this service. The 'quality' of financial institutions is given an operational definition and the hypotheses of the model are tested on a cross-section sample of countries."

The role of husband's and wife's economic activity status in the demand for children

April 1987


29 Reads

The existing literature on household demand for children in developing countries focuses on women's choice of different types of market activity. Many types of work in the informal sector are considered to be more compatible with child care because they put less demands on women's time. The presence of such compatibility effects is used to explain why women's wage rates or labor force participation rates are not always negatively related to the fertility rates. However, households in the informal sector may own a family business, which can lead them to have a greater demand for children because child labor can be more productively employed in the family enterprise. Consequently, not only is wife's choice of market activity type important in determining fertility demand, but so is husband's choice. The new emphasis is on men's role. Micro data from the urban sector of Hong Kong are used to test for the presence of both the compatibility and child labor effects on fertility demand with positive results. Our study shows that incorporating husband's choice of market activity type can be important in the analysis of fertility demand in developing countries.

Urbanization in a Developing Country: City Size and Population Composition

July 1986


33 Reads

Reasons for the high correlation between city size and educational attainment in developing countries are explored. "Two explanations are examined. First, the types of goods produced in larger cities require relatively high skill labor inputs. Second, public and perhaps private services demanded by higher skill people are only offered in larger cities. The paper econometrically tests these hypotheses for Brazil, estimating the elasticities of substitution (or typically complementarity) between high and low skill labor and the 'bright lights' effect for high versus low skill labor."

International Migration, Non-Traded Goods and Economic Welfare in the Source Country: A Comment

January 1985


28 Reads

"Labor emigration redistributes income in a two factor, two good economy where one good is internationally non-traded. Labor's nominal wage rises as nominal capital payments fall. Recent research has shown that the prices of non-traded goods rise, causing society's welfare to decline. Here the induced change in the real income of each factor is considered separately. There is an ambiguity with regard to the real income of non-emigrating labor. If labor spends a relatively small fraction of income on the non-traded goods, its real income may rise, even though society suffers the loss of welfare."

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