2009.07 Danny Cassimon, Martin Prowse and Dennis Essers | The pitfalls and potential of debt-for-nature swaps: A US-Indonesian case study

Abstract

The vital role of forests in limiting the likelihood of dangerous climate change has precipitated renewed interest in debt-for-nature swaps. This article uses evidence on past debt-for-nature swaps and similar debt mechanisms to assess the recent second wave of debt swaps. It outlines five typical shortcomings of this form of financial transaction: that they often fail to deliver additional resources to the debtor country; often fail to deliver more resources for conservation/climate purposes; often have a negligible effect on overall debt burdens, and, as such, do not generate more 'indirect' benefits; and are often in conflict with the new aid delivery paradigm's emphasis on alignment with government policy and systems. Our analysis is applied to a recent debt-for-nature swap initiative between the United States and Indonesia. We show that this case, which we consider as a litmus test for current swap practice, performs unevenly across the five shortcomings identified. On the one hand, the swap does not create  additional resources for the Government of Indonesia, is too insignificant to create indirect (positive) economic effects, and appears at odds with the new aid delivery paradigm's insistence on system alignment. On the other hand, the swap does not  reduce 
Government of Indonesia resources, and is very much in line with current national policy. The extent to which the resources provided by the swap are additional to other donor support and reserved domestic budget lines for conservation goals is unclear. Whilst a second generation of debt-for-nature swaps should clearly be avoided, there is a need to debate broader ways of linking debt service repayments to forest conservation.  

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2009.06 Bert Ingelaere | Living Together Again: The Expectation of Transitional Justice in Burundi - A View From Below

Abstract

Every society that experienced a violent conflict or repression needs to deal with the past, somehow. Accountability was the objective that dominated in the aftermath of the Second World War. The Nürnberg trials are an example. Truth commissions followed, in South-Africa but previously already in several Latin-American countries. Recently, more attention goes to so-called “traditional” justice and reconciliation mechanisms.2 Exemplary for this global tendency are the negotiations between the government of Uganda and the Lords Resistance Army. A proposal was formulated to use the Mato Oput ritual in the aftermath of the conflict. But collective amnesty, a collective oblivion,
has often also been a strategy to deal with a violent past.

Download 2009.06 Bert Ingelaere | Living Together Again: The Expectation of Transitional Justice in Burundi - A View From Below

2009.05 Martin Prowse and Laura Camfield | What role for qualitative methods in randomized experiments?

Abstract 

The vibrant debate on randomized experiments within international development has been slow to accept a role for qualitative methods within research designs. Whilst there are examples of how „field visits‟ or descriptive analyses of context can play a complementary, but secondary, role to quantitative methods, little attention has been paid to the possibility of randomized experiments that allow a primary role to qualitative methods. This paper assesses whether a range of qualitative methods compromise the internal and external validity criteria of randomized experiments. It suggests that life history interviews have advantages over other qualitative methods, and offers one alternative to the conventional survey tool.

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2009.04 Martin Prowse | Becoming a bwana and burley tobacco in the Central Region of Malawi

Abstract

Smallholders now grow most of Malawi‟s main export crop – burley tobacco. Based on nineteen months‟ fieldwork in the Central Region, this article offers a sociological interpretation of why some smallholder growers spend a proportion of burley income on conspicuous consumption in rural towns and trading centres. This practice can be seen as a form of inculcated behaviour whereby smallholders reproduce elements of one model of success in this region: that of the Malawian tobacco bwana (boss/master). The article discusses implications from this form of potlatch behaviour by describing the contrasting fortunes of two non-farm rural enterprises, examining data on how tobacco production and „cooling off‟ is viewed by wives, and comparing the crop preferences of husbands and wives. It concludes by suggesting that the concept of conspicuous consumption may provide an alternative prism through which to view apparently unintelligible investment decisions in African economies to the instrumental lens of neo-patrimonialism.

Download 2009.04 Martin Prowse | Becoming a bwana and burley tobacco in the Central Region of Malawi

2009.03 Danny Cassimon, Dennis Essers and Robrecht Renard | An assessment of debt-for-education swaps

Abstract 

In the light of worldwide commitments to meet global basic learning needs made at the 1990 United Nations Conference on Education for All (EFA) in Jomtien, the 2000 World Education Forum in Dakar and the 2000 United Nations Millennium Summit in New York, UNESCO has established a Working Group on Debt Swaps for Education which has met on two occasions so far, in 2006 and 2007. Drawing on experiences of bilateral donors such as Spain and Germany, this UNESCO Working Group is now promoting debt-for-education swaps, constructions whereby external debt is cancelled by the creditor in exchange for the debtor government's commitment to mobilise domestic resources for education sector spending. The experience with debt swaps in the mid 1990s was, however, far from positive, and recent improved insight in the economics of debt relief suggests extreme caution. In reviewing debt-for-education swaps between Germany and Indonesia and between Spain and El Salvador, this paper examines to what extent these second-generation debt swaps differ from their contested predecessors. We argue that, while the Paris Declaration's principles of policy and system alignment appear to have been fairly well implemented on education sector level in both case studies considered, it is mainly the macro-economic nature of such swaps that remains problematic. For debt relief to hold at least some promise of translating into an efficient and effective instrument of development, it should be large and comprehensive, as in the case of the HIPC Initiative and its successor the MDRI.

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2009.02 Bert Ingelaere | Do we understand life after genocide? Centre and periphery in the knowledge construction in/on Rwanda

Abstract

A reflection on the existing "constructs of knowledge" on Rwanda reveals that these are rife with contradictory assertions and images. We therefore map "the frontier of knowledge construction", the centre(s) of society where not only policy is made, but where knowledge is actively construed, managed and controlled. We identify a discrepancy between "image" and "reality" in/on post-genocide Rwanda. We do so to be able to address the 
fundamental question: "do we really understand life after genocide?" We argue that crucial variables remain un- or under-explored due to an at times active interference in the scientific construction of knowledge; an overall cultivation of the aesthetics of progress and a culturally specific communication code. We analyze the "mise-en-scène" (stage-setting) of Rwanda and argue for greater attention to the "mise-en-sens" (meaning-giving and overall direction). We stress the need to carry out a adopt a bottom-up perspective in order to capture the voices of ordinary people.

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2009.01 Leen Nijs, Robrecht Renard | Reforming government funding of development NGOs - A comparative analysis of eight European donors

Abstract

This paper consists of a comparative study of public financing of NGO development cooperation in selected European countries. The study encompasses the Nordic+ group (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Ireland) and Switzerland. Its main objective is to find out whether and how in the countries studied the modalities and objectives of the subsidization of Northern NGOs have been adapted to the rationale and requirements of the new aid approach as embodied in the 2005 DAC Paris Declaration. We describe the evolutions in the volumes, the procedures and modalities of funding to Northern NGOs, We argue that remarkable changes have been made in co-financing of development NGOs and give an analysis of the underlying rationale of these reforms. The annex to this paper contains the full version of the country studies.

Download 2009.01 Leen Nijs, Robrecht Renard | Reforming government funding of development NGOs - A comparative analysis of eight European donors

2008.03 Geovana Benedictis - German Calfat - Ana Rivas- Andrea Salvador | Looking Behind the Remittances: a CounterFactual Analysis of the Impact of Migration and Remittances on Poverty in the Philippines

Abstract

Remittances in the Philippines, as a consequence of an increasing migration, are flowing into the country as „manna-from-heaven‟. For the majority of recipient families, remittances finance on average between 30% and 45% of their living expenses.
While cross-country studies tend to overestimate the poverty reducing effects of remittances, by considering those transfers as exogenous, the counterfactual differential income earned as a result of migration, tend to lower or even vanish these effects depending on the characteristics of the migrants and their households.
The present work analyzes carefully the impact of these cash transfers on poverty, determining heterogeneous results. While many authors find remittances a good poverty reduction strategy, in the Philippines the results show that the poor are not primarily engaged in migration. Therefore the initial conditions of the migrant play a role at defining its opportunities abroad.

Download 2008.03 Geovana Benedictis - German Calfat - Ana Rivas- Andrea Salvador | Looking Behind the Remittances: a CounterFactual Analysis of the Impact of Migration and Remittances on Poverty in the Philippines

2008.02 Germán Calfat and Ana Rivas | Fragmentation, income, gender and poverty linkages: The case of the Maquila Industry in Guatemala

Abstract

This article addresses the participation of Guatemala in the world apparel chain of production and its likely impact on income, gender and poverty levels. Making use of household survey data from Guatemala, the study relies on matching techniques for analyzing changes on labour earnings in the assembly industry with special emphasis on female workers.
The evidence suggests that maquila-based employees are, on average, better paid than those occupied in the reserve sector, however, the former group seems to be exposed to a less favourable working environment when compared to those employed in other manufacturing industries. Moreover, the study reveals huge income disparities in terms of gender, exacerbated, among others, by the typical patriarchal structure prevailing in the Guatemalan economy. Our results introduce reservations on the role played by the maquila model, calling for a reassessment of its likely poverty reduction effect in Guatemala.

Download 2008.02 Germán Calfat and Ana Rivas | Fragmentation, income, gender and poverty linkages: The case of the Maquila Industry in Guatemala

2008.01 Germán Calfat, Danny Cassimon, Renato G. Flôres Jr. and Ana Rivas | Far from Champions, close to Midgets – International Production Sharing in Central and South America

Abstract

This paper assesses the relative participation of Argentina, Brazil, Guatemala and Nicaragua in fragmented world production. Based on trade statistics from 2000 to 2004, it analyses whether the trade flows of these economies have evolved towards production sharing schemes, and how great this type of trade is, in order to sustain their presence in the world economy. Guatemala and Nicaragua have reached a moderate insertion in a production sharing scheme, following a North-South trade pattern. Nonetheless, their participation is still small, being threatened not only by international competition, but also by their dependence on a unique market. Brazil has consolidated participation in a few chains, showing a more diversified North–South trade pattern. Argentina has attained insertion in the automotive chain of production, whereas its participation in other ones seems still quite limited. The country has a more South-South trade pattern, which exposes it to a certain degree of dependence.

Download 2008.01 Germán Calfat, Danny Cassimon, Renato G. Flôres Jr. and Ana Rivas | Far from Champions, close to Midgets – International Production Sharing in Central and South America

2006.06 Danny Cassimon - Bjorn Van Campenhout | In Search of Financial Globalization Traps

Abstract

The question whether global financial integration is beneficial for everyone remains highly disputed. It is often assumed that financial globalization involves threshold effects, where integration is worthwhile only when certain preconditions are met. However, it has also been noted that financial account liberalization also brings about considerable additional indirect benefits. These indirect benefits are often the same as the preconditions, such that there exists a complex two-way relationship between financial globalization and the preconditions/additional benefits. Such a relationship can lead to financial globalization traps, where some economies are trapped at a low level stable equilibrium, while others 
enjoy ever increasing financial integration. In this paper, we use de facto indicators of international financial integration to investigate if the dynamics of financial integration exhibit signs of such thresholds and traps. We present a parametric way of estimating these important parameters, based on recently developed sample splitting and threshold estimation methods. We find that there are indeed signs of multiple equilibriums if we look at the growth rates of total assets and liabilities. We also find that a group of countries are apparently caught in a high debt stock trap. 

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2006.05 Geovanna Benedictis Villacreses - Germán Calfat - Renato G. Flôres Jr. | Challenging the pro-development role of trade agreements when remoteness counts: the Ecuadorian experience

Abstract  
Differences in infrastructure can determine trade opportunities across countries, in a similar manner, unequal infrastructures can also be used to explain trade patterns within countries. The aim of this study is to present evidences that higher levels of trade are related to better infrastructure endowments and that less developed Ecuadorian regions can benefit from improvements on their local infrastructure. An augmented gravity equation is applied in order to determine differences among twelve provinces based on the interaction of variables such as distance to main markets, participation in Trade Preferential Agreements, economic size and border effects.

Download 2006.05 Geovanna Benedictis Villacreses - Germán Calfat - Renato G. Flôres Jr. | Challenging the pro-development role of trade agreements when remoteness counts: the Ecuadorian experience

2006.04 Ariel Barraud - Germán Calfat | Poverty Effects from Trade Liberalisation in Argentina

Abstract

This paper aims at analyzing the linkages between international trade openness and poverty in Argentina. Under a specific-factors setting, a two-step procedure is presented. In the first stage the change in prices of goods and factors in both tradable and non-tradable sectors, after a trade liberalization episode, is considered. In a second step, these variations are applied to assess the changes in poverty and households’ welfare. A micro simulation approach, using households’ survey data, is applied in this last stage. Poverty is reduced as a result of the policy, and the households that benefit from this reduction are those linked to the nontradable sectors. 

Download 2006.04 Ariel Barraud - Germán Calfat | Poverty Effects from Trade Liberalisation in Argentina

2006.03 Ariel Barraud - Germán Calfat | The Effects of Liberalizing the Yellow Maize Market in Guatemala: a Partial Equilibrium Multi-market Approach

Abstract

A simple multi-market framework is built to simulate the likely effects of trade liberalisation in the yellow maize market on the most relevant group of agricultural products in Guatemala. Households are affected by this policy in their double role of producers and consumers. Changes in welfare are assessed by means of a measure that accounts for the responses from different regions and socioeconomic conditions to changes in prices after the implementation of policy changes. The results indicate that the policy measure is likely to relatively improve the well being of the poorest 
households in Guatemala. However, after distinguishing peasants according to their land tenure characteristics, in the regions where agricultural products have greater relevance, some losses appear. 

Download 2006.03 Ariel Barraud - Germán Calfat | The Effects of Liberalizing the Yellow Maize Market in Guatemala: a Partial Equilibrium Multi-market Approach

2006.02 Danny Cassimon - Bjorn Van Campenhout | Aid Effectiveness, Debt Relief and Public Finance Response: Evidence from a panel of HIPC Countries

Abstract

Through the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative, substantial amounts of debt relief have been granted to a set of low-income countries as an alternative instrument of aid delivery. The theoretical (and moral) arguments in favour of debt relief are well established. However, the question whether debt relief is a more effective instrument of development assistance in practice is an empirical question. Hence, in this paper we investigate, for a panel of 28 decision point HIPC countries, the intertemporal linkages between debt relief and other fiscal variables such as current 
expenditure, government investment, taxation and domestic borrowing, in comparison to the effects of more traditional forms of development assistance, namely (non-debt relief) grants and concessional loans. To do so, we estimate a panel VAR and look at impulse response functions. Overall, we find that HIPC (only) debt relief impact on fiscal variables to follow fairly complex dynamics. For example, debt relief initially reduces government investment, but the effect becomes positive after two years, well outperforming other modes of aid delivery. 

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2006.01 Claudine Tshimanga Mbuyi - Tom De Herdt - Christian Kamavu | Mesurer l'Impact du Fonds Social Urbain

Résumé

Ce rapport clôture un cycle d'études autour d'une intervention de lutte contre la pauvreté dans la commune de Kisenso, une des communes les plus pauvres de la capitale de la RDC. Il a débuté par une étude sur la pauvreté urbaine, au milieu des années '90, qui a débouché sur la proposition de créer des initiatives du type Fonds Social Urbain. Les enquêtes menées en 2002, juste avant le démarrage du FSU, et en 2005, quelques mois avant la fin de la phase pilote du FSU, viennent clôturer ce cycle. La présente étude vise donc en premier lieu à mesurer l'impact de l'intiative.

Download 2006.01  Claudine Tshimanga Mbuyi - Tom De Herdt - Christian Kamavu | Mesurer l'Impact du Fonds Social Urbain

2005.03 Rossana Patron | Enhancing the public provision of education

Abstract

Educational systems in developing countries show widespread problems that hinder delivering the service in adequate quantity and quality, as well as equity issues are still unresolved in many cases. The paper provides a flexible framework to deal with educational provision and public policies in developing countries, linking the impact of quality-quantity-equity of educational policies on labour markets. It adds to the education production function and human capital accumulation theoretical literature in which it includes the presence of inefficiencies, modelling the role of educational policies on tacking at them. Educational policies designing is discussed, which leads to suggest that more sophisticated educational policies (“multiple targets”) may increase the efficiency of the expenditure in education in terms of the quantity-quality of the output (skills). 

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2005.02 María Florencia Granato | Regional Integration and its Spatial Effects within a Member Country

Abstract

This paper studies the impact of regional integration on the economic geography of an interior region, for instance a member country. It extends a simple new economic geography model in which differentiated goods can be exchanged both nationally and internationally but at different positive costs. Both types of costs affect agglomeration and dispersion forces; as a consequence, regional integration modifies the incentive for firms to spatially concentrate. The results obtained suggest that heterogeneity between domestic locations, in terms of access to the preferential partner and in terms of market size play a major role in shaping industrial location inside the member country. If two domestic locations are equidistant from the preferential partner, regional integration tends to foster spatial concentration in the biggest location. When one of the regions has an advantage in terms of access to the partner's market, preferential trade liberalisation generally favours it, unless competition from abroad is too high.

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2005.01 María Cecilia Gáname | The Effects of Endogenous Protection on the Economic Landscape

Abstract

The author studies the impact of political economy variables on the spatial distribution of industry. The political game between a single lobby and a partial opportunistic incumbent may alter the economic landscape of a small economy. The trade policy endogenously determined becomes the channel to understand how the players’ behaviour impacts on the long run spatial distribution of industry. When the rest of the world is a free trader and the spending share of an economy is relatively small, the marginal change in the trade policy has a relevant impact on the industry share. Amazingly, if a small economy is characterised by a government that is not very much concerned about general welfare and there is a lobby of few capital owners that play actively, the possible outcome will be a relocation of industry that favours such an economy. Capital owners might make capital flow to look for protection. Political variables may act as a dispersion force.

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