Can education reduce violent crime? Evidence from Mexico before and after the drug war onset

The Journal of Development Studies

Published On 2022/2/1

Existing theories relate higher education to lower crime rates, yet we have limited evidence on the crime-reducing effect of education in developing countries. We contribute to this literature by examining the effect of education on homicide in Mexico, where homicide rates decreased by nearly 55 percent from 1992 to 2007, before the surge of drug-related violence. We argue that a large amount of this reduction followed a compulsory schooling law at the secondary level in 1993, when the government undertook key education reforms to promote development and economic integration. We employ different empirical strategies that combine regression analysis, placebo tests, and an instrumental variable approach, and find that attendance in secondary and tertiary schools has a negative effect on homicide rates before the onset of the Drug War, although the evidence for secondary enrolment is more robust. This effect …

Journal

The Journal of Development Studies

Published On

2022/2/1

Volume

58

Issue

2

Page

292-309

Authors

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

Position

Professor Department of Government & Peace Research Institute Oslo

H-Index(all)

60

H-Index(since 2020)

48

I-10 Index(all)

0

I-10 Index(since 2020)

0

Citation(all)

0

Citation(since 2020)

0

Cited By

0

Research Interests

Conflict

international relations

democratization

statistical methods

political science

University Profile Page

Barbara Zarate Tenorio

Barbara Zarate Tenorio

University of Essex

Position

H-Index(all)

4

H-Index(since 2020)

4

I-10 Index(all)

0

I-10 Index(since 2020)

0

Citation(all)

0

Citation(since 2020)

0

Cited By

0

Research Interests

University Profile Page

Other Articles from authors

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

Governance

Judiciary institutions and violent crime in American Indian nations

In many American Indian nations the security situation is dire. While scholars have studied how institutions shape economic development in American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) nations, the role of AIAN institutions for security and violent crime has received much less attention—despite the extensive literature highlighting the important role of effective and legitimate institutions in the long‐term decline of violence. We analyze how varying types of American Indian polities and judiciary institutions fare in tackling violent crime using data across 146 American Indian polities. Our findings indicate that more autonomous American Indian criminal justice institutions with specialized court systems are associated with lower violent crime. However, customary justice institutions do not appear to be effective in reducing violent crime, highlighting the problem of cultural mismatch between traditional and formal justice …

Barbara Zarate Tenorio

Barbara Zarate Tenorio

University of Essex

The democratic deficit, political participation and demands for social inclusion in truncated welfare states

The third wave of transitions to democracy has had a limited impact on income inequality and poverty reduction in many Latin American countries. Latin America still ranks among the most unequal regions worldwide. The welfare states in the region have historically evolved in a “truncated” way, gradually granting social rights and employment benefits to different sectors of society in formal employment while excluding the large segment of the workforce engaged in informal employment (D e Ferranti et al., 2004).Notwithstanding social policy expansions to informal workers, the implementation of strong redistributive policies and improving the quality of and access to social policies remain crucial challenges in Latin America (Cardoso & Magalhaes, 2001; Haggard & Kaufman, 2008; Holland, 2018; Levy & Schady, 2013; Hol-land & Schneider, 2017). Unsurprisingly, survey data from the Latin American Public Opinion Survey shows that around 40% of the population is “dissatisfied” or “very dissatisfied” with the quality of public schools, and this percentage reaches 50% in the case of public health services. Moreover, around 80% of the population believes that the government should implement strong policies to reduce income inequality (LAPOP, 2012).

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

European Journal of International Relations

Clouds with silver linings: how mobilization shapes the impact of coups on democratization

There is a long-standing debate over the impact of coups on democratization. Some argue that coups can help promote transitions to democratic rule. Yet, others contend that coups often spur increased repression and autocratization, undermining hopes of democratic reform. We argue that both democratic and autocratic changes are more likely after a coup and that popular mobilization plays a crucial role in shaping the post-coup trajectory. Democratization is more likely when coups occur in the presence of significant popular mobilization. A coup reveals cracks within a regime, and the combination of pressure from within and threat from below during popular mobilizations fosters greater incentives to promise democratic reform. In the absence of popular mobilization, autocratic rule is more likely, especially when a coup is successful. We test our argument on the combined effect of popular mobilization and coups …

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

PLoS one

Local deprivation predicts right-wing hate crime in England

We argue that community deprivation can increase the risk of right-wing radicalization and violent attacks and that measures of local deprivation can help improve forecasting local hate crime rates. A large body of research stresses how experiences of deprivation can erode the perceived legitimacy of political leaders and institutions, increase alienation, and encourage right-wing radicalization and hate crime. Existing analyses have found limited support for a close relationship between deprivation and radicalization among individuals. We provide an alternative approach using highly disaggregated data for England and show that information on local deprivation can improve predictions of the location of right-wing hate crime attacks. Beyond the ability to predict where right-wing hate crime is likely, our results suggest that efforts to decrease deprivation can have important consequences for political violence, and that targeting structural facilitators to prevent far-right violence ex ante can be an alternative or complement to ex post measures.

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

Journal of Peace Research

Going, going, gone? Varieties of dissent and leader exit

We examine how popular dissent affects the likelihood that political leaders lose power, distinguishing between types of dissent in terms of nonviolent/violent primary tactics as well as the level of individual participation. We posit that protests threaten leaders both directly through the governance costs of citizen non-compliance, and indirectly through the increased risk of elite defections in the ruling coalition. In a series of propositions we detail how the type of dissent and the magnitude of participation influence the odds of leaders surviving in office. We argue that mass nonviolent challenges tend to be more threatening to a leader’s rule than violent dissent, given the characteristics of movements likely to choose nonviolent tactics. Moreover, the effectiveness of the challenge increases in the scale and size of the dissident campaign, and movements that can mobilize larger numbers have a comparative advantage in …

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

International Studies Review

Challenges to Scholarship and Policy During Crises

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic influence on mortality and public health and generated much speculation on potential impacts on international politics. Fast-moving crises such as the COVID pandemic and 2008 financial crises entail many challenges for scholarship; events evolve rapidly, our prior knowledge base is limited, it is unclear whether existing theories or analogies apply, and new research findings emerge quickly but also erratically. Researchers face demands to engage with policy and general audiences when normal standards of scholarship may be difficult to apply. Crises can also have a dramatic impact on how we conduct research and interact with other scholars. The forum introduction outlines how crises pose challenges for scholarship and policy and the value of approaching crises such as COVID-19 in comparative perspective. Milner highlights the important differences …

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy

This Research has Important Policy Implications…

The COVID 19 pandemic has generated much interest in the relationship between research and policy. It has drawn new attention to the limitations of a linear model, where policy is based on first observing prior scientific research and then designed in response to this. Conflict researchers often motivate the importance of their work by claiming that their “research has important policy implications”, but the proposals offered are often at best incomplete. I identify a number of common limitations in claims about policy implications, including a lack of discussion of objectives and priorities, stating objectives themselves as if they were policies, claims about targeting factors without discussing the effectiveness of possible interventions, and a failure to consider uncertainty and potential tensions with other objectives or unintended effects. Research can potentially inform policy discussions and improve decisions, but the …

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

Political Research Quarterly

A double-edge sword? Mass media and nonviolent dissent in autocracies

It is often assumed that nondemocratic regimes will control mass media and suppress independent information, but in many autocracies the media are partially free and imperfectly controlled. We argue that partial media freedom can increase the prospects for mass nonviolent dissent. We develop a theory emphasizing how even less than perfectly free media outlets can increase the ability of individuals to coordinate and mobilize, and provide an informational endowment that can help non-state actors overcome collective mobilization barriers. We further argue that this informational endowment amplifies the effect of other influences spurring mass protests in autocracies, in particular protest contagion and elections. We find empirical support for our argument in an analysis of all autocracies between 1955 and 2013. A case study of the Georgian Rose revolution provides further support for the postulated mechanisms.

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

Political Geography

Michael D. Ward (1948–2021) and the road to space, networks and geography

We were very sad to learn of the passing of our mentor, friend, and collaborator Michael D. Ward on 9 July 2021. Mike made important contributions to political geography, and he served on the editorial board of Political Geography from 2002 to 2013 as well as the advisory board for the Center for Spatially Integrated Social Sciences at the University of California Santa Barbara. Above all, he played a key role in disseminating insights on the role of geography and spatial concepts and methods to his home discipline, political science.In this intervention, we have gathered scholars who worked with Mike at different times in his career to reflect on themes in his research and the enduring relevance of his contributions. Our introduction gives a brief account of how Mike’s interest in geography and space evolved.

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

International Studies Quarterly

One without the other? Prediction and policy in international studies

Like many others, I have spent much time since March 2020 reviewing and reflecting on research on COVID-19 and the policy responses to the pandemic. This has in turn inspired me to reflect on research and policy in my own field. The crisis over Russian demands on Ukraine in early 2022 and the subsequent Russian invasion of Ukraine is at the time ofCentre for Advanced Studies, Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in Oslo, on May 11–12. I would like to dedicate this article to my late supervisor, close collaborator, and personal friend Michael D. Ward. We had many useful discussions on forecasting, and his work on conflict prediction has had a major influence on the field. I hope he would have enjoyed this presidential address.

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

International Studies Quarterly

Ties that bias in international conflict: A spatial approach to dyadic dependence from alliance ties and inbetweenness

Much of international behavior is linked spatially and temporally. Yet, analyses of interstate interactions generally either assume independence among units or resort to technical solutions to dependence that “throw away” relevant information. We detail a more informative and satisfying approach to modeling spatial dependence from extra-dyadic linkages in alliance ties and geographical proximity as specific pathways of conflict contagion. Beyond deterrence, the purpose of alliances is to draw other parties into dyadic contests, but most existing research on conflict onset generally only considers alliance ties within an individual dyad or external intervention in the same dispute. We develop new measures on third- and fourth-party alliance ties, demonstrating direct and indirect spatial effects of alliances on conflict onset. Similarly, ongoing contests can spread geographically, but dyads in some locations are …

Barbara Zarate Tenorio

Barbara Zarate Tenorio

University of Essex

The world politics of social investment

Trade unions, labor market dualization, and investment in early childhood education and care in Latin America

Early childhood education and care (ECEC) policies have experienced a substantial expansion in the last decades in Latin America, particularly after the 1990s. To date, virtually all countries have an ECEC program in place. However, the inclusiveness and quality of public childcare services vary widely across the region (Araujo et al., 2013). The political actors and coalitional dynamics underlying ECEC social policy reform also differ among countries. This variation is consequential as we expect actor configurations to influence social policies’ distributive profiles (see Chapter 2 in this volume). This chapter focuses on the role of trade unions in the recent expansions of ECEC services in Latin America. We identify and analyze whether unions have supported ECEC policy reforms and their role in the policymaking process. Membership composition and unions’ relations with the government have analytical value for …

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

Journal of Conflict Resolution

Mapping the International

This article introduces CShapes 2.0, a GIS dataset that maps the borders of states and dependent territories from 1886 through 2019. Our dataset builds on the previous CShapes dataset and improves it in two ways. First, it extends temporal coverage from 1946 back to the year 1886, which followed the Berlin Conference on the partition of Africa. Second, the new dataset is no longer limited to independent states, but also maps the borders of colonies and other dependencies, thereby providing near complete global coverage of political units throughout recent history. This article explains the coding procedure, provides a preview of the dataset and presents three illustrative applications.

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

Journal of Conflict Resolution

Mapping the international system, 1886-2019: the CShapes 2.0 dataset

This article introduces CShapes 2.0, a GIS dataset that maps the borders of states and dependent territories from 1886 through 2019. Our dataset builds on the previous CShapes dataset and improves it in two ways. First, it extends temporal coverage from 1946 back to the year 1886, which followed the Berlin Conference on the partition of Africa. Second, the new dataset is no longer limited to independent states, but also maps the borders of colonies and other dependencies, thereby providing near complete global coverage of political units throughout recent history. This article explains the coding procedure, provides a preview of the dataset and presents three illustrative applications.

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

In Memoriam: Michael D. Ward (1948–2021)

We were deeply saddened by the passing of our mentor, friend, and colleague Michael D. Ward on 9 July 2021. Mike served on the editorial board of Defence and Peace Economics from the start of 1990 until 2015, and made important contributions to the study of military expenditures, the economics of peace and militarized conflict, as well as modeling and statistical methods in the social sciences. We extend our deep sympathies to Mike’s family Sandra and Chris. Born in Japan to a military family, Mike had a long academic career, at many institutions and multiple countries. He received a PhD in Political Science from Northwestern University in 1977, with a doctoral dissertation on the political economy of inequality, which was later published as The

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

Journal of Conflict Resolution

From claims to violence: Signaling, outbidding, and escalation in ethnic conflict

Do radical political demands increase the risk of ethnic civil conflict? And why do ethnic movements make radical demands in the first place? We contend that when movements are fragmented, individual organizations use far-reaching claims relative to the status quo to attract attention from the government, boost intra-organizational discipline, and outbid rivals. Yet, such radical claims also increase the risk of conflict escalation. We test our arguments at both the ethnic group and organizational levels, using a new dataset on ethno-political organizations and their political demands. Our results show that the scope of demands increases the more organizations exist within an ethnic movement and that radical demands increase the risk of civil conflict onset. This effect is specific to the dyadic government-movement interaction, irrespective of other ethnic groups in the country. Moreover, at the organizational level …

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

Political Studies Review

Houston, we have a problem: enhancing academic freedom and transparency in publishing through post-publication debate

Debates over controversial articles often highlight important issues regarding academic freedom, transparency, and how to handle disagreements in publishing. I argue that a response outlining criticism is generally a more productive course of action than calling for retraction. However, there are a number of constraints that impede meaningful debates, and a problematic divergence between our common ideals of open research and free debate and the actual practices that we see in academic publishing, where our current practices often undermine transparency, replication, and scientific debate. I argue that research can benefit from more explicit recognition of politics and preferences in how we evaluate research as well greater opportunities for post-publication debate. The successful initiatives to promote data replicability over the past decade provide useful lessons for what improved post-publication …

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch

University of Essex

The Economics of Peace and Security Journal

Accounting for numbers: Group characteristics and the choice of violent and nonviolent tactics

Scholars have shown that nonviolent movements tend to be more successful than violent movements. A key explanation is that nonviolent movements have a mobilization advantage over violent campaigns. As nonviolent movements have lower barriers to active participation, they can expand quickly by mobilizing much larger numbers than violent movements. We argue that such a mobilization advantage is not universal, and that different movements are likely to have a comparative advantage in one tactic over another. We develop a simple model emphasizing how the ex ante potential for mobilization and prospects for success steer the choice of dissident tactics. Nonviolent tactics can be relatively more effective when a movement can mobilize more active participants than with violence, but movements with limited mobilization potential can have feasible prospects for violent dissent and a nonviolent mobilization disadvantage. We examine the implications of the model against empirical data for different types of dissident tactics and on resort to nonviolent and nonviolent dissent. We demonstrate very different actor profiles in nonviolent dissent and violent conflict, and show how each of the two types of dissent are more likely under very different settings. To compare success by types of dissent we must account for how differences in potential numbers or mobilization shape tactical choices.

Other articles from The Journal of Development Studies journal

Gert Verschraegen

Gert Verschraegen

Universiteit Antwerpen

The Journal of Development Studies

Household Gender Roles and Slow-Onset Environmental Change in Morocco: A Barrier or Driver to Develop Migration Aspirations?

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Margaret Leighton

Margaret Leighton

University of St Andrews

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Teachers on the move: evidence from a large-scale learning intervention during lockdown

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Jukka Pirttilä

Jukka Pirttilä

Helsingin yliopisto

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The Tax Elasticity of Formal Work in Sub-Saharan African Countries

When seeking to increase their tax revenues, policy makers face a likely tradeoff between decreasing personal income tax rates (making formalizing more attractive and potentially contributing to revenue) and alternatively raising tax rates (potentially slowing down the formalization of the economy if people prefer informal employment). Evidence on formal versus informal earnings and job characteristics in different sectors is limited in African countries, and in particular very little is known about the impact of tax changes on the extent of informality. This paper therefore estimates the personal income tax responsiveness of the extensive margin of formality, i.e. the propensity to be a formal as opposed to an informal worker, for Ghana, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda, using repeated cross-sections of household data and applying grouping estimator techniques. Perhaps because of labour demand constraints and other …

Leonardo Gasparini

Leonardo Gasparini

Universidad Nacional de La Plata

The Journal of Development Studies

Does the minimum wage affect wage inequality? A study for the six largest Latin American economies

Minimum wage (MW) policies are widespread in the developing world and yet their effects are still unclear. In this paper we explore the effect of national MW policies in Latin America’s six largest economies by exploiting the heterogeneity in the bite of the national minimum wage across local labor markets and over time. We find evidence that the MW has a compression effect on the wage distribution of formal workers. The effect was particularly large during the 2000s, a decade of sustained growth and strong labor markets. In contrast, the effect seems to vanish in the 2010s, a decade of much weaker labor markets. We also find suggestive evidence of a lighthouse effect: the MW seems to have an equalizing effect also on the wage distribution of informal workers.

Melissa Siegel

Melissa Siegel

Universiteit Maastricht

The Journal of Development Studies

Remittance Receivers as Targets for Corruption in Latin America

Migration can affect the practice of corruption in migrant-sending countries in a number of ways. In this paper we test whether or not remittance receiving households are more likely to be targeted for corruption. Using micro-level data from 20 Latin American countries, this study finds that migrant households are about 15 percentage points more likely to be asked for a bribe than non-migrant-sending households. The corruption effect is further confirmed by an instrumental variable estimation. Our findings suggest that remittances can have an unintended effect on households’ risk of experiencing corruption. The excess exposure may discourage remittances and limit the positive development benefits of migration and remittances.

Kalyan Kumar Kameshwara

Kalyan Kumar Kameshwara

University of Bath

The Journal of Development Studies

Decentralisation in School Management and Student Achievement: Evidence from India

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Thomas Grisaffi

Thomas Grisaffi

University of Reading

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From Alternative Development to Decolonisation: Transforming Drug Crop Policies in Bolivia

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Svenja Flechtner

Svenja Flechtner

Universität Siegen

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The Reproduction of Inequalities through Educational Aspirations: Evidence from Teenagers in India

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Quentin Stoeffler

Istanbul Teknik Üniversitesi

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Tiago  Loncan

Tiago Loncan

University of Strathclyde

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Ankush Agrawal

Ankush Agrawal

Indian Institute of Technology Delhi

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The Journal of Development Studies

Remittance Receivers as Targets for Corruption in Latin America

Migration can affect the practice of corruption in migrant-sending countries in a number of ways. In this paper we test whether or not remittance receiving households are more likely to be targeted for corruption. Using micro-level data from 20 Latin American countries, this study finds that migrant households are about 15 percentage points more likely to be asked for a bribe than non-migrant-sending households. The corruption effect is further confirmed by an instrumental variable estimation. Our findings suggest that remittances can have an unintended effect on households’ risk of experiencing corruption. The excess exposure may discourage remittances and limit the positive development benefits of migration and remittances.

Lackson Daniel Mudenda

Lackson Daniel Mudenda

Colorado State University

The Journal of Development Studies

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Matthew Robson

Matthew Robson

University of Oxford

The Journal of Development Studies

Monetary and Multidimensional Poverty: Correlation, Mismatches, and a Combined Approach

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Kent Eaton

Kent Eaton

University of California, Santa Cruz

The Journal of Development Studies

Decentralization and Criminal Gangs in El Salvador: Impacts on Municipal Finances and Local Economic Development

Recent literature has argued that decentralization can create new forms of leverage for criminal gangs, increasing their territorial presence and levels of violence. In this article we reverse the causal arrow and analyze how gangs affect the performance of decentralized institutions. We study the case of El Salvador, a country with the ubiquitous presence of gangs. We find that the higher presence of gangs reduced municipalities’ fiscal revenues, thereby increasing their dependence on transfers from the central government. This result is mostly driven by mid-size municipalities, as the effect is not significant for small and large municipalities. In addition to depressing revenues, gang presence was also associated with lower municipal spending and less service provision, effectively hollowing out municipal governance. The drop in municipal spending is particularly strong in capital spending and in small municipalities …

Ray Miller

Ray Miller

Colorado State University

The Journal of Development Studies

Persistent Agricultural Shocks and Child Poverty

This study shows how persistent agricultural shocks in Ethiopia affect education, health and labor outcomes through a time-use study of young people aged 5-22. Leveraging five rounds of the Young Lives Study from 2002-2016, we use dynamic panel instrumental variable regressions to account for the unobserved heterogeneity and serial correlation in the estimation. Agricultural shocks significantly reduce schooling participation and time spent in schooling, deteriorate health, and increase both labor force participation and labor time. Household wealth acts as a buffer and mitigates the adverse effects of shocks on schooling. Interestingly, children from wealthier households have a higher likelihood of joining agricultural labor during shocks, but their intensity of child labor is significantly lower compared to poorer households.

Andrés Sandoval-Hernández

Andrés Sandoval-Hernández

University of Bath

The Journal of Development Studies

Decentralisation in School Management and Student Achievement: Evidence from India

This paper examines the link between decentralisation in school management and student achievement levels in secondary schools in India. It employs observational data from two school surveys conducted as part of the Young Lives project in the southern Indian states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to create a measure of decentralisation as a latent construct. The relationship between decentralisation and students’ abilities in mathematics and English is measured using linear mixed effects models. Contrary to the expectations in much literature, we find a negative association between decentralisation and students’ scores on Maths and English assessments, even when controlling for a variety of individual and school characteristics. The results from the analysis therefore problematises decentralisation initiatives such as school-based management to improve student achievement.

Lucía Ramírez Leira

Lucía Ramírez Leira

Universidad Nacional de La Plata

The Journal of Development Studies

Does the minimum wage affect wage inequality? A study for the six largest Latin American economies

Minimum wage (MW) policies are widespread in the developing world and yet their effects are still unclear. In this paper we explore the effect of national MW policies in Latin America’s six largest economies by exploiting the heterogeneity in the bite of the national minimum wage across local labor markets and over time. We find evidence that the MW has a compression effect on the wage distribution of formal workers. The effect was particularly large during the 2000s, a decade of sustained growth and strong labor markets. In contrast, the effect seems to vanish in the 2010s, a decade of much weaker labor markets. We also find suggestive evidence of a lighthouse effect: the MW seems to have an equalizing effect also on the wage distribution of informal workers.

Lore Van Praag

Lore Van Praag

Universiteit Antwerpen

The Journal of Development Studies

Household Gender Roles and Slow-Onset Environmental Change in Morocco: A Barrier or Driver to Develop Migration Aspirations?

We study how slow-onset environmental changes impact the adaptive capacity of rural women living in the Souss-Massa region of Morocco. Given the immobility of many women in rural regions, we especially focus upon the internal migration aspirations of rural woman. In this way our study aims to shed light on the interrelationships between environmental change, gender relations and social and migration aspirations in a gradually environmentally degrading region. Based on Carling’s aspiration/ability model, we analyse how slow-onset environmental changes influence the internal migration aspirations and trajectories of rural women, taking into account important background factors such as household characteristics, land heritage systems and migration networks. Our study is based on 38 interviews with inhabitants of the Souss-Massa region of Morocco that (used to) work in the agricultural sector, of which 15 …

Jörg Baten

Jörg Baten

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

The Journal of Development Studies

Nutrition Matters: Numeracy, Child Nutrition and Schooling Efficiency in Sub-Saharan Africa in the Long Run

School enrolment has increased at an unprecedented scale in Sub-Saharan Africa but learning and the associated education efficiency have not. Given that resources are limited, the efficient use of inputs is of utmost importance for sustainable development. Hence, we investigate whether improvements in children’s nutrition can improve learning and hence efficiency. To assess this relationship, we employ average female height as our proxy for nutrition during childhood. For learning, we estimate numeracy and efficiency using a linearized version of the Whipple Index. Our data is at the subnational level focusing on the birth decades from 1950 to 1999. To deal with the endogeneity of nutrition, we use an instrumental variable approach. Our instrument is negative rainfall shocks during childhood which can adversely affect nutrition. We find that better nutrition increases education efficiency. Therefore, investments in …