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Elwyn Davies, Marcel Fafchamps
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization , 2021
Margherita Comola, Marcel Fafchamps
National Bureau of Economic Research , 2021
Marcel Fafchamps, Forhad Shilpi
PLoS one , 2021
We use high resolution satellite data on the proportion of buildings in a 250x250 meter cell to study the evolution of human settlement in Ghana over a 40 year period. We find a strong increase in built-up area over time, mostly concentrated in the vicinity of roads, and also directly on the coast. We find strong evidence of agglomeration effects both in the static sense—buildup in one cell predicts buildup in a nearby cell—and in a dynamic sense—buildup in a cell predicts buildup in that cell later on and an increase in buildup in nearby cells. These effects are strongest over a 3 to 15 Km radius, which corresponds to a natural hinterland for a population without mechanized transportation. We find no evidence that human settlements are spaced more or less equally either over the landscape or along roads. This suggests that arable land is not yet fully utilized, allowing rural settlements to be separated by areas of un-farmed land. By fitting a transition matrix to the data, we predict a sharp increase in the proportion of the country that is densely built-up by the middle and the end of the century, but no increase in the proportion of partially built-up locations.
Girum Abebe, Stefano Caria, Marcel Fafchamps, Paolo Falco, Simon Franklin, Simon Quinn
The Review of Economic Studies , 2021
Marcel Fafchamps, Julien Labonne
We estimate the impacts of being connected to politicians on occupational choice. We use an administrative dataset collected in 2008-2010 on 20 million individuals and rely on naming conventions to assess family links to candidates in elections held in 2007 and 2010. We first apply a regression discontinuity design to close elections in 2007. We then use individuals connected to successful candidates in 2010 as control group to net out the possible cost associated with being related to a losing candidate.
Marcel Fafchamps, Ana Vaz, Pedro C. Vicente
CDDRL Working Papers , 2015
Voter education campaigns often aim to increase voter participation and political accountability. Randomized interventions were implemented nationwide during the 2009 Mozambican elections using leaflets, text messaging, and a free newspaper. We study the peer effects triggered by the campaign within households and villages. We investigate whether treatment effects are transmitted through social networks and geographical proximity at the village level. For individuals personally targeted by the campaign, we estimate the reinforcement effect of proximity to other targeted individuals. For untargeted individuals, we estimate how the campaign diffuses as a function of proximity to targeted individuals. We find evidence for both effects, similar across treatments and proximity measures. The treatments raise the level of information and interest in the election through networks, in line with the average treatment effect. However, we find a negative network effect of the treatments on voter participation, even though the average effect of the treatments themselves is positive: the effect of treatment on more central individuals is lower and sometimes negative. We interpret this result as a free riding effect, due to the fact that voter participation is costly.