Neepa received her PhD in Economics from the University of Kansas in May 2017.

Research Interests

- Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics

- Development Economics

- International Economics

Publication and Working Papers

"Demand for money in EMU: A Flexible Functional Form Approach", (with William A Barnett) (Invited for a Special issue, Open Economies Review)

"Reducing the Gender Gap in Education: Female Teachers as Role Models", (with Elizabeth Asiedu, Malokele Naivazo, Mwanza Nkusu), Forthcoming, Journal of African Development, Volume 18 (2) Fall 2016

"Inclusive growth in Africa: A Gender Perspective", (with Elizabeth Asiedu and others), Forthcoming, African Development Report 2016"

"On the impact of Income per capita on Health Outcomes: Is Africa Different?", (with Elizabeth Asiedu, Malokele Nanivazo, Mwanza Nkusu and Yi Jin) Under review in Journal of Human Resources

"Multilateral Divisia Monetary Aggregates for EU and EMU", (with William A Barnett and Wenjuan Chen) Working paper

"On the Determinants of Family Planning Aid to Developing Countries: How Relevant is the Mexico City Policy?", (with Elizabeth Asiedu, John Francois, Malokele Nanivazo and Mwanza Nkusu-Malumba), Working paper

"Does a Higher Share of Women Parliamentarians Facilitate the Passing of Gender-Sensitive Laws in Developing Countries?", (with Elizabeth Asiedu), Working paper

Papers and Abstract
The Demand for Money for EMU: A Flexible Functional Form Approach

Monetary aggregates have a special role under the "two pillar strategy" of the ECB. Hence, the need for a theoretically consistent measure of monetary aggregates for the European Monetary Union (EMU) is needed. This paper analyzes aggregation over monetary assets for the EMU. We aggregate over the monetary services for the EMU-11 countries, which include Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Slovakia, and Slovenia. We adopt the Divisia monetary aggregation approach, which is consistent with index number theory and microeconomic aggregation theory. The result is a multilateral Divisia monetary aggregate in accordance with Barnett (2007). The multilateral Divisia monetary aggregate for the EMU-11 is found to be more informative and a better signal of economic trends than the corresponding simple sum aggregate. We then analyze substitutability among monetary assets for the EMU-11 within the framework of a representative consumer's utility function, using Barnett’s (1983) locally flexible functional form, the minflex Laurent Indirect utility function. The analysis of elasticities with respect to the asset’s user-cost prices shows that: (i) transaction balances (TB) and deposits redeemable at notice (DRN) are income elastic, (ii) the DRN display large variation in price elasticity, and (iii) the monetary assets are not good substitutes for each other within the EMU-11. Simple sum monetary aggregation assumes that component assets are perfect substitutes. Hence simple sum aggregation distorts measurement of the monetary aggregate. The ECB has Divisia monetary aggregates provided to the Governing Council at its meetings, but not to the public. Our European Divisia monetary aggregates will be expanded and refined, in collaboration with Wenjuan Chen at the Humboldt University of Berlin, to a complete EMU Divisia monetary aggregates database to be supplied to the public by the Center for Financial Stability in New York City.

Reducing the Gender Gap in Education: Female Teachers as Role Models

This paper is about the gender equality in primary and secondary education which features among internationally-agreed development goals. In some regions, the pro-male gender gap in secondary education persists and has even worsened. In light of previous research suggesting that poor academic progress is one of the risk factors for girls dropping out of school, this paper examines whether the share of female teachers affects the repetition rate of female students in secondary school and the repetition rate gender gap. Using data on 105 countries covering the period 1987-2010, we employ the Blundell and Bond (1998) system GMM estimator to estimate a dynamic panel model. The system GMM procedure allows us to get estimates for regional dummies. We find that increasing the share of female teachers reduces both the repetition rate of female students and the repetition rate gender gap. The results suggest that initiatives aimed at increasing the share of female teachers hold the promise of enhancing girls' educational attainment, contributing to efforts to promote socioeconomic development.

On the impact of Income per capita on Health Outcomes: Is Africa Different?

This paper examines the link between income per capita, adult life expectancy and mortality rates for children. We construct an overlapping generations model and derive conditions under which the impact of income per capita on health outcomes is; (a)linear and positive, (b)non-linear, positive and the marginal effect of income diminishes as income increases; and (c) non-linear, positive and the marginal effect of income increases as income rises. We next estimate a dynamic panel model using panel data from 128 developing countries over the period 1994-2014 We estimate a linear dynamic panel-data (DPD) model to capture the effect of lagged health outcomes on current health outcomes. DPD models contain unobserved panel-level effects that are correlated with the lagged dependent variable, and this renders standard estimators inconsistent. The Arellano and Bond (1991) difference GMM estimator provides consistent estimates for such models. This estimator differences the data first and then uses lagged values of the endogenous variables as instruments. However, as pointed out by Arellano and Bover (1995), lagged levels are often poor instruments for first differences. Blundell and Bond (1998) proposed a more efficient estimator, the system GMM estimator, which mitigates the weak instruments problem by using additional moment conditions. We therefore use the more efficient and less biased system GMM estimator for our regressions. We find that: (i) Global factors (i.e., non-country-specific factors) have a positive and significant impact on health outcomes, and this effect has increased over time; (ii) Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have a higher mortality rate and lower life expectancy than countries outside SSA; (iii) An increase in income per capita improves health outcomes and the effect is stronger at higher levels of income; and (iv) The effect of income per capita on health outcomes is different for SSA countries.

Multilateral Divisia Monetary Aggregates for EU and EMU

This paper constructs the multilateral Divisia monetary aggregates and user- cost aggregates for group of European Monetary Union (EMU) countries (EMU-16, EMU-11, EMU-12) and group of European Union (EU) countries (EU-24, EU-17). The Divisia monetary aggregates (Barnett (1980, 2003)) are theoretically consistent with microeconomic theory and index number theory. In this paper, for the first time multilateral indices are created with less restrictive assumptions with regard to an economic union. The methodology does not assume price and taste convergence, there is a scope for variation of prices and heterogeneous agents among the member countries. The result shows that all the monetary aggregate indices show a steep downward trend for the recession period 2008. The simple sum aggregates could not capture the 2008-2009 recession period. The Divisia aggregates are more reflective of the economic system compared to simple sum monetary aggregates.

On the Determinants of Family Planning Aid to Developing Countries: How Relevant is the Mexico City Policy?

The Mexico City Policy (MCP) prohibits US Agency for International Development (USAID) from providing aid to international NGOs that provide abortion related services. This paper employs panel data from 1988-2010 to examine the effect of the MCP on the allocation of family planning aid (FPA) to 138 developing countries. We find that (i) there is a significant reduction in FPA when the MCP is in effect; (ii) the reduction in FPA is greater for high fertility countries; and (iii) countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) receive less FPA than non-SSA countries. However, the adverse effect of the MCP on FPA is comparable for SSA and non-SSA countries.

Does a Higher Share of Women Parliamentarians Facilitate the Passing of Gender-Sensitive Laws in Developing Countries?

Gender quota laws seems to be effective in Africa in promoting women’s representation in Parliament. Countries that have gender quota laws tend to have a higher share of women representation in Parliament. This relationship is found to be true for data from 47 SSA countries The positive association between gender quota laws and women’s representation is found to be robust.

© Copyright 2016 Neepa Gaekwad Babulal. All right reserved.