Publications

 

The Role of Identification in the Post-2015 Development Agenda

The Role of Identification in the Post-2015 Development Agenda

7/1/15
Mariana Dahan and Alan Gelb

The post-2015 development agenda is being shaped as we speak. The role of identification and its importance to development outcomes places it within the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) agenda — specifically as one of the proposed SDG targets (#16.9), but also as a key enabler of the efficacy of many other SDG targets. Although there is no one model for providing legal identity, this SDG would urge states to ensure that all have free or low-cost access to widely accepted, robust identity credentials.

Finding Cash for Infrastructure in Addis: Blending, Lending, and Guarantees in Finance for Development

Finding Cash for Infrastructure in Addis: Blending, Lending and Guarantees in Finance for Development

6/19/15

The total scale of incremental investment requirements in infrastructure in developing countries has been estimated at around USD 1 trillion a year, with a range of related studies suggesting numbers between $815 billion to $1.3 trillion. While all such numbers are open to considerable debate, and were not designed to measure the cost of delivering the specific SDG infrastructure targets, they suggest the likely scale of the financing challenge for an SDG agenda which includes universal coverage to adequate housing, water, sanitation, modern energy and communications technologies. 

Indonesia's Missing Millions: Erasing Discrimination in Birth Certification in Indonesia

Indonesia’s Missing Millions: Erasing Discrimination in Birth Certification in Indonesia

6/16/15
Cate Sumner

Indonesia’s rate of birth registration is imprecisely measured but is low, especially among the poorer, rural, population. At the same time, the country has developed a system of population registration with wide, if not universal, coverage. In addition, under current regulations that link legal recognition of paternity to the existence of a legal marriage, many children can only receive a birth certificate with the name of the mother. Such a credential is widely seen as less than desirable, creating a situation where children are discriminated against on the basis of the marital status of their parents.

Old-World Humanitarianism Faces New-World Challenges

Old-World Humanitarianism Faces New-World Challenges

6/16/15
Mark Malloch Brown

In fact refugees and victims of natural disasters account for such a small fraction of the world population, less than half a percent. There is no excuse for not providing adequate timely funding for disasters whose numbers if not locations are relatively predictable. The costs are manageable, or at least they are a fraction of, say, the costs of ending poverty or combating climate change. This is at the easier end of world problems. And therefore fashioning the political will to act in a timely and effective way should be possible.

Manufacturing or Services? An Indian Illustration of a Development Dilemma - Working Paper 409

6/10/15
Amrit Amirapu and Arvind Subramanian

Manufacturing has historically offered the fastest path out of poverty, but there is mounting evidence that this path may be all but closed to developing countries today. Some have suggested that services might provide a new path forward, while others have expressed skepticism about this claim and consequent pessimism over the future growth trajectories of developing countries. We contribute to debate this by using a multi-sector growth framework to establish five important criteria that any sector must exhibit in order to lead an economy to rapid, sustained, and inclusive development. 

The Health Consequences of Aerial Spraying of Illicit Crops: The Case of Colombia

The Health Consequences of Aerial Spraying of Illicit Crops: The Case of Colombia - Working Paper 408

6/1/15
Adriana Camacho and Daniel Mejia

A joint US-Colombia antinarcotics program sprayed hundreds of thousands of acres of illicit crops in Colombia with the herbicide glyphosate over several years. The recent classification of glyphosate as a likely carcinogen raises questions about the health effects of that spraying campaign. In this study, two economists from Colombia’s Los Andes University, combine data on aerial spraying from 2003 to 2007 with comprehensive individual-level data on every visit to public health facilities during that period. They find that aerial spraying raised the incidence of miscarriages, skin conditions, and respiratory problems.

MDGs to SDGs: Have We Lost the Plot?

5/27/15

In September this year, world leaders will meet in New York at the United Nations General Assembly. Top of the agenda will be the passage of a resolution laying out global development goals for the fifteen years to 2030, covering progress in areas from poverty reduction to forestry preservation. They will follow on from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which have become a common yardstick of global progress over the past decade and a half.

Data Set for "How Much Will Health Coverage Cost? Future Health Spending Scenarios in Brazil, Chile, and Mexico - Working Paper 382"

5/26/15
Amanda Glassman and Juan Ignacio Zoloa

This is the data set for Working Paper 382 which examines the expansion of universal healthcare in Latin America. The authors calculate long-term projections for public spending on health in three countries and analyze different scenarios related to population, risk factors, labor market participation, and technological growth.

Call Me Educated: Evidence from a Mobile Monitoring Experiment in Niger - Working Paper 406

Call Me Educated: Evidence from a Mobile Monitoring Experiment in Niger - Working Paper 406

5/21/15
Jenny C. Aker and Christopher Ksoll

In rural areas of developing countries, education programs are often implemented through community teachers. While teachers are a crucial part of the education production function, observing their effort remains a challenge for the public sector. This paper tests whether a simple monitoring system, implemented via the mobile phone, can improve student learning as part of an adult education program. 

Can a Poverty-Reducing and Progressive Tax and Transfer System Hurt the Poor? - Working Paper 405

Can a Poverty-Reducing and Progressive Tax and Transfer System Hurt the Poor? - Working Paper 405

5/21/15
Sean Higgins and Nora Lustig

Whether the poor are helped or hurt by taxes and transfers is generally determined by comparing income distributions before and after fiscal policy using stochastic dominance tests and measures of progressivity and horizontal inequity. We formally show that these tools can fail to capture an important aspect: that a substantial proportion of the poor are made poorer (or non-poor made poor) by the tax and transfer system.

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