Publications

 

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.

Guarantees, Subsidies, or Paying for Success? Choosing the Right Instruments to Catalyze Private Investment in Developing Countries - Working Paper 402

Guarantees, Subsidies, or Paying for Success? Choosing the Right Instrument to Catalyze Private Investment in Developing Countries - Working Paper 402

5/5/15

Governments, donors, and public sector agencies are seeking productive ways to ‘crowd in’ private sector involvement and capital to tackle international development challenges. The financial instruments that are used to create incentives for private sector involvement are typically those that lower an investment’s risk (such as credit guarantees) or those that lower the costs of various inputs (such as concessional loans, which subsidise borrowing).

The Cost and Cost-Effectiveness of Alternative Strategies to Expand Treatment to HIV-Positive South Africans: Scale Economies and Outreach Costs

The Cost and Cost-Effectiveness of Alternative Strategies to Expand Treatment to HIV-Positive South Africans: Scale Economies and Outreach Costs - Working Paper 401

4/23/15
Gesine Meyer-Rath, Mead Over, Daniel J. Klein, and Anna Bershteyn

The South African government is currently discussing various alternative approaches to the further expansion of antiretroviral treatment (ART) in public-sector facilities. Alternatives under consideration include the criteria under which a patient would be eligible for free care, the level of coverage with testing and care, how much of the care will be delivered in small facilities located closer to the patients, and how to assure linkage to care and subsequent adherence by ART patients.

The Meaning of Failed Replications: A Review and Proposal - Working Paper 399

The Meaning of Failed Replications: A Review and Proposal - Working Paper 399

4/9/15

The welcome rise of replication tests in economics has not been accompanied by a single, clear definition of ‘replication’. A discrepant replication, in current usage of the term, can signal anything from an unremarkable disagreement over methods to scientific incompetence or misconduct. This paper proposes an unambiguous definition of replication, one that reflects currently common but unstandardized use. It contrasts this definition with decades of unsuccessful attempts to standardize terminology, and argues that many prominent results described as replication tests should not be described as such. Adopting this definition can improve incentives for researchers, encouraging more and better replication tests.

The Face of African Infrastructure: Service Availability and Citizens' Demands - Working Paper 393

2/5/15

The need for infrastructure improvements is a top-tier economic, political, and social issue in nearly every African country. Although the academic and policy literature is extensive in terms of estimating the impact of infrastructure deficits on economic and social indicators, very few studies have examined citizen demands for infrastructure.

Measurement and Monitoring for REDD+: The Needs, Current Technological Capabilities and Future Potential - Working Paper 392

12/11/14
Scott J. Goetz, Matthew Hansen, Richard A. Houghton, Wayne Walker, Nadine Laporte, and Jonah Busch

This paper presents an overview of the state of measurement and monitoring capabilities for forests in the context of REDD+ needs, with a focus on what is currently possible, where improvements are needed, and what capabilities will be advanced in the near-term with new technologies already under development. 

The Politics of German Finance for REDD+ - Working Paper 390

12/4/14
Till Pistorius and Laura Kiff

The concept of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) and its framing of forest protection as a climate mitigation approach mark a clear paradigm shift – after decades of up-front financing of traditional ODA projects REDD+ follows the logic of ex-post payments for measured and verified performance within much larger jurisdictions. 

Climate Policy Constraints and NGO Entrepreneurship: The Story of Norway’s Leadership in REDD+ Financing - Working Paper 389

12/3/14
Erlend A. T. Hermansen and Sjur Kasa

Norway – a small northern country with only 5 million inhabitants – is at present a global leader in REDD+ financing. In this paper, we explain why and how this happened by telling the story about the emergence of Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) in 2007 and its institutionalization in the following years. 

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