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Featuring Michael Kremer
Scientific Director, Development Innovation Ventures
U.S. Agency for International Development
Presenting the Road Safety Campaign James Habyarimana
Associate Professor of Public Policy
Associate Professor of Economics
Hosted by Vijaya Ramachandran
Center for Global Development
USAID launched Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) in October 2010 to find and support breakthrough solutions to important development challenges. DIV uses staged financing to award grants to new solutions, rigorously test them, and help expand those that are proven successful to become grand slams. Georgetown University has received a DIV grant to expand and rigorously test a campaign to reduce traffic accidents in Kenya. Road accidents are the second leading cause of death among people aged 5-44 in Africa, costing the continent some $10 billion annually. A pilot, in which messages were posted in more than 2,000 Kenyan minibuses encouraging passengers to "Stand up! Speak up!" against dangerous driving, cut accident insurance claims by half and claims involving injury or death by two-thirds. James Habyarimana and Billy Jack from Georgetown University are expanding the program to reach 10,000 minibuses. Michael Kremer will introduce DIV and its goals and Habyarimana and Jack will present the road safety campaign. Discussion and questions from the audience will follow.
In a recent paper, Kate Ambler and coauthors studied the impact of one-season cash transfers for agricultural investment in Senegal and Malawi, using data from a randomized control trial (RCT) in each country. They found evidence that transfers reduced both the number of decision makers and female decision making in Senegal in the short-run, particularly for measures directly related to agriculture. However, the effects disappeared two years after the transfers. Conversely, the authors find transfers in the Malawi program led to robust transitory increases in these measures, seeing a greater impact related to the number of decision makers in the household persisting after two year period. Join us for the latest CGD Invited Research Forum to discuss these opposing findings on the effects of cash transfers on household decision making.
Indian agriculture remains vulnerable to the vagaries of weather, and the looming threat of climate change may expose this vulnerability further. Using district-level data on temperature, rainfall and crop production, Siddharth Hari’s paper first documents a long-term trend of rising temperatures, declining average precipitation and increase in extreme precipitation events. One key finding is that the impact of temperature and rainfall are felt only in the extreme: when temperatures are much higher, rainfall is significantly lower, and the number of “dry days” greater is than normal. He also finds that these impacts are significantly more adverse in unirrigated areas (and hence rainfed crops) compared to irrigated areas. Can policy makers react to the challenges of climate change and find ways to get “more crop for every drop?"
Estimating intergenerational mobility in developing countries is difficult because matched parent-child income records are rarely available and education is measured very coarsely. In particular, there are no established methods for comparing educational mobility for subsamples of the population when the education distribution is changing over time.
In their recent paper, Sam Asher and coauthors present new methods and new administrative data to overcome this gap, and study intergenerational mobility across groups and across space in India. They find that the intergenerational mobility for the population as a whole has remained constant since liberalization, but cross-group changes have been substantial. Rising mobility among historically marginalized "Scheduled Castes" is almost exactly offset by declining intergenerational mobility among Muslims, a comparably sized group that has few constitutional protections. These findings contest the conventional wisdom that marginalized groups in India have been catching up on average. The paper also explores heterogeneity across space, generating the first high-resolution geographic measures of intergenerational mobility across India, with results across 5600 rural subdistricts and 2300 cities and towns.