With rigorous economic research and practical policy solutions, we focus on the issues and institutions that are critical to global development. Explore our core themes and topics to learn more about our work.
In timely and incisive analysis, our experts parse the latest development news and devise practical solutions to new and emerging challenges. Our events convene the top thinkers and doers in global development.
Rachel Glennerster, Chief Economist, UK Department for International Development
Joao Montalvao, Economist at Africa Gender Innovation Lab, World Bank
Kate Scaife Diaz, Director of Impact, TechnoServe
Many practitioners and researchers are grappling with how to better measure women’s and girls’ empowerment in impact evaluations. Which approaches to measuring a complex social outcome like decision-making power should we use, and can we improve on our existing models? When should we use internationally standardized survey questions and when is it better to develop locally tailored ones? Can non-survey instruments pick up useful information that surveys can’t, and when should we think about using them?
CGD, in collaboration with Data2X, is delighted to host the launch of J-PAL’s new research resource, A Practical Guide to Measuring Women's and Girls’ Empowerment in Impact Evaluations, which offers practical guidance on these and many other questions and a comprehensive process for measuring empowerment in an impact evaluation. Rachel Glennerster will briefly present the new guide and how it can help practitioners and researchers develop their own strategies for measuring empowerment that are right for their impact evaluations. Afterward, experts will discuss the proposed measurement approaches, promising ways to overcome challenges related to measuring empowerment, and important areas for future measurement research.
This event is the third in a CGD series convened with Data2X and supported by the ExxonMobil Foundation on Measuring Women’s Economic Empowerment. Copies of the report and a light breakfast will be available for guests.
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.