Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity



Cover of working paper 546
September 2, 2020

Teacher Labor Markets in Developing Countries

The types of workers recruited into teaching and their allocation across classrooms can greatly influence a country’s stock of human capital. This paper considers how markets and non-market institutions determine the quantity, wages, skills, and spatial distribution of teachers in developing countries.

Cover of working paper 544
August 21, 2020

Contact and Commitment to Development: Evidence from Quasi-random Missionary Assignments

Public support for global development in rich countries is critical for sustaining effective government and individual action. But the causes of public support are not well understood. Does spending time living in a developing country play a role in generating individual commitment to development? Addressing this question is fraught with selection bias, as individuals are rarely exogenously assigned to spend time in different countries. In this paper I address this question using a natural experiment—the quasi-random assignment of missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to two-year missions in different world regions. I provide the first causal estimates of the effect of travel to a developing country on attitudes to global development.

January 12, 2017

Beyond Brexit: Four Steps to Make Britain a Global Leader on Trade for Development

This paper looks at how the UK can, after Brexit, develop a world-leading trade for development policy. It uses a systematic assessment of how rich country trade policies affect developing countries to identify the leading approaches used elsewhere. It then identifies and describes four key steps: i) eliminating or lowering tariffs; ii) improving preferential access for the very poorest countries; iii) cutting red tape at the border; and iv) enhancing the effectiveness of its aid for trade. These steps would enable the UK to improve substantially on the approach taken by the EU and other countries, benefit UK consumers and businesses, and set a new standard in trade policy for development.