Ideas to action: independent research for global prosperity
The Case for Globalization and Robust Global Value Chains
February 08, 2024
A New Vintage of Populism in Latin America
February 23, 2024
Identifying and Verifying Customers: When are KYC Requirements Likely to Become Constraints on Financial Inclusion?
December 17, 2019
Onerous KYC documentation requirements are widely recognized as a potential constraint to full financial inclusion. However, it is sometimes difficult to judge the extent to which this constraint is a serious or binding one, relative to others. The paper considers this question, distinguishing betwe...
Beyond Short-term Learning Gains: The Impact of Outsourcing Schools in Liberia after Three Years
December 16, 2019
After one year, outsourcing the management of ninety-three randomly-selected government primary schools in Liberia to eight private operators led to modest learning gains. In this paper, we revisit the program two years later. Despite facing similar contracts and settings, some providers produced un...
Formal Employment and Organized Crime: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from Colombia
October 31, 2019
Canonical models of crime emphasize economic incentive. Yet, causal evidence of sorting into criminal occupations in response to individual-level variation in incentives is limited. We link administrative socioeconomic microdata with the universe of arrests in Medellín over a decade. We explo...
What Is “Country Ownership”? A Formal Exploration of the Aid Relationship
October 11, 2019
This paper illustrates the tradeoff between country ownership and funders’ priorities with a formal model in which aid is governed by a contract to produce a jointly desired outcome. The model generalizes the Principal-Agent approaches for studying aid which treat countries as having multiple ...
Multilingual Assessment of Early Child Development: Analyses from Repeated Observations of Children in Kenya
October 03, 2019
In many low- and middle-income countries, young children learn a mother tongue or indigenous language at home before entering the formal education system where they will need to understand and speak a country’s official language(s). Thus, assessments of children before school age, conducted in a nat...
Teacher Professional Development around the World: The Gap between Evidence and Practice
September 27, 2019
Many teachers in low- and middle-income countries lack the skills to teach effectively, and professional development (PD) programs are the principal tool that governments use to upgrade those skills. At the same time, few PD programs are evaluated, and those that are evaluated show highly varying re...
Are the Pacific Islands Insurable? Challenges and Opportunities for Disaster Risk Finance
September 20, 2019
There are several efforts underway in the Pacific Islands to insure public and private assets against natural disasters such as cyclones and earthquakes. These efforts are designed to mitigate the annual costs of such disasters which range from a few percent to over 50 percent of GDP. However,...