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
Designing a Randomized Controlled Trial on Livelihoods for Refugees and Hosts: The Case of Re:Build in Kampala
January 30, 2024
As policymakers in protracted refugee situations shift from short-term humanitarian responses to longer-term development support, it is critical to identify effective approaches for allocating scarce resources. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on livelihood programs for refugees annually, y...
Can Redistribution Change Policy Views? Aid and Attitudes toward Refugees in Uganda
May 04, 2023
Many public policies create (perceived) winners and losers, but there is little evidence on whether redistribution can support new political economy equilibria that raise aggregate welfare. We study a Ugandan policy that redistributes 30 percent of foreign aid for refugees to Ugandans while allowing...
Models of Social Payments through Inua Jamii
January 19, 2023
This study surveys Kenya's electronic payment system for social benefits, Inua Jamii, from the perspective of recipients, including their views on convenience and the benefits from competition. It also considers whether these digital G2P payments programs have increased financial inclusion more gene...
Live Tutoring Calls Did Not Improve Learning during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Sierra Leone
September 01, 2021
Education systems regularly face unexpected school closures, whether due to disease outbreaks, natural disasters, or other adverse shocks. In this paper we evaluate the effectiveness of live tutoring calls from teachers using an RCT with 4,399 primary school students in Sierra Leone.
Citizens and States: How Can Digital ID and Payments Improve State Capacity and Effectiveness?
March 31, 2020
This report considers the potential of ID, mobiles, and payments to improve the capacity of governments to deliver more effective, inclusive, and accountable programs.
Fuel Subsidy Reform and Green Taxes: Can Digital Technologies Improve State Capacity and Effectiveness?
July 11, 2019
Reforming inefficient and inequitable energy subsidies continues to be an important priority for policymakers as does instituting “green taxes” to reduce carbon emissions. The paper outlines how the use of digital technology can help accomplishing those reforms, drawing on four country c...
Can Africa Be a Manufacturing Destination? Labor Costs in Comparative Perspective - Working Paper 466
October 06, 2017
Our central question is whether African countries can break into global manufacturing in a substantial way. Our results suggest that for any given level of GDP, labor is more costly for firms that are located in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, we also find that there are a few countries in Africa that,...