In a post-COVID-19 context, what type of economic growth will most likely end global poverty and reduce inequality? We conclude that in the aftermath of the pandemic, countries will need to pursue historically unprecedented growth paths in order to achieve the poverty and inequality Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
We highlight a lesser known consequence of China’s growth and integration into the world economy in relation to the United States: the rise of services trade. We demonstrate that the US’s trade deficit in goods cycle back as a surplus in exports of education services. Focusing on China’s accession to the World Trade Organization, we show that Chinese cities more exposed to this trade liberalization episode sent more students to US universities.
Early reports suggest the fatality rate from COVID-19 varies greatly across countries, but it's impossible to directly estimate the infection fatality rate in many low- and middle-income countries. To fill this gap, we estimate the adjustments required to extrapolate estimates of the IFR from high- to lower-income regions.
In this article, we draw on our pilot testing of phone-based assessments in Botswana, along with the existing literature on oral testing of reading and mathematics, to propose a series of preliminary practical lessons to guide researchers and service providers as they try phone-based learning assessments. We provide preliminary evidence that phone-based assessments can accurately capture basic numeracy skills.
The IMF’s forecasts of GDP growth in 2020 suggest a substantially muted impact of the COVID crisis for developing countries compared to advanced economies. We hope that the relative optimism will not induce complacency and elicit a less-than-forceful response by countries themselves nor legitimize an ungenerous, conditionality-addled response on the part of the international community in the face of an unprecedented calamity.
In this paper, we estimate short- and long-term tax buoyancy for 44 sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries during 1980-2017 using time series and panel techniques.
With a little more care to take context and the confounding attributes that make female-headed households (FHHs) particularly prone to poverty into account, this paper argues that headship can be useful for identifying poor households in Africa.
Can Boosting Savings and Skills Support Female Business Owners in Indonesia? Evidence from A Randomized Controlled Trial
This study tests the relative effectiveness and cost effectiveness of providing supply-side incentives to promote agent banking savings accounts, business and financial literacy training for female entrepreneurs, and the combination of the two on women’s businesses and agency in Indonesia.
Finance for International Development (FID): A New Measure to Compare Traditional and Emerging Provider Countries’ Official Development Finance Efforts, and Some Provisional Results
In this working paper we present a new indicator—Finance for International Development (FID)—that attempts to fill this gap by measuring in a comparable way the flows of official, cross-border concessional finance provided by 40 major economies
Times of economic uncertainty, civil unrest and disaster are linked to a myriad of risk factors for increased violence against women and children (VAW/C). Pandemics are no exception.
There is a little-noticed but important difference between the World Bank’s original goal for poverty reduction and the subsequent UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). While both target the “$1.90 a day” poverty rate, the Bank’s goal was a 3% rate by 2030, while the SDG is to “eradicate” poverty by 2030.
Building Resilient Health Systems: Experimental Evidence from Sierra Leone and the 2014 Ebola Outbreak
Developing countries are characterized by high rates of mortality and morbidity. A potential contributing factor is the low utilization of health systems, stemming from the low perceived quality of care delivered by health personnel. This factor may be especially critical during crises, when individuals choose whether to cooperate with response efforts and frontline health personnel. We experimentally examine efforts aimed at improving health worker performance in the context of the 2014–15 West African Ebola crisis.
In recent years, a large number of countries have implemented policy changes to advance financial inclusion, especially by using digital financial services (DFS). However, results are mixed.
This paper revisits the concept of international development aid effectiveness and its measurement as part of a review of the Quality of ODA (QuODA) assessment published regularly since 2010.
Many countries remain far from achieving gender equality in the classroom. Using data from 126 countries between 1960 to 2010, we document four facts related to education gender gaps.
Identifying and Verifying Customers: When are KYC Requirements Likely to Become Constraints on Financial Inclusion?
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 between different types of documentation and different financial market segments according to their KYC requirements.
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 uniformly positive results, while others present stark trade-offs between learning gains, access to education, child safety, and financial sustainability.
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 exploit exogenous variation in formal-sector employment around a socioeconomic-score cutoff, below which individuals receive benefits if not formally employed, to test whether a higher cost to formal-sector employment induces crime. Regression discontinuity estimates show this policy generated reductions in formal-sector employment and a corresponding spike in organized crime, but no effects on crimes of impulse or opportunity.