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Research Roundups

Research roundups assemble working papers around a theme or region from sometime in the past year.
2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 


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Access to Finance
March 2013

Access to finance has become an important topic in policymakers’ agenda. In its most recent communiqué, the G20 agreed to "to assist countries, policymakers and stakeholders in focusing global efforts on measuring and sustainably tracking progress on access to financial services globally." Over the last year, research conducted in DECRG has contributed significantly both to the measurement of access to finance and to our understanding of its causes and implications. Below we present a brief discussion of recent papers that focus on measuring access, drivers of access, and implications of access or lack of access to finance.
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Human Development
January 2013

Health Affairs article reports on the appallingly low quality of care in India uncovered by standardized patients, an article reports how a child's educational enrollment depends on the abilities of older siblings, and another exposes the odd tradeoffs in the new Human Development Index. Plus the usual roundup of human development-related blog posts and media coverage.
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Public Sector and Governance
January 2013

A new Policy Research Report asks whether participatory development really works, an article estimates the the returns to being a local official in rural China, a working paper estimates the impacts of Vietnam's public hospital autonomization policy, and an article suggests how to think about a human rights-based approach to development. Plus the usual roundup of public sector-related blog posts and media coverage.
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thumb green growthGreen Growth and Development
November 2012

"Green Growth" embodiese the basic goal of enabling developing countries to achieve robust growth without locking themselves into environmentally unsustainable patterns. But what does this entail? A number of leading experts were asked to consider this question in a set of papers commissioned for the Inaugural Conference of the Green Growth Knowledge Platform, which took place in Mexico City in January 2012. The papers highligh both the contributions of the current state of environment and development economics for addressing the question, and important knowledge gaps warranting additional work.
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Gender and Development
October 2012

Joint liability in Grameen Bank works for men and women for different reasons | Minimum wage increases hurt less-educated non-production workers in small Indonesian firms |  Business training for Sri Lankan women speeds up new entry, but has little impact on existing firms | Wage subsidies are not a long-term fix for persistent unemployment of young urban women in Jordan | Married women with low bargaining power can face increased risk of domestic violence upon entering the labor force | Social pressure from kin to share earnings in rural Africa | Intergenerational income transfers in China | Gender and rural non-farm entrepreneurship |  Cash transfer program reduced HIV and HSV-2 infections in young women in Malawi | Female entrepreneurship is low in many developing economies | Understanding behaviors around HIV in Africa | Results from two types of cash transfer programs targeted at adolescent girls in Malawi | Evidence on the labor impacts of the East Asian crisis | Engendering trade | Environmental and gender impacts of land tenure regularization in Rwanda | Lasting welfare effects of widowhood in Mali | Population, poverty, and sustainable development  | Gender, caste and schooling in rural Pakistan | The evolution of global bilateral migration 1960–2000 | Does female reservation affect long-term political outcomes in India? | Female voting behavior in Pakistan | Constraints on the provision of education in Pakistan | Intergenerational linkage and interpersonal inequality in Senegal 
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thumb SSAEnvironment and Energy in Sub-Saharan Africa
September 2012

Barriers remaining to open and unify the regional economic space in East Africa  |  Effective and efficient water policies need to achieve multiple objectives  |  Widespread goals for future increases in biofuels production will affect both land use and food supply  |  More than 40 countries around the world have announced goals for increasing biofuels production and use  |  Electricity reform also can mitigate unsustainable groundwater use in agriculture  |  Incentives to cooperate on bilateral water treaties depend to a larger extent on the variability of water supply  |  Could Africa leapfrog in increasing access to electricity?  |  Comprehensive look at climate change and agriculture shows a variety of adaptation strategies  |  “Regionalization” of African infrastructure can bring substantial economic gains  |  Coastal areas face different risks from sea-level rise and storm surges  
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Agriculture and Rural development in Sub-Saharan Africa
September 2012

Climate change may put food security at risk in Tanzania | Farms in Africa don’t have to be bigger to be better | Political and social networks often determine access to credit by small farmers in Ethiopia  |  Africa’s rice sector must be matched by productivity gains in other crops to ensure wider agricultural success  |  Sharply increased commodity prices prompted a rush of investors into farmland  |  The land tenure program in Rwanda may be a good model for other countries in Africa  |  Supportive policies are as important as new technology for maize productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa  |  When do large farm operations make sense?  |  Increasing rice production in Africa–less hurdles, more opportunities  |  Climate change increases vulnerability to poverty in Tanzania
Distortions in agricultural price and trade policies continues to unfold in Sub-Saharan Africa  |  Connecting the dots between trade, vulnerable places, and vulnerable people.
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Human Development in Sub-Saharan Africa
July 2012

Social pressure from kin to share earnings in rural Africa | Poor people benefit from constitutional litigation | A program of incentives to reduce risky sexual behavior shows promise | Do more informed citizens receive more benefits from the government? | Incentivizing safe sex in rural Tanzania | Cash transfer program reduced HIV and HSV-2 infections in young women in Malawi | Widows in poor countries are often neglected and disadvantaged | Death toll of adults from HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa is larger than casualties from conflict | Education matters more than inheritance to economic activity, welfare and inequality in Senegal | School grants crowd-out private educational spending almost one-for-one  | Media effects on education operate through private household behavior, not government accountability.
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thumb SSATrade in Sub-Saharan Africa
June 2012

Trade causes growth in Sub-Saharan Africa | Many landlocked countries restrict trade in the very services that connect them with the rest of the world, and it hurts them | Information spillovers may help African exporters survive in foreign markets | Services liberalization can yield significant benefits for Tanzania | Foreign direct investment spurs development in Southern African economies, but unevenly | For agriculture, reductions in export taxes as important as reductions in import restrictions | The most important force constraining Africa’s exports
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Crisis arrow 2Risk, Uncertainty, and Crisis
April 2012

Public stocks can be used to lower domestic prices when international prices spike, without aggravating volatile markets | Even if carefully designed, food price stabilization policies can have unintended consequences | Transfers, diversification, and household risk strategies | How does rainfall risk management influence production decisions? | Surges in global food prices in 2010 pushed more people into poverty 

How does bank competition affect systemic stability? | Subsidiaries of multinationals fared better than local firms during the global financial crisis | How do performance incentives in commercial lending affect risk-taking and lending decisions? | Emerging economies recovered more quickly from the financial crisis | Does the fiscal stance of governments before natural catastrophes affect economic recovery afterward?
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Public Sector and Governance
January 2012

A hybrid approach to efficiency measurement with empirical illustrations from education and health |  Civil society, public action and accountability in Africa | Mass media and public services: more accountability or larger private spending? |  Good countries or good projects? Macro and micro correlates of World Bank project performance | Better development results when citizens can act collectively to hold politicians to account | School grants fully anticipated by households crowd out private spending on education | Public investments in secondary education can increase the pool of potential teachers in Pakistan | Does the association between education and moral behavior affect economic growth? |  Redress procedures regarding basic service delivery are weak in many countries |  A society's shared understanding and what it means for development
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Research Roundups 2011

September 2011

Labor impacts of the East Asian crisis | Engendering trade | Environmental and gender impacts of land tenure regularization in Rwanda | Lasting welfare effects of widowhood in Mali | population, poverty, and sustainable development - a review | Gender, caste and schooling in rural Pakistan | Global bilateral migration patterns 1960–2000 | Does female reservation affect long-term political outcomes in rural India | Experimental evidence on female voting behavior in Pakistan | Identifying constraints on the provision of education in Pakistan | Intergenerational inequality in Senegal
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Biofuels feature June 2011

June 2011

How global biofuel expansion could affect the economy, environment and food supply | Under what conditions does a carbon tax on fossil fuels stimulate biofuels? | World oil price and biofuels: a general equilibrium analysis | Biofuels and climate change mitigation: a cge analysis incorporating land-use change | The impacts of biofuel targets on land-use change and food supply: a global cge assessment | Advanced biofuel technologies: status and barriers | Second-generation biofuels: economics and policies | Biofuels: markets, targets and impacts | Fiscal policy instruments for reducing congestion and atmospheric emissions in the transport sector: a review 
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Economic Effects of Natural Disasters
April 2011

Natural-disaster shocks and the fiscal stance of countries | When do governments require earthquake resilient construction? | Natural disasters and their welfare impacts in Vietnam | Macroeconomic costs of natural disasters often sizable | Growth impact of natural disasters varies | Natural disasters and growth–beyond the averages | Balancing gains from economic density with risk from natural hazards
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Agriculture and Food prices
March 2011

Is there a future for large farms in land abundant countries? | Global food prices continue to rise | Insulating food prices can destabilize world markets  Can Africa replicate Asia's green revolution in rice | The impact of the financial crisis on global agriculture | Global agricultural trade distortions worsen poverty and inequality
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Research Roundups 2010

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Research for Development
December 2010

Charting new directions in development economics | Research for development | World Bank’s publication record | On measuring scientific influence | 30 Years of the World Development Report
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Research roundup thumbnail = cloudsLimiting Greenhouse Gas Emissions
October 2010

Different paths to a global climate agreement | Renewable energy expansion in Sub-Saharan Africa | Will the clean development mechanism mobilize anticipated levels of mitigation? | Taxes and caps as climate policy instruments with domestic and imported fuels | The effects of domestic climate change measures on international competitiveness
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Economic Cost of Natural Disasters
September 2010

Natural disasters and growth - going beyond the averages | The wrath of God - macroeconomic costs of natural disasters | Density and disasters - economics of urban hazard risk | Earthquake propensity and the politics of mortality prevention | Enterprise recovery following natural disasters
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Middle East and North Africa
July 2010

Incentives to cooperate on bilateral water treaties largely depend on variability of water supply | Economic gains from regionalizing telecommunications infrastructure in West Africa | The Pan-Arab Free Trade Area | Countries facing greatest risk from sea-level rise and storm surges | Reaching human development goals
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May 2010

The impact of mobile money transfers in Kenya | Using biometric technology in rural credit markets: The case of Malawi | Remitting patterns of African migrants in the OECD | Evaluating the impact of conditional cash transfers in Burkina Faso | In Malawi, money in girls’ hands boosts school enrollment
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Financial Crisis, Real incomes, Agricultural Price Distortions
April 2010
Research Highlights 2009 | How the Financial Crisis in Donor Countries Affect Aid | What Does the Financial Crisis Teach Us about Different Banking Models? | Why Have Developing-Country Data on Real Incomes Been Revised So Much? | Agricultural Price Distortions, Inequality, and Poverty
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Measuring Poverty, Poverty Reduction, Agriculture Price Policy, Climate Change and Manufacturing, Growth, and Finance
March 2010
World Bank’s $1.25/day poverty measure | Scoring Poverty Reduction in Brazil, China, and India | Agricultural Price Policy: Revisiting Krueger, Schiff, and Valdés | Can Climate Change Actions Avoid Harm to Manufacturing? | Too Poor to Grow | Can Informal Finance Substitute for Formal Finance?
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