This research program spans the full gamut of human development — education, health, labor markets, and social protection. It examines the performance of the sectors in terms of levels and inequalities in utilization, quality and outcomes, as well as methods for improving performance, whether aimed at households, service providers, politicians and policymakers, or donors. More »
Dec. 2, 2013 - A World Bank Group report on the private sector in Africa claims that “the private health sector now provides half of all health services in the region.” Another document claims that “much” of medical care is provided by the private sector. The data underlying such claims reflect a very partial picture. Blog »
Nov. 2013 - This paper evaluates the impact of a shift by Vietnam's social health insurance agency from reimbursing hospitals on a fee-for-service basis to making a capitation payment to the district hospital where the enrollee lives. Working Paper »
This study investigates how government ideology matters for the success of World Bank economic policy loans. A simple model predicts that World Bank staff will invest more effort in designing an economic policy loan when faced with a left-wing government. Journal Article »
November 2013 - Individuals all over the worlds engage in behaviors that are risky for their health, like smoking, drugs, alcohol, unhealthy food, and risky sexual encounters. They increasingly affect the health of individual and their populations. This report examines the causes, consequences and interventions to prevent these growing threats. Edited Volume »
U.S. and Them: The Geography of Academic Research Jishnu Das, Quy-Toan Do, Karen Shaines, Sowmya Srikant Journal of Development Economics 105: 12-130, November 2013 Using a database of 76,046 empirical economics papers published between 1985 and 2005, we report two associations. First, research output on a given country increases with the country's population and wealth, yielding a strong correlation between per-capita research output and per-capita GDP. Regressions controlling for data quality, governance and the use of English give an estimated research–wealth elasticity of 0.32; surprisingly, the U.S. is not an outlier.
Lasting Welfare Effects of Widowhood in Mali Dominique van de Walle World Development 51: 1-19, November 2013 Widows and their children are largely hidden from view in the data used to inform social policy discussions in Africa. Data for Mali reveal that households headed by widows have significantly lower living standards than other households in rural and urban areas.
Expanding Social Insurance Coverage in Urban China John Giles, Research Brief, Fall 2013 Social insurance coverage in China has expanded, but a significant share of the urban population still lacks coverage.This research highlights both the progress made in increasing social insurance coverage and the significant difficulties in further expanding it.
Risking Your Health Damien de Walque, Blog, November 20, 2013 All over the world, people engage in behaviors that are risky for their health. They smoke, use illicit drugs, drink too much alcohol, eat unhealthy food or adopt sedentary lifestyles, and have risky sexual encounters. As a consequence, they endanger their health, reduce their own life expectancy, and often impose harmful consequences on others. French | Spanish
The Academic Sting Operation Adam Wagstaff, Blog, October 28, 2013 Nobody likes to be stung. Doctors regard it as unethical. Publishers say it betrays the trust of their profession. But the fact is, as three recent studies have demonstrated, sting operations can be extremely effective at exposing questionable professional practices, and answering questions that other methods can't credibly answer.
The Elderly and Old Age Support in Rural China March 2012 - This book examines projected demographic changes that will affect the economic well-being of China’s rural elderly over the next 20 years, taking into account both China’s sharp demographic transition and the continued migration of young adults to cities. The projected old age dependency ratio of 34 percent in China’s rural areas by 2030 suggests that support of the elderly is likely to be an increasing burden on China’s families. Order | Download
Health Equity and Financial Protection: Streamlined Analysis with ADePT Software May 2011 - This book provides ADePT Health, a free-standing computer program that allows users to produce quickly - and with the minimal risk of errors - most standard tablesin applied health and equity analysis. ADePT produces summary statistics and charts that allow inequalities to be compared across countries and over time. This manual explains the methods ADePT uses, how to prepare data for it, how to navigate the ADePT interface to generate the desired tables and charts, and how to interpret them.Order | Download
Making Schools Work: New Evidence on Accountability Reforms Barbara Bruns, Deon Filmer, Harry Anthony Patrinos February 2011 - This book is about the threats to education quality in the developing world that cannot be explained by lack of resources. It reviews the observed phenomenon of service delivery failures in public education: cases where programs and policies increase the inputs to education but do not produce effective services where it counts – in schools and classrooms. Order | Download
Is Workfare Cost-Effective against Poverty in a Poor Labor-Surplus Economy? Martin Ravallion, Rinku Murgai, Martin Ravallion, Dominique van de Walle Workfare schemes impose work requirements on beneficiaries. This has seemed an attractive idea for self-targeting transfers to poor people. This incentive argument does not imply, however, that workfare is more cost-effective against poverty than even poorly-targeted options, given hidden costs of participation. Working Paper 6673, October 2013
Testing information constraints on India's largest antipoverty program Martin Ravallion, Dominique van de Wallestrong>, Puja Dutta, and Rinku Murgai Public knowledge about India's ambitious Employment Guarantee Scheme is low in one of India's poorest states, Bihar, where participation is also unusually low. Is the solution simply to tell people their rights? Or does their lack of knowledge reflect deeper problems of poor people's agency and an unresponsive supply side? Working Paper 6598, September 2013