The World Bank Research Observer is intended for anyone who has a professional interest in development. Observer articles are written to be accessible to nonspecialist readers; contributors examine key issues in development economics, survey the literature and the latest World Bank research, and debate issues of development policy. Articles are reviewed by an editorial board drawn from across the Bank and the international community of economists. Inconsistency with Bank policy is not grounds for rejection. The journal welcomes editorial comments and responses, which will be considered for publication to the extent that space permits. On occasion the Observer considers unsolicited contributions.