03. Journals

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These are journal articles published in World Bank journals as well as externally by World Bank authors.

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 35
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    Factors Associated with Educational and Career Aspirations of Young Women and Girls in Sierra Leone
    (Taylor and Francis, 2021-09-05) Allmang, Skye ; Rozhenkova, Veronika ; Khakshi, James Ward ; Raza, Wameq ; Heymann, Jody
    Empirical data on the aspirations of young women and girls in post-conflict settings are scarce. This article analyses the factors associated with the educational and career aspirations of 2,473 young women and girls in Sierra Leone. Findings indicated that over three-quarters of our sample aspired to continue their studies up to the university level, and two-thirds aspired to obtain a formal sector job requiring an education. These findings are important for discussions of aid which can accelerate economic advances and opportunities within advanced economies for both women and men.
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    Assessing Gender Gaps in Employment and Earnings in Africa: The Case of Eswatini
    (Taylor and Francis, 2021-07) Brixiova Schwidrowski, Zuzana ; Imai, Susumu ; Kangoye, Thierry ; Yameogo, Nadege Desiree
    Persistent gender gaps characterize labor markets in many African countries. Utilizing Eswatini’s first three labor market surveys (conducted in 2007, 2010, and 2013), this paper provides first systematic evidence on the country’s gender gaps in employment and earnings. We find that women have notably lower employment rates and earnings than men, even though the global financial crisis had a less negative impact on women than it had on men. Both unadjusted and unexplained gender earnings gaps are higher in self-employment than in wage employment. Tertiary education and urban location account for a large part of the gender earnings gap and mitigate high female propensity to self-employment. Our findings suggest that policies supporting female higher education and rural-urban mobility could reduce persistent inequalities in Eswatini’s labor market outcomes as well as in other middle-income countries in southern Africa.
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    Quality of Clinical Assessment and Child Mortality: A Three-Country Cross-Sectional Study
    (Oxford University Press, 2020-06) Perales, Nicole A. ; Wei, Dorothy ; Khadka, Aayush ; Leslie, Hannah H. ; Hamadou, Saidou ; Chamberlin Yama, Gervais ; Robyn, Paul Jacob ; Shapira, Gil ; Kruk, Margaret E. ; Fink, Gunther
    This analysis describes specific gaps in the quality of health care in Central Africa and assesses the association between quality of clinical care and mortality at age 2–59 months. Regionally representative facility and household surveys for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon and Central African Republic were collected between 2012 and 2016. These data are novel in linking facilities with households in their catchment area. Compliance with diagnostic and danger sign protocols during sick-child visits was observed by trained assessors. We computed facility- and district-level compliance indicators for patients aged 2–59 months and used multivariate multi-level logistic regression models to estimate the association between clinical assessment quality and mortality at age 2–59 months in the catchment areas of the observed facilities. A total of 13 618 live births were analysed and 1818 sick-child visits were directly observed and used to rate 643 facilities. Eight percent of observed visits complied with 80% of basic diagnostic protocols, and 13% of visits fully adhered to select general danger sign protocols. A 10% greater compliance with diagnostic protocols was associated with a 14.1% (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 95% CI: 0.025–0.244) reduction in the odds of mortality at age 2–59 months; a 10% greater compliance with select general danger sign protocols was associated with a 15.3% (aOR 95% CI: 0.058–0.237) reduction in the same odds. The results of this article suggest that compliance with recommended clinical protocols remains poor in many settings and improvements in mortality at age 2–59 months could be possible if compliance were improved.
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    Migration and Urbanization in Post-Apartheid South Africa
    (Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the World Bank, 2020-06) Bakker, Jan David ; Parsons, Christopher ; Rauch, Ferdinand
    Although Africa has experienced rapid urbanization in recent decades, little is known about the process of urbanization across the continent. This paper exploits a natural experiment, the abolition of South African pass laws, to explore how exogenous population shocks affect the spatial distribution of economic activity. Under apartheid, black South Africans were severely restricted in their choice of location, and many were forced to live in homelands. Following the abolition of apartheid they were free to migrate. Given a migration cost in distance, a town nearer to the homelands will receive a larger inflow of people than a more distant town following the removal of mobility restrictions. Drawing upon this exogenous variation, this study examines the effect of migration on urbanization in South Africa. While it is found that on average there is no endogenous adjustment of population location to a positive population shock, there is heterogeneity in the results. Cities that start off larger do grow endogenously in the wake of a migration shock, while rural areas that start off small do not respond in the same way. This heterogeneity indicates that population shocks lead to an increase in urban relative to rural populations. Overall, the evidence suggests that exogenous migration shocks can foster urbanization in the medium run.
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    Economic Transformation in Africa from the Bottom Up: New Evidence from Tanzania
    (Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the World Bank, 2020-02) Diao, Xinshen ; Kweka, Josaphat ; McMillan, Margaret ; Qureshi, Zara
    Tanzania's rapid labor productivity growth has been accompanied by a proliferation of small, largely informal firms. Using Tanzania's first nationally representative survey of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs)—this paper explores the nature of these businesses. It finds that these firms are located in both rural and urban areas and that they operate primarily in trade services and manufacturing. Roughly half of all business owners say they would not leave their job for a full-time salaried position. Fifteen percent of these small businesses contribute significantly to economy-wide labor productivity. The most important policy implication of the evidence presented in this paper is that if the goal is to grow MSMEs with the potential to contribute to productive employment, policies must be targeted at the most promising firms.
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    Is There a Cost-Effective Means of Training Microenterprises?
    (Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the World Bank, 2020-02) Brooks, Wyatt ; Donovan, Kevin ; Johnson, Terence R.
    Despite billions of dollars spent by policy institutions and academics, very few programs designed to increase managerial skills among microenterprises are cost-effective. This short paper highlights a mentorship program designed to provide managerial skills to Kenyan microenterprises, and it provides a detailed cost-benefit analysis. For each dollar spent on a treated firm, average profit increases by 1.63 USD; the result stems from both a higher program impact and lower cost relative to existing training programs. Motivated by this increased cost-effectiveness, the study then compares the program to the large literature focusing on “supply-side” interventions designed to increase managerial capacity in small firms, and it highlights particular margins on which mentorship improves on classroom training and also where training should focus.
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    Public Investment Choices by Local and Central Governments
    (Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the World Bank, 2020-02) Kosec, Katrina ; Mogues, Tewodaj
    This paper examines the impacts of devolving authority for public resource allocation to local governments in a setting of limited electoral control. Such a setting differs from that assumed by seminal formal models of devolution, but describes many developing countries. This study presents a formal model of this setting and tests it using unique data from a natural experiment in rural Ethiopia whereby half of the country's regions were decentralized but not the other half. Employing a spatial regression discontinuity design, this article shows that decentralization strongly improved delivery of agricultural public services, which are of high priority to the central government. In contrast, it did not impact drinking water services, on which the central government places lower priority but citizens place high priority.
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    Costs and Benefits of Land Fragmentation: Evidence from Rwanda
    (Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the World Bank, 2019-10) Ayalew Ali, Daniel ; Deininger, Klaus ; Ronchi, Loraine
    Panel data from Rwanda allow us to explore costs and benefits from land fragmentation in a non-mechanized setting using two methodological improvements, namely (i) a terrain-adjusted measure of travel time/cost required to visit all parcels to measure fragmentation; and (ii) instrumental variable (IV) approaches that use measures for inherited/allocated parcels and past displacement as instruments. Results suggest that fragmentation as measured by travel cost negatively affect yield, intensity of labor use, and technical efficiency while reducing yield variability. With some 7 percent increase in yields, the size of the estimated impact of potential consolidation remains modest, suggesting that in an unmechanized setting such as the one studied here, the costs of programs to reduce fragmentation may outweigh the benefits.
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    The Role of Social Ties in Factor Allocation
    (Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the World Bank, 2019-10) Beck, Ulrik ; Bjerge, Benedikte ; Fafchamps, Marcel
    We investigate whether social structure helps or hinders factor allocation using unusually rich data from the Gambia. Evidence indicates that land available for cultivation is allocated unequally across households; and that factor transfers are more common between neighbors, co-ethnics, and kinship-related households. Does this lead to the conclusion that land inequality is due to flows of land between households being impeded by social divisions? To answer this question, a novel methodology that approaches exhaustive data on dyadic flows from an aggregate point of view is introduced. Land transfers lead to a more equal distribution of land and to more comparable factor ratios across households in general. But equalizing transfers of land are not more likely within ethnic or kinship groups. In conclusion, ethnic and kinship divisions do not hinder land and labor transfers in a way that contributes to aggregate factor inequality. Labor transfers do not equilibrate factor ratios across households. But it cannot be ruled out that they serve a beneficial role, for example, to deal with unanticipated health shocks.
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    Agriculture, Aid, and Economic Growth in Africa
    (Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the World Bank, 2019-02) McArthur, John W. ; Sachs, Jeffrey D.
    How can foreign aid to agriculture support economic growth in Africa? This paper constructs a geographically indexed applied general equilibrium model that considers pathways through which aid might affect growth and structural transformation of labor markets in the context of soil nutrient variation, minimum subsistence consumption requirements, domestic transport costs, labor mobility, and constraints to self-financing of agricultural inputs. Using plausible parameters, the model is presented for Uganda as an illustrative case. We present three stylized scenarios to demonstrate the potential economy-wide impacts of both soil nutrient loss and replenishment, and how foreign aid can be targeted to support agricultural inputs that boost rural productivity and shift labor to boost real wages. One simulation shows how a temporary program of targeted official development assistance (ODA) for agriculture could generate, contrary to traditional Dutch disease concerns, an expansion in the primary tradable sector and positive permanent productivity and welfare effects, leading to a steady decline in the need for complementary ODA for budget support.