03. Journals

2,911 items available

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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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    Tackling psychosocial and capital constraints to alleviate poverty
    (Springer Nature, 2022-04-27) Bossuroy, Thomas ; Goldstein, Markus ; Karimou, Bassirou ; Karlan, Dean ; Kazianga, Harounan ; Pariente, William ; Premand, Patrick ; Thomas, Catherine C. ; Udry, Christopher ; Vaillant, Julia ; Wright, Kelsey A.
    Many policies attempt to help extremely poor households build sustainable sources of income. Although economic interventions have predominated historically 1,2, psychosocial support has attracted substantial interest 3,4,5, particularly for its potential cost-effectiveness. Recent evidence has shown that multi-faceted ‘graduation’ programs can succeed in generating sustained changes 6,7. Here we show that a multi-faceted intervention can open pathways out of extreme poverty by relaxing capital and psychosocial constraints. We conducted a four-arm randomized evaluation among extremely poor female beneficiaries already enrolled in a national cash transfer government program in Niger. The three treatment arms included group savings promotion, coaching and entrepreneurship training, and then added either a lump-sum cash grant, psychosocial interventions, or both the cash grant and psychosocial interventions. All three arms generated positive effects on economic outcomes and psychosocial well-being, but there were notable differences in the pathways and the timing of effects. Overall, the arms with psychosocial interventions were the most cost-effective, highlighting the value of including well-designed psychosocial components in government-led multi-faceted interventions for the extreme poor.
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    How much does reducing inequality matter for global poverty?
    (Springer Nature, 2022-03-02) Lakner, Christoph ; Gerszon Mahler, Daniel ; Negre, Mario ; Prydz, Espen Beer
    The goals of ending extreme poverty by 2030 and working towards a more equal distribution of incomes are part of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Using data from 166 countries comprising 97.5 percent of the world’s population, we simulate scenarios for global poverty from 2019 to 2030 under various assumptions about growth and inequality. We use different assumptions about growth incidence curves to model changes in inequality and rely on a machine-learning algorithm called model-based recursive partitioning to model how growth in GDP is passed through to growth as observed in household surveys. When holding within-country inequality unchanged and letting GDP per capita grow according to World Bank forecasts and historically observed growth rates, our simulations suggest that the number of extreme poor (living on less than 1.90 dollars/day) will remain above 600 million in 2030, resulting in a global extreme poverty rate of 7.4 percent. If the Gini index in each country decreases by 1 percent per year, the global poverty rate could reduce to around 6.3 percent in 2030, equivalent to 89 million fewer people living in extreme poverty. Reducing each country’s Gini index by 1 percent per year has a larger impact on global poverty than increasing each country’s annual growth 1 percentage point above forecasts. We also study the impact of COVID-19 on poverty and find that the pandemic may have driven around 60 million people into extreme poverty in 2020. If the pandemic increased the Gini index by 2 percent in all countries, then more than 90 million may have been driven into extreme poverty in 2020.
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    Transnational Terrorist Recruitment: Evidence from Daesh Personnel Records
    (MIT Press, 2022-01-25) Brockmeyer, Anne ; Do, Quy-Toan ; Joubert, Clement ; Bhatia, Kartika ; Abdel Jelil, Mohamed
    Global terrorist organizations attract radicalized individuals across borders and constitute a threat for both sending and receiving countries. We use unique personnel records from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Daesh) to show that unemployment in sending countries is associated with the number of transnational terrorist recruits from these countries. The relationship is spatially heterogeneous, which is most plausibly attributable to travel costs. We argue that poor labor market opportunities generally push more individuals to join terrorist organizations, but at the same time limit their ability to do so when longer travel distances imply higher migration costs.
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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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    Lives and Livelihoods: Estimates of the Global Mortality and Poverty Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic
    (Elsevier, 2021-09) Decerf, Benoit ; Ferreira, Francisco H.G. ; Mahler, Daniel G. ; Sterck, Olivier
    We evaluate the global welfare consequences of increases in mortality and poverty generated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Increases in mortality are measured in terms of the number of years of life lost (LY) to the pandemic. Additional years spent in poverty (PY) are conservatively estimated using growth estimates for 2020 and two different scenarios for its distributional characteristics. Using years of life as a welfare metric yields a single parameter that captures the underlying trade-o between lives and livelihoods: how many PYs have the same welfare cost as one LY. Taking an agnostic view of this parameter, we compare estimates of LYs and PYs across countries for different scenarios. Three main findings arise. First, we estimate that, as of early June 2020, the pandemic (and the observed private and policy responses) had generated at least 68 million additional poverty years and 4.3 million years of life lost across 150 countries. The ratio of PYs to LYs is very large in most countries, suggesting that the poverty consequences of the crisis are of paramount importance. Second, this ratio declines systematically with GDP per capita: poverty accounts for a much greater share of the welfare costs in poorer countries. Finally, a comparison of these baseline results with mortality estimates in a counterfactual herd immunity scenario suggests that welfare losses would be greater in the latter in most countries.
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    An Individual-Based Index of Multidimensional Poverty for Low- and Middle-Income Countries
    (Taylor and Francis, 2021-08-27) Burchi, Francesco ; Espinoza-Delgado, Jose ; Montenegro, Claudio E. ; Rippin, Nicole
    This paper proposes a new index of multidimensional poverty, called the Global Correlation Sensitive Poverty Index (G-CSPI), which has three interesting features. First, it encompasses three dimensions: decent work, education and access to drinking water and sanitation, which largely overlap with the list of ideal dimensions obtained by expanding the Constitutional Approach, although it does not include direct health measures. Second, it uses a distribution-sensitive measure that can also be decomposed into the three poverty components: incidence, intensity and inequality. Finally, the G-CSPI is an individual-based, rather than household-based index, although restricted to individuals 15–65 years of age. It is thus able to detect intra-household differences in poverty among members within that age-range. To have a full picture of multidimensional poverty at the country level, it should then be complemented by specific poverty measures for children and the elderly. Being centered on individuals and sensitive to inequality, the G-CSPI is coherent with the overarching principle of the 2030 Agenda “leaving no one behind”. Using recent estimates of the G-CSPI for 104 countries, the empirical analysis reveals that the index is highly robust to different specifications, and that, as expected, fragile countries experience the largest levels of poverty.
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    The Equity Effects of Cadasters in Colombia
    (Taylor & Francis, 2021-08-01) Cuesta, Jose ; Pico, Julieth
    Well-functioning cadasters help to secure property rights, make economies perform more efficiently and promote environmental conservation. However, their equity effects are less known. Our study addresses how and to what extent cadasters, and reforms to them, affect equity. The authors address this question through an ex-ante simulation methodology using static partial equilibrium fiscal incidence analysis. We apply it to a recent expansion of the cadaster in Colombia, designed as a deliberate equalization strategy in one of the world’s most unequal countries. This expansion will increase the collection of property taxes paid by previously informal households by about US 22.1 million dollars and their net worth by about US 4,993 million dollars (or about 3.2 and 4.9 percent of their baseline value). However, the expansion of the cadaster will also increase the incidence of poverty (by 0.25 percent points), the poverty gap (by 0.20 percent points) and inequality (by 0.12 percent points of the Gini index), unless generous compensatory interventions are applied. We conclude that equity effects of cadasters are complex and multiple. Policy-wide, compensatory measures are needed to alleviate the immediate impacts on poverty and inequality after the increase in taxes that vulnerable and poor households will likely face following a cadaster reform.
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    Gender Biases in Resettlement Processes in Vietnam: Examining Women's Participation and Implications for Impact Assessment
    (Taylor and Francis, 2021-07-18) Nghia, Nguyen Quy ; Phuong, Nguyen Thi Minh ; Hang, Do Thi Le
    The impacts of development-induced resettlement disproportionately affect women, as they frequently face more difficulties than men to cope with disruption and changes. Women’s situation might further deteriorate if there is no mechanism for affected households to enjoy meaningful participation and consultation in the resettlement process. This paper is the result of policy analysis, project implementation experience, and findings of a cross-sectional survey of 876 affected households in Vietnam. We examine women's participation in resettlement processes in large infrastructure projects in Vietnam. The survey findings revealed the limited participation of women in the resettlement processes from all perspectives (meeting attendance, resettlement implementation, and making decisions) at community and household levels. Gender-stereotyped prejudice from community members and the gender-ascribed household division of labor were key factors inhibiting women’s meaningful participation. The paper also discusses the implications of the findings for impact assessment practice. We call for a shift in how resettlement is prepared and implemented towards a more comprehensive and gender-informed approach, with a view to making affected people genuine beneficiaries of resettlement programs.
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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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    Pull Your Small Area Estimates Up by the Bootstraps
    (Taylor and Francis, 2021-05-08) Corral, Paul ; Molina, Isabel ; Nguyen, Minh
    This paper presents a methodological update to the World Bank's toolkit for small area estimation. The paper reviews the computational procedures of the current methods used by the institution: the traditional ELL approach and the Empirical Best (EB) addition introduced to imitate the original EB procedure of Molina and Rao [Small area estimation of poverty indicators. Canadian J Stat. 2010;38(3):369–385], including heteroskedasticity and survey weights, but using a different bootstrap approach, here referred to as clustered bootstrap. Simulation experiments provide empirical evidence of the shortcomings of the clustered bootstrap approach, which yields biased and noisier point estimates. The document presents an update to the World Bank’s EB implementation by considering the original EB procedures for point and noise estimation, extended for complex designs and heteroscedasticity. Simulation experiments illustrate that the revised methods yield considerably less biased and more efficient estimators than those obtained from the clustered bootstrap approach.