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 33
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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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    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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    How to Target Households in Adaptive Social Protection Systems? Evidence from Humanitarian and Development Approaches in Niger
    (Taylor and Francis, 2019-12-06) Schnitzer, Pascale
    The methods used to identify the beneficiaries of programs aiming to address persistent poverty and shocks are subject to frequent policy debates. Relying on panel data from Niger, this report simulates the performance of various targeting methods that are widely used by development and humanitarian actors. The methods include proxy-means testing (PMT), household economy analysis (HEA), geographical targeting, and combined methods. Results show that PMT performs more effectively in identifying persistently poor households, while HEA shows superior performance in identifying transiently food insecure households. Geographical targeting is particularly efficient in responding to food crises, which tend to be largely covariate. Combinations of geographical, PMT, and HEA approaches may be used as part of an efficient and scalable adaptive social protection system. Results motivate the consolidation of data across programs, which can support the application of alternative targeting methods tailored to program-specific objectives.
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    Leaving, Staying or Coming Back? Migration Decisions During the Northern Mali Conflict
    (Taylor and Francis, 2019-10) Hoogeveen, Johannes G. ; Rossi, Mariacristina ; Sansone, Dario
    This paper uses a unique data set to analyse the migration dynamics of refugees, returnees and, internally displaced people from the Northern Mali conflict. Individuals were interviewed monthly using mobile phones. Our results cast light on the characteristics of these three groups before and after displacement. In addition, we test how employment and security were related to migration status, as well as the willingness to go back home. Individuals who were employed while displaced were less willing to go back to the North, while those who owned a gun were more likely to plan to go back. Additional indicators of personal safety played a lesser role.
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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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    Decomposing the Contribution of Migration to Poverty Reduction: Methodology and Application to Tanzania
    (Taylor and Francis, 2019) Christiaensen, Luc ; De Weerdt, Joachim ; Kanbur, Ravi
    In an economy with migration, poverty changes are composed of a number of forces, including the income gains and losses realized by the various migration streams. We present a simple but powerful decomposition methodology that uses panel data to measure the contributions of different migration streams to overall poverty change. An application to Tanzania shows the new insights that are provided – in particular on the role of migration to secondary towns in poverty reduction.
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    Decomposing the Labour Productivity Gap between Migrant-Owned and Native-Owned Firms in Sub-Saharan Africa
    (Taylor and Francis, 2018-09-18) Islam, Asif ; Palacios Lopez, Amparo ; Amin, Mohammad
    Migration studies have been primarily based on the movement of individuals from developing to developed economies, with a focus on the impact of migrants on host country wages. In this study we take a different angle by exploring the labor productivity of migrant-owned firms versus native-owned firms in 20 African economies using firm-level data. We find that labor productivity is 78 per cent higher in migrant-owned firms than native-owned firms. Using the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition method we find that structural effects account for 80 per cent of the labor productivity gap. Returns to manager education largely explain the productivity advantage of migrant-owned firms over native-owned firms. Interactions with the government, access to finance, informality, and power outages are also considerable contributors to the labor productivity gap.
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    Equality on His Terms: Doing and Undoing Gender through Men’s Discussion Groups
    (Sage Publications, 2018-08) Pierotti, Rachael S. ; Lake, Milli ; Lewis, Chloe
    Efforts to promote gender equality often encourage changes to interpersonal interactions as a way of undermining gender hierarchy. Such programs are premised on the idea that the gender system can be undone when individuals behave in ways that challenge prevailing gender norms. However, scholars know little about whether and under what conditions real changes to the gender system can result from changed behaviors. The authors use the context of a gender sensitization program in the Democratic Republic of Congo to examine prospects for transformative change at the interactional level of the gender system. Over nine months, the authors observed significant changes in men’s quotidian practices. Further, the authors identified a new commitment among many men to a more equal division of household labor. However, participants consistently undermined the transformative potential of these behavioral changes through their dedication to maintaining control over the objective, process, and meaning of change, resisting conceptions of equality that challenged the gender system. Because quotidian changes left gender hierarchy intact, they appear unlikely to destabilize the logics that legitimate women’s subordination.