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Raju, Dhushyanth

Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice, World Bank
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Education, Health, Nutrition, Labor, Poverty, Risk
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Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice, World Bank
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Last updated: September 15, 2023
Citations 58 Scopus

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 35
  • Publication
    Child Labor Across the Developing World : Patterns and Correlations
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2007-02) Fares, Jean; Raju, Dhushyanth
    The aim of this study is two-fold. First, based on summary data at the country-level for an unusually large set of developing countries originally obtained from household sample surveys conducted between 1993 and 2003, the authors construct a detailed profile of child economic activity and child labor, attempting, wherever the data permit, to identify similarities and differences across regions and between genders. Second, they link the country-level data on child economic activity and child labor to country-level indicators of the state of economic and social development in the same time period in order to (1) ascertain if cross-country correlations previously identified in the literature are found in the data, and (2) illumine other possible correlations that may exist. As part of this exercise, the authors examine one important relationship that has thus far not been directly investigated in the literature, namely, the cross-country correlation between child labor, agriculture, and poverty.
  • Publication
    Barriers to Growth-Enhancing Structural Transformation: The Role of Subnational Differences in Intersectoral Productivity Gaps
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-06) Paul, Saumik; Raju, Dhushyanth
    The movement of workers from the farm sector to a more productive nonfarm sector has failed to generate significant gains in labor productivity in recent decades in many developing countries. This paper offers a new perspective on the barriers to growth-enhancing structural transformation, combining structural modeling with enterprise census data from Ghana. The paper argues that subnational differences in the intersectoral productivity gap between the nonfarm informal and formal sectors constrain the productivity gain from structural transformation. In Ghana, intersectoral productivity gaps among the richer regions are on average three times larger than among the poorer regions. The disparity in regional intersectoral productivity gaps is modeled as reflecting the disparity in the regional misallocation of labor between the informal and formal sectors. Misallocation is identified as the output wedge between the informal and formal sectors. Simulations suggest that a more productive nonfarm informal sector reduces the disparity in regional intersectoral productivity gaps and, in turn, increases national productivity and the contribution of structural transformation to national productivity. For example, a 90-percent reduction in the disparity in regional intersectoral productivity gaps raises Ghana’s national aggregate productivity by 11.9 percent and the contribution of structural transformation to productivity by 19.7 percent.
  • Publication
    Benefits and Costs of Public Schooling in Ghana
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-04) Raju, Dhushyanth
    This paper examines the monetary benefits and costs of the quantity of public schooling (that is, years of schooling completed) in Ghana. The paper also examines the monetary benefits and costs of some aspects of the quality of public schooling, measured by the gains in achievement produced by selected interventions in public schools. The analysis uses estimates of (i) labor-earnings returns to schooling and private spending on public schooling, based on the latest national household sample survey data; (ii) government spending on public schooling, based on administrative information; (iii) impacts on test scores, and costs, of education interventions in public schools, drawn from experimental studies; and (iv) conversions of impacts on test scores produced by education interventions to (future) labor earnings, all for Ghana. The results are a set of benefit-cost ratios in the style of the Copenhagen Consensus.
  • Publication
    Government Social Protection Programme Spending and Household Welfare in Lesotho
    (John Wiley and Sons, 2023-03-16) Boko, Joachim; Raju, Dhushyanth; Younger, Stephen D
    Lesotho has notably high levels of poverty and inequality despite a high level of government spending on social protection programmes. We assess the performance of this spending in reducing consumption poverty and inequality, applying benefit incidence and microsimulation methods to 2017/2018 household survey data. We investigate the distributional effects of actual spending as well as those of a hypothetical alternative in which the spending is targeted through a proxy means test (PMT) formula used by the government for some programmes. We find that government spending on social protection programmes in Lesotho substantially reduces poverty and inequality. For most programmes, the hypothetical alternative of targeting spending to poorer households through the government's PMT formula would have no better distributional effects than current programme spending. The exception is postsecondary education bursaries, which are costly and regressive. Retaining bursaries only for poorer students, and reallocating the outlay this saves to a transfer targeted to poorer households through the government's PMT formula, could reduce poverty and inequality significantly.
  • Publication
    Short-run Learning Dynamics under a Test-based Accountability System : Evidence from Pakistan
    (2010-11-01) Barrera-Osorio, Felipe; Raju, Dhushyanth
    Low student learning is a common finding in much of the developing world. This paper uses a relatively unique dataset of five semiannual rounds of standardized test data to characterize and explain the short-term changes in student learning. The data are collected as part of the quality assurance system for a public-private partnership program that offers public subsidies conditional on minimum learning levels to low-cost private schools in Pakistan. Apart from a large positive distributional shift in learning between the first two test rounds, the learning distributions over test rounds show little progress. Schools are ejected from the program if they fail to achieve a minimum pass rate in the test in two consecutive attempts, making the test high stakes. Sharp regression discontinuity estimates show that the threat of program exit on schools that barely failed the test for the first time induces large learning gains. The large change in learning between the first two test rounds is likely attributable to this accountability pressure given that a large share of new program entrants failed in the first test round. Schools also qualify for substantial annual teacher bonuses if they achieve a minimum score in a composite measure of student test participation and mean test score. Sharp regression discontinuity estimates do not show that the prospect of future teacher bonus rewards induces learning gains for schools that barely did not qualify for the bonus.
  • Publication
    Gender Equality, Poverty and Economic Growth
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2007-09) Morrison, Andrew; Raju, Dhushyanth; Sinha, Nistha
    This paper reviews empirical findings from economic analyses of the role of gender equality and women's empowerment in reducing poverty and stimulating growth. Going beyond the large literature documenting the impact of female education on a range of development outcomes, the paper presents evidence on the impact of women's access to markets (labor, land, and credit) and women's decision-making power within households on poverty reduction and productivity at the individual and household level. The paper also summarizes evidence from studies examining the relationship between gender equality and poverty reduction and growth at the macro level. Although micro level effects of gender equality on individual productivity and human development outcomes have been well documented and have important ramifications for aggregate economic performance, establishing an empirical relationship between gender equality and poverty reduction and growth at the macro level has proven to be more challenging. The paper concludes by identifying priority areas for future research.
  • Publication
    Social Assistance Programs and Household Welfare in Eswatini
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-06) Raju, Dhushyanth
    Eswatini has notably high levels of poverty and inequality. Recurrent, negative shocks are an important contributing factor. This study assesses the performance of the largest social assistance programs in Eswatini, based on 2016/17 national household survey data. It examines the coverage rates of these programs, and their incidence and effectiveness in reducing poverty and inequality. The study also examines the association between program participation and negative shocks reported by households, in particular, drought and food price shocks associated with the 2015-2016 El Niño event. Across programs, benefits are concentrated among poor households. However, the performance of programs in reducing poverty and inequality tends to be limited because of low intended or actual benefit levels and shortfalls in intended or actual coverage of the poor. Households that receive program benefits are more likely to report a drought shock. Except in the case of emergency food aid, which is provided ex post, we interpret this pattern to indicate that programs tend to provide ex-ante coverage to those vulnerable to this shock. At a minimum, enhancing the performance of programs in addressing poverty, inequality, and the adverse effects of shocks would require that actual benefit levels equal intended levels (for example, by procuring sufficient food commodities to meet the needs of the school feeding program) and that intended benefit levels are fully aligned with program aims (for example, by providing grant amounts to schools that are large enough to allow for tuition-free government secondary education for orphaned and vulnerable children). Absent greater budgetary allocations to programs, addressing these benefit-related disconnects may require improving the targeting of select program benefits to poorer households such as by using a proxy means test. We simulate the effects of programs on poverty and inequality reduction from such hypothetical reforms.
  • Publication
    Teacher Performance Pay: Experimental Evidence from Pakistan
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-06) Barrera-Osorio, Felipe; Raju, Dhushyanth
    This paper presents evidence from the first three years of a randomized controlled trial of a government-administered pilot teacher performance pay program in Punjab, Pakistan. The program offers yearly cash bonuses to teachers in a sample of public primary schools with the lowest mean student exam scores in the province. Bonuses are linked to three school-level indicators: the gain in student exam scores, the gain in school enrollment, and the level of student exam participation. Bonus receipt and size are also randomly assigned across schools according to whether or not the teacher is the school’s head. On average, the program increases school enrollment by 4.1 percent and student exam participation rates by 3.4 percentage points, both in the third year. The analysis does not find that the program increases student exam scores in any year. Mean impacts are similar across program variants. The positive mean impact on school enrollment is mainly seen in urban schools and the positive mean impact on student exam participation rates is only seen in rural schools.
  • Publication
    Private School Participation in Pakistan
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-05) Nguyen, Quynh; Raju, Dhushyanth
    Private schooling is an important feature of the educational landscape in Pakistan and is increasingly a topic of public and government discourse. This study uses multiple rounds of national household sample surveys to examine the extent and nature of private school participation at the primary and secondary levels in Pakistan. Today, one-fifth of children -- or one-third of all students -- go to private school in Pakistan. Private school students tend to come from urban, wealthier, and more educated households than do government school students and especially out-of-school children. Important differences exist across Pakistan s four provinces with respect to the characteristics of private school students relative to government school students, as well as in the composition of private school students. Private schooling is highly concentrated, with a few districts (situated mainly in northern Punjab province) accounting for most of the private school students. Private school participation among children varies largely from one household to another, rather than within households, and to a greater extent than does government school participation. The spatial patterns of private school supply are often strongly correlated with the spatial patterns of private school participation. In the 2000s, private school participation rates grew in Punjab, Sindh, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces and across socioeconomic subgroups, contributing in particular to the growth in overall school participation rates for boys, children from urban households, and children from households in the highest wealth quintile. Nevertheless, the composition of private school students has become less unequal over time. This trend has been driven mainly by Punjab province, which has seen declines in the shares of private school students from urban households and households in the highest wealth quintile.
  • Publication
    Evaluating the Impact of Public Student Subsidies on Low-Cost Private Schools in Pakistan
    (Taylor and Francis, 2015-08-05) Barrera-Osorio, Felipe; Raju, Dhushyanth
    This paper examines the impacts of accountability-based public per-student subsidies provided to low-cost private schools in Punjab, Pakistan on student enrolment and school inputs. Programme entry is contingent on achieving a minimum pass rate on a specially-designed academic test. We use regression discontinuity to estimate impacts on schools that joined the programme in the last entry round (phase 4) before follow-up survey data collection. We find large positive impacts on school enrolment, number of teachers, and other inputs for programme schools near the minimum pass rate.