Filmer, Deon

Development Research Group
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Education, Evidence-based public policy, Inequality and shared prosperity, Jobs and poverty, Social protection and labor, Social Protection and Growth
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Last updated August 31, 2023
Deon Filmer is a Lead Economist in the Research Group at the World Bank and Co-Director of the World Development Report 2018 Learning to Realize Education’s Promise. He has also previously served as Lead Economist in the Human Development department of the Africa Region of the World Bank. He works on issues of human capital and skills, service delivery, and the impact of policies and programs to improve human development outcomes—with research spanning the areas of education, health, social protection, and poverty and inequality. He has published widely in refereed journals, including studies of the impact of demand-side programs on schooling and learning; the roles of poverty, gender, orphanhood, and disability in explaining education inequalities; and the determinants of effective service delivery. He has recently co-authored the following books: Making Schools Work: New Evidence from Accountability Reforms, Youth Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa, and From Mines and Wells to Well-Built Minds: Turning Sub-Saharan Africa's Natural Resource Wealth into Human Capital. He was a core team member of the World Bank's World Development Reports in 1995 Workers in an Integrating World and 2004 Making Services Work for Poor People, and a contributor to 2007’s report Development and the Next Generation. He holds a PhD and MA from Brown University and a BA from Tufts University.
Citations 365 Scopus

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Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
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    Toward Successful Development Policies: Insights from Research in Development Economics
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-01) Artuc, Erhan ; Cull, Robert ; Dasgupta, Susmita ; Fattal, Roberto ; Filmer, Deon ; Gine, Xavier ; Jacoby, Hanan ; Jolliffe, Dean ; Kee, Hiau Looi ; Klapper, Leora ; Kraay, Aart ; Loayza, Norman ; Mckenzie, David ; Ozler, Berk ; Rao, Vijayendra ; Rijkers, Bob ; Schmukler, Sergio L. ; Toman, Michael ; Wagstaff, Adam ; Woolcock, Michael
    What major insights have emerged from development economics in the past decade, and how do they matter for the World Bank? This challenging question was recently posed by World Bank Group President David Malpass to the staff of the Development Research Group. This paper assembles a set of 13 short, nontechnical briefing notes prepared in response to this request, summarizing a selection of major insights in development economics in the past decade. The notes synthesize evidence from recent research on how policies should be designed, implemented, and evaluated, and provide illustrations of what works and what does not in selected policy areas.
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    Cash Transfers, Food Prices, and Nutrition Impacts on Nonbeneficiary Children
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-03) Filmer, Deon ; Friedman, Jed ; Kandpal, Eeshani ; Onishi, Junko
    Cash transfer programs may generate significant general equilibrium effects that can detract from the anti-poverty goals of the program. Data from a randomized evaluation of a Philippine cash transfer program targeted to poor households show that a 9 percent increase in village income significantly raised the prices of perishable protein-rich foods while leaving other food prices unaffected. The price changes are largest in areas with the highest program saturation, where the shock to village income is on the order of 15 percent and persists more than 2.5 years after program introduction. Although significantly improving nutrition related outcomes among beneficiary children, the cash transfer worsened those same indicators among non-beneficiary children. The stunting rate of young non-beneficiary children increased by eleven percentage points, with even greater increases in the most saturated areas. Another potentially related spillover arises in local health markets: formal health care utilization by mothers and children also declined among non-beneficiary households. Failing to consider such local general equilibrium effects can overstate the net benefit of targeted cash transfers. In areas where individual targeting of social programs covers the majority of households, offering the program on a universal basis should avoid such negative impacts at little additional cost.
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    Joint Effects of Parenting and Nutrition Status on Child Development: Evidence from Rural Cambodia
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-07) Berkes, Jan ; Raikes, Abbie ; Bouguen, Adrien ; Filmer, Deon
    Substantial work has demonstrated that early nutrition and home environments, including the degree to which children receive cognitive stimulation and emotional support from parents, play a profound role in influencing early childhood development. Yet, less work has documented the joint influences of parenting and nutrition status on child development among children in the preschool years living in low-income countries. Using panel data on parenting, nutrition status, and early developmental outcomes of about 7,000 Cambodian preschool-age children, this paper demonstrates that inequities in early development associated with family wealth are evident at the start of preschool and increase over time. A significant share of these inequalities can be explained by differences in parental stimulation and early nutrition status. Better educated parents engage in better parental activities that stimulate children's development. However, the positive association between parental activities and child outcomes is particularly strong for non-stunted children, and parental activities can only explain about 8-14 percent of the cognitive gap between the lowest and highest wealth quintiles. The results highlight the need for integrated interventions that address both parenting and early nutrition, also suggesting that parenting interventions for the most disadvantaged families should be carefully designed and evaluated to ensure maximum effectiveness.