Gertler, Paul Jerome

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Impact evaluation, Health economics
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Last updated January 31, 2023
Paul Gertler is the Li Ka Shing Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley where he holds appointments in the Haas School of Business and the School of Public Health. He is also the Scientific Director of the UC Center for Effective Global Action. Dr. Gertler is an internationally recognized expert in impact evaluation. Dr. Gertler was Chief Economist of the Human Development Network of the World Bank from 2004-2007 and the Founding Chair of the Board of Directors of the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) from 2009-2012.  At the World Bank he led an effort to institutionalize and scale up impact evaluation for learning what works in human development. He is the author of the bestselling textbook Applied Impact Evaluation published by the World Bank Press. He has been a Principal Investigator on a large number of at-scale multi-site impact evaluations including Mexico’s CCT program, PROGRESA/OPORTUNIDADES, and Rwanda’s Health Care Pay-for-Performance scheme. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of Wisconsin and prior to UC Berkeley has held academic appointments at Harvard, RAND, and SUNY Stony Brook.
Citations 479 Scopus

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    Financing Municipal Water and Sanitation Services in Nairobi’s Informal Settlements
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-07) Coville, Aidan ; Galiani, Sebastian ; Gertler, Paul ; Yoshida, Susumu
    This study estimates the impacts of two interventions implemented as field experiments in informal settlements by Nairobi’s water and sanitation utility to improve revenue collection efficiency and last mile connection loan repayment: (i) face-to-face engagement between utility staff and customers to encourage payment and (ii) contract enforcement for service disconnection due to nonpayment in the form of transparent and credible disconnection notices. While there is no effect of the engagement, the study finds large effects of enforcement on payment. There is no effect on access to water, perceptions of utility fairness or quality of service delivery, on the relationships between tenants and property owners, or on tenant mental well-being nine months after the intervention. To counterbalance the increase in payments, property owners increased rental income by renting out additional space. Taken together these results suggest that transparent contract enforcement was effective at improving revenue collection efficiency without incurring large social or political costs.