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Premand, Patrick

Development Impact Evaluation Group, the World Bank
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Social protection, Safety nets, Employment, Skills, Early childhood development, Impact evaluation, Development economics
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Development Impact Evaluation Group, the World Bank
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Last updated January 31, 2023
Biography
Patrick Premand is a Senior Economist in the Development Impact Evaluation Group (DIME) in the research Vice-Presidency at the World Bank. He works on Social Protection and Safety Nets; Jobs, Economic Inclusion and Entrepreneurship; and Early Childhood Development. He conducts impact evaluations and policy experiments of social protection, jobs and human development programs. He often works on government-led interventions implemented at scale, in close collaboration with policymakers and researchers. He has led policy dialogue and technical assistance activities, as well as worked on the design, implementation and management of a range of World Bank operations. He previously held various positions at the World Bank, including in the Social Protection & Jobs group in Africa, the Human Development Economics Unit of the Africa region, the Office of the Chief Economist for Human Development, and the Poverty Unit of the Latin America and Caribbean region. He holds a DPhil in Economics from Oxford University.
Citations 112 Scopus

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 21
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    Demand versus Returns? Pro-Poor Targeting of Business Grants and Vocational Skills Training
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-03) Macours, Karen ; Premand, Patrick ; Vakis, Renos
    Interventions aimed at increasing the income generating capacity of the poor, such as vocational training, micro-finance or business grants, are widespread in the developing world. How to target such interventions is an open question. Many programs are self-targeted, but if perceived returns differ from actual returns, those self-selecting to participate may not be those for whom the program is the most effective. The authors analyze an unusual experiment with very high take-up of business grants and vocational skills training, randomly assigned among nearly all households in selected poor rural communities in Nicaragua. On average, the interventions resulted in increased participation in non-agricultural employment and higher income from related activities. The paper investigates whether targeting could have resulted in higher returns by analyzing heterogeneity in impacts by stated baseline demand, prior participation in non-agricultural activities, and a wide range of complementary asset endowments. The results reveal little heterogeneity along observed baseline characteristics. However, the poorest households are more likely to enter and have higher profits in non-agricultural self-employment, while less poor households assigned to the training have higher non-agricultural wages. This heterogeneity appears related to unobserved characteristics that are not revealed by stated baseline demand, and more difficult to target. In this context, self-targeting may reduce the poverty-reduction potential of income generating interventions, possibly because low aspirations limit the poor's ex-ante demand for productive interventions while the interventions have the potential to increase those aspirations. Overall, targeting productive interventions to poor households would not have come at the cost of reducing their effectiveness. By contrast, self-targeting would have limited poverty reduction by excluding the poorest.
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    Entrepreneurship Training and Self-Employment among University Graduates : Evidence from a Randomized Trial In Tunisia
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-12) Premand, Patrick ; Brodmann, Stefanie ; Almeida, Rita ; Grun, Rebekka ; Barouni, Mahdi
    In economies characterized by low labor demand and high rates of youth unemployment, entrepreneurship training has the potential to enable youth to gain skills and create their own jobs. This paper presents experimental evidence on a new entrepreneurship track that provides business training and personalized coaching to university students in Tunisia. Undergraduates in the final year of licence appliquee were given the opportunity to graduate with a business plan instead of following the standard curriculum. This paper relies on randomized assignment of the entrepreneurship track to identify impacts on labor market outcomes one year after graduation. The analysis finds that the entrepreneurship track was effective in increasing self-employment among applicants, but that the effects are small in absolute terms. In addition, the employment rate among participants remains unchanged, pointing to a partial substitution from wage employment to self-employment. The evidence shows that the program fostered business skills, expanded networks, and affected a range of behavioral skills. Participation in the entrepreneurship track also heightened graduates optimism toward the future shortly after the Tunisian revolution.
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    Can Unemployed Youth Create Their Own Jobs? The Tunisia Business Plan Thesis Competition
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2011-03) Brodmann, Stefanie ; Grun, Rebekka ; Premand, Patrick
    Tunisia, like the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in general, has long experienced unemployment, particularly among young university graduates. Unfortunately, job creation in existing enterprises is not sufficient to absorb a growing stream of graduates, and this tendency is unlikely to change in the short run. A recent Health District (HD) project is therefore trying to teach university graduates to create their own jobs. The business plan thesis competition uses the undergrad thesis writing process to teach students to create an enterprise project and write a business plan. Apart from professors, private sector coaches mentor the students. Completed theses are submitted to a competition, whose winners receive financial support and further coaching to incubate the enterprise. First results from the baseline survey and accompanying qualitative interviews show the passionate take-up of the program and warrant cautious optimism regarding the emergence of an entrepreneurial culture. The recent events in the MENA region, which first unleashed in Tunisia, have side action supported by the Tunisian employment Development Policy Lending (DPL).
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    Entrepreneurship Education and Entry into Self-Employment among University Graduates
    (Elsevier, 2016-01) Premand, Patrick ; Brodmann, Stefanie ; Almeida, Rita ; Grun, Rebekka ; Barouni, Mahdi
    Entrepreneurship education has the potential to enable youth to gain skills and create their own jobs. In Tunisia, a curricular reform created an entrepreneurship track providing business training and coaching to help university students prepare a business plan. We rely on randomized assignment of the entrepreneurship track to identify impacts on students’ labor market outcomes one year after graduation. The entrepreneurship track led to a small increase in self-employment, but overall employment rates remained unchanged. Although business skills improved, effects on personality and entrepreneurial traits were mixed. The program nevertheless increased graduates’ aspirations toward the future.
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    Transfers, Diversification and Household Risk Strategies : Experimental Evidence with Lessons for Climate Change Adaptation
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-04) Macours, Karen ; Premand, Patrick ; Vakis, Renos
    While climate change is likely to increase weather risks in many developing countries, there is little evidence on effective policies to facilitate adaptation. This paper presents experimental evidence on a program in rural Nicaragua aimed at improving households' risk-management through income diversification. The intervention targeted agricultural households exposed to weather shocks related to changes in rainfall and temperature patterns. It combined a conditional cash transfer with vocational training or a productive investment grant. The authors identify the relative impact of each complementary package based on randomized assignment, and analyze how impacts vary by exposure to exogenous drought shocks. The results show that both complementary interventions provide full protection against drought shocks two years after the end of the intervention. Households that received the productive investment grant also had higher average consumption levels. The complementary interventions led to diversification of economic activities and better protection from shocks compared to beneficiaries of the basic conditional cash transfer and control households. These results show that combining safety nets with productive interventions can help households manage future weather risks and promote longer-term program impacts.
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    Poor Households' Productive Investments of Cash Transfers: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from Niger
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-09) Stoeffler, Quentin ; Mills, Bradford ; Premand, Patrick
    Cash transfer programs have spread rapidly as an instrument to raise household consumption and reduce poverty. Questions remain about the sustainability of cash transfer impacts in low-income settings such as Sub-Saharan Africa and, in particular, on whether cash transfers can foster productive investments in addition to raising immediate consumption among the very poor. This paper presents evidence that a cash transfer project in rural Niger induced investments in assets and productive activities that were sustained among the very poor 18 months after project completion. Results show lasting increases in livestock assets and participation in saving groups (tontines). Cash transfers also contributed to improved agricultural productivity, but no effects in terms of diversification of other household enterprises are found. Productive asset gains are, notably, largest among the poorest of the poor, suggesting that small regular cash transfers combined with enhanced saving mechanisms can relax constraints to asset accumulation among the extreme poor.
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    Social Accountability and Service Delivery: Experimental Evidence from Uganda
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-05) Fiala, Nathan ; Premand, Patrick
    Corruption and mismanagement of public resources can affect the quality of government services and undermine growth. Can citizens in poor communities be empowered to demand better-quality public investments? This paper looks at whether providing social accountability training and information on project performance can lead to improvements in local development projects. It finds that offering communities a combination of training and information on project quality leads to significant improvements in household welfare. However, providing either social accountability training or project quality information by itself has no welfare effect. These results are concentrated in areas that are reported by local officials as more corrupt or mismanaged. The impacts appear to come from community members increasing their monitoring of local projects, making more complaints to local and central officials, and cooperating more. The paper also finds modest improvements in people's trust in the central government. The study is unique in its size and integration in a national program. The results suggest that government-led, large-scale social accountability programs can strengthen communities' ability to improve service delivery.
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    Texting Parents about Early Child Development: Behavioral Changes and Unintended Social Effects
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-12) Barrera, Oscar ; Macours, Karen ; Premand, Patrick ; Vakis, Renos
    Parenting interventions have the potential to improve early childhood development. Text messages are considered a promising channel to deliver parenting information at large scale. This paper tests whether sending text messages about parenting practices impacts early childhood development. Households in rural Nicaragua were randomly assigned to receive messages about nutrition, health, stimulation, or the home environment. The intervention led to significant changes in self-reported parenting practices. However, it did not translate into improvements in children's cognitive development. When local opinion leaders were randomly exposed to the same text message intervention, parental investments declined and children's outcomes deteriorated. Since interactions between parents and leaders about child development also decreased, the negative effects may have resulted from a crowding-out of some local leaders.
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    Do Workfare Programs Live Up to Their Promises? Experimental Evidence from Côte d’Ivoire
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-04) Bertrand, Marianne ; Crepon, Bruno ; Marguerie, Alicia ; Premand, Patrick
    Workfare programs are one of the most popular social protection and employment policy instruments in the developing world. They evoke the promise of efficient targeting, as well as immediate and lasting impacts on participants’ employment, earnings, skills and behaviors. This paper evaluates contemporaneous and post-program impacts of a public works intervention in Côte d’Ivoire. The program was randomized among urban youths who self-selected to participate and provided seven months of employment at the formal minimum wage. Randomized subsets of beneficiaries also received complementary training on basic entrepreneurship or job search skills. During the program, results show limited impacts on the likelihood of employment, but a shift toward wage jobs, higher earnings and savings, as well as changes in work habits and behaviors. Fifteen months after the program ended, savings stock remain higher, but there are no lasting impacts on employment or behaviors, and only limited impacts on earnings. Machine learning techniques are applied to assess whether program targeting can improve. Significant heterogeneity in impacts on earnings is found during the program but not post-program. Departing from self-targeting improves performance: a range of practical targeting mechanisms achieve impacts close to a machine learning benchmark by maximizing contemporaneous impacts without reducing post-program impacts. Impacts on earnings remain substantially below program costs even under improved targeting.
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    Efficiency, Legitimacy and Impacts of Targeting Methods: Evidence from an Experiment in Niger
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-04-18) Premand, Patrick ; Schnitzer, Pascale
    The methods to select safety net beneficiaries are the subject of frequent policy debates. This paper presents the results from a randomized experiment analyzing how efficiency, legitimacy, and short-term program effectiveness vary across widely used targeting methods. The experiment was embedded in the roll-out of a national cash transfer program in Niger. Eligible villages were randomly assigned to have beneficiary households selected through community-based targeting, a proxy-means test, or a formula designed to identify the food-insecure. Proxy-means testing is found to outperform other methods in identifying households with lower consumption per capita. The methods perform similarly against other welfare benchmarks. Legitimacy is high across all methods, but local populations have a slight preference for formula-based approaches. Manipulation and information imperfections are found to affect community-based targeting, although triangulation across multiple selection committees mitigates the related risks. Finally, short-term program impacts on food security are largest among households selected by proxy-means testing. Overall, the differences in performance across targeting methods are small relative to the overall level of exclusion stemming from limited funding for social programs.