Development Impact Evaluation Group, the World Bank
Author Name Variants
Fields of Specialization
Social protection, Safety nets, Employment, Skills, Early childhood development, Impact evaluation, Development economics
Development Impact Evaluation Group, the World Bank
Externally Hosted Work
Last updated September 12, 2023
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.
Publication Search Results
Now showing 1 - 10 of 12
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-12) Barrera, Oscar ; Macours, Karen ; Premand, Patrick ; Vakis, RenosParenting 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.
Behavioral Change Promotion, Cash Transfers and Early Childhood Development: Experimental Evidence from a Government Program in a Low-Income Setting(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-08) Premand, Patrick ; Barry, OumarSigns of development delays and malnutrition are widespread among young children in low-income settings. Social protection programs such as cash transfers are increasingly combined with behavioral change promotion or parenting interventions to improve early childhood development. This paper disentangles the effects of behavioral change promotion from cash transfers to poor households through an experiment embedded in a government program in Niger. The study is also designed to identify within-community spillovers from the behavioral change intervention. The findings show that behavioral change promotion affects a range of practices related to nutrition, health, stimulation, and child protection. Local spillovers on parenting practices are also found. Moderate gains in children's socio-emotional development are observed, but there are no improvements in anthropometrics or cognitive development. Cash transfers alone do not alter parenting practices or improve early childhood development. Cash transfers improve welfare and food security at the household level, and the behavioral intervention induces intra-household reallocations toward children.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-04-18) Premand, Patrick ; Schnitzer, PascaleThe 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.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-08) Crépon, Bruno ; Premand, PatrickEvaluations of employment programs usually focus on direct impacts on participants. Yet employment programs can have a range of indirect effects that are rarely quantified. This paper analyzes the impact of a subsidized apprenticeship program offering dual on-the-job and theoretical training in Côte d'Ivoire. The experiment simultaneously randomized whether apprenticeship positions opened by firms were filled by the program, and whether interested youths were assigned to a formal apprenticeship. This design allows for estimating direct impacts on youths and indirect impacts on firms selected to host apprentices. The analysis identifies whether individuals forgo other employment or training opportunities, and whether firms replace other workers with program participants. The share of youths in apprenticeships increased by 52.8 percentage points. This estimate accounts for a significant windfall effect: 26 percent of the formal apprentices who were placed substituted out of traditional apprenticeships. The inflow of apprentices into firms increased significantly, but also induced substitution effects, as firms hired 0.23 fewer traditional apprentices per formal apprentice placed. Overall, the net number of apprenticeship positions created was between 51 and 74 percent of the number of formal apprentices placed. In the short term, impacts on earnings were not significant for youths, but firms benefited from an increase in the net value of work provided by apprentices.
Constraints to Productive Employment Faced by Safety Nets Beneficiaries in the Sahel: Results of a Multi-Country Qualitative Assessment(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-01) Bossuroy, Thomas ; Koussoube, Estelle ; Premand, PatrickIn the Sahel subregion, which extends over Central and Western Africa, low labor productivity poses a challenge to poverty reduction, economic growth, and social stability. Social Safety Net Projects target the poorest households who derive their livelihoods from low-productivity activities. As such, they have the potential to improve labor productivity. As part of the Sahel adaptive social protection program (ASPP), the World Bank supports the design and implementation of productive accompanying measures for safety nets beneficiaries. This report sets out the results of a qualitative assessment of the constraints to productive employment that was conducted in the Social Safety Net Project areas, across five of the six countries covered by the ASPP: Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Chad. This assessment identified the main challenges to productivity growth in farm and nonfarm sectors and, jointly with other surveys and local and regional consultations, helped define accompanying measures to safety nets programs aimed at increasing current employment productivity and generating more productive jobs.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-11) Premand, Patrick ; Stoeffler, QuentinPolicy makers are increasingly interested in strategies to promote resilience and mitigate the effects of future climatic shocks. Cash transfer programs have had widely documented positive welfare impacts. They often also aim to offer protection against shocks, but their role in fostering resilience has been less studied. This paper assesses whether the beneficiaries of a multiyear government cash transfer program in rural Niger are better able to mitigate the welfare effects of drought shocks. It analyzes mechanisms through which cash transfers contribute to resilience, such as savings facilitation, asset accumulation, or income smoothing in agriculture and off-farm activities. It combines household survey data collected as part of a randomized control trial with satellite data used to identify exogenous rainfall shocks. The results show that cash transfers increase household consumption by about 10 percent on average. Importantly, this increase is mostly concentrated among households affected by drought shocks, for whom welfare impacts are larger than transfer amounts. Cash transfers increase savings. They also help households protect earnings in agriculture and off-farm businesses when shocks occur. Few differences in household durables or livestock are observed. Overall, these findings suggest that cash transfer programs targeting poor households can foster resilience by facilitating savings and income smoothing.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-03) Macours, Karen ; Premand, Patrick ; Vakis, RenosInterventions 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.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-09) Stoeffler, Quentin ; Mills, Bradford ; Premand, PatrickCash 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.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017) Christiaensen, Luc ; Premand, Patrick ; Christiaensen, Luc ; Premand, PatrickAfter a decade of crisis and stellar economic growth over the past five years, Côte d’Ivoire has now set its sight on becoming an emerging economy. Improving prospects for productive employment will be essential for socially sustainable growth and poverty reduction. The "Cote d'Ivoire Jobs Diagnostic: Employment, Productivity, and Inclusion for Poverty Reduction" report provides a comprehensive and multi-sectoral empirical analysis of employment challenges and opportunities to inform strategies and policy actions in Côte d’Ivoire. The report aims to expand policy discussions on employment from a focus on the number of jobs and unemployment to a broader attention on the quality, productivity and inclusiveness of jobs. It makes the case for a jobs strategy with a sharper poverty lens that would focus on raising labor productivity in agriculture and informal off-farm employment to foster structural transformation, while, in parallel, pursuing longer-term goals of expanding the thin formal sector.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-05-23) Bertrand, Marianne ; Crépon, Bruno ; Marguerie, Alicia ; Premand, PatrickPublic works are one of the most popular safety net and employment policy instruments in thedeveloping world, despite limited evidence on their effectiveness and optimal design features.This paper presents results on contemporaneous and post-program impacts from a public worksintervention in Côte d'Ivoire. The program provided 7 months of temporary employment inroad maintenance to urban youths. Participants self-selected to apply for the public works jobs,which paid the formal minimum wage and were randomized among applicants. Randomizedsub-sets of beneficiaries also received complementary training on basic entrepreneurship or jobsearch skills. During the program, results show limited contemporaneous impacts of publicworks on the level of employment, but a shift in the composition of employment towards thebetter-paid public works wage jobs. A year after the end of the program, there are no lastingimpacts on the level or composition of employment, although positive impacts are observed onearnings through higher productivity in non-agricultural self-employment. Large heterogeneityin impacts are found, particularly during the program. Results from machine learningtechniques suggest potential trade-offs between maximizing contemporaneous and postprogramimpacts. Traditional heterogeneity analysis shows that a range of practical targetingmechanisms perform as well as the machine learning benchmark, leading to strongercontemporaneous and post-program benefits without sharp trade-offs. Overall, departing fromself-targeting based on the formal minimum wage would lead to strong improvements inprogram cost-effectiveness.