Development Research Group, Development Economics, DEC
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Poverty, POV, Health, HEA
Development Research Group
Development Economics, DEC
Development Economics, DEC
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Last updated October 24, 2023
Jed Friedman is a Lead Economist in the Development Research Group (Poverty and Inequality Team) at the World Bank. His research interests include the measurement of wellbeing and poverty as well as the evaluation of health and social policies. Jed's current work involves investigating the effectiveness of health financing reforms in Kyrgyzstan, Zambia, and Zimbabwe; the nutritional and development gains from early childhood investment programs in India and the Philippines; and the incorporation of new approaches to survey-based wellbeing measurement in Peru and Malawi. Jed holds a B.A. in philosophy from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan.
Publication Search Results
Now showing 1 - 10 of 36
Publication(World Bank, 2009-11-30) Filmer, Deon ; Friedman, Jed ; Schady, NorbertDoes the sex composition of existing children in a family affect fertility behavior? An unusually large data set, covering 64 countries and some 5 million births, is used to show that fertility behavior responds to the presence—or absence—of sons in many regions of the developing world. The response to the absence of sons is particularly large in Central Asia and South Asia. Modernization does not appear to reduce this differential response. For example, in South Asia the fertility response to the absence of sons is larger for women with more education and has been increasing over time. The explanation appears to be that a latent demand for sons is more likely to manifest itself when fertility levels are low. As a result of this differential fertility behavior, girls tend to grow up with significantly more siblings than do boys, with potential implications for their well-being when quantity–quality tradeoffs result in fewer material and emotional resources allocated to children in larger families.
No Thumbnail AvailablePublication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008-01) Das, Jishnu ; Do, Quy-Toan ; Friedman, Jed ; McKenzie, DavidThe social and economic consequences of poor mental health in the developing world are presumed to be significant, yet are largely under-researched. The authors argue that mental health modules can be meaningfully added to multi-purpose household surveys in developing countries, and used to investigate this relationship. Data from nationally representative surveys in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Indonesia, and Mexico, along with special surveys from India and Tonga, show similar patterns of association between mental health and socioeconomic characteristics across countries. Individuals who are older, female, widowed, and report poor physical health are more likely to report worse mental health outcomes. Individuals living with others with poor mental health are also significantly more likely to report worse mental health themselves. In contrast, there is little observed relationship between mental health and poverty or education, common measures of socio-economic status. The results instead suggest that economic and multi-dimensional shocks such as illness or crisis can have a greater impact on mental health than overall levels of poverty. This may have important implications for social protection policy. The authors also find significant associations between poor mental health and lowered labor force participation (especially for women) and higher frequency visits to health centers, suggesting that poor mental health can have significant economic consequences for households and the health system. Finally, the paper discusses how measures of mental health are distinct from general subjective welfare measures such as happiness and indicate useful directions of future research.
What Does Variation in Survey Design Reveal about the Nature of Measurement Errors in Household Consumption?(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-02) Gibson, John ; Beegle, Kathleen ; De Weerdt, Joachim ; Friedman, JedThis paper uses data from eight different consumption questionnaires randomly assigned to 4,000 households in Tanzania to obtain evidence on the nature of measurement errors in estimates of household consumption. While there are no validation data, the design of one questionnaire and the resources put into its implementation make it likely to be substantially more accurate than the others. Comparing regressions using data from this benchmark design with results from the other questionnaires shows that errors have a negative correlation with the true value of consumption, creating a non-classical measurement error problem for which conventional statistical corrections may be ineffective.
Publication(World Bank, 2009-02-28) Das, Jishnu ; Do, Quy-Toan ; Friedman, Jed ; McKenzie, DavidThe social and economic consequences of poor mental health in the developing world are presumed to be significant, yet remain underresearched. This study uses data from nationally representative surveys in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Indonesia, and Mexico and from special surveys in India and Tonga to show similar patterns of association between mental health and socioeconomic characteristics. Individuals who are older, female, widowed, and report poor physical health are more likely to report worse mental health. Individuals living with others with poor mental health are also significantly more likely to report worse mental health themselves. In contrast, there is little observed relation between mental health and consumption poverty or education, two common measures of socioeconomic status. Indeed, the results here suggest instead that economic and multidimensional shocks, such as illness or crisis, can have a greater impact on mental health than poverty. This may have important implications for social protection policy. Also significant, the associations between poor mental health and lower labor force participation (especially for women) and more frequent visits to health centers suggest that poor mental health can have economic consequences for households and the health system. Mental health modules could usefully be added to multipurpose household surveys in developing countries. Finally, measures of mental health appear distinct from general subjective measures of welfare such as happiness.
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2022-05-11) de Walque, Damien ; Kandpal, Eeshani ; Wagstaff, Adam ; Friedman, Jed ; Neelsen, Sven ; Piatti-Fünfkirchen, Moritz ; Sautmann, Anja ; Shapira, Gil ; Van de Poel, EllenIn many low- and middle-income countries, health coverage has improved dramatically in the last two decades, but health outcomes have not. As such, effective coverage -- a measure of service delivery that meets a minimum standard of quality -- remains unacceptably low. This Policy Research Report examines one specific policy approach to improving effective coverage: financial incentives in the form of performance-based financing (PBF) or financial incentives to health workers on the front lines. The report draws on a rich set of rigorous studies and new analysis. When compared to business-as-usual, in low-income settings with centralized health systems PBF can result in substantial gains in effective coverage. However, the relative benefits of PBF are less clear when it is compared to two alternative approaches, decentralized facility financing which provides operating budget to frontline health services with facility autonomy on allocation, and demand-side financial support for health services (i.e., conditional cash transfers and vouchers). While PBF often results in improvements on the margins, closing the substantial gaps in effective health coverage is not yet within reach for many countries. Nonetheless, there are important lessons learned and experiences from the roll-out of PBF over the last decade which can guide health policies into the future.
Publication( 2009-08-01) Friedman, Jed ; Schady, NorbertThe human consequences of the current global financial crisis for the developing world are presumed to be severe yet few studies have quantified such impact. The authors estimate the additional number of infant deaths in sub-Saharan Africa likely due to the crisis and discuss possible mitigation strategies. They pool birth-level data as reported in female adult retrospective birth histories from all Demographic and Health Surveys collected in sub-Saharan Africa nations. This results in a data set of 639,000 births to 264,000 women in 30 countries. The authors use regression models with flexible controls for temporal trends to assess an infant s likelihood of death as a function of fluctuations in national income. They then apply this estimated likelihood to expected growth shortfalls as a result of the crisis. At current growth projections, their estimates suggest there will be 30,000 - 50,000 excess infant deaths in sub-Saharan Africa. Most of these additional deaths are likely to be poorer children (born to women in rural areas and lower education levels) and are overwhelmingly female. If the crisis continues to worsen the number of deaths may grow much larger, especially those to girls. Policies that protect the income of poor households and that maintain critical health services during times of economic contraction should be considered. Interventions targeted at female infants and young girls may be particularly beneficial.
Publication(MIT Press, 2011-08) Baird, Sarah ; Friedman, Jed ; Schady, NorbertHealth and income are strongly correlated both within and across countries, yet the extent to which improvements in income have a causal effect on health status remains controversial. We investigate whether short-term fluctuations in aggregate income affect infant mortality using an unusually large data set of 1.7 million births in 59 developing countries. We show a large, negative association between per capita GDP and infant mortality. Female infant mortality is more sensitive than male infant mortality to negative economic shocks, suggesting that policies that protect the health status of female infants may be especially important during economic downturns.
Strengthening Malaria Service Delivery through Supportive Supervision and Community Mobilization in an Endemic Indian Setting : An Evaluation of Nested Delivery Models(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-06) Das, Ashis ; Friedman, Jed ; Kandpal, Eeshani ; Ramana, GNV ; Das Gupta, R K ; Pradhan, Madan M ; Govindaraj, RameshMalaria continues to be a prominent global public health challenge, in part because of the slow population adoption of recommended preventive and curative behaviors. This paper tests the effectiveness of two service delivery models designed to promote recommended behaviors, including prompt treatment seeking for febrile illness, in Odisha India. The tested modules include supportive supervision of community health workers and community mobilization promoting appropriate health seeking. Program effects were identified through a randomized cluster trial comprising 120 villages from two purposively chosen malaria-endemic districts. Significant improvements were measured in the reported utilization of bed nets in both intervention arms vis-à-vis the control. Although overall rates of treatment seeking were equal across the study arms, treatment seeking from community health workers was higher in both intervention arms and care seeking from trained providers also increased with a substitution away from untrained providers. Further, fever cases in both treatments were more likely to have received timely medical treatment (within 24 hours) from a skilled provider. The study arm with supportive supervision was particularly effective in shifting care seeking to community health workers and ensuring prompt diagnosis and treatment. A community-based intervention combining the supportive supervision of community health workers with intensive community mobilization can be effective in shifting care seeking and increasing preventive behavior, and thus may be used to strengthen the national malaria control program.
Linking Results to Performance: Evidence from a Results Based Financing Pre-Pilot Project in Katete District, Zambia(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-04) Chansa, Collins ; Das, Ashis ; Qamruddin, Jumana ; Friedman, Jed ; Mkandawire, Akafwilangachi ; Vledder, Monique
Decomposing Response Errors in Food Consumption Measurement: Implications for Survey Design from a Survey Experiment in Tanzania(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-04) Friedman, Jed ; Beegle, Kathleen ; De Weerdt, Joachim ; Gibson, JohnThere is wide variation in how consumption is measured in household surveys both across countries and over time. This variation may confound welfare comparisons in part because these alternative survey designs produce consumption estimates that are differentially influenced by contrasting types of survey response error. Although previous studies have documented the extent of net error in alternative survey designs, little is known about the relative influence of the different response errors that underpin a survey estimate. This study leverages a recent randomized food consumption survey experiment in Tanzania to shed light on the relative influence of these various error types. The observed deviation of measured household consumption from a benchmark is decomposed into item-specific consumption incidence and consumption value so as to investigate effects related to (a) the omission of any consumption and then (b) the error in value reporting conditional on positive consumption. The results show that various survey designs exhibit widely differing error decompositions, and hence a simple summary comparison of the total recorded consumption across surveys will obscure specific error patterns and inhibit the lessons for improved consumption survey design. In light of these findings, the relative performance of common survey designs is discussed, and design lessons are drawn to enhance the accuracy of item-specific consumption reporting and, consequently, the measures of total household food consumption.