Evans, David K.

Africa Chief Economist’s Office
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Education, Social Development
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Africa Chief Economist’s Office
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Last updated July 27, 2023
Bio: David is a Lead Economist in the Chief Economist's Office for the Africa Region of the World Bank. He coordinates impact evaluation work across sectors for the Africa Region. In the past, he worked as Senior Economist in the Human Development Department in the Latin America and the Caribbean Region of the World Bank, and as an economist designing and implementing impact evaluations in Africa. He has designed and implemented impact evaluations in agriculture, education, health, and social protection, in Brazil, the Gambia, Kenya, Mexico, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania. He has taught economic development at the Pardee RAND Graduate School of Public Policy, and he holds a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.
Citations 420 Scopus

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
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    Africa's Pulse, April 2015
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2015-04) Chuhan-Pole, Punam ; Ferreira, Francisco H.G. ; Calderon, Cesar ; Christiaensen, Luc ; Evans, David ; Kambou, Gerard ; Boreux, Sebastien ; Korman, Vijdan ; Kubota, Megumi ; Buitano, Mapi ; Chuhan-Pole, Punam ; Ferreira, Francisco H.G. ; Litwack, John ; Savescu, Cristina ; Tchana Tchana, Fulbert
    Africa’s Pulse is a biannual publication containing an analysis of the near-term macro-economic outlook for the region. It also includes a section focusing on a topic that represents a particular development challenges for the continent. It is produced by the Office of the Chief Economist for the Africa Region.This issue is an analysis of issues shaping Africa's economic future. Growth remains stable in Sub-Saharan Africa. Some countries are seeing a slowdown, but the region's economic prospects remain broadly favorable. External risks of higher global financial market volatility and lower growth in emerging market economies weigh on the downside. In several Sub-Saharan African countries, large budgetary imbalances are a source of vulnerability to exogenous shocks and underscore the need for rebuilding fiscal buffers in these countries. The Ebola outbreak is exacting a heavy human and economic toll on affected countries and, if not rapidly contained, the risk of wider contagion grows. Without a scale-up of effective interventions, growth would slow markedly not only in the core countries (Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone), but also in the sub region as transportation, cross-border trade, and supply chains are severely disrupted. In Sub-Saharan Africa, growth in agriculture and services is more effective at reducing poverty than growth in industry. Structural transformation has a role to play in accelerating poverty reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa. Increasing agricultural productivity will be critical to fostering structural transformation. Boosting rural income diversification can facilitate this transformation, as well. Investments in rural public goods and services (for example, education, health, rural roads, electricity and ICT), including in small towns, will be conducive to lifting productivity in the rural economy. Although Sub-Saharan Africa's pattern of growth has largely bypassed manufacturing, growing the region's manufacturing base, especially by improving its fundamentals, lower transport cost, cheaper and more reliable power, and a more educated labor force, will benefit all sectors.
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    The Skills Balancing Act in Sub-Saharan Africa: Investing in Skills for Productivity, Inclusivity, and Adaptability
    (Washington, DC: World Bank and Agence française de développement, 2019-06-10) Arias, Omar ; Evans, David K. ; Santos, Indhira
    Sub-Saharan Africa has the youngest population of any region of the world, and that growing working-age population represents a major opportunity to reduce poverty and increase shared prosperity. But the region’s workforce is the least skilled in the world, constraining economic prospects. Despite economic growth, declining poverty, and investments in skills-building, too many students in too many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are not acquiring the foundational skills they need to thrive and prosper in an increasingly competitive global economy. This report examines the balancing act that individuals and countries face in making productive investments in both a wide range of skills – cognitive, socio-emotional, and technical – and a wide range of groups – young children through working adults – so that Sub-Saharan Africa will thrive.
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    Cash Transfers and Health: Evidence from Tanzania
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-11) Evans, David K. ; Holtemeyer, Brian ; Kosec, Katrina
    How do conditional cash transfers impact health-related outcomes? This paper examines the 2010 randomized introduction of a program in Tanzania and finds nuanced impacts. An initial surge in clinic visits after 1.5 years -- due to more visits by those already complying with program health conditions and by non-compliers -- disappeared after 2.5 years, largely due to compliers reducing above-minimal visits. The study finds significant increases in take-up of health insurance and the likelihood of seeking treatment when ill. Health improvements were concentrated among children ages 0–5 years rather than the elderly, and took time to materialize; the study finds no improvements after 1.5 years, but 0.76 fewer sick days per month after 2.5 years, suggesting the importance of looking beyond short-term impacts. Reductions in sick days were largest in villages with more baseline health workers per capita, consistent with improvements being sensitive to capacity constraints. These results are robust to adjustments for multiple hypothesis testing.
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    Are Teachers in Africa Poorly Paid? Evidence from 15 Countries
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-08) Evans, David K. ; Yuan, Fei ; Filmer, Deon
    Pay levels for public sector workers—and especially teachers—are a constant source of controversy. In many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, protests and strikes suggest that pay is low, while simple comparisons to average national income per capita suggest that it is high. This study presents data on teacher pay from 15 African countries, along with five comparator countries from other regions. The results suggest that in several (seven) countries, teachers' monthly salaries are lower than other formal sector workers with comparable levels of education and experience. However, in all of those countries, teachers report working significantly fewer hours than other workers, so that their hourly wage is higher. Teachers who report fewer hours are no more likely to report holding a second job, although teachers overall are nearly two times more likely to hold a second job than other workers. With higher national incomes, the absolute value of teacher salaries rises, but they fall as a percentage of income per capita. The study explores variation across types of teacher contracts, the association between teacher pay and student performance, and the association between teacher pay premia and other aspects of economies.
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    Economic Impact of COVID-19: Implications for Health Financing in Asia and Pacific
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-09) Tandon, Ajay ; Roubal, Tomas ; McDonald, Lachlan ; Cowley, Peter ; Palu, Toomas ; de Oliveira Cruz, Valeria ; Eozenou, Patrick ; Cain, Jewelwayne ; Teo, Hui Sin ; Schmidt, Martin ; Pambudi, Eko ; Postolovska, Iryna ; Evans, David ; Kurowski, Christoph
    Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19’s) impact has gone far beyond its direct effect on morbidity and mortality. In addition to adversely impacting non-COVID health care utilization, the pandemic has resulted in a deep global economic contraction due to lockdown policies and declining demand and supply of goods and services. As a result, most countries are experiencing lower levels of gross domestic product (GDP), rising unemployment, higher levels of impoverishment, and increasing income inequality. Some countries are more vulnerable to the economic contagion resulting from COVID-19, including those implementing more stringent lockdowns and those that are more globally integrated due to their dependence on trade, tourism, and remittances. In addition, countries with preexisting conditions of fiscal weakness due to higher dependence on external grant financing, low tax revenues, and large pre-crisis debt levels are struggling to implement countercyclical mitigative fiscal and monetary policies. In addition to declining economic activity, government revenues have declined, government borrowing is increasing, and public debt levels are projected to skyrocket globally. Higher debt levels will likely imply fiscal tightening for years to come. Implications for health financing are potentially dire, dependent in part on the combination of domestic government, external, and out-of-pocket financing for health that is extant across countries. Tentative projections indicate that, in the absence of reprioritization, growth in public spending for health can decline across most low- and middle-income countries in the region, including becoming negative in some cases, risking reversal of gains made toward expanding universal health coverage in recent years. To reduce the likelihood of such a scenario, and with the caveat that protecting levels of financing will not be effective if resources are not used properly to begin with, ministries of health will need to pay careful attention to planning and budgeting - demonstrating where waste can be reduced and efficiency enhanced - and prioritize within their outlays interventions that are the most cost-effective and equitable. At the same time, ministries of finance should improve the adequacy and predictability of outlays for the sector, taking a multiyear programming perspective and include potential additional resources that will be necessary to procure and deliver a COVID-19 vaccine, once an effective one becomes available. In doing so, they should consider augmenting resources via increasing the scope and breadth of health taxes and proactively seeking out debt relief opportunities, especially if these can be tied to efforts to reprioritize health within overall government budgets where this may be necessary. Whereas there is the perception that the health sector has been flooded with new resources to respond to the pandemic, it remains unclear to what extent these have been additional and not a result of reprogramming of outlays from other areas within health. To the extent COVID-19 presents an opportunity, it is one for removing any doubts that health and the economy are inextricably linked, nudging both ministries of health and finance to reevaluate their priorities, accountabilities, and performance to sustain improvements in both population health, including for ensuring pandemic preparedness, and economic performance.