Islam, Asif M.
Development Economics, Enterprise Analysis Group
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Development Economics, Enterprise Analysis Group
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Last updated September 12, 2023
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Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-03) Amin, Mohammad ; Islam, Asif ; Sakhonchik, AlenaFor a sample of 53 developing countries, the results show that women's employment among private firms is significantly higher in countries that mandate paternity leave versus those that do not. A conservative estimate suggests an increase of 6.8 percentage points in the proportion of women workers associated with the mandating of paternity leave.
An Exploration of the Relationship between Police Presence, Crime, and Business in Developing Countries(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-02) Islam, AsifEconomic theory predicts that a rise in police presence will reduce criminal activity. However several studies in the literature have found mixed results. This study adds to the literature by exploring the relationship between the size of the police force and crime experienced by firms. Using survey data for about 12,000 firms in a cross-section of 27 developing countries, the study finds that increasing the size of the police force is negatively associated with crime experienced by firms. The results are confirmed using a panel of firms for a subset of countries for which data are available. The study also finds that this negative relationship is stronger under certain macro-economic circumstances.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-04) Amin, Mohammad ; Islam, Asif ; Lopez-Claros, AugustoThis study contributes to the literature on legal institutions and determinants of adult mortality. The paper explores the relationship between the presence of domestic violence legislation and women-to-men adult mortality rates. Using panel data for about 95 economies between 1990 and 2012, the analysis finds that having domestic violence legislation leads to lower women-to-men adult mortality rates. According to conservative estimations, domestic violence legislation would have saved about 33 million women between 1990 and 2012. The negative relationship between domestic violence legislation and women-to-men adult mortality rates is robust to several checks and also confirmed using the instrumental variables approach.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2023-03) Islam, Asif M. ; Islam, Asif M.Data transparency about critical economic issues may be key to driving growth and enhancing trust in government in the Middle East and North Africa. Several knowledge products and technical analyses on the region have been greatly constrained by the lack of availability of detailed data, and the relatively outdated nature of many available datasets. The goal of this study is to ascertain the state of data systems in the Middle East and North Africa region. Through analysis of several indicators, with their limitations in mind, the study uses descriptive analyses and uncovers six stylized facts of the region: (i) developing economies in the Middle East and North Africa have poor data ecosystems, largely due to the prevalence of conflict; (ii) developing economies in the Middle East and North Africa as a group have experienced the largest deterioration in data systems over time; (iii) data systems in richer economies in the Middle East and North Africa region underperform relative to their income peers; (iv) Gulf Cooperation Council economies underperform in data openness, especially online access, despite having the resources for online features; (v) the regulatory framework for data (data infrastructure) is poor throughout the region, especially in Gulf Cooperation Council economies; and (vi) the dispersion of source data scores – a measure of availability and timeliness of micro data – in the region suggests that national statistical offices in the region could learn from each other. Furthermore, the study summarizes data availability and timeliness for specific macro, micro, and public health indicators for countries across the region. The need for forging a social contract for data is discussed, as well as the role international institutions can play through a statistics compact for the region.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-08) Iqbal, Sarah ; Islam, Asif ; Ramalho, Rita ; Sakhonchik, AlenaSeveral economies have laws that treat women differently from men. This study explores the degree of such legal gender disparities across 167 economies around the world. This is achieved by constructing a simple measure of legal gender disparities to evaluate how countries perform. The average number of overall legal gender disparities across 167 economies is 17, ranging from a minimum of 2 to a maximum of 44. The maximum possible legal gender disparities is 71. The measure is found to be correlated with other measures of gender inequality, implying the measure does capture gender inequality while also differing from preexisting measures of gender inequality. A high degree of legal gender disparities is found to be negatively associated with a wide range of outcomes, including years of education of women relative to men, labor force participation rates of women relative to men, proportion of women top managers, proportion of women in parliament, percentage of women that borrowed from a financial institution relative to men, and child mortality rates. Subcategories within the legal disparities measure help to uncover specific types of legal disparities across economies.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-08) Hyland, Marie ; Islam, AsifThis research explores the relationship between laws that discriminate on the basis of gender and the probability that a female-owned business begins operating in the informal sector. This is achieved by tracing the origins of formal businesses surveyed in the World Bank Enterprise Surveys and merging this with information on the level of legal equality between genders as measured by the Women, Business and the Law database. In addition, the research explores whether starting a business informally has any differential effect on subsequent firm performance depending on the gender of the owner(s). The results show that gender discriminatory laws increase the likelihood that firms with female owners will begin operations in the informal sector; as expected, this does not hold for enterprises that are solely owned by men. Furthermore, the research provides evidence that firms that began operations informally have poorer performance years later—a relationship that exists both for firms with female owners and for firms fully owned by men. The results show notable variation by region.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-09) Abi-Nassif, Christophe ; Islam, Asif Mohammed ; Lederman, DanielThis paper investigates the empirical relationship between citizens' perceptions of economic and political conditions and the incidence of nonviolent uprisings. Perceptions are measured by aggregating individual-level data from regional barometer surveys. The main results show that negative perceptions of political conditions -- proxied by the share of the population that is generally dissatisfied with the way democracy works -- have a significant positive effect on the number of protests and strikes. Negative perceptions of economic conditions do not seem to be significantly related to the latter. This generally holds across a large sample of countries and is particularly the case for Western and Central European countries as well as high-income countries. In developing economies, however, social protests appear to be driven by dissatisfaction with economic and political conditions. The heterogeneous effects of perceptions on uprisings across geography and income groups, however, are not robust and susceptible to changes in estimators and model specification. In particular, the international contagion of protests eliminates this international heterogeneity, implying that the incidence of uprisings in nearby countries tends to generate protests at home through its effect on perceptions related to political conditions in high-income countries. Overall, the effect of perceptions about political conditions, along with protest contagion, is robust to the inclusion of numerous control variables that capture actual economic conditions and the quality of governance across countries. The results are also robust to the use of seemingly valid instrumental variables, alternative count-data estimators, and sample composition.
Discriminatory Environment, Firms' Discriminatory Behavior, and Women's Employment in the Democratic Republic of Congo(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-04) Hyland, Marie ; Islam, Asif ; Muzi, SilviaThis paper contributes to better understanding firms' discriminatory behavior in the presence of gender-based legal discrimination and its linkages with labor market outcomes for women in a developing country setting. Using data collected through the World Bank Enterprise Surveys in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the paper documents the existence of nonnegligible employer discrimination and limitations in women's autonomy in the presence of a discriminatory environment. Interestingly, these are more pervasive outside the capital city, Kinshasa, which suggests that cultural norms or differences in regulation enforcement may be at play. The paper also finds that firms' discriminatory behavior harms women's labor market outcomes, in their representation among the upper echelons of management and participation in the overall workforce. The negative relationship between restrictions from discriminatory behaviors and female employment is particularly strong in the manufacturing sector.