Poverty Reduction and Equity Group, World Bank
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Fields of Specialization
Rural Land, Labor and Credit Markets; Microfinance; Poverty Dynamics; Political Economy of Participatory Development; Field Experiments in Governance and Politics; Impact Evaluation of Institutional and Governance Reforms
Poverty Reduction and Equity Group, World Bank
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Last updated July 6, 2023
Ghazala Mansuri is a Lead Economist in the Poverty Reduction and Equity Group. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Boston University and has published extensively in leading journals in Economics and Development. Her research spans four broad areas: Rural land, labor and credit markets; the economics of household behavior; the political economy of participatory development and institutional and governance reforms for development. Her research on the political economy of local development includes a number of evaluations of participatory development programs.
Publication Search Results
Now showing 1 - 10 of 29
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2007-02) Jacoby, Hanan G. ; Mansuri, GhazalaIn a setting where husbands wield considerable coercive power, forms of marriage should adapt to protect the interests of women and their families. The authors study the pervasive marriage custom of watta satta in rural Pakistan, a bride exchange between families coupled with a mutual threat of retaliation. They show that watta satta may be a mechanism to coordinate the actions of two sets of in-laws, each of whom wish to restrain their sons-in-law but who only have the ability to restrain their sons. The authors' empirical results support this view. The likelihood of marital inefficiency, as measured by estrangement, domestic abuse, and wife's mental health, is significantly lower in watta satta arrangements as compared with conventional marriages, but only after properly accounting for selection.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-07) Mansuri, Ghazala ; Rao, VijayendraThe World Bank has allocated close to $80 billion towards participatory development projects over the last decade. A comprehensive review of the evidence on the efficacy of the approach conducted by the authors for the forthcoming Policy Research Report, Localizing Development: Does Participation Work?, finds that while participatory projects have been reasonably effective in improving access to basic services, there is far less evidence of their effectiveness in improving household income or in building sustainable participatory institutions at the local level. A key issue is that the institutional culture in development agencies such as the World Bank lacks the flexibility and long-term commitment necessary for effective externally induced participatory development. Induced participation -- driven by large-scale bureaucratically managed processes, is quite different from more organic types of participation endogenously organized by civic groups. It requires a very different approach to development, one that pays close attention to contextual variation and to uncertain trajectories of change. In order to be effective, induced participatory projects need a strong focus on learning-by-doing; on monitoring and evaluation and a willingness to learn from failure. A review of the World Bank's practices in monitoring and evaluation, and of its incentives to learn from failure, reveals that without significant changes, including changes in the incentive structures facing management, the Bank cannot be effective in inducing participation.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2006-02) Jacoby, Hanan G. ; Mansuri, GhazalaWhen contracts are incomplete, relationship-specific investments may be underprovided due to the threat of opportunistic expropriation or holdup. The authors find evidence of such underinvestment on tenanted land in rural Pakistan. Using data from households cultivating multiple plots under different tenure arrangements, they show that land-specific investment is lower on leased plots. This result is robust to the possible effects of asymmetric information in the leasing market. Greater tenure security also increases land-specific investment on leased plots. Moreover, variation in tenure security appears to be driven largely by heterogeneity across landlords, suggesting that reputation may be important in mitigating the holdup problem.
Publication( 2011-06-01) Jacoby, Hanan G. ; Mansuri, GhazalaCan communal heterogeneity explain persistent educational inequities in developing countries? The paper uses a novel data-set from rural Pakistan that explicitly recognizes the geographic structure of villages and the social makeup of constituent hamlets to show that demand for schooling is sensitive to the allocation of schools across ethnically fragmented communities. The analysis focuses on two types of social barriers: stigma based on caste affiliation and female seclusion that is more rigidly enforced outside a girl's own hamlet. Results indicate a substantial decrease in primary school enrollment rates for girls who have to cross hamlet boundaries to attend, irrespective of school distance, an effect not present for boys. However, low-caste children, both boys and girls, are deterred from enrolling when the most convenient school is in a hamlet dominated by high-caste households. In particular, low-caste girls, the most educationally disadvantaged group, benefit from improved school access only when the school is also caste-concordant. A policy experiment indicates that providing schools in low-caste dominant hamlets would increase overall enrollment by almost twice as much as a policy of placing a school in every unserved hamlet, and would do so at one-sixth of the cost.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-04) Giné, Xavier ; Mansuri, Ghazala ; Picón, MarioFemale entrepreneurship is low in many developing economies partly because of constraints on women's time and mobility, which are often reinforced by social norms. This paper analyzes a marketing experiment designed to encourage women to adopt a new microcredit product. A brochure with the same content but two different covers was randomly distributed among male and female borrowing groups. One cover featured five businesses run by men, while the other showed identical businesses run by women. Men and women responded to psychological cues. Among men who were not business owners, had lower measured ability and whose wives were less educated, the responses to the female brochure were more negative, as did female business owners with low autonomy within the household. Women with relatively high levels of autonomy had a similar negative response to the male brochure, while there was no effect on female business owners with autonomy. Overall, these results suggest that women's response to psychological cues, such as positive role models, may be affected by their level of autonomy at home, and more intensive interventions may be required for more disadvantaged women.
No Thumbnail AvailablePublication( 2009) Jacoby, Hanan G. ; Mansuri, GhazalaThough sharecropping remains widespread, its determinants are still poorly understood and the debate over the extent of moral hazard is far from settled. We address both issues by analyzing the role of landlord supervision. When landlords vary in their cost of supervision, otherwise identical share-tenants can have different productivity. Unique data on monitoring frequency collected from share-tenants in rural Pakistan confirms that, controlling for selection, 'supervised' tenants are significantly more productive than 'unsupervised' ones. Also, landlords' decisions regarding monitoring and incentives offered to tenants depend importantly on the cost of supervision.
No Thumbnail AvailablePublication( 2008) Jacoby, Hanan G. ; Mansuri, GhazalaCommitment failure lies at the core of incomplete contract theory, yet its quantitative significance has rarely been assessed. Using detailed plot-level data from rural Pakistan, we find that non-contractible investment is underprovided on tenanted land, even after controlling for the endogeneity of leasing decisions. Our evidence also indicates that moral hazard in investment effort alone cannot explain this inefficiency. Instead, imperfect commitment appears to be the driving mechanism, since even plots taken on fixed rent contracts where all the rent is paid upfront receive lower investment than owner-cultivated plots. We further show that a considerable portion of the variation in tenancy duration, and hence in the security of tenure, is due to heterogeneity across landlords. One interpretation of this finding is that landlord reputation is important in mitigating hold-up.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-06) Gine, Xavier ; Mansuri, GhazalaThis paper identifies the relative importance of human and physical capital for entrepreneurship. A subset of rural microfinance clients were offered eight full time days of business training and the opportunity to participate in a loan lottery of up to Rs. 100,000 (USD 1,700), about seven times the average loan size. The study finds that business training increased business knowledge, reduced business failure, improved business practices and increased household expenditures by about $40 per year. It also improved financial and labor allocation decisions. These effects are concentrated among male clients, however. Women improve business knowledge but show no improvements in other outcomes. A cost-benefit analysis suggests that business training was not cost-effective for the microfinance institution, despite having a positive impact on clients. This may explain why so few microfinance institutions offer training. Access to the larger loan, in contrast, had little effect, indicating that existing loan size limits may already meet the demand for credit for these clients.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-09) Gine, Xavier ; Mansuri, GhazalaThe note examines the extent to which lack of financial capital and lack of managerial capital inhibit the growth of small firms in rural Pakistan.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-01) Giné, Xavier ; Mansuri, Ghazala ; Shrestha, Slesh A.Economic theory has long suggested the use of monetary incentives to motivate workers. In practice, however, public bureaucracies and nonprofit organizations are driven by a broader mission that often involves multiple operational goals, not all of which may translate equally well into measurable indicators. The authors worked with the largest partner of a prominent development organization in Pakistan called the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) and its largest partner National Rural Support Program (NRSP) who share the same mission of reducing poverty. The study was conducted in all thirty five branch offices located in fifteen districts across Sindh, Punjab, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces, where NRSP was active. These results indicate that both production and cost complementarities are empirically relevant. Finally, the results suggest that financial incentives that crowd out intrinsic motivation can also affect performance by undermining the willingness of motivated employees to work in teams.