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
Externally Hosted Work
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 18
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, 2007-02) Jacoby, Hanan G. ; Mansuri, GhazalaAlthough sharecropping has long fascinated economists, the determinants of this contractual form are still poorly understood and the debate over the extent of moral hazard is far from settled. The authors address both issues by emphasizing the role of landlord supervision. When tenant effort is observable, but at a cost to the landlord, otherwise identical share-tenants can receive different levels of supervision and have different productivity. Unique data on monitoring frequency collected from sharetenants in rural Pakistan confirm that, controlling for selection, "supervised" tenants are significantly more productive than "unsupervised" ones. Landlords' decisions regarding the intensity of supervision and the type of incentive contract to offer depend importantly on the cost of supervising tenants.
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(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2006-06) Mansuri, GhazalaTemporary economic migration is undertaken largely in response to resource constraints. This is evident in the volume of remittances sent back by migrants to their families of origin. In agricultural settings, where those left behind are likely to face considerable exposure to uninsured income risk, such resource flows should translate into better risk bearing capacity. In this paper the author takes up this question by asking whether economic migration allows households to avoid costly risk coping strategies. She focuses on early child growth since there is considerable epidemiological evidence that very young children are particularly vulnerable to shocks that lead to growth faltering, with substantial long-term health consequences. The data come from rural Pakistan, where, as in the rest of Asia, son preference is substantial and there are large gender gaps in most developmental outcomes. As such, the interest is in examining also whether migration-induced resource flows allow households to extend better nutrition and health care protection to girls. Recent work on the intra-household allocation of resources and risk has also shown that gender differences in the relative burden of risk may be important and that the allocation of resources to daughters is often one margin along which poor households adjust to uninsurable transitory income shocks. After accounting for selection into migration, the results indicate that migration has a substantially larger positive impact on growth outcomes for young girls. And the growth advantage is sustained among older girls, suggesting potential intergenerational benefits of averting nutritional and other health shocks for girls in early childhood. These results are further validated by restricting the sample to migrant households and comparing the growth outcomes of siblings before and after migration.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2006-06) Mansuri, GhazalaInequalities in access to education pose a significant barrier to development. It has been argued that this reflects, in part, borrowing constraints that inhibit private investment in human capital by the poor. One promise of the recent proposals to open international labor markets to allow for the temporary economic migration of low-skilled workers from developing to industrial countries is its potential impact on human capital accumulation by the poor. The large remittance flows from migrants to their communities of origin underscores this aspect of migration. However, migration can also transform expectations of future employment and induce changes in household structure that can exert an independent effect on the private returns to investment in human capital. The author explores the relationship between temporary economic migration and investment in child schooling. A key challenge is to deal appropriately with selection into migration. She finds that the potential positive effects of temporary economic migration on human capital accumulation are large. Moreover, the gains are much greater for girls, yielding a very substantial reduction in gender inequalities in access to education. Significantly, though, the gains appear to arise almost entirely from the greater resource flows to migrant households. The author cannot detect any effect of future migration prospects on schooling decisions. More significantly, she does not find any protective effect of migration-induced female headship on schooling outcomes for girls. Rather, female headship appears to protect boys at the cost of girls.
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, 2011-10-18) Giné, Xavier ; Mansuri, Ghazala ; Picón, MarioFemale entrepreneurship is low in many developing economies partly due to constraints on women's time and mobility, often reinforced by social norms. We analyze a marketing experiment designed to encourage female uptake of a new microcredit product. A brochure with two different covers was randomly distributed among male and female borrowing groups. One cover featured 5 businesses run by men while the other had identical businesses run by women. We find that both men and women respond to psychological cues. Men who are not themselves business owners, have lower measured ability and whose wives are less educated respond more negatively to the female brochure, as do women business owners with low autonomy within the household. Women with relatively high levels of autonomy shown the male brochure have a similar negative response, while there is no effect on female business owners with autonomy shown the female brochure. Overall, these results suggest that women's response to psychological cues, such as positive role models, may be mediated by their autonomy and that more disadvantaged women may require more intensive interventions.
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.
No Thumbnail AvailablePublication( 2010) Jacoby, Hanan G. ; Mansuri, GhazalaCan marriage institutions limit marital inefficiency? We study the pervasive custom of watta satta in rural Pakistan, a bride exchange between families coupled with a mutual threat of retaliation. Watta satta can be seen as a mechanism for coordinating the actions of two sets of parents, each wishing to restrain their son-in-law. We find that marital discord, as measured by estrangement, domestic abuse, and wife's mental health, is indeed significantly lower in watta satta versus "conventional" marriage, but only after accounting for selection bias. These benefits cannot be explained by endogamy, a marriage pattern associated with watta satta.