Mansuri, Ghazala

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.  
Citations 28 Scopus

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 26
  • Publication
    Incentives, Supervision, and Sharecropper Productivity
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2007-02) Jacoby, Hanan G.; Mansuri, Ghazala
    Although 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
    Migration, Sex Bias, and Child Growth in Rural Pakistan
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2006-06) Mansuri, Ghazala
    Temporary 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
    Incomplete Contracts and Investment : A Study of Land Tenancy in Pakistan
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2006-02) Jacoby, Hanan G.; Mansuri, Ghazala
    When 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
    Can Participation Be Induced? Some Evidence from Developing Countries
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-07) Mansuri, Ghazala; Rao, Vijayendra
    The 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
    Together We Will: Experimental Evidence on Female Voting Behavior in Pakistan
    (American Economic Association, 2018-01) Giné, Xavier; Mansuri, Ghazala
    In many emerging democracies women are less likely to vote than men and, when they do vote, are likely to follow the wishes of male household and clan heads. We assess the impact of a voter awareness campaign on female turnout, candidate choice and party vote shares. Geographic clusters within villages were randomly assigned to treatment or control, and within treated clusters, some households were not targeted. Compared to women in control clusters, both targeted and untargeted women in treated clusters are 11 percentage points more likely to vote, and are also more likely to exercise independence in candidate choice, indicating large spillovers. Data from polling stations suggests that treating 10 women increased female turnout by about seven votes, resulting in a cost per vote of US$3.1. Finally, a 10 percent increase in the share of treated women at the polling station led to a 7 percent decrease in the share of votes of the winning party.
  • Publication
    The Impact of Social Mobilization on Health Service Delivery and Health Outcomes: Evidence from Rural Pakistan
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-01) Khalid, Salma; Gine, Xavier; Mansuri, Ghazala
    This paper uses a randomized community development program in rural Pakistan to assess the impact of citizen engagement on the quality of public health services. The program had a strong emphasis on organizing women, who also identified health services as a development priority at baseline. Assessing the program at midline, the paper finds that the mobilization effort alone had a significant impact on the performance of village-based health providers. The study detects economically large improvements in pregnancy and well-baby visits by lady health workers, as well as increased utilization of pre- and post-natal care by pregnant women. In contrast, the quality of supra-village health services did not improve, underscoring the importance of community enforcement and monitoring capacity for improving service delivery.
  • Publication
    Participatory Development Reconsidered
    (2011-04) Mansuri, Ghazala; Rao, Vijayendra
    Over the last two decades development policy has touted civic participation as a magic bullet for solving problems at the local level from improving livelihoods, to selecting beneficiaries for public programs, providing housing after earthquakes and floods, or improving village infrastructure. The thinking is that involving village or urban civic communities in decision making will improve accountability, reduce inequality, and ultimately alleviate poverty.
  • Publication
    Community-Based and Driven Development: A Critical Review
    (World Bank, Washington, D.C., 2004-02) Mansuri, Ghazala; Rao, Vijayendra
    Community-based (and driven) development (CBD/CDD) projects have become an important form of development assistance, with the World Bank's portfolio alone approximating 7 billion dollars. The authors review the conceptual foundations of CBD/CDD initiatives. Given the importance of the topic, there are, unfortunately, a dearth of well-designed evaluations of such projects. But there is enough quantitative and qualitative evidence from studies that have either been published in peer-reviewed publications or have been conducted by independent researchers to glean some instructive lessons. The authors find that projects that rely on community participation have not been particularly effective at targeting the poor. There is some evidence that CBD/CDD projects create effective community infrastructure, but not a single study establishes a causal relationship between any outcome and participatory elements of a CBD project. Most CBD projects are dominated by elites and, in general, the targeting of poor communities as well as project quality tend to be markedly worse in more unequal communities. However, a number of studies find a U-shaped relationship between inequality and project outcomes. The authors also find that a distinction between potentially "benevolent" forms of elite domination and more pernicious types of "capture" is likely to be important for understanding project dynamics and outcomes. Several qualitative studies indicate that the sustainability of CBD initiatives depends crucially on an enabling institutional environment, which requires upward commitment. Equally, the literature indicates that community leaders need to be downwardly accountable to avoid a variant of "supply-driven demand-driven development." Qualitative evidence also suggests that external agents strongly influence project success. However, facilitators are often poorly trained and inexperienced, particularly when programs are rapidly scaled up. Overall, a naive application of complex contextual concepts like "participation," "social capital," and "empowerment" is endemic among project implementers and contributes to poor design and implementation. In sum, the evidence suggests that CBD/CDD is best done in a context-specific manner, with a long time-horizon, and with careful and well-designed monitoring and evaluation systems.
  • Publication
    Measuring Employment: Experimental Evidence from Urban Ghana
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-06) Heath, Rachel; Mansuri, Ghazala; Rijkers, Bob; Seitz, William; Sharma, Dhiraj
    Using a randomized survey experiment in urban Ghana, this paper demonstrates that the length of the reference period and the interview modality (in person or over the phone) affect how people respond in labor surveys, with impacts varying markedly by job type. Survey participants report significantly more self-employment spells when the reference period is shorter than the traditional one week, with the impacts concentrated among those in home-based and mobile self-employment. In contrast, there is no impact of the reference period on the incidence of wage employment. The wage employed report working fewer days and hours when confronted with a shorter reference period. Finally, interviews conducted on the phone yield lower estimates of employment, hours worked, and days worked among the self-employed who are working from home or a mobile location as compared with in-person interviews.
  • Publication
    Mission and the Bottom Line: Performance Incentives in a Multi-Goal Organization
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-12) Shrestha, Slesh A.; Gine, Xavier; Mansuri, Ghazala
    The impact of performance pay in institutions with multiple goals depends on complementarities in the disutility cost of effort and how different tasks interact to achieve each goal. Workers of a mission-oriented nonprofit were randomly assigned to one of two bonus schemes, each incentivizing one of its two main operational goals: the performance of its microcredit program and the strengthening of community institutions of the poor. This study finds that the credit bonus improved credit-related outcomes but it undermined the social outcome. In contrast, the social bonus advanced the social mission as well as the microcredit program, but only for employees working alone, undermining the performance of employees working in teams. These results cannot be explained by a standard multitask principal-agent model featuring only complementarities in the disutility cost of effort. Instead, they suggest that production complementarities are also relevant.