de Walque, Damien

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Education, Macroeconomic and Structural Policies, Health
Development Research Group
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Last updated September 26, 2023
Damien de Walque received his Economics from the University of Chicago in 2003. His research interests include health and education and the interactions between them. His current work is focused on evaluating the impact of financial incentives on health and education outcomes. He is currently evaluating the education and health outcomes of conditional cash transfers linked to school attendance and health center visits in Burkina Faso. He is also working on evaluating the impact of HIV/AIDS interventions and policies in several African countries. He is leading two evaluations of the impact of short-term financial incentives on the prevention of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs): individuals who test negatively for a set of STIs receive regular cash payment in Tanzania, while in Lesotho they receive lottery tickets. On the supply side of health services, he is managing a large portfolio of impact evaluations of results-based financing in the health sector. He has also edited a book on risky behaviors for health (smoking, drugs, alcohol, obesity, risky sex) in the developing world.
Citations 578 Scopus

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Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
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    Armed Conflict and Schooling : Evidence from the 1994 Rwandan Genocide
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008-04) Akresh, Richard ; de Walque, Damien
    Civil war, and genocide in particular, are among the most destructive of social phenomena, especially for children of school-going age. In Rwanda school enrollment trends suggest that the school system recovered quickly after 1994, but these numbers do not tell the full story. Two cross-sectional household surveys collected before and after the genocide are used to compare children in the same age group who were and were not exposed to the genocide - and their educational outcomes are substantially different. Children exposed to the genocide experienced a drop in educational achievement of almost one-half year of completed schooling, and are 15 percentage points less likely to complete third or fourth grade. Sustained effort is needed to reinforce educational institutions and offer a "second chance" to those youth most affected by the conflict.
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    Parental Education and Children’s Schooling Outcomes : Is the Effect Nature, Nurture, or Both? Evidence from Recomposed Families in Rwanda
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2005-01) de Walque, Damien
    Educated parents tend to have educated children. But is intergenerational transmission of human capital more nature, more nurture, or both? The author uses household survey data from Rwanda that contains a large proportion of children living in households without their biological parents. The data allows him to separate genetic from environmental parental influences. The nonrandom placement of children is controlled by including the educational attainment of the absent biological parents and the type of relationship that links the children to their "adoptive" families. The results of the analysis suggest that the nurture component of the intergenerational transmission of human capital is important for both parents, contrary to recent evidence proposed by Behrman and Rosenzweig (2002) and Plug (2004). The author concludes that mothers education had no environmental impact on children s schooling. Interestingly, mothers education matters more for girls, while fathers education is more important for boys. Finally, an important policy recommendation in the African context emerges from the analysis: the risk for orphans or abandoned children to lose ground in their schooling achievements is minimized if they are placed with relatives.
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    The Demographic and Socio-economic Distribution of Excess Mortality during the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda
    ( 2009-03-01) de Walque, Damien ; Verwimp, Philip
    There is an extensive literature on violent conflicts such as the 1994 Rwandan genocide, but few papers examine the profiles of victims and perpetrators, or more broadly the micro-level dynamics of widespread violence. This paper studies the demographic consequences of the Rwandan genocide and how the excess mortality due to the conflict was distributed in the population. Data collected by the 2000 Demographic and Health Survey indicate that although there were more deaths across the entire population, adult males were the most likely to die. Using the characteristics of the survey respondent as a proxy for the socio-economic status of the family dead, the results also show that individuals with an urban or more educated background were more likely to die. Over and above the human tragedies, a long-term cost of the genocide is the country's loss of productive skills.
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    Educational and Health Impacts of Two School Feeding Schemes : Evidence from a Randomized Trial in Rural Burkina Faso
    ( 2009-06-01) Kazianga, Harounan ; de Walque, Damien ; Alderman, Harold
    This paper uses a prospective randomized trial to assess the impact of two school feeding schemes on health and education outcomes for children from low-income households in northern rural Burkina Faso. The two school feeding programs under consideration are, on the one hand, school meals where students are provided with lunch each school day, and, on the other hand, take-home rations that provide girls with 10 kg of cereal flour each month, conditional on 90 percent attendance rate. After running for one academic year, both programs increased girls enrollment by 5 to 6 percentage points. While there was no observable significant impact on raw scores in mathematics, the time-adjusted scores in mathematics improved slightly for girls. The interventions caused absenteeism to increase in households that were low in child labor supply while absenteeism decreased for households that had a relatively large child labor supply, consistent with the labor constraints. Finally, for younger siblings of beneficiaries, aged between 12 and 60 months, take-home rations have increased weight-for-age by .38 standard deviations and weight-for-height by .33 standard deviations. In contrast, school meals did not have any significant impact on the nutrition of younger children.