de Walque, Damien
Development Research Group
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Fields of Specialization
Education, Macroeconomic and Structural Policies, Health
Development Research Group
Externally Hosted Work
Last updated September 26, 2023
Damien de Walque received his Ph.D.in 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.
Publication Search Results
Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
Cash Transfers and Child Schooling : Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation of the Role of Conditionality(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-01) Akresh, Richard ; de Walque, Damien ; Kazianga, HarounanThe authors conduct a randomized experiment in rural Burkina Faso to estimate the impact of alternative cash transfer delivery mechanisms on education. The two-year pilot program randomly distributed cash transfers that were either conditional or unconditional. Families under the conditional schemes were required to have their children ages 7-15 enrolled in school and attending classes regularly. There were no such requirements under the unconditional programs. The results indicate that unconditional and conditional cash transfer programs have a similar impact increasing the enrollment of children who are traditionally favored by parents for school participation, including boys, older children, and higher ability children. However, the conditional transfers are significantly more effective than the unconditional transfers in improving the enrollment of "marginal children" who are initially less likely to go to school, such as girls, younger children, and lower ability children. Thus, conditionality plays a critical role in benefiting children who are less likely to receive investments from their parents.
Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation of the Household Welfare Impacts of Conditional and Unconditional Cash Transfers Given to Mothers or Fathers(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-06) Akresh, Richard ; de Walque, Damien ; Kazianga, HarounanThis study conducted a randomized control trial in rural Burkina Faso to estimate the impact of alternative cash transfer delivery mechanisms on education, health, and household welfare outcomes. The two-year pilot program randomly distributed cash transfers that were either conditional or unconditional and were given to either mothers or fathers. Conditionality was linked to older children enrolling in school and attending regularly and younger children receiving preventive health check-ups. Compared with the control group, cash transfers improve children's education and health and household socioeconomic conditions. For school enrollment and most child health outcomes, conditional cash transfers outperform unconditional cash transfers. Giving cash to mothers does not lead to significantly better child health or education outcomes, and there is evidence that money given to fathers improves young children's health, particularly during years of poor rainfall. Cash transfers to fathers also yield relatively more household investment in livestock, cash crops, and improved housing.
Publication( 2010-07-01) Akresh, Richard ; Bagby, Emilie ; de Walque, Damien ; Kazianga, HarounanUsing data they collected in rural Burkina Faso, the authors examine how children's cognitive abilities influence resource constrained households' decisions to invest in their education. This paper uses a direct measure of child ability for all primary school-aged children, regardless of current school enrollment. The analysis explicitly incorporates direct measures of the ability of each child s siblings (both absolute and relative measures) to show how sibling rivalry exerts an impact on the parents decision of whether and how much to invest in their child s education. The findings indicate that children with one standard deviation higher own ability are 16 percent more likely to be currently enrolled, while having a higher ability sibling lowers current enrollment by 16 percent and having two higher ability siblings lowers enrollment by 30 percent. The results are robust to addressing the potential reverse causality of schooling influencing child ability measures and using alternative cognitive tests to measure ability.
Publication( 2010-11-01) de Walque, Damien ; Kazianga, Harounan ; Over, MeadThis paper studies the effect of increased access to antiretroviral therapy on risky sexual behavior, using data collected in Mozambique in 2007 and 2008. The survey sampled both households of randomly selected HIV positive individuals and households from the general population. Controlling for unobserved individual characteristics, the findings support the hypothesis of disinhibition behaviors, whereby risky sexual behaviors increase in response to the perceived changes in risk associated with increased access to antiretroviral therapy. Furthermore, men and women respond differently to the perceived changes in risk. In particular, risky behaviors increase for men who believe, wrongly, that AIDS can be cured, while risky behaviors increase for women who believe, correctly, that antiretroviral therapy can treat AIDS but cannot cure it. The findings suggest that scaling up access to antiretroviral therapy without prevention programs may not be optimal if the objective is to contain the disease, since people would adjust their sexual behavior in response to the perceived changes in risk. Therefore, prevention programs need to include educational messages about antiretroviral therapy, and address the changing beliefs about HIV in the era of increasing antiretroviral therapy availability.
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, HaroldThis 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.
Alternative Cash Transfer Delivery Mechanisms : Impacts on Routine Preventative Health Clinic Visits in Burkina Faso( 2012-01-01) Akresh, Richard ; de Walque, Damien ; Kazianga, HarounanThe authors conducted a unique randomized experiment to estimate the impact of two alternative cash transfer delivery mechanisms on household demand for routine preventative health services in rural Burkina Faso. The two-year pilot program randomly distributed cash transfers that were either conditional or unconditional, and the money was given to either mothers or fathers. Families enrolled in the conditional cash transfer schemes were required to obtain quarterly child-growth monitoring at local health clinics for all children under five years old. There was not such a requirement under the unconditional programs. Compared with control group households, conditional cash transfers significantly increased the number of preventative health care visits during the previous year, while unconditional cash transfers did not have such an impact. For the conditional cash transfers, money given to mothers or fathers showed beneficial impacts of similar magnitude in increasing routine visits.
Publication( 2011-01-01) de Walque, Damien ; Kazianga, Harounan ; Over, Mead ; Vaillant, JuliaUsing panel data from Mozambique collected in 2007 and 2008, the authors explore the impact of the food crisis on the welfare of households living with HIV/AIDS. The analysis finds that there has been a real deterioration of welfare in terms of income, food consumption, and nutritional status in Mozambique between 2007 and 2008, among both HIV and comparison households. However, HIV households have not suffered more from the crisis than others. Results on the evolution of labor force participation suggest that initiation of treatment and better services in health facilities have counter-balanced the effect of the crisis by improving the health of patients and their labor force participation. In addition, the authors look at the effect of the change in welfare on the frequency of visits to a health facility of patients and on their treatment outcomes. Both variables can proxy for adherence to treatment. This is a particularly crucial issue as it affects both the health of the patient and public health, because sub-optimal adherence leads to the development of resistant forms of the virus. The paper finds no effect of the change in welfare on the frequency of visits, but does find that people who experienced a negative income shock also experienced a reduction or a slower progression in treatment outcomes.