de Walque, Damien

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Education, Macroeconomic and Structural Policies, Health
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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 - 5 of 5
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    The Long-Term Legacy of the Khmer Rouge Period in Cambodia
    (World Bank, Washington, D.C., 2004-11) de Walque, Damien
    The author studies the long-term impact of genocide during the period of the Khmer Rouge (1975-79) in Cambodia and contributes to the literature on the economic analysis of conflict. Using mortality data for siblings from the Cambodia Demographic and Health Survey in 2000, he shows that excess mortality was extremely high and heavily concentrated during 1974-80. Adult males had been the most likely to die, indicating that violent death played a major role. Individuals with an urban or educated background were more likely to die. Infant mortality was also at very high levels during the period, and disability rates from landmines or other weapons were high for males who, given their birth cohort, were exposed to this risk. The very high and selective mortality had a major impact on the population structure of Cambodia. Fertility and marriage rates were very low under the Khmer Rouge but rebounded immediately after the regime's collapse. Because of the shortage of eligible males, the age and education differences between partners tended to decline. The period had a lasting impact on the educational attainment of the population. The education system collapsed during the period, so individuals-especially males-who were of schooling age during this interval had a lower educational attainment than the preceding and subsequent birth cohorts.
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    Risking Your Health : Causes, Consequences, and Interventions to Prevent Risky Behaviors
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2014) de Walque, Damien ; de Walque, Damien
    Behaviors that pose risks for an individual’s health and that also represent important threats for public health, such as drug use, smoking, alcohol, unhealthy eating causing obesity, and unsafe sex, are highly prevalent in low income countries, even though they are traditionally associated with richer countries. Individual choices are an important part of the risky behaviors. Risking Your Health: Causes, Consequences, and Interventions to Prevent Risky Behaviors explore how those choices are formed and what are their consequences. Why do people engage in risky behaviors? Many different explanations have been proposed by psychology, sociology, economics or public health. One trait common to all these behaviors is that there is a disconnect – a function of both delay and uncertainty - between the pleasure or satisfaction provided by them and their consequences. Another characteristic of risky behaviors is that they rarely occur in isolation. Peer-pressure, parental influences, networks and social norms often play an important role in initiating, continuing, or quitting those behaviors. Even if they might often be the first to suffer, the consequences of risky behaviors are also rarely limited to the individuals engaging in them. In certain cases, such as second-hand smoking or HIV transmission, the link is direct. In other cases, the link is less direct but not necessarily less real: the long term health consequences of many of these behaviors are costly to treat and could stretch households’ finances and worsen poverty. Finally, these risky behaviors have consequences for society as a whole since they often trigger a non-trivial amount of public health expenditures and lead to declines in aggregate productivity through premature death and morbidity. Changing behaviors is tricky -- public health interventions via legislation with strong enforcement mechanisms can be more effective than simple communication campaigns informing consumers about the risks associated with certain behaviors, since translating knowledge into concrete changes in behavior seems to be hard to achieve. Economic mechanisms such as taxes (especially on alcohol and tobacco products), subsidies (such as free condoms), and conditional/unconditional cash transfers are also used to reduce risky behaviors (for example in HIV prevention). Of great interest to policy makers, academics and practitioners, this book assesses the efficiency of those interventions designed to reduce the prevalence of behaviors that endanger health.
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    Race, Immigration, and the U.S. Labor Market : Contrasting the Outcomes of Foreign Born and Native Blacks
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008-10) de Walque, Damien
    It is generally expected that immigrants do not fare as well as the native-born in the U.S. labor market. The literature also documents that Blacks experience lower labor market outcomes than Whites. This paper innovates by studying the interaction between race and immigration. The study compares the labor market outcomes of four racial groups in the United States (Whites, Blacks, Asians, and Hispanics) interacted with their foreign born status, using the Integrated Public Use Micro Data Series data for the 2000 Census. Among women and for labor market outcomes such as labor force participation, employment, and personal income, the foreign born are doing worse than the native born from the same racial background, with the exception of Blacks. Among men, for labor force participation and employment, foreign-born Blacks are doing better than native Blacks. The paper tests different possible explanations for this "reversal" of the advantage of natives over immigrants among Blacks. It considers citizenship, ability in English, age at and time since arrival in the United States, as well as neighborhood effects, but concludes that none of these channels explains or modifies the observed reversal.
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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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    Trends and Socio-Economic Gradients in Adult Mortality around the Developing World
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2012) de Walque, Damien ; Filmer, Deon
    The authors combine data from 84 Demographic and Health Surveys from 46 countries to analyze trends and socioeconomic differences in adult mortality, calculating mortality based on the sibling mortality reports collected from female respondents aged 15-49. The analysis yields four main findings. First, adult mortality is different from child mortality: while under-5 mortality shows a definite improving trend over time, adult mortality does not, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. The second main finding is the increase in adult mortality in Sub-Saharan African countries. The increase is dramatic among those most affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Mortality rates in the highest HIV-prevalence countries of southern Africa exceed those in countries that experienced episodes of civil war. Third, even in Sub-Saharan countries where HIV-prevalence is not as high, mortality rates appear to be at best stagnating, and even increasing in several cases. Finally, the main socioeconomic dimension along which mortality appears to differ in the aggregate is gender. Adult mortality rates in Sub-Saharan Africa have risen substantially higher for men than for women--especially so in the high HIV-prevalence countries. On the whole, the data do not show large gaps by urban/rural residence or by school attainment.