de Walque, Damien

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Education, Macroeconomic and Structural Policies, Health
Development Research Group
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Last updated January 31, 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 - 2 of 2
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    Early Education, Preferences, and Decision-Making Abilities
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-09) Cardim, Joana ; Carneiro, Pedro ; Carvalho, Leandro S. ; de Walque, Damien
    One way to advance understanding of individual differences in decision making is to study the development of children’s decision making. This paper studies the causal effects of daycare attendance on children’s economic preferences and decision-making abilities, exploiting a lottery system that randomized admissions into oversubscribed daycare centers in Rio de Janeiro. Overall, daycare attendance had no effect on economic preferences or decision-making abilities. However, it did increase aversion to disadvantageous inequality (having less than one’s peer). This increase is driven mostly by girls, a result that reproduces in a different study that randomized admissions into preschool education.
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    Incentivizing School Attendance in the Presence of Parent-Child Information Frictions
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-06) de Walque, Damien ; Valente, Christine
    Education conditional cash transfer programs may increase school attendance in part due to the information they transmit to parents about their child's attendance. This paper presents experimental evidence that the information content of an education conditional cash transfer program, when given to parents independently of any transfer, can have a substantial effect on school attendance. The effect is as large as 75 percent of the effect of a conditional cash transfer incentivizing parents, and not significantly different from it. In contrast, a conditional transfer program incentivizing children instead of parents is nearly twice as effective as an "information only" treatment providing the same information to parents about their child's attendance. Taken together, these results suggest that children have substantial agency in their schooling decisions. The paper replicates the findings from most evaluations of conditional cash transfers that gains in attendance achieved by incentivizing parents financially do not translate into gains in test scores. But it finds that both the information only treatment and the alternative intervention incentivizing children substantially improve math test scores.