Das, Jishnu

Development Research Group
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Health economics, Education, Gender, Health, Microeconomics, Cultural economics, India, Pakistan, Kenya, Zambia, Macroeconomic and Structural Policies
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Development Research Group
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Last updated January 31, 2023
Jishnu Das is a Lead Economist in the Development Research Group (Human Development Team) at the World Bank and a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Policy Research, New Delhi. Jishnu’s work focuses on the delivery of basic services, particularly health and education. He has worked on the quality of health care, mental health, information in health and education markets, child learning and test-scores and the determinants of trust. His work has been published in leading economics, health and education journals and widely covered in the media and policy forums. In 2011 he was part of the core team on the World Development Report on Gender and Development. He received the George Bereday Award from the Comparative and International Education Society and the Stockholm Challenge Award for the best ICT project in the public administration category in 2006, and the Research Academy award from the World Bank in 2013. He is currently working on long-term projects on health and education markets in India and Pakistan.
Citations 527 Scopus

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Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
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    The Fiscal Cost of Weak Governance: Evidence from Teacher Absence in India
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-02) Muralidharan, Karthik ; Das, Jishnu ; Holla, Alaka ; Mohpal, Aakash
    The relative return to input-augmentation versus inefficiency-reduction strategies for improving education system performance is a key open question for education policy in low-income countries. Using a new nationally-representative panel dataset of schools across 1297 villages in India, this paper shows that the large investments over the past decade have led to substantial improvements in input-based measures of school quality, but only a modest reduction in inefficiency as measured by teacher absence. In the data, 23.6 percent of teachers were absent during unannounced visits with an associated fiscal cost of $1.5 billion/year. There are two robust correlations in the nationally-representative panel data that corroborate findings from smaller-scale experiments. First, reductions in student-teacher ratios are correlated with increased teacher absence. Second, increases in the frequency of school monitoring are strongly correlated with lower teacher absence. Simulations using these results suggest that investing in better governance by increasing the frequency of monitoring could be over ten times more cost effective at increasing teacher-student contact time (net of teacher absence) than hiring more teachers. Thus, at current margins, policies that decrease the inefficiency of public spending in India are likely to yield substantially higher returns than those that augment inputs.
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    Women in the Pipeline: A Dynamic Decomposition of Firm Pay Gaps
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-06) Das, Jishnu ; Joubert, Clement
    This paper proposes a new decomposition method to understand how gender pay gaps arise within firms. The method accounts for pipeline effects, nonstationary environments, and dynamic interactions between pay gap components. This paper assembles a new data set covering all employees at the World Bank Group between 1987 and 2015 and shows that historical differences in the positions for which men and women were hired account for 77 percent of today's average salary difference, dwarfing the roles of entry salaries, salary growth, or retention. Forward simulations show that 20 percent of the total gap can be assigned to pipeline effects that would resolve mechanically with time.
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    In Aid We Trust: Hearts and Minds and the Pakistan Earthquake of 2005
    (The MIT Press, 2017-07) Andrabi, Tahir ; Das, Jishnu
    In 2005 an earthquake in northern Pakistan led to a significant inflow of international relief groups. Four years later, trust in Europeans and Americans was markedly higher among those exposed to the earthquake and the relief that followed. These differences reflect the greater provision of foreign aid and foreigner presence in affected villages rather than preexisting population differences or a general impact of disasters on trust. We thus demonstrate large-scale, durable attitudinal change in a representative Muslim population. Trust in Westerners among Muslims is malleable and not a deeply rooted function of preferences or global (as opposed to local) policy and actions.