Category Archives: Policies to Protect the Poor

Ethics in Development Economics

On 3rd Nov we had a seminar presentation by Johannes Haushofer on a RCT in Kenya. In this experiment, some households  in villages is Western Kenya were given unconditional cash transfers of either USD 404 or USD 1525. The researchers … Continue reading

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Universal access to HIV treatment: fiscal sustainability and incentives.

Before the advent of anti-retroviral therapies in the nineties, being infected by the HIV virus was equivalent to a death sentence. Now, thanks to remarkable advances in medical research, people who are HIV+ have the possibility to considerably increase their … Continue reading

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Community-Based Development initiatives: Who in the village hears about them and who doesn’t? And how?

Community-based development programmes, known for placing greater control of resources and decision-making in local hands, have long been an important part of development policy. But these programmes are also behest with their own challenges and limitations. One of these is … Continue reading

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Early life circumstances affect later-life mental health in Ghana

The economic losses due to mental health disorders in low-income countries are staggeringly large. Depression alone generates an estimated loss of 55.5 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) in low- and middle-income countries. That number is less than a fifth as … Continue reading

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A loan shark in sheep’s clothing? Is commercialization of microfinance bad for borrower welfare?

After years of positive media attention and a Nobel Peace Prize for Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank, it’s been hard to miss the recent controversy surrounding the microfinance industry. Critical media reports have highlighted the role of high interest rates … Continue reading

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World Development Report 2014: a missed opportunity?

The World Development Report is the flagship statement by the World Bank on development for the upcoming year. As someone who spends a considerable amount of time working on risk and insurance in developing countries, I was excited to see … Continue reading

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The reverse couch potato effect: the impact of inspirational movies on aspirations and expectations

Documentary screening, iiG Programme (DFID funded) (Owner: Kate Orkin) – Licence: Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0).Link to Licence: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/   Do people believe that they are in control of their future outcomes? And how do expectations of what can … Continue reading

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Formal savings access and informal financial transactions

Social networks and the analysis of peer effects are a current hot topic across academic disciplines. The idea that a structure beyond our own direct scope and understanding, i.e. the social network we are embedded in, significantly influences how our … Continue reading

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CSAE Conference Plenary: The Millennium Development Goals – Beyond 2015.

The final plenary of the CSAE conference, chaired by Prof. Paul Collier, brought together Prof. James Foster (Institute for International Economic Policy at the Elliott School for International Affairs), Prof. Paul Glewwe (University of Minnesota) and Mr. Charles Kenny (Center … Continue reading

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NREGA and rural welfare in India

  In the evaluation of social programs, the first order concern is their effect on beneficiaries. However, there is a growing awareness about “spillovers” or “peer effects”, which could affect non-beneficiaries. In Mexican villages where PROGRESA cash transfers were implemented, … Continue reading

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