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Gender and Social Norms

Media Diversity, Religion and Economic Behaviour: An Analysis of Pakistan

Focus of the study How does exposure to foreign media influence religious and economic behaviour in an Islamic society? What are implications for behaviour along gender dimensions? Two effects are possible. On the one hand, exposure to foreign media may…

Discretion versus rule-based budgeting and assignment in Indian governments

Discretion versus rule-based budgeting and assignment in Indian governments – Inter-tier allocation of fiscal resources Background motivation for the research The literature on decentralization and service delivery in developing countries has largely focused on problems of political accountability of local…

A woman’s place is in the production management?

Focus of the study This project focuses on the question of social identity as constraints to women’s career advancement and firm productivity in Bangladesh’s garment sector. The Bangladeshi garment industry was instrumental in expanding women’s employment opportunities in the urban…

The historical roots of Female Genital Cutting (FCG)

Focus of the study Harmful social norms are an impediment to economic development. This project focuses on one such norm, female genital cutting (FGC), and aims at answering the following research questions: Why does FGC persist with different intensity across…

Economic role of clans: Linking past and present

Focus of the study The design of development policies requires a precise understanding of the informal institutions regulating economic activities. A key – yet understudied – institution in many developing countries is the clan. This project aims at understanding the…

Land rights and village councils in Tanzania

Focus of the study This research consists of a diagnostic survey to study how institutions can affect female land property rights in rural Tanzania following the legal reforms of the late 1990s. These reforms have established strong property rights on…

Social structures, political accountability, and effective public goods provision

Focus of the study This project explores the extent to which age sets, a traditional social structure in many African societies, can be leveraged to improve local oversight, governance, and the provision of public goods. Age sets are initiation rituals…

Women’s inheritance and female empowerment

Focus of the study This study examines changes in the overall agency of women in Pakistan who receive inheritance in the form of higher autonomy, more control and access to finances and resources, or improved bargaining power. Unfortunately, there is…

Aspirations in Economics: A Review

Focus of the study This study reviews the fast-growing literature on socially determined aspirations, and the implications of that literature for the study of goal-setting, interpersonal inequality, mobility and social conflict. The core theory builds on two fundamental principles: (a)…

Female political representation and its impact in Uganda

Focus of the study The goal of this research is to investigate the determinants and impacts of female political representation in Uganda. At the higher levels of government, Uganda has an impressive number of female representatives – primarily the result…

Combatting caste- and gender-based discrimination in the healthcare and education sector

Customizing incentives to combat caste- and gender-based discrimination in the healthcare and education sector (Nepal and India) Focus of the study Inequities in access as well as quality of healthcare and education are a major challenge facing developing economies. Anecdotal…

Child marriage law, gender norms and marriage customs (Bangladesh)

Focus of the study Our key research question is: Do laws regarding child marriage (marriage below the age of 18) influence social attitudes and marriage practices when the state has limited enforcement capacity? This study investigates the effects of child…

Is Knowledge Power? Civics Training, Women’s Political Representation, and Local Governance in India

Issue: Women continue to be under-represented in political office, making up approximately only 22% of members of parliament worldwide. Despite this marginalization, little is known about how to increase women’s political participation and the role between women’s electoral representation and…

Institutional Reform and de facto Women’s Rights

Issue:  In many socially-conservative settings, legal protections and provisions have frequently outpaced how administrators enforce these rules. In Pakistan, for example, government officials often use their own judgement and respond to local concerns when carrying out functions critical to women’s rights, including…

Community Policing and Public Trust: A Field Experiment in Uganda

Issue:  Use of excessive force has diminished trust between citizens and law enforcement in many parts of Uganda. In an effort to improve this dynamic, the state is revisiting a “homegrown” model of community-policing that increases police presence through local patrols and community…

Reforming Police Practices in India

Issue: The Indian state of Madhya Pradesh’s police force has a low officer to citizen ratio with multiple vacant positions, and a lack of representation of women in their ranks. Efforts have begun to make police forces more public-oriented, but…

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