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Policy Briefs

EDI aspires to have impact on the lives of people in the countries we are working in. Policy engagement – which means participating effectively in the policy-making process – is critical to achieving this impact. We have embedded policy engagement throughout our research process, for example by hosting “match-making” workshops to connect policymakers with researchers, and producing Policy Briefs that aim to distil key messages from our research.

Thematic Insight: Motivating and monitoring public service provision

The ability to recruit, elicit effort from, and retain civil servants is a central issue for any government. Poor performance of frontline civil servants (e.g., teachers, health workers, tax collectors) suggests that governments need to find and deploy more effective…

Thematic Insight: Modernizing tax collection

Developing, maintaining, and using tax records to boost revenue. Tax revenue funds the provision of public goods, but poor countries struggle to raise taxes. In fact, as shown in the figure above, low income countries (LICs) raise only half as much tax…

Research Insight: Can child marriage law change attitudes and behaviour? (Bangladesh)

Experimental Evidence from an Information Intervention in Bangladesh. As part of an EDI case study on early marriage in Bangladesh, we conducted a randomised information intervention in 80 villages following a recent change in child marriage law in the country….

Research Insight: Harnessing Kinship Ties to Foster Small Business Growth in the Kyrgyz Republic

The use of kinship networks by small business owners in the Kyrgyz Republic has both positive and negative effects on their companies’ profitability and revenue growth. In order to leverage these networks, technical advice to entrepreneurs should encourage discretion in…

Research Insight: Judicial Independence, Religion, and Politics: Theory and Evidence

The Judiciary, through providing protection of property rights, constraining government abuse, and enforcing contracts, plays a key role in institutional, political, and economic development. Religion, too, has largely influenced institutions, politics, and economic development. Yet not much is understood on…

Research Insight: Military and Clerics in Muslim Autocracies

This research elucidates the willingness of an autocrat to push through institutional reforms in a context where traditional authorities represented by religious clerics are averse to them and where the military control the means of repression and can potentially make…

Research Insight: Asset ownership and female empowerment: Evidence from a natural experiment in Pakistan

The literature shows that women do not have an equal share in wealth as men, even within the same household, where large inequalities exist in ownership of land and productive assets. Women’s increased control of resources has been shown to…

Research Insight: Female Genital Cutting and the Slave Trade

We test the hypothesis that the slave trade was one of the contributing factors for the spread of female genital cutting (FGC). In the Red-Sea route female slaves were sold as concubines and infibulation was used to ensure chastity. We…

Thematic Insight: Can information improve the functioning of courts?

Countries where courts are weak, and rights are poorly enforced, tend to be countries with worse economic outcomes (Pande and Udry, 2006; Rodrik, 2000, 2005). To better understand the relationship between the functioning of judicial systems and economic growth, Dal…

Research Insight: Candidate Selection and Accountability in Sierra Leone

This EDI Research Insight publishes early stage results from a study designed to explore questions about  representation, accountability and performance among government officials in Sierra Leone. As in many developing countries, in Sierra Leone the process of selecting candidates often…

Research Insight: Changing management practices in government (Evidence from Ghana)

How effectively are government bureaucracies managed? How much variation is there in management practices across organizations? These are basic questions about the day-to-day bureaucratic processes of governance on which little systematic evidence exists, especially in low- and middle-income countries. And…

Research Insight: The interplay of statutory and customary laws on land rights (Tanzania)

Land ownership and inheritance rights play a critical role for gender equity, and the land-poverty nexus has drawn considerable attention both in academia and policy circles. This EDI Research Insight highlights key findings from research designed to build an understanding…

Research Insight: Gang governance in Medellin

Urban armed groups, especially criminal gangs, are a growing threat to peace and economic growth in cities across the world, and often exert state-like powers such as enforcing contracts, policing, and taxing businesses. Gangs, mafias, and urban militias have turned…

Research Insight: Child marriage law, gender norms and marriage customs

This EDI Research Insight provides a summary of our initial findings from an EDI case study in Bangladesh, which was designed to test the hypothesis that formal laws can influence informal social norms and practices related to child marriage. To…

Research Insight: Individualization of property rights and population pressure

Inequality in access to land is often considered symptomatic of larger inequalities of opportunities in rural societies. Yet little is known about land access inequality in frontier settings where property rights have not fully transitioned from open access through communal…

Research Insight: Aspirations in Economics

There is a fast-growing literature on socially determined aspirations, and the implications of this concept for the study of goal-setting, interpersonal inequality, economic mobility, risk-taking, fertility decisions and social conflict. This EDI Research Insight briefly outlines the major themes emerging…

Policy Brief: Resource transfers to local governments (West Bengal)

This EDI Policy Brief provides an accessible summary of key insights and findings from research for a case study on “Discretion versus rule-based budgeting and assignment in Indian governments“. Clientelism and vote buying are commonly mentioned symptoms of poor governance in…

Policy Brief: Community origins of industrial entrepreneurship

This EDI Policy Brief provides an accessible summary of key insights and findings that are presented in the EDI Working Paper on “Community Origins of Industrial Entrepreneurship in Pre-Independence India.” It derives from a case study on the role community networks in…

Policy Brief: Community networks and private enterprise

This EDI Policy Brief provides an accessible summary of key insights and findings that are presented in the EDI Working Paper on “Community networks and the growth of private enterprise in China.” It derives from a case study on the…

Policy Brief: Female Employment and Aspirations for Children

Female Employment and Aspirations for Children: Evidence from Bangladesh’s Garment Industry This EDI Policy Brief provides insight into gender roles and aspirations for children among a sample of families involved with the Bangladeshi garment industry. It is based upon an…

Policy Brief: Dynamics of Family Systems

This policy brief reflects on the EDI Path-Finding Paper, “The dynamics of family systems: lessons from past and present time,” written by Catherine Guirkinger and Jean-Philippe Platteau. It exposes the main lessons from salient studies that have estimated the effects…

Justice for All? Assessing ‘What Works’ to Improve Women’s Access to Legal Services

A Policy Brief Prepared for the World Bank’s 2017 Law, Justice and Development Week October 2017. Economic inequalities divide men and women around the world. Women on average earn just 60-70% of what their male counterparts earn. They are less likely to participate…

Gender Policy Brief

This brief, based on Klasen’s path-finding paper titled ‘Gender, Institutions and Economic Development: Findings, Open Research and Policy Issues’ focuses on the way he treats gender gaps as the outcome of institutional features, formal and informal.  And on how formal institutions, informal…

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