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Cover of Working Paper 466

Can Africa Be a Manufacturing Destination? Labor Costs in Comparative Perspective - Working Paper 466

10/15/17

Our central question is whether African countries can break into global manufacturing in a substantial way. Our results suggest that for any given level of GDP, labor is more costly for firms that are located in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, we also find that there are a few countries in Africa that, on a labor cost basis, may be potential candidates for manufacturing—Ethiopia in particular stands out.

Cover of Working Paper 465

Norms and Reform: Legalizing Homosexuality Improves Attitudes - Working Paper 465

10/13/17

This analysis examines the relationship between legal reform and social norms surrounding homosexuality. First, about a fifth of the variation in individual preferences can be explained at a country level. Second, using a difference-in-differences strategy, legalizing homosexuality improves how individuals view the tone of their communities. Third, we provide further evidence supporting a legal origins argument by examining former colonies. We conclude that adopting legal reform can improve societal attitudes.

Cover of Working Paper 464

Different Strokes for Different Folks: Experimental Evidence on the Effectiveness of Input and Output Incentive Contracts for Health Care Providers with Different Levels of Skills - Working Paper 464

10/11/17
Manoj Mohanan , Grant Miller , Katherine Donato , Yulya Truskinovsky and Marcos Vera-Hernández

A central issue in designing performance incentive contracts is whether to reward the production of outputs versus use of inputs: the former rewards efficiency and innovation in production, while the latter imposes less risk on agents.

Photo of a stethoscope and other medical supplies

Global Skill Partnerships: A Proposal for Technical Training in a Mobile World (brief)

10/11/17

Within a decade, Europe will require hundreds of thousands more nurses than it is likely to train. To meet the growing need, nurses will move in large numbers to Western Europe from other countries, including those in Eastern Europe. But Eastern Europe currently lacks nurses already relative to Western Europe, while Eastern European youths crave opportunities in skilled employment. How can nurses trained in Eastern Europe move to Western Europe in a way that benefits both regions?

Photo of a Syrian woman who was displaced

Global Skill Partnerships: A Proposal for Technical Training in Settings of Forced Displacement

10/11/17

The world urgently needs innovation to shape how international migration happens. Today people who are forcibly displaced are seen and treated largely as a burden, not as a resource that can bring shared benefits. A new type of private-public partnership can offer new opportunity for some of those who are forcibly displaced. It can be called a Global Skill Partnership, and this note illustrates how it might work for Syrians displaced into Turkey.

What's In, What's Out? Designing Benefits for Universal Health Coverage

What's In, What's Out: Designing Benefits for Universal Health Coverage

10/10/17
Amanda Glassman , Ursula Giedion and Peter C. Smith

What’s In, What’s Out: Designing Benefits for Universal Health Coverage argues that the creation of an explicit health benefits plan—a defined list of services that are and are not available—is an essential element in creating a sustainable system of universal health coverage. With contributions from leading health economists and policy experts, the book considers the many dimensions of governance, institutions, methods, political economy, and ethics that are needed to decide what’s in and what’s out in a way that is fair, evidence-based, and sustainable over time.

Cover of What's In What's Out factsheet

What’s In, What’s Out: Designing Benefits for Universal Health Coverage: Key Messages for Donors and Advocates

10/10/17

Many low- and middle-income countries aspire to universal health coverage (UHC), but for rhetoric to become reality, the health services offered must be consistent with the funds available, which may require tough tradeoffs. An explicit health benefits package—a defined list of services that are and are not subsidized—is essential in creating a sustainable UHC system.

cover of working paper 463

Testing for Repugnance in Economic Transactions: Evidence from Guest Work in the Gulf - Working Paper 463

10/6/17

Workers from poor countries can find enormous economic opportunity by working temporarily in a rich country. But agencies that fight global poverty do little to facilitate guest work. This may be because guest workers are perceived to typically suffer negative side effects that outweigh the benefits. This paper uses a natural experiment to test several perceptions of harmful side-effects on Indian guest workers in the Gulf. The research shows little evidence that the harmful side-effects often ascribed to guest work are typical and systematic, though this does not contradict the occurrence of many individual cases of harmful side-effects.

Photo of some British pound notes

Solving the Private Sector Imbroglio

10/2/17

Disagreement over how investments in the private sector are counting to aid is threatening to overwhelm the OECD Development Assistance Committee. There are no perfect solutions here; governments must find the least-bad compromise. We point the way forward.

Photo of two US service members loading USAID relief supplies

Advancing the Evidence Agenda at USAID

9/26/17

Front and center in discussions around the reform and redesign of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) are the objectives of increased efficiency and effectiveness. The agency’s new administrator, Mark Green, who has highlighted these goals from day one, has an excellent opportunity to improve the agency’s efficiency and effectiveness through better generation and use of evidence to inform policy and programming decisions.

Cover of "Global Business and Refugee Crises: A Framework for Sustainable Engagement"

Global Business and Refugee Crises: A Framework for Sustainable Engagement

9/20/17

Global businesses can make unique and valuable contributions to refugee response by engaging refugees not as aid recipients, but as employees, producers, investees, and customers.

The position of global enterprises as market leaders, policy influencers, and innovators gives them distinctive capacities for engagement and advocacy that do not exist within the traditional refugee response community.

Industrial robots in an automobile factory in Germany

Automation, AI, and the Emerging Economies

9/13/17

For the world’s middle-income countries, the changes unleashed by automation, digital technologies, and the advent of increasingly more capable AI pose major challenges. They threaten to upend the few tried and tested development strategies.

Cover of Policy Paper 108: The Electricity Situation in Ghana: Challenges and Opportunities

The Electricity Situation in Ghana: Challenges and Opportunities

9/8/17
Ebenezer Nyarko Kumi

In the past decade, Ghana has experienced severe electricity supply challenges even though installed generation capacity has more than doubled over the period. The electricity supply challenges can be attributed to a number of factors, including a high level of losses in the distribution system as well as non-payment of revenue by consumers. Solving Ghana’s electricity challenges would require a range of measures.

Schoolchildren in Liberia playing on a playground

Can a Public-Private Partnership Improve Liberia’s Schools?

9/7/17
Mauricio Romero , Justin Sandefur and Wayne Aaron Sandholtz

After one year, public schools managed by private operators raised student learning by 60 percent compared to standard public schools. But costs were high, performance varied across operators, and contracts authorized the largest operator to push excess pupils and under-performing teachers into other government schools.

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