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Cover of working paper 491
July 25, 2018

If You Build It, Will They Consume? Key Challenges for Universal, Reliable, and Low-Cost Electricity Delivery in Kenya - Working Paper 491

Kenya’s rapid electrification in the past decade has improved the lives of millions, but significant challenges remain. This paper provides analysis that shows electrification can be improved by considering cheaper options that still meet the needs of low consumers and that low consumption is a first-order problem for the sustainability of utilities.

Cover of Working Paper 490
July 19, 2018

Competing or Complementary Strategies? Protecting Indigenous Rights and Paying to Conserve Forests - Working Paper 490

In 2007, the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the UNFCCC endorsed the Bali Action Plan to pay for reductions in tropical deforestation. This paper reviews the history of efforts to protect indigenous rights and to pay for conserving forests and analyzes how they might be competing or complementary strategies.

Cover of Working Paper 489
July 10, 2018

Digital Governance in Developing Countries: Beneficiary Experience and Perceptions of System Reform in Rajasthan, India - Working Paper 489

India is at the forefront of the use of digital technology to transform the way in which citizens interact with states. This paper provides a picture of the perceived impact of digitization reforms in Rajasthan, based on a survey of beneficiaries of several benefit programs. We find that, on balance, the reforms appear to have improved perceptions of service delivery despite some difficulties during the digitization process and the possibility that there could have been some degree of exclusion.

Cover of Working Paper 487
July 2, 2018

The Rise of the Robot Reserve Army: Automation and the Future of Economic Development, Work, and Wages in Developing Countries - Working Paper 487

Emerging economies face a contemporary challenge to traditional pathways to employment generation: automation, digitalization, and labor-saving technologies. 1.8 billion jobs—or two-thirds of the current labor force of developing countries—are estimated to be susceptible to automation from today’s technological standpoint.

Cover of Working Paper 485
June 1, 2018

Three Decades of Poverty Mobility in Nigeria: The Trapped, the Freed, and the Never Trapped - Working Paper 485

Individuals do escape poverty during periods of overall rise in the poverty rate; they also transit into poverty during periods of overall decline in the poverty rate. In this paper, I explore six sweeps of household surveys of Nigeria (1980–2010) in an attempt to address these concerns. In addition, I test whether different processes are at work in determining chronic and transient poverty. 

Cover of Working Paper 484
May 23, 2018

Speeding Sustainable Development: Integrating Economic, Social, and Environmental Development - Working Paper 484

This paper discusses the role for policy integration to speed progress towards delivering the SDGs. This paper suggests a mechanism for prioritizing coordination and the use of coordination tools including regulation, safeguards, taxes, and subsidies. It also suggests re-orienting ministerial responsibilities where possible from input control to achievement of outcomes as well as tools to promote innovation by subnational governments and the private sector.

Cover: Will the Poor in Nigeria Escape Poverty in Their Lifetime?
April 30, 2018

Will the Poor in Nigeria Escape Poverty in Their Lifetime? - Working Paper 483

Drawing on six sweeps of household surveys of Nigeria that together span 1980–2010 with a pooled sample size of about 97,000 households and data on Nigeria’s age-gender-specific life expectancy from the World Health Organization, this paper shows that about 72 percent to 91 percent of Nigeria’s poor are at risk of spending their entire life below the poverty line.

Cover: Guaranteed Employment or Guaranteed Income?
April 30, 2018

Guaranteed Employment or Guaranteed Income? - Working Paper 482

The paper critically reviews the arguments for and against both employment guarantees and income guarantees when viewed as rights-based policy instruments for poverty reduction in a developing economy, with special reference to India. Evidence on India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Act does not suggest that the potential for either providing work when needed or reducing current poverty is being realized, despite pro-poor targeting. Instead, work is often rationed by local leaders in poor areas, and the poverty impact is small when all the costs are considered. 

Cover of Working Paper 480
March 22, 2018

Does Deforestation Increase Malaria Prevalence? Evidence from Satellite Data and Health Surveys - Working Paper 480

In this paper we combine fourteen years of high-resolution satellite data on forest loss with individual-level survey data on malaria in more than 60,000 rural children in 17 countries in Africa, and fever in more than 470,000 rural children in 41 countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. We did not find that deforestation increases malaria prevalence nor that intermediate levels of forest cover have higher malaria prevalence.

Cover of Working Paper 479
March 20, 2018

Alleviating Global Poverty: Labor Mobility, Direct Assistance, and Economic Growth - Working Paper 479

Simply allowing more labor mobility holds vastly more promise for reducing poverty than anything else on the development agenda. That said, the magnitude of the gains from large growth accelerations (and losses from large decelerations) are also many-fold larger than the potential gains from directed individual interventions and the poverty reduction gains from large, extended periods of rapid growth are larger than from targeted interventions and also hold promise (and have delivered) for reducing global poverty.

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