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  • Blog post

    Fighting poverty with big data: A conversation with Joshua Blumenstock

    Joshua Blumenstock is an Assistant Professor at the UC Berkeley School of Information, where he directs the Data-Intensive Development Lab, and a member of the Blum Center’s Development Engineering faculty. His research lies at the intersection of machine learning and development economics, and focuses on using novel data and methods to better understand the causes and...

    29 Aug 2018 | Rachel Pizatella-Haswell

  • Blog post

    Motivating teachers in rural Zambia using a monetary incentive

    As is the case in many developing countries, the achievement gap between rural and urban areas in Zambia remains substantial. For example, the share of students scoring well on the primary school leaving examinations (the Grade 7 examinations) in rural areas is about half what it is in urban areas, according to data from the Examinations Council of Zambia (ECZ). The reasons...

    22 Aug 2018 | Grieve Chelwa, Miquel Pellicer, Mashekwa Maboshe

  • Blog post

    Overcoming the middle-income trap: Policy priorities for Latin America

    Boosting innovation, infrastructure and education policies, while improving institutions and finances can help the region reach the high-income range. During more than half a century, most Latin American countries have been unable to significantly reduce the income gap with advanced economies and breakout from the middle-income range. Since the 1970s, this gap has been...

    16 Aug 2018 | Ángel Melguizo, Sebastián Nieto-Parra , José Ramón Perea , Jaime Ariel Pérez

  • Blog post

    Evidence-based tax policy: A policymaker’s perspective

    Collaborative research can play an important role in addressing the challenges that tax authorities in Africa face. IGC’s regional tax conference in Lusaka brought together tax authorities from several African countries to share their experiences and insights on using evidence in tax policy design and enforcement. Tax collection agencies across the world are facing...

    13 Aug 2018 | Twivwe Siwale

  • Blog post

    “None of the above”: Protest voting, voter turnout and electoral outcomes in India

    Indian voters can vote for “none of the above” in national and state elections. This option has raised voter turnout and provides insight into the behaviour of protest voters in elections that do not have an explicit protest option. In 2013, the Indian Supreme Court set out to increase political participation with an unusual policy: it mandated the introduction of a...

    8 Aug 2018 | Gergely Ujhelyi, Somdeep Chatterjee, Andrea Szabó

  • Blog post

    The economic impacts of investing in rural electrification in Ghana

    Ending energy poverty is recognised by Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7. In Ghana, significant progress in extending electricity access across the country has been made, particularly in rural areas where access levels rose from 1% to 63% of the population between 1991 and 2014. However, evidence on the economic benefits of rural electrification projects remains...

    1 Aug 2018 | George Adu, John Bosco Dramani, Eric Oteng-Abayie

  • Blog post

    Non-tradeables and low-income country growth

    Transformation needs to be export led, so it might be tempting to think only about the needs of exporters. It might be tempting to see growth with very few new, export sector jobs as a failure. However, even in the most successful manufacturing-led transformatory growth episodes, most of the jobs and lots of the output are in non-tradeable sectors. Non-tradeable enterprises...

    30 Jul 2018 | Stevan Lee, Enrico Vanino

  • Blog post

    The promises and challenges of special economic zones

    On Tuesday 29 May 2018, the Oxford Urbanists and Cities that Work hosted a panel event titled "Can Special Economic Zones (SEZs) Drive Growth in Developing Cities?” to discuss evidence for improved policy. How should we think about Special Economic Zones (SEZs)? What benefits can they bring to developing cities? Where do they fall short? How can...

    27 Jul 2018 | Paul Healy

  • Blog post

    Apples, oranges and other fruit: Different forms of poverty

    US destitution is different to that found in developing countries, given the prevalence of social safety nets and better access to services. However, there are similar factors keeping people in poverty, such as poverty traps and inefficient government intervention. Better social safety nets are an important part of reducing the difference. In my last blog post, I touched...

    25 Jul 2018 | Theres Lessing

  • Blog post

    Government decentralisation and reform in Myanmar’s roads sector

    Myanmar is in the midst of an historic shift towards a more democratic and responsive government. In a radical departure from a highly centralised structure, the 2008 Constitution established 14 sub-national governments, with partially elected parliaments. In addition to their devolved political authority, a range of finance and administrative functions were ceded to this...

    19 Jul 2018 | Ildirim Valley