Country Session 5: Bangladesh

Chaired by Mushfiq Mobarak (Yale and IGC), Session 5 was opened by Oriana Bandiera (LSE) who using evidence from BRAC Targeted Ultra-Poor Programme, highlights the casual link between low capital and skill endowment with poverty. The programme providing asset and training to rural women in Bangladesh, successfully transformed the occupational choices from insecure wage labour to self-employment and increased livestock asset holding and household wealth.

Mushfiq Mobarak using data from a sanitation study finds evidence supporting voters’ rationality in rural Bangladesh. The study show how voters can distinguish skilled politicians and correctly assign them credit. Erica Field (Duke) presents a study that finds unintentional consequences of arsenic mitigation health campaign on infant mortality. The evidence show that switching from arsenic contaminated shallow tubewell to surface water increased the rate diarrheal disease among children in Bangladesh.

Yasuyuki Sawada (University of Tokyo) presents a paper on the determinants of Micro Finance institutions’ outreach in Bangladesh. Nasiruddin Ahmed (Former NBR Chairman) and Mushfiq Mobarak present the status of the ongoing tax-recognition study in Bangladesh. The intervention analyses the effectiveness of social incentives on VAT compliance. The program aims to increase tax revenues by offering non-monetary incentives such as rewards and recognition.