Research Newsletter Archive


A monthly summary of the latest research by the Development Research Group, the principal research department of the World Bank


2018 Monthly Newsletters (PDF)

2018

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October  World Bank’s Human Capital Index The October newsletter focuses on the research foundations of the World Bank’s new Human Capital Index. The index is a key pillar of the Bank’s Human Capital Project, an initiative to create political momentum for investments in the education and health of the next generation.The newsletter highlights the careful research that underpins the Human Capital Index’s methodology—in particular Aart Kraay’s recent working paper on the HCI methodology—but also work that fills in pieces of the puzzle.   
September Exporter Dynamics, Superstar Firms, and Trade Policy The September newsletter focuses on international trade. Better data and new experimental evidence are providing a deeper understanding of the behavior of exporters and how policy can help developing countries compete in global markets. New research shows how stringent product standards in a destination market can deter exporters; how China’s trade liberalization deepened its engagement in global value chains and increased the domestic value-added of its exports; and how an export promotion program in Tunisia had mixed results. 
July  Machine Learning and Big Data The July newsletter focuses on machine learning and big data. Rapid advances in computing power and decreases in the costs of certain types of data are allowing us to address long-standing development questions in completely new ways. A number of studies in this month’s newsletter take advantage of satellite imagery to proxy for data that are often in short supply in low-income economy contexts. Nighttime lights allow us to estimate local GDP in the West Bank; satellite imagery in Ethiopia is helping us monitor land use and soil degradation in real time; images of buildings can be used to construct population maps.
May Financial Inclusion The May newsletter covers the new Findex report, working papers related to financial inclusion, as well as new policy briefs on the fintech revolution and on financial integration in East Asia and Pacific, the latest Research Digest on fragility, conflict, and violence, and a round-up of blog posts on topics like governance, the cost of judicial delays, the impact of business plan competitions, and many others.  

April

Conflict, Violence, and Fragile States

The April newsletter focuses on the challenges faced by fragile and conflict-affected states. Recent papers include a path-breaking analysis of Daesh’s oil revenues using satellite data; the impact and design of peacekeeping missions; and the conditions that lead to radicalization.

February

Fiscal Space

The February newsletter focuses on the growing fiscal vulnerabilities in many emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs). Recent papers on the topic examine the evolution of fiscal space over the last three decades; the impact of fiscal space on the effectiveness of fiscal stimulus; and priority steps EMDEs can take to rebuild their fiscal space.

January

Divorce, Widowhood, and Women’s Welfare in Africa

 

The January newsletter focuses on the fate of widows and divorcees in Africa, where the impact of marital death and divorce falls heavily on women, who are often excluded socially and lose their property after a marriage ends. Recent papers on this understudied topic examine the welfare status of divorced and widowed women in 20 countries across Africa; marital trajectories in Senegal; and the living standards of widows and their children in Mali.

 


2017 Monthly Newsletters (PDF)

December

International Banking

The December newsletter focuses on international banking. Recent papers tackle the performance of international banks in developing countries; the impact of foreign monetary policy on credit supply; the cushion provided by capital markets during a shock to bank lending.

November

Moving for Prosperity

The November newsletter focuses on migration. Recent papers examine the impact of alternative transit routes on unilateral migration policies; the increasing role of high-skilled migrants in global migration patterns; the effect of tax incentives on enticing high-skilled emigrants to return home.

October

Urbanization

The October newsletter focuses on urbanization. Recent papers on the issue examine better approaches to measuring urbanization; the role of land governance; urban land markets; road investments; and public transit.   

September

Promoting Effective Governance

 

The September newsletter focuses on promoting effective governance. Recent papers examine the challenges civil servants face in serving the poor; how civil society leaders can use social pressure to improve governance; exploring why the implementation of a participatory anti-poverty project in India worsened as it expanded.

August

Financial Education

 

The August newsletter focuses on financial education. Recent papers cover topics such as the limited benefits of generic classroom-based education for adults; the role of programs that complement financial education; the low quality of information provided by banks to potential clients about their products; and the success of a South African soap opera in encouraging positive financial outcomes.

June-July

Measuring and Monitoring Global Poverty

The June-July newsletter focuses on global poverty measurement. Recent papers on poverty measurement cover topics such as new methodological foundations for setting an international poverty line; the most recent update to the international poverty line; a new supplemental approach to measuring global poverty that incorporates an element of relative poverty.

May

Early Childhood Development

The May newsletter focuses on early childhood development. Recent papers cover topics such as the factors related to learning gaps in school; the benefits of mass deworming; the impact of a conditional cash transfer program in Tanzania; school readiness programs. 

April

Gender Inequality

The April newsletter focuses on gender inequality. Recent papers cover topics such as the cost of land tenure insecurity on the productivity of female farmers in Africa; gender discrimination in the diffusion of agricultural technology; the role of radio programming in increasing political participation by women; the state of poverty in female-headed households in Africa; policies that target poor households often miss women and children.

March

Labor Markets Policies

The March newsletter focuses on labor market policies. Recent papers cover topics such as hiring subsidies to overcome labor market frictions; the efficacy of a vocational training program; the use of big data to better understand workforce skills; and the benefits of wage subsidies during an economic crisis.  

February

Agricultural Productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa

The February newsletter focuses on agricultural productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa. Recent papers cover topics such as the impediments to rural transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa; new approaches to agricultural extension in Mozambique; improving land tenure security in Benin; and the farm size-productivity relationship in Rwanda.

January

Economic Geography

The January newsletter focuses on economic geography. Recent papers examine topics such as the impact of transport investments on development outcomes; the spatial impacts of hukou and highways in China; the impact of roads on market access and agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa; and the role of rural transport in reallocating labor in India.


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Last Updated: Apr 25, 2018