Jishnu Das

Former Lead Economist, Development Research Group

Jishnu Das was a Lead Economist in the Development Research Group (Human Development Team) until August 2019. Jishnu’s work focuses on the delivery of basic services, particularly health and education. He has worked on the quality of health care, mental health, information in health and education markets, child learning and test-scores and the determinants of trust. His work has been published in leading economics, health and education journals and widely covered in the media and policy forums. In 2011 he was part of the core team on the World Development Report on Gender and Development. He received the George Bereday Award from the Comparative and International Education Society and the Stockholm Challenge Award for the best ICT project in the public administration category in 2006, and the Research Academy award from the World Bank in 2013. He is currently working on long-term projects on health and education markets in India and Pakistan.

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    Giving test-score information improves educational outcomes

    American Economic Review, June 2017 (with Tahir Andrabi and Asim Ijaz Khwaja)
    A central insight from the literature on asymmetric information (one party to a transaction has more information than another) is that prices adjust to prevent market collapse. In our experiment, we were able to clearly define “markets” and use the rise of private schools to the study the link between prices and information. Providing information decreases prices and increases quality, consistent with theoretical predictions. In our context, this is an exceedingly cost-effective intervention to improve test-scores and enrollment.
  • Measuring Patient Safety at Scale in Primary Care

    Bulletin of the World Health Organization, July 2017 (with Lupe Bedoya, Amy Dolinger and others)
    The literature on patient safety is organized by `domains’ (handwashing, safe injections, waste disposal etc.) with existing estimates based on small-N studies, often using self-reported data. Using a new measurement methodology, developed and validated by Bedoya and Dolinger, we observed 10,000+ patients in close to 1000 health facilities in Kenya. As this new methodology tracks multiple domains, we were able to show that patient safety violations differed dramatically across domains (compliance ranged from <5% to >90%). In domains where violations are frequent, the lack of knowledge and/or supplies are not constraining factors.
  • Use of standardised patients to assess quality of healthcare in Nairobi, Kenya: a pilot, cross-sectional study with international comparisons

    BMJ-Global Health, June 2017 (with Ben Daniels, Amy Dolinger and others)
    We don’t know much about how patients are really treated when they visit primary care clinics around the world. As part of our attempt to gather evidence on quality of care from multiple sites, we developed and validated the use of standardized patients for 4 tracer conditions (3 adult, 1 child) among clinics offering primary care in Nairobi, Kenya. They worked (very) well. One big surprise was just how much better the Kenyan providers were compared to those in China or India for 3 out of 4 conditions, while performing at a very low standard for the 4th. We don’t know why, but it looks like differences across countries may be much larger than variation within sites.
  • Compensation Diversity and Inclusion at the World Bank Group

    World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, May 2017 (with Clement Joubert and Sander Florian Tordoir)
    We have assembled unique data on all employees at the World Bank Group between 1987 and 2015. Using these data we implement a dynamic decomposition technique specifically developed to analyze diversity and inclusion within firms. We examine three questions: • How has workforce composition and compensation changed at the World Bank Group over this period? • How is the World Bank Group doing when it comes to equal compensation for men and women and staff from different countries? • How strong is the link between salary and performance ratings at the World Bank group?
  • Conflicts in Systematic Reviews

    Globalization and Health, April 2017 (with Jorge Coarasa, Eilizabeth Gummerson and Asaf Bitton)
    Why is that two systematic reviews published in the same journal a year apart came to fundamentally different conclusions on the quality of public versus private healthcare providers in LMIC? The reviews were equally high quality and the choices made by both sets of reviewers were different—but defensible. The problem is that a sensible definition of a high quality study reduces a seemingly vast body of literature to……ONE study.
Tel : +1 202 473 2781
Curriculum Vitae

  • Education
  • Macroeconomic and Structural Policies
  • Gender
  • Health