Human Development

November 30, 2023

The Human Development team of the World Bank Research Group conducts rigorous research across a wide range of topics, including early childhood development, education/skills, health, labor, and aging, among other areas. The agenda also focuses on related cross-cutting aspects such as gender, service delivery design, social protection, and public finance. The program includes methodological research on survey design and methods, and adaptive sampling techniques.

Featured Research
  • Twitter postcard for Pensions and Informality Policy Research Talk

    Pensions and Informality

    Policy Research Talk, October 20, 2022
    The combined forces of increased longevity, lower fertility, and weakening risk-sharing networks make financing the future consumption and wellbeing of the elderly population a major concern globally. In this Policy Research Talk, World Bank Research Economist Clément Joubert discussed how his and others' research informs pension policy design in high-informality settings. The presentation will focus on three questions: (i) What disincentives for formal work are embedded in pension programs? (ii) Where do gender disparities in pension benefits originate and how can they be reduced? (iii) Can workers in the informal economy afford to participate in voluntary pension schemes?
  • Cover of the Improving Effective Coverage in Health: Do Financial Incentives Work? report

    Improving Effective Coverage in Health: Do Financial Incentives Work?

    Policy Research Report Launch, May 11, 2022
    Financial incentives and performance pay to frontline health facilities and workers have gained popularity as an innovative approach to confront the challenge of poor health outcomes in low-income countries. In this talk, report lead authors Damien de Walque and Eeshani Kandpal review evidence on the impacts of PBF on health service delivery spanning fifteen years and nearly forty countries with a particular emphasis on the quality of service delivery.
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    Delving Into Women’s Social Isolation

    Feature Story, March 21, 2022
    S Anukriti is an Economist in the Development Research Group (Human Development Team) of the World Bank. In this Feature Story, S Anukriti answers questions about her research, interests, and more.
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    The Promise and Limitations of Technology for Tax Mobilization

    Policy Research Talk, November 16, 2021
    At a recent Policy Research Talk, World Bank economist Oyebola Okunogbe shared findings from two studies on the potential of technology to transform three core tax administration functions: identifying the tax base, reducing compliance costs, and monitoring compliance.
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    Better Together: Empowering Women through Stronger Social Networks in India

    Policy Research Talk, September 28, 2021
    In a recent Policy Research Talk, World Bank economist S Anukriti summarized research that casts new light on the social lives of Indian women. She shared findings from a recent study of 671 married women in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, who were interviewed to learn about their social networks and the impact of these networks on their lives. While the context of this study was a single district in India, the potential implications are much broader.

LATEST WORKING PAPERS

Influence of COVID-19 on Female Sex Workers in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: A Mixed-Methods Analysis
Marianna Balampama, Damien de Walque, William H. Dow, Rebecca Hémono
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 10572, September 2023

Effect of a Lottery Intervention on Gender-Based Violence among Female Sex Workers in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: Results from a Randomized Trial
Rebecca Hémono, Marianna Balampama, Damien de Walque, Sandra I. McCoy, William H. Dow
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 10572, September 2023

Effects of a Lottery Incentive on Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV Incidence among Female Sex Workers in Tanzania : Results from the RESPECT II Randomized Trial
Marianna Balampama, Damien de Walque, William H. Dow, Rebecca Hémono
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 10571, September 2023

Missing SDG Gender Indicators
Kathleen Beegle, Umar Serajuddin, Brian Stacy, Divyanshi Wadhwa
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 10544, August 2023 

Violent Discipline and Parental Behavior: Short- and Medium-term Effects of Virtual Parenting Support to Caregivers
Lelys Dinarte-Diaz, Saravana Ravindran, Manisha Shah, Shawn Powers, Helen Baker-Henningham
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 10507, June 2023

More Working Papers


LATEST JOURNAL ARTICLES

Helping families help themselves: The (Un)intended impacts of a digital parenting program
Sofia Amaral, Lelys Dinarte-Diaz, Patricio Dominguez, Santiago M. Perez-Vincent
Journal of Development Economics, vol. 166, January 2024

Preventing Violence in the Most Violent Contexts: Behavioral and Neurophysiological Evidence from El Salvador
Lelys Dinarte-Diaz, Pablo Egana-delSol
Journal of the European Economic Association, November 2023

What makes a program good? Evidence from short-cycle higher education programs in five developing countries
Lelys Dinarte-Diaz, Maria Marta Ferreyra, Sergio Urzua, Marina Bassi
World Development, vol. 169, September 2023

The Unintended Consequences of Deportations: Evidence from Firm Behavior in El Salvador
Antonella Bandiera, Lelys Dinarte-Diaz, Sandra V Rozo, Carlos Schmidt-Padilla, Maria Micael Sviastchi, Hernan Winkler
Economic Development and Cultural Change, vol. 71 (4), July 2023

Incentivizing School Attendance in the Presence of Parent-Child Information Frictions
Damien de Walque, Christine Valente
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, vol. 15, no 3, August 2023

Does Exposure to Other Ethnic Regions Promote National Integration? Evidence from Nigeria
Oyebola Okunogbe
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, Forthcoming

What Makes a Program Good? Evidence from Short-Cycle Higher Education Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean
Lelys Dinarte-Diaz, Maria Marta Ferreyra, Sergio Urzua, Marina Bassi
World Development, vol. 169, September 2023

The Promise and Limitations of Information Technology for Tax Mobilization
Oyebola Okunogbe, Fabrizio Santoro
The World Bank Research Observer, vol. 38 (2), August 2023

The Effects of Community Health Worker Visits and Primary Care Subsidies on Health Behavior and Health Outcomes for Children in Urban Mali
Mark DeanAnja Sautmann
The World Bank Economic Review, August 2023


BOOKS AND REPORTS
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    The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Women-Led Businesses

    Jesica Torres, Franklin Maduko, Isis Gaddis, Leonardo Iacovone, and Kathleen Beegle, March 2023
    The COVID-19 pandemic has struck businesses across the globe with unprecedented impacts. The world economy has been hit hard and firms have experienced a myriad of challenges, but these challenges have been heterogeneous across firms. This paper examines one important dimension of this heterogeneity: the differential effect of the pandemic on women-led and men-led businesses.
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    Promoting national integration through national service programmes: Evidence from Nigeria’s National Youth Service Corps

    Oyebola Okunogbe, February 2023
    This book presents a synthesis of key recent advances in political-economy research on the various approaches and strategies used in the process of building nations throughout modern history. It features chapters written by leading scholars who describe the findings of their quantitative analyses of the risks and benefits of different nation-building policies.
  • Cover of the Improving Effective Coverage in Health: Do Financial Incentives Work? report

    Improving Effective Coverage in Health: Do Financial Incentives Work?

    Damien de Walque, Eeshani Kandpal, Adam Wagstaff, May 2022
    Improving Effective Coverage in Health: Do Financial Incentives Work? examines one specific policy approach to improving effective coverage: financial incentives in the form of performance-based financing (PBF), a package reform that typically includes performance pay to frontline health workers as well as facility autonomy, transparency, and community engagement.
  • Blue postcard with text Reshaping Social Norms about Gender: A New Way Forward and has five face images of panel

    Reshaping Social Norms about Gender: A New Way Forward

    S Anukriti, Maurizio Bussolo, Ana Maria Munoz Boudet, April 2022
    Despite decades of rapid economic growth, rising education, and declining fertility, women in South Asia continue to face greater disadvantages in accessing economic opportunities than in most of the developing world. A key objective of this chapter is to focus the attention of research and policymaking on social norms, not to claim that social norms are the only, or the most important factor hindering the path towards gender equality in South Asia.
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    State of the Mashreq Women Flagship: Who Cares? - Care Work and Women’s Labor Market Outcomes in Iraq, Jordan, and Lebanon

    Silvia Redaelli, S Anukriti, February 2022
    Female labor force participation in the Mashreq is exceptionally low, particularly among mothers with young children. The second State of the Mashreq Women Report: Who Cares? Care Work and Women’s Labor Market Outcomes in Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon examines the potential for care policies to support greater female labor force participation.
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    The Fast Track to New Skills: Short-Cycle Higher Education Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean

    María Marta Ferreyra, Lelys Dinarte Díaz, Sergio Urzúa, Marina Bassi, January 2021
    The economic crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated underlying trends, such as automation, the use of electronic platforms, and the need for lifelong learning. Addressing these demands requires the urgent upskilling and reskilling of the population. The report explores the labor market outcomes and returns of Short-Cycle Higher Education Programs, examines their providers, and identifies the practices adopted by the best programs.
  • Handbook on Using Administrative Data for Research and Evidence based Policy

    Handbook on Using Administrative Data for Research and Evidence-based Policy

    Edited by Shawn Cole, Iqbal Dhaliwal, Anja Sautmann, Lars Vilhuber, 2021
    The Handbook serves as a go-to reference for researchers seeking to use administrative data and for data providers looking to make their data accessible for research. It provides information, best practices, and case studies on how to create privacy-protected access to, handle, and analyze administrative data, with the aim of pushing the research frontier as well as informing evidence-based policy innovations.
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    Overconfident: How Economic and Health Fault Lines Left the Middle East and North Africa Ill-Prepared to Face COVID-19

    Roberta V. Gatti, Daniel Lederman, Yuting Fan, Arian Hatefi, Ha Nguyen, Anja Sautmann, Joseph Martin Sax, Christina A. Wood, October 2021
    This report examines the region’s economic prospects in 2021, forecasting that the recovery will be both tenuous and uneven as per capita GDP level stays below pre-pandemic levels. It points out that the region’s health systems were ill-prepared for the pandemic, and suffered from over-confidence, as authorities painted an overly optimistic picture in self-assessments of health system preparedness. Going forward, governments must improve data transparency and undertake reforms to remedy historical underinvestment in public health systems.
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    World Development Report 2018: Learning to Realize Education’s Promise

    January 2018
    The World Development Report 2018 is the first ever devoted entirely to education. And the timing is excellent: education has long been critical to human welfare, but it is even more so in a time of rapid economic and social change.


TEAM MEMBERS

S Anukriti
Senior Economist

Kathleen Beegle
Lead Economist

Lelys Dinarte-Diaz
Economist

John Giles
Lead Economist

Clément Joubert
Research Economist

Carolina Lopez
Research Economist

Oyebola Okunogbe
Economist

Anja Sautmann
Senior Economist

Damien de Walque
Lead Economist | Acting Manager

Research Staff »

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