2023 Monthly Newsletter
|The Future of Migration and Forced Displacement
|The December Research Newsletter features the topic “The Future of Migration and Forced Displacement .” The lead item in this newsletter is an excerpt from the feature story “Global Migration in the 21st Century: Navigating the Impact of Climate Change, Conflict, and Demographic Shifts.” This newsletter’s research highlights cover topics such as: outcomes for internally displaced persons, the impact of migration regularization programs on pandemic resilience, the impact of temporary migration on development in origin countries, the impact of immigration on businesses and the informal sector, and others. This edition of the newsletter also features 3 calls for papers, and a recap of the Ninth IMF-World Bank-WTO Trade Conference.
|Building Stronger Foundations for Public Administration Reform
|The October research newsletter features the topic “Building Stronger Foundations for Public Administration Reform.” The lead item in this newsletter is an excerpt from the feature story “Transforming Development Policy at Scale Demands Ambitious Reforms to Public Administration.” This newsletter’s research highlights cover topics such as: selection of bureaucrats through competitive examinations, the impact of providing bureaucrats with informational briefings, how data can be used to strengthen public service, and others. This edition of the newsletter also includes a publication highlight looking back at the World Development Report 2018 on Learning, and recent presentations from Development Research Group researchers at the WTO Public Forum and G20 Conference.
|Development and (De)globalization
|The September research newsletter features the topic “Development and (De)globalization.” The lead item in this newsletter is an excerpt from the feature story “Protectionism Is Failing to Achieve Its Goals and Threatens the Future of Critical Industries.” This newsletter’s research highlights covers topics such as: the impact of protectionism on gender inequality, Massively Modular Ecosystems, Global Value Chains and their exposure to risk, the impacts of global trade wars, and others. This edition of the newsletter also includes a Research Highlight featuring the latest updates from the Syrian Refugee Life Study.
|Climate Change and Sustainable Cities
|The June research newsletter features the topic “Climate Change and Sustainable Cities.” The lead item in this newsletter is an excerpt from the feature story “Sustainable Cities Must Become Central to Climate Change Strategies.” Covering topics such as climate change, skyscrapers, and migration in urbanized areas, this newsletter's research highlights features presentations from the 7th Urbanization and Poverty Reduction Research Conference and the Young Urban Economists Workshop. The Data Highlight in this newsletter shares two new publicly available databases for GHG tracking and mitigation with satellite data.
|Creating the Foundations for Long Term Growth
|The April research newsletter features the topic “Creating the Foundations for Long Term Growth.” The lead item in this newsletter is an excerpt from the feature story “Dreaming Big on Growth? A Decade of Insights from the Long Term Growth Model.” This newsletter's research highlights include: the Long Term Growth Model, the impact of informality on the growth of firms, deindustrialization in Central America, the impact of economic integration with high-income countries, and others.
|New Approaches to Quantifying the Costs of War & Conflict
|The February research newsletter features the topic “New Approaches to Quantifying the Costs of War & Conflict.” The lead item in this newsletter is a summary of the Policy Research Talk “Local and Global Economic Impacts of the War in Ukraine.” This newsletter's research highlights include: novel methods to track and measure the complex impacts of war, the impact of conflict on displaced persons, development and recovery post-conflict, the Violence without Borders Report, the Household Impacts of Tariffs Database, and others.
|Financial Inclusion and Resilience in the Age of COVID-19
|The January research newsletter features the topic "Financial Inclusion and Resilience in the Age of COVID-19". The lead item in this newsletter is an excerpt from the feature story Latest Global Findex Data Chart 10 Years of Progress in Financial Inclusion. This newsletter's research highlights include: how inexperienced consumers can learn to use new financial technologies, methods to increase access to banking in developing countries, the role of gender in agent banking, and others. Additionally, this newsletter features two calls for papers and four database and report launches.
2022 Monthly Newsletter
|Pensions and Informality: Supporting the Elderly in an Aging World
|The November research newsletter features the topic "Pensions and Informality: Supporting the Elderly in an Aging World". The lead item in this newsletter is an excerpt from the feature story Informality Threatens Pensions’ Ability to Support Aging Populations. This newsletter's research highlights include: saving for old age in a high-informality environment, how people around the world save for retirement, how pension systems affect gender gaps, and more. Urbanization and Poverty Reduction Research Conference, two upcoming Policy Research Talks, and a round-up of Development Impact blog guest posts.
|Transportation Infrastructure: Theories, Policies, and Impacts
|The October research newsletter features the topic 'Transportation Infrastructure: Theories, Policies, and Impacts'. The lead item in this newsletter is an excerpt from the feature story 'Investing in Public Transit Systems Can Empower Workers and Transform Urban Economies'. This newsletter's research highlights include: the direct and indirect effect of improved transportation infrastructure in developing areas, the impacts of a taxi deregulation policy in New York City, priority areas for pollution exposure reduction, and more. This newsletter also introduces three new publications: 1) the Poverty and Shared Prosperity Report 2022, 2) the Little Data Book on Financial Inclusion 2022, and 3) International Trade - VoxDevLit.
|Environment and Resilient Development
|The September Research Newsletter compiles recent publications on the topic of "Environment and Resilient Development". In this newsletter, the research highlights are organized into five topics: 1) Climate Change Impacts, 2) Finance, 3) Managing Resources, 4) Satellite Data and Insights for Environment and Development, and 5) Mitigation Policies. This newsletter also features the new Satellite-Based Emissions Database.
|Pandemic Responses, Past and Future
|The August research newsletter features the topic "Pandemic Responses, Past, and Future". The lead item in this newsletter is a summary of the policy research talk entitled Improving the Multilateral Pandemic Response. This newsletter’s research highlights include: the COVID-19 age-mortality curve, firm survival and growth during COVID-19, policies for vaccine equity, intergenerational mortality trade-off of lockdown policies, the impact of disruptions in healthcare, and others. This newsletter also welcomes three new researchers to the Development Research Group.
|Improving Effective Coverage in Health: Do Financial Incentives Work?
|The June research newsletter features the topic "Improving Effective Coverage in Health: Do Financial Incentives Work?" The lead item on this newsletter is an excerpt from a feature story focused on effective health care and based on the Policy Research Report "Improving Effective Coverage in Health: Do Financial Incentives Work?" The research highlights include a meta-analysis of financial incentives to increase utilization of reproductive, maternal and child health services in low and middle-income countries; the direct and indirect impacts of incentives on workers' performance in Nigeria; incentives and inequality on the quantity and quality of health care; and others. This newsletter also covers a research milestone and a new research tool.
|Capital Markets & Development
|The April research newsletter features the topic "Capital Markets & Development." This newsletter is led by a feature story excerpt highlighting the importance of an efficient and stable financial sector in enabling growth, supporting firms, and reducing poverty. Other research highlights include novel findings on index rebalancings, the rise of the South in Global Finance, increased borrowing by corporations in emerging markets, the influence of social interactions on stock market participation, evidence of informed trading within business groups, and others. This newsletter features four upcoming events from the Development Research group, including a Policy Research Report Launch.
|Forced Migration: Amnesties, Aid, and Empowerment
|The March research newsletter features the topic "Forced Migration: Amnesties, Aid, and Empowerment." This newsletter is led by a feature story excerpt highlighting research on how countries can effectively support forced migrants in integrating into their societies. Other research highlights include: a longitudinal study tracking Syrian refugee households, how prosocial behavior can be encouraged through perspective-taking, the impact of granting amnesty on a migrant's crime reports, how forced migration affects the spread of diseases, the impact of various policies to support migrants, and the globalization of refugee flows. This newsletter also features two calls for papers and a researcher spotlight.
|Long-Term Growth: Prospects, Policies, and the Future of Prosperity
|The February research newsletter highlights the World Bank's Long Term Growth Model's design, purpose, ease of use, and applications for developing countries. The research highlights include applications of the Long Term Growth Model in Malaysia, a review of economic growth literature, the importance of individual leaders to growth, determinants of growth, and others. This newsletter also features three calls for papers and the launch of the World Development Report 2022.
|Taxation and Technology: Case Studies in E-Government
|The January research newsletter features research that utilizes experiments from Tajikistan and Liberia to illustrate the limitations and potential of using technology to improve tax collection in low- and middle-income countries. The research highlights include applications of technology in tax mobilization, the impact of online pothole management on participatory governance in Moscow, how unbanked factory workers in Bangladesh adapt to new financial technology, the impact of providing customs officers with better information, and how satellite imagery can be used to enhance local tax revenue collection in India.
2021 Monthly Newsletter
|Intergenerational Educational Mobility
|The November research newsletter focuses on patterns of intergenerational educational mobility in several low-income countries that help to illuminate existing patterns of mobility, identify key barriers to equality of opportunity, and point the way to more equitable education policy. Research highlights include gender and intergenerational educational mobility in India, the rural-urban gap in intergenerational educational mobility in Indonesia, a comparative analysis of intergenerational education in rural China and rural India, findings from a global database of intergenerational mobility in education, comparing the educational and occupational intergenerational mobility of men from disadvantaged groups versus non-disadvantaged groups in India, ways to improve education outcomes, assessing whether investments in preprimary education are cost-effective, proposing an alternative measure to reduce bias in mobility rankings across groups, countries, over time, and more.
|Networks, Opportunities, and Outcomes for Women
|The October research newsletter focuses mostly on India and the role of networks, opportunities, and outcomes for women. Research highlights include empowering women through stronger social networks, incentives to increases the use of reproductive, maternal, and child health services; counseling to increase willingness by women to pay for modern contraceptives; the role of participatory theater as a way to make domestic violence socially unacceptable; the distribution of effort by men and women in agrarian settings; saving for dowry; fertility, parental investments and mortality of girls; how inter-generational power dynamics within the marital household affect a woman’s ability to access and form social networks; the social lives of married women, social mobilization of health delivery and outcomes, and more.
|The Future of Trade in a Post-COVID World
|The September research newsletter highlights a new e-book on deep trade agreements, as well as recent research on global value chains, protectionism and gender inequality in developing countries, the potential of cross-border electricity trade, the effects of trade liberalization on local markets in South Africa, the determinants of global value chain participation, the export impact of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, household impact of tariffs from agricultural protectionism, trade impacts of customs reform in Albania, exposure of belt and road economies to trade shocks in China, collaboration highlights, and more.
|COVID-19: Costs, Consequences, and Urgent Choices
|The July research newsletter focuses on the costs, consequences, and urgent choices as COVID-19 continues to devastate lives and livelihoods. It includes research on the costs of the pandemic, the efficacy of government responses, and the promise of vaccines to slow and eventually halt the pandemic.
|Data for Better Lives
|The June research newsletter focuses on data for better lives. In a Policy Research talk the World Development 2021: Data for Better Lives report team discussed how a renewed social contract for data based on value, equity, and trust can help poorer countries take advantage of the ongoing revolution in data sources, tools, and approaches. The rest of the newsletter highlights a selection of publicly available research datasets and tools produced or co-produced by the Research Group on financial inclusion, educational attainment, long-term growth, intergenerational mobility, global value chains, and more.
|Achieving Efficient and High-Quality Acute Healthcare
|The May research newsletter presents studies on the complex set of factors that influence the decisions of patients and doctors in seeking and providing care. Studies include testing interventions to improve the allocation of care and treatment in Mali; health screening in Armenia; citizen engagement and the quality of public health services in Pakistan; inequality in the quality of health services in the Democratic Republic of Congo; malaria testing and worker productivity in Nigeria; compliance with diagnostic protocols in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon, and Central African Republic; and the quality of care for children with severe disease in The Democratic Republic of Congo, and more.
|Trade, Robots, and Industrial Development
|The April research newsletter draws on several recent studies to identify key drivers of firm-level upgrading and industrial development, including entrepreneurial ability, exports, foreign ownership, training, learning by working, and the implications of robotization for trade between developed and developing countries.
|Overcoming Barriers to Productivity and Prosperity
|The March newsletter explores massive discrepancies in output per worker between high- and low-income countries, within-sector productivity and misallocation of resources in Southeast Asia, sectoral productivity gaps, size-dependent tax enforcement and compliance, patterns and determinants of productivity growth, entry and exit of firms, and business practices in small firms that explain variation in firm survival and growth in a variety of low-income countries.
|COVID-19: Development Impacts and Policy Responses
|The February newsletter documents the costs of the pandemic and the policies that have attempted to shield populations from its worst impacts. Research highlights include estimates of years of lost life and additional years of extreme poverty, impacts on businesses, who can and who cannot work from home and implications for inequality, and policies to counteract the pandemic, including an assessment of Ethiopia’s social protection program and measures to support the financial sector, and more.
|Behavioral Insights for Policy
|The January newsletter highlights research on consumer behavior and utility pricing for electricity and piped water in Vietnam, evidence from a field experiment in Malawi on the use of financial products, a multi-country study on the effect of information disclosure on the selection of financial products, a review on the use of financial incentives to prevent unhealthy behaviors, core insights from behavioral economics on decision making, experimental evidence on financial education in India, and a field experiment with rural farmers in Malawi to study revisions of prior choices regarding future income receipts, and more.
2020 Monthly Newsletter
|Bank Lending for Inclusive Growth
|The December newsletter highlights how incentives can shape bank lending—as well as the intended (and unintended) effects of public policies affecting banks—with examples from Mexico and Peru. Other highlights include the role of gender in agent banking, the performance of the banking sector during the Covid-19 pandemic, credit concentration in bad times, what happens when private banks allocate government-sponsored loans, free riding on loan approvals, and more.
|Designing Efficient and Equitable Tax Systems
|The November newsletter looks at ways to increase tax revenue equitably while limiting negative impacts on growth using cross country data and with examples from Costa Rica, Georgia, Ghana, Uganda, Sub-Saharan Africa, Tajikistan, and Uganda.
|Electricity and Development
|The October newsletter on electricity and development highlights recent advances in methodology and data to better calculate just how valuable electricity access is. Recent studies examine the willingness to pay, the costs of electricity generation, and energy subsidies across a range of countries: Brazil, Nepal, Bangladesh, and beyond.
|Gender and Development
|The September newsletter on gender and development highlights recent research on gender bias, female business leaders, gender pension gaps, and more.
|The newsletter is on hiatus for the month of August.
|The July research newsletter rounds up recent research on labor markets and also highlights possible longer-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the structure of labor markets in developed and developing economies.
|Emerging and Ongoing Threats to Human Development
|The June research newsletter highlights research on both persistent, longer-term threats to human development and the new threat represented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
|Development Policy and COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
|The May research newsletter highlights recent research on COVID-19, the implications of the pandemic for development policy, and debates on optimal policy responses to support poor households through the crisis.
|The April research newsletter highlights approaches to reinvigorate democratic systems in developing countries.
|The Distributional Effects of International Trade
|The March newsletter highlights facts and misconceptions surrounding the distributional effects of international trade that have led to overstating the net costs of trade liberalization.
|Detecting and Combating Corruption and State Capture
|The February newsletter highlights new approaches to fighting corruption via three case studies: Tunisia under Ben Ali, customs in Madagascar, and financial flows into offshore financial centers known for bank secrecy following international aid disbursements.
|10 Transformative Charts from the Past Decade of Development
|The January research newsletter highlights some of the research presented over the last decade in the Development Research Group's Policy Research Talk series.
2019 Monthly Newsletters (PDF)
|Cash Transfer Programs
|The December research newsletter focuses on cash transfer programs and how they reduce poverty, increase school enrollment, improve nutrition, but can also have spillover effects on nonbeneficiary households.
|Transnational Crime and Conflict
|The November research newsletter focuses on the rise in transnational crime, conflict, and violence and the urgent need for international cooperation using improved data and tools to study the drivers behind these threats.
|A Global View of Inequality
|The October newsletter focuses on the fall in global inequality between 2008 and 2013, largely driven by rising incomes in populous developing countries that helped close the gap with high-income countries.
|Productive Cities in the 21st Century
|The September newsletter provides a roundup of papers presented at the 6th Urbanization and Poverty Reduction Research Conference held on September 9, 2019.
|Measuring Intergenerational Mobility
|The August newsletter focuses on measuring intergenerational mobility in a developing country context with limited data.
|Building Bureaucracies That Work
|The July newsletter focuses on research and data that are changing our understanding of the way government bureaucracies function and how we might make them work more effectively.
|Historical Shocks and Long-Term Development
|The May newsletter focuses on how historical conflicts and large shocks have led to institutional legacies that shape modern development outcomes. The research highlighted looks at the development of state capacity in the aftermath of war and rebellion, the role of peacekeeping in a post-conflict situation, predicting conflict, and more.
|Structural Transformation and Urban Development
|The April newsletter focuses on a decade’s worth of research on how cities have evolved in many of the world’s poorest countries. History demonstrates that the underlying economic structure of cities can vary significantly. The research highlighted shows how urbanization along with economic growth is needed to increase economic specialization within rural areas and between cities and rural areas.
|Inequality of Opportunity
|The March newsletter focuses on a new body of research that sheds light on the extent to which inequality is the result of unequal life chances versus individual effort. The research highlighted relates to various measurements that can reveal the consequences of unequal life changes and how inequality relates to growth.
|Closing the Human Capital Gap
|The February newsletter focuses on research to close the human capital gap. Human capital—health, knowledge, and skills—is a major determinant of an individual’s lifetime income, and hence of a country’s per capita income. The research highlighted relates directly to the metrics tracked by the Human Capital Index.
|Gender and Opportunity
|The January newsletter focuses on gender—the extent of gender inequality in the world, the price that women and society pay, the factors causing it, and possible remedies to create equal opportunity for women. A number of studies are breaking new ground by utilizing unusual sources of data to understand how gender bias creeps into society.
2018 Monthly Newsletters (PDF)
|Household Debt and Financial Decision Making
|The December newsletter focuses on household debt and financial decision making. Data from the IMF show that household debt-to-GDP ratios in emerging markets have doubled over the last ten years. This issue sheds new light on the black box of household financial decision making from new Global Findex data, research on India’s Jan Dhan Yojana debt forgiveness program for farmers, the effect of disclosure formats for loans, and why a commitment savings product in Ghana was only partially successful.
|The November newsletter focuses on intergenerational mobility. With the launch of the Global Database on Intergenerational Mobility, covering 148 economies, confirms the depth of the problem. The rest of the newsletter highlights research on the challenges of measuring mobility in settings where data is often incomplete and hard to come by. Additional research looks at the complex interplay between growth and inequality.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
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.
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.
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.