BREAD Working Paper No. 600, October 2021

Why do People Stay Poor? Clare Balboni, Oriana Bandiera, Robin Burgess, Maitreesh Ghatak and Anton Heil   Abstract There are two broad views as to why people stay poor. One emphasizes differences in fundamentals, such as ability, talent or motivation. The other, the poverty traps view, differences in opportunities which stem from access to wealth. […]

BREAD Working Paper No. 599, October 2021

Teacher Compensation and Structural Inequality: Evidence from Centralized Teacher School Choice in Peru Matteo Bobba, Tim Ederer, Gianmarco Leon-Ciliotta, Christopher A. Neilson and Marco Nieddu   Abstract This paper studies how increasing teacher compensation at hard-to-staff schools can reduce inequality in access to qualified teachers. Leveraging an unconditional change in the teacher compensation structure in […]

BREAD Working Paper No. 598, October 2021

Privatization of Public Goods: Evidence from the Sanitation Sector in Senegal Joshua W. Deutschmann, Jared Gars, Jean-Francois Houde, Molly Lipscomb and Laura Schechter Abstract Privatization of a public good (the management of sewage treatment centers in Dakar, Senegal) leads to an increase in the productivity of downstream sewage dumping companies and a decrease in downstream […]

BREAD Working Paper No. 597, October 2021

Persuading Voters to Punish Corrupt Vote Buyers: Experimental Evidence from a Large-Scale Radio Campaign in India Laura Schechter and Srinivasan Vasudevan   Abstract During the 2014 Indian general elections, we carried out a large-scale experiment randomizing a radio campaign highlighting the disadvantages of voting for corrupt vote-buying politicians. Official electoral data shows that the radio […]

BREAD Working Paper No. 596, September 2021

Aspirations and Financial Decisions: Experimental Evidence from the Philippines David McKenzie, Aakash Mohpal and Dean Yang Abstract A randomized experiment among poor entrepreneurs tested the impact of exogenously inducing higher financial aspirations. In theory, raising aspirations could have positive effects by inducing higher effort, but could also reduce effort if unmet aspirations lead to frustration. […]

BREAD Working Paper No. 595, August 2021

North-South Displacement Effects of Environmental Regulation: The Case of Battery Recycling Shinsuke Tanaka, Kensuke Teshima and Eric Verhoogen Abstract This study examines the effect of a tightening of the U.S. air-quality standard for lead in 2009 on the relocation of battery recycling to Mexico and on infant health in Mexico. In the U.S., airborne lead […]

BREAD Working Paper No. 594, July 2021

The Political-Economic Causes of the Soviet Great Famine, 1932–33 Andrei Markevich, Natalya Naumenko and Nancy Qian Abstract  This study constructs a large new dataset to investigate whether state policy led to ethnic Ukrainians experiencing higher mortality during the 1932–33 Soviet Great Famine. All else equal, famine (excess) mortality rates were positively associated with ethnic Ukrainian […]

BREAD Working Paper No. 593, July 2021

Machine Learning and Mobile Phone Data Can Improve the Targeting of Humanitarian Assistance Emily Aiken, Suzanne Bellue, Dean Karlan, Chris Udry, Joshua Blumenstock Abstract The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), causing widespread food insecurity and a sharp decline in living standards. In response to this crisis, governments and humanitarian organizations […]

BREAD Working Paper No. 592, June 2021

Women Left Behind: Gender Disparities in Utilization of Government Health Insurance in India Pascaline Dupas and Radhika Jain Abstract: Using administrative data on over 4 million hospital visits, we document striking gender disparities within a government health insurance program that entitles 46 million poor individuals to free hospital care in Rajasthan, India. Females account for […]

BREAD Working Paper No. 591, June 2021

The Impact of Free Secondary Education: Experimental Evidence from Ghana Esther Duflo, Pascaline Dupas and Michael Kremer Abstract: Following the widespread adoption of free primary education, African policymakers are now considering making secondary school free, but little is known about the private and social benefits of free secondary education. We exploit randomized assignment to secondary […]