BREAD Working Paper No. 607, March 2022

Estimating the Economic Value of Zoning Reform Santosh Anagol, Fernando Ferreira and Jonah Rexer   Abstract We develop a framework to estimate the economic value of a recent zoning reform in Sao Paulo. Using a block-level regression discontinuity design, we find that developers request more permits in blocks with higher allowable densities. We incorporate these […]

BREAD Working Paper No. 606, March 2022

On the Dynamics of Human Behavior: The Past, Present, and Future of Culture, Conflict, and Cooperation Nathan Nunn   Abstract I provide a theoretically-guided discussion of the dynamics of human behavior, focusing on the importance of culture (socially-learned information) and tradition (transmission of culture across generations). Decision-making that relies on tradition can be an effective […]

BREAD Working Paper No. 605, February 2022

Is Digital Credit Filling a Hole or Digging a Hole? Evidence from Malawi   Valentina Brailovskaya, Pascaline Dupas and Jonathan Robinson   Abstract Digital credit has expanded rapidly in Africa, mostly in the form of short-term, high-interest loans offered via mobile money. Loan terms are often opaque and consumer financial literacy is low, providing opportunities […]

BREAD Working Paper No. 604, February 2022

Democratization, Elite Capture and Economic Development Andrew D. Foster and Mark R. Rosenzweig   Abstract We show using a theoretical framework that embeds a voting model in a general-equilibrium model of a rural economy with two interest groups defined by land ownership that the effects of democratization – a shift from control of public resources […]

BREAD Working Paper No. 603, January 2022

Gendered Impacts of Covid-19 in Developing Countries Titan Alon, Matthias Doepke, Kristina Manysheva, and Michele Tertilt   Abstract In many high-income economies, the recession caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented declines in women’s employment. We examine how the forces that underlie this observation play out in developing countries, with a specific focus […]

BREAD Working Paper No. 602, November 2021

Water Treatment and Child Mortality: Evidence from Kenya Johannes Haushofer, Michael Kremer, Ricardo Maertens and Brandon Joel Tan   Abstract Each year, around 500,000 children under 5 die from diarrhea, making it the third- leading cause of death in this age group. More than 80 percent of these deaths are attributable to unsafe drinking water. […]

BREAD Working Paper No. 601, November 2021

Firm-Level Upgrading in Developing Countries Eric Verhoogen   Abstract In principle, firms in developing countries benefit from the fact that advanced technologies and products have already been developed in industrialized countries and can simply be adopted, a process often referred to as industrial upgrading. But for many firms this advantage remains elusive. What is getting […]

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 […]