BREAD Working Paper No. 580, June 2020

Start What You Finish! Ex ante risk and schooling investments in the presence of dynamic complementarities Andrew D. Foster, Esther Gehrke Abstract We study the relationship between risk and schooling investment in a low income setting, with a particular focus on possible ex ante effects. We first present a model that shows that such effects […]

BREAD Working Paper No. 579, July 2021

Expanding Access to Clean Water for the Rural Poor: Experimental Evidence from Malawi Pascaline Dupas, Basimenye Nhlema, Zachary Wagner, Aaron Wolf and Emily Wroe Abstract Using data from an 18-month randomized trial, we estimate large and sustained impacts on water purification and child health of a program providing monthly coupons for free water treatment solu- […]

BREAD Working Paper No. 577, May 2020

Islam and the State: Religious Education in the Age of Mass Schooling Samuel Bazzi, Masyhur Hilmy, Benjamin Marx Abstract Public schooling systems are an essential feature of modern states. These systems often developed at the expense of religious schools, which undertook the bulk of education historically and still cater to large student populations worldwide. This […]

BREAD Working Paper No. 576, December 2020

Country of Women? Repercussions of the Triple Alliance War in Paraguay Jennifer Alix-Garcia, Laura Schechter, Felipe Valencia Caicedo, S. Jessica Zhu Abstract Skewed sex ratios often result from episodes of conflict, disease, and migration. Their persistent impacts over a century later, and especially in less-developed regions, remain less understood. The War of the Triple Alliance […]

BREAD Working Paper No. 575, March 2020

Understanding Cultural Persistence and Change Paola Giuliano, Nathan Nunn Abstract We examine a determinant of cultural persistence that has emerged from a class of models in evolutionary anthropology: the similarity of the environment across generations. Within these models, when the environment is more similar across generations, the traits that have evolved up to the previous […]

BREAD Working Paper No. 574, March 2020

Optimal Subsidies for Prevention of Infectious Disease Matthew Goodkin-Gold, Michael Kremer, Christopher M. Snyder, Heidi Williams Abstract Most economists would agree that the positive externalities caused by prevention of infectious disease create a prima facie case for subsidies. However, little is known about the appropriate magnitude of these subsidies, or about whether the level of […]

BREAD Working Paper No. 573, March 2020

Is Fish Brain Food or Brain Poison? Sea Surface Temperature, Methyl-mercury and Child Cognitive Development Mark R. Rosenzweig, Rafael J. Santos Abstract We exploit variation in the composition of local fish catches around the time of birth using large- scale administrative and census data on adult cognitive test scores, schooling attainment, and occupation among coastal […]

BREAD Working Paper No. 572, March 2020

How Political Insiders Lose Out When International Aid Underperforms: Evidence from a Participatory Development Experiment in Ghana Kate Baldwin, Dean Karlan, Christopher Udry, Ernest Appiah Abstract Participatory development is designed to mitigate problems of political bias in pre-existing local government but also interacts with it in complex ways. Using a five-year randomized controlled study in […]

BREAD Working Paper No. 571, January 2020

Microentrepreneurship in Developing Countries Seema Jayachandran Abstract This article reviews the recent literature in economics on small-scale entrepreneur- ship (“microentrepreneurship”) in low-income countries. Major themes in the literature include the determinants and consequences of joining the formal sector, the impacts of access to credit and other financial services, the impacts of business training, barriers to […]

BREAD Working Paper No. 570, January 2020

Decentralized Targeting of Agricultural Credit Programs: Private versus Political Intermediaries Pushkar Maitra, Sandip Mitra, Dilip Mookherjee, Sujata Visaria Abstract We compare two different methods of appointing a local commission agent as an intermediary for a credit program. In the Trader-Agent Intermediated Lending Scheme (TRAIL), the agent was a randomly selected established private trader, while in […]