Development Issues: Bangladesh and Beyond
Friday, Jan. 6, 2023 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM (CST)
Reshmaan N. Hussam, Harvard Business School
- Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak, Yale University
Early Childhood Human Capital Formation at Scale
AbstractCan governments leverage existing service-delivery platforms to scale early childhood development (ECD) programs? We experimentally study a large-scale home-visiting intervention providing materials and counseling --- integrated into Bangladesh's national nutrition program without extra financial incentives for the service providers (SPs). We find SPs partially substituted away from nutritional to ECD counseling. Intent-to-treat estimates show the program improved child's cognitive (0.17 SD), language (0.23 SD), and socio-emotional developments (0.12-0.14 SD). Wasting and underweight rates also declined. Improved maternal agency, complementary parental investments, and higher take-up of the pre-existing nutrition program were important mechanisms. We estimate a sizeable internal rate-of-return of 19.6%.
A Signal to End Child Marriage: Theory and Experimental Evidence from Bangladesh
AbstractChild marriage remains common even where female schooling and employment opportunities have grown. We introduce a signaling model in which bride type is imperfectly observed but preferred types have lower returns to delaying marriage. We show that in this environment the market might pool on early marriage even when everyone would benefit from delay. In this setting, offering a small incentive can delay marriage of all treated types and untreated non-preferred types, while programs that act directly on norms can unintentionally encourage early marriage. We test these theoretical predictions by experimentally evaluating a financial incentive to delay marriage alongside a girls’ empowerment program designed to shift norms. As predicted, girls eligible for the incentive are 19% less likely to marry underage, as are nonpreferred type women ineligible for the incentive. Meanwhile, the empowerment program was successful in promoting more progressive gender norms but failed to decrease adolescent marriage and increased dowry payments.
Why We Fight
AbstractWhy We Fight draws on decades of economics, political science, psychology, and real-world interventions to synthesize the root causes and remedies for war. From warring states to street gangs, ethnic groups and religious sects to political factions, there are common dynamics across all these levels. Why We Fight brings together the game theoretic literature with psychological and sociological accounts of prolonged intergroup violence. It argues that every answer to why groups fight is a reason that a society or its leaders ignored the costs of war, and that most of these explanations fit into one of 5 strategic or psychological explanations. Moreover, every successful path to peace rolls back at least one of these 5 reasons that bargaining broke down. The evidence shows that societies are surprisingly good at interrupting and ending violence—bit only when the treatment fits the diagnosis, and solves one of the 5 key logics of warfare.
University of Munich
Reshmaan N. Hussam,
Harvard Business School
University of Kent
University of Dhaka
- O1 - Economic Development
- O2 - Development Planning and Policy