EPoD News

Learning unleashed:  Where governments are failing to provide youngsters with a decent education, the private sector is stepping in

Learning unleashed: Where governments are failing to provide youngsters with a decent education, the private sector is stepping in

July 30, 2015

Given the choice between a free state school where little teaching happens and a private school where their children might actually learn something, parents who can scrape together the fees will plump for the latter. In a properly functioning market, the need to attract their custom would unleash competition and over time improve quality for all. But as a paper by Tahir Andrabi, Jishnu Das and Asim Ijaz Khwaja published by the World Bank explains, market failures can stop that happening.

Data poverty makes it harder to fix real poverty

Data poverty makes it harder to fix real poverty

July 20, 2015

By Rohini Pande and Florian Blum - The Washington Post

In September 2000, all United Nations member states agreed to adopt the Millennium Development Goals, eight targets to guide global development until 2015. It was an unprecedented global consensus about how to solve the world’s biggest problems.

Counting Ramadan: The Economics of Religion

Counting Ramadan: The Economics of Religion

July 14, 2015

By Jitendra Prakash - Foreign Affairs

To understand how Ramadan affects the economy, Public Policy Professors Filipe Campante and David Yanagizawa-Drott at the Harvard Kennedy School examined over six decades of data.

In their paper, Campante and Yanagizawa-Drott establish that Ramadan has a negative economic impact. To determine cause and effect, rather than mere correlation, they exploit a unique variation in how Ramadan is practiced worldwide

Paper Clip: Mixing friendship and business can help

Paper Clip: Mixing friendship and business can help

July 7, 2015
By Erica Field, Seema Jayachandran, Rohini Pande, and Natalia Rigol - The Indian Express


Efforts to make low-income woman entrepreneurs in developing countries more successful through business training and counselling have yielded mixed results. Researchers have, therefore, looked for other factors that can impact the success of micro-enterprises. One such factor is peer interaction — but the evidence around peer effects at work has so far been limited.

Degrees of fakery

Degrees of fakery

July 4, 2015

By Amulya Gopalakrishnan - The Times of India

The government's argument assumes that low levels of education are the reason for corruption, rather than intent or opaque and discretion-laden processes. "The digital delivery of transactions, say for MGNREGA, could reduce the opportunity for corruption," says Rohini Pande, economist and professor of public policy at Harvard Kennedy School, who has extensively studied panchayati raj institutions.

The challenge in pairing the sick with social services

The challenge in pairing the sick with social services

June 23, 2015

By Dan Gorenstein - Marketplace on NPR

This is what healthcare’s city of gold looks like, where money is saved and health is better.

Harvard health economist Amitabh Chandra says it’s a nice theory.

“There’s so many things we do in American health care because we think that they must work,” he says. “We have incredibly powerful narratives that each one of these things is going to generate billions and billions in savings.

“But every time we looked, we’ve found the answer has been a big giant zero,” he says.

A Friend’s Support Can Make Women Better Entrepreneurs

A Friend’s Support Can Make Women Better Entrepreneurs

June 19, 2015

By Erica Field, Seema Jayachandran, Rohini Pande, and Natalia Rigol - Harvard Business Review

The people we choose to surround ourselves with often matter a great deal to our success — especially when we are trying to thrive as entrepreneurs. That’s because spending time alongside other motivated and successful people can have positive effects on our own success. 

Do Higher Incomes Result in Cleaner Fuel Choices?

Do Higher Incomes Result in Cleaner Fuel Choices?

June 15, 2015

By Doug Gavel - Harvard Kennedy School

On the macro level, developing countries have historically burned so-called “dirty” fuels to grow their economics, but then subsequently spearheaded efforts to burn cleaner fuels – both to help clean up their own air, and to align with international norms for combating global climate change.

Thanks, Obamacare? Healthcare Jobs Grow At Fastest Pace Since 1991

Thanks, Obamacare? Healthcare Jobs Grow At Fastest Pace Since 1991

June 5, 2015

By Dan Diamond - Forbes

“The goal of improving health and economic well-being does not go hand in hand with rising employment in health care,” Harvard’s Katherine Baicker and Amitabh Chandra wrote in NEJM in 2012. 

“The bottom line is that employment in the health care sector should be neither a policy goal nor a metric of success.”