Rema Hanna

How to Prevent a Disaster for Children in Developing Countries

How to Prevent a Disaster for Children in Developing Countries

May 6, 2016

By Doug Gavel - Harvard Kennedy School

The disruption and harm caused by global climate change is expected to be even more pronounced in developing countries, and children in those countries could face myriad risks, but there are actions that can be taken now to reduce those risks.  A new paper authored by Rema Hanna identifies several possible policy solutions that can ameliorate the impact of climate change on the health and safety of children living in poor countries

Building the evidence base for developing countries: An example from the effect of pollution on infant health in Mexico

Building the evidence base for developing countries: An example from the effect of pollution on infant health in Mexico

April 16, 2016

By Eva Arceo, Rema Hanna, Paulina Oliva - VOX

Pollution levels are orders of magnitude higher in lower-income countries than in the developed world. This means that studies of the health effects of pollution based on data from the latter will not necessarily be relevant to the former. This column reports on the effect of air pollution on infant mortality in Mexico City. Significant effects are found that are much larger than found in earlier work based on US data, highlighting the potential pitfalls of extrapolating findings from high-income to developing countries.

New Research: Potential Gains of Privatizing Rice Delivery

New Research: Potential Gains of Privatizing Rice Delivery

January 13, 2016

By Katie Gibson - Harvard Kennedy School

When governments provide public services to their citizens, the question of who should handle service delivery—the government itself, or private contractors—often arises. A new working paper co-authored by Rema Hanna, the Jeffrey Cheah Professor of South-East Asia Studies at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), examines the possible benefits of contracting out the delivery of government-subsidized rice to private citizens in Indonesia.

Strengthening safety nets for the poor

Strengthening safety nets for the poor

January 12, 2016

By Rema Hannah and Benjamin Olken - The Jakarta Post

Anti poverty programs — “safety nets” — provide poor households with essential help, from cash support to subsidized food and insurance. In addition to the ethical rationale for these programs, rigorous research has shown that they can also improve important social outcomes: boosting education for poor kids, improving health and reducing crime. Yet these programs are the subject of passionate debates, often based more on rhetoric than reason.

Cash Transfers to Indonesia's Poor Don't Discourage Work

Cash Transfers to Indonesia's Poor Don't Discourage Work

October 31, 2015

By Rema Hanna and Benjamin Olken - Jakarta Globe 

Around the world, there are often contentious debates on whether or not to provide social safety net programs to the poor. Critics often paint a portrait of the poor as lazy, refusing to work in order to receive government handouts, wasting valuable tax-payer funds on for example alcohol and cigarettes, rather than feeding and clothing children.

These cheap, clean stoves were supposed to save millions of lives. What happened?

These cheap, clean stoves were supposed to save millions of lives. What happened?

October 29, 2015

By Marc Gunther - The Washington Post

The best cookstoves burning clean fuels won’t protect poor families from disease if those who use them continue to cook over open fires as well — which many do. “They’re not the big solution, unfortunately, that we thought they were going to be,” says Rema Hanna, a Harvard economist who led “Up in Smoke,” the most extensive field study to date on this subject. 

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.

Playing ‘truth or dare’ with governance

Playing ‘truth or dare’ with governance

April 9, 2015

By Suvojit Chattopadhyay - Live Mint

In an experimental study, Rema Hanna (Harvard University) and Shing-Yi Wang (University of Pennsylvania) reported on some lab experiments with senior university students in India designed to capture their propensity to cheat.