Publications by Type: Miscellaneous

Pande, Rohini, and Deanna Ford. 2012. “Gender Quotas and Female Leadership: A Review.” Background Paper for the World Development Report on Gender. April, 2011. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Despite significant advances in education and political participation, women remain underrepresented in leadership positions in politics and business across the globe. In many countries, policy-makers have responded by introducing gender quotas in politics and increasingly, many have expressed an interest in requiring gender quotas for corporate boards. This paper reviews the evidence on the equity and efficiency impacts of gender quotas for political positions and corporate board membership. Adoption of quotas by countries is likely correlated with attitudes about women within a country. However, the randomized allocation of political quotas in India and the unanticipated introduction of board quotas in Norway have allowed researchers to provide causal analysis and this review focuses on evidence from these two settings. The Indian evidence demonstrates that quotas increase female leadership and influences policy outcomes. In addition, rather than create a backlash against women, quotas can reduce gender discrimination in the long-term. The board quota evidence is more mixed. While female entry on boards is correlated with changing management practices, this change appears to adversely influence short-run profits. Whether this is partly driven by negative perceptions of female management choices remains an open question. Returning to the broader cross-country context, we find evidence in many different settings that political and corporate entities often act strategically to circumvent the intended impact of quotas. Consistent with this, we report suggestive evidence that the design of the quota and selection systems matter for increasing female leadership.

Pande, Rohini, Lori Beaman, and Alexandra Cirone. 2012. “Politics as a Male Domain and Empowerment in India.” Chapter 14 in The Impact of Gender Quotas: Women's Descriptive, Substantive, and Symbolic Representation. Ed. S. Franceschet, M. Kook, and J. Piscopo. Oxford University Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract

India is the world’s largest democracy, yet female presence in India’s state and national legislatures has consistently remained under 10 percent. In contrast, female representation in Iocal village councils has risen dramatically in the last twenty years. A constitutional amendment instituted in 1993 both devolved significant powers to village councils and instituted a quota system that required that one-third of village council leader positions be reserved for women. While the mandatory nature of the quota system implied that it led to an immediate increase in descriptive representation, our work with co-authors demonstrates that it also increased substantive representation.

Banerjee, Abhijit, Rema Hanna, and Sendhil Mullainathan. 2012. “Corruption.” The Handbook of Organizational Economics. Princeton University Press, 1109-1147. Publisher's VersionAbstract

In this paper, we provide a new framework for analyzing corruption in public bureaucracies. The standard way to model corruption is as an example of moral hazard, which then leads to a focus on better monitoring and stricter penalties with the eradication of corruption as the final goal. We propose an alternative approach which emphasizes why corruption arises in the first place. Corruption is modeled as a consequence of the interaction between the underlying task being performed by bureaucrat, the bureaucrat's private incentives and what the principal can observe and control. This allows us to study not just corruption but also other distortions that arise simultaneously with corruption, such as red-tape and ultimately, the quality and efficiency of the public services provided, and how these outcomes vary depending on the specific features of this task. We then review the growing empirical literature on corruption through this perspective and provide guidance for future empirical research.

Chandra, Amitabh, Jinkook Lee, P Arokiasamy, Peifeng Hu, Jenny Liu, and Kevin Feeney. 2012. “Markers and drivers: cardiovascular health of middle-aged and older indians.” Aging in Asia: findings from new and emerging data initiatives. The National Academies Press, 387-414. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Using the 2010 pilot study of the Longitudinal Aging Study in India (LASI), the authors examine the socioeconomic and behavioral risk factors for poor cardiovascular health among middle-aged and older Indians, focusing on self-reported and directly measured hypertension. The LASI pilot survey (N=1,683) was fielded in four states: Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab, and Rajasthan. These four states were chosen to capture regional variations and socioeconomic and cultural differences. They find significant inter-state differences across multiple measures of cardiac health and risk factors for hypertension, including body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio, and health behaviors. In contrast to the findings from developed countries, they find education and other markers of higher socioeconomic status (SES) to be positively associated with hypertension. Among the hypertensive, however, they find that those at higher SES are less likely to be undiagnosed and more likely to be in better control of their blood pressure than respondents with low SES. They also find significant inter-state variations in hypertension prevalence, diagnosis, and management that remain even after accounting for socio economic differences, obesity, and health behaviors. They conclude by discussing these findings and their implications for public health and economic development in India and the developing country context more generally.

Khwaja, Asim, Tahir Andrabi, and Jishnu Das. 2011. “The Madrassa Controversy: The Story Does Not Fit The Facts.” Under the Drones: Modern Lives in Afghanistan-Pakistan Borderlands. Eds. Shahzad Bashir and Robert Crews. Harvard University Press, June 2011.Abstract

Over the last few years, US and international foreign policy concerns have focused on the rise of extremism in the Islamic world. Pakistan, considered as pivotal in the war on terror, is mentioned as prominent case. There is by now a widespread conventional narrative surrounding the role of the Pakistani educational system in the rise of religious extremism in the country. The general claim is that the public schooling system in Pakistan is failing especially for the poor. As a result, large numbers are exiting the state system both through attrition or lack of enrollment in the first place. Madrassas have proliferated to fill the vacuum as a result of the Pakistani state and society to provide mainstream schooling opportunities for its children, especially for the poorest segments of the population. This narrative has been presented in the international media and also in policy circles in the United States in many policy studies. The Af-Pak policy framework developed under the Obama administration has also highlighted this point.

Callen, Michael, and Ali Hasanain. 2011. “The Punjab Model of Proactive Governance: Empowering Citizens through Information Communication Technology - Findings from an Early Review of Evidence.” Punjab Model of Proactive Governance.Abstract

The Punjab Model represents the novel application of Information Communications Technology (ICT) to engage citizens and to close the space for extortion in the delivery of public services. The program has three objectives. First, the program seeks to deter corruption by monitoring petty officials through large-scale solicitation of service beneficiary feedback. Second, it seeks to promote direct citizen engagement and thereby signal commitment to service provision on the part of the government. Last, it seeks to improve services by allowing citizens to report problems.

Levy, Dan, Anca Dumitrescu, and Matt Sloan. 2011. “Impact evaluation of Niger's IMAGINE program.” Mathematica Policy Research, 1-104. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The IMAGINE program was designed to improve educational outcomes of girls in Niger. IMAGINE was funded by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and was a component of the three-year Threshold Program in Niger (NTP) dedicated to reducing corruption, registering more businesses, promoting land titling, and increasing girls’ school enrollment, attendance, and completion rates. In December 2009, MCC suspended the NTP in the midst of implementation due to undemocratic actions undertaken by the government. While most of the NTP components were not sufficiently implemented to allow for a rigorous evaluation of their intended impacts, the girls’ education project had been substantially implemented by that time and is thus the focus of our evaluation.

The girls’ education program, locally known as IMAGINE, was implemented in 10 departments in Niger with low girls’ enrollment and primary school completion rates. Plan International, a nongovernmental organization, was responsible for implementing IMAGINE under the supervision of USAID, during 2008–2010.  The program consisted of constructing 68 primary schools and implementing a set of complementary interventions designed to increase girls’ enrollment and completion rates. The schools were based on a prototype that included three classrooms, housing for three female teachers, a preschool, and separate latrines for boys and girls equipped with hand- washing stations. Schools were deliberately located near a water source and a well was installed close by. The complementary interventions included designing and disseminating training modules for teachers, promoting extracurricular activities, providing teacher incentive awards, and conducting a mobilization campaign in support of girls’ education. Due to the suspension of the NTP, the IMAGINE program was only partially implemented. Sixty-two functional schools were constructed, but the majority of the complementary activities were not implemented.

This report documents the main findings from the impact evaluation of the IMAGINE program. Overall, IMAGINE had a 4.3 percentage point positive impact on primary school enrollment, no impact on attendance, and no impact on math and French test scores. The program impacts were generally larger for girls than for boy . For girls, the program had an 8 percentage point positive impact on enrollment and a 5.4 per centage point impact on attendance. The program had no impact on girls’ math scores, though there is suggestive evidence it may have had a positive impact of 0.09 standard deviations on girls’ French test scores. No significant impacts were detected for boys’ enrollment, attendance, or test scores. Finally, impacts were larger for younger children (ages 7-10), than for those between the ages of 10 and 12.

Pande, Rohini, Michael Greenstone, Aparna Krishnan, Nicholas Ryan, and Anant Sudarshan. 2011. “Improving Human Health through a Market Friendly Emissions Scheme.” Seminar Volume for International Seminar on Global Environment and Disaster Management: Law and Society Supreme Court of India, Ministry of Environment and Forest and Law Ministry). Publisher's Version
Pande, Rohini, Lori Beaman, Esther Duflo, and Petia Topalova. 2010. “Political Reservation and Substantive Representation: Evidence from Indian Village Councils.” Washington D.C. and New Delhi: Brookings Institution Press and The National Council of Applied Econ, 7, 2010 edition.Abstract

Female presence in India’s state and national legislatures hovers at ten percent. Concerns that this limits the political voice available to women has led to the introduction and subsequent passage of a Reservation Bill in the Upper house of the Indian Parliament. The bill seeks to reserve 33% of India’s state and national legislature positions for women. If implemented 181 out of the 543 National legislators and 1,370 out of the 4,109 State legislators will be women.

Khwaja, Asim, Tahir R. Andrabi, and Jishnu Das. 2010. “Education Policy in Pakistan: A Framework for Reform.” IGC International Growth Centre – Pakistan, Policy Brief, December 2010. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This policy brief draws on research papers and reports from a large-scale longitudinal study through a grant from the World Bank’s South Asia Regions and Knowledge for Change Trust Funds. The study, titled “Learning and Educational Achievements in Punjab Schools” (LEAPS) analyses the education sector in Pakistan, its major challenges and policy options for moving forward. The data from the study is public and is available at

Pande, Rohini, Esther Duflo, Michael Greenstone, and Nicholas Ryan. 2010. “Towards an Emissions Trading Scheme for Air Pollutants in India.” Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India, 24.Abstract

Emissions trading schemes have great potential to lower pollution while minimizing compliance costs for firms in many areas now subject to traditional command-and-control regulation. This paper connects experience with emissions trading, from programs like the U.S. Acid Rain program, to lessons for implementation of a Trading Pilot Scheme in India. This experience suggests that four areas are especially important for successful implementation of an emissions trading scheme: setting the cap, allocating permits, monitoring and compliance. The introduction of emissions trading would position India as a clear leader in environmental regulation amongst emerging economies.

Pande, Rohini, Esther Duflo, Petia Topalova, Raghab Chattopadhyay, and Lori Beaman. 2009. “Can Political Affirmative Action for Women Reduce Gender Bias?.” Vox, January 8, 2009, 1-4.
Khwaja, Asim, Tahir Andrabi, Jishnu Das, and C. Christine Fair. 2009. “The Madrasa Myth.” Foreign Policy, Aug 27 2009. Publisher's VersionAbstract

On May 3, 2009 the New York Times published a lengthy description of Pakistan's education system. The article, like so many before it, rehearsed a well-known narrative in which government schools are failing while madrasas are multiplying, providing a modicum of education for Pakistan's poorest children.

Khwaja, Asim, PRASHANT BHARADWAJ, and Atif Mian. 2009. “The Partition of India: Demographic Consequences.” International Migration, June 2009.Abstract

Large scale migrations, especially involuntary ones, can have a sudden and substantial impact on the demographics of both sending and receiving communities. The partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947 resulted in one of the largest and most rapid population exchanges in human history. We compile census data to estimate its impact on a district’s educational, occupational, and gender composition. Comparing neighboring districts within a state better isolates the effect of the migratory flows from secular changes. We find large effects within four years. With migrants typically more educated than non-migrants, inflows into a district raised its literacy levels (by 12-16% more than less affected districts in India and Pakistan) while outflows reduced it (by 20% in Pakistan). The effects are asymmetric across regions. With relatively less land vacated by those who left Indian Punjab, Indian districts with large inflows saw a decline of 70% in the growth of agricultural occupations. In contrast, Indian districts with large outflows saw an increase of 56% in the growth of the fraction of agriculturists. Initial differences in migrant characteristics also meant there were large net effects even when a district saw similar two-way flows. Along the gender dimension, Indian districts with large outflows saw a greater increase in gender balance (the percentage of males fell); the corresponding inflows into Pakistani districts also improved the gender balance. While Pakistani in-migrants had higher male ratios relative to the communities they left, these ratios were lower compared to the communities they migrated to. Given the partition was along religious lines - with Muslims leaving India and Hindus and Sikhs leaving what became Pakistan and Bangladesh – it increased religious homogenization within communities. However, our results suggest that this  was accompanied by increased educational and occupational differences within religious groups. We hypothesize that these compositional effects, in addition to an aggregate population impact, are likely features of involuntary migrations and, as in the case of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, can have important long-term consequence.

Levy, Dan, Harounan Kazianga, Leigh Linden, and Matt Sloan. 2009. “Impact Evaluation of Burkina Faso's BRIGHT Program, Final Report.,” Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., June 12, 2009. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This report documents the main findings from the impact evaluation of the BRIGHT program. In general, the main conclusions are that BRIGHT had about a 20 percentage point positive impact on girls’ primary school enrollment, and had positive impacts on Math and French test scores for both girls and boys. The evaluation was conducted by an independent research contractor, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. (MPR), and two consultants, Leigh Linden (Columbia University) and Harounan Kazianga (Oklahoma State University). Data for the evaluation were collected by a team of researchers at the University of Ouagadougou led by Jean Pierre Sawadogo. The impact evaluation sought to answer three key questions: (1) What was the impact of the program on school enrollment? (2) What was the impact of the program on test scores? (3) Were the impacts different for girls than for boys? While two other reports have documented that the program was implemented as intended, by and large, this evaluation focuses on assessing its impacts.

Levy, Dan. 2009. “Impact Evaluation of Burkina Faso's BRIGHT Program, Final Report,” Mathematica Policy Research, Inc, May 2009. Publisher's Version
Andrabi, Tahir, Jishnu Das, Asim Ijaz Khwaja, Tara Vishwanath, and Tristan Zajonc. 2009. “Learning and Educational Achievements in Punjab Schools (LEAPS): Insights to inform the education policy debate,” 1-199. Publisher's VersionAbstract

There have been dramatic changes in the educational landscape of Pakistan in the new millennium. Enrollments are starting to look up with a one percentage point jump in net enrollments between 2001 and 2005. In addition, secular, co-educational and for-profit private schools have become a widespread presence in both urban and rural areas. Between 2000 and 2005, the number of private schools increased from 32,000 to 47,000 and by the end of 2005, one in every three enrolled children at the primary level was studying in a private school.

2008. “The Big March: Migratory Flows after the Partition of India.” Economic and Political Weekly, August 30, 2008, 39-49. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The Partition of India in 1947 along ostensibly religious lines into India, Pakistan, and what eventually became Bangladesh resulted in one of the largest and most rapid migrations in human history. In this paper district level census data from archives are compiled to quantify the scale of migratory flows across the subcontinent.We estimate total migrator y inf lows of 14.5 million and outflows of 17.9 million, implying 3.4 million “missing” people. The paper also uncovers a substantial degree of regional variability. Flows were much larger along the western border, higher in cities and areas close to the border, and dependent heavily on the size of the “minority” religious group. The migratory flows also display a “relative replacement effect” with in-migrants moving to places that saw greater outmigration.

Khwaja, Asim, Tahir Andrabi, Jishnu Das, and Tristan Zajonc. 2008. “Madrassa Metrics: The Statistics and Rhetoric of Religious Enrollment in Pakistan.” Beyond Crisis: A Critical Second Look at Pakistan, Ed. Naveeda Khan, Routledge, May 2008.Abstract

Although consensus on deep determinants of terrorism still eludes us, Islamic religious schools are widely cited as an important contributor to extremism. Nowhere have these statements been more strongly applied than to Pakistan, where religious schools -- commonly known as madrassas -- were responsible for educating the leadership of the Taliban during the 1980s. In recent years, these schools have been called “factories of jihad” and are commonly believed to churn out extremists by the millions. While discussions about Pakistani madrassas are deemed central to the war on terror, two distinct issues remain difficult to resolve: First, do madrassas, through their teaching and training, create terrorists by indoctrinating their students in a particular world-view? Second, are parents increasingly sending the vast majority of their children to madrassas?

Khwaja, Asim, David Clingingsmith, and Michael Kremer. 2008. “Mecca and Moderation.” New York Times, May 20, 2008. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Does increased religious orthodoxy promote violence and intolerance? Our research on the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca suggests this association is wrong. The hajj is one of the most important institutions in Islam and a singular experience for many Muslims. Our recent study of Pakistani pilgrims shows that while performing the hajj leads to greater religious orthodoxy, it also increases pilgrims' desire for peace and tolerance toward others. And this greater tolerance is not just toward fellow Muslims - it also extends to non-Muslims.