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February 2014

This paper assesses whether the Indonesia Early Childhood Education and Development project had an impact on early achievement gaps as measured by an array of child development outcomes and enrollment. The analysis is based on longitudinal data collected in 2009 and 2010 on approximately 3,000 four-year-old children residing in 310 villages located in nine districts across Indonesia. The study begins by documenting the intent-to-treat impact of the project.

This paper considers the relationship between institutional quality, educational outcomes, and economic performance. More specifically, it seeks to establish the linkages by which government effectiveness affects per capita income, via its mediating effect on human capital formation. The empirical approach adopts a two-stage strategy that estimates national-level educational production functions that include government effectiveness as a covariate, and then uses these estimates as instruments for human capital in cross-country regressions of per capita income.

This paper takes advantage of the exogenous phasing of direct elections in districts and applies the double-difference estimator to measure impacts on (i) human development outcomes and (ii) the pattern of public spending and revenue generation at the district level. The analysis reveals that four years after the switch to direct elections, there have been no significant effects on human development outcomes.

Research from the United States shows that gaps in early cognitive and noncognitive abilities appear early in the life cycle. Little is known about this important question for developing countries. This paper provides new evidence of sharp differences in cognitive development by socioeconomic status in early childhood for five Latin American countries. To help with comparability, the paper uses the same measure of receptive language ability for all five countries.

Over the past decade the international community, especially the World Bank, has conducted programs to increase local public service delivery in developing countries by improving local governing institutions and creating social capital. This paper evaluates one such program in Sudan to answer the question: Can the international community change the grassroots civic culture of developing countries to increase social capital? The paper offers three contributions.

Several studies have explored the relationship between economy-level crime rates or individual-level crime and economic growth. However, few studies have examined the relationship between economic growth and crime against firms. This study uses data for about 12,000 firms in 27 developing countries and finds that economic growth is negatively associated with crime. This relationship is stronger for small and medium firms than large firms. The study also explores several economy-wide factors and their influence on the growth-crime relationship for small and medium enterprises.

Annual Report 2014-2015