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Insights / Research BriefNov 29, 2023

Nothing Gold Can Stay: Artisanal Mine Certifications and Conflict Dynamics in the Congo

Hans Christensen, Samuel Chang
Conflict-free certifications for artisanal mines are associated with a 9.4% (16.3%) reduction in armed group–initiated conflicts (fatalities) within a 10-km radius of gold mines. After certifications, there is no aggregate reduction in conflict intensity in Eastern DRC territories, and conflicts intensify further away from certified mines.
Topics:  Development Economics
Insights / Research BriefOct 27, 2023

Dictatorship, Higher Education and Social Mobility • Higher Education and Mortality: Legacies of an Authoritarian College Contraction • The Intergenerational Transmission of Higher Education: Evidence from the 1973 Coup in Chile

Maria Angélica Bautista, Felipe González, Luis Martínez, Pablo Muñoz, Mounu Prem
Following the coup of 1973 that brought military dictatorship to Chile under Augusto Pinochet’s rule, enrollment in higher education fell (owing to reduced government spending), with negative effects on those missing out; Broadly, those who were affected experienced an increase in mortality rates, worse labor market outcomes, lower consumption of health services, and were more likely dependent on public health services. Decades later, the children of those who were denied a college education were also less likely to attend college.
Topics:  Development Economics
Insights / Research BriefOct 03, 2023

Private Actions in the Presence of Externalities: The Health Impacts of Reducing Air Pollution Peaks but not Ambient Exposure

Joshua Dean, Susanna B. Berkouwer
Improved cookstoves reduce exposure to peak cooking emissions by 42%, though impacts on overall pollution exposure are muted by high ambient pollution. The reduction in peak emissions reduces self-reported respiratory symptoms but does not improve more quantitative diagnoses such as blood pressure or blood oxygen.
Topics:  Development Economics, Energy & Environment, Health care
Insights / Research BriefJul 05, 2023

On The Governance of Corrupt Exchange: How Citizens and Officials Build Social Ties to Reduce Corruption’s Transaction Costs

Aimable Amani Lameke, Albert Malukisa, Raul Sanchez de la Sierra, Vincent Tanutama, Kristof Titeca
Bus drivers and police officers in the Congo form relationships to avoid long bribe negotiations during traffic police stops and thereby protect their joint revenues. Experimentally reducing opportunities for these relationships lessens the revenues from driving, and the component of that which is paid as bribes: without relationships, drivers avoid detection by the police, thereby losing passengers and obtaining lower prices, which hurts both drivers and police officers’ revenue.
Topics:  Development Economics
Insights / Research BriefMay 26, 2023

Gang Rule: Understanding and Countering Criminal Governance

Christopher Blattman, Gustavo Duncan, Benjamin Lessing, Santiago Tobón
In Medellín, Colombia, gangs provide residents of low- and middle-income neighborhoods with key governing services to reduce the need for state presence, thereby protecting their drug profits. Increased state presence leads to increased gang presence, suggesting new strategies for countering criminal governance.
Topics:  Development Economics
Insights / Research BriefAug 16, 2022

The Real State: Inside the Congo’s Traffic Police Agency

Economists typically presuppose that the absence of state capacities to raise official revenue to finance public service is a key factor in the persistence of so-called weak states. However, so-called “weak states” often have a strong “real” capacity to raise revenue and organize public service—albeit not along official lines.
Topics:  Development Economics
Insights / Research BriefJun 07, 2022

Cognitive Behavior Therapy Reduces Crime and Violence Over 10 Years: Experimental Evidence

Christopher Blattman, Sebastian Chaskel, Julian C. Jamison, Margaret Sheridan
Cognitive behavior therapy alone, and therapy with economic assistance, produce dramatic reductions in antisocial behaviors, with greatest impacts among high-risk men; however, the effects of therapy alone are smaller and more fragile.
Topics:  Development Economics
Insights / Podcast episodeMar 30, 2022

How Does Access to Safe Water Affect Child Mortality?

A new meta-analysis by Michael Kremer and co-authors suggests water treatment could reduce child mortality...
Topics:  Development Economics