Duflo, Esther 1972-
Most widely held works by Esther Duflo
Poor economics : a radical rethinking of the way to fight global poverty by Abhijit V Banerjee ( Book )
5 editions published in 2011 in English and held by 469 libraries worldwide
"Billions of government dollars, and thousands of charitable organizations and NGOs, are dedicated to helping the world's poor. But much of the work they do is based on assumptions that are untested generalizations at best, flat out harmful misperceptions at worst. Banerjee and Duflo have pioneered the use of randomized control trials in development economics. Work based on these principles, supervised by the Poverty Action Lab at MIT, is being carried out in dozens of countries. Their work transforms certain presumptions: that microfinance is a cure-all, that schooling equals learning, that poverty at the level of 99 cents a day is just a more extreme version of the experience any of us have when our income falls uncomfortably low. Throughout, the authors emphasize that life for the poor is simply not like life for everyone else: it is a much more perilous adventure, denied many of the cushions and advantages that are routinely provided to the more affluent"--
Participation and investment decisions in a retirement plan : the influence of colleagues' choices by Esther Duflo ( Book )
9 editions published in 2000 in English and No Linguistic content and held by 86 libraries worldwide
The role of information and social interactions in retirement plan decisions : evidence from a randomized experiment by Esther Duflo ( Book )
8 editions published in 2002 in English and No Linguistic content and held by 77 libraries worldwide
This paper analyzes a randomized experiment to shed light on the role of information and social interactions in employees' decisions to enroll in a Tax Deferred Account (TDA) retirement plan within a large university. The experiment encouraged a random sample of employees in a subset of departments to attend a benefits information fair organized by the university, by promising a monetary reward for attendance. The experiment more than tripled the attendance rate of these treated individuals (relative to controls), and doubled that of untreated individuals within departments where some individuals were treated. TDA enrollment 5 and 11 months after the fair was significantly higher in departments where some individuals were treated than in departments where nobody was treated. However, the effect on TDA enrollment is almost as large for individuals in treated departments who did not receive the encouragement as for those who did. We provide three interpretations, differential treatment effects, social network effects, and motivational reward effects, to account for these results. JEL Classification: D83, I22.
Women as policy makers : evidence from a India-wide randomized policy experiment by Raghabendra Chattopadhyay ( Book )
5 editions published in 2001 in English and No Linguistic content and held by 76 libraries worldwide
Schooling and labor market consequences of school construction in Indonesia : evidence from an unusual policy experiment by Esther Duflo ( Book )
10 editions published between 2000 and 2001 in English and No Linguistic content and held by 74 libraries worldwide
Inequality and growth : what can the data say by Abhijit V Banerjee ( Book )
6 editions published in 2000 in English and held by 67 libraries worldwide
Grandmothers and granddaughters : old age pension and intra-household allocation in South Africa by Esther Duflo ( Book )
7 editions published between 2000 and 2001 in English and held by 67 libraries worldwide
Saving incentives for low- and middle-income families : evidence from a field experiment with H&R Block ( Book )
6 editions published in 2005 in English and No Linguistic content and held by 66 libraries worldwide
"This paper analyzes the effects of a large randomized field experiment carried out with H&R Block, offering matching incentives for IRA contributions at the time of tax preparation. About 14,000 H&R Block clients, across 60 offices in predominantly low- and middle-income neighborhoods in St. Louis, were randomly offered a 20 percent match on IRA contributions, a 50 percent match, or no match (the control group). The evaluation generates two main findings. First, higher match rates significantly raise IRA participation and contributions. Take-up rates were 3 percent for the control group, 8 percent in the 20 percent match group, and 14 percent in the 50 percent match group. Average IRA contributions (including non-contributors, excluding the match) for the 20 percent and 50 percent match groups were 4 and 7 times higher than in the control group, respectively. Second, several additional findings are inconsistent with the full information, rational-saver model. In particular, we find much more modest effects on take-up and amounts contributed from the existing Saver's Credit, which provides an effective match for retirement saving contributions through the tax code; we suspect that the differences may reflect the complexity of the Saver's Credit as enacted, and the way in which its effective match is presented. Taken together, our results suggest that the combination of a clear and understandable match for saving, easily accessible savings vehicles, the opportunity to use part of an income tax refund to save, and professional assistance could generate a significant increase in contributions to retirement accounts, including among middle- and low-income households"--National Bureau of Economic Research web site.
How much should we trust difference-in-difference estimates by Marianne Bertrand ( Book )
4 editions published in 2002 in English and held by 66 libraries worldwide
Dams by Esther Duflo ( Book )
8 editions published in 2005 in English and No Linguistic content and held by 65 libraries worldwide
"The construction of large dams is one of the most costly and controversial forms of public infrastructure investment in developing countries, but little is known about their impact. This paper studies the productivity and distributional effects of large dams in India. To account for endogenous placement of dams we use GIS data and the fact that river gradient affects a district's suitability for dams to provide instrumental variable estimates of their impact. We find that, in a district where a dam is built, agricultural production does not increase but poverty does. In contrast, districts located downstream from the dam benefit from increased irrigation and see agricultural production increase and poverty fall. Overall, our estimates suggest that large dam construction in India is a marginally cost-effective investment with significant distributional implications, and has, in aggregate, increased poverty"--National Bureau of Economic Research web site.
The medium run effects of educational expansion : evidence from a large school construction program in Indonesia by Esther Duflo ( Book )
6 editions published between 2001 and 2002 in English and No Linguistic content and held by 65 libraries worldwide
"This paper studies the medium run consequences of an increase in the rate of accumulation of human capital in a developing country. From 1974 to 1978, the Indonesian government built over 61,000 primary schools. The school construction program led to an increase in education among individuals who were young enough to attend primary school after 1974, but not among the older cohorts. 2SLS estimates suggest that an increase of 10 percentage points in the proportion of primary school graduates in the labor force reduced the wages of the older cohorts by 3.8% to 10% and increased their formal labor force participation by 4% to 7%. I propose a two-sector model as a framework to interpret these findings. The results suggest that physical capital did not adjust to the faster increase in human capital"--National Bureau of Economic Research web site.
Intrahousehold resource allocation in Côte d'Ivoire : social norms, separate accounts and consumption choices by Esther Duflo ( Book )
6 editions published between 2003 and 2004 in English and held by 64 libraries worldwide
"We study resource allocation within households in C"te d'Ivoire. In C"te d'Ivoire, as in much of Africa, husbands and wives farm separate plots, and there is some specialization by gender in the crops that are grown. These different crops are differentially sensitive to particular kinds of rainfall shocks. We find that conditional on overall levels of expenditure, the composition of household expenditure is sensitive to the gender of the recipient of a rainfall shock. For example, rainfall shocks associated with high yields of women's crops shift expenditure towards food. Strong social norms constrain the use of profits from yam cultivation, which is carried out almost exclusively by men. In line with these norms, we find that rainfall-induced fluctuations in income from yams are transmitted to expenditures on education and food, not to expenditures on private goods (like alcohol and tobacco). We reject the hypothesis of complete insurance within households, even with respect to publicly observable weather shocks. Different sources of income are allocated to different uses depending upon both the identity of the income earner and upon the origin of the income"--National Bureau of Economic Research web site.
The impact of education on fertility and child mortality : do fathers really matter less than mothers by Lucia Breierova ( Book )
5 editions published between 2003 and 2004 in English and No Linguistic content and held by 64 libraries worldwide
"This paper takes advantage of a massive school construction program that took place in Indonesia between 1973 and 1978 to estimate the effect of education on fertility and child mortality. Time and region varying exposure to the school construction program generates instrumental variables for the average education in the household, and the difference in education between husband and wife. We show that female education is a stronger determinant of age at marriage and early fertility than male education. However, female and male education seem equally important factors in reducing child mortality. We suggest that the OLS estimate of the differential effect of women's and men's education may be biased by failure to take in to account assortative matching"--National Bureau of Economic Research web site.
Monitoring works : getting teachers to come to school by Esther Duflo ( Book )
10 editions published between 2005 and 2008 in English and held by 60 libraries worldwide
In the rural areas of developing countries, teacher absence is a widespread problem. This paper tests whether a simple incentive program based on teacher presence can reduce teacher absence, and whether it has the potential to lead to more teaching activities and better learning. In 60 informal one-teacher schools in rural India, randomly chosen out of 120 (the treatment schools), a financial incentive program was initiated to reduce absenteeism. Teachers were given a camera with a tamper-proof date and time function, along with instructions to have one of the children photograph the teacher and other students at the beginning and end of the school day. The time and date stamps on the photographs were used to track teacher attendance. A teacher's salary was a direct function of his attendance. The remaining 60 schools served as comparison schools. The introduction of the program resulted in an immediate decline in teacher absence. The absence rate (measured using unannounced visits both in treatment and comparison schools) changed from an average of 42 percent in the comparison schools to 22 percent in the treatment schools. When the schools were open, teachers were as likely to be teaching in both types of schools, and the number of students present was roughly the same. The program positively affected child achievement levels: a year after the start of the program, test scores in program schools were 0.17 standard deviations higher than in the comparison schools and children were 40 percent more likely to be admitted into regular schools.
Expérience, science et lutte contre la pauvreté by Esther Duflo ( Book )
1 edition published in 2009 in French and held by 31 libraries worldwide
Aging and death under a dollar a day by Abhijit V Banerjee ( Book )
5 editions published in 2007 in English and held by 31 libraries worldwide
This paper uses household survey data form several developing countries to investigate whether the poor (defined as those living under $1 or $2 dollars a day at PPP) and the non poor have different mortality rates in old age. We construct a proxy measure of longevity, which is the probability that an adult's mother and father are alive. The non-poor's mothers are more likely to be alive than the poor's mothers. Using panel data set for Indonesia and Vietnam, we also find that older adults are significantly more likely to have died five years later if they are poor. The direction of causality is unclear: the poor may be poor because they are sick (and thus more likely to die), or they could die because they are poor.
Peer effects and the impact of tracking evidence from a randomized evaluation in Kenya by Esther Duflo ( Book )
5 editions published in 2008 in English and held by 27 libraries worldwide
This paper provides experimental evidence on the impact of tracking primary school students by initial achievement. In the presence of positive spillover effects from academically proficient peers, tracking may be beneficial for strong students but hurt weaker ones. However, tracking may help everybody if heterogeneous classes make it difficult to teach at a level appropriate to most students. We test these competing claims using a randomized evaluation in Kenya. One hundred and twenty one primary schools which all had a single grade one class received funds to hire an extra teacher to split that class into two sections. In 60 randomly selected schools, students were randomly assigned to sections. In the remaining 61 schools, students were ranked by prior achievement (measured by their first term grades), and the top and bottom halves of the class were assigned to different sections. After 18 months, students in tracking schools scored 0.14 standard deviations higher than students in non-tracking schools, and this effect persisted one year after the program ended. Furthermore, students at all levels of the distribution benefited from tracking. A regression discontinuity analysis shows that in tracking schools scores of students near the median of the pre-test distribution score are independent of whether they were assigned to the top or bottom section. In contrast, in non-tracking schools we find that on average, students benefit from having academically stronger peers. This suggests that tracking was beneficial because it helped teachers focus their teaching to a level appropriate to most students in the class.
Nudging farmers to use fertilizer theory and experimental evidence from Kenya by Esther Duflo ( Book )
6 editions published in 2009 in English and held by 27 libraries worldwide
While many developing-country policymakers see heavy fertilizer subsidies as critical to raising agricultural productivity, most economists see them as distortionary, regressive, environmentally unsound, and argue that they result in politicized, inefficient distribution of fertilizer supply. We model farmers as facing small fixed costs of purchasing fertilizer, and assume some are stochastically present-biased and not fully sophisticated about this bias. Even when relatively patient, such farmers may procrastinate, postponing fertilizer purchases until later periods, when they may be too impatient to purchase fertilizer. Consistent with the model, many farmers in Western Kenya fail to take advantage of apparently profitable fertilizer investments, but they do invest in response to small, time-limited discounts on the cost of acquiring fertilizer (free delivery) just after harvest. Later discounts have a smaller impact, and when given a choice of price schedules, many farmers choose schedules that induce advance purchase. Calibration suggests such small, time-limited discounts yield higher welfare than either laissez faire or heavy subsidies by helping present-biased farmers commit to fertilizer use without inducing those with standard preferences to substantially overuse fertilizer.
La politique de l'autonomie by Esther Duflo ( Book )
1 edition published in 2010 in French and held by 3 libraries worldwide
Le développement humain by Esther Duflo ( Book )
1 edition published in 2010 in French and held by 3 libraries worldwide
Age groups--Economic aspects Bribery Causation Children--Mortality Child welfare Cohort analysis Côte d'Ivoire Dams--Economic aspects Deferred compensation--Taxation Developing countries Difference equations Economic assistance Economic development Economic development--Econometric models Education Education, Primary Education, Primary--Economic aspects Estimation theory Family allowances Fathers Fertility, Human Health Households Households--Economic aspects Human capital Income distribution--Econometric models India Individual retirement accounts Indonesia Kenya Labor market Mothers--Education New schools Old age pensions Peer pressure Pension trusts Poverty--Government policy Poverty--Prevention Resource allocation--Research Retirement--Planning Saving and investment Saving and investment--Econometric models South Africa Teachers--Evaluation United States Universities and colleges--Employees--Pensions Wages Wages--Women Women--Pensions Women--Political activity
Duflo, E. 1972-
Duflo, Esther Caroline 1972-