Electoral rules determine how voters' preferences are aggregated and translated into political representation, and their design can lead to the election of representatives who represent broader or narrower constituencies. Relying on a regression discontinuity design, I contrast single- and two-round elections in Brazilian municipal races. Two-round elections use two rounds of voting to elect a winner, ensuring that the eventual winner obtains at least 50% of the vote. Theoretically, this can provide incentives for candidates to secure a broader base of support. Consistent with this, I show that in two-round elections, candidates represent a more geographically diverse group of voters, public schools have more resources, and there is less variation in resources across public schools. Effects appear to be driven by strategic responses of candidates, rather than differential entry into races. These results suggest that two-round elections can lead candidates to secure broader bases of support and to distribute public goods more broadly.
Lagging labor reallocations outside agriculture amid sustained low agricultural productivity have been a key feature in the Philippines over the past 15 years. An analysis of the labor adjustments in and out of agriculture shows that a variety of factors have influenced this process. We find that the widening of wage differentials with non-agricultural sectors, improvements in labor market efficiency, and better transport infrastructure are largely associated with growing outflows of labor from agriculture, whilst the lack of post-primary education and the presence of agricultural clusters hinder such outflows. In contrast to the traditional view that agricultural employment outflows are largely driven by productivity differences and wage differentials, our results emphasize the roles of education as well as transport infrastructure in facilitating labor reallocations from agriculture to non-agriculture.
The COVID-19 crisis has a severe impact on education and employment and exposed the many social inequities that make some populations more vulnerable to shocks. Despite a vast literature on social mobility in advanced economies, little is known about it in African countries, mainly due to data limitations. Using a large harmonized dataset of more than 72 million individuals, we fill this gap and examine socioeconomic status mobility across generations, measured by educational and occupational attainment. We uncover the substantial geographical variations in the degree of upward/downward educational and occupational mobility across and within African countries, and the gender and rural/urban divide. Additionally, we explore the determinants of social mobility in the African region. We find that social mobility on the continent could be partly explained by observable individual characteristics (gender, marital status, age, etc.), and that educational mobility is a driver of occupational mobility. Lastly, we show that the quality of institutions, the level of public spending on education, social protection coverage, natural resource endowments, and countries' fragility are strong predictors of social mobility in Africa.
Fernanda Brollo, Emine Hanedar, and Mr. Sébastien Walker
This paper assesses the additional spending required to make substantial progress towards achieving the SDGs in Pakistan. We focus on critical areas of human (education and health) and physical (electricity, roads, and water and sanitation) capital. For each sector, we document the progress to date, assess where Pakistan stands relative to its peers, highlight key challenges, and estimate the additional spending required to make substantial progress. The estimates for the additional spending are derived using the IMF SDG costing methodology. We find that to achieve the SDGs in these sectors would require additional annual spending of about 16 percent of GDP in 2030 from the public and private sectors combined.
Mr. Tito Boeri, Ms. Prachi Mishra, Mr. Chris Papageorgiou, and Mr. Antonio Spilimbergo
Populists claim to be the only legitimate representative of the people. Does it mean that there is no space for civil society? The issue is important because since Tocqueville (1835), associations and civil society have been recognized as a key factor in a healthy liberal democracy. We ask two questions: 1) do individuals who are members of civil associations vote less for populist parties? 2)does membership in associations decrease when populist parties are in power? We answer thesequestions looking at the experiences of Europe, which has a rich civil society tradition, as well as of Latin America, which already has a long history of populists in power. The main findings are that individuals belonging to associations are less likely by 2.4 to 4.2 percent to vote for populist parties, which is large considering that the average vote share for populist parties is from 10 to 15 percent. The effect is strong particularly after the global financial crisis, with the important caveat that membership in trade unions has unclear effects.
Mr. Norbert Funke, Asel Isakova, and Maksym Ivanyna
Using data from the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report as an example, this
paper compares structural indicators for 25 countries in Emerging Europe, the Caucasus, and
Central Asia with a generic country with similar charactersitics that is 40 percent richer as well as
a country with the average EU income. This comparison suggests that improvements will be
particularly crucial in the areas of institutions, financial market development, infrastructure, goods
and labor market efficiency and areas related to innovation. For the generally more ambitious goal
of reaching average EU income, the reform needs are correspondingly larger. The methodology
focuses on (approximate) comparisons between countries and does not try to establish the link
between structural reforms and growth. While we test for changes in empirical specifications,
caveats relate to the quality of structural indicators, possible non-linearities, and reform
complementarities. The approach can be applied to other indicators and at a more granular level.