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PISA

2017 in review: The top ten World Bank education blogs

Anne Elicaño-Shields's picture

The variation in investment among developing countries is truly remarkable. Over the course of the 30-year period between 1980--2010---a period of relative calm in the global economy that is often referred to as the "Great Moderation"[*]---the investment rate in developing countries ranged from a whopping 90 percent (Armenia in 1990) to a dismal 1 percent (Liberia in 2003). This variability is more than twice that of variance in economic growth---a topic that has preoccupied many more generations of researchers---and much of this variability stems from the developing world.

Finland: A miracle of education?

Cristian Aedo's picture


Photo: totojang1977 / Shutterstock.com

In my last blog, I compared Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) with marriage. I had explained that, though very different, the public and private can come together as they each possess characteristics beneficial to the other. Great in theory, but often difficult in practice.

Critics of PPPs abound and listing them here would be impractical. But whether they are auditors, civil society or within the World Bank Group, critics help us improve. We try to respond to our critics, including through blogs such as this one.

Why we should invest in getting more kids to read — and how to do it

Harry A. Patrinos's picture
“To alleviate poverty in Pakistan, we have to focus on the farmers,” says Farida Tariq, founder and chief executive officer of Wasil Foundation, a microfinance institution. “But many farmers will not opt for interest-based lending because of religious reasons.”
 
To address this gap, Wasil started offering a Sharia-compliant microfinance package aimed specifically at smallholder farmers.
 
African Higher Education Summit: Claudia Costin

Wasil is an example of how microfinance and Islamic finance can be successfully combined.
 
An estimated 650 million Muslims live on less than $2 a day. Examples like Wasil show that Islamic microfinance can play a key role in bringing the poor into the financial mainstream in a way that doesn’t force them to choose between their religious practices and their wallets.

But despite an impressive increase in the number of financial service providers that offer Sharia-compliant microfinance products in Muslim countries, Islamic microfinance is still limited to a few countries. The range of offerings is narrow as well – most are largely focused on the cost-plus-markup product known as murabaha, which is geared toward asset purchases. 

A mixed report: How Europe and Central Asian Countries performed in PISA

Cristian Aedo's picture
Tim Cordell, Cartoonstock.com

Мы знаем, что система правосудия омрачает деловой климат во многих странах, в которых мы работаем. В докладах Всемирного банка, национальных стратегиях и просто в разговорах мы жалуемся, что неэффективная работа судов сдерживает предпринимательскую активность, отрицательно отражается на прогнозируемости, увеличивает риски и сдерживает рост частного сектора. Кроме того, мы делаем вывод о том, что слабая система правосудия непомерно препятствует развитию микро-, малых и средних предприятий (MSMEs), потому что у них меньше средств для того, чтобы справиться с этой проблемой, что может стать решающим фактором самого существования их предприятий.
 
Итак, «что», а точнее, «как» суды влияют на бизнес?
 

Non-cognitive skills: What are they and why should we care?

Raja Bentaouet Kattan's picture

Жертвы преступлений относятся к числу наиболее уязвимых групп, которым требуются государственные услуги: от базовой информации до приютов, горячих линий, медицинских и психологических служб, юридической помощи и т.д. Тем не менее, служб поддержки зачастую бывает недостаточно или же они могут вообще отсутствовать, в результате чего жертвы чувствуют себя беззащитными и брошенными органами правосудия. Это создает ряд издержек в экономической и социальной областях, которых следует избегать.
 
Есть ли у нас возможность предотвратить эти негативные побочные последствия?

Are girls smarter than boys?

Malek Abu-Jawdeh's picture
When investigating son-biased fertility preferences, the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) offer the go-to survey questions:
  • If you could go back to the time you did not have any children and could choose exactly the number of children to have in your whole life, how many would that be?
  • How many of these children would you like to be boys, how many would you like to be girls, and for how many would it not matter if it’s a boy or a girl?

How do we achieve sustained growth? Through human capital, and East Asia and the Pacific proves it

Michael Crawford's picture
Students at Beijing Bayi High School in China. Photo: World Bank


In 1950, the average working-age person in the world had  almost three years of education, but in East Asia and Pacific (EAP), the  average person had less than half that amount. Around this time, countries in  the EAP  region put themselves on a path that focused on growth  driven by human capital. They made significant and steady investments in  schooling to close the educational attainment gap with the rest of the world. While  improving their school systems, they also put their human capital to work in  labor markets. As a result, economic growth has been stellar: for four decades  EAP has grown at roughly twice the pace of the global average. What is more, no  slowdown is in sight for rising prosperity.

High economic growth and strong human capital accumulation  are deeply intertwined. In a recent paper, Daron Acemoglu and David Autor explore  the way skills and labor markets interact: Human capital is the central  determinant of economic growth and is the main—and very likely the only—means  to achieve shared growth when technology is changing quickly and raising the  demand for skills. Skills promote productivity and growth, but if there are not  enough skilled workers, growth soon chokes off. If, by contrast, skills are abundant and  average skill-levels keep rising, technological change can drive productivity  and growth without stoking inequality.

Education and economic development: Five reforms that have worked

Harry A. Patrinos's picture
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Education systems are simply not performing as needed; not as economies demand, and not as parents desire. Yet it’s important to celebrate and recognize the success of countries that have made significant advances. (Photo: Sofie Tesson / Taimani Films / World Bank)

Every sector is reforming to meet the changing demands of the global economy. Except one. Education remains a predominantly public service.  This is fine except that it means that this is also mainly publicly-provided, publicly-financed, and regulated. No public service agency is expected to do as much as we expect of education. How are education systems around the world faring?

Why students in Moldova are performing better

Lucia Casap's picture
Во время недавнего посещения  города Чартак в Наманганской области Узбекистана я была поражена, увидев красоты этих мест. Здесь, в прямом и переносном смысле, у меня открылось второе дыхание. Этот небольшой город в Ферганской долине, расположенный на высоте 650 метров над уровнем моря среди зеленых  лугов и скалистых гор, богат чистейшим воздухом и кристальной минеральной водой.

Устойчивый туризм может стать важным экономическим решением для многих горных общин Узбекистана, способствуя трудоустройству местной молодежи. Эта идея приобретает большее значение, учитывая, что три четверти населения страны, находящихся за чертой бедности, проживают именно в сельской местности. 


 

Testing, testing: How Kosovo fared in its first international assessment of students

Flora Kelmendi's picture


Photo: Jorge Franganillo | Flickr Creative Commons

This is the first of a three-part series on traffic risk in PPPs

"Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future."
– Professor Nils Bohr, Nobel Laureate

Professor Bohr was right: prediction is hard work. As a species, we don’t have difficulty making predictions. I, for one, frequently make doom-laden predictions on a diverse range of subjects ranging from politics to the fortunes of my beloved football team, Liverpool Football Club.

No, the problem is that humans, as a rule, are not very good at predictions. Sadly, that illusive ‘crystal ball’ still has not been invented. And the sheer complexity of living on an ever-changing and evolving planet alongside 7 billion equally complex individuals—all making unique but increasingly interdependent decisions—makes even the most straightforward predictions difficult. 


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