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Birth registration is essential to guarantee a child’s right to an identity. Without proper documentation of their identity, children have limited access to health, education and social assistance, laying the foundation for lifelong exclusion. Geographic distance to registration facilities is often cited as a significant barrier in qualitative surveys. Using Global Positioning System (GPS) data, this paper quantifies the impact of distance on birth registration in Bolivia, the Dominican Republic and Peru. The results suggest that increasing the distance to the nearest registry office by 25 kilometers is associated with a 4 percentage point increase in the probability of not registering a child’s birth in Bolivia, and 12 percentage points in the Dominican Republic. These effects are as or more important than other socioeconomic characteristics that also affect birth registration, such as maternal education levels and the ability to deliver in a health center. In Peru, distance did not appear to be statistically significant, in line with both the lowest percentage of unregistered births and more even geographic distribution of access to civil registries than Bolivia and the Dominican Republic.
The drivers of educational attainment have been the subject of much research both in the developed and the developing world. Yet, nothing is known about the effect of birth registration on schooling outcomes. Birth registration is not only a fundamental human right but also a requirement to obtain additional documents of legal identity and access many government benefits. Using data for the Domini ... (View publication)
Gender segmentation in the labor market is widespread. However, most existing studies of the effects of labor demand shocks on local economies assume away gender. In this paper, I show that local labor demand shocks can lead to different outcomes depending on whether they favor male or female employment. I develop a spatial equilibrium model that features gender segmented labor markets and joi ... (View publication)
Using the Quality of Life Surveys conducted in Colombia in 2003 and 2008, this study finds that policy instruments aimed at easing low-income households’ access to affordable housing such as subsidies and loan guarantees have played a modest role in increasing the use of mortgages as a source of funding. Despite this, subsidies have had a significant impact on both the quality of dwelling and the ... (View publication)
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