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Paths to development: is there a Bangladesh surprise?

  • M. Niaz Asadullah
  • Antonio Savoia
  • Wahiduddin Mahmud

Abstract Is Bangladesh’s development progress surprising, given its level of economic development? Using aggregate indices of education, health, demographic and gender equality outcomes, we empirically investigate the hypothesis that Bangladesh made exceptional gains in human development compared with countries with similar level of per capita income. Stylised facts and cross-country regression results indicate that, for a broad range of dimensions, there is a human development surplus. Further tests show that such surplus does not reflect the role of economic growth and public expenditure programmes. We conclude by speculating on the role of Bangladesh’s human development to sustain the process of growth and on the implications of governance and institutional quality for the nexus between growth and human development.

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Paper provided by BWPI, The University of Manchester in its series Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series with number 18913.

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Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bwp:bwppap:18913
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  1. Nazmul Chaudhury & Jeffrey Hammer & Michael Kremer & Karthik Muralidharan & F. Halsey Rogers, 2006. "Missing in Action: Teacher and Health Worker Absence in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 91-116, Winter.
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  8. Mohammad Niaz Asadullah (SKOPE, Department of Economics), . "Returns to Education in Bangladesh," QEH Working Papers qehwps130, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
  9. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 2002. "Tropics, Germs, and Crops: How Endowments Influence Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 9106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Rogers, Mark Llewellyn, 2008. "Directly unproductive schooling: How country characteristics affect the impact of schooling on growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 356-385, February.
  11. Chaudhury, Nazmul & Hammer, Jeffrey S., 2003. "Ghost doctors - absenteeism in Bangladeshi health facilities," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3065, The World Bank.
  12. Niaz Asadullah, Mohammad & Chaudhury, Nazmul & Dar, Amit, 2007. "Student achievement conditioned upon school selection: Religious and secular secondary school quality in Bangladesh," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 648-659, December.
  13. Mohammad Niaz Asadullah & Nazmul Chaudhury, 2009. "Reverse Gender Gap in Schooling in Bangladesh: Insights from Urban and Rural Households," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(8), pages 1360-1380.
  14. Mohammad Niaz Asadullah & Nazmul Chaudhury, 2009. "Holy alliances: public subsidies, Islamic high schools, and female schooling in Bangladesh," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(3), pages 377-394.
  15. Stephen Knowles & Paula K. Lorgelly, 2002. "Are educational gender gaps a brake on economic development? Some cross-country empirical evidence," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(1), pages 118-149, January.
  16. William Easterly, 2006. "Reliving the 1950s: the big push, poverty traps, and takeoffs in economic development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 289-318, December.
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