Jobs and wage growth have been the most important driver of poverty reduction globally, and Central Asia. In Tajikistan, for example, it has cut poverty by about two-thirds since 2003. In…

Lilia Burunciuc |

During a recent trip to a popular tourist enclave in Kazakhstan called Borovoye, I decided to make a stopover in the village of Makinsk, about 150 km north of the capital city Astana. I was keen…

Ato Brown |

Kazakhstan is embarking on several policy and institutional initiatives aimed at closing skill gaps and improving work force productivity. Photo: Maxim Zolotukhin / World Bank Do you remember how…

Aliya Bizhanova |

Numbers don’t lie. That’s why, in our day-to-day lives, we rely heavily on numbers from household surveys, from national accounts, and from other traditional sources to describe the world around…

Giorgia DeMarchi |

When I was a high school student in Belgium, our history textbook included a reproduction of a painting entitled “The Drunkard” by Eugène Laermans. The painting was included in the section…

Damien de Walque |

I was recently at the GW conference on the economics & political economy of Africa where I saw an interesting paper by Richard Akresh, Emilie Bagby, Damien de Walque, and Harounan Kazianga on…

Markus Goldstein |

My father is a long-distance trucker based in Belarus. As a young girl, I spent long hours on the road with him. I loved traveling to neighboring and faraway cities and—even though I could barely…

Alena Sakhonchik |

A former hotel owner in one of the region’s major cities, who wants to remain anonymous, tells a story that should have had a happy ending. Her 40-room hotel was doing well. It had built a…

Marc Schiffbauer |

What makes smart politicians?  Jeffrey Frankel has an idea.   His recent blog examines the allure, and trap, of universal subsidies.   For one thing, they know that pulling the plug on bad…

Heba Elgazzar |

When economists think about price shocks, they consider how a change in price will affect the supply and demand of a product. But when that product is human – i.e., a worker – interpreting the…

Elizabeth Ruppert Bulmer, Claire H. Hollweg |