Lars Ivar Oppedal Berge, Kjetil Bjorvatn, Simon Galle, Edward Miguel, Daniel N. Posner, Bertil Tungodden, Kelly Zhang, 11 February 2016

Ethnic divisions have been shown to adversely affect economic performance and political stability, particularly in Africa. However, the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. Using experimental data from Kenya, this column studies whether one potential mechanism – co-ethnic bias – affects altruism. Strikingly, most tests yield no evidence of co-ethnic bias, suggesting that other mechanisms must be driving the negative association between ethnic diversity and economic and political outcomes in Africa.

William Jack, Tavneet Suri, 16 March 2011

The success of the mobile money programme in Kenya – where money is exchanged via mobile phone – has been phenomenal. In four years, a country with only 850 bank branches has seen the number of outlets providing the service grow from 4,000 to 25,000. People have access to formal finance as never before. This column studies 3,000 households between 2008 and 2010, tracking this social and economic transformation.

Christopher Ksoll, Rocco Macchiavello, Ameet Morjaria, 08 March 2011

As unrest continues in the Arab countries, many are asking about the economic costs. While the macro effect of civil conflicts is widely studied, little is known of the micro effects. This column presents evidence from the short-term violence following the 2007 election in Kenya. It finds that firms providing cut flowers to Western markets saw a significant rise in costs, largely due to the displacement of workers.

Paul Glewwe, Michael Kremer, Sylvie Moulin, 20 August 2008

Many students may be left behind in societies with curricula that cater to the elite.

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