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In developing countries, rising incomes, increased demand for more skilled labor, and government investments of considerable resources on building and equipping schools and paying teachers have contributed to some global convergence in enrollment rates and completed years of schooling but substantial education gaps persist, such as between rural and urban households and also between males and females, in some settings. To address these gaps, some governments have introduced school vouchers or cash transfers programs that are targeted to disadvantaged children. Some governments have aimed at raising school quality such as setting higher eligibility requirements for teachers or increasing the number of textbooks in the hands of students to attract or retain students. It has become increasingly clear that increased enrollments have not led to a commensurate improvement in knowledge and skills of students. Establishing the impact of these policies and programs requires an understanding of the incentives and constraints faced by all parties involved, the school providers, the parents and the children.
Bio Statement: Elizabeth King
Elizabeth M. King is an economist and has recently been selected to be the Director of Education at the World Bank. Until January of 2009, she was the manager of the research group at the Bank that focuses on human development issues. As Director of Education, she provides strategic direction to the Bank's education work and is the senior spokesperson for global policy and strategic education issues in developing countries. She has undertaken research on topics such as household investments in human capital; the linkages between human capital, poverty and economic development; gender issues in development; and education finance and the impact of decentralization reforms in developing countries. Since joining the World Bank, she has worked on countries as diverse as Bangladesh, Colombia, Ghana, Indonesia, Nicaragua, Pakistan, and the Philippines, among others, contributing to public expenditure reviews, country economic assessments, policy analyses of the human development sectors, and impact evaluations of policies and programs. She was the Lead Economist for the Bank's human development department for East Asian countries for three years, and was a team member of the World Development Reports for 1991, 1998/9, and 2007. Ms. King has a Ph.D. in economics from Yale University and a BA from the University of the Philippines.