Research

Peer-reviewed Publications

Mizunoya, S., & Zaw, H. T. (2017). Measuring the holes of the ship: Global cost estimations of internal inefficiency in primary education. International Journal of Educational Development54, 8-17. (read here)
see Abstract

Using UNESCO-UIS data, this paper estimates the costs of internal inefficiency caused by dropouts and repetitions in primary education. Multiple imputation method is found essential to accurately estimate the costs of internal inefficiency. Globally, 8.1% of total public expenditure for primary education was wasted in 2011, a 3.4 percentage-point decrease from 2002. However, during the same period, total value of wastage increased by two billion USD to 32.6 billion USD, five times higher than total aid for primary education towards developing countries. Sub-Saharan Africa remains as the region with significant needs for improvement in internal inefficiency.

Chan, L., Erlings, E., Mizunoya, S., & Zaw, H. (2016). A City Fit for Children: Mapping and Analysis of Child-Friendly Cities Initiatives. The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Centre for Rights and Justice Occasional Paper Series, Paper No. 5. (read here)
see Abstract

Over the two last decades, a number of States have implemented Child Friendly Cities (CFC) initiatives, designed to promote both children’s rights and children’s well-being at subnational level. However, limited research is available with respect to the global distribution of CFC initiatives, and the extent to which initiatives cover and effectively implement the nine constitutive elements of the Child Friendly Cities framework.

In this paper we address these issues by:

(1) mapping all registered CFC initiatives around the world to reflect their global distribution,

(2) analyze whether these initiatives cover the nine constitutive elements of the Child Friendly Cities framework and,

(3) provide a meta-analysis of challenges and good practices on the basis of a sample of the registered initiatives.

We conclude that the global distribution of CFC initiatives is uneven and that most CFC initiatives do not fully implement the CFC framework; they cherry-pick amongst elements, rather than cover the elements comprehensively. Our research also shows that, despite the existence of some good practices, there are recurrent challenges and limitations in respect of CFC initiatives that undermine their effectiveness in practice. To tackle these shortcomings, we encourage States and cities to genuinely embrace the concept of Child Friendly Cities and its implications.

Work in Progress

“Pre-colonial History and Colonial Rule: Does Timing of Centralization Matter?”
see Abstract

This study evaluates the role of precolonial history and subsequent development of colonial states by estimating the relationship between the history of centralization under the precolonial state and investment in physical coercion by the colonial state in the present-day territories of Burma (Myanmar). Under the Konbaung dynasty, an expansionist state that preceded colonial Burma, a number of towns and villages received a headman via central appointment rather than via a hereditary line, either due to a regional rebellion or lack of a successor. I argue that this action represents early centralization, as the precolonial state took control of a pivotal agent for local administration before colonial rule. Using a geo-referenced data of towns and villages in colonial gazetteers, I argue that the areas exposed to early centralization reduced the colonial state’s need for investment in the monopoly of violence, and therefore received less investment in coercion under the colonial state. I also find that these colonial patterns of coercion to be strongly associated with post-colonial patterns of development and conflict occurrence.

“Changing Minds for Hard Times: A Theory of Human Capital Investment in the Non-democratic States”
see Abstract

Why do non-democratic states make investments in human capital during periods of political instability, rather than relying only on physical coercion? I develop a theory that frames the government’s choice over different investments as a strategic interaction with the society in an environment of political instability, where the economic strength is stochastic and the actors can end up in a peace state or a war state. The government faces a strategic dilemma where investment in human capital is risky for two reasons. First, the investment is costly and may yield no return during periods of a weak economy. Second, there is an opportunity cost because the same investment could have gone to physical coercion and increased the government’s winning probability during war state. I find that human capital investment, despite its risks, can be attractive to the government because not only it leads to larger economic returns during periods of a strong economy, it can also reduce the constraints faced by the government to maintain peace through transfers to society during periods of a weak economy. I also identify the equilibrium conditions that determine when the government will most prefer human capital investment and how the society will respond during peace and war states.

“An Equity Analysis of Pre-primary Education in the Developing World” (with Suguru Mizunoya and Xinxin Yu).
see Abstract

Despite the increasing attention towards the importance of pre-primary education, little is still known about the dimensions along with gaps in pre-primary school attendance are observed. In this article, we focus on four key dimensions (gender, urban-rural status, socio-economic status, and subnational unit) and argue that traditional focus on gender and urban-rural residence is not sufficient for understanding and addressing the participation gaps in pre-primary education. Compared to gaps by gender, urban-rural residence, and socio-economic status, gaps by subnational units turn out to be the largest. There is also a substantial regional and cross-sectional variation in gaps observed by each dimension. The findings present important implications in light of new policies towards expanding pre-primary education.