Friday , December 14 2018
Home / Impact Evaluations

Impact Evaluations

Do Sociable or Higher-Achieving Peers Matter? Guest post by Román Andrés Zárate

While sociable peers increase your social skills, higher-achieving peers do not improve your academic performance. That is the main conclusion of my job market paper.   As the world bends closer towards automation, social skills take a lead role on individuals' well-being and labor market success. According to Deming (2017), between 1980 and 2012, jobs demanding high levels of social interaction grew by nearly 12 percentage points as a share of the U.S. labor force. Similarly, a recent...

Read More »

Out of Power? Political Capture of the Indian Electricity Sector — Guest post by Meera Mahadevan

In 2012, 700 million people in India suddenly found themselves without power for over 10 hours. At the time of the incident, political parties blamed each other for mismanagement and failing infrastructure. Such incidents reflect the extensive dysfunction in the sector, with technical problems and billing leakages that are among the worst in the world, amounting to 20% of electricity generated. The poor quality of electricity supply imposes major costs on the Indian economy; electricity...

Read More »

Good Fathers & Lemon Sons: Why Political Dynasties Cause “Reversals of Fortune” — Guest post by Siddharth George

Aquinos, Bhuttos, Trudeaus, Yudhoyonos, Gandhis, Lees, Fujimoris: political dynasties remain ubiquitous in democratic countries.  Though many societies democratised to end hereditary rule, nearly half of democratic countries have elected multiple heads of state from a single family.  Politics is significantly more dynastic than other occupations in democratic societies.  Individuals are, on average, five times more likely to enter an occupation their father was in.  But...

Read More »

Land: Trap or Opportunity for the Rural Poor? Guest post by Juan Sebastián Galán

Across the developing world, providing land through agrarian reform has been a popular strategy for expanding economic opportunities among the rural poor. Its use is commonly debated in several developing countries, including South Africa, China, India and many others in Latin America. A widely held view against providing land is that it traps recipient families in the countryside, forcing them to remain in the subsistence sector (Banerjee, 2000). This limits their chances to move up the...

Read More »

Does It Matter Who Answers the Survey to Identify Families in Poverty? Guest post by Adan Silverio-Murillo

Imagine that you receive a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to give money transfers to families living in poverty. Yet, the selected country does not have formal income records. As a consequence, you decide to collect income information through a household survey. On your way to collect the information, you find an economist who points out two problems: (1) income can be measured with a lot of noise; and (2) individuals may have incentives to sub-report income to participate...

Read More »

FinTech Adoption and its Spillovers. Guest post by Sean Higgins

During my last trip to Mexico, I bought tamales from a street vendor and paid by card—something that would have been impossible not long ago. The vendor, who had a Bluetooth card reader connected to his cell phone, told me that his potential customers are not always carrying cash, and as a result, accepting card payments has increased his sales. This anecdote illustrates a broader trend: as the adoption of financial technologies (FinTech) increases on both the supply and demand sides of the...

Read More »

The Perils of Being a Firstborn Child Amidst Forest Cover Loss in Indonesia: Guest post by Averi Chakrabarti

This is the thirteenth in this year's series of posts by PhD students on the job market. Our planet is currently experiencing substantial environmental degradation. The resulting depletion of resources and climate change patterns endanger the prospects for human life on earth in the long run, but there are often detrimental consequences that materialize sooner. While governments might have little incentive to reign in dangerous practices if the effects are not expected to emerge until the...

Read More »

Why are relatively poor people not more supportive of redistribution? Guest Post by Christopher Hoy

This is the twelfth in this year's series of posts by PhD students on the job market.Social commentators and researchers struggle to explain why, despite growing inequality in many countries around the world,  there is often relatively limited support among poorer people for policies where they are set to benefit (such as increases in cash transfers or in the minimum wage). Recent research drawing on surveys from the United States and Europe has identified a potential reason for why poorer...

Read More »

Five things we learnt from a loan and grain storage intervention in Tanzania. Guest post by Hira Channa

Two of the main post-harvest concerns that many small holders in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) face are: Maintaining the quantity and quality of staple grains throughout the year.  Managing the persistent price seasonality in grain commodity markets. In Mbeya, Tanzania, where our experiment was conducted, for the last two years maize prices in the lean season were 80% higher than prices at harvest. The important question for researchers and practitioners is then to determine which intervention...

Read More »

Same Sex Marriage, Employment and Discrimination. Guest post by Dario Sansone

Progress towards marriage equality within the U.S. has been extremely rapid in the last twenty years. In 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage (SSM). Following its example, more and more states introduced SSM until the final ruling in 2015 of the U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges legalized SSM at the federal level. Were these amendments to marriage law a revolution with a profound impact for gays and lesbians? Or were they just a formal statement...

Read More »