Tuesday , April 23 2019
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Impact Evaluations

The promise and limitations of cash transfers to adolescent females

When you have to redo your literature review for a “revise and resubmit,” you know two things: first, the publishing process in economics is slow, and second, the evidence is accumulating fast in your subject matter. The former is what it is and the latter is good. Into the rapidly growing literature regarding the effects of cash transfers on sustained human capital accumulation for adolescent females comes this paper by Baird, McIntosh, and Özler (forthcoming in the Journal of Development...

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Friday Links: wage penalty, #LookLikeAnEconomist, detention vs meditation, #Rstats, #GitHub, jobs …

And now for some Friday links ...  Nice roundup on the wage penalty for mothers vs fathers across 6 OECD economies in the Economist (hint: it’s really large, and correlates well with population-wide attitudes towards mothers who work; RT @piza_caio). #LookLikeAnEconomist: some great news on that front, the next PhD cohort at UC Berkeley is 50% female! (RT @MarthaOlney). Some links to Women in Econ conferences The Women in Econ Research #WiEr2019 conference is on April 20 (short notice!)...

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Humans of Field Work

Enumerators play a crucial role in the success of field-based impact evaluations. Despite the central role they play in the research process, enumerators are rarely in the spotlight. We recently interviewed a few Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) enumerators working with us on a high-frequency market survey in Rwanda in the context of a rural feeder road upgrading project. We hand-picked three of these interviews for this post. We were particularly keen on learning how they came to...

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Weekly links April 12: informal firms, politics, PACDEV, and more on field work

The World Bank’s Enterprise Survey program is not just about surveying formal firms. In some countries (such as Mozambique, Zimbabwe & Lao DPR), they now also conduct surveys of informal firm. A harder-to-sample group than households or formal firms, the surveys use stratified adaptive cluster sampling methods—a method commonly used in the field of biology.   The global partnership Effective States and Inclusive Development Research Centre works to fill in big gaps in knowledge on the...

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How to Implicit Association Test?

How to do Implicit Association Test? Implicit Association Tests (IATs) are being increasingly used in applied micro papers. While IATs can be found off-the-shelf, designing your own IAT may allow you to get at respondents’ implicit attitudes towards something more contextual. We added a custom IAT to a survey of commuters in Rio de Janeiro, and here we'll go over the practical steps involved. For our project, we wanted to measure male and female commuters’ implicit attitudes towards women...

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Local expert opinion on prices is a good substitute for a full-fledged market price survey – since local prices are often missing this is great news

The comparison of poverty rates across two countries, or across regions within a country, is a common occurrence in analysis produced at the World Bank and other development agencies, as well as in published academic papers. For any poverty comparison to have meaning, however, the analyst needs to norm the various observed states of the world to a known standard of living. In other words, any poverty comparison is meaningful only if it can be said to achieve welfare consistency. Welfare...

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Weekly links April 5: Banerjee on UBIs in India, is Stata constraining African development? What about beer? Mentoring underrepresented women, and more…

Abhijit Banerjee discusses UBIs in the Caravan magazine – on whether a UBI could be feasible in India “If you think of PROGRESA [a conditional cash-transfer scheme in Mexico], then I would say it is kind of the size of the program it would be in India. Even Brazil’s Bolsa Familia [a direct cash-transfer scheme for the poor]. These are conditional cash-transfer schemes—with eligibility conditions such as primary education—but the conditions are not incredibly onerous; they are pretty light....

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Reducing intimate partner violence through edutainment

When I started working on HIV, behavior change campaigns were quite in vogue.   The idea was if you bombarded folks with enough information, maybe even made them watch a movie or two, they would get the message and change their behavior.   Then some folks got creative and thought about adding community theater or radio plays to the mix as maybe a way to get the messages across in a more entertaining way.     As they song goes: video killed the radio star.   And two new papers look at the...

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The State of Development Journals 2019: Quality, Acceptance Rates, Review Times, and Open Science

This is the third year in which I have attempted to put together data on development journals that is not otherwise publicly available or easy to access (see 2017, 2018). Thanks again to all the journal editors and editorial staff who graciously shared statistics with me.  Is this a good quality, high visibility journal to publish my work? The most well-known metric of journal quality is its impact factor. The standard impact factor is the mean number of citations in the last year of papers...

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Weekly links March 29: dynamic experimentation, making data accessible and transparent, summaries of a gazillion conference papers, assessing economic significance, and more…

Max Kasy blogs about his new work on designing multiple experiments for policy choice – “Trying to identify the best policy is different from estimating the precise impact of every individual policy: as long as we can identify the best policy, we do not care about the precise impacts of inferior policies. Yet, despite this, most experiments follow protocols that are designed to figure out the impact of every policy, even the obviously inferior ones.... The key to our proposal is staging:...

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