Wednesday , November 22 2017
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Impact Evaluations

Attention or information? Why telling Nina’s parents she missed school makes her a better student — Guest post by Nina Cunha

This is the second in this year’s series of posts by PhD students on the job market. Reminder that submissions close tomorrow at noon. When I was in school, I used to skip some classes; my parents probably never learned about it (at least until this blog post). Now imagine there was a system in place to tell my parents how often I skipped classes in the previous weeks. When Nina’s parents get a message pointing out that she missed school yesterday, while they learn at no cost that her...

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No participation without taxation? Evidence from randomized tax collection in the D.R. Congo: Guest post by Jonathan Weigel

This is the first in this year’s series of posts by PhD students on the job market. Reminder that submissions close this Wednesday at noon.   Good political institutions are thought to be essential for sustained economic development (Acemoglu et al., 2016). But where do inclusive, accountable institutions come from? One prominent explanation centers on taxation (Schumpeter, 1918; Besley and Persson, 2009, 2013). Historically, when states began systematically taxing their populations to pay...

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Weekly links November 17: What’s new in trade research, fungibility is too painful to think about, an employment program that worked, and more…

Trade Diversion lists trade-related job market papers. A final reminder to those who want to blog their job market paper for us – submissions close noon EST on Wed 22 November. Wired Magazine covers reproducibility in economics. The Stata blog has a series of videos on data management in Stata made easy Alix-Garcia and co-authors explain on VoxDev how refugee camps benefit host communities Tim Taylor has extracts from a Larry Summers CGD talk on re-thinking development “I remember as a...

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IE analytics: introducing ietoolkit

Scientific advances are the result of a long, cumulative process of building knowledge and methodologies -- or, as the cliché goes, “standing on the shoulders of giants”. One often overlooked, but crucial part of this climb is a long tradition of standardization of everything from mathematical notation and scientific terminology, to format for academic articles and references.   Over the last years, the scope and complexity of data in development research have grown exponentially, and similar...

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How big data helped us estimate the impact of an intervention with 0.8% take-up

When asked if he would like to have dinner at a highly-regarded restaurant, Yogi Berra famously replied “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded”. This contradictory situation of very low take-up combined with large overall use is common with some financial products – for example, the response rate to direct mail credit card solicitations had fallen to 0.6 percent by 2012, yet lots of people have credit cards. It is also a situation we recently found ourselves in when working on a...

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Weekly links November 10: how to properly pre-register, trade and inequality, surprising findings and more…

Data Colada on how to properly pre-register a study: “it may be helpful to imagine a skeptical reader of your paper. Let’s call him Leif. Imagine that Leif is worried that p-hacking might creep into the analyses of even the best-intentioned researchers. The job of your preregistration is to set Leif’s mind at ease. This means identifying all of the ways you could have p-hacked – choosing a different sample size, or a different exclusion rule, or a different dependent variable, or a different...

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Where is the development economics research happening? The geographical distribution of NEUDC research

Yesterday I posted a round-up of the research presented at NEUDC, a major conference on development economics. Although most economic research aspires to uncover principles relevant across multiple contexts, empirical research happens at a place and time. I mapped out the distribution of research presented at NEUDC, fully recognizing that this makes no claim to be representative of the profession as a whole. Below, I charted the number of studies per country (for all countries that had at...

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What’s the latest in development economics research? A round-up of 140+ papers from NEUDC 2017

Did you miss this year’s Northeast Universities Development Consortium conference, or NEUDC? I did, unfortunately! NEUDC is a large development economics conference, with more than 160 papers on the program, so it’s a nice way to get a sense of new research in the field. Thankfully, since NEUDC posts submitted papers, I was able to mostly catch up. I went through 147 of the papers and summarized them below, by topic. If a paper you loved or presented isn’t in the rundown, feel free to add...

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The Economics and Law of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

This week, I leave you with this short 2003 paper in the Journal of Economic Perspectives by Kaushik Basu. It both follows somewhat from my last post, is related to the day's news, and relevant for thinking about principles for intervention in labor markets for a host of issues that our colleagues deal with in developing and developed economies...Here is the abstract - but you can read the paper in 30 minutes... Suppose a firm has a widespread reputation for sexually harassing its...

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Weekly links November 3: posters against stunting, but are RCTs bad for kids? Publishing lab experiments and replications, and more…

A simple growth chart poster has a surprisingly large impact on reducing stunting in Zambia according to this IPA brief. David Rinnert and Liz Brower of DFID provide a typology of ways evidence is used by policymakers on the Oxfam from poverty to power blog – with examples ranging from the more nebulous “help decision-makers acknowledge the full body of evidence “ to the more concrete, but still hard to pin-down “fed directly into the decision-making”.  No Sugar: MIT news summarizes and...

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