Excellent VoxDev piece by Donaldson and Atkin on how high intra-country trade costs are in Ethiopia and Nigeria (and how they go about measuring this). Uri Simonsohn on why using a quadratic to test for a U-shaped relationship is a very bad idea and what to do instead. “Glasses askew and gray hair tousled, Scott ...
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- Excellent VoxDev piece by Donaldson and Atkin on how high intra-country trade costs are in Ethiopia and Nigeria (and how they go about measuring this).
- Uri Simonsohn on why using a quadratic to test for a U-shaped relationship is a very bad idea and what to do instead.
- “Glasses askew and gray hair tousled, Scott Rozelle jumps into a corral filled with rubber balls and starts mixing it up with several toddlers”. So begins a feature in Science on Scott’s experiment in progress on parenting and early childhood education in China…including the challenges of keeping a control group in this setting “Rozelle says that when he sees kids in the randomly selected control villages “I often want to take them in my arms and move them to the treatment villages””.
- David Roodman does a deep-dive into the research on the impact of incarceration on crime, including detailed replication/robustness exercises on several non-experimental papers in this literature.
- On the IPA blog, Danielle Moore interviews Sarah Baird on using mixed methods in economics and public health: “interviews became footnotes in the paper to address referees’ critiques. Economists typically view qualitative research as a way to fill-in those little gaps in the quantitative analysis…It’s hard to spend significant resources on qualitative work that’s going to be left out of the paper, because it just won't be able to get into the outlets that you’d like.”
- The IDB Development that Works blog discusses an experiment in Mexico that aimed to reduce the turnover of rural instructors by paying them more of their pay upfront.
- Tim Harford’s podcast series “50 things that made the modern economy” has a great set of short episodes on items such as the Haber-Bosch process, the S-bend for plumbing, passports, and double-entry bookkeeping – with a recent one covering management consulting and my work with Nick Bloom, Benn Eifert, Aprajit Mahajan, and John Roberts in India.
- Dave Evans on an experiment that showed Ugandan high school students the movie Queen of Katwe (about a Ugandan chess prodigy) helped them pass their exams, and on whether you should put your tables at the end of your paper or throughout (expanding on Chris Blattman's poll)
- The Institute for Fiscal Studies has compiled a directory of 150+ longitudinal studies from low- and middle-income countries. (HT Rebecca Thornton)
- Rachel Glennerster gives 3 tips for reducing attrition in field experiments in the comments below Berk Özler's post on the same topic this week.
- Interview with Larry Katz – one bit I found of interest was his discussion of where gender pay gaps arise for skilled workers “if a job has lots of highly idiosyncratic components where different workers can’t substitute easily for one another—a specific lawyer, say, always has to be there to deal with a particular client and there’s no substitute—so for that job, there are very high returns to being able to work long hours or to sort of be on call…In that situation, there’s a high pecuniary penalty for workplace flexibility, and if a woman needs that flexibility for her family responsibilities, there’s going to be a large gender pay gap” – he then goes on to discuss how changes in work organization and technology towards more team-based approaches have succeeded in narrowing pay gaps in professions like pharmacists and OBGYNs.