Thursday , March 22 2018
Home / Impact Evaluations / Weekly links March 2: quality onions, don’t just try to prove something you already know, jobs cost a lot to create, and more…

Weekly links March 2: quality onions, don’t just try to prove something you already know, jobs cost a lot to create, and more…

On VoxDev, Tanguy Bernard and co-authors on an experiment that provided quality certification for onions in Senegal, causing farmers to invest more in quality and raising farmer incomes...but with the sad post-note “In this particular case, the reform was discontinued under pressure from the long-distance middlemen who gain from the lack of transparency on markets.” ...

David McKenzie considers the following as important:

This could be interesting, too:

Jp Koning writes Fiatsplainin’

Amol Agrawal writes The Rothschilds, a pamphlet by ‘Satan’ and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories tied to a battle 200 years ago

Amol Agrawal writes Masazumi Wakatabe, an economic historian appointed as Deputy Governor of Bank of Japan…

Bank of Japan writes Average Interest Rates by Type of Deposit

  • Stephanie Lee’s Buzzfeed article “sliced and diced” describes how Cornell’s Brian Wansink generated so many headline-ready studies on healthy eating, with lots of emphasis on p-hacking and multiple testing. Andrew Gelman makes an important point in his discussion “Good research often involves the unexpected; indeed, that’s kinda why we do most of our research in the first place, because we don’t already know the answers. Like Brian Wansink, I gather and analyze data because I want to learn, not because I’m trying to prove something I already know... In her article, Lee wrote: “Ideally, statisticians say, researchers should set out to prove a specific hypothesis before a study begins.” ...I’m a statistician, and I disagree with the above quoted statement for two reasons: 1. I don’t think it’s generally good practice for a researcher to “set out to prove” anything. Once you start a project with the goal of proving something, you’ve already put a direction on your goals, and there’s a risk of closing your mind. So I’d rather say that researchers can set out to investigate a hypothesis, rather than saying they’re setting out to prove it. 2. Some of the best and most important research is done in a spirit of exploration”.... here I think the problem is not in the data exploration (that is, in considering many comparisons) but rather in the reporting. I’d have no problem if Wansink etc. were to perform a thousand analyses on their data, if they’d just report everything they’d done”
  • On the World Bank Jobs blog, David Robalino on how much does it cost to create a job?
  • On the Development Policy job, Stephen Howe on the expensive Pacific – small Pacific islands are huge outliers to Balassa-Samuelson.
  • Job opportunity: The World Bank’s Africa Region Gender Innovation Lab (GIL) seeks a Short-Term Consultant (STC) to provide partner coordination and evaluation design support for gender-informed impact evaluations (IE) and quantitative analytical projects in Nigeria. The STC will work mainly on the IE of a component of the Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project’s Women & Youth Empowerment Program (W&YEP) in Nigeria. The STC will also provide support to the development of further IEs.
David McKenzie
David McKenzie is a Lead Economist in the Development Research Group, Finance and Private Sector Development Unit. He received his B.Com.(Hons)/B.A. from the University of Auckland, New Zealand and his Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University.

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