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Weekly links February 8: some people still like knowledge, be passionate about it, you don’t always need to make policy recommendations, and more…

Summary:
Rachel Glennerster on lessons from a year as DFID’s Chief Economist, including the importance of knowledge work “As countries get richer, helping them spend their own money more effectively will become a more important route to reducing poverty than the UK directly paying for services” Seema Jayachandran and Ben Olken offer their thoughts on new ...

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  • Rachel Glennerster on lessons from a year as DFID’s Chief Economist, including the importance of knowledge work “As countries get richer, helping them spend their own money more effectively will become a more important route to reducing poverty than the UK directly paying for services”
  • Seema Jayachandran and Ben Olken offer their thoughts on new exciting areas in development research and advice for young development researchers: “taking the time to actually immerse yourself in the environments that you are studying. That means going to the countries that you’re studying and making sure that you understand the environment firsthand” and “not over-strategize about what topics or methods have career returns at the expense of not working on what you are personally most excited about.”
  • A reminder that not all research has to make policy recommendations: There is a new World Bank report on the mobility of displaced Syrians, which looks at the voluntary return decisions of over 100,000 refugees to understand key factors influencing these decisions, combined with simulations of how different security scenarios might influence voluntary returns. But I particularly liked this in the Q&A about the report “What policy recommendations do emerge from this report? This report does not aim to design policies. It focuses on informing such policies by providing the necessary data, analysis, and framework that demonstrate the tradeoffs between various policy choices.”  
  • Fabrizio Zilibotti on how inequality shapes parenting styles – next time your kids complain you are being too strict, you can blame the economic environment.
  • WBRO call for submissions: ​The World Bank Research Observer (WBRO) seeks to publish policy relevant surveys of development issues, aimed at a non-specialist audience. Papers for consideration at the Spring 2019 meeting of the WBRO Editorial Board should be submitted to the Editor ([email protected]) no later than Friday, March 15, 2019.
  • Job opening: The REGLAB research initiative on local governance in Burkina Faso is looking for a research analyst. Please apply by February 20.
David McKenzie
Development Impact blogger, World Bank researcher focusing on small businesses and migration, All Blacks fan...

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