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Blog links April 26: Living on a Dollar a day the movie, raffles, cost-effective ways to raise test scores, and more…

David McKenzie's picture

·         On the All about Finance blog, Bilal Zia summarizes the findings of his financial literacy through Soap Operas experiment in South Africa.

·         From the IDB blog – how to run raffles in the field; and also impacts 7-10 years after the Nicaragua CCT.

·         In Science last week, Michael Kremer, Conner Brannen and Rachel Glennerster have a short paper “the challenge of education and learning in the developing world” which summarizes a lot of recent experimental evidence on education in developing countries. Of particular interest is likely to be a figure (ungated here) comparing the impacts on test scores of 18 RCTs of primary education in developing countries and their cost effectiveness. They conclude “a number of general themes have emerged from research on how to ensure children in primary school are learning. Providing additional inputs without changing pedagogy or governance has had limited impact, whereas adapting teaching methods to reach the varied learning levels in developing countries is highly effective”.

·         The American Evaluation Association is holding a series of free webinars in May, details here.

·         Living on a dollar a day the movie: I came across this recent movie on Hulu which follows a couple of US undergrad econ majors who go to rural Guatemala and try and live on a dollar a day for four months. They randomize how much money they get on each day to try and mimic the uncertainty of a dollar a day, illustrate quite well some of the trade-offs involved for families living on this level of income, see microfinance as way too much of a solution, and never ask why people don’t move from this place. Nevertheless, if the target audience is college students or high school kids, it might inspire some of them to go into development – any readers seen it and have reactions, particularly those who are closer to the target audience?


Submitted by Tim Ogden on
Very interesting that the Nicaragua study suggests large and significant impact on learning from additional time in school, while the very next link suggests small and insignificant impact from "input" interventions on learning. Are Nicaraguan schools substantially different and better? Were there other changes to Nicaraguan pedagogy co-incident with the CCT?

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