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Friday links: Randomized short-selling of stocks, financial literacy, mechanical turks and more...

David McKenzie's picture

·         A remarkable sounding experiment – randomizing the freedom to short-sell stocks – is covered on Bloomberg. They worked with a money manager and randomized which stocks they changed the supply of lendable shares in, working with over $580 million in securities.

When to use insiders or outsiders as survey interviewers

Jed Friedman's picture

Researchers have long recognized the importance of choosing interviewer characteristics while designing their fieldwork – for example female interviewers are often utilized to explore topics related to domestic violence and respondents of both sexes are more likely to disclose sexual abuse to female interviewers than to male ones.  Another key consideration is the degree of familiarity between interviewer and respondent, but here the decision appears to be obvious.

Calling all skeptics

Markus Goldstein's picture

Have you seen an impact evaluation result that gives you pause? Well, now there’s an institutional way to check on results of already published evaluations.    3ie recently announced a program for replication. They are going to focus on internal validity – replicating the results with the existing data and/or using different data from the same population to check results (in some cases).      

Reviewing Jim Manzi’s Uncontrolled: A humble push for evaluation through experimentation, but also a missed opportunity

David McKenzie's picture

The new book Uncontrolled by Jim Manzi has attracted a lot of recent press (e.g. see Markus’ recent post for discussion of David Brooks’ take, or this piece in the Atlantic), and makes the argument that there should be a lot more randomized experiments of social programs. I was therefore very interested to order a copy and just finished reading it.

A second Industrial Revolution, replication worries, yawns, and more…

Berk Ozler's picture

I made a temporary move recently, which left me without a dog walker for our two beloved (and very active) dogs, without a delivery option for good takeout food, and a need to build a fire in a wood stove every day. I had never spent this much time during weekdays walking the dogs, cooking, and carrying wood from the garage to build and maintain a fire throughout the day. Without the takeout food and all the hiking, I am healthier and somewhat less stressed, but the shift in time use takes some adjusting to…

The Copenhagen Consensus 2012: reflections on impact evaluation’s role in the tyranny of the known

Jed Friedman's picture

Very recently, the results of the third global Copenhagen Consensus were released. This is a semi-regular event self-billed as an effort to put together “the world’s smartest minds to analyze the costs and benefits of different approaches to tackling the world’s biggest problems”. This year’s consensus exercise seeks to determine the best ways of advancing welfare by “supposing that an additional $75 billion of resources were at [the experts’] disposal over a 4-year period”.

If you build it, they will come. Especially girls.

Markus Goldstein's picture

Enrollment in rural Afghanistan, as you might suspect, is fairly low. And, while the primary enrollment gap between boys and girls has closed in most parts of the world, it’s alive and well here (as well as in some parts of Africa). But an interesting paper by Dana Burde and Leigh Linden gives us hope. (Gated version here and earlier ungated version here)

Thoughts from the BREAD Development Conference – should our prior be no effect, and issues with learning from encouragement

David McKenzie's picture

I spent Friday and Saturday at the BREAD development conference at Yale (program here). It differs from most conferences - which feature many papers each presented for a short amount of time- by instead having only 7 papers each presented for 1 hour 15 minutes with plenty of spirited discussion.

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