This is a joint post with Miriam Bruhn.
I thought I’d kick-start what I hope will be a somewhat regular feature on this blog, which is some insights, observations, and general glimpses of the real world encountered as we work on implementing new impact evaluations. I know some of our readers take umbrage with the term “the field” but I’m sure it is preferred to “Mission musings” , although maybe “Random rambling” might be appropriate.
If the data and related metadata collected for impact evaluations was more readily discoverable, searchable, and made available, the world would be a better place. Well, at least the research would be better. It would be easier to replicate studies and, in the process, to expand them by for example: trying other outcome indicators; checking robustness; and looking for heterogeneity effects (e.g.
Yesterday, in Part I of this post, we argued the extant empirical evidence suggests that the conditions cause a substantial amount of the desired behavior change intended by CCT programs. In other words: the “substitution effect” due to the condition may well be larger than the “income effect” of the transfers. For example, in the case of the Malawi experiment, the income effect was responsible for less than half of the total impact on school enrollment.
One of the questions discussed at the recent World Bank workshop on the "Second Generation of CCT Evaluations" (website, complete with at least some of the presentations, here) was the role of the first C in the performance of the CCT: how important is the condition in accounting for the outcomes of conditional cash transfer programs?
- Washington Post reports (citing a new study in the NEJM) that a program in the 1990s that offered women in public housing a chance to live in better neighborhoods has caused lower rates of diabetes and extreme obesity.
Social networks matter.
Two weeks ago, David flagged an interesting paper by Bendavid, Avila and Miller in the Bulletin of the WHO which reminded me of a paper I had been following by Kelly Jones, a revised version of which has just been posted. Both of these papers look at the effect of the U.S. Mexico City Policy (a.k.a.
Tomorrow and on Tuesday (October 24-25), there is a workshop at the World Bank titled “CCTs: The Second Generation of Evaluations.” If you are at the World Bank or in the DC area, you may want to make your way to this event, as it promises to be a good one – focusing on research conducted on the topic in the past three years or so.