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Berk Ozler's blog

A very warm welcome to Professor Kaushik Basu

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Coming back from our blog vacation, I had a new post ready to go. But then, I woke up and saw the announcement that Kaushik Basu was appointed the Chief Economist of the World Bank and our new Vice President. Suddenly, there was no contest between my planned post and this one – a joyous welcome to Kaushik.

Power of the Pill or Power of Abortion?

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I am a dual citizen of two countries, both of which legalized safe abortions when I was little or young, meaning that I grew up taking a woman’s right to a safe abortion as granted. Usually, when I hear family planning policy, I think of men and women planning the number, the timing, and the spacing of their children with the aid of modern contraceptives.

Health effects of non-health programs

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The previous post in this blog discussed the positive dynamic effects of conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs in Mexico and Nicaragua – in particular on asset accumulation and the incidence of entrepreneurship by the rural poor.

Beware of studies with a small number of clusters

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While some of us get to conduct individually randomized trials, I’d say that cluster randomized trials are pretty much the norm in field experiments in economics. Add to that the increase in the level of ambition we recently acquired to have interventions with multiple treatment arms (rather than one treatment and one control group) and mix it with a pinch of logistical and budgetary constraints, we have a non-negligible number of trials with small numbers of clusters (schools, clinics, villages, etc.).

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

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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…

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