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Berk Ozler's blog

When Randomization Goes Wrong...

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An important, and stressful, part of the job when conducting studies in the field is managing the number of things that do not go according to plan. Markus, in his series of field notes, has written about these (see, for example, here and here) roller coaster rides we call impact evaluations.

What do people mean when they talk about “transactional sex”?

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If you are interested in HIV prevention, at some point you are likely to have heard “transactional sex” discussed as one of the issues. However, I find this discussion to usually be awkward and confused, especially among Western audiences: the user is feeling somewhat uncomfortable using the term and the audience is having trouble understanding what it is she exactly means. The frameworks we have in the U.S. are dating on one end and commercial sex work on the other.

When it comes to female education, have we gotten it all backwards?

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To get children to attend school in developing countries, our approach has been primarily to assume that the schooling that is available is worth pursuing, meaning that the problem must be with some barrier to go to school despite a great desire to do so: perhaps the family cannot afford the costs of schooling; perhaps the schools are not good or too far; perhaps the children want to be in school but the parents prefer food today to educated daughter tomorrow; maybe people don’t know the value of schooling, etc.

Schools is Good: A Reply to Lant Pritchett

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Lant Pritchett once said to me “Thanks for the comments. As usual they are all very smart and well-informed and I disagree with most.” I feel similarly regarding his very popular piece posted here last week (already one of the top 10 most popular posts in our blog's short history) on how CCTs are forcing children in developing countries into terrible schools. So, here goes a reply…

Dear Lant,

Q&A with Larry Katz, editor of QJE

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The peer-reviewed publication process is something many researchers go through, whether as authors or referees. But we are not always sure how to deal with various decisions, especially earlier in our careers. So, we decided to ask Lawrence Katz, editor of the Quarterly Journal of Economics, his views on a bunch of things, including some advice for prospective authors and referees alike.

Reflections on our job market series

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As we prepare to sign off over the holidays, we thought we’d reflect on our job market series over the past two weeks (and note that we have one more guest blogger tomorrow). We asked our guest bloggers, for most of whom this was their first blog post, to reflect on whether this has been a useful experience. Their impressions complement our paper on the role of blogs.

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