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David McKenzie's blog

Training opportunity for people interested in doing RCTs on savings programs

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The Yale Savings and Payments Research Fund (YASPR), under the Global Financial Inclusion Initiative at Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), is planning a training event for PhD (and PhD-track) researchers who are interested in conducting randomized control trials (RCTs) on micro-savings and payments. 

Friday links: diversifying from agriculture, funding, cookstoves and networks....

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·         A new From Evidence to Policy note from the World Bank’s HD network summarizes an impact evaluation of an experiment in Nicaragua which offered CCT beneficiaries vocational training or small grants to try and get them to diversify their income streams beyond agriculture. They find these treatments helped protect families against weather shocks in subseque

Gerber and Green’s new textbook on Field Experiments – should you read it, and what should they add for version 2.0?

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Alan Gerber and Don Green, political scientists at Yale and Columbia respectively, and authors of a large number of voting experiments, have a new textbook out titled Field Experiments: Design, Analysis, and Interpretation.  This is noteworthy because despite the massive growth in field experiments, to date there hasn’t been an accessible and modern textbook for social scientists looking to work in, or better understand, this area. The new book is very good, and I definitely recommend anyone working in this area to read at least key chapters.

Are our blog readers better predictors of impact results than seminar audiences? Evaluating programs to get young women to work

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I’ve been working for the last couple of years with Tara Vishwanath, Nandini Krishnan and Matt Groh on a pilot program in Jordan which aims to get young women just graduating from community college into work. Today I want to describe what we did, and ask you to predict the results – which I will then share in a subsequent blog post.

Improving Funding of Impact Evaluations – end the fiscal year and other rules that have outlived their usefulness

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June 30 marks the end of the fiscal year at the World Bank, and an annual reminder of the stark irony of working in a bank that does not let you save – money is allocated to a particular fiscal year, and if not spent during this time, disappears into a vortex where it is reallocated elsewhere in the institution. This is a problem that is not unique to the World Bank - last week’s Science news had an article reporting on the findings of a blue-ribbon panel of business leaders, u

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