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David McKenzie's blog

Help for attrition is just a phone call away – a new bounding approach to help deal with non-response

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Attrition is a bugbear for most impact evaluations, and can cause even the best designed experiments to be subject to potential bias. In a new paper, Luc Behaghel, Bruno Crépon, Marc Gurgand and Thomas Le Barbanchon describe a clever new way to deal with this problem using information on the number of attempts it takes to get someone to respond to a survey.

Friday links: Long-term impacts of moving to a better neighborhood, hot workers are less productive, how NGOs do IE and more

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·         In Science this week (gated), Katz and Kling add some co-authors and follow-up on their famous Econometrica paper on the Moving to Opportunity program to examine impacts 10-15 years after moving from a high-poverty to a low-poverty neighborhood.

Friday links September 14: Cash transfers and sexual activity/food security, CDDs, Facebook causes voting, and more…

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·         Essential reading this week: The Boston Review has an excellent feature on early interventions to promote social mobility, with the lead article by Jim Heckman. I never realized quite how small the samples of the famous early childhood studies are – treatment group of 58 kids in the Perry Preschool program and 65 in the control group.

Some highlights from the IPA Impact and Policy Conference + is proof of concept policy relevant?

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At the end of August I gave several presentations at the IPA Impact and Policy Conference in Bangkok, which had days on SME development, Governance and Post-Conflict recovery, and Financial Inclusion. The agenda is here. There was a good mix of new results from studies that don’t get have papers, along with more polished work on the conference topics.

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