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David McKenzie's blog

Let’s not overstate the achievements of China and India – here are the real growth stars

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When we talk about growth, we typically focus on growth rates, and so if we were to look at which countries had the greatest percentage increase in GDP per capita over the last decade (at constant international prices according to the World Development Indicators), we would get a table like this:

Is the “conditional” in CCTs just a monitoring technology? Evidence from Brazil

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The typical arguments made for the conditioning argument of CCTs are usually based on paternalism (people might have incorrect beliefs about the value of education, or parents may have incomplete altruism for their kids), externalities (the social returns to education exceed the private returns so individuals underinvest),   or political economy (it is easier to sell transfers to the voters if you make them conditional). A

ETC position in private sector impact evaluation

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Development Impact is having a week off due to Memorial Day and dodgy internet connections in remote locations. In the meantime, Markus is looking for someone to work on a number of private sector impact evaluations at the World Bank.

Here is the blurb:

Position Announcement

Economist, Africa Region Gender Practice, The World Bank

Friday links: Randomized short-selling of stocks, financial literacy, mechanical turks and more...

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·         A remarkable sounding experiment – randomizing the freedom to short-sell stocks – is covered on Bloomberg. They worked with a money manager and randomized which stocks they changed the supply of lendable shares in, working with over $580 million in securities.

Reviewing Jim Manzi’s Uncontrolled: A humble push for evaluation through experimentation, but also a missed opportunity

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The new book Uncontrolled by Jim Manzi has attracted a lot of recent press (e.g. see Markus’ recent post for discussion of David Brooks’ take, or this piece in the Atlantic), and makes the argument that there should be a lot more randomized experiments of social programs. I was therefore very interested to order a copy and just finished reading it.

Thoughts from the BREAD Development Conference – should our prior be no effect, and issues with learning from encouragement

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I spent Friday and Saturday at the BREAD development conference at Yale (program here). It differs from most conferences - which feature many papers each presented for a short amount of time- by instead having only 7 papers each presented for 1 hour 15 minutes with plenty of spirited discussion.

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