David McKenzie's blog
· 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
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.
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.
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
· In case you missed, the IDB authors of the one laptop per child evaluation post a response to Berk’s post on the IDB Development that works blog. They discuss the context in which their evaluation was done, and the possible government rationale for investing in OLPC in Peru.
It’s Father’s Day here in America (although not in much of the rest of the World, see this cool interactive map).
· How not to response to evaluations – The Guardian discusses the response to an evaluation the UK government did of a mandatory work scheme, which required jobseekers to do mandatory unpaid work for 30 hours per week in order to continue getting a jobseeker’s allowance.
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:
· Haba na haba has a very interesting discussion on the role and ethics of deception in experiments (and an experiment in South Africa which involved deceiving politicians).