One popular solution to unemployment is to provide the unemployed with more skills through training. However, the impacts of vocational training in developed countries have been at most modest.
David McKenzie's blog
· Call for papers : BREAD conference on Africa at the World Bank. Submissions due November 15, conference is at the start of March next year.
· Marc Bellemare discusses some of his recent research on use of cellphones and agricultural prices achieved by onion farmers in the Philippines.
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.
· 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.
· 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.
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.
· Essential reading or viewing – take your pick – the Nobel Symposium on Growth and Development was held this week and has the content online. However, once again migration is overlooked in the keys to development discussion.