David McKenzie's blog
Remittances sent by migrant workers to developing countries have soared in the past two decades. According to the World Development Indicators, workers’ remittances to developing countries were just US$47 billion in 1980 (in constant 2011 dollars). After barely rising by 1990 ($49 billion), they doubled by 2000 ($102 billion), and from there, tripled by 2010 ($321 billion).
- The latest Journal of Economic Perspectives has a symposium on Big Data.
- On the CGD blog, Matt Collins argues why RCTs in development should not be double-blind.
The discount rate used by individuals to trade off utility in the future against utility today is a fundamental parameter of decision theory. It is typically elicited in surveys by asking individuals to make choices between receiving an amount today, and a different amount at some point in the future. There are lots of key design issues involved in doing this (e.g.
- Using mobile phones for data collection efforts – some lessons from doing this in Uganda – from the World Bank’s EduTech blog.
- Andrew Gelman hosts a discussion on list randomization experiments to elicit sensitive information
- In Foreign Affairs Chris Blattman and Paul Niehaus discuss cash transfers.
- Rachel Glennerster discusses thorny issues that arise in the ethics of doing research (whether a randomized experiment or not) in developing countries, summarizing some issues in a new chapter she has on this issue.
- On the 3ie blog Howard White discusses a 1985 WHO paper about doing impact evaluations on water and sanitation projects – and notes a lot of similarities with problems noted in IE design then and ones that continue to be prevalent today.
The production process for many economics papers requires relatively few inputs: one or two researchers, their computers, a research assistant, and some data someone else has collected. Indeed Bob Hall notes that Robert Solow once remarked that the most powerful tool for research was one economics professor with one research assistant.