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David McKenzie's blog

Friday links Feb 8: the impact of going to the Maldives, skills training in Liberia, plastic bag removal in San Fran and more...

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·         Early results from a skills training program for young women in Liberia show massive increases in employment and earnings – although a randomized pipeline design whereby the control group get the treatment about one year after the treatment group raise concerns about strategic delay by the control group and how long-term impacts could be measured.

Are John Henry Effects as Apocryphal as their Eponym?

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Many people are aware of the concept of a “placebo effect” in medicine and of the idea of a Hawthorne effect – in both cases the concern is that merely being treated can cause the treatment group in an intervention to change their behavior, regardless of what the treatment actually is.

Blog Links Jan 17: The Impacts of Sisters and of no Siblings; Pre-school education; sensitive measurement, and more…

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·         A new paper in Science looks at the impacts of China’s one-child policy on personality, finding people born after the introduction of the policy were, not only less trusting, less trustworthy, and more pessimistic, but also less competitive, less conscientious, and more risk-averse. See this coverage in the The Scientist.

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