David McKenzie's blog
Typical policies to improve the incomes of poor households and their businesses are based on the sustained provision of services – be it microfinance with multiple loan cycles and regular meetings; conditional cash transfers with regular transfers over a period of years; or business training programs which are based on the idea that capital along is not enough – as in the proverb “give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he can feed himself for life”.
Mark Rosenzweig and I have just written the preface for a special issue of the Journal of Development Economics focused on measurement and survey design. Rather than just summarize the papers, we tried to draw some lessons/themes of what the 13 papers in the special issue suggest. You can find the preface here.
Here are a couple of the points – read the preface for the full list of lessons:
· People behave more generously in dictator games when there is a white foreigner observing – evidence from Sierra Leone.
Recently I’ve done more than my usual amount of reviewing of grant proposals for impact evaluation work – both for World Bank research funds and for several outside funders. Many of these have been very good, but I’ve noticed a number of common issues which have cropped up in reviewing a number of them – so thought I’d share some pet peeves/tips/suggestions for people preparing these types of proposals.
1. Tell us about some of the changes you have made since taking over the WBER? It seems like you have succeeded in reducing turnaround times for decisions - how have you done that?
· The On think tanks blog examines Martin Ravallion’s work on the demand for research within the World Bank and compares it with its own work on whether research and evaluations are being used effectively by DFID staff.
My paper “Beyond Baseline and Follow-up: the case for more T in experiments” was recently accepted at the JDE. As with most papers that go through review, the accepted version is a definite improvement on the working paper version.