David McKenzie's blog
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.
I’ve been meaning to read for the last month this new paper by Orazio Attanasio and co-authors, which is the latest in the still small number of studies to carry out a randomized experiment to measure the impact of microfinance. David Roodman was quick to give his thoughts on it in this post, but I thought I’d also summarize it briefly for you and offer my thoughts.
· A New paper has innovative way of getting data on H1B migrants – they obtained administrative data through a Freedom of Information Act request – and use this for most comprehensive look yet at how high-skilled migrants coming through H1B compare to natives.
I came back from a week off at the start of this year to find 7 referee requests from different journals waiting for me , of which I accepted 5 and turned down 2 – clearly some people are working quickly on that New Year’s resolution to send out their papers. Getting so many requests in the same week got me thinking about both how much I want to referee this year and what I can do to be a better referee.
How much to referee?
· The impact of soccer frustration and euphoria on violent crime in Argentina courtesy of the IADB’s effectiveness blog.
Development economists are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and many hours of their time designing, implementing, and analyzing the impact of various interventions. If all goes well, in many cases this leads to one really nice paper. But should it just be “one experiment one paper” as I have heard that one journal editor argues?