David McKenzie's blog
- On the promise and perils of sharing work in progress – nice discussion on the MonkeyCage blog, including references to Berk’s post on the problems of working papers.
- Berk and co-author’s systematic review of the relative effectiveness of conditional and unconditional cash transfers is now out in The Campbell Collaboration Library.
- In Science last week, Sendhil Mullainathan and co-authors have work showing the cognitive costs of poverty. The Atlantic cities has a summary.
While the blog was on break over the last month, a couple of posts caught my attention by discussing whether it is ethical to do experiments on programs that we think we know will make people better off. First up, Paul Farmer on the Lancet Global Health blog writes:
- On the CGD blog, William Savedoff summarizes a conference held last week at CGD on impact evaluation – he includes a nice graph from his presentation which shows the growth in the number of impact evaluations over time
A new book Chronicles from the Field: The Townsend Thai Project provides a behind-the-scenes look at putting together one of the most impressive data collection projects in development - Rob Townsend’s Thai data, which has conducted monthly surveys on a panel of Thai households for over 150 consecutive months, as well as annual surveys. The Townsend Thai data is available online and has spurred a number of research papers by Rob and his co-authors. This book looks at what it takes to produce all this data.
- The Center for Financial Inclusion blog discusses new global data on corruption - Sierra Leone recorded the highest rate with 81 percent of polled individuals reporting that they had paid a bribe during the past year, followed by Liberia, Yemen, and Kenya, with 75, 74, and 70 percent, respectively.
I’ve been reading Evidence-based policy: a practical guide to doing it better by Nancy Cartwright and Jeremy Hardle. The book is about how one should go about using existing evidence to move from “it works there” to “it will work here”. I was struck by their critique of external validity as it is typically discussed.
- external validity