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Markus Goldstein's blog

What happens when large ruminants (and some training) meet poverty traps

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Can we break poverty traps?   An interesting new paper by Oriana Bandiera, Robin Burgess, Narayan Das, Selim Gulesci, Imran Rasul, and Munshi Sulaiman adds to this emergent literature with a definitive “yes we can.”     Bandiera, et. al. evaluate a program run by the NGO BRAC which provides a significant infusion of capital, coupled with training, for Bangladeshi women.  

Getting to better data: who does the editing?

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In a previous post I talked about some issues with collecting gender disaggregating data in practice. Susan Watkins helpfully pointed me to a number of papers which provide more systematic and thoughtful evidence on data collection issues that a lot of us face and I thought it would be useful to summarize some of them here.  

Climate change and conflict

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I was at the Centre for the Study of African Economies conference this week, and Ted Miguel gave a fascinating keynote lecture.   The talk is based on a paper with coauthors Marshall Burke and Solomon Hsiang where they look at the effects of climate change on conflict.    And it was fascinating because they pull together a range of different evidence to build the case that if we care about conflict we o

Introducing the Africa Gender Innovation Lab

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Today I wanted to take the opportunity to talk about a new initiative that the Africa Region and the Research Group at the World Bank are launching today.   The idea here is that we don't know enough about how to effectively address the underlying causes of gender inequality. Let me start by explaining what I mean by underlying causes.    Take the case of female farmers.    There is a lot of literature out there which shows that women have lower agricultural yields than men.   And some of it shows that this is because women have lo

The multi-layered benefits of daycare: evidence from Mozambique

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When I drop my kids off at daycare, it does occasionally occur to me: what am I doing to them?   (This thought is particularly acute when they wrap themselves around my legs).    Last year, 3ie put out a systematic review on the impact of daycare programs. The conclusions are instructive:

Dying from malaria in the market for lemons

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We know malaria is a big problem and we know fake drugs are a big problem.   What do you get when you put them together?   Bad news.   A recent paper by Martina Bjorkman-Nyqvist, Jakob Svensson and David Yanagizawa-Drott (ungated version here) shows how bad this problem is in Uganda, and provides an innovative way to deal with it.

Power to the people? Taking a look at community driven reconstruction in the DRC

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Given the Bank's recent release of a report on community driven development and a recent New York Times article about the intractability of peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, I thought it would be worth looking at a recent