Last week I blogged about faked data in household surveys and a neat paper which told us how it might matter for results, but also gave us some tools to find the fakes. This week, I want to focus on one of the tools that that paper used: Benford’s Law.
Markus Goldstein's blog
So there I was, a graduate student doing my PhD fieldwork. In the rather hot office at the University of Ghana, I was going through questionnaire after questionnaire checking for consistency, missed questions and other dimensions of quality. All of a sudden I saw a pattern: in the time allocation questions, men in one village seemed to be doing the exact same things, for the same amount of time, on two very different days of the week.
This week is the World Bank’s annual conference on development economics. One of the papers being presented is by my colleague Kate Orkin (together with co-authors Tanguy Bernard, Stefan Dercon and Alemayehu Taffesse) and takes a look at a video intervention and its impact on aspirations among poor folks in Ethiopia. In particular, what Kate and her co-authors are asking is: can we shift aspirations and behavior by showing people more of what is possible?
We all know that institutions matter for development. A really nice new paper by Daron Acemoglu, Tristan Reed and James Robinson shows us how political competition affects a wide range of development outcomes.
co-authored with Michael O'Sullivan
As I procrastinate writing this post, it seems only fitting to take a look at a paper that takes a look at different commitment devices.
Two weeks ago, I blogged about some productive impacts of cash transfer programs. For these effects, as well as the myriad other blog posts and papers on this topic out there, a key point is that the benefits of these transfers extend well beyond the actual individual recipient of the transfer.
I just got back from two weeks visiting a bunch of ongoing projects in Africa. During the trip, the issue of community entry came up again.