An interesting new paper by Abhijit Banerjee, Raghabendra Chattopadhyay, Esther Duflo, Daniel Keniston, and Nina Singh shows how sometimes top-down reforms might be a good move through a look at a range of reforms tried out by the police in Rajasthan, India.
Markus Goldstein's blog
Does improved human capital empower girls? An interesting paper by Willa Friedman, Michael Kremer, Ted Miguel, and Rebecca Thornton give us some insight into the answers.
An interesting new paper by Ben Olken, Junko Onishi, and Susan Wong gives us some evidence on how incentives can make aid more effective. They look at a community block grant program in Indonesia and compare the effects of these grants with and without incentives. Incentives make a difference.
So what makes people do socially oriented tasks better? An interesting new paper by Nava Ashraf, Oriana Bandiera, and Kelsey Jack shows that money doesn’t matter and recognition makes a big difference.
This week I would like to explore more something I saw during my recent visit to Ghana. As I explained in a previous post, a conversation with a rural bank manager made me realize that in Ghana, just like in the United States, people take payday loans.
In 1993 India adopted gender quotas for local councils. In particular, the position of chief councilor (or Pradhan) was reserved for women in 1/3 of the village councils in any given election – and this 1/3 was selected at random. As one might expect, this has led to a surge in the number of women holding this post. It also provides a ripe environment for impact evaluation work.
One area in which we see very little impact evaluation is the realm of trade related interventions and reforms. In a recent paper Olivier Cadot and coauthors give us a discussion of these types of interventions and how we might evaluate them (they also have an attendant book with some applications).
So this past week I was in Ghana following up on some of the projects I am working on there with one of my colleagues. We were designing an agricultural impact evaluation with some of our counterparts, following up on the analysis of the second round of a land tenure impact evaluation and a financial literacy intervention, and exploring the possibility of some work in the rural financial sector. In no particular order, here are some of the things I learned and some things I am still wondering about: