- From the indecision blog – as a young researcher, how do you find out what your “thing” is, that is, your research agenda - interesting hypothesis that for many researchers research preferences “reveal themselves”.
- From the 3ie blog – does economics need a more systematic approach to replication to be considered a hard science? – interesting link contained within to an AER editor’s report on the replication policy there.
- New results published in the New England Journal of Medicine from the Oregon Health Experiment look at impacts of access to Medicaid on simple health measures like cholesterol and blood pressure (see our discussion of the original set of results here), and for summaries of the new results either the Washington Post Wonkblog or NPR). One of the big measurement issues is of course that even with a sample of approx 6,000 treated and 6,000 control, it is not clear there are enough cases over 2 years of the sort of health events that easier access to medical care can fix.
- After Markus’s post this week showing how a package of grants and training helped women grow small businesses in Bangladesh, Chris Blattman has a post on new results from an evaluation he did in Uganda, which also finds positive impacts of training and grants on getting women to start businesses. We’ll wait for a working paper to render our thoughts on this – there are worrying issues (phased in randomization where the control group was guaranteed treatment at a known later date, potentially causing them to delay current business activities) and intriguing-sounding findings (general equilibrium effects on village economies) that pique my interest.
· On the All about Finance blog, Bilal Zia summarizes the findings of his financial literacy through Soap Operas experiment in South Africa.
· The Indecision blog continues its series on the 7 sins of consumer psychology research - number 6 on over-generalization is a useful read: “Once an effect has been reported in a published paper (especially if it is by a famous author in a prestigious journal), we tend to treat it as gospel, again forgetting that this effect may be more context-specific than a quick readin
· New data on remittance prices worldwide just released by the World Bank – the most costly corridor is sending money from South Africa to Malawi, which averages $48 costs on a $200 transaction!
· Work for me this summer: I'm looking for someone with good Stata skills who can help work with data coming in from a couple of randomized experiments, as well as to help develop and design some new work on improving measurement of business profits in developing countries. The latter would include the use of some innovative experiments with RFID technology, which I don't know much about, so the summer intern would spend some time trying to set this up.
· Must-read new series: CEGA at Berkeley has a series of blog posts about registration of pre-analysis plans for estimation in the social sciences.
· If a program is “obviously working”, does it need an impact evaluation? Markus Olapade reflects on this on the 3ie blog.
· A new From Evidence to Policy note looks at the impact of a community grant program in Indonesia which gave grants to communities for health and education services. The program lowered malnutrition, and finds performance-based incentives lead to improved performance.