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What’s the latest in development economics research? A round-up of 150+ papers from NEUDC 2015

David Evans's picture

These are figures from just some of the research at NEUDC 2015

Over the weekend, I briefly reviewed about 175 development papers from the 2015 Northeast Universities Development Consortium Conference. That’s not all the papers, but it’s a lot of them. (I tended to leave out pure theory, pure macro, papers the authors didn’t want cited, and a few I just didn’t get to.) If you want to review the papers exhaustively, you can find them here.

It’s an impressive array of research, a lot of exciting work with a wide spectrum of methods.

I’ve grouped papers by category, and I’ve tagged each paper by country and by method, in case you really want to know everything on Uganda or Kyrgyzstan, or you just want to skim the latest randomized controlled trials (RCTs). The categories are Education, then Health (the two biggest groups of papers), then the other categories alphabetically: Agriculture, All In Utero All the Time, Cash Transfers, Conflict, Contracts, Energy, Firms, Governance, Households, Labor, Land, Methods & Measurement, Migration, Randomization, Savings, Credit, & Insurance, Transport, Trade, Tax, and a few others.

  • Targeted instruction, particularly through teaching assistants (rather than the teacher herself), has enduring learning impacts. Teaching assistants without the targeted instruction don't impact learning. #Ghana #RCT (Duflo & Kiessel)
  • Rewarding students for inputs (getting through learning software modules) was much more effective than for outputs (a test at the end), and almost twice as cost-effective. #India #RCT (Hirshleifer)
  • A policy change allows separate measurement of an additional year of schooling and achievement of a credential: Return to schooling is MUCH lower #China #RD (Eble & Hu)
  • Grants don't improve learnings, but grants plus incentives do. (Mbiti et al. -- Coming soon!)
  • Grants to upgrade secondary schools led to improved test scores for boys but not girls, driven by low end of distribution #DiffInDiff #Kenya (Brudevold)
  • Students in #Mexico take a mock high school admission test: They're totally wrong about how they'll do. Afterwards, those who did better than expected update their plans, but not so much those who did worse. #RCT (Bobba & Frisancho)
  • Eliminating secondary school fees for girls increases secondary completion but also test scores, with spillovers to boys in households with beneficiary girls #DiffInDiff #Gambia (Blimpo et al.)
  • A weekly phone call to the chief, the teacher, & a couple of students led to increased learning in adult literacy #RCT #Niger (Aker & Ksoll) – I wrote a blog post on this one.
  • Getting into an elite high school increases the future earnings that students expect from a college education #Mexico #RD (Estrada & Gignoux)
  • Centralized assignment to higher education increases mobility but also dropout #Brazil #DiffInDiff (Machado & Szerman)
  • In ethnic groups that have bride price, households take advantage of school expansion to increase female enrollment #Indonesia #Zambia (Ashraf et al.)
  • Adult education increases rationality on some dimensions (rejected dominated options) but not on others (preference transitivity) in #India #LIF-RCT (Ksoll & Maertens)
  • The downside of #China's state-owned enterprise reform: Children whose fathers were employed by the enterprises had lower schooling outcomes. #DiffInDiff (Ge)
  • Publication of grades from standardized tests in #Brazil did NOT lead parents to re-allocate to better schools, either in the public or private sector. #RD (Lépine)
  • In the context of #China's one-child policy, " fertility fines during girls’ teenage years raised their educational attainment." #DiffInDiff (Huang et al.)
  • People who -- as youth -- were sent to #China's rural areas for manual labor now invest more in their own children's education. #IV (Zhou)
  • Education aspirations are affects by priming for either gender or caste in #India, and performance is affected for some. #RCT (Mukherjee)
  • Workfare program in #India reduces educational investments in adolescent children (boys go to the market; girls go home). #Diff-in-diff (Shah et al.)
  • An increase in college-education labor in #China led to higher total factor productivity in human-capital-intensive firms. #DiffInDiff (Che & Zhang)
  • General equilibrium effects reduce the returns to schooling by a third and the increase in welfare from additional schooling by a quarter in #India. #RD (Khanna)
  • A couple of surprising interventions dramatically improved uptake of male circumcision in #SouthAfrica, including US$10 (just for a counseling session) and an ad that said "Are you man enough?" Apparently they are. (Friedman & Wilson)
  • Text messages to adolescent girls in #Ghana about reproductive health increased knowledge AND reduced pregnancy. #RCT (Rokicki et al.) – I wrote a blog post on this one, too.
  • 10% fall in soda prices in #Peru --> 10% increase in consumption, 8.5% increase in obesity for adult women, & 22% decrease in diarrhea prevalance. #DiffInDiff (Ritter)
  • After "the introduction of a series of taxes on sugary drinks" in #Mexico, "the demand of calories from taxed foods and the consumption of total calories do not change significantly." (Aguilar et al.)
  • "Bed net distribution results in large & statistically significant improvements in the approval levels of a broad range of political leaders" in #Tanzania. #RD (Croke)
  • In household consultations about family planning with a health worker in #Tanzania, when wives went alone, they subsequently reduced pregnancies a lot. But when husbands went, husbands significantly reduced desired fertility. #RCT (McCarthy)
  • Cell phone data in #Senegal are used to correlated in-country travel with malaria incidence: 1 new case for every 100 visitors & 4 new cases for every 100 residents returning home. (Milusheva)
  • In 19th century France, migrants precipitated the fertility transition by sending word home that fertility rates were super low at destinations #OldTimeyFrance #IV (Daudin et al.)
  • Decline in fertility increased the demand for sex selection in #China. #DiffInDiff (Marden)
  • Income shocks from crop loss lead to increased contraception and delayed pregnancies in #Tanzania. #DiffInDiff (Alam & Pörter)
  • Matching contracts to individual time preferences of vaccinators leads to more smoothing of effort in #Pakistan. #RCT (Andreoni)
  • Christian infants have better height-for-weight than Muslim or Hindu infants in #India, apparently because longer term health and sanitation education. #IV (Menon et al.)
  • Heads of public clinics moonlight at private clinics, lowering their public hours, although they don't refer more patients to their private clinic in #Indonesia. #DiffInDiff (Montes-Rojas & Pal)
  • Sharia law in northern #Nigeria led to higher fertility and longer breastfeeding. #RD (Alfano)
  • If, during a household survey, you test for hypertension and give a negative result, people will get a medical consultation but won't buy insurance for it. #Tanzania #RCT (Tanovic)
  • Building on a conditional cash transfer associated with receipt of a tetanus vaccine, this paper shows that a friend's decision to get vaccinated affects your decision a LOT. #Nigeria #RCT (Sato & Takasaki)
  • "Exposure to adverse fertility outcomes [in early childhood] leads to higher numbers of subsequent pregnancies and induces women to marry sooner." #Indonesia #DiffInDiff (Dhanushka et al.)
  • "Arrival of the first antibiotics to the USA reduced maternal mortality ratios nearly two times as much in early suffrage versus late suffrage states." #OldTimeyUSA #DiffInDiff (Bhalotra et al.)
  • Dramatic increase in mortality from the drug war in #Mexico led to a reduction in risky sex among female sex workers. #DiffInDiff (Manian)
  • Improved delivery of anti-malarial drugs in public clinics reduces prices in private clinics, with particularly benefits for the poor in #Uganda. #DiffInDiff (Fitzpatrick)
  • "Health insurance has a large effect on utilisation [in #SouthAfrica], and that this effect is mainly due to the increased usage of high quality medical services." #DiffInDiff #IV (Burger)
  • A strict antibiotics law in #Mexico had no impact on bacterial-related hospitalization but decreased virus-related hospitalization among the advantaged. (Rubli)

  • Agricultural extension in #Uganda reduced malaria incidence, probably through increased incomes. #RD (Pan & Singhal)
  • Using mobile phones to deliver info on livestock insemination success leads to 27% higher success for treatment farmers in #Pakistan. #RCT (Rezaeey et al.)
  • Using randomized phase-out of an extension program, improved practices were generally continued after 3 seasons, although it took time for farmers to find new seed sellers. (Bobic et al.)
  • "Even though female communicators learn and retain the new [agricultural technology] information better, and those taught by women experience higher farm yields, the women are not as successful at teaching or convincing others to adopt." (Ben Yishay et al.)
  • Privatization of property rights on agricultural investments in #Peru leads to investment in higher value crops. #FuzzyRD (#IV) (Gafaro)
  • A 10% increase in windbreak trees "leads to a 7-10% increase in agricultural revenue." #OldTimeyUSA #IV (Li)
  • A multi-faceted fruit fly eradication program in #Peru led to higher fruit crop production and sales. #RD (Agurto et al.)
  • "Access to credit during the lean season increases harvest output and revenue" significantly in #Zambia. #RCT (Fink et al.)
  • Sugar, ethanol, & biolelectricity mills in #Brazil have big, positive impacts on local GDP, employment, tax revenues, etc. (Assunção et al.)

  • "Temperature shocks in utero increase depressive symptoms in adulthood in Africa" (Adhvaryu et al.)
  • Higher temperatures in-utero (okay, higher temperatures OUTSIDE while the kid is in-utero) = lower earnings, especially for women #Ecuador (Carrillo et al.)
  • "Strong effect of in utero exposure [to homicides in the community] on the physical health and cognitive development of children and no effect on socio-emotional behavior" #DiffInDiff #Mexico (Nasir)
  • Heavy rains in utero reduce birth weight, cognitive development, AND investment by parents #DiffInDiff #Colombia (Brando & Santos)
  • Access to ultrasound technology in #India nearly eliminated post-neonatal gender discrimation…by increasing sex-selective abortions! #India #TripleDiff (Anukriti et al.)
  • Abnormally large flooding in utero leads increases stunting, but households exposed to lots of flooding deal with it better (smaller effects) in Bangladesh. (Guiteras et al.)
  • Being conceived during a heat wave leads to high educational attainment, higher literacy, and lower child mortality. Mechanisms are explored. #Africa #DiffInDiff (Wilde et al.)

  • “For a range of inequality aversion parameters, the welfare gains from current redistribution…are…possibly much larger than the” increased earning from human capital investments. (Alderman et al.)
  • Aid beneficiaries tend to be indifferent between a donated item and its cash value. Donors overvalue their aid. #Kenya #USA (Shapiro)
  • "Increases in neighbors' wealth strongly decrease life satisfaction and moderately decrease consumption" in #Kenya. #RCT (Haushofer et al.)
  • Cash transfers targeted towards mothers increased their empowerment in #Macedonia. #RCT (Almas et al.)
  • Conditional cash transfers in #Tanzania improve health not through more health center visits but through better timed visits. #RCT (Evans et al.) – This is my paper!

  • Conflict pushes households to entrepreneurship activities with low-capital intensity in #Afghanistan. #IV (Ciarli et al.)
  • Opening a mine doesn't increase crime, but closing one does in #SouthAfrica. (Axbard et al.)
  • "Demobilized soldiers who were more involved in local governance during the war are more likely to participate in collective good production more than a decade after the end of the war" in #Angola. #IV (Stojetz & Justino)
  • Community-level reconciliation in post-war #SierraLeone improved social networks but worsened psychological outcomes. #RCT (Cilliers et al.)
  • Saturday work groups to improve community infrastructure in pre-genocide #Rwanda increased participation in the genocide. #IV (Rainfall!) (Bonnier et al.)
  • Post-election violence in #Kenya significantly increased individual risk aversion. #DiffInDiff (Jakiela & Ozier)
  • When states stood to gain more from mining operations, states cracked down more on Maoists and their supports in #India. #DiffInDiff (Eynde)
  • "We cannot reject the hypothesis that all land conflict in the Brazilian Amazon is due to a failure to securely assign property rights." #Brazil #DiffInDiff (Fetzer & Marden)
  • Creating new local governments in pursuit of decentalization has "relatively precise null effects on conflict" but ethnically polarized, new-government areas show an increase in violence. #Indonesia #DiffInDiff (Bazzi & Gudgeon)
  • In food producing areas around #Africa, higher food prices reduce conflicts over control of land but increase conflicts over appropriation of surplus. #DiffInDiff (McGuirk & Burke)
  • "Negative income shocks increase the likelihood of violence against Jews, but only during pogrom waves that are triggered by political turmoil," using "hot springs as an exogenous source of variation." #IV (Durant et al.)

  • In a month-long field experiment, heterogeneity of wages in times is randomized: With more inequality, the lower paid workers reduce output significantly. #India #RCT (Breza et al.)
  • Lower earners are willing to engage in destructive actions to pull down higher earners, as well as increase their own constructive effort #Bolivia #LIF-RCT (Zeballos)
  • Repeated principal-agent games show no punishment of low-effort agents, resulting in low average effort in #Ghana (unlike previous experiments elsewhere) #LIF-RCT (Davies & Fafchamps)
  • A dairy processing factory provides a micronutrient fortified yogurt as the reward for fulfilling a performance-based contract, and delivery increases, particularly from households where women control milk production in #Senegal. #RCT (Bernard et al.)
  • At a microfinance institution, giving incentives to strengthen community organizations did as much to expand microcredit as incentives to expand microcredit #Pakistan #RCT (Giné et al.)
  • Workers at a large agricultural firm in #Malawi receive either a lottery chance to win a bonus, or a fixed bonus of equal expected value, based on attendance. Both bonuses increase attendance, but the lottery increases it more. (Brune)
  • Child labor ban for children over 14 in Brazil doesn't affect younger siblings, but parents up labor supply (Piza et al.)

  • Distributing solar lamps to 7th graders leads to improved math scores for treated students PLUS spillovers to control students #RCT #Kenya (Hassan & Lucchino)
  • Compact flourescent lightbulbs lead to loyalty (people like them!) and reduced energy consumption in #Kyrgyzstan. #RCT (Carranza & Meeks)

  • "Producers’ demand for (commitment) saving devices enables trustworthy buyers to offer low frequency payments and purchase at a lower price" in #Kenya. #RCT (Casaburi & Macchiavello)
  • Exposure to pollution reduces productivity in a garment factory, but good managers can reduce the impact. #India #DiffInDiff (Adhvaryu et al.)
  • Watermelon consumers in #China can't discern sweetness: An innovative technology can signal effectively, but profit gains don't offset costs. #RCT (Bai)
  • Multi-national technology corporations are most likely to rely on foreign employees when they have very poor or very high institutional quality (U-shaped). #Mexico (Santacreu-Vasut & Teshima)
  • "An increase in market size by one percent leads to an increase of 0.27% in firm-specific total factor productivity and an increase in labor productivity by 0.42%" in manufacturing in #China. (Beerli et al.)
  • "Political leaders’ ethnographic regions enjoy 10% higher nighttime light intensity." True for rich & poor countries. #Global (De Luca et al.)
  • "24-percentage point lower economic activity arising from the election of a criminally accused politician" #India #RD (Prakash et al.)
  • "When the government repairs problems in the public space, citizens are more likely to complain about other problems in the area" in #Argentina. #DiffInDiff (Trucco)
  • When citizens used cell phones to report voting fraud during a presidential elections, fraudulent votes dropped by a quarter in #Afghanistan. #RD (Gonzalez)
  • Politically connected firms get a 15% discount on land from government sellers (but not from non-government sellers) in #China. #DiffInDiff (Chen et al.)
  • Tanzanians who moved into government-planned villages in the 1970s have lower consumption and assets three decades later. #Tanzania #IV (Silwal)
  • Electronic voting machines (intended to reduce fraud) in #India reduced rejected votes and also improved broader development outcomes. #DiffInDiff (Debnath et al.)
  • "High historical social status but current-period economic performance not keeping pace with industry peers" predicts "large-scale bribery" #Korea (Jeong & Siegel)
  • Governments use recurring benefit programs to get votes #India #DiffInDiff (Bardhan et al.)
  • Democratic transitions in Africa have led to urbanization more spread across cities (not just the capital) #DiffInDiff (Fetzer & Shanghavi)
  • Mayor's effectiveness in implementing the one child policy is more predictive of ability in low competitive areas #China (Serrato & Wang)
  • "Politicians that had relatives in office in the past...spend more investment in urban infrastructure, health and sanitation [but do not have] improvements in economic growth and changes in the quality of public services" in #Brazil #RD (Bragança et al.)
  • Splitting states in #India leads to better economic outcomes on the new-state side of the border. #RD (Asher & Novosad)
  • Incumbent mayors increase deforestation around election time in #Brazil. Particularly corrupt mayors. #DiffInDiff (Pailler)
  • "Using night luminosity as a measure of economic activity, we find significantly higher economic growth rates in constituencies from which women rather than men are elected to state legislative assemblies in #India." #RD (Baskaran et al.)
  • Mayors from the Soeharto regime who stayed in power longer left a legacy of worse governance outcomes in #Indonesia. #DiffInDiff (Martinez-Bravo & Mukherjee)
  • Female dynastic mayors (i.e., related to the incumbent) have no significant impact on policy or economic outcomes relative to males. #Philippines #DiffInDiff (Labonne et al.)
  • A natural experiment reveals governments giving breaks to firms and firms doing favors to government (unless the leader is leaving office) in #China #DiffInDiff (Lei)
  • E-governance of a workfare program in #India reduced leakage but did not improve employment. #RCT (Banerjee et al.)
  • People don't do perfect Bayesian updating when it comes to government news on pollution in #China. #Lab (Bai et al.)
  • "Individuals living in places with a deeper state history voluntarily pay more tax today" in #Rwanda. (Heldring)
  • When state employees managing polling stations are from minorities, more people vote for minority-associated parties in #India. #RCT (Neggers)
  • Non-linear effects of punishment on law-abiding behavior in #Colombia: When government does "extreme spraying" of crops, farmers actually move out of legality. #DiffInDiff (Vasquez-Escallon)
  • Ambiguity in state- versus municipal- control of water and sanitation sector had large, negative impacts on investment in and access to water in #Brazil. #DiffInDiff (Plous)
  • Free delivery of mail increased voter turnout and led representatives to pay attention to rural interests in #OldTimeyUSA. #IV (Perlman & Schuster)

  • Husbands and wives do not know each other's income, which affects poverty measures. But the differences can partly be explained by non-cognitive characteristics of the wife. #Mexico (Murillo)
  • "Observed consumption patterns are Pareto efficient for households with relatively old heads, but not households with relative young heads" in #Mexico. (Angelucci & Garlick)
  • Men who hide money from their wives do worse in business; women who hide money from their husbands do better. #Uganda #LIF-RCT (Fiala)
  • Legal reforms intended to shift intra-household decisionmaking from men to women actually distributed from parents-in-law to women in #India. #DiffInDiff (Mookerjee)
  • Allocation of resources is more efficient in nuclear family households than extended family households due to easier contract commitment in #BurkinaFaso. (Kazianga & Wahhaj)
  • People will forgo significant income if they can keep it hidden, and they're much less likely to give that hidden income to anyone else. #Senegal #LIF-RCT (Boltz et al.)
  • A reform reducing women's relative position in terms of passing residency permits to their children led to lower female-favored consumption in households. #China (Han & Shi)
  • Co-wives in polygamous households participate in reproductive rivalry in #Senegal. #DiffInDiff (Rossi)
  • Daughters raise mothers' participation in household decision and freedom of mobility more than sons in #India and #Bangladesh. (Heath & Tan)

  • Paid maternity leave decreased wages but increased on-the-job training. Restrictions on night work actually increased hours worked. #DiffInDiff #Bangladesh (Ahmed & Guven)
  • Extended legislated maternity leave led to more informality, more inactivity in the job market, and more self-employment. #DiffInDiff #Colombia (Bustamante et al.)
  • Typhoons lower short-run income but not employment, probably due to flexibility in wages and hours worked. #DiffInDiff #Philippines (Franklin & Labonne)
  • Fewer men in the labor market = better jobs and better wages for women #Mexico #IV (Conover et al.)
  • When agricultural workers face a weather-induced reduction in demand, they move to casual manufacturing jobs and increase productivity as well as wages for permanent manufacturing workers #India (Colmer)
  • At the discontinuity, social assistance reduces registered employment substantively and significantly (50% actual drop in employment, 50% drop in registration) #Uruguay #RD (Bergolo & Cruces)
  • Fishery households in #Indonesia responded to coral bleaching (which reduces marine life) with more migration, increased labor supply, and occupational switches. #DiffInDiff (Chaijaroen)

  • Land titling in #Tanzania led to positive impacts on housing investment but no increased access to credit markets. #RD (Collin et al.)
  • Factors of production are argued to be heavily misallocated, particularly land and buildings. #India (Duranton et al.)
  • Clarifying land rights on formerly communal lands in #Mexico led to use similar that of historically private land. (de Janvry et al.)

  • A new way to measure trust in institutions (without participants knowing that's what you're after) #Philippines #LIF-RCT (Penczynski & Santana)
  • Headcount measures of poverty fail to capture the distribution in poverty intensity. Person-equivalent headcount measures seeks to capture intensity while retaining an intuitive interpretation. (Castleman et al.)
  • Strong evidence of recall bias in family farm labor. (Arthi et al.)
  • Some countries base poverty data on one-time household visits; others visit the household more than once. It makes a big difference. #Jordan (Jolliffe & Serajuddin)
  • How to construct synthetic panels using "pseudo-panel, matching and calibration techniques" #Mexico (Bourguignon & Moreno)
  • Using three waves of panel data, measure income mobility more reliably AND test the reliability of the income measure. #South Africa (Burger et al.)
  • Telephone surveys of microenterprise owners seem reliable, and high-frequency data collection does not seem to alter owner behavior. #SouthAfrica #RCT (Garlick et al.)

  • Randomly assigned resumes in the #Philippines reveal that "workers with foreign experience receive 12 percent fewer callbacks than non-migrants, with callback rates even lower for those who have spent a longer time abroad." #RCT (Abarcar)
  • County-level data between 1850-2010 suggest that the country-of-origin composition in a county matters for local economic outcomes in the US. (Fulford et al.)
  • Household per-capita income goes up 28-38% for internal migrants in #SouthAfrica. Sending households benefit but receiving households do not. (Garlick et al.)
  • Potential migrants from #Nepal to Malaysia overestimate both mortality and earnings abroad. An informational intervention updates both. #RCT (Shrestha)
  • "I estimate the average perceived cost of migration to an individual to lie between 0.3 and 1.1 times annual earnings." #Thailand #IV (Shenoy)
  • "Increase in income in #Mexico reduces [US] migration duration, and increases both the average number of trips per migrant and the responsiveness to economic conditions." #RCT (Gorlach)

  • In a life skills program in #India, some girls were randomized into the program and others were elected. For elected cases, there were discouragement effects among peers. #RCT (Delavallade et al.)
  • In a lab game, students in Zurich prefer randomization when expected initial endowments are equal, but poorer participants OPPOSE randomization when endowments are unequal. #Switzerland #Lab (Haushofer et al.)

  • Mobile-phone based automatic payroll deductions increase participation in savings by 40 percentage points; it takes a 50% employer match to achieve the same without default. #RCT #Afghanistan (Blumenstock et al. – coming soon here)
  • Setting up default payments into a bank account instead of cash means WAY more savings. #RCT #India (Somville & Vandewalle)
  • Worries about future rainfall reduce farmers' cognitive function, and offering insurance doesn't help. #LIF-RCT #Brazil (Lichand & Mani)
  • Microfinance institutions that reach out to women have better financial performance "at all levels of commercialization" #IV #Global (Martinez)
  • The poorer your savings group on average, the less likely you'll be able to meet the needs of the ultra-poor in your group #Uganda #RCT (Burlando & Canidio)
  • The offer of a microsavings program reduces participation in informal risk-sharing arrangements #Kenya #RCT (Dizon et al.)
  • Willingness to pay for a water filter increases significantly when an over-time payment plan is offered (versus a lump-sun) #Bangladesh #RCT (Guiteras et al.)
  • Credit access increases migration significantly for poor households in rural #China. #RCT (Cai)
  • "Moral appeals strongly increase credit card repayments" in #Indonesia. #RCT (Bursztyn et al.)
  • Microcredit institutions are moving away from joint liability, particularly for-profit lenders. (de Quidt et al.)
  • "Behavioral signatures in mobile phone data predict default with accuracy approaching that of credit scoring methods that rely on financial histories" in an unnamed Caribbean country. (Björkegren & Grissen)
  • Local access to transporation -- such as the arrival of railroads -- dramatically increased patents. #OldTimeyUSA #IV (Perlman)
  • Provision of rural roads increases use of preventative health care by women in #Pakistan. #FuzzyRD (#IV) (Banerjee & Sachdeva)
  • A highway project in #India increased income but very unequally. A simulation suggest that a Chinese approach would have benefitted lagging regions more. (Alder)
  • Introduction of high-speed railway in #China led to an increase in HSR-related patents in affected cities. #TrippleDiff (Lin et al.)
  • "Using changes in market access due to...distant road construction as a source of exogenous variation in overall market access, we estimate a 30-year elasticity of city population with respect to market access of 0.05 to 0.20" in #Africa. (Jedwab & Storeygard)
  • "Road construction to previously unconnected villages leads to a large and significant reallocation of economic activity out of self-employment in agriculture and into wage earnings" in #India. #FuzzyRD (#IV) (Asher & Novosad)

  • Exogenous variation in access to export markets for rug producers in #Egypt leads to "15-25 percent higher profits and exhibit large improvements in quality alongside reductions in output per hour." #RCT (Atkin et al.)
  • "Sons...with a greater exposure to trade liberalization have a higher probability of being in a better occupation than their father" in #India. (Ahsan & Chatterjee)
  • Population diversity had a positive causal effect on economic specialization and trade in pre-modern societies (Depetris-Chauvin & Özak)

  • Some local government revenues improve living conditions (property tax), other don't (oil revenues) #Colombia #DiffInDiff (Martinez)
  • Politically connected firms are more likely to evade taxes, by underreporting unit prices in #Tunisia. (Rijkers et al.)
  • Profit elasticity with respect to taxes is very large, suggesting a lower revenue-maximizing tax rate in #CostaRica than in rich countries. (Bachas & Soto)

  • A dice game intended to teach about gambling risk reduces gambling behavior, except for those who win the dice game, for whom it increases their behavior. :( (Abel et al.)
  • What else does rainfall affect? Personality! Early life rainfall fluctuations drive shifts in "core self-evaluation" in adulthood. #Tanzania #DiffInDiff (Krutikova & Lilleor)
  • Closure of coal mines in the #UK in the 1980s increased male manufacturing workers but decreases female manufacturing workers. #DiffInDiff (Aragón et al.)
  • A public good experiment in #India demonstrates why it can be difficult to motivate people at the center of networks (and thus a capacity for influence) to give more to public goods. #LIF-RCT (Caria & Fafchamps)
  • Non public works districts (with public works neighbors) led to an 8.7% rise in casual wages relative to non-exposed districts in #India. #DiffInDiff (Prasann)
  • What's the impact of providing boats to fishermen affected by the 2004 tsunami in #Indonesia? Small and temporary. #DiffInDiff (Wong)
  • "Places where women were more productive in textile production developed more favorable views towards working women and witnessed rising gender equality." #China (Xue)
  • At post-reproductive ages, women in #India lose bargaining power in households, experience more poverty and higher mortality. (Calvi)
  • How to measure intergenerational mobility? Intergenerational correlations show MUCH less bias than intergenerational regression coefficients. #India #Bangladesh (Emran et al.)


Submitted by Eva Benita A. Tuzon on

I salute you for having synthesized/categorized such a great number of literature. That alone provides us what [kept] researchers interested finding about. On land, hmmmm.... not much worked on the theme while is is the most "controversial" resource that many endure being marginalized... did we get tired producing evidence on this? Whatever happens to the follow up action from WCARRD to ICARRD? Any other thoughts outside integration and balance or these were too hard to get excellent results?

Submitted by Annette Brown on

Thanks David for this list! It would be interesting to see it organized by positive results, null results, and negative (against theory) results. A quick read suggests a lot of reporting bias.

That would be interesting, but of course it would be a whole other layer of analysis. Hopefully some ambitious person will take it on! :)

Submitted by Evan on

Hi David, great summary. The link to Abel et al. (Dice games listed under "A few other papers") seems to be pointing to the wrong place.

Submitted by Daniel on

This is awesome, it would be interesting use your powers of fast reading to create a database of research trends in the world.

thanks for this!

Submitted by Sandra Pepera on

David, Thanks for this heroic task which was passed onto me by a new contact at a reception this evening! Some real gems in here related to gender equality and women's empowerment. Sandra

Submitted by Eoin Sinnott on

Brilliant! Thanks! Curious if next NEUDC 2016 will have more natural capital and climate papers.. Eoin

Submitted by Anonymous on

The link for this item is pointing to a wrong article:
"High historical social status but current-period economic performance not keeping pace with industry peers" predicts "large-scale bribery" #Korea

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