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Friday links: Panchayats, polisci, the pill, CCTs and more

David McKenzie's picture

·         A nice summary with pretty pictures on the VoxEU blog of the paper on selling female condoms in Zambia that Markus blogged about recently.

·         Tim Taylor on the latest evidence from the U.S. on small firms and job creation.

·         Ximena del Carpio discusses a new evaluation of the impact of a CCT in Nicaragua on child labor on the Let’s Talk Development blog – she finds it affected the volume and quality of child labor, reducing it in the aggregate and steering it towards skill-forming activities related to commerce and retail. Instead of farmwork and household chores.

·         The impact of the contraceptive pill on female employment – the Wall Street Journal covers a new paper which shows the pill was responsible for nearly one-third of the narrowing in the male-female pay gap in the 1990s – mainly by allowing women to invest more in skills in their 20s.

·         Marc Bellemare highlights a new paper in the American Political Science Review on natural experiments (when natural experiments are neither natural nor experiments) - one of the examples they discuss is the impact of Indian randomized electoral quotas for women on the probability that women will contest and win a contest after the quota is withdrawn- their critique concerns interaction effects between open wards (the ones without quotas in the current electoral cycle) and wards selected for the quota in the current cycle; as well as interaction effects across election cycles – e.g. political parties may discourage women from running in open wards and this might be stronger if the ward is open for two cycles in a row – so the higher incidence of women running in 2002 in open wards which had had reservations in 1997 to that of women running in 2002 in open wards which had not had reservations in 1997 may reflect these discouragement effects, which wouldn’t have occurred if reservations weren’t also in place in other wards in 2002.

·         Comparing randomized to non-randomized experiments – a study identifies what factors lead to results being more similar in the health field.