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Friday links (part 2): The OLPC discussion continues, paying kids to perform in schools, impact of moving back home, and more...

David McKenzie's picture

·         In case you missed, the IDB authors of the one laptop per child evaluation post a response to Berk’s post on the IDB Development that works blog. They discuss the context in which their evaluation was done, and the possible government rationale for investing in OLPC in Peru. Also we have had an excellent set of comments on both the OLPC post and Dads and Development post so if you typically read us through RSS and don’t get the comments, it is worth having a look if you are interested in either topic.

·         Michael Trucano continues the discussion with “Let them eat Laptops?” over at the World Bank’s EduTech blog.

·         The Wall Street Journal’s Ideas blog summarizes the impact of moving back home with your parents after a job loss - based on a new paper in the JPE- basically it allows people to be pickier about job offers, and thereby show no decline in earnings in the longer term.

·         August 8th is the deadline for submissions to this year’s NEUDC, which will be held at Dartmouth on November 3 and 4 (h/t Chris Blattman).

·         The Huffington Post summarizes a new study by Steve Levitt, John List, and co-authors which offered different financial and non-financial incentives to students in Chicago schools to perform well on tests. Seems like they tried a whole range of different incentives – “Low financial incentives of $10 -- offered for an improvement in test scores and announced immediately before the test -- elicited effort in only one setting, whereas high financial incentives of $20 worked well in two out of the three settings….Additionally, findings suggest that older students respond more to monetary incentives, while non-monetary incentives -- such as trophies -- are as effective as financial incentives among younger students….Rewards that were promised to students one month after the test, rather than immediately following the test, had no motivating power….incentives framed as “losses” rather than “gains” elicited significantly higher effort.”

  • Cyrus Samii posted a very useful response to Berk's post on power calculations when the number of clusters is small.