We are pleased to launch for the third year a call for PhD students on the job market to blog their job market paper on the Development Impact blog. We welcome blog posts on anything related to empirical development work, impact evaluation, or measurement. For examples, you can see last years series. We will follow the same process laid out by Berk last year, which is as follows:
The first two posts on this topic this week have looked at the gap in the use of IO in development, and some possible reasons why IO tools might not be used as much. Today, the final post in my Q&A with Dan Keniston [DK] and Katja Seim [KS], looks at where there might be low-hanging fruit from better use of methods from IO in development.
Yesterday’s Q&A with Dan Keniston [DK] and Katja Seim [KS] looked at whether there was a gap in the use of IO methods in development, and for some examples of good work at this intersection of fields. Today I ask about a couple of reasons why we don’t see as much work in this area.
Ever since I was in grad school I remember hearing people say that development and industrial organization (IO) seem like natural fields for graduate students to specialize in, and yet my sense is that far fewer people take this combination than development and labor, or development and public economics for example. This is seen in literature produced – the figure below shows the share of the last 100 BREAD Working Papers in development that have different subfields (according to their JEL codes):
On the CSAE blog – the reverse couch potato effect- the impact of inspirational movies on aspirations and short-term behavior – new work by Stefan Dercon, Tanguy Bernard, Kate Orkin and Alemayehu Taffesse. The blog post has a couple of examples of the movies used to show people in rural Ethiopia how people like them had made choices that had led to success.
The “science of delivery”, a relatively new term among development practitioners, refers to the focused study of the processes, contexts, and general determinants of the delivery of public services and goods. Or to paraphrase my colleague Adam Wagstaff, the term represents a broadening of inquiry towards an understanding of the “how to deliver” and not simply a focus on the “what to deliver”.
We promised some time ago to review the recent working paper by Pritchett and Sandefur on external validity, and the title of this post is the main take-away for me: my name is Berk Özler and I agree with this specific message. However, while I’d like to say that there is much more here, I am afraid that I, personally, did not find more to write home about...