In the latest JEL, Parker and Todd survey the literature on Progresa/Oportunidades: some bits of interest to me included:
- CCTs have now been used in 60+ countries;
- over 100 papers have been published using the Progresa/Oportunidades data, with at least 787 hypotheses tested – multiple testing corrections don’t change the conclusions that the program had health and education effects, but do cast doubt on papers claiming impacts on gender issues and demographic outcomes;
- FN 16 which notes that at the individual level, there are significant differences in 32% of the 187 characteristics on which baseline balance is tested, with the authors arguing that this is because the large sample size leads to a tendency to reject the null at conventional levels – a point that seems inconsistent with use of the same significant levels for measuring treatment effects;
- Two decades later, we still don’t know whether Progresa led to more learning, just more years in school;
- One of the few negative impacts is an increase in deforestation in communities which received the CCT
- Dave Evans asks whether it matters which co-author submits a paper, and summarizes responses from several editors; he also gives a short summary of a panel on how to effectively communicate results to policymakers.
- development impact links