A common critique of many impact evaluations, including those using both experimental and quasi-experimental methods, is that of external validity – how well do findings from one setting export to another? This is especially the case for studies done on relatively small samples, although as I have ranted before, there appears to be a double standard in this critique when compared to both other disciplines in economics and to other development literature.
On Monday I was at the UN Foundation's launch of a new report, A Roadmap for Promoting Women's Economic Empowerment. Authored by Mayra Buvinic, Rebecca Furst-Nichols and Emily Courey Pryor this report provides a significant step forward in making sense of the rapidly growing evidence base on what works and what does not for gender equality. [Full disclosure: with co-authors I contributed two of the many background papers for this report].
- On the promise and perils of sharing work in progress – nice discussion on the MonkeyCage blog, including references to Berk’s post on the problems of working papers.
Guest Post by Eva Vivalt
- Berk and co-author’s systematic review of the relative effectiveness of conditional and unconditional cash transfers is now out in The Campbell Collaboration Library.
- In Science last week, Sendhil Mullainathan and co-authors have work showing the cognitive costs of poverty. The Atlantic cities has a summary.
"Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. I rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel. It gives her a feeling of self-reliance and independence the moment she takes her seat; and away she goes – the picture of untrammeled womanhood." - Susan B Anthony
While the blog was on break over the last month, a couple of posts caught my attention by discussing whether it is ethical to do experiments on programs that we think we know will make people better off. First up, Paul Farmer on the Lancet Global Health blog writes: