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The perfectionists versus the reductionists

Markus Goldstein's picture

coauthored with Jishnu Das

Women perform 66 percent of the world’s work, and produce 50 percent of the food, yet earn only 10 percent of the income…. 

--Former President Bill Clinton addressing the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (September 2009)

Impressive, heart-wrenching, charity-inducing, get off your sofa and go do something heartbreaking.

But Wrong.

Guest post by Alice Wuermli: Learning from Others -The Potential Benefits of Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Studies of poverty, inequality, and development tend to be conducted in disciplinary silos. Rarely do such efforts reach across disciplinary boundaries and thus at times they fall short of grasping the complexity of these issues. Various scholars have made a case for interdisciplinary approaches particularly in the field of international development.

Should you care about impact heterogeneity?

Martin Ravallion's picture

If you want to know the average impact of being assigned the option of some “treatment”— the so-called “intent-to-treat” parameter—then you will get a good (unbiased) estimate by comparing the mean outcome for an experimental group that is randomly assigned the treatment with that for another group randomly denied that option.

Guest Post by Alan de Brauw: Regression Discontinuity Impacts with an Implicit Index: Evaluating El Salvador’s CCT program

I am writing to follow up on Berk’s post about using regression discontinuity design to evaluate the impacts of conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs. It happens that some colleagues and I at the International Food Policy Research Institute recently completed two papers using a unique regression discontinuity design (RDD) to evaluate the impacts of El Salvador’s Comunidades Solidarias Rurales (CSR) program. T

Sometimes a survey interview bequeaths more than the token gift of appreciation

Jed Friedman's picture

When I first started field work in Indonesia (as a PhD student) I observed numerous household survey interviews. Even though I didn’t speak Javanese I was familiar with the questionnaire and so could follow the ups and downs of the household interview. These survey encounters were not trivial events for the typical household that, almost universally, would welcome a group of strangers into their house who would then probe and ask about every aspect of their lives for up to two hours.

Using Sending Country Surveys as a Basis for Sampling Immigrants: A cautionary tale

David McKenzie's picture

International migration is the most effective action that people in developing countries can take to increase their incomes and well-being. Yet our ability to learn about the policies that enhance or inhibit the gains to migration is severely restricted due to the poor state of migration data. One element of this is the lack of representative surveys of immigrants.

Guest Post by Ken Leonard: Gender and Biological Differences between the Sexes

Women are less likely to occupy the top paying jobs in developed economies, in part because they are less competitive than men. A whole series of laboratory experiments has detailed the gap in competitiveness between the average woman and the average man, even when women are just as good, if not better than men. Is this result due to the fact that women are biologically female, or the fact that they are socialized as female? Although we often alternate between gender and sex in describing males and females, they are not strictly the same.

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