- The New York Times covers an experiment in Sierra Leone which randomized electoral debates
- Marc Bellemare has a curated list of all his Metrics Monday posts
Pardon the pun. But, psychological wellbeing has been in the news recently: do cash transfer programs have negative spillover effects on those who live near beneficiaries but do not receive transfers themselves?
- The Behavioral Insights Team (aka Nudge unit) turns 5 – Psych report interview discusses the achievements and where they plan to go “two things I would point to that, personally, I am most proud of. The first is that I think we can say we have changed the way in which policy is made in Whitehall. People think about drawing on ideas from the behavioral sciences in a way that five years ago almost nobody did. Secondly, people now think about using randomized controlled trials as one of the policy tools that can be used to find out whether or not something works. Again, that was just not considered to be part of a policymaker’s toolbox five years ago. So rather than pointing to the successes of the interventions, I think I’m most proud of the fact that we’ve started to change the mindsets of policymakers in the UK government.”
An increasing number of economists analyze subjective welfare data – which records a subject’s “happiness” or “life satisfaction” – as a complement to more traditional money-based measures of wellbeing such as income or consumption. Both the promise and the pitfalls of subjective welfare (SW) measures have been widely discussed, including in this blog here and here and here. One major challenge is the concern that fixed personal characteristics (such as someone’s “natural optimism”) determine SW responses to a far larger degree than time-varying economic factors. If that is the case then the usefulness of SW data for informing economic policy is not clear. Now two recent papers teach us more about the interpretive difficulties of SW in the presence of fixed individual characteristics.
- Uri Simonsohn discusses 4 ways of deciding whether you really have a zero effect (can accept the null)
- The impact of becoming a Swiss citizen on political integration – apparently Swiss citizens used to have secret votes on individual citizenship applications – researchers then compare those who just exceeded 50% of the vote and could become citizen with those who just missed out – tracking them down 15 years later (45% response rate)
A few of the many evaluation results on text messaging interventions
We are pleased to launch for the fifth year a call for PhD students and others on the job market to blog their job market paper on Development Impact. We welcome blog posts on anything related to empirical development work, impact evaluation, or measurement. For examples, you can see posts from 2014, 2013 and 2012. We will follow a slightly altered process from the previous years, with the main difference being a hard deadline for submissions rather than rolling submissions:
We will start accepting submissions immediately until midnight on Monday, November 23, with the goal of publishing a couple before Thanksgiving and then about 6-8 more in December when people are deciding who to interview. We will not accept any submissions after the deadline. We will also do some more refereeing this year, which might imply a slightly lower success rate than previous years (but still better than 50%). Below are the rules that you must follow, followed by some guidance/tips you should follow:
- job market papers 2015