A while back I blogged about work using active choice and enhanced active choice to get people to get flu shots and prescription refills. The basic idea here is that relatively small modifications to the way a choice is presented can have large impacts on the take-up of a program. This seemed useful in the context of many of our training programs– attendance rates averaged 65 percent in a review of business training programs I did with Chris Woodruff. Therefore for an ongoing evaluation of the GET AHEAD business training program in Kenya, we decided to test out this approach.
- Leonard Wantchekon on the “curse of the good soil” and insufficient investment in rural infrastructure.
- From the Harvard Business Review: experiment with organizational change before going all in.
- Owen Ozier on deworming and child cognition in the long-run – particularly relevant after Berk’s post this week on the replication of the original Miguel and Kremer paper.
- Interesting piece on the challenges of attempted school reforms in India and Guinea-Bissau in the LSE Centrepiece: “With just four months until the schools were to open, our 48 candidate teachers arrived with demands that would … mean their wage rising to over four times those of the average teacher and more than the pay received by public sector doctors, as well as cabinet ministers….For the next six months, we watched as the 48 candidate teachers marched across Guinea-Bissau’s political map to try to extort a cash award from us….
Many who work on impact evaluation are familiar with the concept of the Hawthorne effect and its potential risk to the accurate inference of causal impact. But if this is a new concept, let’s quickly review the definition and history of the Hawthorne effect:
- New evidence on the long-term impacts of de-worming in Uganda, and how it affects Givewell’s view of the effectiveness of this intervention from the Givewell Blog.
- development impact links
- Self-control and worker productivity: In the Upshot, Sendhil Mullainathan summarizes his experiment in India that found that piece-rate data entry workers benefited as much from signing a commitment contract that punished them if they didn’t hit a target as they would from a 50 percent pay raise.