In a nice, recent paper Achyuta Adhvaryu, Namrata Kala, and Anant Nyshadham take a look at how air pollution hurts productivity and what effect, if any, managers can have in mitigating these effects. The short answer is yes, pollution hurts worker productivity, and yes, managers with certain qualities do a better job of mitigating these effects as they manage their workers. That’s the short story, but how they get there is quite fascinating.
After seeing PowerPoint slides of the preliminary findings over the course of more than a year, it’s nice to be able to report that the six-country study that is evaluating the “ultra-poor graduation” approach (originally associated with BRAC) is finally out.
I finally got around to reading an intriguing paper by Banerjee, Duflo and Hornbeck that has been on my reading list for a while. This paper is a nice example of making lemonade out of lemons – they had intended to evaluate a health insurance product that a microfinance organization in India made mandatory for its clients in selected villages.
The evidence on the effectiveness of business training is, at best, mixed (for an example, see my previous post on David McKenzie and Chris Woodruff's artful review). As David and Chris point out, part of the problem was methods (esp. sample size). But even when the methods were good, the results were often lackluster, particularly for women.
Worldwide, one in five children of upper-primary-school age remain out of school. Girls in developing countries are disproportionately affected, with a quarter of them not completing primary school.
This is the second in the series of papers from graduates on the job market this year.
I recently finished teaching smart and hard working honours students. In Growth and Development, we covered equity and talked about inequalities of opportunity (and outcomes) across countries, across regions within countries, between different ethnic groups, genders, etc. In Population and Labour Economics, we covered intra-household bargaining models and how spending on children may vary depending on the relative bargaining power of the parents.
It is often the case that poor people do not fully access the public services due to them. Information-based interventions have been proposed as a response. The premise is that lack of information is a decisive demand-side factor inhibiting successful participatory action by poor people to get the services to which they are entitled.
"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