Randomized program implementation is currently seen as the ‘gold standard’ for impact evaluation in the search for the most effective development interventions. Earlier studies were criticized for their limited scope, so some of these interventions now involve large populations. Unfortunately, the larger the intervention, the larger is the danger that people who were supposed to get the treatment do not receive the intervention and vice-versa. Do such deviations invalidate the conclusions drawn from randomized studies?
In his earlier post on this blog, Ricardo Gazel forecast a 10% decline in Angola’s GDP. This was based on the country’s 2009 budget, which was elaborated before the deepening of the financial crisis and its spillover to the real economy. He now writes:
My friend, former colleague and one-time co-author Bill Easterly, in his inaugural blog post, takes issue with Bob Zoellick’s Op-Eds in the New York Times and the Financial Times on the need for more aid to poor countries in the wake of the global financial and economic crisis. Bill’s argument is that Bob is calling for more aid without specifyi
In low-income countries, road traffic accidents account for 3.7 percent of deaths, twice as high as deaths due to malaria. Anyone who has traveled in Kenya won’t be surprised to hear that 20 percent of recorded crashes involve matatus, the private buses that careen around the city. Billy Jack and James Habyarimana have a fascinating impact evaluation where they randomly put posters in matatus encouraging passengers to “heckle and chi
The steep decline in the prices of commodities (oil, minerals, metals) following the global financial crisis is clearly having an effect on African countries. But the effect is asymmetric between importers and exporters of commodities. For instance, oil importers, who suffered in 2008 from the sharp increase in oil prices (reaching $140 a barrel), will benefit from the decline in oil prices, whereas the reverse is true for oil exporters. Using the latest commodity forecasts available, my colleague
My colleague Justin Lin says that it is important not to let the global financial crisis become “a human crisis.” Nowhere is this truer than in Africa. Although spared the first-round effects of banking failures, Africa is already facing the second-round impacts of declining capital flows, slowing remittances, stagnating foreign aid and falling commodity prices and export revenues. The c
I received this missive from a friend:
December 11, 2008
La réponse de l’Afrique à la crise économique actuelle doit se faire sur plusieurs façades. Une reforme des politiques commerciales permettant l’épanouissement du secteur privé devrait être au centre de tout effort tendant à minimiser l’impact sur les économies africaine à court terme et à long terme des perturbations des marchés.
There are many factors which will impact Africa’s ability to weather the current economic crisis. Finding ways to reform trade policy that enhances private sector growth should be part of any strategy now and in the long-term to counteract the damage today’s economic crisis is having. As Shanta noted in his lecture in November at Columbia, private sector growth is a key priority for Africa.