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  • Reply to: The power and limits of personal connection   2 days 18 hours ago

    Really great job, David. You have weaved so many themes through storytelling. Reminded me of Michael Lewis of Big Short, Flash Boys, Liar's Poker, and Blind Side fame.

  • Reply to: How going to the movies helped Ugandan high schoolers pass their tests   3 days 11 hours ago

    I am Chair of a UK based charity and we recently provided funding to support the development of chess at a Kampala primary school. An evening showing of 'The Queen of Katwe' film was arranged and nearly every child and most of the staff attended. Imagine the delight of the pupils when Phiona turned up unannounced and sat with the children watching the film. The school now has a thriving chess club. Showing the film has impacted (changed?) many of the pupils' attitudes to learning.

  • Reply to: “The right data at the right time”: How to effectively communicate research to policy makers   1 month 5 days ago

    Thanks for this post.
    It strikes me as something that all of us working to influence public policy want to hear: that all of our evidence can indeed be put to good use.
    But I was very struck this week by an article from Baekegaard et al on motivated reasoning among politicians (in this case, in Denmark). (I had found an ungated copy but now can only find it here, sorry: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-political-science/article/role-of-evidence-in-politics-motivated-reasoning-and-persuasion-among-politicians/6813A080C058E1BB4920661FF60BED6F).
    It turns out that (Danish) politicians are more likely to interpret unambiguous data in a way that supports their (political) priors, and, perhaps even more surprisingly, that the more information they are given, the stronger this updating of priors is.
    In other words, "the right data at the right time... but only insofar as it fits my previous view of the world." Which is a very different problem to address.
    Friday food for thought.
    Cheers!
    Varja

  • Reply to: “The right data at the right time”: How to effectively communicate research to policy makers   1 month 6 days ago

    This is a very good spot on summary David. I have provided a link to my blog on the research I am working on so that additional insights can be gleaned from my work.

    https://www.brookings.edu/blog/education-plus-development/2017/08/08/how-can-jamaica-get-school-aged-mothers-back-in-school/

  • Reply to: Spending on bling: What explains the demand for status goods?   2 months 3 weeks ago

    Dear Rajeev,

     

    Thank you for your question – you raise a very interesting and important point! It is indeed true that banks have often been accused of strategically exploiting the behavioral biases of their customers. This is an issue that has gotten a lot of attention since the global financial crisis, and has led to much new thinking and increased efforts to improve transparency and financial consumer protection. That’s where our research comes in: we very much believe that to devise smart regulation that effectively protects consumers, we first need to understand the basic economic and non-economic factors that drive consumer behavior. We attempt to do this here for the case of status-seeking behavior, a fairly common phenomenon that affects all sorts of consumption choices, using the specific case of the market for credit cards.