Published on Development Impact

Blog links April 11: measuring personality, revising GDP, behavioral econ, and more…

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  • On the 3ie blog Howard White discusses a 1985 WHO paper about doing impact evaluations on water and sanitation projects – and notes a lot of similarities with problems noted in IE design then and ones that continue to be prevalent today.
  • Tim Harford asks “what’s next for behavioral economics?” – nice discussion about the difficulty of knowing when behavioral factors apply, and of the difference between social psychology and behavioral econ.
  • The big data news this week was the revision of Nigeria’s GDP – the Economist explains “ON SATURDAY, April 5th, South Africa was Africa’s largest economy. The IMF put its GDP at $354 billion last year, well ahead of its closest rival for the crown, Nigeria. By Sunday afternoon that had changed. Nigeria’s statistician-general announced that his country’s GDP for 2013 had been revised from 42.4 trillion naira to 80.2 trillion naira ($509 billion). The estimated income of the average Nigerian went from less than $1,500 a year to $2,688 in a trice. How can an economy grow by almost 90% overnight?” The Economist explains the changes in the base and in data collection which led to this massive change. Morten Jerven offers his take at African Arguments: including why did it take so long “The main reason the rebasing has been delayed has been a lack of basic information from businesses, farmers and households on their output, consumption and income.”
  • Measuring the big 5 personality domains – a one-stop shop of scales (h/t @betsylevyp).
  • Stata find of the week: Sergiy Radyakin has a program to read SPSS files into Stata: type findit usespss    in your Stata to get this.


David McKenzie

Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

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