Published on Development Impact

Blog Links June 27: Common sense, microcredit, PPP, and more…

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  • Angus Deaton on why the new PPP numbers look so different – his claim is that actually it was the 2005 numbers that were problematic.
  • Interview with Duncan Watts on how common sense helps and hurts us in social sciences, the role of big data, and more…”The problem with this ability to mentally simulate the minds of others is because it is so useful in everyday situations, we tend to use it for everything to do with human behavior. We think that we can do historical research or we can make political predictions or we can figure out what the United States should do in Syria, using the same mental simulation apparatus that we use to think about how our kids are going to behave if we try to make them eat their vegetables.”….” simple probabilistic reasoning should not be held up as the pinnacle of statistical sophistication; it should be the price of entry for public discussion of societal problems.”
  • The replication in economics wiki – has a list of replications, studies to be replicated, etc. – might be very useful for teaching assignments. (h/t @misologie)
  • The Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS) had a workshop earlier this month for young researchers, and now the content is all online. Includes presentations on issues such as pre-registration, replication, data availability, etc. with perspectives from a variety of social sciences.
  • In the Economist’s Free Exchange blog: discussion of a new experiment in rural Mali by Beaman, Karlan, Thuysbaert and Udry which looks at whether microcredit borrowers have higher returns to capital than the average person in the village (yes).


David McKenzie

Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

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