Published on Development Impact

Blog links June 6: Impact of High-Skilled Migration, Failed Forecasting, a large IE database, and more…

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  • Visa lottery evidence on the impact of high-skilled immigration on jobs for US workers – Vox covers new work by Giovanni Peri and co-authors – they find cities which were unlucky in the H1-B lottery experience slower job growth for American workers in the tech sector without college degrees,
  • Interview with Nobel prize winner Pissarides: “he was turned down by five of the six British universities to which he applied”…”Excessive employment protection can also lead to high youth unemployment. Young people do not yet know what they are good at or what they would like to do, and employers are unsure of how well they will perform. For young workers therefore, it is particularly important, says Pissarides, that they be “given the opportunity to job shop. Just as they are not expected to marry their first boyfriend or girlfriend, they should not be expected to take their first job and stick with it forever.”
  • An astonishing record of complete failure – Tim Harford on how useless economic forecasts are, and how we shouldn’t be trying to do this: “We don’t expect a dentist to be able to forecast the pattern of tooth decay. We expect that she will offer good practical advice on dental health and intervene to fix problems when they occur. We should demand much the same from economists: proven advice about how to keep the economy working well and solutions when the economy malfunctions. And economists should bear in mind that no self-respecting dentist would be caught dead forecasting when your teeth will fall out.”
  • On the CGD blog, Michael Clemens discusses other elements of our joint paper on why remittances don’t appear to affect growth, including this nice analogy to discuss power issues “If you want to detect any effect in economic growth statistics, it’s a little like hearing a violin play during a windstorm: you have to separate the signal from the noise. It’s hard to do when the effect you seek is small (the violin plays softly) and the growth data are highly variable (the wind blows loudly).”
  • 3ie has launched an improved impact evaluation database, with more than 2,400 impact evaluations. They have a challenge out that if you know of impact evaluations they missed, you can get Amazon gift cards (see their website for rules). Worth having a check on your own papers at least- about 6 of mine seemed to be missing.
  • Call for papers – LACEA/LAMES conference in Brazil, deadline June 15.
  • In case you missed it, the keynote addresses from this week’s ABCDE conference are available for viewing online.


David McKenzie

Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

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