Published on Development Impact

Blog links October 31: Frightful ethics? Ghastly preferences, Spooky Stata help, and more…

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  • From the Stata blog: how to put the Stata user manuals on your ipad.
  • Chris Blattman discusses the controversy surrounding a field experiment being done by political scientists in the Montana election – much of the controversy seems very odd to a development economist –especially a concern that political scientists might actually be doing research that could affect politics….Dan Drezner notes the irony “political scientists appear to be damned if they do and damned if they don’t conduct experiments. In the absence of experimental methods, the standard criticism of political science is that it’s not really a science because of [INSERT YOUR PREJUDICE OF CHOICE AGAINST THE SOCIAL SCIENCES HERE]. The presence of experimental methods, however, threatens to send critics into a new and altogether more manic forms of “POLITICAL SCIENTISTS ARE PLAYING GOD!!” panic.”


  • The Behavioral Economics of Education – new overview: “Preferences, therefore, change with age and children spend most - if not all - of their school years with less interest in the future than their future adult selves… We discuss how policies that make learning opportunities easier, continually remind students of long-term goals, teach strategies to develop self-control, and encourage youth to take pride in their own skill development are promising approaches for helping foster academic achievement”
  • Debate in the Lancet on the ethics of randomization when testing Ebola drugs: one side arguing randomization is essential; versus another side arguing against equipoise when conventional care doesn’t much affect clinical outcomes and that “Insisting on RCTs could even worsen the epidemic, by undermining trust in the Ebola treatment centres that are central to containing it.”
  • Call for papers: PACDEV 2015 @UCSD.
  • Reminder blog your job market paper submissions being taken


David McKenzie

Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

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