Published on Development Impact

Friday links April 5: spending your research time wisely? School uniforms, remittance prices, and more...

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·         New data on remittance prices worldwide just released by the World Bank – the most costly corridor is sending money from South Africa to Malawi, which averages $48 costs on a $200 transaction!

·         The first issue of a new journal on migration, Migration Studies, is now out. Full text is free access for this issue. Francesc Ortega and Giovanni Peri have a paper in it examining the impact of immigration policies on international migration.

·         From DFID, a new synthesis report on evidence on microcredit for the ultra poor – page 10 summarizes some early results from the set of randomized evaluations of graduation programs intended to enable the ultra-poor to graduate into traditional microfinance.

·         On the InDecision blog – Are you spending your research time wisely? – lessons from their interviews with professors about research projects they regretted: “Many professors regret working on projects that had little impact theoretically or substantively, but were safe publications…the projects they mentioned shared a number of qualities. These qualities are: 1) the findings were idiosyncratic to a domain, 2) it was difficult or pointless to apply the findings in a practical way, and 3) the findings neither answered nor stimulated any interesting questions. Oddly enough, these weaknesses could have been identified before starting the project.”

·         On Udadisi, results from a RCT on the impact of free school uniforms in Ecuador – it had a negative impact on school attendance.

·         From the WSJ Ideas blog: experimental evidence to show group-based financial rewards are  better than individual rewards at getting individuals to lose weight. Based on a study of 105 employees at a children’s hospital.


David McKenzie

Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

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