Published on Development Impact

Friday links: Deceiving public figures, funding, dads aren't so bad, and more...

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·         Haba na haba has a very interesting discussion on the role and ethics of deception in experiments (and an experiment in South Africa which involved deceiving politicians). The related piece by Gwyneth McClendon on the ethics of using public officials as field experiment subjects is excellent and definitely worth a read (I love her comment that “Public officials routinely lie and expect to be lied to. They are not naive subjects in the way that some others might be “) – see also Berk’s post on deception for more on these deception issues in economic experiments.

·         3ie has launched its latest round of funding for impact evaluations under its open window – applications due June 24.

·         A new From Evidence to Policy note summarizes an impact evaluation of a pilot cash transfer program in Burkina Faso which encouraged families to bring their kids to health clinics for growth monitoring and to send them to school. The work tests conditional vs unconditional cash transfers, and randomizes whether the transfers go to fathers or mothers. Short summary: conditioning matters for health visits (schooling results aren’t reported here), and good news for Dads – there was no difference whether money was given to them versus mothers.

·         Over at the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Dean Karlan and Annie Duflo are asking readers to guess the outcome of financial literacy evaluations before they reveal the results.

·         The Chronicle of Higher Education discusses the “what works” versus “theory testing” uses of evaluations, in a discussion of the role of RCTs in education.

·         Call for papers for a conference on SMEs, Governance, and Financial Inclusion to be held in Singapore organized by the ADB, IPA, and J-PAL.

As always, you can get more by following David on twitter (@dmckenzie001).


David McKenzie

Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

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