Published on Development Impact

Friday links: microenterprise surveys, randomized safety inspections, cause and effect with pregnancy, and more...

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·         Data from all 13 rounds of our Sri Lanka microenterprise survey, along with questionnaires and do files are now all up on Chris Woodruff’s website at Warwick.

·         NGO Performance discusses the misuse of RCTs in saying the blindingly obvious …”They conclude that one project had a big impact on primary school enrollment and test scores in Burkina Faso, because it built schools where there previously weren’t any. The other didn’t, because the project was stopped early and there were already schools in most villages where it operated in Niger. So tell us something new! “

·         Does the absence of optimism trap people in poverty- from this week’s Economist – discusses new evidence from an impact evaluation of an ultra-poor program.

·         The Economist’s Free Exchange blog discusses the limits of technological fixes to development, including discussion of the One Laptop per Child and Cookstove recent evaluations.

·         Tim Taylor discusses different approaches people have used to sort out cause and effect in the teen pregnancy and low-income relationship given that “randomized pregnancy is an impractical research design!”

·         Alan de Brauw and Gero Carletto have finally released a paper on improving measurement of migration in LSMS-type surveys.

·         Science this week has a paper by David Levine and co-authors which looks at the impact of safety inspections in high-injury industries on worker injury rates and job numbers. California randomized which workplaces were selected for inspection over 1996 to 2006. They find workplace inspections reduce annual injuries by 9%, reduced injury cost by 26%, and had no impact on employment levels, sales or payroll. Also in the same issue, Debraj Ray and co-authors have a piece on the relationship between ethnic division and conflict.


David McKenzie

Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

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