Published on Development Impact

Friday links November 8: Halloween redux, aspirations, rants against the wrong questions, and more…

This page in:
  • On the CSAE blog – the reverse couch potato effect-  the impact of inspirational movies on aspirations and short-term behavior – new work by Stefan Dercon, Tanguy Bernard, Kate Orkin and Alemayehu Taffesse. The blog post has a couple of examples of the movies used to show people in rural Ethiopia how people like them had made choices that had led to success.
  • Halloween Experiments: Jodi Beggs summarizes some previous experiments, and gives a first hand look at trick-or-treating research at Dean Karlan’s house this year.
  • Lauren Prather posts on An Africanist Perspective  about the politics of cash vs in-kind aid, based on experiments where people are asked their opinion on foreign and domestic aid, randomizing whether or not it is cash vs in-kind. Bottom line is that for foreign aid, it doesn’t matter whether it is cash or in-kind, they are equally likely to want to cut it, but for domestic aid, they are more likely to support cuts to cash aid than food aid.
  • Cash for Clunkers – an autopsy – Tim Taylor summarizes research on this program, along with a nice graph comparing the job creation costs of different programs in the US – most programs exceed 100K per job created.
  • How to write a hit paper:  new research in Science based on 17.9 million papers says hits are more likely for papers whichare anchored in substantial conventionality, not novelty, while mixing in a left tail of combinations that are rarely seen together; Novel combinations of prior work are rare, yet teams are 37.7% more likely than solo authors to insert novel combinations into familiar knowledge domains.
  • In case you missed a couple of rants this week:
  • Conference Call for Papers: PACDEV (the West Coast NEUDC) will be held at UCLA on March 15. Call for papers closes December 2nd.


David McKenzie

Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

Join the Conversation

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly
Remaining characters: 1000