Published on Development Impact

Weekly links April 10: Virtual seminars and conferences, more on phone surveying, cookstoves, transport subsidies for job-seekers, and more…

This page in:

·       Video and slides from the first three DEC virtual seminars on COVID-19, including yesterday’s seminar on policies to help small and informal firms during this pandemic, and details of upcoming seminars.

·       Virtual economics – a new website trying to share all the online seminars, conferences, etc. going on

·       On VoxDev, do improved cookstoves inevitably go up in smoke? In Senegal, people used the stoves until they wore out (4-5 years), but then didn’t replace them – with affordability a major issue, although willingness to pay was about 70% of market prices, so partial subsidies did get them to start using again.

·       Also on VoxDev, Banerjee and Sequeira summarize their work in South Africa giving transport subsidies to job-seekers – they suggest job seekers are too over-optimistic about what sort of job they could get in the city center, and learning about this through subsidies helps them correct these beliefs and be more likely to accept a job in their own township.

·       SIEF’s latest From Evidence to Policy note looks at automated chlorination as a means of reducing child diarrhea in urban Bangladesh – and also provides an example of a double-blind trial – “The research team installed the chlorine dispensers in storage tanks connected to manual handpumps in the treatment group, and installed the vitamin C dosers in the control group … neither the study field staff nor the participants knew which study group the communities were a part of”

·       CEGA summarizes the papers presented virtually at PacDev 2020 and discusses how to move a major conference online in 5 days.

·       On the 3ie Evidence Matters blog, Subha Mani and Bidisha Barooah argue that phone surveys in developing countries need an abundance of caution right now.


David McKenzie

Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

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