Published on Development Impact

Weekly links Feb 24: school spending matters, nudging financial health, cash transfers bring giant snakes and blood magic, and more…

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  • On the 74 million blog, interview with Kirabo Jackson about the importance of school spending and other education-related discussion: “In casual conversation with most economists, they would say, “Yeah, yeah, we know that school spending doesn’t matter.” I sort of started from that standpoint and thought, Let me look at the literature and see what the evidence base is for that statement. As I kept on looking through, it became pretty clear that the evidence supporting that idea was pretty weak.” Also discussion on the need to measure things beyond test scores.
  • IPA has a nice little booklet on nudges for financial health – a quick summary of the evidence for commitment devices, opt-out defaults, and reminders.
  • For those thinking about the European job market, this LSE blog on the four different systems in Europe might be of interest – “There is greatest variance in two particular areas: the extent to which they are open to outsiders, and the job security they provide for recent PhD graduates”
  • Chris Blattman on how the police have become a part of anti-poverty programs in the U.S. and thoughts on this trend for developing countries
  • The NYTimes magazine visits GiveDirectly UBI villages – full of color like “One villager heard that GiveDirectly would kidnap children. Some thought that the organization was aligned with the Illuminati, or that it would blight the village with giant snakes, or that it performed blood magic. Others heard that the money was coming from Obama himself.”….and then “Just like that, with peals of ululation and children breaking into dance in front of the strangers, the whole village was lifted out of extreme poverty.”
  • Dave Evans needs a second blog to contain all his output: on his personal blog, how development is not always life and death; and why every academic should have a twitter profile.
  • WBRO Submission Deadline: The World Bank Research Observer (WBRO) seeks to publish policy relevant surveys of development issues, aimed at a non-specialist audience. Papers for consideration at the Spring 2017 meeting of the Editorial Board of the Observer should be submitted to the Editor at, no later than Friday, March 3, 2017.


David McKenzie

Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

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