Published on Development Impact

Weekly links February 17: getting more women into tech jobs, love advice from economists, lessons from long-run studies, and more…

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·       This SIEPR policy brief discusses an experiment by Susan Athey and  Emil Palikot in Poland on getting more women into tech jobs. Treatment is “a 3-month online program to help female job seekers bolster their work portfolios, so that employers have more tangible evidence that candidates can do the work. Called “Challenges,” the program requires participants to work on a specific project, such as building a mobile app or engineering the backend of a digital platform. Working in teams, the women complete a series of tasks and are given feedback from tech executives and other professionals in the field….women who completed the online program were 45 percent more likely on average to get hired into a tech role — either at a tech company or in an IT capacity at a non-tech company — within four months than randomly selected similarly qualified women who were screened by Dare IT but did not participate in Challenges”. This 45% gain is 9 p.p., and compares to 13 p.p. for a more expensive and less scalable mentoring program.

·       On Let’s Talk Development – Emma Frankham and co-authors highlight some baseline results from Mali and Niger from an impact evaluation of a WFP program designed to build resilience to shocks. “In October 2021, 74 percent of sample households in Niger reported a drought shock (orange line), where rainfall suddenly stopped before harvest. By December 2021, the average food consumption score had already dramatically decreased almost ten points (blue line). This shows that households quickly adjusted their food consumption in response to shocks and did so well before the next lean season.”

·       Since it was Valentine’s Day this past week, the Dangerous Economist (cool name) blog has a round-up of different economics stories/posts about love, including a definition of romantic love from a 1979 economics article that you may not want to put down as what you are looking for on your dating profile.

·       On the J-PAL blog, Therese David and Sarah Kopper summarize some lessons from studies measuring long-run effects of program interventions. “Some studies investigating long-term impacts have invested heavily in participant tracking and achieve very low attrition rates (to the order of 83 percent or even 94 percent of the original sample reached over a decade later). Others have higher attrition rates, more in the range of 40 percent…. Beyond sample size considerations, attrition that differs between the treatment and control groups (e.g., if recipients of a vocational training program are more likely to migrate out of the study location to seek work elsewhere) presents a challenge to measuring long-term impact.” I found this interesting as a suggestion “Another opportunity to take advantage of planned longitudinal data collection efforts comes from government census activities. These types of pre-planned efforts may also help relieve some of the burdens of long-term follow-up for researchers and reduce sample attrition.” – we were able to do this for a longer-term follow-up of firms in Colombia by linking to firm censuses in a datalab, but I’ve never heard of anyone who has linked their RCT to a population census – anyone know of examples?

·       Funding call: The IZA/FCDO Programme on Gender, Growth and Labour Markets in Low-Income Countries (G²LM|LIC) has a new call for proposals for both large- and small-scale research grants. The call covers 5 wide-ranging research themes:

o   Theme 1: Facts about gender, education and jobs: leveraging existing data

o   Theme 2: Fertility and labour markets: participation, migration, occupational choice

o   Theme 3: Barriers to gender parity: social norms, discrimination, violence

o   Theme 4: The future of work: energy, environmental changes and cities

o   Theme 5: Policies and welfare: costs and benefits of interventions for gender parity


David McKenzie

Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

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