Published on Development Impact

Weekly links February 18: India from the sky, conferences galore, JPE AEJs, anticipatory cash, and more…

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·       The JPE sets up its own AEJs – the JPE Micro (lead editor John List) and JPE Macro (lead editor Greg Kaplan) have just been launched. They have a path where reports/decisions from the JPE can then feed through into these journals, as the AEJs do with the AER.

·       John Holbein has started a weekly social science round-up newsletter. In this Feb 11 bonus, he summarizes several recent papers on measuring racial bias, and the difficulty of understanding what exactly survey-based questionnaires are actually capturing.

·       On the IPA blog, Rafe Mazer, Tanvi Jaluka, and Alan Gelb summarize new research on financial inclusion presented at a recent conference: including work testing alternative credit scoring, the use of chatbots and personalized information, and how sending cash transfers in anticipation of a natural disaster like a flood instead of afterwards affects household outcomes.

·       Tim Taylor has a couple of posts discussing insights from India’s Economic Survey. One gives lots of nice examples from the last chapter of the report, on tracking development through satellite images and cartography – nice examples of how development can visually be seen through nightlights, changes in plant cover with irrigation, and the spread of the railway network. A second post discusses the supposed shift in Indian policymaking from a top-down planning approach (waterfalls) to a more flexible and nimble approach (agile). That is, a shift away from the era of the five-year plan?

·       The negative consequences of well-meaning regulations, part X of Y billion: Dek Joe Sum on the Devpolicy blog describes some of the unintended consequences of anti-money laundering laws for Pacific countries: “For instance, vanilla farmers in Papua New Guinea (PNG) were not allowed to deposit their harvest income in the bank, because of the lack of documentation such as invoices to prove the source of the funds… Another consequence is the disruption to remittance flows”

·       Conference calls for papers:

o    The next Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics (ABCDE) will be held online from Monday, June 20, to Friday, June 24, 2022. The theme of the conference is “Recovery, Reform, and Business Environment”. Submissions due by April 15.

o   The 2022 NOVAFRICA Conference on Economic Development will be held on June 22-23 at Nova SBE Carcavelos Campus in Lisbon, Portugal. Submissions due March 15.

o   A conference on firms, labour markets and development will be held at the European University Institute in Fiesole, Italy on July 7-8. Submissions due March 31.

o   The Penn Development Conference on Climate Change & the Environment is to be held on-line on Thursday, May 12, 2022. Submissions due March 15.


David McKenzie

Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

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