Published on Development Impact

Weekly links January 22: learn some macro, school closures and childcare closure negative impacts, too much competition in coffee? And more…

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·       A free virtual course on key concepts in macro development taught by many of the leaders in the field will be run February 5 – May 7 via the Structural Transformation and Economic Growth (STEG) program - either one (Friday) or two (Thursday and Friday) lectures a week, 4 pm London time

·       How will school closures affect children in the long-run – a CNN piece discusses evidence from children who missed school during World War II, the war in Bosnia, an earthquake in Pakistan, and during the Ebola epidemic.

·       On VoxEU, Chuxuan Sun and Lauren Russell summarize research on the impact of COVID-19 childcare closures on women’s labor supply: they use monthly U.S. data and differences in the timing of state-level restrictions on childcare facilities and “use a triple-differences strategy that exploits the variation across states, across time, and across women who did and did not have young children who could have been affected. We find that the closures increased unemployment rates of mothers with young children by 2.7 percentage points in months when a closure was actually in effect….Notably, the negative effects do not disappear once states reopen childcare centres, consistent with previous research suggesting that it takes significant time to reintegrate women in the labour force once out of work or that there is a permanent supply-side impact on childcare availability”

·       On VoxDev, Rocco Macchiavello and Ameet Morjaria summarize their work on the effects of increased competition in Rwanda’s coffee industry “a weakly institutionalised environment in which relational contracts are needed to sustain trade”. They find that increased competition worsens farmer outcomes and reduces the overall volume of coffee supplied to mills, by weakening relational contracting.

·       Tim Taylor writes on the reproducibility challenge with economic data,  discussing a piece by AEA data editor Lars Vilhuber in the Harvard Data Science Review. The piece provides a history of data replicability in economics, and discusses some emerging challenges, including those arising with use of restricted and big data.

·       The Guardian on long-lost photos of newly liberated African nations – photos taken by the photographer Todd Webb- one of my favorites being a Texaco attendant in Togoland in 1958. The photos can be explored via the Minneapolis Institute of Art exhibition online here.


David McKenzie

Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

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