Published on Development Impact

Weekly links June 7, 2024: grants, conferences, the magic of OLS, overcoming mobile money mistrust, and more…

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Young boxers at the White Collars Boxing Match 2019, taken by Mariajose Silva Vargas

·       Scott Cunningham shares Pedro Sant’Anna’s 10-step DiD checklist, and provides examples and code for step 1 (plot the staggered timing if it is staggered).

·       Daniel Millimet on how the magic of OLS helps when you are dealing with multiple proxy variables.

·       On VoxDev, Francis Annan reports on an anti-misconduct experiment he conducted in the mobile money market in Ghana. This reduced overcharging and increased consumer trust, leading consumers to increase their use of mobile money, which also then increases revenues for vendors. “In this context, vendors face a situation where individual incentives to overcharge lead to a collectively worse outcome. By implementing transparency and monitoring systems, we effectively shifted the market from a high-misconduct equilibrium to a low-misconduct equilibrium. This shift represents a Pareto improvement, where both consumers and vendors benefit from increased trust and market activity.”

·       Also on VoxDev, Marisol Rodríquez Chatruc and Sandra Rozo summarize their work testing an online, low-cost perspective taking intervention they conducted with Colombians about Venezuelan migrants – “The interventions successfully improved prosociality behaviours and attitudes toward migrants. Participants assigned to either the game or the video were approximately 11 percentage points more likely to donate to the charity that supports Venezuelan migrants than participants assigned to the control group, equivalent to a 16% increase”

·       In a VoxDev podcast talk, Eva Vivalt discusses her work on how policymakers use and interpret different types of research – with suggestions for researchers on how to present their insights. Policymakers do update beliefs in response to new evidence, but due to variance neglect tend to overtrust results from small pilots. Policymakers would rather take a program with smaller estimated impacts done in their own setting than one with a much larger impact done elsewhere. When you have bad news, she suggests you bring more evidence here, since some of it will be discarded by policymakers.

·       Funding calls:

o   The IPA and J-PAL Displaced Livelihoods Initiative (DLI) is currently accepting proposals for research in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. They welcome proposals for full impact evaluations, pilot studies, exploratory work, infrastructure and public goods creation, and scaling support across several broad areas including:  Resilience, Entrepreneurship, Wage employment, Social cohesion, inclusion, and norms, and Rights and regulations. Full proposals are due July 26, 2024.

o   The IGC has a funding call for work on sustainable growth policies in developing countries. Submissions due September, with the call opening end of July.

·       Conference calls for papers:

o   The World Bank’s LSMS unit has a Call for Proposals for a conference titled The Pulse of Progress: Harnessing High-Frequency Survey Data for Development Research in the Polycrisis Era – they welcome extended abstracts (max. 800 words) for innovative research papers that utilize high-frequency phone survey data to study social and economic development issues. This includes papers that use the longitudinal high-frequency phone surveys taken by the LSMS team in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda, with more than 100 survey rounds and 200,000 interviews completed across the six countries to date.

o   The 30th international population conference will be held July 13-18, 2025 in Brisbane, Australia. Deadline to submit an abstract is Sept 15. This conference only happens once every 4 years, and has several economics-oriented sessions.

David McKenzie

Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

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