Published on Development Impact

Weekly links March 10: nothing economics, reconciling happiness results, pre-doc opportunities, and more…

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·       Two of my favorite shows combined: Planet Money and Seinfeld – Is George Costanza the ultimate economic man (or perhaps ultimate behavioral econ man?); Muffin tops and economic bads; and how stochastic dynamic programming methods can help Elaine decide whether someone is spongeworthy…

·       In PNAS, a nice example of an “adversarial collaboration” to re-examine the relationship between well-being and income: “Can money buy happiness? Two authors of this article have published contradictory claims about the relationship between emotional well-being and income. We later agreed that both studies produced valid results and that it was our responsibility to search for an interpretation that explains both findings. We engaged in an adversarial collaboration and asked Barbara Mellers to be the facilitator. This article reports the outcome of our work.”.  The paper contains interesting discussion about the use of standard measures of happiness that can have ceiling effects and how this affects the interpretation of the measure.

·       Pre-doc/during PhD opportunity - Call for applications: The Robert S. McNamara Fellowships Program is receiving applications until April 3, 2023. The Fellowship Program matches aspiring development economics researchers with World Bank research economists, creating unique opportunities for the fellows to participate in rigorous policy-relevant research in the World Bank’s Development Economics Vice Presidency (DEC).
Fellows will be hosted at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. for 8 months (September to May) and work under the supervision of researchers in the World Bank’s 
Development Impact Evaluation (DIME) and Development Research Group departments, engaging in high-quality and policy-relevant research projects. Applicants from developing countries will be prioritized.

·       Another Pre-doc opportunity: The Development Innovation Lab (DIL) at the University of Chicago is currently recruiting a new cohort of Predoctoral Researchers to work with Professor Michael Kremer, Nobel laureate, and other researchers. Successful applicants will collaborate on new and ongoing research in development economics. Applications can be submitted through this link until March 31, 2023.

·       Funding opportunity: The Agency Fund has an open funding call for research and innovation on human agency, due April 20.


David McKenzie

Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

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