Published on Development Impact

Weekly links March 16: write more productively or fake it, null power, great figures, and more...

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  • Rachel Strohm has a great etymological map of African place names – do you know which countries “Land of the Burnt-Faced”, “Lion Mountains”, “Home of Vexation”, and “Land of the Milking Nomads” are? They sound magical!
  • Tyler Cowen interviews Chris Blattman: “I can see a lot of Africa ending up like Newfoundland”....” my strategy in every place is to go around and try to find some community organization or bureaucrat or somebody who has a good idea, who’s a true believer, who really believes in whatever cockamamie thing they’re doing to make the world a better place. Most people — least of all me — don’t really believe it should work, but then there seems to be something going on. And if it works, it challenges how we think about the world.”
  • Marc Bellemare notes Scott Irwin’s paper “the case for writing papers in economics using Fake LaTeX” aka how to make your papers in word look like they were written in LaTeX – and also Fake Beamer to make your powerpoints look like Beamer.
  • Andrew Gelman’s exam question on power calculations to detect heterogeneous treatment effects “you need 16 times the sample size to detect an interaction than to estimate a main effect


David McKenzie

Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

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