Published on Development Impact

Weekly links March 24: sorry friends, I’ve been given search assistance; Lant blames Solow; services-led growth, and more…

This page in:

·       On VoxDev, Stefano Caria, Simon Franklin and Marc Witte summarize their work in Ethiopia on how job-search assistance labor market interventions can crowd out informal job search networks.” we evaluate how a job-search assistance intervention in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, affects the job-search partners of programme participants. In the intervention, a transport subsidy is offered to young job seekers. This subsidy is available for collection three times a week in the center of town where jobseekers can visit the job vacancy boards and where many firms are located… Five months after the start of the job search subsidy treatment, we document a significant, 32% decrease in the probability of sharing information about vacancies and a significant, 49% decrease in the likelihood of sharing transport expenses… partners of programme participants reduce their job search efforts compared to the partners of non-participants.”

·       Transcript of Lant Pritchett podcast interview on Ideas Untapped – where he talks about the need to separate labor mobility discussions from citizenship discussions, why the Solow model is partly to blame for the lack of development attention given to migration, his views on education “I start by saying I feel that the field of education is the field in which more false things get set than any other domain. Just completely, totally, obviously false things. Perfect people are perfectly happy to repeat them again and again, year after year, decade after decade.”, testing versus assessment “within the education community there's this huge negative stigma around testing, which then I think leads in radically unproductive directions, because assessment gets thrown into the bundle with high-stakes examinations. And everybody hates high-stakes examinations, particularly because they're often unbelievably crappy examinations, meaning they're examinations of how much can you memorize? And hence we're allocating future opportunities to go to college on the basis of a really crappy assessment of learning. So everybody hates examinations, but I think everybody should love assessment”,  and much more…

·       On the IDInsight blog, Jeff McManus, Michael Sebele , and Mtise Mwanza discuss how they dealt with a case where their RCT design was “upended” – “Over the course of program implementation, RAN staff discovered that some ECE classrooms were not clear on whether they were in the treatment or control group and many thus ended up deviating from their assignment.”

·       On VoxEU, a summary of recent research on services-led trade growth: “the services sector will be increasingly central to productive structural transformation in emerging markets and developing economies. Topics include prospects for services-led growth, the link between services-led growth and income distribution, and the need for a new policy approach for the services sector.”

·       The first issue of the new JEP Micro is now out. John List has an editor’s introduction where he outlines some of the innovations in the type of paper they will also consider: as well as standard papers, the journal will consider registered reports and replications, “we will publish occasional studies that are of the general narrative that include overviews of new areas and optimal paths that should be taken forward. One might view this in the spirit of the excellent Journal of Economic Literature (JEL), but the primary goal of research in this realm that is published in JPE Micro is to be path making: studies that hold more innovation than size and girth and studies that aim to be forward-looking rather than gleaning at navels through the rearview mirror”, and “we hope to stimulate is a greater level of constructive debate… Our approach to stimulating debate will be to publish “Differing Perspectives”–style studies, written in the elegant, and approachable, style of the Journal of Economic Perspectives. By offering differing perspectives on a perennial issue or an area of deep current import, we hope to engage the best minds in the world to shine light on key aspects of the argument and inspire new generations to participate actively in building scientific knowledge to help settle the debate and to generate new debates.”

·       Nice to see the Cornell Econ that really matters blog have its first blog post in a year up – from STAARS visiting fellow Tekalign Gutu Sakketa on the effect of drought insurance on conflict among herders in Ethiopia: “we instrument for Index-based Livestock Insurance (IBLI) uptake in our estimations using randomly distributed discount coupons that were distributed as part of the pilot program’s encouragement design and have been shown to be predictive of program uptake. Using this design and implementing a novel method for causal mediation analysis, we find that IBLI is indeed protective against conflict and reduces the conflict risk created by drought by 17 to 50 percent.”

·       On the CGD blog, Dave Evans does a round-up of the education papers presented at the recent CSAE conference.

·       On April 21, JPAL is running a webinar for African students on preparing to apply for graduate study in Economics or Public Policy in the US or Europe.


David McKenzie

Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

Join the Conversation

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly
Remaining characters: 1000