Published on Development Impact

Weekly links May 10: why CCTs aren't enforced before elections, when evidence isn’t used, digitalizing data, and more...

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  • On Let’s Talk Development, results from tax compliance trials in Kosovo show some small increases from reminders, but also highlight the challenges of implementation, with many people not receiving their assigned treatment (e.g. half the letters not making it to recipients, less than one-quarter of emails opened).
  • The CSAE coder’s corner has Meredith Paker sharing her lessons on how to digitalize a dataset using your phone.
  • IDinsight has launched a new blog. Dan Stein writes on when evidence doesn’t drive decision-making, describing a case where their research found lowering the price would increase profits due to high estimated demand elasticity, but the company did not lower prices – he reflects on what they could have done differently (if anything) to increase the likelihood of the evidence being used for decision-making.
  • The Economist summarizes work by Fernanda Brollo, Katja Kaufmann and Eliana La Ferrara on the politics of CCT enforcement in Brazil – Bolsa Familia households whose payments are suspended for not meeting the conditions of the transfer (e.g. kids not attending school enough) punish politicians at the polls – and knowing this, politicians are lax in enforcing the rules in the run-up to elections.
  • A new blog on the use of RMarkdown for reusable/reproducible outputs (blogs, slides, papers books, etc). One of the main obstacles to reproducible research (including moving research projects to GitHub) is folder organization, and the post has useful recommendations on that.  In terms of applications, this is particularly nice for training materials – useful to note that “littering” in the process of editing is not going to be RMarkdown-compatible and so, depending on your co-authorship strategies, this may not be a thing until the very last phase of a paper ...
  • Call for papers: NEUDC will be at Northwestern this year, on Oct 5-6. Submissions are due July 12. 
    As a final note, the World Bank is transitioning all its blogs to a new platform, and we will not be posting until Thursday next week while they transition over.


David McKenzie

Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

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