Published on Development Impact

Weekly links October 16: business plan press, Deaton, policies for a better-fed world, and more…

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  • Dan Kopf at Priceonomics does a very thorough and excellent job discussing the YouWin! business plan competition I evaluated, including quotes from Michael Wong who helped set up the program, examples of success stories, and what the critics say.
  • In the Financial Times, Tim Harford also covers the just give cash evidence, including Dave Evan’s work on whether cash grants go to alcohol and tobacco, Chris Blattman’s work in Liberian slums, and the Nigerian business plan competition.
  • In light of Angus Deaton’s Nobel Prize, great reminder from Karthik that Deaton’s The Analysis of Household Surveys is available as a free download from the World Bank.
  • Also on Deaton: Tim Ogden interviews Deaton about his views on RCTs, and in the FT Deaton shares three ideas including his views on poverty lines “Focusing on the number of people who are below the line is like chasing an unicorn through the woods”
  • Abhijit Banerjee on Policies for a better-fed world: he is more optimistic on the role of raising incomes than he was in Poor Economics (interesting to see him document this evolution of thought when presented with new evidence); also a discussion of food vs cash transfers; and on targeting “targeting transfers to the poor is not easy; each method of targeting comes with its own drawbacks. And the overall performance is often unacceptably poor”.


David McKenzie

Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

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