Published on Development Impact

Weekly links October 21: cash and migration, new tax research, mentoring for economists, and more…

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·       Michael Clemens has a note summarizing the conditions under which cash transfers deter versus facilitate migration: “Typical cash transfers increase the probability of migration…Cash transfers provide households with additional liquidity that they can quickly use to unlock migration opportunities…Second, transfers that are conditional on investment can raise the education level of young people in the household, raising migration incentives in the long term…Conditional Cash Transfers that are conditional on presence can, and often do, reduce the incentive for migration provided that the condition is strict, targeted, and lengthy. If any of these conditions fail, or the transfer is not conditional on presence at all, CCTs typically cause higher rates of migration among poor beneficiaries”. A nice summary, but to my mind, one omission is the lack of discussion of the fact that for such programs to make much impact on migration flows, they need to be way more targeted than they typically are, or will be incredible expensive – since even in high emigration countries, most people don’t migrate in most years.

·       Michael also blogs about some of the latest research on refugee integration. One note is that he discusses a couple of studies that have relied on the fact that refugees have been almost randomly assigned to different locations to talk about the importance of location for integration – and to argue against random scattering of refugees going forward – which seems reasonable, but will make it a lot harder to study these questions.

·       On Let’s Talk Development, a wrap-up of the recent World Bank research conference on taxes

·       Scott Cunningham discusses the no anticipation assumption in Difference-in-differences estimation and gives some examples of how to graphically illustrate several assumptions.

·       A whole lot of materials for mentoring economists provided by CSWEP – advice on the tenure process, networking, publishing, teaching, grants, service work, etc.

·       Vox has released a Future Perfect 50 list with short profiles of 50 people whose work embodies the question of how to make the future a better place for everyone. Nice to see several development economists on the list -  Chris Blattman, Rachel Glennerster, Seema Jayachandran, and Mushfiq Mobarak -  as well as Kanika Bahl of Evidence Action and Our World in Data’s Max Roser.

·       The World Bank’s Development Research Group is recruiting on the PhD market again this year. Here is our JOE ad, with applications due by November 15.

Reminder: our blog your job market paper series is now open for submissions


David McKenzie

Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

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