Published on Development Impact

Weekly links October 9: shopping around, Indian gender differences, experimental vs non-experimental methods, and more…

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·       VoxDev has a piece by Argente, Hsieh, and Lee that uses barcode-level consumer panel data from the U.S. and Mexico to compare the cost-of-living in the two countries to what the International Comparison Program (ICP) would suggest PPP differences are. The results suggest real consumption in Mexico is higher than would be suggested by the PPP because i) Mexican consumers shop around more to buy items at stores with cheaper prices (something Ernesto Schargrodsky and I found in Argentina as a way consumers there responded to a crisis); ii) the ICP compares similar items, but they likely differ in quality across countries compared to examining items with the same bar code; and iii) varieties matter more for the consumption basket in Mexico, with people consuming things not available in the U.S.

·       Alice Evans on why are North and South India so different in gender relations.

·       On the IGL blog, Veloso et al. revisit two experimental evaluations of business support programs and compare the findings to what one would get using non-experimental methods, finding that the non-experimental methods overstate impacts in one case, finding impacts where there were none; and understate impacts in another.

·       Oyebola Okunogbe has a twitter thread summarizing a CSWEP fireside chat with Esther Duflo about publishing in, and refereeing for, the AER – including advice for referees to be more positive and write shorter reports.

·       Funding opportunity: BRAC Institute for Governance and Development has just launched Women’s Economic Empowerment and Digital Finance (WEE-DiFine), a research initiative aimed at generating evidence on the causal impact of digital financial services on women’s economic empowerment. They have a funding call for rigorous research on this topic in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. The deadline to submit proposals for the first round of RFPs is November 12, 2020.

·       Conference deadline: CSAE will be run virtually over two weeks in March, with a deadline for submissions of October 30.


David McKenzie

Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

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