Trends in income inequality are at the center of development policy discussions these days. Part of this renewed attention is no doubt a tribute to Thomas Piketty’s pioneering work to measure top income shares using income tax data, as well as his much-discussed new book. Piketty’s work shows some dramatic trends in inequality at the top end of the income distribution. For example, in countries such as C
- Andrew Gelman hosts a discussion on list randomization experiments to elicit sensitive information
- In Foreign Affairs Chris Blattman and Paul Niehaus discuss cash transfers.
Last week I attended the International Development Conference at the Kennedy School of Government, joining a session on social protection. The conference is organized by KSG students (kudos to the students for their hard work in making it happen and interesting!), and has a format with no presentations and informal panel discussions with invited speakers.
- Rachel Glennerster discusses thorny issues that arise in the ethics of doing research (whether a randomized experiment or not) in developing countries, summarizing some issues in a new chapter she has on this issue.
I finally read through a much-discussed paper by Stephen Ziliak and Edward Teather-Posadas, entitled “The Unprincipled Randomization Principle”.
- On the 3ie blog Howard White discusses a 1985 WHO paper about doing impact evaluations on water and sanitation projects – and notes a lot of similarities with problems noted in IE design then and ones that continue to be prevalent today.
co-authored with Michael O'Sullivan
The production process for many economics papers requires relatively few inputs: one or two researchers, their computers, a research assistant, and some data someone else has collected. Indeed Bob Hall notes that Robert Solow once remarked that the most powerful tool for research was one economics professor with one research assistant.