There seems to be much enthusiasm today for efforts to improve access to information about poor people’s rights and entitlements. In a much debated recent example, Facebook’s “Free Basics” platform provides free access to a selected slice of the internet (including, of course, Facebook). In arguing for Free Basics, Mark Zuckerberg says that “everyone … deserves access to the tools and information that can help them to achieve all those other public services, and all their fundamental social and economic rights.” I think we would all agree; less obvious is whether Free Basics will help do that. Critics argue that it is a “walled garden” approach—indeed, a threat to net neutrality. There have been proposals for other options using subsidized internet data packs, as in the proposal for India made recently by Nandan Nilekani and Viral Shah.
- Chris Blattman picks up on the underappreciated benefit of researchers getting involved in evaluations – that they actually get out there in the world and see how policy is implemented
- Justin Wolfers does a nice summary of the work showing how female economists don’t get credit for co-authored work done with men
- From Moody’s Analytics, six examples of where careful empirical work in economics has changed someone’s mind
- From the Africa Can blog, Dominique van de Walle has an interesting discussion on widowhood in Africa, including age patterns, and socioeconomic status.
- Funding: IPA SME initiative call for proposals, due Feb 15.
Effective property rights matter for development. And heck, they even got a couple of shout outs in the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals. And we know from earlier work that weaker rights can lead to reduced agricultural productivity. So what happens when folks move to better property rights?
- A new NBER working paper by Finan, Olken and Pande reviews field experiments that look at the personnel economics of the state – prepared for an upcoming Handbook of Field Experiments – an overview of experiments on how to select civil servants, teachers and health workers, how to pay them, and how to monitor them.
- Cyrus Samii on reasons to do experiments that have little to do with statistics
- From NPR’s Goats and Soda: Do these jeans make me look unethical? Most consumers don’t want to know if child labor was used in making their jeans, and denigrate those who do
This is the twelfth in our series of posts by students on the job market this year.
Joint work with Karine Marazyan and Paola Villar
“Saving? In Senegal, you don't have the possibility to save! Because the family is here, there is the pressure, there is the electricity bill to pay, the medical prescription of your brother you are asked to pay, and there are your parents to help. It is like that here: as long as you are working, people consider you don't have financial problems.” (Public-primary-school teacher in Guinaw Rail, suburb of Dakar, Senegal, Boltz and Villar 2013)
- In the BMJ Christmas edition, a nice form letter for how you can reject journal rejections: “As you are probably aware we receive many rejections each year and are simply not able to accept them all. In fact, with increasing pressure on citation rates and fiercely competitive funding structures we typically accept fewer than 30% of the rejections we receive… We do wish you and your editorial team every success with your rejections in the future and hope they find safe harbour elsewhere. To this end, may we suggest you send one to [insert name of rival research group] for consideration. They accept rejections from some very influential journals.”
- From the political science replication blog: researchers looked at NSF proposals under the TESS program, and compares the pre-analysis plans and questionnaires to what was actually published, finding 80% of papers fail to report all experimental conditions and outcomes
This is the eleventh in our series of posts by students on the job market this year.
When men desire nearly three times as many additional children as their wives and possess most of the decision-making power in the household, the stark difference in fertility preferences leads to excess fertility and welfare losses for wives.