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Incorporating reputational concerns in public sector reform: it may be effective but needs creative monitoring

Jed Friedman's picture

Public sector reforms often attempt to mimic the “discipline” of the market in order to spur better performance among service providers. Examples include numerous variants of performance based financing for health, where health providers are compensated monetarily for achievement of specified health targets. At the heart of this approach is a standard view of economic agents induced to modify behaviors through pecuniary incentives.

Measuring entrepreneurship (I)

Markus Goldstein's picture

This post is coauthored with Francisco Campos

A bat and a ball cost Rs. 1100 in total. The bat costs Rs. 1000 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?    A culturally appropriate GRE? No, this question comes from the cognitive portion of a test designed to measure entrepreneurship in Sri Lanka. 

Is the “conditional” in CCTs just a monitoring technology? Evidence from Brazil

David McKenzie's picture

The typical arguments made for the conditioning argument of CCTs are usually based on paternalism (people might have incorrect beliefs about the value of education, or parents may have incomplete altruism for their kids), externalities (the social returns to education exceed the private returns so individuals underinvest),   or political economy (it is easier to sell transfers to the voters if you make them conditional). A

ETC position in private sector impact evaluation

David McKenzie's picture

Development Impact is having a week off due to Memorial Day and dodgy internet connections in remote locations. In the meantime, Markus is looking for someone to work on a number of private sector impact evaluations at the World Bank.

Here is the blurb:

Position Announcement

Economist, Africa Region Gender Practice, The World Bank

Friday links: Randomized short-selling of stocks, financial literacy, mechanical turks and more...

David McKenzie's picture

·         A remarkable sounding experiment – randomizing the freedom to short-sell stocks – is covered on Bloomberg. They worked with a money manager and randomized which stocks they changed the supply of lendable shares in, working with over $580 million in securities.

When to use insiders or outsiders as survey interviewers

Jed Friedman's picture

Researchers have long recognized the importance of choosing interviewer characteristics while designing their fieldwork – for example female interviewers are often utilized to explore topics related to domestic violence and respondents of both sexes are more likely to disclose sexual abuse to female interviewers than to male ones.  Another key consideration is the degree of familiarity between interviewer and respondent, but here the decision appears to be obvious.

Calling all skeptics

Markus Goldstein's picture

Have you seen an impact evaluation result that gives you pause? Well, now there’s an institutional way to check on results of already published evaluations.    3ie recently announced a program for replication. They are going to focus on internal validity – replicating the results with the existing data and/or using different data from the same population to check results (in some cases).      

Reviewing Jim Manzi’s Uncontrolled: A humble push for evaluation through experimentation, but also a missed opportunity

David McKenzie's picture

The new book Uncontrolled by Jim Manzi has attracted a lot of recent press (e.g. see Markus’ recent post for discussion of David Brooks’ take, or this piece in the Atlantic), and makes the argument that there should be a lot more randomized experiments of social programs. I was therefore very interested to order a copy and just finished reading it.

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