Weekly links July 11: Daily finances, inequality in Brazil, how to think about discrimination, and more…
Berk has a nice piece on 538.com about the contribution of cash transfers towards reducing Brazil’s legendary inequality – it was even tweeted by Bill Gates !.
In Science this week, testing the timing of expenditure with respect to anticipated income using data from an app : the authors get data from 75,000 users of a financial management app and can match daily spending to when anticipated income like social security and paychecks arise. They find spending rises following the receipt of this anticipated income, but that this excess sensitivity of spending to income largely is due to the timing of payments for regular spending like rent and cable bills coinciding with receipt of regular income. Non-recurring spending then is more responsive to income for liquidity-constrained individuals.
From the IPA blog, a summary of recent research on the impact of credit scoring on SME lending
Insights from the Entrepreneurial Finance Lab on Quartz.com- apparently you want small enterprise borrowers to be a little bit dishonest to make them good credit risks (so they don’t get ripped off in running their businesses).
Interview with Glenn Loury on how to think about discrimination, affirmative action, community effects and more from the Minneapolis Fed.
Howard White on how impact evaluation training courses should be practicing what they preach in evaluating their own impacts.
There has been a lot of discussion about Facebook’s experiment which changed whether people received positive or negative news in their feeds. Wired has a good discussion of the experiment and debate; while Timothy Ryan provides support for such experiments noting that firms do them all the time, just most of the time we don’t know about it. And on NPR , development economist Ted Miguel notes “when scientists and social scientists talk about manipulation, it does not have a negative connotation”. And in the Guardian Duncan Watts argues that we should insist that Facebook do experiments on the decisions it is already making for us, and not to do so would be unethical.