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Weekly Links, April 14: More basic income, research ethics, aliens' rights, and thanks...

Berk Ozler's picture
  • First, thanks for all the great 6th birthday wishes, via email and in the comments section. Your substantive comments to posts make this blog better, which does not go unnoticed.

  • Based on his joint work with Dominique van de Walle and others on workfare in India (see here) and targeting in Africa (here and here), Martin Ravallion calls for a consideration of universal basic income. I blogged about one of these papers here and am on board with the idea of cost-neutral effects on poverty reduction. However, many poor countries currently give transfers to about 10-20% of households, meaning that cost-neutral expansion would mean dividing the already modest per household amounts by 5-10. Small amounts of regular transfers can still make a difference, but will poor people balk at the idea of receiving a few dollars a month at best, along with the non-poor? Tax bases will have to broaden and the targeting problem will shift from the transfer to the tax side... I recently gave a couple of soundbites on this on PBS NewsHour Weekend.

  • Our own prolific David Evans on "What do researchers owe their participants?"  Discusses sex workers in Nairobi hoping to design guidelines for people who want to do research on them. Related is the discussion of the same issue by San people of Southern Africa in Science Magazine.

  • Bonus content (Updated at 11:44 AM, 4/14/2017): Do Aliens Have Inalienable Rights, by Peter Singer.

  • Happy holidays everyone...

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