Weekly links February 26: Corner shops, a lack of consumption smoothing with unemployment, the rugby impact evaluation you were waiting for, and more…


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·      On VoxDev, Francois Gerard and Joana Naritomi summarize their forthcoming AER paper on Brazil’s job displacement insurance program and the lack of consumption smoothing. “Our results also show that consumption is highly sensitive to cash-on-hand, even in the context of a relevant and salient negative shock, such as the loss of a formal job. We show that this evidence is consistent with workers being ‘present-biased’, leading them to over-spend a windfall of cash and under-save for an expected drop in income. In fact, in a survey with UI applicants in São Paulo, we find that a majority of respondents would not prefer to receive all their UI benefits as a lump-sum payment upon layoff, despite the clear financial advantages.”

·      Also on VoxDev, Rossella Calvi and Ajinkya Keskar on how amendments to the anti-dowry law in India may have had the unintended consequence of a reduction in female decision-making power within marriages and increases in domestic violence. But the positive news is that these effects were mitigated in more urban areas and more progressive areas, and that parents also invested more in the education of their daughters.

·      On the Jobs and Development blog, Kevin Donovan, Will Jianyu Lu and Todd Schoellman summarize their new work on labor market dynamics, showing there is a lot more churn in developing countries.

·      One thing I didn’t mention in my post on when can matching methods be more credible is a set of methods that allow you to explore sensitivity to violations of the assumptions. Daniel Millimet has summarized some of these methods in this post from last year.

·      The Corner Shop Diaries project is using the financial diaries method with corner shops in different countries and using this very high frequency data to give insights on how some small firms are dealing with the last year. For example, this post discusses the high volatility of income among 5 stores in Nigeria. Another post focuses on corner shops in India and Indonesia, noting how the pandemic has made the Indian owners more risk-averse and put expansion plans on hold, and discussion about the shops starting to explore some more use of digital payments.

·      Just in time for this week’s kick-off to the Super Rugby Aotearoa season: Michael Cameron covers an impact evaluation of one of the questions I am sure is on most of your minds “What is the impact of bonus points for try-scoring in rugby on the number of tries scored?


David McKenzie

Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

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