Weekly links March 27: Self-correcting science, historical roots of development, tax collection, the good old days, and more…


This page in:

·       In Scientific American – when we are wrong, it’s our responsibility as scientists to say so – how behavioral scientists updated their beliefs about their own research on whether a simple change in the placement of a declaration could reduce tax fraud – and what to do when you can’t replicate your previous results.

·       Longing for a return to the old times where people just argued about RCTs? Here’s a podcast of a debate at the 2020 Australasian Aid Conference which features Andrew Leigh, Lant Pritchett and Jyotsna Puri discussing/critiquing how useful RCTs have been for development.

·       In IPA’s weekly links, Jeff Mosenkis has a useful set of Covid-19 related links, and includes the advice that “A crucial mindset for academics will be not “how can I track the effects to write about what happened later” but “what can I do to help mitigate the effects before they happen?” which may be a different type of data work than you’re used to. “

·       Oxford had to cancel it’s annual CSAE conference, but ran some of the content online. Here video of a panel on tax collection in developing countries.

·       On the JPAL blog, Elizabeth Cao and Maya Duru offer advice on keeping students engaged in online learning.

·       In Science this week, Nathan Nunn has a review piece on the historic roots of economic development.

·       The AEA has put together a list of links to virtual economics seminar series – includes new inter-institution seminars in econometrics, entrepreneurship, FinTech, gender, and health and pandemics. (h/t @DurRobert).

·       Funding opportunity: SIEF has a call for proposals out on technology, including a COVID-19 emergency window. First round applications are due April 10 for the emergency window and June 1 for the general window.


David McKenzie

Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

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