Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis at Innovations for Poverty Action.
Chris has generously offered to let us at IPA (where he’s a Research Affiliate) share the internal links of interest on development and research we send around weekly here, we presume so Chris can devote more time to making us feel bad about how little outside reading the rest of us do. (Direct your disagreement tweets to @poverty_action, not Chris)
- There’s a new China-led development bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). The U.S. has asked European countries not to join, but Britain, Germany, France and Italy (and potentially Australia) are:
The United States has argued that the bank at best duplicates, and at worst undermines, the role of the Washington-based World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, which has its headquarters in the Philippines, a close American ally at odds with Beijing over the South China Sea.
- The US House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing this week on effectiveness of US Foreign Aid. Here’s my screenshot of what the hearing room looked like:
(Archived video of the hearing is here)
- Michelle Obama is on a five day trip in asia to promote a new education push for girls in developing countries.
- While on the CGD blog, Lee Crawfurd has several good education links including an OECD study showing across 36 countries, boys are much more likely to be the low achievers. (Also from Lee, in India an entire school goes missing.)
- The Gates Foundation is taking direct ownership stakes, acting more like a venture capital firm, investing in private organizations working on problems like vaccines and bKash mobile banking.
- On the Development Impact Blog, David McKenzie points out that searches for heterogeneous treatment effects are easily biased, but there are two easy ways to fix that (leave-one-out estimation & repeated split sample estimation, both done with the stata add-on procedure estrat).
- He also offers 5 easy ways to randomize in the field.
- The power of defaults, opting people in automatically to the preferable choice, is well known, as in the classic Science paper on organ donation (PDF). Now Oregon will be the first state to automatically register people to vote.
- The Atlantic reports on behavioral research behind how restaurants get you to spend more. Turns out the things you hate—crowds, high prices, and bad tables—are all good for business.
- And your bonus—A new fundraising challenge. One man listened to Canadian rock band Nickelback for a week continuously (even while asleep) to raise money for clean water. He set an initial goal of $5,000, but ended up raising over $35,000:
“The toughest moment was 12:01 Sunday night, moments after the challenge began,” Carey wrote. “It felt like hours had passed, but I looked down and realized I was less than halfway through a single song. That’s when I realized the gravity of my decision. I hit rock bottom within a minute of the challenge beginning.”
We thought about it, but there are some things the human subjects committee won’t let us do.