Papers I liked

Am at the NBER development summer institute. Some interesting papers:

  1. Providing farmers with rainfall insurance makes them take more risks, and do better, but there’s a downside: much more risk for landless laborers. So what happens when you insure landless laborers?
  2. Reforming bureaucracies is hard, and getting the incentives for middle managers right might matter more than getting the policies and reform right. Evidence from six randomized control trials with Indian police.
  3. As with bureaucracies, with firms. Better methods don’t get adopted when they run against employee self-interest. Evidence from Pakistani soccer ball production. Notable also because the authors actually invented a better soccer ball in their spare time.
  4. In Brazil, halving the cost of migration doubles internal migration. To estimate this, they use the effects of an ad hoc capital city and highway network.