Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action.
- A new IPA/J-PAL six-country randomized controlled trial looking at the ultra-poor (people living on less than what $1.25 would buy in the US, about 1 in 7 people worldwide), was published in Science. The Graduation approach offers six things:
- A “productive asset” (way to make a living, livestock, or goods to start a store, or beehives to make honey)
- Training on how to use it
- Basic health support to keep them healthy enough to work
- “Consumption support” – some cash or food for daily living while they’re learning to use the asset
- Weekly visits from a coach for 2 years to help them overcome obstacles and raise aspirations
- A savings account to help them build a buffer for future expenses
The researchers found benefits across the board, and scale-ups are happening in Ethiopia, India, and Pakistan. Study here (ungated), and more on the Graduation approach from NPR and the New York Times Fixes.
- Pew Research compared phone to self-administered online surveys and found differences in answers for some types of questions. Average differences between modalities were around 5.5 percentages points but ranged as high as 18 points (via Martin S.)
- Bama Athreya from USAID asks, why aren’t more women in rural labor markets when there’s a shortage of workers? Describing two studies in Egypt and Kenya, she points to fear of violence but also asymmetric information – labor brokers who drive workers to job sites also control access to knowing where the jobs are.
- In Moldova someone stole 1/8th of their GDP, a billion dollars.
And finally, what happens when political economics fans have kids? They argue about what kind of economy keeps the trains in kids’ show Thomas and Friends moving. While some see it has a corporate oligarchy, others see it as a worker owned collective, which shows you – econ people can’t even agree on a fictional show.
(And if you liked that, you might also like: adjusting 70’s show the Six Million Dollar Man for inflation.)