Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action.
- Burkina Faso is having its second coup in under a year (with this unintentionally funny fact list from the BBC, via Kim Yi Dionne)
- Chris is on part 2 of the Freakonomics podcasts on cheap fixes for crime, talking about using cognitive behavioral therapy and cash grants in Liberia. Similarly, Marginal Revolution suggests Gary Becker was wrong – raising the cost of crime with long sentences assume rational actors, and many criminals might be acting impulsively, exactly the problem that therapy can solve.
- The White House announced an executive order directing agencies to use behavioral sciences to improve federal programs, coinciding with the release of a report from the current White House Social and Behavioral Sciences team on what they’ve learned in their first year (full report PDF here summarized here). Interview with director Maya Shankar here.
- The new journal Behavioral Science & Policy is available free and the first issue has some big names. Ideas42 also has a new directory of behavioral experts in different areas.
- A new paper (accompanied by 30 peer commentaries) argues that the field of psychology has become dominated by liberals (from 4:1 through the 1990s to 12:1 since). They suggest that the field which studies unconscious bias and group polarization has itself become biased in research assumptions, for example, that stereotypes are always inaccurate and therefore a reasoning flaw. Summary here.
And Yale, renowned for its endowment’s investments, will be collecting $153 in interest on a perpetual bond issued in 1648 from Dutch water authority de Stichtse Rijnlanden to pay for a pier in a river. Yale acquired the goatskin bond as an artifact in 2003. (via Planet Money)