IPA’s weekly links

Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action.


  • Priceonomics combines census data with historical accounts in a very interesting piece “The Great Migration: The African American Exodus from The South.” The conversations in the comments section have been really good as well (I also learned that we’re in the midst of a reverse migration back to the South).
  • UN peacekeeping troops from France and Georgia sent to help refugees in the Central African Republic are accused of rape there. More here and here.
  • In Ghana, regulators hope to merge the four separate mobile money platforms that exist now, but there is a dispute between banks and telecom companies over interest payments. The banks would like to return 100% of the interest to the customers while the telecom companies would like it returned to them, so they can take 20% of it, passing the rest back to the customers.
  • Normally, low-income students can send four sets of SAT scores to colleges free. Doubling this number to eight (which is very inexpensive to do) had a very impressive effect: 

Specifically, we estimate that inducing a low-income student to send one more score report, on average, increased on-time college attendance by nearly 5 percentage points and five-year bachelor’s completion by slightly more than 3 percentage points. The policy impact was driven entirely by students who, based on SAT scores, were competitive candidates for admission to four-year colleges.

  • Tim Harford has his top five economics podcasts to listen to in 2016 (and a reminder that some of our favorite individual episodes from 2015 are here).
  • And, telemarketers and scammers have been using internet calling with caller ID spoofing to avoid rules. Sometimes the conversation is driven by a human in a call center clicking on pre-recorded phrases to engage in a conversation. But one hero is trying to waste telemarketers’ time and drive up their costs with an AI interface designed to keep telemarketers on the phone as long as possible, and he’s letting other people use it too. More from his site, Jolly Roger Telephone Co (he also has a kickstarter to expand it). Via Gizmodo.

15 thoughts on “IPA’s weekly links

  1. Having read this I believed it was extremely informative. I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this content together. I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!