Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action.
- One of the most interesting podcasts I’ve heard in a long time was Ezra Klein interviewing World Bank President Jim Kim (itunes, soundcloud). They covered a lot of ground, but most interesting for me was listening to him talk about what it was like doing his medical anthropology dissertation research as Korea was emerging as a wealthy nation.
- He also talks about managing the World Bank and its reorganization, particularly the challenges of spreading isolated pockets of information across a big organization.
- Having previously done humanitarian medical assistance, this job requires doing a lot more forecasting of what will be the world’s next problems. He thinks huge numbers of stunted children in low-income countries (impairing the cognitive development needed for higher education), should be treated as an emergency. Together with machines taking over the more labor-intensive jobs, even farming, he sees it as a recipe for disaster.
- The also very good Dani Rodrik conversation with Tyler Cowen (read or listen), opened with a similar concern he calls “premature deindustrialization” – what happens to low-income countries when mechanization and cheap imports eliminate the need for the industrial jobs that have been the foundation for growth in other countries?
- The new issue of JEP has several articles about inequalities in different areas. With the Rio Olympics coming up, one article finds that most cities lose money on hosting the Olympics, but it’s even worse for developing countries (h/t Matt Collin).
- A new study finds nine years and $1.4 billion spent by the U.S. government to prevent HIV through abstinence education in 14 African countries does not appear to have had an effect. Fortunately, we’re down from spending $250 million a year on these programs to just $40 million.
- David Evans has a nice “Impact Evaluations 101” explanation on the Gov Innovator podcast, which is a great resource for non-technical types who want to understand the different types of evaluations. In 20 minutes he covers randomized controlled trials, regression discontinuity, and difference-in-differences analyses, all in very accessible language.