IPA’s weekly links

Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action.


  • Happy weekend, if you’re heading out we’ve put together a list of podcasts for your summer travel, including Chris & David McKenzie on Planet Money (along with some pictures from our crew in Burkina Faso whose drive went worse than yours).
  • African immigrants have the highest academic achievement of any group in the U.S. (h/t Easterly), and a sitcom writer is kickstarting a comedy series about a high-pressure Nigerian immigrant family.
  • Conclusions are only as good as the data behind them. A group of researchers got together to think about how to improve the quality of data collection. One idea was taking advantage of the many studies in progress at any given time to test out multiple ways of measuring something and compare them. Berk’s summary of the meeting, and invitations to researchers from SurveyCTO & IPA.
  • Academics were in a tizzy over Angelina Jolie being invited to co-teach a course on women and conflict at LSE. Even The Onion got in on it. Some things to remember:
    • LSE’s got plenty of experts like Duncan Green, Owen Barder, and soon,  Nava Ashraf.
    • There’s a great post here on why it’s so difficult for academic research to influence policy (h/t the aforementioned Duncan Green).
    • You know what LSE doesn’t have? Someone who can get issues of poor people in far away places all over the evening news.
    • Her deliberate use of media following her genetic screening and mastectomy appears to have raised awareness, genetic testing, and prophylactic mastectomies among women (here, here, here and here).
    • I’m with Paul Niehaus on this one:

[photo credit: flickr/stankus]