IPA’s weekly links

Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action.


  • I’m taking a wild guess there will be a spike in researchers looking at elections data for 2016. A reminder that you can get an advance look at the American National Elections Survey (ANES) questions, design and preregister your study, and get it pre-accepted to a number of political science journals all before the data comes out (and get a $2,000 prize).
  • Michael Lewis has a Vanity Fair article based on his new book about Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky (above), the fathers of what would become behavioral economics. It’s about their friendship, and like Lewis’ other stories, about outsiders who end noticing something different and changing a whole field.
  • How spring rolls became the go-to snack in Senegal.
  • Another chapter of the U.N. response to South Sudan peacekeeping failures from a few weeks ago. Though a Kenyan general was dismissed, it was Chinese troops who abandoned their posts. The WSJ has a feature on how China is grappling with deaths of their peacekeeping soldiers there and the costs of their involvement. Complicating the relationship, some of their troops may have been killed by Chinese-manufactured weapons.
  • In press, a nationwide survey of rural Indian schools finds 24% of the teachers absent, at a cost of $1.5 billion/yr. Making sure teachers show up is among the cheapest ways to improve education, according to Muralidharan, Das, Holla, & Mohpal (h/t Lee Crawfurd). The NYTimes referenced the finding in a profile of an armed teacher truancy officer in Uttar Pradesh who has become a local celebrity.
  • A bleg and a reminder. For the comments below – we’re looking for podcast episode recommendations for this year’s Great Holiday Travel Podcast Playlist (last years’ is here).
    • And if you’ve enjoyed these last 87 weeks of links, consider a donation to IPA. If you do it by the end of this weekend an anonymous donor will match it, effectively doubling your contribution. Bonus, if you tweet or email me that you did, we’ll select (randomly of course) some to mail a souvenir from the Ghana arm of last year’s Banerjee, et. al. Science paper.