Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action.
- How Finland’s universal basic income test got scaled back because of politics (via Alexander Berger).
- A review of Yuen Yuen Ang’s How China Escaped the Poverty Trap by Yongmei Zhou:
She unpacks in detail the specific mechanisms at play in the Chinese case, namely unambiguous goals the central government sets and communicates; a highly decentralized system where local government officials have a fair degree of autonomy to choose their strategies; and the high-power incentive provided by the cadre performance management system and finally profit sharing.
- A profile of Jin Liqun, the head of the new Asian Infrastructure Development Bank.
- A roundup of the response to the Zika virus from public health experts, or as the NYTimes puts it: How the Response to Zika Failed Millions. The verdict seems to be positive that the Rio Olympics did not seem to spur a massive spreading and a vaccine was eventually developed. Otherwise, the response was scattershot. Rich people were generally well-warned on how to avoid infection, while poor people in more vulnerable areas (including currently in Puerto Rico), were largely left bereft of services or information needed to keep safe. As a result, the wave of babies being born with microcephaly continues.
- Among the problems dampening an effective response were fears by health officials about the politics of offering advice about delaying pregnancy, contraception, or abortion for affected fetuses.
- In the BMJ, a review shows that large effects in small RCTs are rarely followed by a larger RCT, but when they are, 43 percent of the time they fail to find an effect (h/t David Batcheck).
- Funding opportunity for East African scholars, and a fellowship for qualitative or quantitative researchers from sub-Saharan Africa with the World Bank’s Gender Innovation Lab (h/t Dina Pomeranz, as usual).
- Paper and software for two-stage randomization (between and within clusters) RCTs from Berk Özler and colleagues.