IPA’s weekly links

Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action.

Injectable birth control

  • An attempt to measure and rank the most effective ways to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere ranked educating girls and family planning (globally) above green energy. Fewer unplanned births means fewer carbon footprints. (h/t Osman Siddiqi)
    • On Monday, President Trump expanded the “global gag rule” to mean no funding can go to any NGO that also discusses abortion with beneficiaries anywhere in their operations. This expansion grows its impact from about $600 million to $8.8 billion in funding.
  • There’s a birth control that women can inject themselves (photo above) with minimal training. Each one lasts 3 months, and the price has just come down from $1 to 85 cents a dose.
  • Does foreign aid work? Featuring Charles Kenny, Rachel Glennerster, and Amanda Glassman.
  • A profile of the federal judge leading Brazil’s anti-corruption campaign, “Operation Car Wash,” which is modeled after Italy’s fairly successful anti-corruption campaign in the 1990s.
  • This week’s The Weeds podcast from Vox discusses the Universal Basic Income experiment IPA is conducting with GiveDirectly in Kenya, along with the accompanying general equilibrium one examining how the large influx of cash affects the local economy. As a bonus they also talk about the controversial private school instruction program which we’re also evaluating in Liberia.  The prior “Weeds in The Wild” episode went to visit a Kenyan village in the UBI experiment. (h/t Chris Boyer)
    • One fear of UBIs is that they’ll reduce motivation for work. A review of previous UBI programs in the U.S. and Canada finds no evidence for that, but evidence of positive effects in consumption, education, and health.
    • An analysis of a UBI in Iran also found little reduction in adult recipients working, with some increases for service sector workers. (h/t David McKenzie & Dina Pomeranz)
  • Melissa Dell & Ben Olken find lasting positive effects of Dutch colonialism in Java. Areas close to where colonial sugar was grown in the 19th Century have better infrastructure, more schools, and higher education levels today.

And if you thought it was hard to make sure your survey questions preserve their meaning when translated into multiple languages, be thankful you’re not the sign language interpreter for Snoop Dogg and the Wu-Tang Clan.

Her prep work also includes researching dialectal signs to ensure accuracy and authenticity. An Atlanta rapper will use different slang than a Queens one, and ASL speakers from different regions also use different signs, so knowing how a word like guns and brother are signed in a given region is crucial for authenticity.

Sorry, there’s pretty much no video with Snoop Dogg or Wu-Tang lyrics I can post (but you can find an extended interview with interpreter and taekwondo black belt Holly Maniatty here).