IPA’s weekly links

Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action.

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We’re putting up the links early this week for your travel enjoyment.

  • If you’re traveling, end your trip smarter than you started! We’ve posted the IPA 2017 Great Holiday Travel Podcast Playlist with podcast feeds and specific episodes we liked.
    • It’s got stories from around the world, research podcasts, and, in preparation for the holidays, three different episodes on how to disagree constructively. So feel free to just play those over the Bluetooth speaker while you’re cooking with the family.
  • And this Thanksgiving, economists might be watching you at dinner (and in your sleep). A paper seems to have been taken down (cached version here), showing that families from politically different voting districts have shorter Thanksgiving dinners together. Here’s how they figured it out:

Location tracking data comes from Safegraph, a company that aggregates location information from numerous smartphone apps. The data consist of “pings”, each of which identify the location (latitude and longitude) of a particular smartphone at a moment in time. Safegraph tracks the location of more than 10 million Americans’ smartphones, and our core analysis focusses on the more than 17 trillion pings Safegraph collected in the continental United States in November of 2016…

Home locations are determined by looking at where each person in our sample is most frequently between 1 and 4am. … This procedure identifies the home location of over 5 million people in the November Safegraph sample, and we link these locations with their corresponding voting precinct, two-party vote share, and census demographics using GIS software.

With Mugabe finally leaving (maybe?), this ad might have to be retired.