IPA’s weekly links

Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action.


  • Two Ebola survivors are suing the government of Sierra Leone in international court to discover what happened to missing millions of dollars meant to compensate and support survivors like them. Many had their clothes burned in the effort to fight the spread of the disease, and survivors were promised a support package that often failed to materialize. More than 30 percent of the resources donated to the government were unaccounted for, according to an audit during the outbreak. (h/t Anne Karing)
  • After some confusion, it sounds like Ethiopia’s Prime Minister will pardon some political prisoners (one academic thinks the Trump administration deserves credit).
  • A profile of Rachel Glennerster, who has left J-PAL to become the chief economist at DFID.
  • A University of North Carolina political scientist who uses indexes of electoral integrity to rank democracy around the world was surprised to find that his state no longer ranks as a true democracy. Thanks to gerrymandering and poor electoral integrity, North Carolina ranks alongside Cuba and Venezuela. In integrity of electoral boundaries, the state ranks below any other country studied.
  • The Economist recently had a very good summary of research on factors contributing to headwinds for women advancing in economics as a field, but there have been several other discussions recently worth looking at:
    • Macartan Humphreys talks about his experience with how tricky it can be to be a good male ally in political science. Some kinds of behaviors are noticeable — like how to address being on an all-male panel — but many, such as noticing what kinds of departmental service men or women are asked to do, can be more subtle.
    • In general U.S. society doesn’t talk much about the long-term damage to women’s bodies from childbirth. It’s awkward to talk about, so many people don’t realize the physical toll their co-workers are still living with even after maternity leave. This is a good place to start:


    • Another factor in scientific research, men being more willing to offer expert opinions in the press on areas outside their areas of sub-specialty (click through on this and the above tweet to read the original threads):

“With AmplifiHer, men hear women’s ideas louder and internalize them faster than ever before,” the founder, Mike Jonas, a former McKinsey consultant, said. Each device is equipped with sophisticated artificial intelligence that records women’s best suggestions and repeats them back to the wearer in his own voice.