Chris Blattman

IPA’s weekly links

Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action

  • If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth reading the article about star economist Roland Fryer’s sexual harassment. Here’s his response. At issue here is how easily academic structures put junior people at the mercy of senior ones. It’s not unique to economics – see psychology, Antarctic geology, and the world’s top empathy researcher terrorizing the people who worked in her lab, among many others.
    • Given how common we’re discovering this is, it’s likely Fryer’s not the only one in economics. You can report bad behavior to the reporters, Ben Casselman and Jim Tankersly, who guarantee anonymity and will be at ASSA (I can confidentially put you in touch with Ben if you’re not on Twitter).
    • If you’re having career issues because of harassment, many senior faculty will help, including Jennifer Doleac, who’s offered to assist people in this situation navigate what to do next and connect them with people who can help.
    • You can also report to the NSF if you know of any sexual harassment by a PI on one of their grants.
  • Palm oil may be the worlds most hated product for destroying rainforests, and it’s in everything. But if economics is about anything, it’s about tradeoffs. In Ryan Edwards’ job market paper he looks at Indonesia, where he estimates the rapid expansion of palm oil exports since 2000 led to 2.7 percentage point faster poverty reduction and 4% faster consumption growth, at the cost of more rapid forest loss and more fire. A back of the envelope calculation finds 2.6 of 10 million Indonesians lifted from poverty this century were because of palm oil
  • Tim Ogden hosted an all-star cast for a discussion on microcredit, and how to think about how it interacts with the rest of developing economies. You can see the recording here
  • Job: I believe IPA will be interviewing at ASSA for the new Ph.D.-level lead position using our org’s scale (over 200 RCTs happening now around the world), to develop new methods. It’ll be based in New York or DC but will involve working closely with Andrew Dillon at Northwestern and our network of PIs. Please pass it along if you know anybody who might be interested.
  • Post-doc opportunity with J-PAL Africa working with Tavneet Suri on payment systems and governance.
  • And Tavneet, the Editor-in-Chief of VoxDev, reflects on some of her favorite posts of the year.
  • World Bank Chief Economist Pinelopi Goldberg offers her ten favorite papers of the year.
  • And the Development Impact bloggers also share their favorites.
  • The new Yale Y-Rise initiative, focused on developing the science of scaling up interventions, had an interesting-looking conference this week. Arun Advani summarizes a lot of great papers.
  • Pam Jakiela recommends anthropology books to read over your break.
  • Jake Vigdor has had a bunch of great tweetstorms on professional issues in economics (the job market, how much econ communicates with other fields, etc). It’s worth going back and browsing his feed.
  • ICYMI, in an example of a great advisor, Swedish chemistry professor Charlotta Turner had a team of mercenaries rescue her graduate student and family, who’d been captured by ISIS.

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