The IPA Blog


Recent Random Research Roundup

Jun 27/11 | From the blog

Surprising Results of Microfinance

In a recent article in Science, Dean Karlan and Jonathan Zinman find that small loans in the Philippines helped households manage risk, but did nothing for business growth, and actually seemed to reduce subjective wellbeing.


Build it, and they will come?

Jun 23/11 | From the blog

The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation recently secured funding for the next four years, enough to immunise more than a quarter of a billion children in developing countries. This is estimated to save more than 4 million lives by 2015, which is clearly fantastic news. Vaccines are an incredibly cost effective way of improving and saving lives. 

But what if they could be made even better?

Migration As Development: Early Evidence From Bangladesh

Jun 16/11 | From the blog
by Rohit Naimpally

David McKenzie presents the results from a poll amongst young development economists, who were asked about what they view as the most under-researched area in development:

RCTs: The Backlash

May 31/11 | From the blog
by Lee Crawfurd

The media attention surrounding the release of More Than Good Intentions and Poor Economics has led to a few criticisms of RCTs cropping up around the interwebs:

Arvind Subramanian worries about the macroeconomic effects of aid, something not addressed by RCTs.

What should NGOs do when they can't run an RCT?

May 31/11 | From the blog
by Brian Swartz

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind.  I recently applied to transition from my current position on the Rainwater Storage Device evaluation in Kamwenge to a new IPA project in Kampala.  The project is a little different than the traditional line of work for IPA, namely rigorous impact evaluations, instead we plan to work with NGOs to support and improve upon their Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) systems.  Two weeks ago I got the new job, last weekend was spent looking for an apartment in Kampala, and the past four days were spent running around Kamwenge putting thin

Helping Ugandan families save for school fees

May 13/11 | From the blog
by Sarah Kabay

The Boston Review recently hosted a forum beginning with the article “Small Changes, Big Results” by Rachel Glennerster and Michael Kremer.  The forum featured seven responses, each focusing on a different concern, though as Glennerster and Kremer later noted, “One of the themes of the responses is that randomized evaluati

The Double Standard for RCTs

May 04/11 | From the blog
by Nathanael Goldberg

More good stuff from the World Bank's Development Impact blog: David McKenzie has a brilliant 'rant' on the external validity double standard, where people are more likely to fault randomized trials for illuminating only a particular context.

Book Reviews

Apr 20/11 | From the blog

Poor Economics is reviewed by the Economist.

"Mr Banerjee and Ms Duflo advocate what they call a “quiet revolution”. They insist that things can be improved “at the margin”, which is an economist’s way of saying that things can get better, even if they are very bad."

and More Than Good Intentions by Jesse Anttila-Hughes.

Dear Randomista: How to get started as a young researcher

Apr 15/11 | From the blog

Over at the World Bank Development Impact blog, David McKenzie posts a question from a reader and some advice from Dean Karlan and Dean Yang. 

MTGI Released Today

Apr 14/11 | From the blog

More Than Good Intentions (MTGI), the new book by Dean Karlan and Jacob Appel was released today.

Order your copy here

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