The IPA Blog

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Why millions of the world’s poor still choose to go private

Aug 24/09 | From the blog
by Martin Rotemberg

Why millions of the world´s poor still choose to go private (from The Financial Times)

Even though public school teachers and public doctors tend to be much more qualified (and cheaper to access) than their private sector counterparts, people in the developing world tend to choose the private option.

Amazonian Fashion and a Lack of Financial Services

Aug 19/09 | From the blog
by Doug Parkerson

The bus ride down from La Paz to the Beni in Bolivia is breathtaking, sometimes because the scenery catches you off guard when you round a bend and sometimes because you too vividly imagine the next few seconds of your life as a thousand foot freefall to a rocky riverbed below.

Times Restaurant Critic on Behavioral Economics

Aug 19/09 | From the blog
by Nathanael Goldberg

Interesting example of the endowment effect from New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/19/dining/19note.html?8dpc

Summing up the quirky behaviors of his dining companions over his tenure as restaurant critic for the NY Times, Bruni describes the way his fellow diners--to whom he had randomly assigned dishes to be sampled--would become protective of "their" choices, defending their quality.

Does it pay for microentrepreneurs to formalize?

Aug 17/09 | From the blog

The World Bank's Private Sector Development blog discusses the findings of a new study on the informal sector in Bolivia by IPA Research Affiliate David McKenzie:

"Do Marginal Firms in Bolivia Benefit from Formalizing?"

Bingo for Africa

Aug 11/09 | From the blog
by Kerry Brennan

IPA field staff are used to using lotteries to determine treatment and control groups for randomized control trials.  Some of our Research Affiliates have also used existing government lotteries (visas for migration to New Zealand and school vouchers in Colombia, for example) as natural field experiments.

You say plátano...

Aug 11/09 | From the blog
by Tania Alfonso

I need to give props to the Kiva Fellows, who work with many of the same microfinance institutions that partner with IPA in the field.

Surveying the Surveyors

Jul 24/09 | From the blog
by Ryan Knight

I just finished piloting a survey for the Returns to Business Management Consulting project, and was often in awe of their abilities.  A good surveyor can say nice to meet you, shake your hand, and five minutes later have you saying things you wouldn't share with a spouse.  When I first started here, I often thought my surveyors knew a respondent from their “schooling days” (as we say in Ghana) – but when asked, their response was invariably, “No, I’ve only just met him.”

Why academic involvement in RCTs is important

Jul 24/09 | From the blog
by Martin Rotemberg

There’s been more activity on the question of the importance of RCTs.  Last week, Bill Easterly wrote his thoughts about randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on his blog, and Chris Blattman posted a response. Both of them seem to take the perspective that academic research should produce new theory and/or create major policy recommendations.

Upcoming Microfinance Events

Jul 21/09 | From the blog

FAI invites you to two upcoming events:

ACCION USA Microfinance Council: Domestic Microfinance Panel Discussion

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