Cash Transfers are probably one of the most researched interventions in the world. The great majority of this research has focused on short to medium term impacts. This is not surprising as the first modern Cash Transfer Program, Progresa (now called Oportunidades), is a 16 years old adolescent. In addition, the evidence on “longer” term effects is still considered weak. A … [Read more...] about Cash transfers, 103 years ago
On this blog we have talked about cost benefit pitfalls and white elephants, speculated on how (not) to lie with it, but also and more boringly we have discussed discount rates, cognition, opportunity costs, and the costs of inaction, all hoping to go back to the future. The focus of most of the Cost Benefit literature is on the estimation of the benefits side of the Cost … [Read more...] about It’s the costs, stupid
Lately in my daily commute, I have been listening to audio books. This past couple of days it has been Flash Boys by Michael Lewis. The book is about how high frequency traders game the stock market exchanges - very complex systems - by front running purchase orders by a millionth of a millisecond. “Front running” is like tapping the right shoulder of the person in front of … [Read more...] about 18 ways to fail
I came across an astonishing mind blowing number in my commute to work the other day, while listening to Owen Barder (@owenbarder) interview with Michael Clemens (@m_clem) on this Development Drums podcast (highly recommended -end of infomercial). The number? 60 percent. Sixty percent of the difference between the income of a person in a developed country … [Read more...] about The 60% solution and the trillion dollar bill
Much of the education economics literature focuses on how combinations of inputs, incentives and institutional structures result in better education results, in human capital accumulation and, in the longer term, in higher wages and economic growth. In this literature, less attention has been given to external factors, such as the availability of safe drinking water, personal … [Read more...] about How important is clean water for education?