At the Mind the Gap conference in Cuernavaca, Mexico, the main theme was how to affect policy with hard evidence. Some would argue that this is the essence of why we evaluate programs. We want to know what works and why so we can improve upon what we have, replicate what works or move away from what does not. Although it seems reasonable, policy-making is about politics … [Read more...] about Policy, politics and evidence: why does it matter?
Although the effectiveness of microcredit as a development tool has been recently questioned, its use seems to still be out of the discussion. In 2009, more than 128 million of the world’s poorest families received some sort of microloan (State of the Microcredit Summit Campaign Report 2011). Supporters of microcredit argue that it alleviates poverty, creates … [Read more...] about Microfinance: big questions and small answers
Solving development challenges is a complex task. Rigorous research show that some programs do not work as intended and that most that do work have no huge impacts. A sensible way to proceed when designing development projects is to be guided by three types of evidence: evidence in the identification of the problem, in the drafting of the solution, and evidence generated from … [Read more...] about Three sources of evidence for solving development challenges
AL CAPONE is the America Latina Crime and Policy Network, founded by a group of economists interested in understanding the causes and determinants of crime, and also of measuring the impact of alternative policies to reduce crime. On June 23rd and 24th 2011 AL CAPONE met in Rio de Janeiro to talk about crime. Although young, crime economics has grown in quantity and quality in … [Read more...] about AL CAPONE meets to learn how to reduce crime
Let’s suppose that we wanted to evaluate the broken windows policing theory developed by Kelling and Wilson (1982) and so widely implemented in New York City in the last few decades. Broken windows policing is based on the idea that enforcement of minor crimes should lead to a decrease in the realization of more serious crimes. The argument is that neighborhood disorder and … [Read more...] about How can experiments teach us more?