By Brian Quistorff. The new module for Synthetic Control Methods “synth_runner” helps conduct multiple estimations, inference, diagnostics, and generate visualizations of results.” The Synthetic Control Methodology (SCM) (Abadie and Gardeazabal, 2003, Abadie et al., 2010, hereafter ADH) is a data-drive approach to small-sample comparative case-studies for estimating … [Read more...] about The synth_runner Package: Utilities to Automate Synthetic Control Estimation Using synth
Just as giant AETNA uses Google searches to track Flu outbreaks, development economists are starting to capitalize on cell phone usage data. In a recent paper Joshua Blumenstock analyzes cell phone use - a largely untapped source of fresh data for development economists - to track migration patterns in Rwanda: … [Read more...] about A new data plan for development economics?
Policy formulation and development projects based on evidence need – drum rolls here – good data. This can be obtained from routine data collection in country-wide surveys and census, from administrative records or from random-sample surveys. The quality of the data is critical in any evaluation effort, and mis-measurement can be a major Achilles’ heel in any statistical … [Read more...] about A top ten list to reduce survey measurement error
An objection I usually hear when discussing with practitioners about using rigorous impact evaluation techniques is “…but these evaluations cost a lot of money”. I always answer that the cost of an evaluation does not depend on the method, but mainly on whether or not you need to collect primary data (I was glad to hear Paul Gertler responding in the same way during a recent … [Read more...] about In search of the lost data