Do welfare programs create dependency? For decades, that question has roiled the United States where supporters call such programs an essential lifeline for the poor and critics condemn them as encouraging laziness and the welfare trap. Latin America and the Caribbean is no stranger to the debate, especially as it concerns conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs. Those … [Read more...] about Cash Transfer Programs: Challenging the Welfare Myth
When tennis great Andre Agassi flamed out at age 26 dropping from No. 1 in the world to a humiliating No. 141 two years later, commentators attacked his vanity, emotional instability and erratic behavior. Agassi had triumphed in three of tennis's four great tournaments. How could he descend to such lows, where he would deliberately lose an important match, bad-mouth other … [Read more...] about What Can Andre Agassi Teach Us About Socio-Emotional Skills?
Why do so many New Year’s resolutions revolve around food? It's probably because so many of us eat without restraint, gorging ourselves on extra-large portions; because we know we should be eating less junk and more fruits and vegetables, but still end up reaching for that cookie. It's because what we eat and what we know we should eat don't line up. But it's not only our … [Read more...] about Making Better Food Choices in 2019
Latin Americans enthusiastically backed Pope Francis when in June 2015 he published Laudato Si, his encyclical warning that global warming was "one of the principal challenges facing humanity." Governments in the region at the time were preparing to play a leading role in the United Nations climate summit later that year in Paris. Ordinary citizens meanwhile were becoming … [Read more...] about Can Latin American Citizens Change Climate Policy?
Can internet access at home stimulate learning among children? It is an especially urgent question in developing countries where digital access and educational achievement lag considerably behind those in developed ones. Ofer Malamud, Santiago Cueto, Diether Beuermann and I decided to address the issue in an experiment where we provided both laptops and internet access to … [Read more...] about Can the Internet Boost Learning in Latin America?