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Weekly links Jan 12: Big Thinkers brought down to size, can you beat the World Bank at predicting poverty? Chinese minimum wage rises all get spent, three job openings, and more…

David McKenzie's picture
  • Duncan Green summarizes Stefan Dercon’s view of 10 top thinkers in development. E.g. on Acemoglu and Robinson “their policy advice is just ‘buy yourself a better history/don’t start from here’. Not very useful for aid”. Alice Evans responds to the lack of women on Stefan’s list with five big problems in development and female scholars to learn from on these.
  • How did Chinese consumption respond to changes in the minimum wage? Dautovic and co-authors on VoxEU report that “For the period 2002-2009, we identify more than 13,874 changes in the local minimum wage across China's 2,183 counties and 285 cities…many counties experienced substantial nominal increases in their minimum wage above 20%...we show that low-income households spend their entire additional income from a higher minimum wage…for poorer households, 40% of the additional minimum wage income is spend on health care and educational expenditure”
  • Looking to try out machine learning for poverty prediction? The World Bank has launched a competition (with prize money) to see how well you can predict poverty.
  • Videos of Al Roth’s Presidential Address on Markets and Marketplaces and David Laibson’s Ely Lecture on Private Paternalism and the Commitment Puzzle from this year’s AEAs.
  • New in the Stata Journal, a command synth_runner for synthetic control estimation and nice graphs to go along with it.
  • IE Job openings:
    • The World Bank Jobs Group and J-PAL Africa seek a qualified applicant for a Research Analyst (RA) to work on a research project evaluating the impact of an intervention designed to address asymmetric information regarding work-seekers skills on job search outcomes and firm hiring outcomes in South Africa. Qualified applicants should submit application materials by January 15, 2018.
    • The World Bank Africa Gender Innovation Lab is looking to hire a Project Manager for a social protection/“graduation approach” impact evaluation in Zambia. The role is a combination of research and operational tasks, including working directly with the government on the implementation of the project. It would be ideal for someone who has already done RCT fieldwork and is looking for more partner-oriented, management work. It is a two-year position starting as soon as possible and applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. TOR are available here
    • A World Bank team is looking for a Russian or Farsi/Tajik speaking research assistant to help coordinate fieldwork in Tajikistan and support the impact evaluation of the performance-based financing pilot in the country’s health sector