Machine Learning in Economics… A Fad?

Over the holiday weekend (in the United States) The Economist ran an article with the title: “Economists are Prone to Fads, and the Latest is Machine Learning“. As I am currently taking a class on ‘Big Data for Economists’, this article peaked my interest. The following chart was shown to visualize some recent trends within…

Reflections on the Past Week

Like many people, I’ve spent the last week numb – and to be perfectly honest – shocked. I process best by writing and I’ve written a lot over the past week. Most of this writing won’t be shared (not on this blog anyway). I’ve thought a lot about what the role of this blog is…

Links I Like [10.16]

The Surprising News About Unreached People Groups How to help microenterprises scale up their business: Evidence from South Africa (Spoiler: it is about targeting specific programming for specific types of people.) Remember #BringBackOurGirls? It hasn’t gotten better, and it is probably worse ‘Africa Rising’? ‘Africa Reeling’ May be More Fitting Now “Africa Yearning or Africa Struggling might…

Mapping the World’s Immigration Flows

Super cool mapping of the world’s immigration flows, country-by-country. This map shows the estimated net immigration (inflows minus outflows) by origin and destination country between 2010 and 2015. Blue circles = positive net migration (more inflows). Red circles = negative net migration (more outflows). Each yellow dot represents 1,000 people. On original website, you can zoom in…

Links I Like [9.16]

Is globalization bad for the global poor? A nice write-up on Dercon and Blattman’s “randomizing sweatshops” study in Ethiopia. Why is it so hard for academics and NGOs to work together? (and what can be done about it) Who is the worst culprit of using international development jargon in their reports? (and why we all should use less…

More Evidence Psychological Constraints Matter

A really nice article, recently published in the journal Food Policy, just crossed my desk… erm… email inbox. “Explaining the Performance of Contract Farming in Ghana: The Role of Self-Efficacy and Social Capital” (pay-wall, sorry). Contract farming is the practice of extending business agreements between suppliers (i.e. smallholder farmers) and buyers (i.e. supermarkets, food processors,…

Refugees and Non-Zero Risk Choices

Twitter and the world (I guess they are one in the same now days) descended on all sorts of crazy last week when Donald Trump Jr. compared refugees to poisonous Skittles. The Guardian had a good round up of the brouhaha (HT Chris Blattman). Even people whose job isn’t necessarily to make smart political commentary…