We’ve gotten a bit of track with the monthly links I like post. I’ll blame graduate school.
Ok, enough with the excuses, here are January’s top links (according to me).
12 Papers Development Practitioners Should Read
It would be a shame not to point to the six (!) field experiments on the effectiveness of microcredit published this past month in the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics (all open access, too! So no excuses!).
The Miracle of Microfinance? Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation
The Impacts of Microcredit: Evidence from Ethiopia
The Impacts of Micrfinance: Evidence from Joint-Liability Lending in Mongolia
Estimating the Impact of Microcredit on Those Who Take It Up: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Morocco
Microcredit Impacts: Evidence from a Randomized Microcredit Program Placement Experiment
The Impacts of Microcredit: Evidence from Bosnia and Heregovina
Summary: Does microcredit work? Well, it depends, but probably not as well as you thought. Quoting from the introduction written by Abhijeet Banerjee, Dean Karlan, and Jonathan Zinman, the most consistent finding across all six studies is the “lack of evidence of transformative effects on the average borrower”. As Justin Sandefur and Lant Pritchett point out there is quite a bit of heterogeneity in these studies and we should be careful what we infer from the results.
Worm Wars: A Review of the Reanalysis of Miguel and Kremer’s Deworming Study
Your Guide to Deflate-gate/Ballgazi-Related Statistical Analysis
Poverty Under the Microscope, a recent article by Beth McMurtrie, presents an excellent cross-section of the current state of the field of development economics.
The article follows the work and quotes superstars such as Rachel Glennerster, Abhijit Bannergee, Ester Duflo, Sendhil Mullainathan, Dean Karlan, Bill Easterly, Dani Roderik, Michael Kremer, Justin Sandefur, Lant Pritchett, Mark Rosenzweig, Darron Acemoglu, James Robinson, Nancy Birdsall, Angus Deaton, and Owen Barder. If you are looking for a list of names to follow in the field of development, this is it.