CEGA Joins Forces with Berkeley's "Opportunity Lab"
CEGA is proud to announce its affiliation with UC Berkeley's
a new multi-disciplinary center dedicated to the use of rigorous research in tackling issues surrounding poverty and inequality, both in the United States and abroad. O-Lab utilizes large administrative datasets and other "big data" sources to produce innovative, policy-relevant research grounded in empirical economics. O-Lab is organized into six thematic "initiatives" led by O-Lab affiliates: Climate & Environment, Crime & Criminal Justice Policy, Education & Child Development, Health, Social Safety Net & Employment, and Taxation & Inequality. CEGA looks forward to working closely with O-Lab in to magnify our collective policy impact.
IN THE NEWS
Universal Basic Income Study Featured in NYTimes
GiveDirectly, co-founded by CEGA affiliate
, was recently profiled by
The New York Times Magazine
regarding its Kenya-based study to understand the long-term impacts of universal basic income (UBI). The article reveals what cash transfer recipients in a pilot village plan to do with their money, and illuminates what they see as the potentially transformative effects transfers could have on their local economy. Additionally, this study could provide, for all time, a reliable benchmark by which to measure the effectiveness of large, in-kind anti-poverty programs.
Driving Restrictions and Air Pollution on BBC News
by CEGA affiliate
on the effects of Mexico City's driving restriction program on air quality. The study found that imposing license plate based driving restrictions had no discernible effect on air quality and pollution levels. The article explains why the program was less effective than anticipated, and provides lessons for policymakers in other countries considering imposing driving restrictions as an approach to reducing urban air pollution.
Drones for Development on Devex
The international development community is abuzz with the promise of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, or drones) to improve access to data and mapping in developing countries. Applications include everything from humanitarian response to agricultural planning and conservation monitoring. In this
Devex blog post
, CEGA staffer Giovanni Castaldo chronicles his experience at the inaugural DroneDeploy user conference and ponders the opportunities and challenges of expanding drone use for global development.
Interviews with the 2016 Leamer-Rosenthal Prize Winners
WGAPE Special Meeting in Abu Dhabi
In January, New York University--Abu Dhabi hosted a special meeting of the
Working Group in Political Economy
(WGAPE), a CEGA-led program. The conference featured in-depth discussions of thirteen early stage papers and research designs, as well as an
training for scholars from African universities.
WGAPE is currently accepting abstracts for its Annual Meeting and applications to attend a special WGAPE session at the Annual Bank Conference on Africa in June
. Apply to both through the
CEGA Submittable site
by March 24.
EASST Fellows Lead IE Workshop at University of Dodoma
Dr. Fredrick Manang
(University of Dodoma) and Dr. Anthony Mveyange (World Bank) led an
impact evaluation workshop
at the University of Dodoma, Tanzania. Over 30 faculty members from broad range of disciplines (including Information and Communications Technology, Social Sciences, Business, and Humanities) were trained in rigorous impact evaluation methodologies.
On January 10, former EASST fellow
Research Transparency and Reproducibility Workshop at the World Bank
Project Scientist Garret Christensen held a
at the World Bank on February 1 to improve understanding of challenges involved in producing high quality social science research. More than 35 World Bank researchers participated in the workshop and got to test drive the latest techniques for developing a reproducible workflow using version control and the GitHub Desktop App. All workshop materials can be found on the Open Science Framework (OSF) here.
Dissemination Event Showcases Research on Hybrid Maize Seeds in Kenya
Catalyzing Financial Inclusion in the Dominican Republic
With support from Visa and Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), CEGA researchers are exploring ways to facilitate access to formal financial services among under-banked households in the Democratic Republic. The study, led by CEGA Affiliate
and postdoctoral scholar
, is measuring the impacts of low interest, digital microloans for beneficiaries of ProSo0li, the national cash transfer program. Ultimately, the team planned to expand the scope of the study to explore the effectiveness of gender-differentiated credit scoring models as well as approaches to incentivizing the adoption of digital payment infrastructure among small merchants.
SSMART Yields New Tools for Improving Social Science Research
Two studies supported by
Social Science Meta-Analysis and Research Transparency
(SSMART) grant program have yielded new tools and methods for improving social science research. SSMART grant recipient Rachel Meager developed a
for conducting meta-analysis of distributional treatment effects in the microcredit literature using Bayesian hierarchical methods. Additionally, SSMART grantees Fiona Burlig, Louis Preonas, and Matt Woerman have a new working paper, "Panel Data and Experimental Design," that describes methods for better powering longitudinal studies.
Which US Colleges Foster Upward Mobility?
Earlier this year, affiliates of CEGA's new affiliated center, the "
" (including Emmanuel Saez and Danny Yagan) released their
Mobility Report Cards
for colleges across the United States. This research shows that although students from low-income families perform as well as students from higher-income families, Ivy League colleges admit more students from the top 1% of the income distribution. Findings suggest that lower-cost public colleges that admit large numbers of students from poor families may foster higher rates of upward mobility for students than their Ivy League counterparts.
2017 SSMART Grants Request for Proposals
BITSS invites proposals for
Social Science Meta-Analysis and Research Transparency
(SSMART) grants. Two grants of $30k each are available for research projects led
by or in partnership with researchers from low- and middle-income countries to (1) develop new methodology; (2) produce new meta-analysis; or (3) study research culture and the adoption of new methods. See the 2017 RFP
submit proposals via
by March 20, 2017.