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A working paper distributed this month by NBER and covered in the New York Times not only contributes to the growing number of rigorous studies on public policy questions but also epitomizes changing research norms that are crucial to improving the quality of such studies.
The World Bank’s expanding public information mandate is the focus of Stephanie Strom’s excellent article in Saturday’s New York Times. During Robert Zoellick’s tenure as the Bank’s president, he has promoted free public access to databases that formerly required a paid subscription, such as the World Development Indicators, or were simply unavailable (such as detailed information on the location, design, objectives and performance of Bank projects). We have no doubt that this excellent initiative will be a boon to development analysts and scholars worldwide.