Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

On RCTs and Impact Evaluation

Our former postdoc Chris Blattman has terrific advice for aspiring graduate students wondering if they should get into the business (via a Ph.D) of impact evaluation via randomized controlled trials (RCTs) -- RCTs have apparently become all the rage. For development aficionados an RCT-based Ph.D. has many benefits: field work in exotic settings, a rationale for doing applied empirical work while also being visibly rigorous and scientific (!) and apparently, a straightforward path to a journal publication.

ABC's New Candid Camera Shows Challenge for Development-Friendly Migration Policy

Last night, ABC's "What Would You Do?" featured an intriguing hidden camera experiment on attitudes towards migrant workers. The set up was simple: in a New Jersey deli, actors portrayed a cashier hurling insults and refusing to serve a pair of Latino day laborers because they did not speak English and carried "illegal alien money." The point was to capture the responses of unknowing customers who were asked for help.

Memo to President-Elect Obama: Market Access for Poor Countries Serves American Interests

In the midst of the current economic crisis, recovery at home will naturally be the focus of the new president, but the United States cannot prosper if the rest of the world lags behind. Nor can Americans be safe in a world where economic instability turns fragile states into failed states that harbor terrorists, drug traffickers, or communicable diseases. It is crucial in responding to the situation that the United States avoids beggar-thy-neighbor policies, such as new trade barriers, that ultimately leave everyone worse off.

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