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

 

A word cloud of the most commonly used words in the titles of Esther Duflu's research papers and other publications.

A Quick Guide to 100+ Publications by Economics Nobel Winner Esther Duflo

Two weeks ago, Esther Duflo won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences<, together with Abhijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer, “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.” In the blog post below, you’ll find a quick introduction to more than a hundred of her research publications, including research articles, policy articles summarizing research, book chapters, book reviews, comments on others’ research, and books.

Can Outsourcing Improve Liberia's Schools? Preliminary RCT Results

Last summer, the Liberian government delegated management of 93 public elementary schools to eight different private contractors. Given the intense controversy around the program, the government—with some encouragement from our colleagues at Ark Education Partnership Group, who helped manage the program—agreed to randomize the allocation of schools during the pilot, and the three of us partnered with Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) to evaluate its impacts.

Will an RCT Change Anyone’s Mind? Should It?

We respond to critics of our evaluation of Liberia’s “partnership” school program, distinguishing legitimate concerns about the charter-style program itself—which can be turned into testable hypotheses—from methodological limitations to what an impact evaluation can show.

Using “Random” Right: New Insights from IDinsight Team

The unfolding of “thesis, antithesis, synthesis” about the use of randomized control trials (RCTs) as a tool in improving development policies and practices has reached the “synthesis” stage.  A new paper in the 3ie working paper series “Evaluations with Impact” by Shah, Wang, Fraker and Gastfriend (hereafter IDinsight team and, full disclosure, three of which were students of mine) (2015) does an excellent job both in laying out the debate and in articulating a newly emerging conv

Mapping the Worm Wars: What the Public Should Take Away from the Scientific Debate about Mass Deworming

It was a big deal when various media outlets declared last week that the evidence to support mass deworming had been “debunked.” The debate now is not about whether children sick with worms should get treated (everyone says yes), but whether the mass treatment of all kids — including those not known to be infected — is a cost-effective way to raise school attendance. The healthiest parts of the debate have been about the need for transparency, data sharing, and more replication in science. Here, we’re going to focus here on the narrower question of the evidence for mass deworming specifically, which is where some journalists have gotten things quite wrong. 

The Final Word on Microcredit?

Two influential movements within the development industry collided head-on this month: the microcredit movement and the movement to subject development policies to rigorous impact evaluation.

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