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Blog Profile / Chris Blattman's Blog


URL :http://chrisblattman.com/
Filed Under:Academics / Political Science
Posts on Regator:2379
Posts / Week:7.1
Archived Since:July 25, 2008

Blog Post Archive

“The Interview”

The Axis of Evil didn’t want me seeing this movie. So my principled self streamed it last night on YouTube ($5.99). It’s schlock, but more or less entertaining schlock. It has a 50% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which sounds … Continue reading ? The post “The Interview” appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Read this letter.

The Nashville Chief of Police’s holiday message to his force. I would quote it, but it is worth reading the whole thing. Hat tip to @dadakim The post Read this letter. appeared first on Chris Blattman.

You are welcome.

Nancy Reagan sitting on the lap of Mr T in the White House, December 1983. Source. The post You are welcome. appeared first on Chris Blattman.

My Christmas music mix includes…

Over the Rhine’s Snow Angels and Blood Oranges in the Snow albums Vince Guaraldi Trio’s Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack Soul Christmas, Various Artists Sufjan Stevens’ Songs for Christmas Ella Fitzgerald’s Ella Wishes You A Swinging...Show More Summary

Links I liked

“We have all allowed ourselves to be co-opted into the idea that our social media activity reflects our abilities and, in fact, our value.” How much economic potential does Cuba have? Skepticism on pre-analysis plans When the zombie apocalypse happens, … Continue reading ? The post Links I liked appeared first on Chris Blattman.

High on the list of things I did not remember about Paddington Bear

Began reading A Bear Called Paddington to my daughter last night. Mrs Brown bent down. “You’re a very small bear,” she said. The bear puffed out its chest. “I’m a very rare sort of bear,” he replied importantly. “There aren’t many … Continue reading ? The post High on the list of things I did not remember about Paddington Bear appeared first on Chris Blattman.

The most serious and ignored public health crisis of the 21st century?

This Christmas, do not forget the forgotten: when no exam is imminent the family death rate per 100 students (FDR) is low and is not related to the student’s grade in the class. The effect of an upcoming exam is … Continue reading ? The post The most serious and ignored public health crisis of the 21st century? appeared first on Chris Blattman.

If Christmas was run by foreign aid agencies

Your response to RFP 666_01 for the “Sustainable Agriculture Networks Trial-Afghanistan” (SANTA) project has been received, and we had the following RFIs. Please respond no later than COB on 31 December 2014. Be advised I will be out of the … Continue reading ? The post If Christmas was run by foreign aid agencies appeared first on Chris Blattman.

The only thing worse than Comcast technical support?

In June, Two wealthy Macau residents stayed at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. The hotel suspected that they were running an illegal gambling operation out of their room. They enlisted the police and the FBI, but could not provide enough … Continue reading ? The post The only thing worse than Comcast technical support? appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Turning our understanding of Russian politics upside down

While watching the roller coaster that is the Russian ruble, I recalled how much I liked this NYRB review of Karen Dawisha’s new book, Putin’s Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia? An excerpt: For twenty years now, the Western politicians, journalists,...Show More Summary

My favorite novels of the year

Yesterday I talked about my favorite book of the year. An autobiography. Here are the novels I liked best, excellent for holiday reading or last-minute stocking stuffers. To the purists: Please keep in mind that I’m not one of these intellectuals who mysteriously … Continue reading ? The post My favorite novels of the year appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Among all the other things police are being called these days, the latest is “fat”

From the WSJ, obesity by occupation: Police are at the top. At the bottom are economists. It’s kind of perfect. The charitable interpretation: all that muscle mass in police is edging them up the BMI scale. I’m sympathetic, since even...Show More Summary

The economic and social returns to building character

I personally find this line of research fascinating and in need of more international research. A new paper by Tim Kautz, Jim Heckman, and coauthors: This paper reviews the recent literature on measuring and boosting cognitive and noncognitive skills. Show More Summary

The best book I read this year

It is My Struggle: Book 2: A Man in Love by Karl Ove Knausgaard. I am far from alone. Rachel Cusk at The Guardian says it “deserves to be called perhaps the most significant literary enterprise of our times.”  Tyler Cowen calls it “the equal … Continue reading ? The post The best book I read this year appeared first on Chris Blattman.

“Are anthropologists better than you think?”

The question is asked by Tyler Cowen. A part of his response: Many economists like to dump on their fellow social scientists, and personally I find that reading anthropology is often quite uninspiring.  That said, I would like to say a … Continue reading ? The post “Are anthropologists better than you think?” appeared first on Chris Blattman.

The case for cash, Exhibit 12

Lant Pritchett and Yamini Aiyarit further convince me on the merits of more cash and vouchers. Paraphrasing an email: In India the government spends Rps 14,600 for a year of schooling, which is 80 percent of rural per capita consumption. The … Continue reading ? The post The case for cash, Exhibit 12 appeared first on Chris Blattman.

What happens when a very good political science journal checks the statistical code of its submissions?

The Quarterly Journal of Political Science has a policy of in-house review of all statistical code. This is expensive and hard to do. Is it worth it? According to Nick Eubank, an unambiguous yes: Of the 24 empirical papers subject to...Show More Summary

Do development workers underestimate the poor? The survey evidence

I give you, perhaps, the best and deepest piece of analysis I’ve ever read in a World Bank report. Timothy Taylor explains it nicely: What do development experts think that the poor believe, and how does it compare to what the poor … Continue reading ? The post Do development workers underestimate the poor? The survey evidence appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Conversations with openly gay canvassers about gay equality changes people’s opinions. Contagiously.

A close family member, who shall remain nameless, supports gay rights because he had a great gay hairdresser for 10 years. Turns out, all he needed was one haircut. From Michael LaCour and Don Green in Science, a nice example … Continue reading ? The post Conversations with openly gay canvassers about gay equality changes people’s opinions. Show More Summary

Trade leads to development: The experiment

Is there learning by exporting? Can preferential trade agreements or aid for trade promote development? Atkin, Khandelwal and Osman provided a random group of small rug producers the opportunity to export handmade carpets to high-income markets. Show More Summary

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