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Blog Profile / Chris Blattman's Blog


URL :http://chrisblattman.com/
Filed Under:Academics / Political Science
Posts on Regator:2305
Posts / Week:7.1
Archived Since:July 25, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Cartooning like a state

Today is the 51st anniversary of the Zone Improvement Plan, a.k.a. the ZIP Code. The Post Office Department launched an advertising campaign in support of the new service, encouraging Americans to adapt the practice of adding five numbers to each mailing … Continue reading ? The post Cartooning like a state appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Video of the day: Every flight taken over the Atlantic in 24 hours

Via Vox, a sight that would make Christopher Columbus eat his hat. You can save yourself some pain by turning off the crappy music. I’d love to see one of these indicating NGO, UN and World Bank development workers flying … Continue reading ? The post Video of the day: Every flight taken over the Atlantic in 24 hours appeared first on Chris Blattman.

“Let them eat cash”: Some post-op reflections

Lately, my research and others have suggested that simple cash handouts might be one of the most effective anti-poverty strategies in the world. Is it time to bring it home? Today I have an Op-Ed in the NY Times on … Continue reading ? The post “Let them eat cash”: Some post-op reflections appeared first on Chris Blattman.

A book that help change the way I think about politics in developing countries

In the 1990s, the average country tipped from unapologetic dictatorship to holding elections. Many nations let parties compete, the free press criticize, and so forth. This has to be one of the most monumental events to happen in myShow More Summary

What’s your summer reading list?

I’m building my list. I’m curious what you’re reading or read and loved. I have a few below, some obvious (in that a couple are trendy bestsellers) but I welcome suggestions. We will be in Spain (specifically, the Pyrenees) for three … Continue reading ? The post What’s your summer reading list? appeared first on Chris Blattman.

What do we know about poverty and violence?

I gave a talk to USAID last week, focusing on “the micro level”. This is an obtuse way of saying “why men rebel”. My short answer: the usual economic incentives matter. But just because you can get a statistically significant estimate … Continue reading ? The post What do we know about poverty and violence? appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Links I liked

You are more likely to be bitten by Luis Suarez (1 in 2,000) than a shark (1 in 3,700,000) U.S. Scientist Offers $10,000 to Anyone Who Can Disprove Manmade Climate Change Rich country policymakers who hope that aid will reduce immigration … Continue reading ? The post Links I liked appeared first on Chris Blattman.

A development economist’s guide to decide what team to root for in the World Cup

From Dean Karlan in the NY Times Upshot blog. The basic principle is simple, drawn from utilitarian principles: Root for the outcome that will produce the largest aggregate increase in happiness. So I came up with a simple index, calculated...Show More Summary

Social engineering in the Congo

Do participatory development projects make local politics more democratic? A new paper by Humphreys, Sanchez de la Sierra, and Van der Windt: Since the 1990s, participatory development has become a favored model for delivering international aid. The huge growth of … Continue reading ? The post Social engineering in the Congo appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Links I liked

Pranab Bardhan on what Piketty means for India (among other comments on the book) Hand-painted scenes from Miyazaki films Stephen Hawking versus John Oliver Imperialism in North America, visualized The post Links I liked appeared first on Chris Blattman.

“It’s raining men! Hallelujah?”

That’s the title of a new paper by Pauline Grosjean and Rose Khattar, arguing that conservative gender norms persist: We document the implications of missing women in the short and long run. We exploit a natural historical experiment, which sent large numbers … Continue reading ? The post “It’s raining men! Hallelujah?” appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Under what circumstances would your Google-driven car choose to kill you?

In 1967, the philosopher Philippa Foot posed what became known at “The Trolley Problem”.  Suppose you are the driver of a runaway tram (or “trolley car”) and you can only steer from one narrow track on to another; five men are working … Continue reading ? The post Under what circumstances would your Google-driven car choose to kill you? appeared first on Chris Blattman.

“Knowledge is to information as art is to kitsch”

In the digital universe, knowledge is reduced to the status of information. Who will any longer remember that knowledge is to information as art is to kitsch—that information is the most inferior kind of knowledge, because it is the most … Continue reading ? The post “Knowledge is to information as art is to kitsch” appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Video of the day: 400 years of US territorial expansion

The music is a nice touch. Presumably it drowns out the screams of the oppressed and dying. [My first thought: I probably shouldn't write that in a year when I'm applying for citizenship. My second thought: Actually, I'm confident this … Continue reading ? The post Video of the day: 400 years of US territorial expansion appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Quantitative versus qualitative measurement, the contest

If you run a survey of drug use, prostitution, domestic violence, rioting, or crime, who would believe this self-reported data? No one. If you work in one of the handful countries with reliable, available data, then you might be able … Continue reading ? The post Quantitative versus qualitative measurement, the contest appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Links I liked

PhD math camp, online Arvind Subramanian’s development reading list As usual, I could just copy all David McKenzie’s links on impact evaluations A rare youth training program that worked! Dan Altman on “Why poor countries need more factory workers and fewer entrepreneurs“. … Continue reading ? The post Links I liked appeared first on Chris Blattman.

International development, the anti-politics machine

As Gloria Steinem explained 30 years ago: “Power can be taken, but not given. The process of the taking is empowerment itself.” By washing our hands of politics, we also wash our hands of the fact that while political change … Continue reading ? The post International development, the anti-politics machine appeared first on Chris Blattman.

The best argument I’ve heard against standing desks to date

Wellness experts say curling up in a ball on the floor is the healthiest way to deal with the non-stop agony of the workday. From The Onion, More Office Workers Switching To Fetal Position Desks. Hat tip to Jeff M. The post The best argument I’ve heard against standing desks to date appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Five facts about informal economies

A new paper by Rafael La Porta and Andrei Shleifer: First, it is huge, reaching about half of the total in the poorest countries. Second, it has extremely low productivity compared to the formal economy: informal firms are typically small, inefficient, … Continue reading ? The post Five facts about informal economies appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Links I liked

From the always excellent Development Impact blog: 3ie has launched an impact evaluation database, with more than 2,400 impact evaluations. They have a challenge out that if you know of impact evaluations they missed, you can get Amazon gift cards (see their website … Continue reading ? The post Links I liked appeared first on Chris Blattman.

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