Blog Profile / Chris Blattman's Blog


URL :http://chrisblattman.com/
Filed Under:Academics / Political Science
Posts on Regator:1939
Posts / Week:4.9
Archived Since:July 25, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Some additional Angus Deaton discussions of interest

Tim Ogden interviewed Angus Deaton for his forthcoming book, Experimental Conversations, and has published the full text online. Tim Taylor on the Nobel Every year I feel a little defensive when trying to explain the intellectual contributions of the winner … Continue reading ? The post Some additional Angus Deaton discussions of interest appeared first on Chris Blattman.

If you’ve bought into giving cash to the poor, this should be your next move

…we propose that donor governments create a fund devoted exclusively to supporting cash transfer programs. The fund would accept competitive applications from organizations—both private and social sector—that wish to conduct transfers. Show More Summary

Man buys Google.com domain for $12

In a stroke of luck, Ved had been searching Google Domains, Google’s website-buying service, when he noticed that Google.com was available for purchase on September 29. Ved bought the domain for $12 and, he says, momentarily gained access to its … Continue reading ? The post Man buys Google.com domain for $12 appeared first on Chris Blattman.

A personal story about why I think Angus Deaton won the Nobel Prize

I was a master’s student at Harvard, more interested in economic history than anything else, when my econometrics professor, Rob Jensen, hired me to spend the summer in India to run a household survey — a questionnaire on every family … Continue reading ? The post A personal story about why I think Angus Deaton won the Nobel Prize appeared first on Chris Blattman.

“Society is paying a high price in dollars and human suffering for wrong assumptions.”

That quote is from psychologist Richard Nisbett, on the tragedy of not enough experimental studies of social programs like Head Start. (Hat tip to Paul Lagunes.) Regular blog readers will not need to be convinced of this point (and will...Show More Summary

IPA’s weekly links

Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action. NPR had a nice profile of an evaluation of whether teaching girls in Zambia Harvard Business School’s negotiation tools can help them navigate the many challenges to staying in school. In clinical trials … Continue reading ? The post IPA’s weekly links appeared first on Chris Blattman.

The best 400 words you can possibly read on how ISIS gets people to fight

One of the nicest discussions I’ve see: Explanations for ISIS’s behavior, and for political violence more generally, usually fall into two camps. The rationalist camp argues that violence is used for strategic purposes. People participate –...Show More Summary

Everything I ever knew about political economy I learned from… pirates?

This article argues that gangs, clans, mafias and insurgencies are, like states, forms of governance. This insight is applied to the case of Somali piracy and the article explores whether protectors of piracy were clearly distinct from...Show More Summary

Three unexpected facts about beer

Historians speculate that prehistoric nomads may have made beer from grain and water before learning to make bread. The ancient Egyptians who built the pyramids got paid by beer, bread and green onions. Different cultures use different grains to make beer; and … Continue reading ? The post Three unexpected facts about beer appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Links I liked

Half of macroeconomics papers won’t replicate, mainly because of missing data or code No, depressed American towns do not look like Zimbabwe. Annie Lowrey’s terrific take down of Paul Theroux (who was always overrated in my opinion and has fallen … Continue reading ? The post Links I liked appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Science writing

Original. Hat tip Suresh Naidu. The post Science writing appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Links I liked

A terrific article on how the effectiveness of depression treatments have been overstated because researchers didn’t publish null results Bono on development: “I’m late to realizing that it’s you guys, it’s the private sector, it’s commerce that’s going to take … Continue reading ? The post Links I liked appeared first on Chris Blattman.

The final word on the Worm Wars

I was on vacation when this came out and so didn’t blog, but this is the final word on the Worm Wars as far as I’m concerned. Bravo to Macartan Humphreys. The one thing I will add (apparently I don’t … Continue reading ? The post The final word on the Worm Wars appeared first on Chris Blattman.

IPA’s weekly links

Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action. Max Roser reminds us that the data sets above (known as Abscombe’s quartet) all have the same mean and variance, so you should always plot your data. Over at the IFPRI blog Alan de … Continue reading ? The post IPA’s weekly links appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Fear, and what a centuries old theologian can teach the modern social scientist

Some researchers have shown that the stress and preoccupation from being poor causes people to think differently and make worse decisions. Because of this, some colleagues and I started thinking what might fear do to the brain and behavior–fear...Show More Summary

European fears of immigration, redux

The first time was tragedy, the current time is farce. A lawyer for the Parlement of Paris in the 1750s: “The introduction of too many blacks into France, whether as slaves or in any other guise, is dangerous. We will … Continue reading ? The post European fears of immigration, redux appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Links I liked

Justin Wolfers on what the White House nudge unit has and hasn’t learned. Great piece The Busara experimental lab in Nairobi (where I am running some crime experiments) is hiring Hate mail in comic sans David Weil’s research pep talk … Continue reading ? The post Links I liked appeared first on Chris Blattman.

IPA’s weekly links

Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action. Bridge Academies, the low-cost private school franchise supported by Bill Gates,  Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, DFID, and others has been stopped from expanding by the Kenyan government, even as it has been … Continue reading ? The post IPA’s weekly links appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Is this the most effective development program in history?

It’s a business plan competition for $50,000, and I think it’s a contender. In 2011 the Nigerian government handed out 60 million dollars to about 1200 entrepreneurs, and three years later there are hundreds more new companies, generating tons of … Continue reading ? The post Is this the most effective development program in history? appeared first on Chris Blattman.

Video of the week: The most incredible views of earth from space I’ve seen

Time lapse footage from the International Space Station. The post Video of the week: The most incredible views of earth from space I’ve seen appeared first on Chris Blattman.

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