What to take into account when measuring poverty? (Your GINI coefficient might be off!)

Measuring poverty can be challenging. Rocco Zizzamia and Elwyn Davies reflect on a selection of papers from the CSAE Conference sessions on poverty and inequality and discuss what happens if you stop taking households as units and include measures of vulnerability. Continue reading

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What is the value of formalisation? Lessons from the CSAE Conference

Several papers at this year’s CSAE conference examined take-up and effects of formalisation. Michael Koelle, DPhil student at CSAE, takes stock of the lessons we can learn from these papers. Continue reading

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Time and Risk at #OxCSAE2017: Present bias in the lab, incentives and overoptimism and informal risk-sharing vs. formal insurance

The CSAE Conference finished yesterday. Over the next days our team of student bloggers will present you with a selection of interesting and notable papers. With more than 300 papers presented at the CSAE Conference, we are unfortunately unable to do justice to all of them! (Fortunately, some others are better at that!)

Time and Risk was featured prominently at this year’s conference. Amma Panin, Kewan Mertens and Emma Riley discuss a selection of papers in this area, focusing on whether present bias in the lab is realwhether incentives lead to overoptimism, whether informal risk-sharing and formal insurance are complements or substitutes and more! Continue reading

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Labour at #OxCSAE2017: The value of reference letters and should we now use FitBits to measure productivity?

Labour is traditionally a popular topic at the CSAE Conference. This year’s conference had a total of six sessions on Labour, with 24 papers presented. Over the next days our team of PhD bloggers will present you with a selection of papers from the conference. We kick off with labour, and focus on peers and motivation at work, FitBits to measure productivity, reference letters, public salary wages and downward nominal wage rigidity (it exists!).

Peers and Motivation at Work: Evidence from a Firm Experiment in Malawi

What makes you become more productive at your job —  working next to someone you like or next to someone who’s really good at the job? Jason Kerwin (University of Minnesota) and co-authors tried to shed light on the mechanisms behind peer effects at the workplace by randomly allocating pluckers on a tea estate in Malawi to a specific plot on each field. In different words, if the person plucking tea leaves next to you varies exogenously, how does this affect your own productivity? The authors provide evidence for positive, significant peer effects in this context: If your neighbouring pluckers are 10% more productive, then — as a consequence — you’re a little more than half a percentage point more productive. This effect is not very big economically, but statistically robust.

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Reflections on evidence in the age of #FakeNews

The keynote lecture at this year’s CSAE conference was given by Macartan Humphreys from Columbia Univsersity. Titled ‘Researchers just ran a randomized control trial in Africa and you won’t believe what they found: Reflections on evidence in the age of fake news and discredited expertise‘ the lecture set out to be entertaining and topical at the same time. Lukas Hensel, DPhil student at CSAE, discusses the main takeaway messages of the keynote. Continue reading

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Closing session: The Future of Donor Agencies in Africa

What should be the role of donor agencies in Africa in the coming years? This is the question that is central to this year’s CSAE Conference closing session. Our speakers for this session are Lindy Cameron (DfID), Albert Engel (GIZ) and Matthew Spencer (Oxfam). Stefan Dercon (CSAE) will chair the session, which starts at 16:30 UK time. Unfortunately, there is no video feed available for this session. Continue reading

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Debunking myths about forced migration

Darfur refugee camp in Chad (Creative Commons Mark Knobil from Pittsburgh, USA)

During first plenary session of the CSAE conference (video here), Stefan Dercon, Tuesday Reitano, Isabel Ruiz and Philip Verwimp debunked a series of myths about forced migration.

First, they reminded us that the so-called refugee crisis in Europe is only the tip of the iceberg. The 10 countries hosting the highest number of refugees are actually not in Europe, but in developing countries. Developing countries hosted 86% of the world’s refugees in 2014. Continue reading

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Macartan Humphreys: Researchers just ran an RCT in Africa and you won’t believe what they found! (Watch live!)

Macartan Humphreys (Columbia University) is this year’s keynote speaker at the CSAE Conference, with a keynote provocatively titled Researchers just ran a randomized control trial in Africa and you won’t believe what they found: Reflections on evidence in the age of fake news and discredited expertise. You can watch the keynote live through our livestreams. The session starts tomorrow (Monday) at 9.30am. Continue reading

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Watch: our session on African Refugees and Migrants

Migration is one of the topics high on the development agenda. In our first keynote session of the CSAE Conference, Tuesday Reitano (Global Initiative against Transnational Organised Crime), Isabel Ruiz (University of Oxford) and Phillip Verwimp (Université Libre de Bruxelles) will share their views on migration and development and in particular on what policies should be pursued with respect to refugees coming from African countries. Stefan Dercon (CSAE) will be leading the discussion.

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The CSAE Conference 2017 is about to begin!

From tomorrow onwards, CSAE will host one of the largest conferences on Development Economics, the annual CSAE Conference (Sun 19 – Tue 21 March 2017).

Three days, with 109 sessions, covering a wide range of topics, varying from macroeconomic and fiscal policy to education, firms, labour, health, household behaviour and much more! We have some exciting plenary sessions coming up as well: Macartan Humphreys, from Columbia University, will hold a keynote speech on Reflections on evidence in the age of fake news and discredited expertise, and there will be two panel sessions, one on African refugees and migration and one on the future of donor agencies in Africa. Continue reading

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