Links Round-up: Chinese import competition, the importance of numbers and the CSAE Conference

Every week, Ranil Dissanayake updates us on the latest interesting links and other readings he came across. This week’s topics: Chinese import competition, the importance of numbers and the CSAE Conference. Ranil is a Senior Economist at the UK Department for International Development. The opinions expressed in his writings are entirely his own and do not represent the views of his employer (DfID does not have strong views on Japanese Knotweed).

London can be hard. This morning, I was trying to get from Peckham up to East London and wound up on a broken-down train that was stuck on the tracks between stations for around two hours. We were eventually evacuated (by very courteous staff) down onto the tracks, with a little warning of “Don’t step on the rails, mate. It’ll fry you.” I’ve spent part of the rest of the day stressing out that the stuff sprouting unwontedly in my garden was Japanese Knotweed (it’s garlic, and I’m an idiot) and trying to do the work that should take more than one person more hours than I have in sufficiently few hours to retain a social life outside of the office. The Daily Mash had it exactly right: “You’re not even in our top five worries, Londoners tell extremists”. Continue reading

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What to take into account when measuring poverty? Poverty and Inequality at #OxCSAE2017

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 (your calculated GINI coefficient might be off!) 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.

Marc Witte, Lukas Hensel and Elwyn Davies, all DPhil students at the University of Oxford, kick off with a selection of papers on labour economics and focus on peers and motivation at work, FitBits to measure productivity, reference letters, public salary wages and downward nominal wage rigidity (yes, it exists!). Continue reading

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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.

Continue reading

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