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April 21, 2017 (links edition #13)

A lot of poverty thinking, with the round 3 of the ‘cash versus chickens’ debate (Gates vs Blattman vs Pritchett), an analysis of the poverty progress (and its nature) in Africa, Ravi Kanbur’s new paper on digitalization and targeting, and a World development article on poverty traps.

Two views on fighting world poverty Chris Blattman, blog March 28, 2017.

Is Poverty in Africa Mostly Chronic or Transient? Evidence from Synthetic Panel Data, Hai-Anh H. Dang and Andrew L. Dabalen, April 2017, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 8033

The Digital Revolution and Targeting Public Expenditure for Poverty Reduction, Ravi Kanbur, April 2017, IMF 2017 Fiscal Forum

Welfare Impacts of Index Insurance in the Presence of a Poverty Trap, Sommarat Chantarat, Andrew G. Mude, Christopher B. Barrett and Calum G. Turvey, June 2017, World Development Vol 94


Plenty of resilience-related materials: the new edition of ODI’s resilience scan, a paper by CGD on reforming emergency assistance, electronic transfers in humanitarian assistance, case studies on cash transfers in humanitarian settings (DRC, Iraq, plus a synthesis paper), an assessment of interagency collaborations on cash payments, the counterintuitive coping strategies during Kenya’s drought, and informal risk sharing during disasters.

Resilience Scan October – December 2016: A review of literature, debates and blogs on resilience, Thomas Tanner, Emma Lovell, Lena Weingartner and Pandora Batra, 2017, Overseas Development Institute

Payouts for Perils: How insurance can radically improve emergency aid, 2017, The Payout for Perils Working Group and Theodore Talbot,

Electronic transfers in humanitarian assistance and uptake of financial services: a synthesis of ELAN case studies, Sarah Bailey, March 2017, Overseas Development Institute

Time for change: Harnessing the potential of humanitarian cash transfers, Sarah Bailey and Paul Harvey, March 2017, Overseas Development Institute Report

Humanitarian cash transfers in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sarah Bailey, March 2017, Overseas Development Institute Working Paper 507

Challenging the system: humanitarian cash transfers in Iraq, Kristin Smart, March 2017, Overseas Development Institute Working Paper 508

A Review of Inter-Agency Collaboration for CTP Delivery: Perceptions of efficiency and effectiveness, Kristin Smart and Robin Nataf, Cash Learning Partnership (USAID)

Drought in Kenya Sends More Girls to School, 5th April 2017,

Post-disaster Informal Risk Sharing Against Illness, Yoshito Takasaki, June 2017, World Development Vol 94


Three interesting papers on mobility and displacement, including on attitudes toward migrants (by IZA), a vivid description of the economic life in refugee camps, and recommendations for refugee compacts.

Does Information Change Attitudes Towards Immigrants? Representative Evidence from Survey Experiments, Alexis Grigorieff, Christopher Roth and Diego Ubfal, December 2016, Institute of Labor Economics Discussion Paper Series

Economic Life in Refugee Camps, Mohamad Alloush, J. Edward Taylor, Anubhab Gupta, Ruben Irvin Rojas Valdes, Ernesto Gonzalez-Estrada, July 2017, World Development Vol 95

Addressing the Global Refugee Crisis: 10 Recommendations to Design Refugee Compacts, 17th April 2017, Cindy Huang and Nazanin Ash,


Several thematic reviews and evaluations on cash transfers, i.e., two on gender, one on neighborhood effects in Mexico, and empirical papers on health and equity (the latter two courtesy of Dave Evans).

The impact of cash transfers on women and girls: A summary of the evidence, Jessica Hagen-Zanker, Luca Pellerano, Francesca Bastagli, Luke Harman, Valentina Barca, Georgina Sturge, Tanja Schmidt and Calvin Laing, March 2017, Overseas Development Institute Briefing

Cash for Women’s Empowerment? A Mixed-Methods Evaluation of the Government of Zambia’s Child Grant Program, Juan BonillaRosa Castro ZarzurSudhanshu HandaClaire NowlinAmber Peterman, Hannah Ring, David Seidenfeld, 2017, World Development Vol 95

Neighborhood Effects in Integrated Social Policies, Matteo Bobba and Jérémie Gignoux, April 2017, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 8022

Cash Transfers and Health: Evidence from Tanzania, David K. Evans, Brian Holtemeyer and Katrina Kosec, April 2017, World Bank Economic Review

The Contribution of Increased Equity to the Estimated Social Benefits from a Transfer Program: An Illustration from PROGRESA/ Oportunidades, Harold Alderman, Jere R. Behrman and Afia Tasneem, April 2017, World Bank Economic Review


Various papers on labor, employment and employability, including on minimum wage, urban youth, activation in Argentina, and the insurance function of India’s public works.

Implications of Minimum Wage Increases on Labor Market Dynamics Lessons for Emerging Economies, Ximena V. Del Carpio and Laura M. Pabon, April 2017, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 8030

Can Public Works Programs Reduce Youth Crime? Evidence from Papua New Guinea’s Urban Youth Employment Project, Oleksiy Ivaschenko, Darian Naidoo, David Newhouse and Sonya Sultan, April 2017, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 8032

Effectiveness of Active Labor Market Tools in Conditional Cash Transfer Programs: Evidence from Argentina, Elva Lopez Mourelo and Veronica Escudero, June 2017, World Development Vol 94

An Employment Guarantee as Risk Insurance? Assessing the Effects of the NREGS on Agricultural Production Decisions, Esther Gehrke, March 2017, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 8015


The political economy of resource mobilization, Acemoglu’s huge teaching compendium on political economy, and two UBI materials – that is, a podcast with India’s Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian and a smack-down style debate on basic income in the US (a must-see).

Arithmetics and Politics of Domestic Resource Mobilization, Kimberly B. Bolch, Lidia Ceriani and Luis F. Lopez-Calva, April 2017, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 8029

Political Economy Lecture Notes, Daron Acemoglu, MIT

A Universal Basic Income for India? – Podcast with Arvind Subramanian, 20th April 2017, Rajesh Mirchandani,

UBI is the safety net of the future. Intelligence-square debates.


Structural transformation through the lens of urbanization (including a theoretical paper and a regional LAC piece), productivity in Vietnam, global nutrition transition, and infrastructure in Africa.

Cities, Towns, and Poverty: Migration Equilibrium and Income Distribution in a Todaro-type Model with Multiple Destinations, Luc Christiaensen, Joachim De Weerdt and Ravi Kanbur, April 2017,

Urbanization and Development Is Latin America and the Caribbean Different from the Rest of the World?, Mark Roberts, Brian Blankespoor, Chandan Deuskar and Benjamin Stewart, March 2017, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 8019

Structural Transformation and Intertemporal Evolution of Real Wages, Machine Use, and -Farm Size – Productivity Relationships in Vietnam, Yanyan Liu, William Violette and Christopher B. Barrett, April 2017, Cornell University Papers

Nutrition transition and the structure of global food demand, Christophe Gouel and Houssein Guimbard, 2017, IFPRI Discussion Paper 1631

Figures of the week: Africa’s Pulse highlights the region’s infrastructure gaps, 20th April 2017, Amy Copley,


Big-picture thinking on aid and development and Brian Levy’s review of Duncan Green’s How Change Happens.

Converging divergence? Unpacking the new geography of 21st century global development, Rory Horner and David Hulme, February 2017, Global Development Institute Working Paper Series 2017-010

Blockhain for Development – Hope or Hype?, Institute of Development Studies, April 2017, IDS Rapid Response Briefings Issue 17

The Return of Foreign Aid, Carl-Johan Dalgaard and Henrik Hansen, April 2017, The Journal of Development Studies

Brian Levy reviews Duncan Green’s ‘How Change Happens’, Brian Levy,

Making Africa Great Again: Reducing aid dependency, 20th April, Angelle B. Kwemo,


Final mix – a review of indicators for social protection performance and a decade-long overview of Brazil’s social policy.

Indicators to measure social protection performance: implications for European Commission programming, March 2017, Anna McCord, Rebecca Holmes and Luke Herman, Overseas Development Institute Working Papers

Social policy in Brazil (2004–2014): an overview, Patrícia Andrade de Oliveira e Silva, April 2017, International Policy Center for Inclusive Growth Working Paper 155



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