Friday, November 9, 2012

NEUDC 2012: Papers I liked

A lot of fun and a lot of jet lag. Short but meaningful. It was a great pleasure to participate for first time at the NEUDC conference last weekend. Many papers blew up my mind and gave me good new ideas, here a selection of my favorites (at least from the presentations I assisted):

"Aid Under Fire: Development Projects and Civil Conflict"
Presented by: Benjamin Crost (University of Colorado Denver).
Main message: Elegible munipalities for a CDD program in Phillipines experienced a large increase in conflict casualties compared. This is likely to be related with rebel groups trying to impede increase for government support in these areas.

"Preferences over leisure and consumption of siblings and intra-household allocation"
Presented by: Martina Kirchberger (University of Oxford)
Main message: While most models consider children as passive agents, they are agents with their own preferences over leisure and consumption. A model of Bart versus Lisa is presented and supported with data from many countries.

"Violence, Emotional Distress, and Induced Changes in Risk Attitudes Among the Displaced Population in Colombia"
Presented by: Andres Moya (UC Davis)
Main message: Data collected in a group of internally displaced rural households and a group of non-displaced rural households in Colombia provide evidence that more severe and more recent episodes of violence and the incidence of anxiety disorders induce higher levels of risk aversion.

"Water Supply and Water handling-Complements or Substitutes"
Presented by: Elena Gross (University of Göttingen)
Main message: Households in rural Benin consider improved water supply and water handling as substitutes of water provision. This implies a neutralization of the effects of public water infrastructure programs, given households reduce water filtration and disinfection.

"The Value of Advice: Evidence from Mobile Phone-Based Agricultural Extension"
Presented by: A. Nilesh Fernando (Harvard University)
Main message: Indian farmers that received the option to get assistance of a call center and receive other information related to agricultural information in their cell phones changed their behavior, adopting more effective and less hazardous pesticides.

"The Effect of Financial Access on Networks: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Nepal"
Presented by: Margherita Comola (Paris School of Economics)
Main message: Using panel data on the network of financial transactions before and after a field experiment in rural Nepal, evidence of the endogeneity of the networks is provided and estimates of the bias of the exogenous assumption are provided.

And finally, two nice RCTs in Chilito:

"Micro Entrepreneurship Training and Assets Transfers: Short Term Impact on the Poor"
Presented by: Claudia Martinez (University of Chile)
Main message: Business training and asset transfers to micro-entrepreneurs increase significantly employment and income in the short term.

"Savings as Insurance: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment among Low-Income Micro-Entrepreneurs in Chile"
Presented by: Dina Pomeranz (Harvard University)
Main message: Women micro-entrepreneurs significantly increase savings when a free saving account is offered. Some of the main effects come from helping the women to confront the hostile environment of a banking institution.

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