Sunday, April 10, 2011

To Read

Two exciting new books are coming out in the next two weeks or so. These two books, as heralded as they are, represent the credit that randomized experiments have garnered in the field of development economics.

If we have limited resources (we do) and can choose only one thing to buy, should we buy bednets, textbooks or deworming medicine for poor children in Tanzania? Randomized control trials in economics help us to understand the real effects of interjections such as these. By employing this method of looking at differences in differences we can allocate aid funds most effectively ie. with the greatest positive impact and the least negative one. (If our ends were to get more education happening, it turns out deworming is the most effective, who knew? This feeds from a recent post on indirect aid sometimes being the most effective. )

The question of extrapolation is a pertinent one. Deworming worked well in Kenya, but will it work as well as say, bed nets in other more malaria-ridden circumstances? Luckily some very bright people are working in this field, and I figure extrapolation is well considered and rarely taken as given throughout the field.

These two books mark the forefront of the effort to make aid more effective and less defective....and it seems, in a very digestible way! (Who doesn't like digestible forefronts!?). I hope they can deliver to the UAE.

Click on a book to find out more:


Check em out:



  1. Just came across your blog post on More than Good Intentions. I wanted to point you to my review of the book and the contest I am having to give away the review copy I was given. I saw that you were not sure if it would be able to be shipped to the UAE, well here is a chance to try to get it.

    I hate the idea of being self-promotional on other people's blogs, but I thought it might be of interest to you.


  2. Thanks Tom, I posted an idea on your blog.