Social programs began on the notion that their beneficiaries will change some behavior (perhaps due to improved incentives or new knowledge gained during the intervention) pose unique challenges for impact evaluation. Nevertheless, it is difficult to determine when the treatment and control groups should be compared, i.e. when the program in question should be evaluated. This papers explores challenges revolving around these issues.
This paper examines the extent to which economic development decreases a country’s risk of experiencing climate-related disasters as well as the societal impacts of those events. The study finds that low-income countries are significantly more at risk of climate-related disasters, even after controlling for exposure to climate hazards and other factors that may confound disaster reporting.
The research team evaluates the impacts of forest user group participation under Malawi's Forest Co-management Program on forest clearing and household income. Using propensity score weighting and propensity score analysis with non-parametric regression, the team finds that the program lowered the rate and extent of forest clearing.
Small-scale fisheries in developing countries employ the majority of the world's fishers and are a critical source of income and nutrition for billions of people, yet they frequently suffer from overfishing. The team explores the mechanisms by which this undesirable outcome arises and argue that institutional reform should consider that resource users make jointly determined decisions about gear choice, including illegal ones, and harvest rates.
Behavioral poverty traps and shortsightedness reinforce each other. By using a model with long-term planning horizon, this tool can help improve economic decisions and prospects based on a randomized controlled trial in Mozambique providing agro-input subsidies.
This article attempts to fill an important knowledge gap by studying conservation agriculture (CA) adoption in southern Malawi. The results show that farmers view adoption of CA as a series of separate decisions, rather than a single decision, and that mulching residues and intercropping or rotating with legumes introduces a multiplier effect on the adoption of zero tillage.
This study used ethnographic interviews and machine learning to explore how farmers decide to adopt specific activities on CA in Malawi. The results show that adoption by neighbors (i.e., peer effects) matters most, with possible implications for the overall cost of encouraging CA (e.g., through subsidies) as it is taken up across a landscape.
This study used longitudinal household data to determine which factors affected demand for index based livestock insurance (IBLI). While both price and the non-price factors studied previously are indeed important, the findings indicate that basis risk and spatiotemporal adverse selection also play a major role in determining demand for IBLI.
This presentation was presented in Nairobi, Kenya on May 24, 2017 describing the problems Sub-Saharan Africa faces for missing the "Green Revolution" of seed-fertilizer between 1960-2000 and what can be done today.