Duke BREAD

April 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

The Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD) is a non-profit organization, founded in 2002, dedicated to encourage research and scholarship in development economics.  They organize conferences, publish a working paper and policy paper series, and conduct a summer school. They also have a great resource for datasets relevant to developing countries, most of which are public domain. Information about the BREAD fellows can be found here, and some of their recent work can be found here. This includes (descriptions from abstracts):

1. A randomized trial by Banerjee, et al in India which sought to determine whether institutions can be reformed through incremental administrative change: The police department of the state of Rajasthan, India collaborated with researchers at US and Indian universities to design and implement four interventions to improve police performance and the public’s perception of the police in 162 police stations (covering over one-fifth of the State’s police stations and personnel): (1) placing community observers in police stations; (2) a freeze on transfers of police staff; (3) in‐service training to update skills; and (4) weekly duty rotation with a guaranteed day off per week.

2. A study by Nun and Qian looking at the effects of U.S. Food Aid on civil wars

3. A theoretical paper investigating how charities can increase small donor contributions via large donor leverage; the findings are a bit intuitive in this one, but interesting nonetheless: Karlan and List developed a simple theory which formally describes how charities can resolve the information asymmetry problems faced by small donors by working with large donors to generate quality signals. To test the model, they conducted two large-scale natural field experiments. In the first experiment, a charity focusing on poverty reduction solicited donations from prior donors and either announced a matching grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, or made no mention of a match. In the second field experiment, the same charity sent direct mail solicitations to individuals who had not previously donated to the charity, and tested whether naming the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as the matching donor was more effective than not identifying the name of the matching donor.

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