Week of August 31, 2015

1. Employment and Wages: Despite signs of an improving economy such as lower unemployment rates and increased productivity, take home pay for low-income workers in the U.S. has fallen since 2009. The New York Times

2. Behavioral Economics: Reminders are an oft-cited example of nudges that can improve welfare. Sometimes not following through isn't about forgetting or procrastination, though. An experiment using reminders to pay for child support in Ohio finds negligible effects. MDRC

3. Microfinance: "In the annals of Twitter spats, this is no Nicki Minaj vs. Taylor Swift. But even this muted public shade-throwing is relatively rare among anti-poverty stalwarts of Counts’ and Karlan’s caliber. And since IPA and Grameen Foundation are both NextBillion content partners, I feel the urge to act as referee." (Shockingly, reading some of the comments is worthwhile.) NextBillion

4. Mystery of Microenterprise: Efforts to increase revenues and profits at microenterprises through business training have been largely unsuccessful. But it's not because the business practices being taught don't matter find McKenzie and Woodruff in a new paper. NBER

5. Savings: A new report on digital savings provides an extensive overview of current products from around the world, with a specific focus on how they meet women's saving needs. Women's World Banking

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