Week of September 21, 2015

1. Retirement Savings: According to a recent survey, one in eight Americans tapped their retirement accounts over the past year to pay for unexpected emergencies, despite financial penalties and implications on long-term savings. Bankrate

2. Student Debt: PricewaterhouseCoopers announced it will assume up to $7,200 in student debt for its U.S. employees. According to one survey, only 3% of companies offer student loan repayment as a benefit. The Wall Street Journal

3. Research Methodology: An RCT conducted in Sierra Leone reports that a field researcher's race conveys subtle cues to research subjects, which could affect study outcomes — without anyone even realizing it. NY Magazine

4. Development Engineering: Will an engineering degree become the future requirement for a career in development? (Probably not.) Devex

5. March of the Kiwis: No it's not just the All Blacks kicking off their inevitable defense of their World Cup Title. Arguably the most famous Kiwi not wearing all black who is also a development economist leading impact evaluations at the World Bank, David McKenzie, is having quite the month. His evaluation of "one of the most effective things" the World Bank has ever done was highlighted by Michael Clemens in The Huffington Post. Then Chris Blattman posited that a business plan competition that David helped set up and evaluated may be "the most effective development program in history." To top it off, David has a new paper with Chris Woodruff showing that business practices in small firms have as much impact on outcomes as they do in large firms. 


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