Week of February 22, 2016

1. Racial Wealth Gap: La June Montgomery Tabron, President and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, applies insights from the US Financial Diaries project to the economic realities of families of color in America, where a persistent racial wealth gap and structural impediments to equality remain.  Stanford Social Innovation Review

2. Behavioral Economics: Behavioral "nudges" incorporated into policy design may produce some change but fall short of solving major issues like encouraging retirement savings among the poor. As Eduardo Porter puts it, "fancy cognitive tricks may fail to overcome the main obstacle faced by the poor: a lack of money." The New York Times

3. Cash Transfers: At a recent event, Nobel Laureate Angus Deaton touched on foreign aid, global and national inequality, and globalization. He also warned the development community of potential unintended consequences of cash transfers as the intervention grows in popularity. Center on Foreign Relations

4. Financial Diaries: New research from Smallholder Diaries provides an in-depth look into the financial lives of farmers across Mozambique, Pakistan, and Tanzania. One particularly interesting insight - the majority of earned household income across the sample comes from non-agricultural activities (as high as 93% in Mozambique). CGAP

5. External Validity: Using an analysis of studies from top economics journals, David Evans pinpoints a relationship between a paper's title and an implicit statement on the external validity of its content. The World Bank - Development Impact

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