Center for Effective Global Action
January 2017 - Impact Note

Impacts of Energy on Economic Growth

Photo by Felipe Rodríguez
In a recent interview with BerkeleyHaas , affiliates Catherine Wolfram and Paul Gertler discuss CEGA's new applied research program on Energy and Economic Growth (EEG), co-managed by Oxford Policy Management and funded by the UK Government through UK Aid. CEGA is leading development of the research agenda for the multi-million dollar program, which will support the generation of new evidence on the returns to investments in energy systems in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

How Peru is Making Children Grow Taller

Photo by Shawn Harquail

A recent BBC video follows the effectiveness of the JUNTOS conditional cash transfer program in Peru. CEGA affiliate Paul Gertler and a team of researchers recently evaluated this program and the impact of branchless banking agents on accessibility and recipients' savings.

Impacts of the "Mexico City Policy" Revival

Photo by Santiago Times
Research by CEGA affiliate Grant Miller (Stanford) and co-authors on the potential impacts of a new U.S. executive order was recently featured in the New York Times . The order revives and expands the "Mexico City Policy," which prohibits global health organizations who receive U.S. federal funding from discussing abortions with their clients. The policy may have implications for organizations providing reproductive health services around the world. Studies of similar executive orders from past administrations reveal that in countries relying heavily on U.S. funding for reproductive health services, abortion rates increased while the policy was in place, suggesting there could be similar unintended consequences this time around.

Affiliate Miriam Golden Weighs In On Systemic Corruption for the NYT

Photo by Wayan Vota
CEGA affiliate Miriam Golden discusses her global research on corruption--including the importance of public trust in institutions and mechanisms to protect accountability--in a recent New York Times article. She explains that when corruption becomes systemic, it can seem universal, inevitable and even rational to individuals that would not otherwise engage in illicit behavior. Independent institutions that maintain the capacity to investigate and penalize corrupt activities can serve as "islands of honesty" that protect accountability and rule of law.

Financial Inclusion Lab Supporting New Pilot Research 
Photo by Sandip Sukhtankar 
In its first competitive funding round, CEGA's Financial Inclusion Lab (FIL) awarded four pilot grants to teams of researchers testing novel digital financial inclusion interventions in Sierra Leone, Kenya, Nepal and the Dominican Republic. Read more here .

2016 Recipients of the Leamer-Rosenthal Prizes for Open Social Science

Photo by Katie Hoeberling 
In December, the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS) awarded Leamer-Rosenthal Prizes for Open Social Science to nine educators and scholars working to promote the values of research transparency and reproducibility. Read more about this year's recipients here .

EASST Fellows Lead Training at African School of Economics
Kizito Omala

From December 12-17, East Africa Social Science Translation Collaborative (EASST) fellows Kizito Omala (Makerere University) and Constantine Manda (Yale University) led trainings on impact evaluation and research transparency and presented papers at the 2016 African School of Economics Summer Institute for Economic Research , held in Cotonou, Benin. Over 100 participants gained new insight on rigorous evaluation design and received critical feedback on their own research projects.

BITSS Holds its Fifth Annual Meeting in Berkeley

Photo by Katie Hoeberling
In December the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS) brought together over 80 researchers, educators, students, practitioners, and journalists at this year's Annual Meeting . Presenters discussed the current and future state of research transparency, showcased cutting edge tools for open education and research, highlighted results from SSMART projects, and led a panel with journal editors on results-blind review. Watch the recorded livestream here .


The Science, Economics, and Politics of Tropical Forests and  
Climate Change

Why Forests? Why Now? The Science, Economics, and Politics of 
Tropical Forests and Climate Change , a new book by CEGA Visiting Scientist Jonah Busch and co-author Frances Seymour was launched this month. The book is intended to be an authoritative and accessible synthesis of research on how tropical forests contribute to a stable climate and sustainable development.

Transparency, Reproducibility, and the Credibility of Economics Research

CEGA Faculty Director Edward Miguel and Project Scientist Garret Christensen recently released a working paper featuring the results of a survey on issues related to reproducibility in economics, and the social sciences more broadly. The survey lays out the evidence on core problems with research such as publication bias and p-hacking, and discusses partial solutions including study registration, pre-analysis plans, and data sharing.

New Working Paper on Risk Salience and Adolescent Sexual Behavior in Cameroon

Photo by UN Women/Ryan Brown
Adolescent girls in Sub-Saharan Africa are at particularly high risk for HIV infection and unwanted pregnancy. CEGA affiliate Pascaline Dupas and co-authors have a new working paper on an RCT measuring the impacts of multiple HIV prevention interventions for teenage schoolgirls in Cameroon on sexual behavior, HIV infection, and pregnancy outcomes. The authors find that short-term interventions can reduce instances of teen pregnancy by over 25% in the following 9-12 months, and suggests that even minor interventions to reduce the risks of HIV and pregnancy can have major impacts on the sexual behavior of rural adolescent girls.

What Happens When the Money Runs Out?

Photo by CEGA
A new post on the World Bank Development Impact blog discusses whether cash transfer programs can have lasting effects for beneficiaries even after the money stops. The post details work co-authored by CEGA affiliate Craig McIntosh that examines a cash-transfer experiment in Malawi after the conclusion of an intervention. Research findings highlight the benefits, limitations, and tradeoffs of both conditional and unconditional cash transfer programs.


EASST Welcomes Spring 2017 Visiting Fellows and Launches Fall 2017 Fellowship Competition

Photo by
Kuranda Morgan 
CEGA is excited to welcome two new EASST visiting fellow s to UC Berkeley this fall, Christine Simiyu and Michael Mbate . Christine (Kenya) holds a PhD in Development Economics from National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (Japan) and is currently a lecturer at KCA University in Kenya. Michael (Kenya) is currently pursuing his PhD in International Development at the London School of Economics. Both fellows will spend the semester in Berkeley auditing courses, designing impact evaluations in partnership with CEGA researchers, and presenting their research at different UC campuses. For more information on how to apply to the Fall 2017 Visiting Fellowship Competition, visit the opportunities page of the EASST Website.