Tracking, Attrition and Data Quality in the Kenyan Life Panel Survey Round 1 (KLPS-1)

Don’t Forget the Already Poor

Audio available via Marketplace (19:50).

We’re all glued to Wall Street’s implosion and for good reason. We’re worried about falling home values and our 401k’s. The crisis will also hit the world’s poorest people in Africa, Asia and Latin America who are least able to buffer the shock.

For one, in the recent Vice Presidential debate, Joe Biden said that one
consequence of the financial crisis would be a cut in U.S. foreign aid. That’s not good for countries, like many in Africa, that rely on bilateral aid for a large chunk of their national budget, to make sure their civil servants, police, and judges keep getting paid.

As American wallets snap shut, charities will also take a hit. We Americans are incredibly generous givers to the developing world, funding everything from primary schools, to maternal and child health clinics, to micro-credit for rural entrepreneurs. Many of these worthwhile projects will wither when assistance from overseas dries up.

Political Ties Boost Bottom Lines

Audio available via Marketplace (20:37).

Critics of our campaign finance system fear growing corruption: are contributions too often the quid pro quo for favorable government regulation or no-bid contracts?

New economics research using stock prices finds that political ties can be quite profitable for U.S. firms. The idea is simple: compare companies that cultivate ties with Democrats (through campaign contributions or board memberships or lobbying) to the firms that give to or hire Republicans. Once election results are in, the stock price movements of these two groups of firms reveal the market value of their political allegiances.