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Agricultural productivity and rural-urban wage gaps revisited: Lessons from panel data
Edward Miguel, Joan Hicks, Marieke Kleemans, Nicholas Li
VoxDev
July 30, 2018

Cities don't make workers (much) more productive, but productive workers move to cities. While important advancements in our understanding of productivity gaps between agricultural and non-agricultural workers – as well as between rural and urban areas – these analyses compare different workers in different sectors in a cross-sectional setting. As such, they may still reflect unobserved differences that have nothing to do with how efficiently...

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Does Solving Energy Poverty Help Solve Poverty? Not Quite
Kenneth Lee, Edward Miguel, and Catherine Wolfram
Energy Institute Blog
March 12, 2018

But does electricity really help lift households out of poverty? We set out to answer this question. We designed an experiment in which we first identified a sample of “under grid” households in Western Kenya—structures that were located close to but not connected to a grid. These households were then randomly divided into treatment and control groups. In the treatment group, we worked closely...

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Does Providing Electricity to the Poor Reduce Poverty? Research Suggests Not Quite
Kenneth Lee, Edward Miguel, Catherine Wolfram
Forbes
March 9, 2018

But does electricity really help lift households out of poverty? My co-authors and I set out to answer this question. ...

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The legacy of war on social and political behaviour
Michal Bauer, Christopher Blattman, Julie Chytilová, Joseph Henrich, Edward Miguel, Tamar Mitts
VoxEU
July 2, 2016

The past decade has seen rapid growth in an interdisciplinary body of research examining the legacy of war on social and political behaviour. This column presents a meta-analysis and synthesis of this research. Evidence from surveys and experiments from over 40 countries reveals a stylised fact: individual exposure to war-related violence tends to increase social cooperation, community participation, and pro-social behaviour. However, these changes...

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Measuring ethnic preferences: New experimental evidence
Lars Ivar Oppedal Berge, Kjetil Bjorvatn, Simon Galle, Edward Miguel, Daniel Posner, Bertil Tungodden, Kelly Zhang
VoxEU
February 11, 2016

Ethnic divisions have been shown to adversely affect economic performance and political stability, particularly in Africa. However, the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. Using experimental data from Kenya, this column studies whether one potential mechanism – co-ethnic bias – affects altruism. Strikingly, most tests yield no evidence of co-ethnic bias, suggesting that other mechanisms must be driving the negative association between ethnic diversity and...

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Despite $7 billion to 'Power Africa', why the continent is still in the dark
Kenneth Lee and Edward Miguel
Reuters
July 30, 2015

Power Africa is tackling a critical global challenge. All of Sub-Saharan Africa, with 961 million residents, currently only consumes about as much power as New York City. Expanding energy access will be vital for driving Africa’s economic transformation over the coming decades. Yet our research in Kenya shows that most households and businesses still face major barriers to accessing electricity. In recent years, hundreds of...

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The scientific case for deworming children
Michael Kremer and Edward Miguel
Thomson Reuters Foundation
July 29, 2015

The last few days have seen an outpouring of news stories relating to “worm wars”, the policy debate over whether governments should provide mass treatment for intestinal worm infections in endemic areas. This was sparked when a re-analysis of a 2004 study (which found a strong link between deworming and school attendance) was published last week in the International Journal of Epidemiology. An issue...

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Weather and Violence
Marshall Burke, Solomon Hsiang, and Edward Miguel
New York Times
August 30, 2013

As temperatures rise, tempers flare. Anyone who has experienced the hostility of a swelteringly hot summer day in the city can attest to that. But researchers are now quantifying the causal relationship between extreme climate and human conflict. Whether their focus is on small-scale interpersonal aggression or large-scale political instability, low-income or high-income societies, the year 10,000 B.C. or the present day, the overall conclusion...

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An Open Discussion on Promoting Transparency in Social Science Research
Edward Miguel
CEGA Blog / BITSS Blog
March 20, 2013

This CEGA Blog Forum builds on a seminal research meeting held at the University of California, Berkeley on December 7, 2012. The goal was to bring together a select interdisciplinary group of scholars – from biostatistics, economics, political science and psychology – with a shared interest in promoting transparency in empirical social science research....

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