A combine harvester, or combine, is a machine that harvests food crops like paddy, wheat, maize and soybean. It combines three separate operations, reaping, threshing and winnowing, into a single process. Combines are giant machines; bigger than anything you see...Read More..
Lack of adequate power supply constrains economic growth and affects quality of life across India. But nowhere is the problem as severe as it is in my home state, Bihar. Bihar, a state of more than a 100 million people,...Read More..
Last week Diane, Avinash, and I spent some time in a village in north Bihar. At the first glance, the village had some very useful public facilities – decent roads, subsidized food, and at least three schools. But, a little...Read More..
On a recent trip to Bihar, Dean, Avinash and I had the opportunity to visit a PDS dealer in Muzaffarpur district and ask him about the new cupon system for the Public Distribution System (PDS) in Bihar. The PDS is...Read More..
For the past month and a half or so, Diane and I have been in Delhi. We've made friends with the great people at the Delhi School of Economics and with the folks at NCAER who bring you my...Read More..
This Sunday, the New York Times magazine will be running a long article about decision fatigue that cites Dean's depletion research. It's already online at http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/magazine/do-you-suffer-from-decision-fatigue.html...Read More..
I’ve often heard it said that when social science research involves too many numbers, we can lose track of the people behind the numbers. I don’t necessarily agree with this claim—in fact, some numbers not only remind me of, but...Read More..
About a week ago, as I was beginning to think about the "administrative records" section of a class that I could teach about collecting demographic data, I came across a photo essay by Jan Banning on Chris Blattman’s blog. The...Read More..
What is the most dangerous thing that humans make? Is it nuclear weapons? Is it carbon emissions? To be honest, I don’t know (and I’m not particularly sure how we might even find out), but I would like to propose...Read More..
We received our determination letter from the IRS yesterday: RICE is now officially a 501(c)(3) public charity. That means that it doesn’t have to pay income taxes, and donations to it are tax deductable (at least for people who itemize...Read More..
I have spent much of the last few months thinking about how the data we collect influences the conclusions we draw. Today, I’ve been reading a draft of a paper called “Remembrance of Things Past: The Impact of Recall Periods...Read More..
The growing use of controlled experiments to test whether programs for the poor are effective is an exciting trend in development economics research and in development practice. Much like a drug trial tries to answer the question of whether a...Read More..
Why don’t I floss my teeth more often? Or go to the gym more frequently? Or eat more green, leafy vegetables? In the big picture, what I do with my health probably doesn’t matter. But, sometimes these little behaviors –...Read More..
75% of all households in India use solid unprocessed fuels—firewood and dung-cake—as cooking fuels. The fuel is burned in inefficient chulhas (burners) in poorly ventilated kitchens resulting in an estimated half a million premature deaths and nearly 500 million cases...Read More..