Childhood Interventions: Cash Versus Information
Policy makers have been increasingly interested in the returns to early-childhood investments. In this video, Imran Rasul shares his research findings from a development programme in Nigeria where parents were provided with information on raising their children and mothers were provided a large unconditional cash transfer for over two years. Ultimately, through his research he is able to answer the information-cash tradeoff.
Behind our Data Collection Effort, Sierra Leone
In this film, a data collection team with Innovations for Poverty Action travels to Pujehun district in Sierra Leone to conduct surveys for a randomized evaluation. While there, the team meets with elders, navigates barely passable roads, and travels by canoe to track survey respondents, all part of their mission to collect high-quality data—data that is fed into the research and evidence decision-makers need in order to know what works, what doesn't, and why.
Do Apprenticeships Work ?
Youth unemployment continues to remain a key policy challenge across the developing world. Professor Imran Rasul, University College London, analyses two potential solutions to tackle this problem: vocational training and apprenticeships through wage-subsidy programmes. He carries out a randomised controlled trial in Uganda, finding that both interventions led to a rise in earnings for workers. However, vocational training had a larger positive effect. The positive signalling effect from vocational training explains this difference.
International Growth Centre
Tackling Extreme Poverty: Transforming the Lives of the Ultra-Poor
Can extreme poverty be eliminated through programmes targeting the world’s ultra-poor? This extended film discusses the merits of graduation approaches and includes interviews with IGC researchers and policymakers. Produced by Econ Films.
Should Cannabis Be Legalised?
How a different approach to cannabis helped to cut crime. Based on research by Imran Rasul and co-authors Brendon McConnell and Jérôme Adda: Crime and the Depenalization of Cannabis Possession: Evidence from a Policing Experiment, JPE, October 2014. The film makes a number of claims, for a full write up see http://econfilms.tv/blog/?p=59. Otherwise, see below: 'Cannabis is the most widely used illegal drug in the world, with many millions using it every day': There are an estimated 250 million drug users worldwide according to the UN. An estimated 162 million people used cannabis in 2004. The United Nations Office on Drugs Crime (UNODC) estimates that it accounted for around 80% of illegal drug use in 2004, suggesting that hundreds of millions of people use it regularly (see UN document here: http://www.unodc.org/pdf/WDR_2006/wdr2006_chap2_biggest_market.pdf). 'Politicians smoking cannabis in their youth': In 2007 David Cameron admitted he smoked while at school (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6350909.stm), Barack Obama did the same in 2006 and back in 1992 Bill Clinton made the ludricous claim that he smoked but didn't inhale (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpBzQI_7ez8). 'Cannabis is less harmful to your health than alcohol or tobacco, according to government sponsored studies': In 2009, Professor David Nutt, the UK government's drug adviser was sacked for claiming that, among other things, cannabis was less dangerous than alcohol and tobacco. He also said that the chances of schizophrenia from cannabis use were around 1 in 5,0000. (See for example an article in the Guardian here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/oct/30/drugs-adviser-david-nutt-sacked). More on the Lambeth Cannabis Warning Pilot Scheme: Between 2001 and 2002, the London Borough of Lambeth 'depanalised' cannabis. This means that smoking cannabis was no longer a criminal offence. So long as cannabis was for personal use, the police would only remove the cannabis and they would issue a warning. There would be no arrests or prosecutions. The scheme was designed to save police time and money so they could focus on other crimes. (Link to a review of the Lambeth Cannabis Warning Pilot Scheme carried out by the Metropolitan Police Authority in 2002: http://www.mpa.gov.uk/committees/mpa/2002/020926/17/#h1000. The police commander who brought in the scheme was, Brian Paddick who later ran for Mayor of London in 2008 and 2012 representing the Liberal Democrats. In the most recent election he offered to depanalise cannabis across London, see here: http://www.standard.co.uk/news/mayor/brian-paddick-urges-softlysoftly-approach-to-cannabis-7665134.html). Poll showing that most residents were in favour of the scheme: Link to IPSOS-MORI poll: http://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/1056/Lambeth-Cannabis-Policing-Experiment.aspx Reports of children using cannabis in Lambeth from the Guardian, Telegraph among others: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1393000/Why-softer-line-is-making-life-hard-for-the-people-of-Brixton.html and http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2002/jun/23/drugsandalcohol.drugs. (These newspapers weren't the only ones to report on the downsides of the scheme. The reason these two newspapers are mentioned in the film is because they are both well-respected newspapers known for having different political persuasions). For a full write up of this video, see http://econfilms.tv/blog/?p=59 Produced by ECON FILMS Camera Operators: George Featherby, Greg Luscome & Bob Denham Music: Andrew Warne With thanks to: Max Mallows, Imran Rasul, Anthony Sturgeon, Romesh Vaitilingam, Daisy Whitaker and the Royal Economic Society Written and Directed by Bob Denham With special thanks to those interviewed