For people who teach de Mel, McKenzie and Woodruff (returns to women micro-entrepreneurs =0!)… a possible important new complication

In a 2009 paper, David McKenzie and coauthors Chris Woodruff and Suresh de Mel find that giving cash grants to male entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka has a positive and significant return, while giving the same to women did not. David followed this up with work with coauthors in Ghana that compared in-kind and cash grants for women and men. Again, better returns for men (with in-kind working for some women). Taken together, these paper (with different, thoughtful explanations in each) could lead you to question the impacts of simply giving capital to female entrepreneurs. A thought provoking new paper from Arielle Bernhardt, Erica Field, Rohini Pande, and Natalia Rigol advance our thinking on this and also complicates things. Going back to the old-school idea that households might be trying to jointly maximize income, Bernhardt and co. argue that investment will be in the household enterprise with the higher returns. And this could be a male-owned enterprise. Bernhardt and co. look at this question using data that some of their authors have worked on (from a microfinance experiment in Kolkata), but also pulling in the data from the two experiments mentioned above that David was involved in. Their model of the household leads them to the question: what happens to male enterprises in a household when you give cash to the female?

Now, let’s move over to Sri Lanka and a cash grant for enterprises.   Here again the average effect is zero.   However, for women in households where they have the only enterprise profits increase by 30 percent (significant at 10 percent).   And for all households Bernhardt and co. find a significant increase in total household income of 8 percent (a footnote explains that their sole/multiple enterprise regression is underpowered – they find (insignificant) results of +5 percent for sole entrepreneur households and +8 percent for multiple entrepreneur households).

Source: Money for her or for him? Unpacking the impact of capital infusions for female enterprises | Impact Evaluations

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Ira Kukin passed away

Ira Kukin was a chemist, and was the benefactor of Henry Rosovsky’s dream, the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies.  The couple times I met him as an Academy Scholar, he was engaged and curious.

Yeshiva University mourns the passing of Dr. Ira Kukin, a Benefactor of the University. The service that he and his wife, Doris z”l, provided to YU was all-embracing. He was elected to the Board of Trustees in 1981 and later served as its Vice Chairman. He served on the Boards of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Stern College for Women and Yeshiva College in the oversight of Academics Affairs. He was also a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Sy Syms School of Business, which opened its doors on September 8, 1987. He also helped raise funds for it. He and Doris established the Dr. Ira and Doris Kukin Entrepreneurial Lecture Series at Sy Syms, the Frank J. Scardilli Lectureship at Cardozo and the Ira Kukin Chemistry Lecture series at the undergraduate schools as well as a chair in molecular biology at Stern College and the Ira and Doris Kukin Distinguished Visiting Professorship of Finance at the Sy Syms School of Business. In 1986, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree in recognition of his leadership. He had a long career as a research scientist turned entrepreneur. He obtained degrees in chemistry from CCNY and Harvard University and taught at both Harvard and the Associated College of Upper New York. He transformed his research on colloid chemistry and combustion thermodynamics into Apollo Technologies International Corp., a leader in the specialized field of boiler efficiency. Condolences are extended to his children, Dr. Marrick Lee (and Phyllis) Kukin, Lori Sue (and Jeffrey) Moskowitz, and Jonathan Liener (and Leora) Kukin and all of their grandchildren. May they be comforted among all who mourn for Zion and Jerusalem. Yeshiva University Richard M. Joel, President Norman Lamm, President Emeritus

Source: IRA KUKIN Obituary – Livingston, NJ | New York Times

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Recent leisure reading

Windup Girl

Tana French

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Scrabble in Nigeria

HT: Bill Sundstrom

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Apparently U.S. does not want to release H-1B gender breakdown

Computerworld filed a FOIA request for H-1B gender data last year and was told that providing such information would be “unreasonably burdensome.” “In order to determine the gender of H-1B applicants, USCIS staff would have to manually search each applicant’s immigration file, an unreasonably burdensome and costly requirement because it would require agency personnel to request, ship and manually review thousands of immigration files,” wrote Alan D. Hughes, associate counsel at the Commercial and Administration Law Division of the Department of Homeland Security Citizenship and Immigration Services in denying Computerworld’s appeal to receive gender data.

Source: Obama Administration refuses to reveal H-1B sex breakdown – The Unz Review

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How much was spent on public services for the homeless in Santa Clara County in 2015? $520 million a year

But now, for the first time, a staggering fiscal cost has been calculated: $520 million annually. A new study, described as the most comprehensive look ever at the expense of homelessness on a community, has determined that more than $3 billion was spent over a six-year period in the county on services such as trips to the emergency rooms, jail stays and mental health care. “Home Not Found: The Cost of Homelessness in Silicon Valley” also identified how a small group of about 2,800 persistently homeless alone cost the county about $83,000 each, per year. “What this shows is that having people live out in the open is tragic for the individual, destabilizing for the community and, at the end of the day, very expensive for the public,” said Dan Flaming, president of Los Angeles-based Economic Roundtable, which produced the report for Santa Clara County and the nonprofit Destination: Home…. The study… tracked more than 104,000 homeless in the county from 2007 to 2012, mining data from sources that included hospital and criminal-justice records…. The county has 7,567 homeless — the nation’s seventh-highest total — according to the most recent published survey, the 2014 Annual Homeless Report to Congress.

Source: Homeless in Santa Clara County: Report puts cost at $520 million a year – The Mercury News

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Sending books to Burkina Faso

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