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Heart + Mind? Or Just Heart? Experiments in Aid Effectiveness (And a Contest!)

When signing our book, More Than Good Intentions, Jacob Appel and I often sign “Heart + Mind = Good Giving.” Nobody argues with the premise that we should act with compassion, but be smart about it. Of course nobody would ever say they do not care about the effectiveness of the charity they support.

But in practice, does evidence about charitable effectiveness impact donations? Or does the presentation of dorky evidence turn off the emotions that cause us to donate in the first place? Read More »



How to Attack Global Poverty? More Than Good Intentions Authors Answer Your Questions

Dean Karlan of Yale, and Jacob Appel of Innovations for Poverty Action answer reader questions on how to tackle global poverty. Read More »



Part Two, Contest Results: Piers Morgan and PETA Take on GoDaddy CEO (or the other way around?)

Last week’s post about Bob Parsons, CEO and Founder of GoDaddy, and his face-off against Piers Morgan and PETA over hunting elephants in Zimbabwe generated a lot of comments. Dean Karlan offers a follow-up, choosing a winner for the best comment, and delving further into the debate on whether elephants in Zimbabwe are endangered or if their population needs culling. Read More »



Piers Morgan and PETA Take on GoDaddy CEO (Or the Other Way Around?)

Bob Parsons, CEO and Founder of GoDaddy, faces off against Piers Morgan and PETA in a recent video. The issue is simple: Parsons went to Labola, Zimbabwe and killed an elephant, and proudly posted video and photos online. Why? Parsons claims a herd of elephants were wreaking havoc with the crops of local villagers, and that the meat from the killed elephant could feed an African village (literally). I’m guessing (although I’m not sure I care, and he does not say this) that he also is a hunter, and maybe enjoyed the process of the hunt. Read More »



World Water Day: Nudges for Safe Water

What if a simple ‘nudge’ could massively increase the use of safe water in poor countries?

Today is World Water Day, a day to raise awareness for something we take for granted in America: clean water. Normally I yawn at Hallmark-meets-poverty-program type publicity stunts. Reminds me of many a microcredit “awareness” campaign that paraded superstar microentrepreneurs on a stage, ignoring the need for rigorous evidence to find out if microcredit actually works. Read More »



Was Microsoft Wrong to “Use” the Japanese Earthquake for Marketing?

This past weekend, Microsoft tried to do a little good (donate $100,000) and use that good to market Bing. Read More »



A Mandate to Be Inefficient

This week, the United States Supreme Court delivered a decisive blow to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan for New York City taxicabs to go green, to switch to hybrid cars. This all started a few years ago when Bloomberg announced a plan to mandate that the famous New York City taxi fleet go all-hybrid. The classic Crown Victoria gets about 12 miles per gallon, whereas a hybrid taxi gets 30 miles per gallon. Quite a difference! So this is great for the environment. Read More »



What Happens to All Those Super Bowl T-Shirts?: A Guest Post by Dean Karlan

The Pittsburgh Steelers played in this year’s Super Bowl, but did not win it. Which means that, sitting in a warehouse somewhere, are lots of preprinted “Pittsburgh Steelers 2011 Super Bowl Champion” t-shirts. Ever wonder what happens to them? Dean Karlan, a development economist at Yale, is here to explain in a guest post. Read More »