Michael Callen, Saad Gulzar, Muhammad Yasir Khan, Ali Hasanain, 21 August 2016

Government employee absenteeism is often a serious problem in developing countries. One potential reason is government positions being appointed as a kind of patronage to reward political loyalty. This column presents the results of an intervention designed to address government doctor absenteeism in Punjab, Pakistan. The programme provided government inspectors with a smartphone app to streamline information flows, and improved inspection rates. The results support the political patronage hypothesis and provide encouraging support for data-driven policymaking.

Alvin Roth, 16 October 2012

In this Vox Talk from 2008, Alvin Roth talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about some of the research for which he was recently awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (with Lloyd Shapley). They discuss his work designing markets for kidney exchange, mechanisms for school choice in New York and Boston, and efficient systems for getting doctors and economists into their first jobs. Roth also explains the significance of repugnance as a constraint on markets.