With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) launched the Digital Credit Observatory (DCO) with the goal of generating rigorous evidence on the impacts of digital credit products and the effectiveness of related consumer protection measures in emerging markets. By “digital credit” we refer to small loans, typically accessed through a mobile money platform, that are instant, automated and remote.

The DCO invites CEGA affiliates and DCO network members to apply for funding for rigorous studies addressing one or more of the following research questions:

  1. What are the short- and long-run impacts (both positive and negative) of digital credit on consumers in emerging markets?

  2. Is there heterogeneity in impacts along borrower characteristics (i.e. financial literacy, time preferences, income, and/or gender)?

  3. How can non-traditional credit-scoring algorithms, regulations, and other consumer protection measures be designed to minimize default, over-indebtedness, leakage, fraud and other risks to consumers?

The DCO welcomes proposals of up to a maximum of $420,000 (or $210,000 per year for two years). Proposals will be evaluated for novel intellectual contribution, policy relevance to digital credit, methodological rigor, the capacity of the research team, and the commitment of the partner. Value for money will also be a key criteria used to evaluate proposals, so researchers are encouraged to apply for an amount that is fully justified by the scope of the proposal.

To Applyplease read carefully through the application materials and submit your application here by 11:59 pm PDT on Friday, September 15th, 2017.

Questions? Contact DCO Program Manager Natasha Beale at nbeale@berkeley.edu.

The Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS) will hold its 6th Annual Meeting at UC Berkeley on December 5-6, 2017. The goal of the meeting is to bring together leaders from academia, scholarly publishing, and policy to share knowledge and discuss the evolving movement toward research transparency in order to strengthen the standards of openness and integrity across social science disciplines.

This Call for Papers focuses on work that evaluates the reproducibility of bodies of social science literature, elaborates new tools and strategies to increase the transparency and reproducibility of research, or evaluates the efficacy of existing tools. A committee of reviewers will select a limited number of papers to be presented and discussed. Topics for papers include, but are not limited to:

  • Pre-registration and the use of pre-analysis plans;
  • Disclosure and transparent reporting;
  • Replicability and reproducibility;
  • Data sharing;
  • Methods for detecting and reducing publication bias or data mining;
  • Meta-analysis;
  • Assessment of the validity or reproducibility of literature.

Papers or long abstracts must be submitted by Monday, October 23 (11:59 PM Pacific Daylight Time). Travel funds may be provided for presenters. Eligible submissions include completed papers and works in progress.

The 2017 BITSS Annual Meeting is co-sponsored by the Hewlett Foundation, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the John Templeton Foundation, and an anonymous donor.

Working Group in African Political Economy (WGAPE)

Request for Papers

Fall 2017 Regional Meeting

The Working Group in African Political Economy (WGAPE) brings together faculty and advanced graduate students in Economics and Political Science who combine field research experience in Africa with training in political economy methods.  The group has met semi-annually to discuss the work-in-progress of its core members and invited guests. It is co-led by Daniel Posner (Department of Political Science, UCLA), Edward Miguel (Department of Economics, UC Berkeley), and Brian Dillon (Evans School of Public Policy & Governance, University of Washington). The fall regional meeting will be held on November 17th-18th at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC. The deadline to submit papers to this regional meeting is 11:59 pm U.S. Pacific Time on Sunday, October 1st, 2017.

Meeting Format

The meeting will begin on Friday mid-day, November 17th, and end mid-day on Saturday, November 18th. The meeting will be built around in-depth discussions of around seven to eight papers that are pre-circulated and expected to be read in advance (see an archive of papers from past WGAPE meetings). Each submission that is selected will receive a one-hour discussion slot at the meeting. Presenters provide little more than a few brief, orienting comments before the floor is opened for discussion.

Submission Categories

We invite paper and research design submissions that reflect WGAPE’s broad research agenda on the political economy of African development, including ethnic politics, civil conflict and violence, decentralization and democratization, corruption, local governance, public economics, and other related topics. Experimental research with field data will be given priority. Graduate students and junior faculty are particularly encouraged to apply.

WGAPE provides full funding for the cost of airfare, accommodations and meals for presenters. Due to the regional nature of the meeting, we will prioritize attendees based in the Western U.S. and Canada. Potential applicants currently based outside North America are encouraged to apply to the upcoming international WGAPE meeting hosted by NYU - Abu Dhabi. A call for that conference will be circulated soon.

We invite submissions in two categories:

1)    Paper submissions. These submissions can be works-in-progress. Only complete drafts are given consideration.

2)     Research design submissions. These submissions should describe a fully planned research study on topics relevant to WGAPE, as listed above. A suggested format for these submissions is the Pre-Analysis Plan; please find a template at this link.

The review committee will evaluate papers based on the quality of their design and execution, their fit with WGAPE’s traditional topics of interest, and their ability to generate productive discussion at the meeting.

To Apply

All submissions must include:

a)    Paper submission or Research Design in PDF or Word format.

b)    Latest Curriculum Vitae with contact information, including country of current location.


Non-presenters who do not require accommodation or travel funding are welcome to attend the meeting as space permits. In the case that there are available funds, WGAPE may be able to fund non-presenters’ travel. We ask that you please email the address listed below with your name, institution, and days you would like to attend and we will confirm whether or not we can accommodate you or potentially fund your travel. All attendees, including non-presenters, are expected to read the papers and research designs in advance.

Further Inquiries

Please contact Alex Dobyan at wgapeworkshop@gmail.com with any further questions.