Eva Vivalt

Web Name: Eva Vivalt

WebSite: http://www.evavivalt.com





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Cash transfer programs:

“The Causal Effects of Unconditional Cash Transfers: Experimental Evidence from Two U.S. States”, with Alex Bartik, David Broockman, Sarah Miller, and Elizabeth Rhodes

This is a large project in the U.S. that will test the impact of receiving $1,000/month, unconditionally, for 3 years. Outcomes covered (some of these may merge but they are currently envisaged as separate papers):

Employment, work quality, and job searchTime useIncome, expenditures, and financial healthMental and physical health outcomesCognitive outcomesMaterial wellbeingSubjective, psychological, and social wellbeingPolitical and social attitudesChildren’s outcomesIntrahousehold outcomes and intimate partner violenceMigration and housing outcomesCrime

“The Causal Effects of Unconditional Cash Transfers: Experimental Evidence from a Large U.S. City”, with Alex Bartik, Sarah Miller, and Elizabeth Rhodes

“The Causal Effects of Unconditional Cash Transfers: Experimental Evidence from a U.S. County”, with Alex Bartik, Sarah Miller, and Elizabeth Rhodes

“The Unclaimed Property Puzzle: Billion Dollar Bills Lying on the Sidewalk”

“A Review of Studies on Take-Up of Social Benefits”, proposal R&R at the Journal of Economic Literature

Improving evidence-based decision-making:

1. Forecasting:

Social Science Prediction Platform website

DellaVigna, S., Otis, N. and Vivalt, E. (2020). “Forecasting the Results of Experiments: Piloting an Elicitation Strategy”, AEA Papers and Proceedings, 110(5): 75-79.

DellaVigna, S., Pope, D. and Vivalt, E. (2019). “Predict Science to Improve Science”, Science, 366(6464): 428-429.

The above papers are part of a larger project generously supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and an anonymous foundation.

Vivalt, E. (2020). “Using Priors in Experimental Design: How Much Are We Leaving on the Table?” in Bédécarrats F., I. Guérin, and F. Roubaud, eds., Randomized Control Trials in the Field of Development: The Gold Standard Revisited (pp. 293-303). London: Oxford University Press.

Media coverage of research on this theme:

Ars Technica: “‘I Could’ve Told You That’ Might Have a Useful Role to Play in Science”Science Daily: “Were those experiment results really so predictable? These researchers aim to find out”Behavioral Scientist: “Solving the Problem of ‘Obviousness’ with Prediction Platforms”

Popular articles, podcasts, blog posts and talks:

Hear This Idea: “Evidence-Based Policy and Forecasting Social Science”Toronto Data Workshop: Keynote presentationThe Conversation: “Predicting Research Results Can Mean Better Science and Better Advice”

2. Evidence-to-policy pipeline:

Vivalt, E. and Coville, A. (2022). “How Do Policy-Makers Update Their Beliefs?”, R&R, Journal of Development Economics

Vivalt, E., Coville, A. and KC, S. (2022). “Weighing the Evidence: Which Studies Count?”
Online appendix: Forecasting survey on the Social Science Prediction Platform (with .qsf file)

Vivalt, E. and Coville, A. (2021). “Policy-Makers Consistently Overestimate Program Impacts”

3. Meta-research:

Vivalt, E. (2020). “How Much Can We Generalize from Impact Evaluations?”, Journal of the European Economics Association, 18(6): 3045–3089. Online Appendices, Presentation, Teaching Slides

Vivalt, E. (2019). “Specification Searching and Significance Inflation Across Time, Methods and Disciplines”, Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 81(4): 797–816.

Vivalt, E. (2015). “Heterogeneous Treatment Effects in Impact Evaluation”, American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, 105(5): 467–470.

AidGrade’s site

Media coverage of research on this theme:

The Atlantic: “Make Science More Reliable, Win Cash Prizes”Vox: “Don’t teach a man to fish. Just give him the goddamn fish”The Washington Post: “The Wonkblog Guide to Holiday Giving”Mother Jones: “Most Studies of Social Interventions Are Pretty Worthless”Lant Pritchett’s mini-series for the Center for Global Development: “Is Your Impact Evaluation Asking Questions That Matter? A Four Part Smell Test”Marginal Revolution: “Everyone in development economics should read this paper”3ie’s blog: “Trends in impact evaluation: Did we ever learn?”

Popular articles, podcasts, blog posts and talks:

Harvard Business Review: “How to Be a Smart Consumer of Social Science Research”80,000 Hours podcast: “Dr Eva Vivalt’s research suggests social science findings don’t generalize. So evidence-based development – what is it good for?”Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE) Conference 2018, Closing plenary: “Limits to evidence-based interventions for development”Effective Altruism Global: Global Poverty talkThe Inter-American Development Bank’s blog: “How much do impact evaluations (really) help policymaking?”The NYU Development Research Institute’s blog: “5 ways to improve your impact evaluation”The World Bank’s Development Impact blog: “What do 600 papers on 20 types of interventions tell us about how much impact evaluations generalize?” and “What isn’t reported in impact evaluations?”

Moral values and norms:

“The Shape of Moral Values”, with Emiliano Huet-Vaughn, Minh Pham, and Josh Tasoff

Chow, V. and Vivalt, E. (2022). “Challenges in Changing Social Norms: Evidence from Interventions Targeting Child Marriage in Ethiopia.” Journal of African Economies.

Other papers


I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Toronto.

My research is in applied microeconomics, with interests in cash transfers, improving evidence-based decision-making, including through use of forecasts, and global priorities research.

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