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Field Experiment in Ghana

In March I went to Ghana together with another student and our professor Daan van Soest to conduct a field experiment for our thesis. In cooperation with the World Bank and the government of Ghana, we conducted an experiment with farmers in the North of Ghana. This experiment is part of a large project, the Sustainable Land and Water Management Project, which is aimed at reducing land degradation and to enhance maintenance of biodiversity by planting trees. To increase the number of trees which survive, farmers are financially incentivized to take care of the trees. In our experiment we tested different treatments to select farmers to participate in the program.


Venezuela: The Mother of All Marches

In the last article we observed the economics recessions in Venezuela, but how do they affect the social life of the individuals?

The crisis resulted in great shortages of food and products, which are basic needs. Venezuelans spend much of their time queuing, in front of the supermarkets, for goods even though the shelves are rarely full. The economy is strongly focused on the oil industry, so there is little local production of food and basic commodities. For the manufacturing that does exist, it is likely to fail, due to exchange controls, a lack of suitable inputs and trade opportunities. In addition, the lives of Venezuelans, is made even more difficult because of the shortage of production, on national level, low levels of imports and tremendous levels of inflation. Data shows that 81% of the households, in the country, live in poverty. Due to increased difficulties with respect to trade, unemployment has become even more prominent. Sometimes even the total household income is not sufficient for a basic package of food.


Government Traineeships

The job opportunities at the Dutch government are endless. Every year, many vacancies open for starters, and they have multiple interesting government traineeships. The BoFEB, Rijkstraineeship and Financial traineeship are the most fitting for economics students. How do you get an interview and how to prepare for it?


Ransomware VS Your Thesis Files

Nowadays, computers and software have become an essential part of our lives. We use them for personal purposes, for work, study and in every aspect of our public and private lives. This importance has created markets of all sorts, including black markets for harmful software aimed at gaining money at the expense of other people.

The sunny side of the temperature

sky-1803084_960_720This week, after all hope was lost, temperatures are rising and the suns shows himself more often. Time, I supposed, to reconsider the economic effects of sunny weather on the economy. I will not, however, consider the unfortunate ASSET-member who spent a sunny afternoon in his garden, only to see his laptop crashing.

If you are investing in stocks, you might want to look at the weather forecasts. Notwithstanding the most literature on stock prices, prices are based on future expectation, which are determined by the mood of the investors. Sunny weather leads to more optimistic forecasts and drives prices up. Optimistic individuals, who are in a good mood, make more optimistic choices. So, next time you see a sunny Tilburg in the weather forecasts, make sure to buy some stocks.

The same story, by the way, also goes for the purchase of durable goods. Consumers are more optimistic about the future benefits of a car, for instance, and buy more cars if weather is nice. The type of cars bought also matters: in the US, four-wheel cars are more bought in case of snowfall.

Chances are there you will have time for that. While a thriving stock market seems to have beneficial effects on the stock market, a sunny weather can have negative effects for the educational level in an economy.

This has two effects. Research shows that cloudy weather makes academic work more appealing. Prospective students who visit a university on a cloudy day are more willing to work hard, or go to an university where students are ought to work hard, than on a sunny day. Not just current academic work, but also prospective academic work seems less – and partying or having a beer in the park more – appealing if temperatures are high.


Venezuela: An Overview of the Economy

In the beginning of the 20th century the first significant oil reserves in Venezuela were found. This new natural resource sparked the interest of the government because it can be the basis of a very profitable industry for the country.  Juan Vicente Gómez, the president at the time, granted several concessions to foreign companies to explore, extract and refine oil. During the First World War, the industry was faced with a lack of technology and machinery because of the difficult and costly transportation of them. As a result, the production of oil was slowed down for the time being.