IMPROVING RURAL EDUCATION
Stan Siebert of the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom and Xiangdong Wei, Alex Wong, and Xiang Zhou from the department of economics at Lingnan University in Hong Kong have used funds from the Research Grant Council of Hong Kong to create an assessment form that rural teachers can use to offer better feedback to students and their parents. In a controlled trial, the researchers’ low-cost form has so far improved children’s performance in math by .16 to .20 standard deviations; and in language, by .09. Find their research at ssrn.com/abstract_id=3129291.
HAVE CAR, WON’T TRAVEL
The University of Tasmania’s Menzies Institute for Medical Research, Deakin University in Melbourne, and the University of Sydney Business School’s Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies have received a grant from Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council to find ways to encourage people living in smaller cities to walk, bike, and use public transit. Led by physician Verity Cleland of the Menzies Institute, the study will promote policies that reduce traffic and improve health.
ENDING CHILDHOOD OBESITY
Over four years, a team at Imperial College Business School in London—led by Franco Sassi, director of the Centre for Health Economics & Policy Innovation—will observe 17 groups of children across Europe to identify factors that lead to childhood obesity. They will assess the use of digital technologies and government incentives such as tax breaks, nutrition labeling, and marketing restrictions on food and beverages to help children and families achieve sustained weight loss. The project is funded by the European Union.