There's a new working paper by Michael Greenstone and Kelsey Jack that's of obvious interest to FE readers:
Envirodevonomics: A Research Agenda for a Young Field
Environmental quality in many developing countries is poor and generates substantial health and productivity costs. However, existing measures of willingness to pay for environmental quality improvements indicate low valuations by affected households. This paper argues that this seeming paradox is the central puzzle at the intersection of environmental and development economics: Given poor environmental quality and high health burdens in developing countries, why is WTP so low? We develop a conceptual framework for understanding this puzzle and propose four potential explanations: (1) due to low income levels, individuals value increases in income more than marginal improvements in environmental quality, (2) the marginal costs of environmental quality improvements are high, (3) political economy factors undermine efficient policy-making, and (4) market failures such as weak property rights and missing capital markets drive a wedge between true and revealed willingness to pay for environmental quality. We review the available literature on each explanation and discuss how the framework also applies to climate change, which is perhaps the most important issue at the intersection of environment and development economics. The paper concludes with a list of promising and unanswered research questions for the emerging sub-field of “envirodevonomics.”


New GIS Data for the Demographic and Health Surveys

USAID's Measure Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) are an extraordinary (free) data set on maternal and child health from around the world. They've just released their new spatial data repository which, among other things, adds crucial shape files of subnational region borders over time. From the official announcement:
We are pleased to announce the launch of a new open data GIS resource from MEASURE DHS.                                                                          
The Spatial Data Repository provides geographically-linked health and demographic data from the MEASURE Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) project and the U.S. Census Bureau for mapping in a geographic information system (GIS).
-Boundaries of DHS regions can be explored to visualize change over time.
-Data from DHS indicators and U.S. Census population estimates can be downloaded in GIS format.
Please share with your colleagues and friends.
Go explore!  http://spatialdata.measuredhs.com/