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sachs on npr April 10, 2008

Posted by AP in books, econ, international.
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from forum, on npr:

Jeffrey Sachs may be the only economics professor who has his own MTV video — documenting his trip to Africa with Angelina Jolie — and he continues to be a leading voice promoting solutions to global poverty and environmental crises. He joins us to talk about his book, “Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet.” Sachs is director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and special adviser to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on the Millennium Development Goals.

migration = development March 31, 2008

Posted by AP in econ, immigration, international.
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the center for global devlopment publishes a paper that suggests a new measure for wealth. (link from mr). i haven’t read the actual paper yet, but the following passage is from the abstract. something to think about the next time you vote on immigration laws:

migration is one of the most important sources of poverty reduction for a large portion of the developing world. If economic development is defined as rising human well being, then a residence-neutral measure of well-being emphasizes that crossing international borders is not an alternative to economic development, it is economic development.

bill’s burden February 7, 2008

Posted by AP in econ, international.
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william easterly, author of the white man’s burden , writes in the wsj on bill gates, capitalism, and hope for the developing world:

Why Bill Gates Hates My Book

By WILLIAM R. EASTERLY
February 7, 2008

This newspaper reported recently that Bill Gates hates my ideas. I have no hurt feelings, at least nothing that months of intensive psychotherapy can’t cure. Mr. Gates, after all, has allied himself with the foreign aid establishment. This establishment is notoriously sensitive to criticism from people like me, who find no evidence that the aid industry’s grand schemes are actually lifting anyone out of poverty.

Mr. Gates has now put forward his own scheme — “creative capitalism” — in a speech at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos. He argues that today’s capitalism does not benefit the poor. For Mr. Gates, regular capitalism works “only on behalf of those who can pay.” While entrepreneurs fall all over themselves trying to meet the needs of the rich, “the financial incentive to serve [the poor is] zero.” As a result, basic needs such as food and medicine go unmet.

(more…)

on growth in china and india January 29, 2008

Posted by AP in econ, international, politics.
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pranab bardhan, a berkeley economics professor, tackles common political and economic misconceptions about growth in china and india:

What explains this strikingly rapid growth? The answer that continues to dominate public discussion in the United States runs along the following lines: decades of socialist controls and regulations stifled enterprise in India and China and led them to a dead end. A mix of market reforms and global integration finally unleashed their entrepreneurial energies. As these giants shook off their “socialist slumber,” they entered the “flattened” playing field of global capitalism. The result has been high economic growth in both countries and correspondingly large declines in poverty….
This story contains a few elements of truth and provides many comforts to our preconceptions. But through sheer repetition it has acquired an authority that does not withstand scrutiny….

But we must remember that the story of their rise is more complicated and nuanced than standard accounts make out. That more complex story includes the positive legacy of China and India’s earlier statist periods, which offers general lessons for the process of development much too often ignored.

new insights on poverty January 19, 2008

Posted by KG in animation, econ, environment, health, history, international, media, politics, science, talks, tech.
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professor hans rosling @ TED in 2006 (20:35):

2007 presentation available here

“Even the most worldly and well-traveled among us will have their perspectives shifted by Hans Rosling. A professor of global health at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, his current work focuses on dispelling common myths about the so-called developing world, which (he points out) is no longer worlds away from the west. In fact, most of the third world is on the same trajectory toward health and prosperity, and many countries are moving twice as fast as the west did.

What sets Rosling apart isn’t just his apt observations of broad social and economic trends, but the stunning way he presents them. Guaranteed: You’ve never seen data presented like this. By any logic, a presentation that tracks global health and poverty trends should be, in a word: boring. But in Rosling’s hands, data sings. Trends come to life. And the big picture — usually hazy at best — snaps into sharp focus.

Rosling’s presentations are grounded in solid statistics (often drawn from United Nations data), illustrated by the visualization software he developed. The animations transform development statistics into moving bubbles and flowing curves that make global trends clear, intuitive and even playful. During his legendary presentations, Rosling takes this one step farther, narrating the animations with a sportscaster’s flair.

Rosling developed the breakthrough software behind his visualizations through his nonprofit Gapminder, founded with his son and daughter-in-law. The free software — which can be loaded with any data — was purchased by Google in March 2007. (Rosling met the Google founders at TED.)”