Success in Afghanistan and Ethiopia; laptop zombies; Krugman explains US finance reform; true April Fool stories; evolution and aid and the Daily Mail song: links I liked

man bites dog development optimism? Three Afghan success stories from Clare Lockhart, c/o Bill Easterly [see my review of Clare’s book, Fixing Fragile States]. And an example of successful industrial policy in Africa: Ethiopia’s booming shoe factories, c/o Chris Blattman. Give poor kids laptops, and they do what any child does – play computer games instead of doing their homework. Chris Blattman reports a minor own goal for educationalists in Romania. Tee hee. Paul Krugman sees the pre financial reform debate in the US as between those who want to limit the size of financial institutions, and those who want to leave them as they are, but regulate them, including the shadow banking sector. He sides with the latter. Obvious question, why not do both? For April Fool’s day, Foreign Policy rounds up some stories that ought to be spoofs, but are actually true  (Kim Jong Il bans 2012, that kind of thing) Owen Barder discusses the use of evolutionary theory to understand the aid system, and concludes that the gap is not on random mutations (there are lots of those), but the lack of a selection mechanism, particularly one that puts power in the hands of poor people. And this made me laugh (and sigh, a bit). A youtube tribute to Fleet Street’s finest [h/t Matthew Lockwood] ]]>

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