Topic: Economics

Why We Fight: This Year’s Big Book on Development?

Why We Fight, by Chris Blattman, a prof at the University of Chicago, is shaping up to be this year’s Big Book – it’s everywhere on my timeline, the FT book of the summer etc etc. A summary and some thoughts. Usually I decide early on if I like a book or not, on the […]

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Is behavioural economics (aka nudge theory) blocking the path to progress?

There’s been an upsurge in recent decades in tackling problems by trying to change the behaviour of individuals – behavioural economics, nudge theory and a proliferation of government ‘nudge units’. Now two disillusioned proponents, Nick Chater and George Loewenstein, have written an important critique of the whole thing, contrasting what they call the ‘i (individual) […]

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Billionaires made more in the 24 months of the pandemic than they did in 23 years. Oxfam on Davos

Max Lawson on Oxfam’s latest Davos broadside and his worries that his salary is about to get cut We are living through extraordinary times. Extraordinarily bad for the vast majority of humanity.  Extraordinarily good if you are one of the richest people in the world. Normally they meet in January at Davos, but that face-to-face […]

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Hunger, Inequality and the Birth of Oxfam

This post by Oxfam’s Max Lawson first appeared on its Equals blog. I’ll be summarizing our new paper on the East Africa hunger crisis tomorrow. The other day I was speaking to Nellie, an old friend and primary school teacher in Malawi, about the rapidly rising prices: ‘Prices have risen, just since last month.  Imagine […]

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How Should Academics talk to Decision-Makers? Some Interesting New Research

I’m not a great fan of post-growth/degrowth debates – not enough emphasis on how to actually change policy for my liking (compared to the ‘I’m right, the planet is frying, why won’t you listen!’ school of advocacy). But a new paper by the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity caught my eye because it […]

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Political Gambles on Development

Stefan Dercon introduces his new book, published today in the UK (review to follow) I am starting to appreciate why historians rarely study contemporary history. Interpreting the present is always hard. I have felt this weight in my two core activities over the last two years: providing advice on global affairs and development issues pertaining […]

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21st century food riots

Guest post by Naomi Hossain & Patta Scott-Villiers In March FAO’s global food price index jumped by 17% to a level unprecedented in its 30-year history. The food riots predicted by the head of the World Trade Organization have already kicked off in Sri Lanka and Indonesia. Deadly fuel riots in Peru, rising discontent in […]

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Want to Challenge the Elite? Then first Understand What Makes Them Tick

Understandably, perhaps, progressive researchers often prefer to try to understand the lives, challenges and struggles of the poor. Who wants to spend their time talking to sleazy fatcats? But if you want to change things, it’s often necessary to understand the people in charge. So I was very happy when public philosopher and political scientist […]

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Sunshine, elephants, and boomerangs: Is a dramatic rise in global income inequality looming?

Guest post by Ravi Kanbur, Eduardo Ortiz-Juarez and Andy Sumner Global Inequality 101: Global inequality is the distribution of income across all people on the planet from the poorest to the richest. It can be measured with the ‘Gini’ which ranges from 1 (a totally unequal planet or one person gets everything) to 0 (a […]

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Who supports the people who support entrepreneurs? Introducing a new tool for ecosystem leaders

Guest post by Mary Mwangi and Brenda Wangari In recent years, we have seen more capacity building support directed towards locally-led enterprise support organizations (ESOs) such as accelerators, incubators, seed funds and consulting practices. These ESOs are at the frontline, providing critical business development services to local entrepreneurs. In Africa and many developing regions, such […]

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