Academic research

When the brain drain is healthy for democracy

The endurance of Indian democracy is one of the great Indian puzzles. How has a population so large, so ethnically and linguistically fragmented, and so economically unequal managed to sustain a participatory democracy since 1947? What forces have kept the country politically stable, enabling the rapid economic growth of the past two decades?

Technology history don’t lie

Yours truly has a crazy new article in the latest issue of Foreign Policy on why no-tech ancient civilizations still can’t catch up, based on my published research with Diego Comin and Erick Gong. But all is not doom and gloom, you just have to learn the right lessons from technology history:

World Bank President starts brawl about development economics research

UPDATE 4:30 PM, Sept 30 — debating Ravallion about World Bank censorship (see end of post)
World Bank President Robert Zoellick gave a speech at Georgetown University today calling for the “democratizing” of development research.  Bob Davis at The Wall Street Journal reports some reactions:

Brain circulation not brain drain

Courtesy/WorldFocus.org (from video)

NYU economist Yaw Nyarko discusses his work on the so-called African brain drain with World Vision Report. Click here to listen to the interview (12 minutes).

Help the World’s Poor: Buy Some New Clothes

This is a guest post written by Benjamin Powell, an assistant professor of Economics at Suffolk University and a Senior Economist with the Beacon Hill Institute.  He is the editor of Making Poor Nations Rich, and is currently writing a book entitled No Sweat: How Sweatshops Improve Lives and Economic Growth.
Back to school shopping leads many people to buy apparel that was made in sweatshops. Rather than feel guilty for “exploiting” poor workers, shoppers should rejoice.  Their spending is some of the best aid we can give to people in poorer countries.

Superstition and Development

By Peter T. Leeson, BB&T Professor for the Study of Capitalism at George Mason University.
Gypsies believe that the lower half of the human body is invisibly polluted, that supernatural defilement is supernaturally contagious, and that non-Gypsies are spiritually toxic.
Far from irrational, these superstitions are central to Gypsies’ system of social order. Gypsies can’t rely on government-created legal institutions to support cooperation between them. Many of their economic and social relationships are unrecognized or illegal according to state law. Yet Gypsies’ need for law and order is as strong as anyone else’s.

Can aid win hearts and minds?

A recent Christian Science Monitor article reported that USAID is “losing hearts and minds” in Afghanistan’s northeastern Badakshan province because of failed and shoddy projects, corruption, secrecy and waste.
Given how much of the US aid budget is spent trying to make the world a safer and more secure place for Americans, you might think there would be plenty of studies testing the hypothesis that aid funds can reduce terrorism or shift hostile public opinion. In fact, there is startlingly little evidence that we know how to use aid for this purpose.

Syndicate content