Fall 2015
  • There is an interesting article and oped in the week’s Economist magazine on the rise in illegal migration and refugees into Western Europe, the human tragedies involved,  and the policy debates within Europe on what to do.
  • There is an article on Sabina Alkire and the debate on multidimensional poverty measurement (EOP, Chapter 5) in the issue of Finance and Development published here.
  • An interesting post on the Ideas for India website on rising inequality in India.
  • On Brazil’s crisis and its antipoverty programs see this article.
  • On the Pope’s priorities for his visit to America.
  • Fun piece on probability. (The few basic ideas from probability and statistics that are used in ECON 156 are challenging at first for some students.)
  • On those left-behind in Mexico.
  • On the World Bank’s new poverty line, about which there has been much confusion at all levels.
  • This year’s Nobel prize for economics went to Angus Deaton who has done a great deal of valuable research trying to improve welfare measurement from survey data, especially focusing on consumption in developing countries. Deaton also holds some strong views on development aid; see my review of his book The Great Escape; also see Steve Radelet’s comments on the Deaton’s views on aid.
  • Also, the FT has a super-quick course on economics on its “page not found” page; a fun read.
  • Madagascar: This article from the Guardian touches on some of the issues discussed in the course, and Madagascar figures in the discussion on aid policies in response to political shocks. Also see this blog post on the development community’s response to the coup in 2009. In The Economics of Poverty it is argued that his was an example of the PIT described above.
  • Relative deprivation: An interesting article in the Economist on a new study on happiness in slums and rural areas of Kenya pointing to the importance of relative deprivation and adaptation. Do you believe the results?
  • Ethics of evaluation: On the same Kenya study, see this comment by Anke Hoeffler on the ethics of the study, and the follow-up piece by Berk Ozler on the World Bank’s Development Impact blog. Do you agree that there is an ethical concern? There is a discussion of the ethics of evaluation in Chapter 6 of EOP, developing points I made in this blog post.
  • Schooling in India: This post today on the site “Ideas for India” (I4I) summarizes recent research on the problems of schooling in India that we discussed in class.  It may be a little exaggerated given the economics but I still like the quote: “What does it say about the quality of your product that you can’t even give it away for free?
  • Fixing welfare in India: Another I4I aricle, arguing that technology can help improve transfer schemes but so too can better enrollment procedures


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