Is China finally running out of workers?

admin - August 3, 2010

You don’t normally expect the Economist magazine to advocate a major shift in wealth from capital to labour, but it seems to make an exception in the case of China, the subject of this week’s fascinating cover story. The topic is China’s labour market: a few years ago, I and many others thought that the entry of China into the world economy would change the …

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The US gets serious on the Millennium Development Goals

admin - August 2, 2010

Climate change legislation may have been blown out of the water in Congress, but Barack Obama is still moving forward on reforming the chaotic US aid system (see previous posts here). On Friday the Administration released the US plan for achieving the Millennium Development Goals, ahead of the UN’s September ‘high level event’ on the MDGs. Two paras caught my eye: “In September 2009, President Obama …

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Videos I liked: animated marxism; leadership and the dancing guy; adapting to climate change

admin - July 30, 2010

OK, this week’s posts have been fairly demanding, so let’s relax a bit. I’ve been getting a pile of links to excellent youtubes and the like. If you’re in an open plan office like me, sticking on the headphones and watching videos during office hours can be a bit awkward (‘it’s work related, honest’), so either brave the disapproval or book yourself in for some weekend …

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The co-creator of the UN's new Multidimensional Poverty Index defends her new baby

admin - July 29, 2010

Sabina Alkire responds to the previous posts by Martin Ravallion and me on her new ‘Multidimensional Poverty Index’. She is director of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI). “As Martin Ravallion points out, we agree that poverty is multidimensional. The question is whether our efforts to incorporate multiple dimensions into the very definition of who is poor and the measurement of poverty “contributes …

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Guest Blog: World Bank research director critiques the new UN poverty index

admin - July 28, 2010

Martin Ravallion is Director of the World Bank’s research department, the Development Research Group. These are the views of the author, and need not reflect those of the World Bank. “Everyone agrees that poverty is not just about low consumption of market commodities by a household.  There are also important non-market goods, such as access to public services, and there are issues of distribution within …

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How can we improve the way we measure poverty? The UN's new poverty index (and groovy graphics)

admin - July 27, 2010

Ask poor people what poverty is like, and they typically talk about fear, humiliation and ill health, at least as much as money. But can the non-income dimensions of poverty be measured in a way that allows policy makers to weigh priorities and allocate resources? If not, the danger (as often happens) is that decision makers and documents initially nod towards the many dimensions of …

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Links I liked: Climate rebuttals and good news; gangs of Sudan; great spoofs of Stieg Larsson and French reparations to Haiti; smoke kills women; Brazil as aid donor; Ethiopia is beautiful and India's winning solar lantern

admin - July 26, 2010

Still ploughing through the post-holiday backlog…… Sceptics v Science: Rebuttals of all the usual denialists’ arguments on a single page – very handy [h/t John Magrath] 27 of Europe’s biggest and most important companies demand tougher targets on emissions Richard Gowan links US rap culture and emerging gangs in South Sudan Spoof 1: Stieg Larsson novels – why do we love them when they’re so …

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Why Google Reader saves you time and expands your mind, with some links I liked on Africa, Climate Change and Aid

admin - July 23, 2010

Back from holiday and in about an hour, I’ve just skimmed 250 pieces from the last three weeks of writing from my 15 favourite writers and bloggers, everyone from Paul Krugman and Martin Wolf to Texas in Africa and Political Climate. I didn’t have to go searching for them – they were all waiting for me on my homepage when I grabbed a coffee and …

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I give up, this blog is now on Facebook

admin - July 22, 2010

As a technologically challenged grumpy old man, I am one of the 90% of the world’s population who is still not on Facebook (to be honest, mainly because I’m worried about not having any friends). But as with Twitter, this blog is now dipping its toe in the murky waters of social networking. ‘From Poverty to Power’ is now available as a Facebook page – click …

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New books on development: bad microfinance; climate change and war; what works; inside the World Bank; mobile activism

admin - July 21, 2010

One of the perks of writing a blog is that I can scrounge review copies of development-related books. I’m sure they’re all fascinating and I really want to read them but alas, they don’t come with extra hours in the day attached. So I now have a growing pile by my desk that is in danger of becoming a health hazard (pet cat crushed under …

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