Month: November 2009

Is Sen wrong on famine?; Krugman 4 Tobin; US as failing state; weasel words; China ain't green; how Gordon can defend aid and pomo-babble: links I liked

‘Famines have indeed occurred in electoral democracies’ About as close to heresy as a development wonk can get. Olivier Rubin questions Amartya Sen’s famous assertion that political rights avert famines ‘A financial transactions tax is an idea whose time has come.’ Paul Krugman gives his support to the new incarnation of the Tobin Tax ‘America’s…

By admin November 30, 2009 5

How has the World Bank performed on the global economic crisis?

The Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group – an internal watchdog with a good track record in spotting problems, has just published an evaluation of the World Bank Group (WBG)’s response to the crisis. Nothing earth-shattering, but here are some highlights: ‘The greatest part of the Bank’s response in fiscal 2009 was a large increase in IBRD…

By admin November 26, 2009 1

Millions Fed: 20 case studies of agricultural success

‘In the late 1950s around a billion people—about one-third of the world’s population—were estimated to go hungry every day. Famines were threatening millions in Asia and Africa in particular, and prospects for feeding the world’s booming population looked bleak. In response to this alarming picture, scientists, policymakers, farmers, and concerned individuals initiated a concerted push…

By admin November 24, 2009 4

Superfreakonomics undone; affirmative action works in India; China's carbon; Africa is rich; good ideas with stupid names; three arguments for taxes and it's raining polar bears: links I liked

Like a good academic assassination? Settle back and enjoy a quite brilliant filleting by the University of Chicago’s Raymond T. Pierrehumber of Superfreakonomics’ ‘analysis’ that expanding solar power would increase global warming.  [h/t Steve Jennings] Affirmative action works for women in India, according to a research round-up by Chris Blattman What is China doing about…

By admin November 23, 2009 1

Has the IMF really changed? Academic arm-wrestling from Washington…..

A new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington DC tries to work out whether the IMF has really changed its thinking in response to the global economic crisis and the general perception that countercyclical responses (rather than belt-tightening austerity) are the right way to go in a recession. After a…

By admin November 18, 2009 5

Ripples from the future; realtime climate change; food prices; throwing rocks; seduced by stories and why does she always guess right? Links I liked

‘Scientists at the £3.6bn Large Hadron Collider (LHC) found their plans to emulate the big bang postponed this week when a passing bird dropped a “bit of baguette” into the machine, causing it to overheat’ records the Guardian.  But there’s a much more sinister explanation from the whackier frontiers of theoretical physics: ‘ripples from the future…

By admin November 17, 2009 4