Month: February 2010

Why 'Human Capital' is an abomination

I’ve always felt uneasy with using the term ‘human capital’ as a synonym for ‘people’. In this month’s issue of the consistently excellent Prospect magazine, philosopher Edward Skidelsky beautifully nails the arguments: ‘Economists, said John Maynard Keynes, should think of themselves as humble specialists, on a par with dentists. But his advice has gone unheeded.…

By admin February 26, 2010 11

The gender impact of the global meltdown: 7 new papers and a video

One of the aspects which is almost invariably missing from substantive discussions on the global economic crisis (and which quite often, doesn’t even get lip service) is the gender dimension. Women and men experience crises in different ways, and are unequally affected by government responses. Often, pre-existing inequalities, which include under-representation of women at all…

By admin February 24, 2010 1

Deadlines; zapping mosquitoes; Rodrik is blogging again; Paul Collier is blaming the NGOs; why isn't Britain more like Norway?, and pregnant breakdancers: links I liked

The end of this week (26 February) is the deadline both for commenting on our new draft paper on the impact and response to the global economic crisis, and to take the ultra-quick online survey to help sharpen up the contents of this blog. After that, I promise not to request participation of any kind…

By admin February 23, 2010 1

A big rethink at the IMF, with subtitles for non-economists

The IMF is doing some very interesting (and praiseworthy) rethinking in response to the global crisis, if a new paper co-authored by its chief economist Olivier Blanchard is anything to go by. It’s written by and for economists, so it’s not exactly bedtime reading (unless you’re an insomniac), but here’s the highlights, and my attempts…

By admin February 19, 2010 2

Natural Resources and Development Strategy after the crisis: useful (but flawed) new World Bank paper

The World Bank’s influential PREM (Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network) team has a new series of topical notes, pulling together its research on breaking issues (they’ve obviously been reading the literature on using research for influence – rehashing existing research at the right moment for policy makers is one of the most effective forms…

By admin February 18, 2010 1

Mobiles; Avatar-for-good; Goldman Sachs v Robin Hood; rickshaws (+judges) v cars and conflict/security: links I liked

Mark Weston captures the rush of Sierra Leone’s mobile phone boom An inspired bit of entrepreneurial campaigning. The Dongria Kondh tribe from eastern India publicly appeal to film director James Cameron to help them stop controversial mining company Vedanta from opening a bauxite mine on their sacred land, comparing their plight to that of the…

By admin February 16, 2010 1