Topic: Economics

Can Financial Diaries help us understand life in fragile and conflict-affected settings?

Regular readers will know I’m a big fan of diaries as a research tool into issues such as governance and finance. Here Sandrine N’simire, Ishara Tchumisi and Patricia Stys, of LSE’s Centre for Public Authority in International Development, discuss their experiences conducting research using ‘financial diaries’ as part of LSE’s Water Governance project in Goma, DRC. This […]

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Africa’s new Free Trade Agreement: Great expectations, tough questions

Teniola Tayo argues that African cooperation is gaining momentum, but big challenges lie ahead. This post was first published on the ISS blog The start of trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement on 1 January 2021 marks the dawn of a new era in Africa’s development journey. Over time, the AfCFTA […]

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Has Covid been a tipping point for Universal Social Protection? Here’s what we know

Crises act as tipping points. Local crises and conflicts can galvanize a social movement or discredit a leader in a given location. Global crises change far more than that – the 2008 financial crisis has been credited with everything from sparking the rise of right-wing populism (hopefully now heading for a historical dustbin near you) […]

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Argentina introduces a Wealth Tax (aka ‘the Oxfam Tax’). Could this be the start of something big?

Asier Hernando Malax-Echevarria discusses what looks like an important advocacy win The Argentine Senate has just passed the ‘Solidarity and Extraordinary Contribution of Great Fortunes’ law, a one-off tax intended to help cover the costs of the COVID19 pandemic in a country where it has so far killed 40,000 people. The tax will pay for […]

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Who wins/loses if Mexico legalizes Cannabis? Not as straightforward as you might think

A recent piece in the Economist on Mexico’s debates is an interesting addition to my library of ‘how change happens’ case studies, and reminded me of conversations I had thirty years ago, when legalization seemed a purely theoretical possibility. Would legalization mean small farmers get a new and stable market for their crop, free from […]

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Power Switch: How We can Reverse Extreme Inequality. Book Review

Imagine you’ve written a mini-book (82 pages) setting out your thoughts on a progressive agenda, scheduled to come out in the first days of a Biden Administration. What could possibly go wrong? I can only imagine what my friend and political sparring partner Paul O’Brien was going through in the early hours of 4th November, […]

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What have we learned about the care economy from 7 years’ work in 25 countries?

Oxfam has just published an interesting overview of its work on unpaid care and domestic work (UCDW) in over 25 countries since 2013, which I recommend as a good intro to an increasingly important topic in the aid and development biz. Firstly, the history: ‘Conversations on UCDW have evolved over the decades from the ‘domestic […]

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Branko Milanovic is discussing his new book with me tomorrow (Friday). Here’s what we’ll be talking about

This repost from last year is a blatant promotional puff for tomorrow’s conversation with Branko Milanovic on his latest book, Capitalism Alone. You can watch it on YouTube here (Friday 13th, 4-6pm GMT). We’ll be on as part of the LSE’s ‘Cutting Edge Issues in Development Thinking and Practice’ lecture series, which has moved to […]

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Why don’t Faith Groups and Anti-Corruption Activists Work Together More?

Guest post by Katherine Marshall, who will be one of the panelists at tomorrow’s webinar on ‘Emergent Agency in a time of Covid 19’ (register here) Religious actors and transparency/accountability advocates ought to be natural allies, but all too often, they barely communicate, much less work actively together. That is a huge missed opportunity for […]

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Which developing countries have managed to reduce income inequality and why?

The wheels of academia grind slowly, but eventually grind out some fascinating stuff. Five years ago, I was involved in a series of conversations about the need for research on the history of redistribution in developing countries. What can we learn from low/middle income countries that have actually managed to reduce inequality (a bit like […]

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Covid-19 as a watershed in how we run the world. Important reflection from Rutger Bregman

I’ve been catching up with my reading this week, and really enjoyed this essay (from May – sorry for the delay!). Bregman (a Dutch historian who became an overnight global sensation with this fine outburston taxes at Davos) is brilliant on the role of ideas in driving paradigm shifts. He uses my favourite quote from […]

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Possible Fragments of the Post-Covid World Order, according to The Economist

This week’s Economist Special Report on the World Economy is a thought-provoking and beautifully written helicopter overview of the current meltdown. Some extracts: ‘Conditions before the pandemic were forged by the three biggest economic shocks of the 21st century: the integration of China into the world trading system, the financial crisis and the rise of […]

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