Topic: Economics

Cash on Delivery – worth a try?

You’ve got to hand it to the policy entrepreneurs at the Center for Global Development – they sure know how to get new ideas onto the tables and into the minds of decision makers. One of their biggest and most interesting new(ish) ideas is ‘Cash on Delivery’ (CoD), and I’ve just been reading their new […]

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Successful Green Industrial Policy – Brazilian biofuels

The highly polarized debate on the role of industrial policy in development is dominated by discussions of the East Asian tigers, so good to see a discussion from another continent on what makes for successful state intervention – Brazil and biofuels. Here’s the highlights from a recent article by Tarun Khanna of the Harvard Business […]

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Why do people vote? Don't ask a micro-economist.

Britain went to the polls last week, and a right mess we made of it, in terms of choosing a government (four days on, and the parties are still negotiating). Normally, pundits lament the long term decline in voter turnout (though it went up a bit in last week’s close contest, to about two thirds of […]

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Randomized Controlled Trials: panacea or mirage?

Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) are all the rage among development wonks at the moment. Imported from medical research, they offer the tantalizing allure to social scientists of finally overcoming the Achilles’ heel of real-world research – the counterfactual (aka ‘how do we know what would have happened if we hadn’t lobbied the government/ employed the […]

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The IMF pronounces on the Robin Hood Tax

Yesterday, I discussed the IMF’s fascinating new proposals for two international taxes on the financial sector  – a ‘financial stability contribution’ (FSC) and a ‘financial activities tax’ (FAT). But the leaked interim report to the G20 also discussed the financial transactions tax (FTT), better known as the Robin Hood Tax. What did it say? First […]

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A global taxation system, as proposed by the IMF

IMF suggests Global taxes on all banks History is made What have they put in the water supply at the IMF? First they see the light on capital controls, and now they’re putting out ground-breaking ideas on the international taxation of banks. I’ve been reading the supposedly confidential (but available on the BBC website – […]

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Keynes v Hayek: the rap version. Priceless(?)

The reader survey turned up a lot of people wanting more short posts and light relief, so to celebrate this blog’s 400th post, here’s a top youtube – Hayek v Keynes in a rather scholarly MC battle. Coincidentally, the number of people watching it on youtube is about equal to The Economist’s circulation – wonder […]

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What is the impact of aid on overall health spending?

Fungibility makes aid complicated. Where does the money go? The Lancet has put the cat among the aid pigeons with its recent piece on the arcane, but important issue of ‘aid fungibility’. This claims that for every $1 given in health aid, the recipient government shifts between 43 cents and $1.14 of their own spending […]

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The World According to Robert Zoellick

World Bank President Robert Zoellick always gives a big set piece speech ahead of the IMF/World Bank spring meeting. Yesterday at the Woodrow Wilson Center he spoke on ‘the End of the Third World’. Highlights (and comments from me in brackets): ‘2009 saw the end of what was known as the “Third World”: We are […]

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The gender impact of Europe’s recession

A recent report by Oxfam’s UK Poverty Programme looks at the impact of the global economic crisis on Europe’s women. Based on research in ten EU member states, the report finds (among other things): ‘The impact of the recession is significant and damaging for both men and women living in poverty. This report tracks the […]

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Robin Hoodies and Robbing Oil Revenues: two fine new youtubes

Here’s the latest youtube treat from Richard Curtis for the Robin Hood Tax campaign (whose Facebook fan club just topped 150,000 people). OK, we oldies recognize Ben Kingsley, but test your yoof credentials by naming the rest of them…….. See here for more considered (if less enjoyable) posts on the subject.   Meanwhile Oxfam America’s animated short “Follow the Money” has […]

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Whatever happened to Robin Hood? Update on the Financial Transaction Tax

  From deep inside the boilerhouse of the Robin Hood Tax campaign, this helpful update comes from Max Lawson, Oxfam’s man in the green mask….. The weeks up to the G20 Finance Ministers meeting in Washington DC on 23 April (on the margins of the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings) and the UK election […]

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