Links I Liked

A little humour ahead of International Women’s Day. It’s the manbun that does it.manbun

A lot of chat about the idea of a Universal Basic Income: the New York Times gave a glowing review of a UBI experiment in Kenya (h/t Josh Williams). Chris Blattman and Berk Ozler provided the bah humbug/’much more complicated than that’ response.

An initiative to fill the funding gap left by Pres Trump’s reintroduction of the global gag rule reached $190m. Kudos to the Dutch Government for convening and all the other donors (not including the UK, sadly) who chipped in.

An even-handed summary of what sounds like a really good (and heated) debate on private v public education in Africa

Chinese wages are now higher than in Mexico, Thailand, and Brazil, Roser wagesaccording to this gated piece in the FT (h/t Max Roser)

Why economists love Machiavelli, and why he may be the best kind of leader the world can hope for, by Branko Milanovic

‘Hey guys, I’m just heading downstairs for my paleo pear and banana bread’…. Worst recruitment ad ever? Which PR muppet decided to force real life Aussie civil servants to take part in this squirm TV horror?

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One Response to “Links I Liked”
  1. Sophia Murphy

    Duncan, did you ever review James Ferguson’s Give A Man A Fish? I just posted this comment on Chris Blattman’s blog:

    “Have you read James Ferguson’s Give A Man A Fish? I find it compelling. Certainly unemployment among some groups within adult populations far exceeds 20%. Does it depend what we mean by employment? Ferguson is arguing for acknowledgement of the distributive economy. Where he works in Africa (mostly South Africa, & also the wider region), a lot of time and effort (i.e. work) goes into distribution, not production. He sees the expansion of various social welfare payments, even in countries as poor as Lesotho, as potentially (i.e. lots of caveats) transformative. A very large number of people in South Africa get a welfare transfer; the only group left out is young men. The argument is not that cash transfers magically end poverty, but that they get at a neglected (and important) area of economic life.”

    The book is – like the last one of his I read, the Anti-Politics Machine – excellent. Thinking about UBI as distribution, and of the economy as not just production but also distribution, seems to me a critical piece of all our soul-searching (and hard analysis) on inequality. It brings together important strands of Princen’s sufficiency not efficiency thinking; feminist insistence to value reproductive work; and the – in my life time, starting with those posters during the Thatcher years of job-seekers lined up around the block – somehow ineffectual insistence on “job-creation” that – in part – has led to a dystopian myth of recreating coal and steel jobs in the American heartland at the expense of common humanity.

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