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Monthly Archives: November 2010

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Subjective Well-Being

Tim Harford in the FT

Posted in In the news, Metrics and evaluation | 2 Comments

Why is nobody worried about the Asian brain drain?

Aid-financed scholarships for African students to study in the US or Europe would be worth a lot more than a million “capacity-building” projects. The usual argument against such scholarships is fear of brain drain — that the African students would not return home.

So why is nobody worried about brain drain of the gigantic numbers of Asian students studying in the US?

Source: Institute of International Education

Posted in Cognitive biases, Migration | Tagged | 12 Comments

Why US Catholic Bishops selected NYC Archbishop as their new leader: they like his blog

This according to a Wall Street Journal article. Archbishop Dolan’s blog is here.

The future of social media is even brighter than I thought.

Occasionally Archbishop Dolan touches on development in his blog, like this post on a 19th century Haitian saint.  He also talks a lot about insulting stereotypes of Catholics  in the media, which maybe Aid Watch should add to its campaign against insulting stereotypes (do you want to hear the…

Posted in In the news | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Living in Emergency

by Pierluigi Musarò, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Bologna at Forli, and a visiting scholar at NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge

A few months ago I organized a conference in Bologna on the topic of humanitarian emergencies and communication. I invited the communication manager of one of Italy’s most famous and most influential NGOs, called Emergency. He accepted but told me, “You should know that we do not deal with…

Posted in Language, Organizational behavior | 10 Comments

The plough and the veil

Why do some cultures encourage women to work, while others prefer they stay secluded in the home? Why do women in Africa command a bride price for their hand in marriage, while in northern India it is the bride’s family who must pay a dowry to the groom? Why are women secluded in the home in many Islamic countries, but not in Africa? Why is there the same contrast between female seclusion in northern India…

Posted in Academic research, Women and gender | 17 Comments

True Confessions: I’m still unable to conclude whether aid does more harm than good

Margaret Wente  in Toronto Globe and Mail perceives a growing backlash against humanitarian aid, that it may be doing more harm than good in Africa (she concentrates on seemingly everyone’s (including ours) recent favorite example of Ethiopia).

I’m quoted in the article accurately. Contrary to some perceptions (not in Wente’s article) however, I have never made a general argument that aid does more harm than good, or called for aid to be abolished or even cut. I said…

Posted in Aid debates, In the news, Meta | 22 Comments

How NYU will save New York, and other entrepreneurial insights

Wonderful article by Ed Glaeser in City Journal on how entrepreneurs are the heroes of New York’s success, from the days of pre-Civil War packet shipping and sugar refining, then the garment business, and more recently the Great Finance Sector.

OK that last one looks a little shaky right now, but Ed talks about how something new always comes along if the city just manages to hold on to enough entreprenurs to find the…

Posted in Entrepreneurship, In the news | Tagged | 1 Comment

Is aid sometimes for ruling party members only?

From our newly-published blog post for the New York Review of Books:

Foreign aid observers have often worried that Western aid to Africa is propping up autocratic regimes. Yet seldom has such a direct link from aid to political repression been demonstrated as in “Development without Freedom,” an extensively documented new report on Ethiopia by Human Rights Watch. Based on interviews with 200 people in 53 villages and cities throughout the country, the

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Democracy and freedom, In the news | 13 Comments

How foreign aid was invented by accident

Truman’s Inaugural Address on January 20, 1949 is usually taken as the beginning of foreign aid, after it included these stirring words:

Fourth, we must embark on a bold new program for making the benefits of our scientific advances and industrial progress available for the improvement and growth of underdeveloped areas…More than half the people of the world are living in conditions approaching misery….For the first time in history, humanity possesses the knowledge and

Posted in History | Tagged , | 16 Comments

Top economists on Twitter

Tim Harford gives his Top Ten economists on Twitter. The one most known to this readership is @dambisamoyo. Then Tim adds another category:

Honourable mentions – a subjective combination of econ tweeters who are popular, interesting or under-appreciated

I will overlook Tim’s blatant self-promotion of including @TimHarford on this list, in return for blatantly noting that he also includes @bill_easterly.

Posted in Meta | Tagged , | 1 Comment