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Category Archives: Economics principles

Saving Private Hayek

UPDATE: 3:30pm links to other reviews (all great) of the Fukuyama review at end of this post F.A. Hayek continues to be the most mis-characterized economist of all time.  As if Glenn Beck were not doing enough damage, now even someone I greatly respect — Frank Fukuyama– has gotten Hayek wrong yet again. In a review of a new[…..]

Also posted in Books and book reviews, Uncategorized | 28 Comments

Skeptics and thermostats

UPDATE 12:50PM: Please assume I’m an idiot (see end of post) Many have suffered from being in a building where there was a centralized thermostat for the whole building (or the whole floor), with the predictable result that some rooms are way too hot or way too cold. (Sounds like a metaphor, watch for it…) Things were[…..]

Also posted in Big ideas | 26 Comments

Complexity, Spontaneous Order, blah, blah, blah…and Wow

UPDATE: Thanks to the commenters who confirmed the “hostile reactions” thesis while disavowing hostility :>)… By the way, I am surprised nobody has yet mentioned that blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc. are superb examples of Spontaneous Order. I was surprised by hostile reactions to mentioning complexity on the Ivory Coast coup debate. Of course, I dish[…..]

29 Comments

Substitutability: there is no substitute for learning this wonky concept if you want your project to succeed

The debate we had on the HDI brought up the seemingly drop-dead boring jargon “substitutability.” Surprise! This actually turns out to be a USEFUL concept. Consider two extremes in an everyday example.  For producing the output: “weird music that Bill listens to,” my iPod and my iPhone are perfect substitutes, so one is redundant for[…..]

Also posted in Academic research, Aid policies and approaches | Tagged | 9 Comments

Development is Uneven, Get Over It

UPDATE: out of 188 recorded songs on all Beatles albums, how many are now hits on iTunes? See end of post. This a 20 minute extemporaneous talk at UNICEF headquarters in New York on the topic of “Inclusive Growth”. After the talk, there is a question, comment, and response session with the audience.  The full[…..]

Also posted in Aid debates, Democracy and freedom, Human rights | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

The US Map of Prices of Pot

UPDATE: just got the question on Twitter: “what does this have to do with development?” Answer: nothing, except that you will never understand development if you are so quick to ask that question. When I first saw this map, I immediately thought legalize pot! what a great teaching tool for my Intro students! So students,[…..]

Also posted in Maps | 13 Comments

Our China who art in heaven, hallowed be thy growth rate

UPDATE 4: thanks to all the critics on this post, too bad I couldnt get Chinese censoring technology to work:) UPDATE 3: 9:30am Sat 10/9: links to Nobel Peace Prize and Charter ’08 UPDATE 2: 1:30pm. New Yorker writer Evan Osnos generously replies to my criticisms (see end of post) SCOREBOAD UPDATE 10 AM 10/8:[…..]

Also posted in Democracy and freedom | Tagged , , , | 34 Comments

Growing cars in Iowa

[T]here are two technologies for producing automobiles in America. One is to manufacture them in Detroit, and the other is to grow them in Iowa. Here’s the detailed technology by which you grow cars in Iowa: First you plant seeds, which are the raw material from which automobiles are constructed. You wait a few months[…..]

Tagged | 14 Comments

Welcome to economics, all you students (and aid workers)

Today, for the first time in my professional career I taught Principles of Economics. I’ll be teaching this all semester long and giving occasional reports from the classroom. The officially required duty of all Principles instructors is to first define economics. Here is the definition from the 18th edition of McConnell, the most popular text on the[…..]

30 Comments

Manhattan’s Non-Market Economy

Tyler Cowen has a great NYT column today about the harmful distortions caused by “free” parking. Manhattan offers plenty more ammunition to his case. Both sides of most crosstown numbered streets (17th, 18th, etc.) are devoted to “free” parking, which adds to traffic gridlock by creating one-lane streets, frequently blocked by delivery vans or by[…..]

Also posted in In the news | Tagged , , | 8 Comments
  • About Aid Watch

    The Aid Watch blog is a project of New York University's Development Research Institute (DRI). This blog is principally written by William Easterly, author of "The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics" and "The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good," and Professor of Economics at NYU. It is co-written by Laura Freschi and by occasional guest bloggers. Our work is based on the idea that more aid will reach the poor the more people are watching aid.

    "Conscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody may be looking." - H.L. Mencken

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