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Tag Archives: Adam Martin

Holy Bureaucratic Gibberish, Batman!

This post is by Adam Martin, a post-doctoral fellow at DRI.

On July 1 the Department of Defense rolled out two notable new projects that will undoubtedly inaugurate a new era of peace and safety for the streets of Gotham international community. Even the world’s greatest detective could not have seen this coming.

Like their caped crusader namesakes, the DoD versions of BaTMAN and RoBIN are shrouded in mystery, their real identities…

Posted in Military aid, Organizational behavior | Also tagged 10 Comments

The Counter-Revolution of Development Economics: Hayek vs. Duflo

This post is by Adam Martin, a post-doctoral fellow at DRI.

F.A. Hayek, well known as a critic of central planning, also criticized what he called “scientism,” a blind commitment to the methods of the physical sciences beyond their realm of applicability. In The Counter-Revolution of Science, Hayek opposed to “scientism” the genuine spirit of scientific inquiry.

Esther Duflo’s emphasis on small-scale experimentation has affinity with Hayek’s critique of grand schemes of central planning. As…

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Metrics and evaluation | Also tagged , , , 24 Comments

An oil purse is a curse, of course?

This post is by Adam Martin, a post-doctoral fellow at DRI.

In development economics everyone knows that natural resources are a curse. A well-known study by Sachs and Warner found a negative correlation between resource abundance and growth rates, while subsequent studies have shown a negative relationship with democracy.

The Curse enjoys wide appeal. Aid skeptics like that it implicates oppressive domestic government and nationalized industries. Aid supporters are drawn to its emphasis on geography…

Posted in Academic research, Data and statistics, Democracy and freedom | Also tagged , 22 Comments

Population Wars: Adam Martin replies to Global Population Speak Out

by Adam Martin

I appreciate the thoughtful GPSO reply to my blog post. But I respectfully decline the offer to sign their pledge. Here is why:

Projections of population into the future that fail to account for the power of changing incentives are intellectually sterile explanations and policies that deny the rational response of individuals to incentives will prove impotent or worse.

Why are market-oriented economists so confident that population will be self-regulating?…

Posted in Economics principles | Also tagged , 3 Comments

Malthus vs. Malthusian Population Scares

This post is by Adam Martin, a post-doctoral fellow at DRI.

The laws of economics are more powerful than the laws of physics. I once saw Deirdre McCloskey illustrate this by placing a $100 bill on the table. The laws of physics, she reminded the class, dictate that an object at rest tends to stay at rest. Economics tells us that errant $100 bills laying out in the open do not remain unattended for…

Posted in Economics principles | Also tagged , 12 Comments

Lies My Poets Told Me: The Prehistory of Development Economics

This post is by Adam Martin, a post-doctoral fellow at DRI.

A couple months ago, Bill addressed the imperial origins of state-led development, arguing that economic development was a substitute for racism as a rationalization of empire. I think it’s worthwhile to delve a bit further into the intellectual and social context in which these ideas were put forward.

Why bother? Because ideas matter for policy. There are good, hard-nosed reasons for…

Posted in Academic research, History | Also tagged 7 Comments