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Tag Archives: racism

Me-ism, and other Reasons for Economists to Think Big about Development

Why should economists continue to work on such ambitious Big Ideas in Development — what drives Development?  Freedom? Property Rights? Human Capital? Whether you are just like ME?

One good reason is that most people are going to have their own Big Ideas anyway.  If economists and other social scientists refuse to discuss Big Ideas, then people will just base them on some random anecdote or on laughably casual empirics. (I once heard a prominent non-development economist say he understood underdevelopment after his…

Posted in Big ideas | Also tagged 15 Comments

Congressional Muslim Terrorism Hearings: the Mathematical Witness Transcript

UPDATE 11am response to commentator: is there an association between inability to understand Bayes’ theorem with ethnic prejudice?

UPDATE 3:30PM explaining risk of false positives to congressmen and commentators

Congressman Chairman: Muslims! Terrorists! Muslims! Terrorists!

Witness: Let A be the event of terrorism, and B be the event of Muslimism. Then P(A|B)≠P(B|A)

Congressman: What are you talking about?

Witness: You seem to be confusing the probability that a Muslim person will be a terrorist with…

Posted in Human rights, Metrics and evaluation, Satire and parodies | Also tagged , , 35 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