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Tag Archives: development

Will China invade Taiwan, and what (if anything) can the United States do about it?

Last week I wrote a long thread about whether and why China would invade Taiwan: Will China invade Taiwan? Did Biden’s remarks today make war more or less likely? I’ve been reading up on this a lot lately. Here’s a summary of the best things I read, and what could lead to a war. Mostly I’m reassured. But not entirely. A 🧵, obviously. pic.twitter.com/ooLwXItxgB — Chris Blattman (@cblatts) May 23, 2022 I’ll write up what the analysts and the theory say as a longer post this summer....

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The dismal future of the Russian economy (and Ukraine’s?)

For a Russian opposed to the war, and helpless to do anything about it, the horror is not that incomes will fall 10% this year, nor that unemployment will double, or that inflation will be 30%. Rather: in order to get out of this fall – not just to go to growth, but at least to restore it, you need not just make the decision “the war is over” and start negotiations on the gradual lifting of sanctions. We need to repeal dozens if not hundreds of laws passed in the last ten years. I would say...

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The dismal future of the Russian economy (and Ukraine’s?)

For a Russian opposed to the war, and helpless to do anything about it, the horror is not that incomes will fall 10% this year, nor that unemployment will double, or that inflation will be 30%. Rather: in order to get out of this fall – not just to go to growth, but at least to restore it, you need not just make the decision “the war is over” and start negotiations on the gradual lifting of sanctions. We need to repeal dozens if not hundreds of laws passed in the last ten years. I would...

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The most important economic event of the past century

We estimate the impact of the Green Revolution in the developing world by exploiting exogenous heterogeneity in the timing and extent of the benefits derived from high-yielding crop varieties (HYVs). HYVs increased yields of food crops by 44 percent between 1965 and 2010. The total effect on yields is even higher because of substitution towards crops for which HYVs were available, and because of reallocation of land and labor. Beyond agriculture, our baseline estimates show strong, positive,...

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“The sloth cartel”

I’d come to Colombia to find a man named Isaac Bedoya, described by the Colombian media as Latin America’s most notorious sloth trader. The country’s wildlife authorities estimate that he and his accomplices captured and sold as many as 10,000 sloths into the pet trade during the three decades before his conviction in 2015. That is Natasha Daly writing in National Geographic on the sloth cartel, with photos by Juan Arredondo. But (as is so often true in so-called organized crime, but seldom...

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Remembrances of an Indian development economist

The statistical assistants at ISI were literally called ‘computers’ (I was a bit taken aback when on the first day a man came to see me and said “I am your computer, sir”). One day when I was chatting with this human ‘computer’, he said some years back he had worked with a foreign professor who was rather short-tempered and used to scream at him for the slightest delay or lapse. (It so happened that I knew this professor). I said he should have protested if the professor was unnecessarily...

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IPA’s weekly links

Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action. A quick note, my posting frequency has slowed down in 2021, thanks for sticking with it. One reason has been that I’ve been co-authoring another set of links with my brilliant IPA colleagues, Luciana Debenedetti & Rachel Strohm, every other week focused on new research on COVID and social protection (this week’s is here). Among other, I think I also hit what I now realize was a quarantine burnout. If it’s helpful to anybody...

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IPA’s weekly links

Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action. Samia Suluhu Hassan was sworn in as Tanzania’s first woman president, following the death of John Magufuli, known for his denial of COVID-19 in the country. Some speculate the virus was the cause of his death rather than the official announced cause, heart failure. A nice article from Dani Rodrik about how economists can get along with other fields. Known for their breadth and willing to take on many kinds of questions,...

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IPA’s weekly links

The latest I’ve seen on the Uganda election is that ballot counting continues, I thought I saw police had disrupted counting at at least one location, and opposition candidate, singer Bobi Wine says the military has stationed themselves in and around his home without explanation. My boss, Annie Duflo, is profiled in the Wall Street Journal this weekend. Charles Kenny has a new paper and blog post out arguing aid would help the most people if it prioritized the poorest places first. He also...

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IPA’s weekly links

Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action First a plug – my colleagues at IPA have done amazing work this year quickly pivoting a big research organization to tackle the covid crisis head-on, studying hunger, refugee issues, education and 80+ other topics, and staying up late into the night, over and over again. Not all of our expenses are covered directly by research grants, so we rely on donations for the rest. If you donate here BEFORE TUESDAY you gift will be...

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