The Role of Civil Society and Institutional Reform in Economic and Human Development

I argue that there are several factors that contribute to development, these are: institutions, organizations and civil society. Both institutions and organizations are equally important when it comes to improving economic development. Both are interrelated as one focus on creating the operational framework (institutions) while the other (organizations) decides the level of compliance they are willing to apply to the execution of these norms. However, when speaking about human development measured by HDI, institutions and civil society plays a bigger role in setting the agenda. … More The Role of Civil Society and Institutional Reform in Economic and Human Development

Is Government Decentralization a Good Approach for Countries with Low Literacy Rates?

This is a question that many development policy advisors struggle with when making suggestions that could improve human development in low and middle income countries. The assumption is that handing over government responsibility to poorly educated local authorities is a sure recipe for disaster. However, before we dive into arguing about the advantages or disadvantages … More Is Government Decentralization a Good Approach for Countries with Low Literacy Rates?

Should the Informal Sector be Regulated?

The informal sector plays a very important role in economic development in both complex and simple economies alike. Informality embodies the spirit of entrepreneurship and it is the way people ensure their livelihoods even when excluded from the informal sector (Allen). Development literature puts most emphasis on the establishment of democratic capitalism as the only path to economic development in low and middle-income countries. This research largely ignores the fact that some rich countries with high HDI still have a large informal sector that fuels the economy; such as it is the case of Italy (with 33%) and Sweden (15%) of their economic activity coming from the informal sector. … More Should the Informal Sector be Regulated?

Shifting Public Discourse About #COVID-19

On March 11, 2020 the WHO declared the Coronavirus a global pandemic. Although the first case was detected in the US on  01/20/20, president Trump skeptically dismissed the threat and waited patiently to take action, naively thinking that it would simply go away. It was not until March 13 that the federal government decided to declare a state of … More Shifting Public Discourse About #COVID-19

Bitcoin and The Dodo-Bones- Theory of Money

Monetary debates are usually seen as between Friedman-Keynes or Friedman-Hayek and so on. JP Koning points to this fascinating debate between Joseph Shield Nicholson and Benjamin Anderson. Both were not so famous economists but their views on what is money remains as relevant as ever. For instance, Nicholson spoke about dodo bones being money: via Bitcoin … More Bitcoin and The Dodo-Bones- Theory of Money

Urban Reducing Risks in Urban Centres: Think ‘local, local, local’

via Reducing risks in urban centres: think ‘local, local, local’ | International Institute for Environment and Development Urban centres can be among the world’s most healthy places to live and work – but many are among the least. How healthy they are is powerfully influenced by local government competence, local information, and support for local … More Urban Reducing Risks in Urban Centres: Think ‘local, local, local’

Shocking Increase in Midlife Mortality Among White Non-Hispanic Americans

In “Mortality and morbidity in the 21st century,” Princeton Professors Anne Case and Angus Deaton follow up on their groundbreaking 2015 paper that revealed a shocking increase in midlife mortality among white non-Hispanic Americans, exploring patterns and contributing factors to the troubling trend. (Source: Mortality and morbidity in the 21st century) Short talk by authors … More Shocking Increase in Midlife Mortality Among White Non-Hispanic Americans

The Indian Mother and Stable Jobs

It has also been established that maternity leave of atleast 12 weeks leads to significant stress reduction for the mothers. Economically, it is widely accepted that maternity leaves have a positive effect on the economy: it ensures that female workers return to offices, thereby enabling workforce continuity for firms. via The Indian Mother and Stable Jobs … More The Indian Mother and Stable Jobs

How Does The Repeal of Obamacare Affect Consumers and the Health Insurance Industry?

As the congress prepares to repeal Obamacare, millions of Americans on both sides of the argument wonder how this will affect their taxes, their access to quality care and ultimately their yearly income based on the policy changes proposed. The following article analyses some of the policy implications proposed by both senators during their February 7, 2017 debate. All proposals have marked winners and losers that will be determined by an array of variables. Ultimately, the fate of the losing group will reflect the views embraced by congress related to the value of good heath to the overall economy, based on productivity outcomes per demographic segment. Below is a brief explanation of the implications of each proposal. … More How Does The Repeal of Obamacare Affect Consumers and the Health Insurance Industry?

Closing the Gender Pay Gap: The Importance of not Confusing ‘Support’ with ‘Permission’

The struggle for gender equality is over 100 years old. While many victories have been won in the public policy realm, the biggest battle to the success of this initiative remains in the domestic setting. This is due primarily because many men are supportive of gender equality in theory but very few understand what it means. … More Closing the Gender Pay Gap: The Importance of not Confusing ‘Support’ with ‘Permission’

The Origins of Neoliberalism Modeling the Economy from Jesus to Foucault

  Dotan Leshem recasts the history of the West from an economic perspective, bringing politics, philosophy, and the economy closer together and revealing the significant role of Christian theology in shaping economic and political thought. He begins with early Christian treatment of economic knowledge and the effect of this interaction on ancient politics and philosophy. … More The Origins of Neoliberalism Modeling the Economy from Jesus to Foucault

On Abstraction and homoeconomicus

  It can be easily argued that abstraction is an elementary methodological tool in several social sciences. Social sciences have definite and different man concepts that highlight those aspects of man and his behaviour by idealization that are relevant for the given human science. Homo sociologicus is the man as sociology abstracts and idealizes it–depicting … More On Abstraction and homoeconomicus

The US democratic circus

Originally posted on OffGuardian:
by Jesse Marioneaux Annual party convention season in the United States combines comedy, farce, and melodrama in one rip-roaring package of unadulterated entertainment that is to democracy what the Emperor Nero was to fire prevention. The American people, and the world, are currently being treated to an annual parade of charisma-challenged,…

The tragedy of poverty in the US — The Political Economy of Development

The largest economy in the world. A technological leader in many industries. Land of the free. Despite all this, poverty in the US remains widespread, affecting about one in seven people, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and as reported by the BBC here. Growth by itself is not enough. If it is not … More The tragedy of poverty in the US — The Political Economy of Development

The Antifragile Economic Model: Formalizing the Use of Complementary Currencies as a Method to Offset Systemic Risk

This paper explores the social implications of the postindustrial era and its effects in neoliberal economic models currently used in Western democracies. The changing nature of work (Landry, 2005), increases in global aging population, rapid environmental degradation and “the upcoming rise in consumer demand fueled by 1.7BN Chinese citizens that will be joining the middle class in the next decade” (Dobbs, 2015), underscore the urgent need to revise certain economic modeling assumptions in order to maintain the stability of democracies. The mathematical limitations imposed by technological innovation in the creation of wage based employment combined with a flawed framework of unlimited economic growth, point to an increased frequency in systemic risk and armed conflict as the future norm of the current socioeconomic system. Adapting institutional practices and economic frameworks to benefit from rapid change can help avoid further deterioration of established and emerging democracies and increase wealth creation in the short and long term. This paper will explore some of the existing challenges to creating a more efficient economic model adapted to support the digital economy, the construction of such a model, and outline the main institutional and monetary reforms that need to take place in order to enable this framework. … More The Antifragile Economic Model: Formalizing the Use of Complementary Currencies as a Method to Offset Systemic Risk

US Economic Slowdown?Look at real estate labor market

One month of weak payroll data does not make a crisis. The US economy appears to have added only 160,000 new jobs during the month of April in 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday. A similar number was published earlier in that week by the payroll firm ADP. Although the slowdown in […] … More US Economic Slowdown?Look at real estate labor market

Urban Traffic: More Roads Don’t Mean Less Traffic — MS&E 135 Networks @ Stanford

It is estimated that by 2030 the cumulative cost of traffic congestion in the United States will reach 2.8 Trillion Dollars. The usual way we have responded to this situation is build more highways and roads. However, as Adam Mann, an Angeleno points out in his article, building more lanes on the 405 has not … More Urban Traffic: More Roads Don’t Mean Less Traffic — MS&E 135 Networks @ Stanford

The Birth of Territory reviewed in Law, Culture and the Humanities by Thanos Zartaloudis — Progressive Geographies

The Birth of Territory is reviewed in Law, Culture and the Humanities by Thanos Zartaloudis (requires subscription). It’s a generous summary of the book and says a few things about the legal aspects of the argument. To the legal audience the numerous references and remarks on the role of law in the eventual conception of […] … More The Birth of Territory reviewed in Law, Culture and the Humanities by Thanos Zartaloudis — Progressive Geographies

Economists Confuse Greek Method with Science — WEA Pedagogy Blog

Post 3/4 – Continuation of Emergence of Science A well-known historian and philosopher of science Pierre Duhem reflects the typical Eurocentric attitude: “There is no Arabian science. The wise men of Mohammedanism were … faithful disciples of the Greeks, (and) … destitute of all originality.” It is amazing how prejudice can blind historians to the […] … More Economists Confuse Greek Method with Science — WEA Pedagogy Blog

David Sloan Wilson on economics and new developments in evolutionary theory

David Sloan Wilson has an interesting blogpost about modern evolutionary theory and economics in which he compares the ideas in a highly intelligent 1996 speech about this by Paul Krugman with subsequent developments in evolutionary theory. It reminds me a little of the early twentieth century ideas of Kropotkin (see this post on this blog): “Kropotkin … noticed that groupings of species thrived through cooperation. Researching human settlements in Siberia, Kropotkin likewise noted cooperation and mutual aid as the foundation for dealing with the larger struggle for survival against natural challenges.” … More David Sloan Wilson on economics and new developments in evolutionary theory

More Education = Less Terrorism? Studying the Complex Relationship Between Terrorism and Education

In the aftermath of terrorist attacks, education is often advocated as an antidote to terrorism, the idea primarily being that education may make individuals less vulnerable to the false promises of extremist ideologies. For instance, in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington DC on September 11, 2001, Eli Wiesel … More More Education = Less Terrorism? Studying the Complex Relationship Between Terrorism and Education

World employment and social outlook 2015. The changing nature of jobs

From the recent ILO (International Labour Organization) World Employment and Social Outlook – the changing nature of jobs publication. The part on labour and the increasing importance of international supply chains is a ‘must read’ – the economic history of today. Where are workers less likely to have a permanent contract? Increasing poverty for households … More World employment and social outlook 2015. The changing nature of jobs

The HE Green Paper: (Don’t) Read it and Weep – Part 1: The TEF & Social Mobility

Britain’s Conservative government recently released its much-awaited (or much-dreaded) ‘green paper’ on higher education (HE), a consultation document that sets out broad ideas for the sector’s future. Masochistically, I have read this document – so you don’t have to. This first post describes and evaluates the centrepiece of the green paper, the Teaching Excellence Framework … More The HE Green Paper: (Don’t) Read it and Weep – Part 1: The TEF & Social Mobility