In 1981 poverty rate in China was 64% of the population, in 2004 the rate was 10%: it means that 500 million people stepped out of poverty (look here and here). China and South-East Asia economies were propelled by export demand and by someone else’s debt. What now? In the words of FT columnist Michael Pettis
The assumption that implicitly underlay the Asian development model – that US households had an infinite ability to borrow and spend – has been shown to be false. This spells the end of this model as an engine of growth.
It seams like bad news for economists pointing at free trade and export-led growth as a practical receipt for development. It seams like bad news for everybody. People in developing countries need to increase their income, and it is difficult to think how they could find the money in their neighborhoods.
Tuesday, 19 May 2009
In this post Dani Rodrik explains why trade theories suggest that the U.S. should liberalize trade for agricultural products (especially cotton and sugar) and abolish visa restrictions on on highly-skilled foreign workers. This will produce gains for the U.S. society as a whole and probably for the poorest part of the world population, that happens to be made up of farmers. (Of course India will probably see some of its engineers flee the country, but that is not exactly a win-win game).
But countries are not ruled by trade theories. Usually they are ruled by people seeking to keep power as long as possible. And sometimes people rely on minority groups within their society to keep themselves in power. Have a look at this paper, “The Diminishing Effect of Democracy in Diverse Societies” by Gilat Levy and Oriana Bandiera (London School of Economics and Political Science). Indeed, this can explain why western Europe heavily defends its farmers (4-5% of the population) sacrificing the common good.
An interesting theory should consider not how much a single group benefit or not from trade liberalization but how much influence the group affected by the new policy has on the decision making process. A reduction of trade barriers can help to tackle chronic poverty (have a look at the “Industrial Development Report” by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization). But barriers are not where they are because governments think they are irrational from a political (not economic) point of view.
Wednesday, 13 May 2009
The Kosovo Liberation Army (Albanian acronym UÇK) supposedly run, during the conflict of 1999, torture camps in northern Albania. According to an investigation conducted by Altin Raxhimi, Michael Montgomery and Vladimir Karaj and published (here) by the Balkan Investigative Journalism Network at least 18 people were killed in one of those, a factory compound in Kukës, Albania. Eyewitnesses say prisoner were mainly alleged Kosovo Albanian collaborationist. But as well Serbs and Roma were held in the camp. And women.
Kosovo’s Prime Minister, Hashim Thaçi, who was then the political director of the KLA, and Agim Çeku, former Prime Minister and former chief of the KLA headquarters, told the BBC they were not aware of any KLA prisons where captives were abused or where civilians were held.
The same sources that witnessed the base in Kukës, told us that the interrogators in Kukës were KLA officers who had been involved in the capture of suspected collaborators.
Both our sources concerning the base, identified several KLA officers involved in the abuses at Kukës.
One of them is currently in a top position in the judicial system in Kosovo.
After ten years, the history of the ex-Yugoslavia conflicts (so far mainly written by journalists) is still incomplete. Because the people who fought those wars are now ruling that very same land (nationalism is still an effective language to speak). And because the Balkans are the very same mirror and unconscious of Europe (Rada Iveković, 1999). The 1990s wars tell Europe where its own states are coming from: murders and deportations. And Dorian does not like portraits.
Monday, 11 May 2009
- RT @MediaAtSydney: No Media@Sydney today but two great events coming up soon! Jun 1: When Journalists go “Below the Line” w/t @Scott_Wrigh…
- RT @AlisonMoyet: Good luck, Ireland. I hope you choose today to vote your women and daughters free and equal to live safe and self-determin…
- RT @mikko: Got the #GDPR email notification, from @ironskyfilm. https://t.co/8AidgKBPGE
- RT @soltanlife: Today, I forgot my US passport inside the @AerLingus aircraft and only realized after de-boarding. I couldn’t get back on a…
- The two parties have stand firmly in support of Conte’s name even after the embarrassing CV story. Conte to be an e… https://t.co/ZaoQdMQnXW
- Conte now formally in charge of putting together a cabinet and present it to parliament for confidence vote. Lega+M… https://t.co/94Fj6YfDxH
- RT @CaterinaFroio: And if we want to keep discussing on #Conte's cv, let's focus on the way more serious #Stamina affair (a very controvers…
- In a desperate attempt to control the narrative, photos of Conte's graduation have been circulated on social media… https://t.co/xzNt3U0bwm
- In fact, the method was later recognised not only as flawed but its monetisation a fraud. Read this… https://t.co/06jRtw7fvD
- 2) (distrubing) Prof Conte assisted as personal attorney the parents of a child with a neurodegenerative diseases i… https://t.co/y9XGHXa7yx
- Tips for great graphicsR is a great program for generating top-notch graphics. But to get the best out of it, you need to put in a little more work. Here are a few tips for adapting your R graphics to make them look a little better. 1) Dont use the “File/Save as…/” menu. If you set up your […]
- WVPlots now at version 1.0.0 on CRAN!Nina Zumel and I have been working on packaging our favorite graphing techniques in a more reusable way that emphasizes the analysis task at hand over the steps needed to produce a good visualization. We are excited to announce the WVPlots is now at version 1.0.0 on CRAN! The idea is: we sacrifice some of […]
- Reflections on the ROpenSci UnconferenceI had an amazing time this week participating in the 2018 ROpenSci Unconference, the sixth annual ROpenSci hackathon bringing together people to advance the tools and community for scientific computing with R. It was so inspiring to be among such a talented and dedicated group of people — special kudos goes to the organizing committee […]
- How to plot with patchworkINTRODUCTION The goal of patchwork is to make it simple to combine separate ggplots into the same graphic. As such it tries to solve the same problem as gridExtra::grid.arrange() and cowplot::plot_grid but using an API that incites exploration and iteration. Installation You can install patchwork from github with: # install.packages("devtools") devtools::install_github("thomasp85/patchwork") The usage of patchwork […]
- Programmatically creating text output in R – ExercisesIn the age of Rmarkdown and Shiny, or when making any custom output from your data you want your output to look consistent and neat. Also, when writing your output you often want it to obtain a specific (decorative) format defined by the html or LaTeX engine. These exercises are an opportunity to refresh our […]
- Context Compatibility in Data AnalysisAll data arise within a particular context and often as a result of a specific question being asked. That is all well and good until we attempt to use that same data to answer a different question within a different context. When you match an existing dataset with a new question, you have to ask […]
- Awesome postdoc opportunities in computational genomics at JHUJohns Hopkins is a pretty amazing place to do computational genomics right now. My colleagues are really impressive, for example five of our faculty are part of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and we have faculty across a range of departments including Biostatistics, Computer Science, Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Human Genetics. A number of my colleagues are […]
- Rethinking Academic Data SharingThe sharing of data is one of the key principles of reproducible research (the other one being code sharing). Using the data and code a researcher has used to generate a finding, other researchers can reproduce those findings and examine the process that lead to them. Reproducibility is critical for transparency, so that others can […]
- Click here to find out how these 2 top researchers hyped their work in a NYT op-ed!Gur Huberman pointed me to this NYT op-ed entitled “Would You Go to a Republican Doctor?”, written by two professors describing their own research, that begins as follows: Suppose you need to see a dermatologist. Your friend recommends a doctor, explaining that “she trained at the best hospital in the country and is regarded as […]
- Write your congressmember to require researchers to publicly post their code?Stephen Cranney writes: For the past couple of years I have had an ongoing question/concern . . . In my fields (sociology and demography) much if not most of the published research is based on publicly available datasets; consequently, replicability is literally a simple matter of sending or uploading a few kilobytes of code text. […]
- The Manager’s Path (book recommendation for new managers)I (Bob) was visiting Matt Hoffman (of NUTS fame) at Google in California a few weeks ago, and he recommended the following book: Camille Fournier. 2017. The Manager’s Path. O’Reilly. It’s ordered from being an employee, to being a tech lead, to managing a small team, to managing teams of teams, and I stopped there. […]