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
- A better view https://t.co/JhJyHXuTHf
- Another full house for #mediaatsydney and the very interesting Paul @Dourish on accidentally smart cities. https://t.co/6XWYXSmDOk
- RT @MediaAtSydney: Media@Sydney: Paul Dourish - The Pragmatics of Data-Driven Urbanism Part 2 https://t.co/ctECF7u6V0
- RT @MediaAtSydney: Media@Sydney: Paul Dourish - The Pragmatics of Data-Driven Urbanism https://t.co/tila1Fe6sv
- It looks like this might interest @ThomasBWynter https://t.co/PW08lDrn1J
- RT @iamjohnoliver: Stephen Hawking was a brilliant man, but he was also an incredibly funny man. It was a huge privilege to waste some of h…
- RT @NASA: Remembering Stephen Hawking, a renowned physicist and ambassador of science. His theories unlocked a universe of possibilities th…
- @Mily_Sun @lexistindall A closer look https://t.co/x1yPnHDga8
- Concise book review by Chrysi Dagoula of the very interesting 'Can The Internet Strengthen Democracy?' by Stephen C… https://t.co/cux5YycDEe
- RT @MediaAtSydney: Hope to see you at Paul Dourish's seminar this Friday 3pm! https://t.co/HlTbjIuWqx
- xts 0.10-2 on CRANThis xts release contains mostly bugfixes, but there are a few noteworthy features. Some of these features were added in version 0.10-1, but I forgot to blog about it. Anyway, in no particular order: endpoints() gained sub-second accuracy on Windows (#202)! na.locf.xts() now honors 'x' and 'xout' arguments by dispatching to the next method (#215). Thanks […]
- RcppSMC 0.2.1: A few new tricksA new release, now at 0.2.1, of the RcppSMC package arrived on CRAN earlier this afternoon (and once again as a very quick pretest-publish within minutes of submission). RcppSMC provides Rcpp-based bindings to R for the Sequential Monte Carlo Templat...
- Exploring the underlying theory of the chi-square test through simulation – part 1Kids today are so sophisticated (at least they are in New York City, where I live). While I didn’t hear about the chi-square test of independence until my first stint in graduate school, they’re already talking about it in high school. When my kids came home and started talking about it, I did what I […]
- R Tip: Use stringsAsFactors = FALSER tip: use stringsAsFactors = FALSE. R often uses a concept of factors to re-encode strings. This can be too early and too aggressive. Sometimes a string is just a string. Sigmund Freud, it is often claimed, said: “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” To avoid problems delay re-encoding of strings by using stringsAsFactors […]
- RcppClassicExamples 0.1.2Per a CRAN email sent to 300+ maintainers, this package (just like many others) was asked to please register its S3 method. So we did, and also overhauled a few other packagaging standards which changed since the previous uploads in December of 2012 ...
- What do Fahrenheit, comma separated files, and markdown have in common?Anil Dash asked people what their favorite file format was. David Robinson replied: CSV is similar to Markdown. No one global standard (though there are attempts) but a damn good attempt at "Whatever humans think it is at a glance, they're probably right"— David Robinson (@drob) February 8, 2018 His tweet reminded me a lot […]
- Some datasets for teaching data scienceIn this post I describe the dslabs package, which contains some datasets that I use in my data science courses. A much discussed topic in stats education is that computing should play a more prominent role in the curriculum. I strongly agree, but I think the main improvement will come from bringing applications to the […]
- A non-comprehensive list of awesome things other people did in 2017Editor’s note: For the last few years I have made a list of awesome things that other people did (2016,2015, 2014, 2013). Like in previous years I’m making a list, again right off the top of my head. If you know of some, you should make your own list or add it to the comments! […]
- Wanna know what happened in 2016? We got a ton of graphs for you.The paper’s called Voting patterns in 2016: Exploration using multilevel regression and poststratification (MRP) on pre-election polls, it’s by Rob Trangucci, Imad Ali, Doug Rivers, and myself, and here’s the abstract: We analyzed 2012 and 2016 YouGov pre-election polls in order to understand how different population groups voted in the 2012 and 2016 elections. We […]
- The New England Journal of Medicine wants you to “identify a novel clinical finding”Mark Tuttle writes: This is worth a mention in the blog. At least they are trying to (implicitly) reinforce re-analysis and re-use of data. Apparently, some of the re-use efforts will be published, soon. My reply: I don’t know enough about medical research to make any useful comments here. But there’s one bit that raises […]
- What are the odds of Trump’s winning in 2020?Kevin Lewis asks: What are the odds of Trump’s winning in 2020, given that the last three presidents were comfortably re-elected despite one being a serial adulterer, one losing the popular vote, and one bringing race to the forefront? My reply: Serial adulterer, poor vote in previous election, ethnicity . . . I don’t think […]