Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Links of Interest

Africa: Soon to be the next China?

How to Get the Biggest Bang for 10 Billion Bucks (Bjorn Lomborg argues that the same dollar spent on tackling diseases would generate greater economic payoffs than from investment in tackling transitional terrorism or hunger.)

Transitional terrorism: Stopping one catastrophic terrorist event would save the world at least $1 billion. Under these assumptions, this would mean a return of about $9 on each dollar spent.

Diseases: Each dollar spent on ensuring people are healthier and more productive would generate $20 in benefits.

Hunger:The improved nutrition would lead to higher productivity and fewer health problems. Each extra dollar spent would generate economic benefits worth $16.

Rising Income Inequality: Technology, or Trade and Financial Globalization?:

We examine the relationship between trade and financial globalization and the rise in inequality in most countries in recent decades. We find technological progress as having a greater impact than globalization on inequality. The limited overall impact of globalization reflects two offsetting tendencies: whereas trade globalization is associated with a reduction in inequality, financial globalization-and foreign direct investment in particular-is associated with an increase. A key finding is that both globalization and technological changes increase the returns on human capital, underscoring the importance of education and training in both developed and developing countries in addressing rising inequality.

Where are the jobs that take people out of poverty in Brazil?

11microfinance groups agree to publish rates; Nobel winner says don't profit from poor


Martin S. Feldstein: "Father of modern NBER"

David Warsh extols the contribution of Martin S. Feldstein, whom he labels as "father of modern NBER" :

Here’s a challenge for the economics profession: to think up something suitable, an occasion or a prize, to commemorate the contribution of Martin S. Feldstein.

...Whatever challenges these plum jobs might have offered, they probably pale in comparison to the satisfactions of the position that Feldstein devised for himself more than thirty years ago, hashing over the possibilities with friends while watching his daughters skate at the rink next to Belmont High School. Today Feldstein is a grandfather. His economist wife, Kathleen, and their daughters came to the party the NBER threw for him. And like any father, figurative or otherwise, he is not without his flaws.

But his “family” has grown far beyond the thousand or so professors of economics or business who are research associates, bringing to their work together a broad spectrum of policy views...