Marco Visscher has quoted me in an article in Ode magazine on the “randomistas”. In Dutch but worth putting through an electronic translator. The randomistas are development economists who focus their work on doing randomised control trials of different development projects. For example, trying to work out how to bolster school attendance or get people [...]
Hans Rosling, professor of international health at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, shows how economic growth is strongly associated with rising life expectancy over the longer term (see 13 June 2010 post for more on Gapminder). His BBC 4 documentary on the Joy of Stats is broadcast today in Britain.
Some useful recent reports – all to be taken critically. From austerity to prosperity: Seven priorities for the long term. McKinsey. New times, new connections: civil society action on climate change, Green Alliance, by Faye Scott. The State of African Cities 2010: Governance, Inequalities and Urban Land Markets, UN-Habitat. World Energy Outlook 2010. International Energy [...]
Ireland still has the power to make itself a country worth living in, the Observer, by Fintan O’Toole. The assistant editor of the Irish Times argues the Ireland should embrace “ethical austerity”. I suspect that will be even more painful than regular austerity. Government ‘planning to measure people’s happiness‘, BBC. For a critique of this [...]
Obama could kill fossil fuels overnight with a nuclear dash for thorium, Telegraph, by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. Evidently Carlo Rubbia, a Nobel laureate, is working on thorium as a clean, cheap and safe alternative to uranium in reactors. Are cattle an endangered species?, Rational Optimist, by Matt Ridley. The author finds that one of the plants designated [...]
Robert Edwards, one of the inventors of IVF (in vitro fertilisation) technology, is a worthy winner of this year’s Nobel prize for medicine. Thanks to his efforts, and those of his research partner Patrick Steptoe who died in 1988, some four million extra infants have already been born to couples with fertility problems since 1978. [...]
Michael Marmot – one of the world’s leading experts on health inequalities – exhibits the redefinition of inequality in therapeutic terms in an article in today’s Observer. * First, he makes the correct observation that the poor tend to suffer more from ill-health than the rich. * Then he argues it is necessary to get [...]
These article focus on science and the environment. Green menace, the American, by Blake Hurst. How a coalition of Haitian peasant groups – backed by American funding – are protesting against seeds donated by Monsanto to kick start food production in Haiti. Not even just genetically modified seeds but hybrid seeds too – a technology [...]
Environmentalism is the preserve of the rich, Forbes, by John Tamny. The power of numbers, Economist. On the debate about statistics showing falling infant mortality. German government agrees historic austerity program, Der Spiegel. The politically incorrect guide to ending poverty, the Atlantic, by Sebastian Mallaby. On Paul Romer’s proposal for charter cities. Funding crisis for [...]
I have just discovered Gapminder – a brilliant tool which uses animation to show key trends in human welfare. For example, it vividly brings to life how human life expectancy has risen with income and also how child mortality has fallen over the years. Do try it. Hat tip to Will Wilkinson.
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