The last programme in the series of the BBC Radio 4 Iconoclasts programme looked at the debate around third world sweatshops. Jagdish Bhagwati, a professor of economics at Columbia University, argued that sweatshops should not be criticised for paying poor wages although he conceded it was wrong to have poor working conditions. He emphasised that […]
Supachai Panitchpakdi, the secretary general of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, will present The Trade and Development Report 2008 at a public lecture at the London School of Economics on the evening of Tuesday 2 September. The theme of this year’s report is “Commodity Prices, Capital Flows and the Financing of Investment”. […]
Gordon Ramsay, probably Britain’s most annoying celebrity chef, has spoken to the prime minister about fining restaurants which serve out of season produce. There are at least two things wrong with Ramsay’s proposal. First, why shouldn’t people be able to eat out of season food if they want to? If I want Kenyan strawberries in […]
William Easterly, doyen of free market development economists, had a polemic against Bill Gates’ “creative capitalism” schemes to help the poor in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal. Easterly rightly attacks the limitiations of schemes such as the partnership to give African farmers access to the premium coffee market. “This is fine as a modest endeavor to […]
Kenneth Rogoff, a professor of economics at Harvard and former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, expressed concern about inequality in an article in yesterday’s Financial Times. Although the article focused on the possibility of a Chinese economic slowdown its points on inequality were much broader. He argues that: “Protectionism is another growing risk. […]
Even free market economists are rethinking their outright support for free trade according to an article in Business Week (31 January). Worries focus on the alleged impact of trade growth in widening inequalities: “concern is rising that the gains from free trade may increasingly be going to a small group at the top. For the […]
The World Bank has updated the development notes on its website. They give a useful summary of the current orthodoxy on topics such as aid, climate change and development, equitable growth, governance and trade policy.
A key chapter (PDF) in the latest World Economic Outlook from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) looks at globalisation and inequality. The chapter concedes that inequality has generally widened over the past 20 years although it also makes the point that living standards have generally risen. In other words the poor are better off in […]
There follows a comment by me on the debate about financial globalisation in the latest Fund Strategy (6 August). It refers to a cover story I wrote on the subject There are more misconceptions about globalisation than most other areas. What is more the key features of the global markets and the global economy are […]
This week’s Fund Strategy included a comment by me on changing patterns of world trade. Agriculture has become a relatively niche enterprise in modern industrial economies. However, the latest 10-year Agricultural Outlook from the Organisation for Economic Development (OECD) and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations highlights some important trends*. These apply […]
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