Edward Miguel on Collecting Economic Data by Canoe and Correlating Conflict with Rainfall

Great conversations on development economics along with methods for proving efficacy (with great connections to TOK).

He’s a pioneer of using randomized control experiments in economics — studying the long-term benefits of a $1 health intervention in Africa. Steve asks Edward, a Berkeley professor, about Africa’s long-term economic prospects, and how a parking-ticket-scandal in New York City led to a major finding on corruption around the world.

The Coming Carbon Tsunami

Developing Countries Need a New Growth Model—Before It’s Too Late

Citizens of the world’s least developed countries have the same aspirations for economic prosperity as citizens of China, Germany, or the United States do. Those who argue that the only way to combat climate change is to reduce economic growth miss the fundamental unfairness of global economic development, which has left a third of the world’s population behind. Yet if developing countries follow the “grow first and clean up later” pattern established by the United States, western Europe, and East Asian countries, the consequences for the climate will be catastrophic.


Related images from the NYTimes

Why is China smashing its tech industry?

Maybe because what countries think of as a “tech industry” isn’t always the same 

In other words, the crackdown on China’s internet industry seems to be part of the country’s emerging national industrial policy. Instead of simply letting local governments throw resources at whatever they think will produce rapid growth (the strategy in the 90s and early 00s), China’s top leaders are now trying to direct the country’s industrial mix toward what they think will serve the nation as a whole.


Indicator Podcasts on Water Scarcity

Here is a series of four 9 minute podcasts exploring different aspects of water security, scarcity, access, and other related issues. This topic provides great connections to HLX concepts like Health, Environment, Borders, and Security along with issues related to economic development.

Here are some other articles under the category of “water”

Water In The West: Bankrupt?


Liquid Markets


Water’s Cheap… Should It Be?


Should The Lawns In Vegas, Stay In Vegas?




The Journey to Extremism in Africa: Drivers, Incentives and the Tipping Point for Recruitment presents the results of a two-year UNDP Africa study aimed to generate improved understanding about the incentives and drivers of violent extremism, as expressed by recruits to the continent’s deadliest groups themselves.


Venezuela Resources

As Venezuela crumbles, the regime digs in ($)

Venezuela was long one of the most prosperous countries in the region, with sophisticated manufacturing, vibrant agriculture and strong businesses, making it hard for many residents to accept such widespread scarcities. But amid the prosperity, the gap between rich and poor was extreme, a problem that Mr. Chávez and his ministers say they are trying to eliminate.


Podcast: Food Shortages At The Heart Of Venezuelan Economic And Political Crisis

Protesters blame the president for the country’s economic collapse and also for his tactics to hold on to power, suspending local elections, refusing to allow a recall referendum to go forward, attempting to rewrite the constitution and crackdowns on protesters. 


Planet Money Podcast Episode 731: How Venezuela Imploded

Today on the show, we have an economic horror story about a country that made all the wrong decisions with its oil money. It’s a window into the fundamental way that money works and how when you try to control it, you can lose everything.


The Inquiry Podcast: How Did Venezuela Go From So Rich To So Poor?

Once the richest country in South America, Venezuela is now in deep economic crisis.


Faulty Band-Aid (Why foreign aid doesn’t work)

Hosannas are being sung to the rocker Bono and G-8 leaders in praise of the recently announced agreement to relieve developing countries — mostly African — of more than $40 billion in debt.

The Christian Science Monitor calls it “a victory for the world’s poorest continent.” World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz declares it to be “a very important, successful outcome.” U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow boasts that it’s “an achievement of historic proportions.” And according to Larry Elliott of The Guardian, it’s “a once-in-a-generation opportunity.”

But it won’t work.