I have a dream that we will one day take seriously the idea that we are all created equal, not just within countries but everywhere; and that we will recognize that it is intolerable that a person's future should be mainly determined by the place of his or her birth.Continue reading
One thing that the public knows, which many development experts apparently do not, is that poor countries are poor because they are badly governed and have institutions which prevent growth and permit a small elite to capture the nation's wealth. According to Why Nations Fail, by Daron Acemoğlu and Jim Robinson, the public is (as usual) basically right.Continue reading
Two interesting ideas from economists on gun control. First: require gun owners to take out liability insurance. Second, create a fund which for every dollar the NRA pays to a political candidate would pay $2 to the opponent.Continue reading
Europe’s approach to development could be characterized as energetically tackling the symptoms of poor economic opportunities for developing countries by providing substantial and effective aid, while doing relatively little to tackle the underlying structural causes of poverty.Continue reading
An explanation of why CGD in Europe is starting work on illicit financial flows.Continue reading
CGD in Europe is now embarking on an exciting new programme looking at how various kinds of illicit financial flows affect development and what, if anything, rich countries should be doing about them.Continue reading
This Doonesbury cartoon is causing some American newspapers either not to run the series, or to move them to the op-ed pages.
A disarmingly simple but effective way to put more pressure on illegitimate regimes: declare that any future contracts will not be enforceable against their successors.Continue reading
The Guardian development blog is running a series of end of year reflections on development, including one by me. Many of the articles are upbeat about progress in developing countries, but pessimistic about the short term economic prospects for the industrialised world and for global cooperation to tackle shared global problems.
The series so far includes:
- Duncan Green from Oxfam, who contrasts progress in developing countries over the last year with the gloom of the ‘formerly rich’ countries of the G-8.
- Calestous Juma from Harvard, who identifies regional integration and better links with the diaspora as key drivers of Africa’s growth.
- Shanta Devarajan from the World Bank, who is cautiously optimistic, especially in the light of increased demand by Africans for their governments to be accountable.
- Linda Raftree from Plan, who also emphasizes progress towards more inclusive and open societies.
- Kevin Watkins from Brookings and UNESCO, calling for “a properly financed global fund for education like those that have delivered such striking results in the health sector“.
- Jonathan Glennie from ODI and the Guardian, who is pessimistic about the prospects for international cooperation in the face of rising protectionism and nationalism as a result of poor economic prospects in the US and Europe.
- and my contribution, reproduced below, which gives a positive account of progress in many countries in Africa over the past year, and emphasizes the importance for developing countries of better global decision-making.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner… Continue reading
On Friday the World Bank London office had a meeting on ‘the Future of Aid’. The meeting was, according to the tortuous language of the invitation, “conducted in an informal manner with interested stakeholders from governments, civil society,… Continue reading