Current affairs

Michael Woolcock sent me this excellent quote from Thomas Paine:

When it shall be said in any country in the world, ‘My poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of… Continue reading

During the mass migration between the middle of the nineteenth century and the outbreak of the first world war, about a third of Europeans migrated from their country of birth, mainly to America.  Today levels of migration are proportionately… Continue reading

An interesting Economist article about the uses of prizes to promote innovation is a missed opportunity to explain the economic logic of prizes for innovations for developing countries. The reported comments by Tachi Yamada at the Gates Foundation about the value of market success do not seem to take account of the shortcomings of the system of patents and markets when it comes to developing drugs for diseases that mainly affect developing countries, nor to the problem of ensuring access in developing countries for new drugs.

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We have been told that the three largest parties in the UK are committed to retaining DFID as a separate government department, with its own Cabinet Minister, and with a budget that rises to meet the UK's commitment to increase aid to 0.7% of GDP. If we want to help to accelerate development, then some of the time we will need to put the UK's broad, long-term interest in building a safer, more equal and prosperous world ahead of the UK's narrower and short-term commercial or political interests. The most important international development question for the UK election should be: which of the political parties is willing to do that? Continue reading
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