Owen Barder

Owen is Senior Fellow and Director for Europe at the Center for Global Development and a Visiting Professor in Practice at the London School of Economics. Owen was a civil servant for a quarter of a century, working in Number 10, the Treasury and the Department for International Development. Owen hosts the Development Drums podcast, and is the author Running for Fitness, the book and website. Owen is on Twitter and

Still not shopping

My mood has brightened since my last post, which was gloomy about the recent data on the spread of coronavirus in Britain. Nonetheless, I think the easing of the lockdown is premature, for reasons set out below. Let me reiterate: I’m an economist, not an epidemiologist. Furthermore, you should never believe a forecast, especially not one about the future. And my worries last time are not (yet) being borne out. So read on at your own risk. Here is what is worrying me. a. Less than 13% of community infections have tested positive The Office of National Statistics estimates that… Read More »Still not shopping

The International Finance Facility for Education: The Wrong Answer to the Right Question?

Donors are considering a proposal for a new “innovative finance mechanism” to increase funding for education, based on recommendations from Gordon Brown’s Education Commission. We agree that we need to finance an expansion of education in the developing world. But sadly, the International Finance Facility for Education (IFFEd) proposal is too good to be true.

What rights will EU citizens in the UK lose?

This is a good round-up of the rights that EU citizens living in the UK seem likely to lose, notwithstanding the government’s protestations that their rights will be largely unchanged. I list them here, but they are better explained in the article. The right to go abroad The right to fall in love with a foreigner The right to care for an elderly parent The right to have their rights independently adjudicated The right to free movement (if your family includes UK citizens The right to use an ID card rather than a passport The right to live in the… Read More »What rights will EU citizens in the UK lose?

Have we reached peak global?

Better global policies have brought about unprecedented improvements in many people’s lives. The right response to the present political challenge to this agenda is to do a far, far better job of making sure that we properly manage the negative effects for people who have lost out, and work much, much harder to share the gains more widely.