A picture of Thomas Piketty in front of a bookcase

Why are taxes on capital income lower than taxes on labour income?

If we want to raise the share of national income going to labour, we could start by not taxing labour income more heavily than capital income. Read the full post »
A picture of the Horseguards Parade and Whitehall Palace

The mother of Parliaments

I'm sorry to see The Economist make the lazy mistake of thinking that the phrase "mother of Parliaments" refers to the British Parliament. The phrase was coined by John Bright about England, not Westminster. Read the full post »
A Google Driverless Car

Google and the Trolley Problem

Driverless vehicles will be guided by algorithms programmed in advance. How should they weigh up the risks to the lives of other road users and the passengers in the car? A blog post in which Philippa Foot meets Isaac Asimov. Read the full post »
Details of an oil painting showing brushstrokes

Ten broad brushstrokes about development cooperation

I am discussing the the future of development cooperation, and the role of Northern NGOs,, with the policy, advocacy and campaigns team at ActionAid UK this morning.  Powerpoint is forbidden.  I'm going to paint ten broad brushstrokes about the future of development cooperation: Read the full post »

Let’s help the Philippines — but not like we helped Haiti

There is an article in the Washington Post about humanitarian relief in the Philippines by Vij Ramachandran and me. We argue that the aid effort could be significantly improved by the use of technology and transparency. Read the full post »
Martin Luther King raises his right hand in a wave, with thousands of people on the Washington Mall behind him

“I have a dream …” [global edition]

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. Read the full post »
Owen Barder at a podium in front of a Standard Chartered sign

Development Impact Bonds: what do YOU think?

The Center for Global Development and our partner Social Finance has just published a big new report on Development Impact Bonds. The Working Group invites comments on the draft report over the next six weeks.

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Daron Acemoglu, Jim Robinson, Owen Barder

It’s the politics, stupid

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. Read the full post »
A hand gun in front of a US flag

Guns & economics

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. Read the full post »
European countries 3d illustration - european continent marked with flags

How committed is Europe to development really?

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. Read the full post »
Protesters with placards outside the UK High Court, 1994

Learning from failure: the Pergau Dam story

Sir Tim Lankester talked about the Pergau Dam affair at this event co-hosted by CGD in Europe and the Institute for Government.  Watch the video here. Read the full post »
A businessman in a suit takes a bribe in Euros

Follow the money: illicit financial flows

An explanation of why CGD in Europe is starting work on illicit financial flows. Read the full post »
om playing Korean Whack a Mole in Insadong Seoul Korea.

Follow the money: illicit financial flows

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. Read the full post »
Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi at a press conference after a meeting with the German Chancellor in the Chanclery in Berlin.

Not about the death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi

Following the death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, this blog post reminds readers of an earlier blog post explaining why I don't write much about Ethiopian politics, despite (then) living there. Read the full post »
A pair of headphones wrapped around the globe

Giving what we can [Development Drums podcast]

My guest in the latest Development Drums podcast is the moral philosopher Toby Ord.Toby has made a commitment to give away the majority of his lifetime income to charities working in the poorest countries. Read the full post »
A person in a beanie writes "never again" on a coat hanger

Doonesbury on abortion

This Doonesbury cartoon is causing some American newspapers either not to run the series, or to move them to the op-ed pages.

Doonesbury on Abortion

Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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View of the Security Council chamber. This chamber, donated to the UN by Norway, was decorated by Arneberg, the mural is by Per Krogh. Besides the delegates, each council chamber accommodates 400 visitors and 120 press correspondents.

A new smart sanction which deserves to be tried

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. Read the full post »
Women preparing food in mud hut on March 20 , 2014 in Jaisalmer,India

End of year reflections

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 … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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