Nobel prize winner Prescott on globalization

Ed Prescott, the joint winner of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Economics, writes in the Wall Street Journal today (behind paywall): Of all the thankless jobs that economists set for themselves when it comes to educating people about economics, the notion that society is better off if some industries are allowed to wither, their workers [...]

Mediaeval superstition of the day

A man called Roy Jenkins, who calls himself  "Right Reverend", was given an uncontested platform on The Today Programme this morning to peddle his wicked superstitions.  He said that Kelly Taylor, the brave, terminally ill woman who is fighting for her right to die in dignity, should instead die a painful, lingering suffering death.  The reason [...]

Freedom of Information – is it a waste of time?

Over at The Guardian, David Hencke draws attention to a consultation about possible proposals which would restrict the use that can be made of the Freedom of Information Act: what ministers want to do is to restrict any individual or organisation from asking more than four detailed questions a year - severely limiting the opportunity [...]

Do the right thing: buy flowers from Africa

Hilary Benn says that we should buy flowers imported from poor countries, even if we are concerned about the environment: some recent research by Cranfield University – who compared the emissions from producing 12,000 rose stems in Kenya with those in Holland, including transporting them to Hampshire - and found that the emissions produced by [...]

Lord Crisp calls for help for global health systems

Lord Nigel Crisp - who is also currently working on a review of DFID's leadership capability - has called for a new system to help global health systems: His report calls for an NHS scholarship scheme to help with training and recommends a set amount of aid funds to be set aside for health workers. [...]

The singular pleasure of being part of a successful team

I am in Rome, at the launch of the Advance Market Commitment.  Under this scheme, a group of donors is promising to use $1,500 million to buy a new vaccine, if it is developed, which protects against the strains of pneumococcal infection that are common in the poor countries. This is important because nearly 2 [...]

What does this say about Government IT?

I received today (February 7th) the "Government IT Profession Update (January 2007)". (I am, strangely, a member of the Government IT profession, as well as being a member of the Government Economic Service.) This month's update begins as follows: Here is the belated January edition of Government IT Profession Update. It was held up because [...]

George Bush says the right things on trade

Delivering the State of the Economy report on Wednesday, George Bush made the most effective case for the global trade talks that I can remember him making: ...  And the question for America is whether we treat the changes in our economy as opportunity to help improve people's lives, or as an excuse to retreat [...]

Policy coherence in development

The ODI blog uses the debate about BAE in Tanzania as a hook for the broader issue known in Whitehall as "Policy Coherence for Development" - that is, the extent to which our policies on issues other than aid - such as trade, arms exports, financial stability, corruption, climate change, migration, intellectual property  – either [...]