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Rachael Wright
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We have discussed at various times throughout the course the necessity of capital attainment in low development countries. In this paper, assumptions that a rise in developed countries' interest rates would lead to a decrease in capital flows to developing countries were proved to not always hold true. Eichengreen and Mody paint a detailed picture of the effect of U.S. interest rates on emerging markets and simultaneously highlight the limitations of other work on the topic. In my opinion, this was certainly one of the more challenging papers in this class- my financial knowledge is relatively low making certain sections difficult to comprehend. Additionally, while interesting and educational, I could not help but bear in mind that the "present day" references were from 15+ years ago. Like others, I am interested in what an up-to-date analysis would look like seeing as a general topic of interest is the projected rate hikes this coming December.
Toggle Commented Nov 19, 2015 on ECON 280 for Thursday at Jolly Green General
Although the article briefly mentions the human capacity to adapt, it is nothing short of terrifying to imagine a world in which the coolest months are substantially warmer than the warmest months of the 21st century and summers are comparable to heat waves that have implications such as death and harvest loss. It is blatantly obvious that there is a problem at hand regarding climate change and while no nation is safe from the repercussions from inaction towards the issue, developing countries will suffer the most. What is striking about this is that the developing countries have substantially fewer capabilities to cope and adapt but are contributing the least to the degradation of our world and its ecosystems. It seems to be unfair that the populations and regions that contribute the least to global climate change will face more severe impacts. My sole qualm with the summary was that it did not elaborate on the policies mentioned. The policies that, if met, are still capable of leading to a temperature increase exceeding 2°C. Despite painting a very descriptive picture of what a 4°C warmer world would look like, the article did not go in to detail about the mitigation commitments and pledges that are already in place to avoid a severe rise in global temperatures. I think this would have been a critical addition in terms of understanding the current issues and discovering a way to solve the predicament at hand.
Toggle Commented Nov 11, 2015 on ECON 280 for next Thursday at Jolly Green General
Throughout the course of this class, I have frequently thought about the ways in which economics does not necessarily coincide with the various factors that are involved with the decision making of the average person, especially the poor. After taking a course on poverty at W&L, I have basic knowledge about the decision-making habits of the poor and it has always seemed to me that these habits and tendencies would be incredibly difficult to model and anticipate in economic terms. That being said, The Economics of Being Poor (in addition to The Economic Lives of the Poor) was a very insightful read. Schultz' statement that, "Economists are no exception, for they too find it difficult to comprehend the preferences and scarcity constraints that determine the choices that poor people make," was an indication that I have been on track in my thinking. One of the most captivating parts of the speech was when Schultz addressed the tendency to favor urbanization at the expense of the vast rural population. Schultz noted that, "This discrimination against agriculture is rationalized on the grounds that agriculture is inherently backward and that its economic contribution is of little importance despite the occasional "green revolution." The internal politics of agriculture are vital to the welfare of an overwhelming majority of people worldwide and yet it is so neglected. It is my hope that through further understanding of the economics of low income countries, the governance of agriculture can improve so that the economic potential of agriculture can be realized and utilized.
Toggle Commented Nov 5, 2015 on econ 280 for Thursday at Jolly Green General
As a student who initially struggled immensely with preliminary Econ classes, I was pleased to finally (after 3 years) begin to understand why I wasn't catching on. When I first started learning the basics of economics I was confused by the perfect models. It seemed to me that, at times, the very processes that models explained and predicted were too intricate to be explained through a single model. This is not to belittle the importance or utility of models. In fact, I am hopeful that models will continue to adapt and eventually manage to encompass all of the factors at hand. After reading Krugman's article, however, I was particularly taken by the idea that despite the advances in economics between the 1940s and 1970s, a linear progression of economics was not visible. Krugman states that, "A rise in the standards of rigor and logic led to a much improved level of understanding of some things, but also led for a time to an unwillingness to confront those areas the new technical rigor could not yet reach. Areas of inquiry that had been filled in, however imperfectly, became blanks." This explanation, along with his example of African mapping across centuries, highlighted the reasons why the expected linear progression was not seen. I now wonder, in comparison to the journey from where African mapping began to its current state, where we are in terms of the advancement of modern economics.
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Sep 16, 2015