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Charlie Bovard
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Esther Duflo's article highlights the relationship between economic development and women's enablement, and brings up a variety of interesting ideas. I've always figured that the development of a society would be the key driver of the agency and well-being of women, but until reading this article congruently with Sen's book did I consider the opposite of the relationship: that women's empowerment leads to economic development. I think her best point is how furthering the employment opportunities for women relates to the education of children as a whole as well as the driver for economic development. Women's education leads to a higher value in education, and creates a reinvestment effect for the education of a society, aiding the development of a country. Another key area that I found interesting that I hadn't considered prior to reading her article is the way women spend their time. Duflo lays out the opportunity costs that women forgo in their participation in the work force when they are doing the majority of the care involved with the household activities. Isolating a portion of the labor force to remain in the household, and out of labor markets, simply doesn’t make sense from an purely economic viewpoint. She reinforces this point by also pointing out how their time and participation is affected by high fertility rates, how it makes you wonder if a mandatory fertility limit, like China, is an unrealistic approach to this problem. I agree with Dulfo's argument that we can't simply let economic development haphazardly improve the livelihood and freedoms of women, and that there need to be a more active approach in developing countries to improve the empowerment of women.
Toggle Commented Oct 18, 2018 on ECON 280 for Friday at Jolly Green General
This piece by Krugman does an excellent job drawing upon the struggles of high development economics modeling in the mid-20th century. I felt like his comparison to meteorology was helpful in understanding how economists got so bogged down by incorporating complex elements like economies of scale into their models that they didn't broaden their view of the models and address the larger issue: market structure. I found it frustrating in my microeconomics class my freshman year that our basic models were based on a perfectly competitive market that is almost non-existent in the real world, and I think Krugman makes a good point that there is no general theory dealing with the most common market structure we face, oligopolies. He makes an interesting point on the relationships between modeling and methodology, which makes me think about how there's a constant cycle of searching for model and studying historical analyses in order to develop new models. His quote "It is said that those who can, do, while those who cannot, discuss methodology" makes me wonder how helpful methodology is to developing models for economic growth, because of his implications that referring to methodology is a poor outlet to rely on when dealing with economics.
Toggle Commented Sep 27, 2018 on ECON 280 for Friday at Jolly Green General
Wang, Wong and Yip's article that analyzes the income disparities between fast growing economies and development laggards delved deep into the drivers of development in the ten countries studied. There were some obvious trends that were discussed, but there were three countries whose development and institutional information surprised me with their economic status: India, Ghana and Greece. Their ranking of India as an emerging giant was surprising considering the past articles and chapter readings we've read about India's poverty levels. I didn't realize that government focus in Research and Development along with a shift in private business would help increase a country's economy, despite the poor human capabilities of their country. When reading about each of the emerging and successful countries and how most of their development was due to industrial growth and that most laggard countries' poor economies were due to lack of industry and mainly focused around agriculture, Ghana struck my interest because of their diverse and dynamic manufacturing industry in the 1970s. Even though they pursued industrial growth, they weren't aggressive with it and decided to go public with R&D. Greece's economy was also interesting because their economy only became a laggard economy because of the financial crisis' effect in 2008. I figured that most of the trapped economies would be mainly trapped due to their inequality levels and/or poverty, but it never struck me that a country's economy could be so fragile that a single crisis would throw it off balance.
Toggle Commented Sep 20, 2018 on ECON 280 for Friday at Jolly Green General
I really like how Jeffrey Sachs breaks down the SDGs into cooperative goals that is inclusive of all countries, not just the rich helping the poor. I find it interesting trying to find the government's role in helping the SDGs accomplish their goals in economic development, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability. It's ridiculous to think that these SDGs can be accomplished without any government cooperation, but Sachs does make a good point that legally binding treaties or agreements through government intervention aren't effective because of how long they take as well as the lack of enforcement. I disagree with his opinion that governments being "as close as possible to the citizens, giving them maximum freedom" because that only works in an ideal world where governments are more concerned with development than reelection. This relates back to his point suggesting that governments need to be responsible for a wider range of stakeholders than they currently do. The real challenge is figuring out a way to orient governments' concerns to development. Should politicians have to learn about development economics before being in positions of authority? Or should our society force more importance on development in order to give it the attention it deserves?
Toggle Commented Sep 13, 2018 on ECON 280 at Jolly Green General
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Sep 13, 2018