This is Lee Bernstein's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Lee Bernstein's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Lee Bernstein
Recent Activity
There are many interesting topics about women and the connection with development that are examined in Duflo’s paper. The discussion about the role of institutions and laws on how women are overall treated, especially within their marriages, I found to be particularly interesting. When men in some of these countries know that women will not divorce them because females are not able to provide for themselves, it alters their behavior and they “can impose decisions on the household”(Duflo 1072). This speaks to the greater issue of the culture within that country and what it means for gender relations. In her conclusion, Duflo mentions needing to pursue, make, and implement decisions that will benefit women to help promote gender equality (Duflo 1076). This makes me think about the need to change culture within these countries in order to make a large difference. Even when there are politicians who are willing to make changes to promote women and gender equality, what keeps that leader in office long enough to implement those policies? Even if laws are in place, women need to understand how it affects them and what it empowers them to do. Additionally, they will likely need to feel that they can utilize these opportunities. I am curious to see and learn more about the role that media can play. If a country sees women making decisions or working a job on a tv show/movie or in the newspaper, would that help to change views on the traditional role of women in that country? How does it help to educate in a positive light about the changes in the law? I think for development and changing laws to create gender equality and make a difference efficiently, there first may need to be the start of a culture shift.
Toggle Commented Oct 17, 2018 on ECON 280 for Friday at Jolly Green General
The line from Rodrik’s paper that immediately jumped out to me is “The economist’s reasoning is utterly plausible, which underscores the point that the Washington Consensus is far from silly: it is the result of systematic thinking about the multiple, often complementary reforms needed to establish property rights, put market incentives to work, and maintain macroeconomic stability.” (9). This caught my eye because it shows how the suggestions and recommendations for a developing country are reasonable on paper, but in reality they don’t work out as predicted or even in a consistent manner. Just like Tanner, while reading this paper I thought of Krugman’s piece from last week. These models and policies help us attempt to make progress in developing countries but they never work as well as planned. As Rodrik pointed out, Latin America implemented a lot of these policies and they still struggled to see economic growth (7). But, what has succeeded in other countries, don’t necessarily mean that they are the correct solution.“East Asian institutional anomalies have often produced perverse results when employed in other settings” (12). This means that we shouldn’t being making these policies the new Washington Consensus, but at the same time should we be promoting the current policies, if they aren’t working either? Maybe the solution is making policy recommendations more region specific. Even that may not work due to differences between countries and the context of when the policy is originally written.
Toggle Commented Oct 5, 2018 on ECON 280: Rodrik Paper at Jolly Green General
When reading about the Big Push Theory, there are clearly many assumptions that are being relied on and possible faults within the model. There is one that stood out to me that applies to both this theory as well as some other development economic theories, like the Lewis Two Sector Model that was discussed in class. Krugman writes that “Obviously, there are three possible outcomes. If the wage premium w-1 is low, the economy always "industrializes"; if it is high, it never industrializes; and if it takes on an intermediate value, there are both low- and high-level equilibria” (Krugman 10). While maybe yes, over a long and stretched out period of time this will definitely start to happen. The part that I am focused on is the assumption that people will automatically move to where wages are higher in order to get economic gain. Are people automatically looking to just get more money, or will they be attached to their cultural and traditional ways of life? I wonder if people who are in more rural and traditional sectors are less likely to move because they just do not want to leave or uproot their family, or give up what they know, to go participate in something that they may not have the education or skills for. If this is the case, it seems to me unlikely that many of these models will hold true, because it is difficult to jump start the industrialization and growth of the modern economy if no one is moving to the urban areas and taking the jobs.
Toggle Commented Sep 27, 2018 on ECON 280 for Friday at Jolly Green General
This paper delved into an interesting discussion and analysis, particularly in regard to institutional barriers and economic growth in developing countries. One trend I noticed during the different descriptions of the various countries is the spread of foreign aid to both successful countries as well as those that struggle. The countries that had large growth in their economy and also had a significant amount of investment included both South Korea and Taiwan which had many foreign industries that moved their production facilities to these countries, and Thailand and China also benefited from foreign aid. These are examples of the booming countries where this type of foreign investment was explicitly mentioned in their blurb. On the other hand, Comoros, Cote d’Ivoire, and Greece are all under the broad category of struggling countries, but they also received international money. While not all the details of the foreign money was discussed in this article it starts an interesting conversation about how effective international aid and investment may be and whether it is as useful as it may seem. It is easy to think that just because a wealthy country may be funneling money into a country that needs more economic growth it will jump start their economy. Clearly, that is not the case here because some countries that received foreign aid had rapid growth in their economy, while others didn’t. I would be interested in exploring the further connections between foreign money and the effects it may have on a developing economy.
Toggle Commented Sep 20, 2018 on ECON 280 for Friday at Jolly Green General
I agree with most of the suggestions and ideas that Jeffrey Sachs puts forward in From Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals, and think they are a worthy cause to work towards. One aspect of his social development category that stood out to me was “Special care should also be taken for children (aged 6–14 years) and youth (aged 15–24 years), especially girls, to ensure that all young people can complete secondary education and make an effective transition from school to skills to the labour market” (2209). I think cultivating the knowledge amongst future generations is one of the most important things that can be focused on within developing countries. An increased focus on making sure all students complete at least secondary education will have long term and positive effects for that nation. This is because they will be able to use their skills and education to help work towards all the other goals that Sachs suggests for the SDG. I also believe that focusing on girls' education will have strong improvements for the country. With more girls attaining more education there will be a larger pool of available workers and people who have the skill sets to work on improvements and technology to continue developing the country. Sachs also provides suggestions and improvements for technical/structural aspects of the SDG. One that really stood out to me was the idea that there should be “intermediate objectives and milestones with clear dates” (2210). This will allow for countries to have smaller and possibly more attainable goals to work towards. It also would allow them to show their own citizens as well as members of the global community that they are making progress. Additionally, for those that are not making progress it can help to hold them accountable.
Toggle Commented Sep 13, 2018 on ECON 280 at Jolly Green General
Lee Bernstein is now following The Typepad Team
Sep 12, 2018