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Suha Abdulmalek
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I find Krugman’s piece very rich and interesting. It was sort of challenging to digest his argument at the beginning as he mentions a number of concepts and theorists that I wasn’t familiar of however this is one of the reasons why I believe his paper was very informative. I also liked how it touched on many of the issues regarding economic development history and theories that were discussed in class. I have always found economics interesting because it is the social science discipline which uses mathematics in analyzing and forecasting economic phenomena which are directly related to humans’ life at the individual level and global level. However, as an econ student I never actually thought of model construction as a complex process as I usually come across them when learning a certain concept, yet I have always wondered whether the simplifications made in studying a certain economic concept actually provides us with reliable results that can give us useful insights for decision or policy making processes. Krugman’s piece provided me with an answer to my concerns as well as drawing my attention to the importance of economic models. I also liked how The African map analogy explained his argument clearly and made me wonder what if there are different aspects to the development research that are not exploited yet
Toggle Commented Sep 28, 2018 on ECON 280 for Friday at Jolly Green General
I enjoyed reading this paper, it was very informative and detailed. At first, I wasn’t able to draw conclusions from the cross-country quantitative analysis both for the fast growing economies and development laggards countries. However, the fourth section provided an in-depth analysis which made me comprehend the reasons behind the wide income disparities. It was interesting to see the different approaches the fast-growing economies countries adopted in order to push their economy forward. Mainly investing in high-tech industries and becoming major exporters. What I found very surprising is the shift that Honk- Kong went through. A sudden change from manufacturing-based economy into a service-based economy, yet the financial growth that led was immense. However, I was not able to understand how Singapore had the capacity to adopt a high wage policy and simply shift from labor-intensive to capital-intensive. On the other hand, when I started reading the development laggards section, it was shown clearly the reasons behind the wide income disparities between the countries provided. I found the analysis and reasons provided- the unnecessary protection, government misallocation, corruption, and financial instability, very convincing. The case with Argentina for example, reminded me with the situation that happened in Egypt a couple of years ago. The Egyptian pound was pegged for a long period of time, and many explained that this strategy was adopted by the previous regime as a tool to maintain its authority. This hurt their economy badly as they lost billions in their foreign exchange reserves, and the volatile exchange rates weren’t inviting for foreign investments. Although the pound floatation in 2016 was an unpleasant shock to the vast majority of Egyptians, the economy now is going through slow recovery. I find this example fits with the other development laggard countries as it shows how government misallocation, financial instability, and most importantly corruption can lead to a slow growing economy or not growing at all.
Toggle Commented Sep 21, 2018 on ECON 280 for Friday at Jolly Green General
At the first glance, it seems so broad and a bit unrealistic to achieve as it requires great efforts to suddenly fix all the issues that our world is facing within 15 years. Not to mention that some of the issues have been accumulating for many years-such as pollution- also what have been extremely immersed in our daily lives as nations. Many of my classmates had the similar impression as well. However, I felt that what he is trying to deliver is not a list of tasks that need to be met by a certain deadline, rather a culture and a mindset that we should adopt as individuals, businesses, and countries. I liked how inclusive his approach is and how everyone has a responsibility towards development. Another point which I personally found impressive is how mindful he was while mentioning the challenges we face and will face such as the increasing population and how its intertwined with other challenges. Nevertheless, the emphasis on the importance of the quantitative progress and its importance. He tried to address each and every aspect regarding to development whether it was regarding the goals we need to achieve, assessment, or challenges and I believe it is in our nature when we try to set goals, we always aim to the most idealistic situation. However, this raised a concern of whether if it’s the most effective way towards development or not.
Toggle Commented Sep 14, 2018 on ECON 280 at Jolly Green General
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Sep 13, 2018