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carrie morrison
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I found this paper very interesting since it went on a different route to fill in gaps left by previous literature. When looking at the relationship between poverty and aid, the previous "standard relationship" to analyze was aid and growth. However, there have been no conclusive results. Milovich looked at the Multidimensional Poverty Index to analyze the effect between aid and the reduction of poverty. As mentioned by previous classmates, the typical measure of poverty seems to be income or GDP. So, its interesting to look at poverty through these measures instead of strictly through a country's GDP. This also aligns with what we have discussed in previous classes and how dimensions such as education, health, and living standards all contribute to a poverty. Moreover, Milovich's findings demonstrate that an average 1% increase in US aid does actually help lower the percentage of education, health, and standards of living by .82%, .36%, and .46%. However, there was no statistical significance found for aid and income. I thought this was interesting since the measures in the MPI were decreasing and I often thought that these were related. I think it would be interesting to see further research on how these decreases in the MPI measures can impact income, and if the measures have any influence on each other.
Toggle Commented Nov 13, 2020 on Last Post of the Year at Jolly Green General
Similarly to my peers, I found this article quite difficult to comprehend due to the use of economic terminology I am not familiar with. However, from what I can understand, the authors of this article attempt to reconcile the lack of evidence to support the idea that advanced developed countries can use interest rates to influence capital flows and pricing of external debt in emerging markets. It was interesting to read how heavily industrial countries can impact developing countries. I assumed that lending and borrowing played a role, however, I was unaware of the impact that interest rates have on the amount of lending and borrowing. Moreover, while discussing the South Korea paper we emphasized that not all theories of development work for every country, and the different behavior between the Latin America and East Asian fixed-rate issues demonstrates that idea. I find this a little shocking because I would except these fixed rate issues to perform the same. However, as the paper mentions, due to differing regions they are affected differently. The paper concludes by stating that by considering both the supply and demand side, they are able to confirm that interest rates in developed countries have an impact on the emerging market, discussing specifically the impact of U.S. interest rates on these markets. However, I wonder if these findings still hold today, due to COVID-19 and the current political climate? Has the US market been slightly destabilized and are countries investing elsewhere? Moreover, I also wonder how these findings impact future fiscal and policy decisions? Is there a responsibility for advanced industrial countries to monitor their activity in order to not unintentionally, or intentionally, harm these emerging markets?
Toggle Commented Nov 6, 2020 on For Friday's Discussion at Jolly Green General
The paper was interesting due to the fact it gave insight into the long-term impacts about conditional cash transfer programs. One aspect I found interesting was that they gave the money from the programs to the mothers. Due to the typical family structure, I was expecting the money to be given to the father or placed in his bank account. However, as mentioned by some of my peers, giving the money to the mother may be due to the mother being better equipped to allocate the funds for the betterment of the household. However, this makes me wonder why they decided to make the mothers responsible for that money? From my understanding the program is designed to give an incentive for parents to invest in their children to increase human capital levels, so where the money is spent should not really be an issue. So, I find it interesting that the program made this decision, and wonder what lead to it. Another aspect I was curious about was the unconditional vs conditional programs that were mentioned at the end. My initial reaction is that the unconditional programs will not be as effective, as families will be able to collect money and have their children not attend school. Except, maybe with a larger income flow there will be less of a need for children to work and they effectiveness will not be impacted. It would be interesting to see more data on unconditional cash transfer programs.
Toggle Commented Oct 30, 2020 on For Friday's Discussion at Jolly Green General
I found the world bank paper to be very applicable to our conversations in class. It gave quantitative evidence to the returns to education. For example, in class we were talking about how education is an important aspect to development due to the returns for the economy. The paper shows that the returns to education across the world has an average of 8.8%, proving the benefits in investing in education. One aspect I find interesting was how the rate of return increases as the level of income for a country decreases. Due to the already low investments, any slight increase provides large returns. This reminded me of our discussion about investments in women and how due to their lack of presence in the workforce, investing in women's education and healthcare leads to a high rate of return. As mentioned in class and previous articles, the correlation between investing in human capital and the high returns to the country is very clear. It's surprising that, in the United States, even with all this evidence and research there is still lack of investments and arguments for low levels of investment in human capital. Moreover, there is a lack of investments in youth who are in lower income brackets. The article mentions the "race between technology and education" and how it reflects the bias of technological progress and income inequality and how education plays a role in leveling it. However, the lack of investments in public education on all levels is slowing the increase of the high skill labor supply, despite the increase in demand. I wonder how increasing the investments in education and making education more accessible would overall impact the country as a whole? Moreover, what the rate of return on education looks like across differing incomes and how accessibility to quality education affects that?
Toggle Commented Oct 23, 2020 on For Friday's Discussion at Jolly Green General
Duflo's article displayed how beneficial woman's empowerment is for a country and families economic development. However, across developed and developing nations it seems that women are still suffering from biases that lead to inefficiency in households and for the country. As mentioned by Emma is seems men are more concerned with their own self interests. For example, for men, it seems there is a lack of investment in children. In the article Duflo discusses varying ways in which improving equality for women benefits the children. Two that stuck out to me was that there is a higher correlation with mother's education levels and child health than for the father and that women are more concerned with policies that impact child health and nutrition. Children's health and education levels are an investment in their future and the overall wellbeing of the economy, so it is shocking to me that this correlation seems to be present. Another aspect of Duflo's article that stood out to me was the role that economic development played in increasing a woman's empowerment. However, she mentions that even with more development, biases still impact how much more equal women are to men. There is a bias towards which jobs are deemed "suitable" for a woman and a disparity in the earnings in even richer countries. Moreover, Duflo mentions the importance of women participation in politics, but these biases create barriers for women to become policy makers. This leads me to wonder how policies that equalize women and men in society are to be put into place with these strong biases present.
Toggle Commented Oct 8, 2020 on Duflo for Friday at Jolly Green General
I found the history of land grant universities to be very interesting. Specifically, the formation of land grant universities and the opposition to them. Epplin mentions that the founding fathers "desired a system that would enable all citizens to have access to education", but the "all" did not include half of the population at the time. Simon DeWitt reflected a similar viewpoint. He argued for an agricultural college to teach the theory and practice of agriculture but his vision was limited to only teaching the sons of the professional class. It wasn't until Turner that the emphasis was shifted from educating solely the professional class to the professional class and the industrial class. Moreover, the opposition was also seen from farmers who belonged to the industrial class. They argued that it would lead to less labor for the farm. It seems that there was a lack of seeing education as an investment throughout the development of the bill. The focus was on educating the wealthy, leaving the people in the industrial class less productive than they could be. This reminds me of the video we watched on Wednesday. In the video they were discussing the need to increase the productivity of food production and one method was to provide farmers with education on more effective ways to farm. Educating the industrial class has many potential benefits and it is interesting to see that there was so much(and still is) to funding public education.
Toggle Commented Oct 2, 2020 on For Friday's Discussion at Jolly Green General
I found Quiggin's article very interesting and optimistic. He repeatedly mentioned that the world is on the correct path (although slow) to reduce carbon emissions, increase sustainability, and reach the UN's development goals. However, he mentions that if every country were to function as Americans and Europeans do, then there would be high impacts to climate change. Moreover, he mentioned the only aspect holding these countries back is assumptions about how energy systems must work. Thus reminded me of how in class we discussed that switching to solar or wind power would actually be more beneficial but due to the impacts to the oil sector the switch hasn't been made. Then, he goes on to demonstrate how poor countries in Africa and South Asia are actually more technologically advanced when it comes to sustainability than the developed countries. The technology is ready to be developed but due to a lack of focus on sustainability the developed countries have been held back from advancing to solar or wind powered technology. This makes me wonder if we will every make the shift to zero-carbon emissions. Quiggin emphasizes in his article that we are already on the path to reducing these emissions, which is reassuring that eventually we may be more sustainable. The ending of Quiggin's article I found the most interesting. He mentions that a shift in beliefs, values, and social institutions are what is truly necessary to achieving a good life and sustainability. Also, that shifting these beliefs will actually improve people's quality of life. The technology for being sustainable is already present and the shift to valuing sustainability is needed. However, due to the current state of the world it makes me wonder what Quiggins would say now. Are we still on the path to becoming more sustainable? or have we chosen to stay on the "treadmill", "chasing bigger and better consumption goods" until we reach the limits of what the planet can support.
Toggle Commented Sep 25, 2020 on Readings for Friday at Jolly Green General
As Bridget mentioned, I find it interesting how South Korea's growth played out in relation to the militaristic government that was in power. The government was determined to gain independence from America and end the poverty that the country was experiencing. Moreover, since Park had a large control over the country he was able to develop an Economic Reconstruction committee, develop plans for growth, and form relationships with chaebols that allowed them to monitor each businesses ability to meet economic targets. Sen argues that freedoms and good governance are important to economic development, however, South Korea is a good example of that not being the case. If the government was more of a democracy, then it would have been much harder for the government to pursue policies for stimulating growth. For example, in order for the government to force the companies into working closely with them, they offered exemptions on duties and special rates for utilities and state owned rail systems. However, the other firms not favored by the government found it harder to gain access to credit and had no exemptions or discounts. If the people had more freedom to control the government's policy choices, then the government would have had a harder time implementing those incentives to businesses. Sen argues that peoples ability to regulate the government will lead to growth but with South Korea the opposite seems true. It makes me wonder how the country would have developed under a different type of government and if South Korea would be the economic development miracle it is today.
Toggle Commented Sep 17, 2020 on Miracle on the Han for Friday at Jolly Green General
I found Krugman's arguments about how models can be limiting very interesting. Models seem to be the basis for most of economic theory and are rather simplified to include a couple variables. I had never considered much how these are a basis rather than the rule. A quote that stuck out to me was "be aware that your models are maps rather than reality". It is easy to get caught up in the simplicity and ignore outside variables, limiting the development of models and theory. Something else I found interesting was how models were what created a barrier for the growth of development theory but also in the end a simple model helped revive it. It makes me wonder if there are models today where the growth is limited because of the lack of "daring to be silly".
Toggle Commented Sep 11, 2020 on Krugman for Friday at Jolly Green General
I found this article very insightful on how different institutional barriers and government policies or instability can influence a countries growth. Furthermore, I like that there were quantitative values to support their claims. I found the link between the lagging countries and the poverty trap countries interesting. Most of them have struggled developing their economies due to government corruption and instability. This reminded me of the SDG article and the Sen chapters. In the SDG article Sachs argued that one of the important focus of the SDGs needs to be "good governance" and in the Sen chapters it was argued that political freedom was also essential for development. The lack of good governance has lead these countries to suffer from poor policy and an accumulation of external debt. Moreover, the lack of political freedom has prevented citizens from participating and helping to regulate the government and their policy decisions. So, despite the initial promising states these countries have been unable to keep up with the fast growing countries, falling into poverty traps or lagging behind.
Toggle Commented Sep 3, 2020 on Reading for next Friday at Jolly Green General
Overall, I found this article very insightful and informative on MDGs and SDGs. Sachs argument for SDGs is very persuasive and optimistic for a future where the world is practicing more sustainable practices and basic human needs are being met. I found Sachs emphasis on the environment as well as improving the lives of poor and middle income countries important. Especially because the environment can be an influencing factor on poverty and human health. If people are living in an area that is unable to support farming they are reliant on buying their food. Moreover, increasing emissions also impacts people's health. When a pregnant mother is living in an area with high emissions it will affect the child's development as it ages, furthering the cycle of poverty. Furthermore, Sachs stated that due to the continued destruction of natural habitats grain production is decreasing leading to higher food prices. The increase in prices pushes those living around the poverty line into chronic hunger. Therefore, focusing on sustainable measures will help improve the conditions for those in poverty. Despite the good ideas in his plan, Sachs' article seems to lack enough depth to make it seem feasible. He argues that there needs to be government change and that all the countries need to work together. However, he does not go into how to get the countries to agree or even be able to enforce government and social change in these various countries. It makes me wonder how the SDGs goals will be met once it is put into place.
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Aug 27, 2020