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Jackie Tamez
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When comparing results from the OLS estimation in Table 2, we see that aid is more significantly related to a decrease in the MPI and the multidimensional headcount ratio than to a decrease in income poverty, where only a negative relationship for the severe income poverty gap is seen. In fact, an increase of just 1% in U.S. aid directly lowers the percentage of people deprived of education, health and living standards. Although the impact is less than 1% for each of the 3 previously mentioned categories, education comes close to having a direct 1:1 ratio (if I’m interpreting correctly in that 1% increase in aid causes a 1% improvement in the education-deprived population.). Furthermore, the MPI as a whole is reduced by 0.61%. This obviously varies for different countries and depends on other factors as well, but these values are on average. This data shows that MPI is a more accurate measure for analyzing the relationship between aid and poverty alleviation. The Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) takes into account factors such as nutrition, child mortality, years of schooling, school attendance, cooking fuel, sanitation, drinking water, electricity, flooring, and assets. Meanwhile, institutional quality is measured by using a country’s level of freedom (political rights, civil liberties) and measures for fractionalization (ethnicity, religion and language). Although this is obviously a more complex and time-consuming measurement than just income or a country’s growth, its findings are interesting, particularly when thinking about the Sustainable Development Goals and the policies that would most effectively help us reach them by- ideally- 2050. I wonder how specifically the application of these findings would alter some of those efforts or progress tracking.
Toggle Commented Nov 13, 2020 on Last Post of the Year at Jolly Green General
The article basically states (from my understanding) that interest rates in major “money centers” affect borrowing at the international level. As expected, lower interest rates encourage capital flows, while rising rates hinders wealthier countries from lending to emerging markets. It is interesting to read the two different viewpoints arguing whether the price and availability of foreign funds relies on internal or external conditions. It is also emphasized that previous studies “using regression analysis to link primary spreads to U.S. treasury yields suffer from limitations that disguise the underlying relationship” due to their failure to consider how U.S. interest rates directly impact them (for example, when applied to spreads on Latin American issues or East Asian bonds). I tried decoding the more complex concepts, but it was really confusing even when I would go back and reread them. I would like to dive more into the spreads on the tables and implications because it was a lot to unpack. It'd also be interesting to talk about how this applies to our current economic/political environment, especially in light of COVID. Since this paper was written in 1998, I also wonder if any recent research provides updated data regarding interest rates and the global markets.
Toggle Commented Nov 6, 2020 on For Friday's Discussion at Jolly Green General
¡¡México!! Reading about my country was interesting because it has faced many economic struggles but the Progresa program actually seemed to be efficient (yay). Given that studies have shown conditional cash transfer’s positive impacts on youth’s education, labor market outcomes, housing, geographic mobility, and asset ownership, I’d be interested to dive more into what obstacles are holding governments back from fulfilling this need. I can expect citizen pushback, especially from people in the upper class who don’t personally benefit from it. Nonetheless, the most vulnerable populations- poor children, girls/women, etc- benefit greatly from it and the empowerment of disenfranchised communities leads to economic development, as we’ve discussed thoroughly in class. The country’s growth would holistically benefit countries given that investment in education has many spillover effects. Therefore, it makes sense for them to implement a CCT program. The anti-poverty efforts with early intervention have long term returns to investment and could clearly pave the way for a more advanced economy, yet other countries are lagging in their efforts to bridge the gap in educational attainment, particularly for low-income households who could use financial incentives to be encouraged to keep their kids in school. One thing I found interesting was that this initiative also benefits developed countries, including the United States, as opposed to just developing countries. I doubt that we would actually see that happen within the next few years (especially if next week’s election goes south), but it’d be worth giving a try and analyzing similarities and differences between countries who have successfully executed this program and the United States’ attempt at doing so. People from developing countries wouldn’t rely as heavily on migration for social mobility and a more stable lifestyle in general. The addition to human capital obviously benefits migrants’ destination countries, and I think we would still see that, but I am assuming to a lesser extent. Overall, I am glad the country decided to implement this and there's research to prove its efficiency, so I hope other countries can follow the lead.
Toggle Commented Oct 30, 2020 on For Friday's Discussion at Jolly Green General
As we’ve been discussing elaborately in class, the reading emphasizes that investment on human capital multiplies overall private returns and social benefits. In fact, from 1966 to 2015, average return in the United States increased from 2.4% to 10.5% due to higher investment. There are multiple positive externalities to investing in education and health, such as reduced mortality and higher incomes, that countries should aim to promote. I found it interesting to read about how different regions across the globe see varying impact. For example, private and social returns for low income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America are particularly high due to the scarcity of human capital that affects years of schooling and the labor force and given the substantial lagging. Corruption, natural resources and poor academic performance are some of the hypotheses for lower returns in the Middle East and North Africa. The subsidization of education also plays a significant role in reaching higher returns. Although primary education is generally provided for free, the next step towards economic development would be providing more scholarships or financial aid making higher education more accessible. It is surprising to me that we have not reached that point yet although we have plenty of research supporting this fiscal policy. In fact, people continue to neglect the push for legislation that would help make education or health care universal. Another interesting point was that technology has been so incorporated in society that lack of technical skills or access to equipment such as laptops adversely contributes to inequality. As the demand for higher skills continues to increase, educational advancements are simply not enough for the competitive labor market. The research concludes that technology is winning the race against education because it has prevented the rates of return on investments that would be expected.
Toggle Commented Oct 23, 2020 on For Friday's Discussion at Jolly Green General
Epplin’s work demonstrates how land grant institutions have contributed to forming the public education system we know of now. It’s no surprise that investing in education and ensuring it is accessible are two key factors in developing a society that is productive and ensuring citizens feel fulfillment by achieving their goals and specializing in areas of study that most interest them. Nonetheless, there have been market failures, especially regarding resource allocation, that have hindered us from reaching an efficient and equitable educational system. The roots of the push back for public agricultural colleges perfectly exemplify issues around equity, which have honestly yet to be addressed. People in the South refused to support them because it meant sacrificing wealth and social capital. We currently see pushback against affirmative action and other initiatives working towards making education accessible regardless of one’s background (whether based on being first generation, low income, or a racial minority). The reading was thought provoking when applying this to the current educational system and saddening prospects for the future. Although economics shows that the social benefit of providing free education outweighs the social cost, we are still seeing an underfunded system. If we can’t get politicians and other leaders to see the existing issue with social inequality and its interplay with education now, will it only be harder later? If this topic has been shoved under the rug for so many years, won’t it be easy for politicians to keep ignoring it rather than make it a priority? How wide does the gap have to get for people to address it? Can we focus on investing in programs developing children’s knowledge at earlier ages in life in order to avoid the issue accumulating and requiring more serious attention and resources? I am hoping that government leaders can take action sooner rather than later and invest in an education system that will bring significant returns to a society that will then benefit from it holistically.
Toggle Commented Oct 2, 2020 on For Friday's Discussion at Jolly Green General
The purpose of this paper is to review the history of selected events that resulted in the development of publicly funded U.S. educational institutions and to issue a challenge for our profession to do a better job of educating about the theoret- ical justification for using tax dollars to suppor The purpose of this paper is to review the history of selected events that resulted in the development of publicly funded U.S. educational institutions and to issue a challenge for our profession to do a better job of educating about the theoret- ical justification for using tax dollars to suppor Epplin’s work demonstrates how land grant institutions have contributed to forming the public education system we know of now. It’s no surprise that investing in education and ensuring it is accessible are two key factors in developing a society that is productive and ensuring citizens feel fulfillment by achieving their goals and specializing in areas of study that most interest them. Nonetheless, there have been market failures, especially regarding resource allocation, that have hindered us from reaching an efficient and equitable educational system. The roots of the push back for public agricultural colleges perfectly exemplify issues around equity, which have honestly yet to be addressed. People in the South refused to support them because it meant sacrificing wealth and social capital. We currently see pushback against affirmative action and other initiatives working towards making education accessible regardless of one’s background (whether based on being first generation, low income, or a racial minority). The reading was thought provoking when applying this to the current educational system and saddening prospects for the future. Although economics shows that the social benefit of providing free education outweighs the social cost, we are still seeing an underfunded system. If we can’t get politicians and other leaders to see the existing issue with social inequality and its interplay with education now, will it only be harder later? If this topic has been shoved under the rug for so many years, won’t it be easy for politicians to keep ignoring it rather than make it a priority? How wide does the gap have to get for people to address it? Can we focus on investing in programs developing children’s knowledge at earlier ages in life in order to avoid the issue accumulating and requiring more serious attention and resources? I am hoping that government leaders can take action sooner rather than later and invest in an education system that will bring significant returns to a society that will then benefit from it holistically.
Toggle Commented Oct 2, 2020 on For Friday's Discussion at Jolly Green General
I found Quiggin’s paper to be a great resource fusing the concepts of sustainability and economic development, especially in light of our current situation. Particularly, Quiggin mentions that the technological need for many kinds of travel has already disappeared as a result of the internet, video calls, and other innovations, which obviously has positive effects on the environment. This made me think about how this phenomenon has been particularly evident due to COVID restrictions. I remember that the first few months of quarantine, the media was sharing before and after photos of different landscapes across the world- with the after photos being much cleaner due to limited human interaction. Is it possible that we will continue to encourage a lifestyle that is more mindful of environmental impact and discouraged unnecessary activity, now that we’ve seen its potential? How will we get every global citizen to care about this enough to sacrifice one’s own leisure activities? Will the tactic used to reach that goal be fear or motivation? During our previous class, I mentioned how the Washington Post shared a photo on social media (a promising vehicle for raising awareness amongst younger generations) displaying a large digital clock on Manhattan’s Union Square with time left until climate change had irreversible impacts that were impacting human existence. Professor Casey brought up how this fear tactic was problematic, which I hadn’t really considered before because I thought that incorporating a sense of urgency would incite quick action. Another interesting point is that Quiggin also believes that there is no point in drawing up a utopian vision if it can be realized only in one part of the world, leaving the global poor permanently locked out. Nonetheless, that is unfortunately not the same mentality others have towards this issue. Our book highlights several actions that developed countries (although less impacted than poorer countries, hence less likely to care about) can take to mitigate this issue, some of which include funding research, proper pricing, cash transfer/incentive programs, collaborative trade policies, to encouraging debt-for-nature swaps. Ideally, we will see an international accord incorporating several of these strategies sooner rather than later in order to achieve sustainable economic development.
Toggle Commented Sep 25, 2020 on Readings for Friday at Jolly Green General
Seth’s paper on South Korea’s Economic Development emphasized the importance of pivoting from a fully agricultural to an industrial society as a means of achieving economic growth. The reading claims that although land reform and educational development initiatives were also taking place, it was mainly the focus on industrialization that really drove the country’s transformation from being an impoverished country to one with a promising economic takeoff that bridged the preexisting gap. It also talked about how people from South Korea were migrating to the United States for access to quality education and work opportunities. Tying this to our previous in-class discussions on human capital, it is evident that peoples’ ability and desire to find work in order to achieve social mobility facilitates the growth of the society holistically because it fosters an ambitious labor market and constant, if not accelerated, economy. This case study served as a model of successful economic development despite barriers at the beginning and throughout the process. However, it’s important to note that it was at the expense of undesirable working conditions such as the “bee hives” with unethical female labor and kusadaes that punished labor organizers. It also strengthens the argument that human capital (via migration) is an essential factor driving fiscal prosperity. It’s important that we relate this to current situations and think about how we can apply this to our own political and economic arena determining how accessible this is for people who can externally bring talents, knowledge, and other sources of capital to the US, hence promote growth.
Toggle Commented Sep 17, 2020 on Miracle on the Han for Friday at Jolly Green General
Krugman’s piece provided thought-provoking ideas that challenge the academia norms for economics, particularly regarding modeling and its effectiveness. Although models can provide a general framework that we can apply to a wide variety of case studies, it is crucial to acknowledge that because they are somewhat vague and theoretical principles, they may be flawed and certainly not applicable to every single scenario. I definitely agree with his argument and am glad that our own ECON 280 class actively points this out as we learn new information and discusses the nuances of models’ shortcomings. One quote that stood out to me was: “Model-building, especially in its early stages, involves the evolution of ignorance as well as knowledge; and someone with powerful intuition, with a deep sense of the complexities of reality, may well feel that from his point of view more is lost than is gained. It is in this honorable camp that I would put Albert Hirschman and his rejection of mainstream economics.” While it is remarkable that some models created many years ago are still applicable today, there should be a constant questioning and updating of these models. Relating this back to previous readings, it would be interesting to see more models incorporating Sen’s capabilities approach, although I can see how that would be difficult to quantify. Hirschman and Myrdal were icons (!) ahead of their time for saying that theorists and policy-makers “could and should ignore the pressures to produce buttoned-down, mathematically consistent analyses, and adopt instead a sort of muscular pragmatism in grappling with the problem of development” (which makes lots of sense).
Toggle Commented Sep 11, 2020 on Krugman for Friday at Jolly Green General
The reading on world income disparities emphasized that institutional barriers have played a key role in discouraging economic development and widening the gaps between countries at different levels of development. I thought about the points made regarding government misallocation and corruption being amongst the main causes and how this applied to Latin American governments, which I am most familiar with. Nonetheless, the reading made me wonder if this lag would still be present if these issues were resolved. It would take more than just addressing this to get anywhere near the US or any developed country’s economic stability. At this point, countries like China and the US have already established trade relations that might be too late to intervene with and barriers to entry might be too great to overcome. The reading seemed to somewhat place the blame on impoverished countries by saying they fell into the “poverty trap” but I do not think the countries are singlehandedly responsible for the current economic conditions they are in. Other countries have exploited these poor conditions for cheap labor and to take the resources available in these lands for an unfair cost. Given that globalization has completely transformed and dominated the economic panorama, it makes sense to turn away from solely analyzing how a country “caused its own economic collapse” but rather how international relations and tensions have accumulated into a financial impediment that is becoming increasingly challenging to control as poor countries get poorer and the rich get richer. It would be interesting to see how more collaborative policies amongst countries would change the current rankings and disparities, although that does not seem too feasible given the capitalist and consumer-driven agendas that are prioritized.
Toggle Commented Sep 3, 2020 on Reading for next Friday at Jolly Green General
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Sep 3, 2020