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Alexandra Lindsay
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I find the different behaviors of men and women across these studies most interesting. The report says "Serving women… is good for business and good for fulfilling a social mission" (12). Women, specifically, tend to put more money back into their home and towards the needs of their children. With women putting more money into the healthcare and education of their children, the well-being of the overall society will grow, as we have seen through out the semester. This is why from a development economics perspective, extending microcredit to women is especially important. Additionally, women tend to be better paying back their debts. It is especially interesting that there only were high returns for women in poor countries when these factors stand- the country has high female participation, the women had "larger, higher profit businesses at the outset," and it was an in-kind gift rather than a cash grant. Another issue that the report recognizes that, in an India study for example, microcredit did not empower women to give them more of a say where the household spends its money. It also did not improve education and health in this sense. With women putting more money into their children, as mentioned earlier I'm struggling to understand how these factors could not be improved.
Although the wording and terms of this article and the data tables were challenging to follow, a major theme that I was able to follow is the large impact that countries have on one another, specifically when it comes to capital flows and interest rates. For example, changing international interest rates produced "half the variation in capital inflows to emerging markets" (6). Historically, the impact that the United States has on different countries is huge. For example, after World War I the US Federal Reserve kept interest rates low, leading Americans to invest in more lucrative opportunities abroad, specifically in Europe and Latin America. Vice versa, when US interest rates are high, Latin American and Asian borrowers tried to minimize their debt and the supply curve decreases. East Asia has been less dependent, however, when it comes to external finance. The power that the United States has when it comes to its influence of international finance shows the immense responsibility that it has on every country, whether that be direct or indirect.
Toggle Commented Nov 19, 2021 on ... at Jolly Green General
This paper solidifies our discussions on the benefits of investing in human capital, specifically in education. The most significant of these observations, in my opinion, is that the private returns to female education exceed that of males. The results say that this "does not imply that earnings are higher for females." I'm curious what return variables that the authors are looking at otherwise, and how they choose these factors. Additionally, with so much evidence pointing to the positive returns of women, it's disappointing that many nations have not made the education of women a priority. It's also interesting really interesting that this paper points out that earnings increase with education, because it shows that the worker is more likely to be productive, rather than looking at their intrinsic productivity. This is also supported in Figure 7, where we see that returns to those working in the private sector are higher than those working in the public sector. Interestingly, the authors note the advantages for workers in the private sector are connected to the idea that education leads to higher productivity, rather than an increase in skills. Just looking at productivity as a result of education seems like a narrow view. However, productivity may be the most accurate factor to measure.
Toggle Commented Nov 12, 2021 on For Friday's Discussion at Jolly Green General
I find the World Bank’s report's emphasis on the effect that climate change has on marine ecosystem's most interesting. I think many people are aware to some extent that climate change is affecting our oceans for the worst, but this report puts into perspective how this will affect mankind, primarily the poor in these 3 regions. For example, not only will we lose a substantial amount of marine animals, those living on the coasts who rely on the ocean for food security, as well as commercial income from selling fish, will specifically be put at risk. The main reason that the author gives for the decrease in fish is the coral bleaching caused by climate change, but I also wonder how overfishing plays a role into this. The ocean acidification threatening coral reefs will also negatively affect tourism, which is a major source of income for these coastal areas. Unfortunately, these trends are only expected to worsen if we continue on the same path. Climate change is often looked at as a far-off problem, but the world, specifically those in developed nations, need to realize the impact that it has on all of mankind, specifically those most disadvantaged. The ideas in this paper surrounding the impacts of climate change on the ocean follow a pattern that we have discussed in class before- the earth cannot keep up with mankind’s quick development. I think it would be interesting for this paper to comment on how much of the CO2 emissions and other factors causing climate change are from developed nations versus the nations facing the most severe consequences.
Toggle Commented Oct 22, 2021 on For Friday's Discussion at Jolly Green General
The Miracle of Han is a great example of the factors that can help a developing nation's economic growth, but it seems that the country's economic growth is " a product of a unique set of historical circumstances" (11). The first thing that comes to mind is the chaebols which I'm not sure would have worked in many countries for the favor of society as a whole. Although there still must have been some disparity, I believe a major reason why the disparity in South Korea didn't grow more because of chaebols is because the government launched the New Village Movement in early 1972 to promote rural development as well. This movement happened in the same time frame that chaebols, such as Hyundai motors (1967) were thriving. Another reason why the chaebols worked well is the fact that the government encouraged competition among the sectors, rather than allowing any monopolies. This pushed the firms to explore other areas of business, rather than just their own. I would assume that with more activity and innovation, these companies created more jobs for those in urban areas. The government also monitored the companies closely in order to make sure that they were performing well. Close government control in other countries has not worked so well and has often led to corrupt leadership. I would like to know more about the companies that didn't receive the same privileges that the chaebols received. Were most of them eliminated completely from the economy or did they simply just not grow as large?
I find the differences in trapped countries versus lag-behind countries, rather than the difference between these two subsets and the fastest growing countries, very interesting in this article, because I tend to combine the two subsets. I’d like to explore the differences and what makes a country fall into one category or the other more in class. It is also very interesting how the different fast-growing economies came to be. For example, I didn't think about how learning Japanese in South Korea high schools could affect trade increasing economic growth, rather than simply an investment in technology growth or other specific industries. I noticed that the development laggards' economies tended to rely on raw goods while the fast-growing economies invested their resources in manufacturing and trade. Export policies and the overall involvement of a developed country on a development laggard tend to be leading factors in the growth of countries. It is clear that private businesses and the overall economy in these developing countries cannot thrive with government misallocation. I think that it would be helpful to see graphs that plot the relative TFP and average growth of relative income in order to see the relationship between the two variables better.
Toggle Commented Oct 1, 2021 on For Friday's Discussion at Jolly Green General
This paper gave some really interesting insights on the value of models in not only economics, but models used in every field. The idea that we make false assumptions in order to get our models to something that we can handle is something that many of us don't think about when making models. The author also brought up the point that, similar to the process of mapping Africa, making these simple models produces gains and losses. Yet, we put so much faith in our models. Because of this, among other factors, I can understand the frustrations and troubles that economists had through out the 20th century when developing theories, like the high development theory. Interestingly, however, the world has made so many policies, conclusions, etc, with these somewhat incomplete models. Also, I was surprised by the level of dispute in theories and models throughout the 20th century, because I’ve always been under the impression that the models are right with no questions asked. This paper pushed me to be more curious and ask more questions regarding theories, specifically in economics.
Toggle Commented Sep 24, 2021 on Krugman for Friday at Jolly Green General
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Sep 23, 2021