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Chadrack Bantange
Washington and lee
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About two years ago I read a book called "the end of poverty" by the famous Jeffrey Sachs. It was more than fascinating to read it and one of the quotes in the book was that " countries are like people. When they are sick, they need help from other countries just like people do". Since that day, I always thought of aid as a crucial factor in alleviating poverty. Reading Milovich's paper, however, made me question this knowledge a little. Not because this paper strongly contradicts Sach's claims on aid, but because it acknowledges a possible negative relationship between aid and poverty. In as much as aid can help alleviate poverty by providing the central government additional financial support that can later be invested in the economy, the real answer to this relationship is "it depends". Just as mentioned in the article, aid sometimes comes with conditions that may later be a burden to the receiving country. So before talking about the nature of such a relationship, a lot of questions should be considered first. What is the aid? where is coming from? who is receiving it? what are we using it for? Aid can be detrimental to alleviating poverty but for countries that struggle to finance some of their projects, I believe that thinking about aid is not really a bad decision. That is why it is important for countries to establish strong relations with each other so that the conditions of receiving aid are more of a "friendly term" rather than imposing conditions that will later damage the economic growth prospect of the receiving country
Toggle Commented Dec 9, 2022 on Paper for Friday at Jolly Green General
One thing I will leave with from this class is that achieving economic development is not a piece of cake. However, investment in gender equality programs such as Mexico's CCT can move a country ahead. Investing in Woman education is therefore a key to progress. But when it comes to education, many tend to forget that some might start but will end up dropping out of school, mostly due to financial hardships, thus comprising the future of many children. So how do we stop this phenomenon? That is where the CCT program comes in. It was delightful and informative to read this article. The general feeling towards low-income countries is mostly that their governments do not try hard enough to improve the lives of their citizens. Still, reading the article, this argument can be refuted. It is very encouraging for Mexico to have implemented such a program because, as the study mentioned, CCT positively impacted children's futures. Its large impact on women over men once again reinforced the idea that in most societies, women's education is often neglected and that for development to occur, we need programs such as the CCT to not only alleviate poverty but also empower women. One thing I was curious about is how the Mexican government managed to fund a program of such magnitude. Did they use their own funds or since the CCT seems to have the same goals as the 5th SDGs(Gender Equality), Mexico received some type of aid from the international committee? Also what happened to countries that tried to implement the CCT? were they as successful as Mexico?
Toggle Commented Dec 1, 2022 on Paper for Friday at Jolly Green General
Nelson Mandela, one of the most essential freedom fighters to ever exist once said that "education is the most powerful weapon to change the world". Reading this article reminded me of his quote and once again came to supplement my knowledge on the weight of education. As the article mentioned, the returns on education tend to be positive, thus stressing the importance of education in one's income and the development of the economy as a whole. Just as I expected, education returns for girls and those of low incomes countries are higher than their counterparts. This fact brought me back to the article we read on investing more in women's and girls' education to alleviate poverty and achieve economic growth. Not only that, it also turns out that low income countries should invest more in education as it is evidenced that this type of investment is always beneficial. The only issue I have with investing in education is that it takes a lot of time to see the benefits of education to reflect in a society. This is not to imply we should not invest in education, but rather keep in mind that education is a long term investment and we should wait a little while to see its effects. On a side note, I was a little bit lost when the author reported the regression's results. Since education has a positive return I expected a positive sign on the year coefficient, but the coefficient was rather negative. I hope we can talk about this in class.
Toggle Commented Nov 11, 2022 on Paper for Friday at Jolly Green General
I often heard people talking about climate and how it can affect many aspects of human kind, but I never realized the magnitude of those consequences until I read this article. Climate change is a thing and just as one should fight for gender equality, environmental issues also deserve the same level attention. The most heartbreaking part about this calamity is that non polluting countries are more likely to suffer from this than the ones who pollute the most. The way climate change affect people in rich countries like the USA , Canada, France, etc is not similar to how people living in poor countries will be affected. Given their wealth, rich countries are more likely to cope from this than the poor ones. Worst, as many people from the poor countries rely on agricultural products, for example, as a way of production, climate change has more effect on them and those living in highly industrialized regions around the world. In front of this, poor countries not only suffer the most from those externalities, but they also face a dilemma: should we boost technology to promote economy growth and alleviate people from poverty or should we cut down our use of technology to lessen the effects of climate change on our population? Either way, economic development is needed to alleviate people from poverty but the big question is: how should we [low income countries]do it?
Toggle Commented Oct 28, 2022 on Paper for Friday at Jolly Green General
This article was very insightful, showing off one of the most important aspects of today's economic development: gender equality through women empowerment. As someone of African descent, I could strongly relate to what was said in the study. Just as the article mentioned, many low-income households tend to give priority to boys' education over girls. This is because growing up, there is a strong cultural belief around which girls should learn how to be good housewives so that they can marry a good(rich) guy who will take care of them. The boys, on the other hand, should go through hustle, study hard, and get a job because it is their role to be the main provider in the family. With this in mind, girls drop out of school more often than boys do. And when a family goes through a financial crisis, they are more likely to disenroll girls from school than boys. Another strong argument advanced by these parents is that a boy without education is more likely to indulge in criminal affairs than a girl who did not. Also, after a girl gets married, she can continue her education relying on her husband's money, but since boys are not meant to be married, once they miss their education, they will be lost with no future ahead. So preferring boys' education to girls' is not only a way to sustain a strong cultural belief but also a way of equipping boys with tools to fight for and build their future. This is clearly not something to support because its nourishes stereotypes that women have been experiencing for centuries. Although it is hard to suddenly change this long-existed belief, working towards alleviating people from poverty will bring considerable change. Girls from rich backgrounds tend to study and get a degree for as far as they want; this cultural belief does not apply to them. This tendency to privilege boys' education over girls takes place most of the time when a household is going through a crisis and needs to cut off its expenses. So if you improve people's lives, this trend will decline, and gender equality will progressively take place.
Toggle Commented Oct 20, 2022 on Paper for Friday at Jolly Green General
This article was very enjoyable to read and it is impressive to see that historically, military regimes have caused nothing more than chaos in many newly independent states, but South Korea managing to grow under such a regime is just fascinating. For many low-income countries, being led by a military regime has greatly led to economic stagnation and total chaos since many of these military leaders imposed dictatorship systems and were more concerned about staying in power for a long time rather than fostering economic growth. South Korea growing in such a regime just demonstrate that strong or effective policies are not the sole agents of growth; governments have a crucial role to play. Although I agree there that are a lot of lessons low-income countries can learn from South Korean growth strategies, I also think some policies used in South Korea might not work in many low-income countries. Yes, these developing countries can invest more in education than they currently do, but what is the point of investing in education if there is not a wide range of jobs graduates can choose from? Many low income-countries go through this; governments can choose to invest in education but as long as the people do not see the benefits of embracing these opportunities, educated-based policies might prove to be ineffective or can take a long time to see its effects in economic growth. About the point of cutting population growth to promote the economy, is that morally acceptable? I think Sen would probably disagree with this because the process of development should not take away people's freedom. Should I give away my freedom of having the number of kids I want to have just to promote economic growth or economic development should instead allow one to become freer and live the life they want
I found this paper to be fascinating in how it emphasizes the role of the government in bringing economic growth. In rich countries like Singapore and China, the government played an essential role in regulating the markets and imposing policies that promoted growth, competitiveness, production, and efficiency. My biggest takeaway is that export-led policies tend to bring change as they foster productivity, can increase domestic jobs, and bring more revenue to the government. In contrast, import-led policies tend to be inefficient since countries that rely on these policies tend to be dependent on their agricultural products, making them vulnerable to unexpected phenomena such as natural disasters. While I agree that corruption affects development, I would have liked it if the author showed a correlation between them by bringing in some indexes or data. Though I understand corruption was not the focus of this paper, bringing correlative data between these two variables would have made the author more persuasive. If possible I would like to know more about how the author came up with the barrier parameter. Hope this topic will be discussed in class tomorrow
Toggle Commented Sep 30, 2022 on Paper for Friday at Jolly Green General
This paper on the fall and rise of economic development is among the most interesting economic articles I have read so far. It gives good insights into why economics relies on assumptions to come up with models that somehow explain what happens in real-life situations. Most importantly, I learned that economics models are not meant to capture all variables that might influence an outcome we are interested in, but rather a simplified way to understand what happens in reality. What I would have liked to get out of the article was how the difficulties involved in coming up with a "perfect" economic model tie back to the idea of development. For example, policy A might be successful at alleviating poverty in country B while it does not have the same effects in country C. So if this is the case, does it suggest that economic theories should not be a set of generalized principles that are true all around the world or they should be country-specific?
Toggle Commented Sep 23, 2022 on Paper for Friday at Jolly Green General
It is very interesting to see how the governments of different countries can come together to come up with an ambitious project like the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). One of the ways I believe economic development can be achieved is through the involvement of rich countries and their willingness to financially support low-income countries. I agree with the author that although both the MDGs and the SGDs do not fully achieve their stipulated goals, they at least encourage governments around the world to be efficient and work toward a common goal: eliminating poverty and achieving economic sustainability. There are a couple of issues I see with the SDGs but the most important one is that the SGDs plan to achieve economic development without including a big factor that contributes to the impoverishment and underdevelopment of many low-income countries: Wars and ethnic conflicts. In the Central African Republic, for example, the country is divided due to conflicts between Muslims and Christians. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the country has, for a long time, been devasted by the war in its eastern provinces, making around millions of deaths, leaving many people without shelter, destroying infrastructures, etc. All these make countries poorer and underdeveloped and projects like the SDGs might not work as long as such issues are not tackled first. Some might argue that it is not the SDGs' mission to handle wars and ethnic conflicts but, how do you achieve economic development if a country is divided and there is no peace?
Toggle Commented Sep 16, 2022 on Welcome to ECON 280 at Jolly Green General
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Sep 15, 2022