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Jay Walton
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I thought this paper was interesting in how Milovich prefaced the entire piece saying “I seek to answer this question by closing two gaps left open in previous studies”; highlighting how different studies of the same topic: poverty can yield such a vide variety of outcomes. In reading this paper, I can’t help but reflect on the past 12 weeks and the many different ways we talk about poverty - is it measured in a financial sense, through the advancement of human capital, GDP or other indicators; we have such a preconceived notion (or at least I did, not to generalize) of what poverty encompassed and how it was defined. Milovich evaluates how aid and poverty are linked, does more aid mean less poverty. As he discusses…not exactly, or at least not in a 1 to 1 exchange. When evaluating poverty in the sense of income, the aid has a statistically insignificant impact. This brings us back to how each person and nation define poverty, quite honestly I think to how the fundamental study and relative assumptions of development economics had to be reworked in the not too distant past - that how we interpret and respond to poverty is constantly changing. As the world advances, I wonder if certain aspect and metrics by which we measure poverty will become null, that one day the amount of income a person has is no longer directly tied to their human capital - at that point will the study of development economics again be reworked? I’m not sure, but I think as Milovich discusses and we have surmised throughout the duration of the course, what constitutes an impoverished person or county can be summed up in the infamous two word: “It Depends”.
Toggle Commented Nov 13, 2020 on Last Post of the Year at Jolly Green General
One of the most fascinating topics discussed in the paper was healthcare and the distribution of services between boys and girls. The US is embroiled in a debate about “universal healthcare”, a buzzword toted by politicians and late night TV hosts alike. However, when comparing the healthcare within this country to that of a developing nation we see the blessing we are fortunate enough to have. I never considered the difficulty surrounding the collection of data for this topic, most underdeveloped nations lack HIPPA (or similar) so accessing the records seemed straight forward. I found the lack of data based evidence surprising, leading me to wonder whether there is an entire subset of the population being missed. As noted in the piece “It is, of course, very difficult to observe whether, for example, girls are given less to eat than boys, since households under observation are likely to change their behavior”. The paper cites several studies like “(Khanna et al. 2003)” which point to increased mortality rates in the poorest neighborhoods of women when compared to men; however it appeared to only be speculation as to the cause. I believe this to be a somewhat cyclical circumstance: there is a direct correlation between involving women in the economy and society but those nations in poverty are less likely to willingly bring the women in. Begging the question, which is an open end on in my opinion, how can an outside nation best assistance in breaking this horrendous cycle?
Toggle Commented Oct 9, 2020 on Duflo for Friday at Jolly Green General
I found the case study within Quiggin’s article to be incredibly intriguing, how the poorer countries within Africa and South Asia have progressed past traditional developed countries through their implementation of cell phones and photovoltaic cells. This countries are not to be looked down upon, as nations in need of us to "advance them", but rather held up as pinnacles of development. Notwithstanding, their implementation is on a much smaller scale but the principles of their develop should be emulated...not changed! As Quiggin said "The future is one where technology adapts flexibly to human needs, rather than requiring ‘flexibility’ from humans to fit the demands of the economic machine." As we are living through the COVID-19 pandemic, I can't help but wonder about the demand being placed on our electrical system. Now, more than ever, people are spending exponential amounts of time at home using their computers, tablets and phones. While the office buildings once occupied by these individuals, I wonder about the efficiency differences between the two: given the average age of a home compared to a modern office building, especially with the implementation of "LEAD" certification: is more of a demand being placed on an electrical grind. Consequently, would in the midst of a pandemic, would the American population be more receptive to reducing their electrical bills through the installation of solar panels? It makes me wonder, and I intend to do more research into the effect the pandemic has had on American energy consumption.
Toggle Commented Sep 25, 2020 on Readings for Friday at Jolly Green General
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Sep 24, 2020