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It is hard to read this report by The World Bank and not realize how the poor get the short end of the stick in almost everything. Even in climate change, they will be the most affected group. Whether it be African coastal plains being inundated with seawater and destroying local aquifers, or the river deltas of Bangladesh being flooded, the poorest regions are the ones that face the direst consequences. This is ironic because it is the wealthiest nations who are emitting the majority of these greenhouse gases. As the developed countries debate on climate change and the guidelines going forward, the most pressing issues they are discussing most likely do not include the day to day lives of people in these regions. It will be interesting to see if emissions continue to be released at alarming rates and what effects will occur. Hopefully, as we introduce newer technologies that use safer fuels, the world will be headed down a more sustainable path.
After reading the piece on interest rates and capital flows, I immediately thought of how our president-elect Trump will influence these things going forward. It is interesting to speculate how other countries respond to this, but also how american investors try to predict how other countries will respond. If Trump's plans on free trade are followed through on, how will that affect international trade and/or loanable funds markets? It is very interesting to think about the next four years from an international economic perspective, not just from a social perspective in our own country.
Toggle Commented Nov 17, 2016 on Readings for this week at Jolly Green General
These two papers remind me a lot of what we are studying in Professor Blunch's Health Economics course. We learned no two regions, let alone countries, can be treated the same in terms of policy. So stating this, comparing the development of western Europe to developing sub-saharan Africa is not a feasible option. We also learned that health problems, such as malaria, are not solved by increasing GDP alone. Yes it may help, but there are more factors, such as overall health education and infrastructure that are more important.
Toggle Commented Nov 2, 2016 on Readings for Thursday at Jolly Green General
The point Rodrik makes that struck me the most was the difference between starting growth and maintaining it. These are two completely separate ideas, and that never really occurred to me. It's easy to ignite growth, as he says, but maintaining it is the hard part.The tricky part is that some of the policies used to start growth limit maintaining growth. This, along with other factors, leads to his assertion that development economics is not a "one-model" field. There is not one solution that will develop every nation. This seems like common sense, but that is how economists have treated developing nations for decades. Rodrik's multitude of cases help the reader realize that every nation has not responded to development measures the same way. China has grown rapidly while sub-saharan Africa has not grown at all. It will be interesting to see how development economics turns from here.
Toggle Commented Oct 5, 2016 on Reading for Thursday at Jolly Green General
I applaud Krugman for his opening to this paper. Stating how he is not an expert on the works of Hirschman is a classy move and lets the reader appreciate how much he actually knows. The main concept Krugman brings up that caught my eye was the simplistic model argument. While it is true that a simple model is much too small and simplified down to be representative of an actual economy, it still does its job. Its job is to simplify an economy down small enough to be in a model. It helps economists analyze data that is too large in scale with too many different variables. Assuming some variables are held constant is the only way they would be able to even draw any conclusions.
The point Sen makes that struck me most strongly was her argument that income is not the only measure of ones freedom. Many people believe that developing a country and giving the people economic freedom starts with having more money. While it is a component, it is not everything. Her example was African Americans in the United States. While most of them do make more than two dollars a day, they still are not what Sen defines as free. They dont have the same opportunities as other people in their own country. Their mortality rates are higher. Income has not liberated the population. As Sen states, income does not solely give people freedom in developed countries.
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Sep 21, 2016