This is Brian Lawler's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Brian Lawler's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Brian Lawler
Recent Activity
As I am pretty sure everyone already mentioned, Human Capital's role from growth to agricultural and environmental policy is fascinating. I would be curious to see whether or not formal education is preferable to informal information sessions covering agroforestry. Another interesting point of the article was using Keynesian notions with a neoclassical model. I doubt there were any theoretical problems in conjoining the two unless there was some sort of assumption contradiction. However, it allowed for a clever solution to a complex problem that neither could likely solve on their own. Individuals are often time blind to the opposing side of view and it was nice to see a mesh of ideas used to solve a problem.
Toggle Commented Nov 5, 2014 on Econ 280 for Thursday at Jolly Green General
I thought the Schwartz article was very interesting. He made it very clear that he thought poor members of the agricultural community were just as rational when making decisions as anyone else. In fact, he said they were very efficient in that they knew how to allocate scarce resources well. I am curious as to how he would respond to the data that shows that these individuals t=do not necessarily respond in the way we would expect to increases in wages in relation to child labor. He might say this is another example of their excellent capacity for making short-term vs long-term decisions or he might be surprised. I cannot quite tell.
Toggle Commented Oct 30, 2014 on Econ 280 for Thursday at Jolly Green General
I thought Udry was very wise in including the notion of increasing the wage not affecting child labor rates early in his paper. To my knowledge he is not describing substitution and income effects as I am not sure of what kind of theoretical model he is using, however it is still a very valid point. At first glance, policy makers would see well off families sending their kids to school and impoverished families keeping their kids to work. They would then conclude that they should simply make the impoverished families more well off. The easiest way to do that is to conduct a policy that artificially raises the parents' wages. As Udry points out though, this will likely increase child laborers wages as well. If not in the short run, then it certainly would increase in the long run. This has one of the largest policy implications in that it throws many typical poverty-alleviating solutions out the window. Thus, we need to be a little more creative in our attempts to find a way to reduce child labor rates.
Toggle Commented Oct 23, 2014 on 280 Paper for Thursday at Jolly Green General
As others have said, Rodrik does an excellent job of encouraging the use of simplified models as stories. However, I agree with Rodrik's statement at the end that we should not ignore either purely model based theories or story based theories. Rather, I believe we should strive to build theories that not only involve stories, but also refer back to some model whether it be advanced or not. A theory backed up with a sensible model more often times makes it to the classroom.
Unlike most everyone else, I found this article disturbing. Rodrik's solutions to starting and sustaining growth were at first very soothing to me. However, I became more and more unsettled as I continued reading the paper and Rodrik did not offer some grand scheme to ignite growth. Rather he did multiple shallow case studies and assumed certain innovative policy changes had causal links to growth without backing them up with empirical data and a sound theoretical argument. Maybe this only bothers me because his paper felt like a theoretical paper that was lacking in advanced theory. His reliance on incentives was his big theory and perhaps he needed to limit it to that in order to save space or to save the conciseness of his argument. Otherwise it would have been a compilation of case studies that looked at policy changes that may have caused growth, but may not work elsewhere. The whole article to me just felt too simple and familiar though perhaps it is on purpose as Rodrik is encouraging us to look for simple yet elegant solutions to ignite growth.
Toggle Commented Oct 2, 2014 on ECON 280 Paper at Jolly Green General
So I just posted a comment, but it is not appearing and I do not want to double post. But if it is not appearing then I wan to get the gist of my comment on the blog. I was particularly interested in the section about freeing up women's time. In particular, I would have asked why access to clean water had a much different effect on women's use of time than access to electricity did despite both of them being utilities. I also never thought about how economic development leads to lower fertility rates which frees up women's time. Women then can choose to spend that time in a more effective manner which can then spur more economic development. However, these relationships are never this simple, but they do merit further study as the theory is present and the potential benefits of increasing gender equality are significant.
Toggle Commented Sep 24, 2014 on ECON 280 paper #2 at Jolly Green General
I find the brief section on short term migration for work particularly interesting. In their study, they generally find that the head if the household was the person to move for work. They also found that generally the move was a short distance and for a short period of time, generally about three months. I took the economics course on China's modern economy last semester and migration was a huge topic there. We also found China's migrants to differ significantly from what this article finds. Generally Chinese migrants were from the younger generations, both men and women, as they were looking for jobs in the rapidly rising mega cities that provided better wages and opportunities than staying in the country and farming. These migrants often travelled great distances as many Western provinces did not yet have major cities to work in. However, this has changed as roads and power lines have spread through the country. Migrants often moved for work for years at a time, only returning home for brief visits. My question then is what makes migrants in China, a huge player in development economics so different from the other countries studied in this article? My theory would be that younger generations of Chinese migrants were offered education opportunities, which were not available to their elders, that made them uniquely prepared for the capital intensive or service related jobs available in mega cities. However, this is only my opinion and the answer may actually lie in different family structures, geographical differences, or even the nature of the mega cities in China as compared to the much smaller cities used in the study.
Toggle Commented Sep 18, 2014 on 280 reading for Thursday at Jolly Green General
Brian Lawler is now following The Typepad Team
Sep 17, 2014