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Measuring indicators with impact

The Economist has a large and very interesting piece on the migration of World Bank thinking towards recognising that 'institutions' are important.

Part of the difficulty, as Dani Rodrik of Harvard University points out, is that typical measures capture institutional outcomes, not institutional forms. The “rule of law”, for example, measures how secure an investor feels about his property. It tells us little about precisely what makes him feel that way.

New IMF research on aid and growth

IMF Chief Economist Raghuram Rajan and Arvind Subramanian, IMF Head of Macroeconomic Studies, just released a working paper returning to the contentious question of whether or not aid leads to growth. Entitled Aid and Growth: What Does the Cross-Country Evidence Really Show?, the paper finds no robust evidence linking the two. Additionally, the authors challenge the Burnside and Dollar claim that aid works best in good policy environments.

How well do you know Africa?

Adi2005 In light of this week’s release of the 2005 African Development Indicators, here is an online quiz on Africa to test your knowledge.

A strong message which jumps out of the report are the strong and marked contrasts between the continent’s countries:

The Girl in the Café

Lots of hype, started well, ended in disappointment – well maybe not officially, but at least that’s my view. Had heard great things about “The Girl in the Café” – the new HBO/BBC romantic comedy set in the upcoming G8 summit and packed with development economics and social commentary – and through the first 30 minutes everything was going fine. Then came the long unoriginal speeches and a focus on the lacking convictions of the delegates instead of the severity of the problem at hand.

Impacts of China’s “dangerous” energy strategy?

On the behalf of imagery, some words from Sebastian Mallaby:

“Some people fear the economic threat from China. Others fret about expensive oil. With the skill of an accomplished arsonist, China has now poured gas on the flames of these separate anxieties, turning two medium-size fires into a single inferno.”


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