Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Development Talk from Lant Pritchett

Cambridge Nights | Conversations about a life in science

Lant Pritchett talks to us about education, migration and development. Lant Pritchett is a Professor of the Practice of International Development at the Harvard Kennedy School

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Assessing Sector Performance and Inequality in Education

Health Equity and Financial Protection

Sunday, September 25, 2011

My Labels Weight

New CV profile - Carlos Alberto Mendez Guerra's profile

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Intercontinental Ballistic Microfinance

What happens when 620,000 lenders fund 615,000 entrepreneurs, students, and other microfinance borrowers around the world? 
Five+ years of Kiva loan activity, in full color. Thanks to all the lenders, borrowers, partners, and team members who brightened this map - and helped to change lives in the process

Intercontinental Ballistic Microfinance from Kiva on Vimeo.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Atlas of Global Development

Atlas of Global Development

Esther Duflo, Special panel discussion on poverty eradication

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Political institutions and the curse of natural resources

The natural-resource curse is now a staple in the development economist’s diet. Natural resources have tended to lead to lower economic growth, except in democratic countries or those with robust institutions. This column presents a political economy model to explain this phenomenon, focusing on the threat of revolutions.
By Antonio Cabrales and Esther Hauk

Click here to read the article

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hans Rosling and the magic washing machine | Video on

What was the greatest invention of the industrial revolution? Hans Rosling makes the case for the washing machine. With newly designed graphics from Gapminder, Rosling shows us the magic that pops up when economic growth and electricity turn a boring wash day into an intellectual day of reading.
Hans Rosling and the magic washing machine | Video on

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Street Light: The Yen and the Earthquake

The Street Light: The Yen and the Earthquake: "Dramatic events in currency markets this week. First, the value of the dollar vs the yen fell substantially on Monday through Wednesday. T..."

Salman Khan: Let's use video to reinvent education

Salman Khan talks about how and why he created the remarkable Khan Academy, a carefully structured series of educational videos offering complete curricula in math and, now, other subjects. He shows the power of interactive exercises, and calls for teachers to consider flipping the traditional classroom script -- give students video lectures to watch at home, and do "homework" in the classroom with the teacher available to help.

Deb Roy: The birth of a word

MIT researcher Deb Roy wanted to understand how his infant son learned language -- so he wired up his house with videocameras to catch every moment (with exceptions) of his son's life, then parsed 90,000 hours of home video to watch "gaaaa" slowly turn into "water." Astonishing, data-rich research with deep implications for how we learn.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

David Brooks: The social animal

Tapping into the findings of his latest book, NYTimes columnist David Brooks unpacks new insights into human nature from the cognitive sciences -- insights with massive implications for economics and politics as well as our own self-knowledge. In a talk full of humor, he shows how you can't hope to understand humans as separate individuals making choices based on their conscious awareness

David Brooks: The social animal | Video on

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI)

The Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) works to make the online world safer for kids and their families. We do this by identifying and promoting best practices, tools and methods in the field of online safety that also respect free expression

GRID & The State of Online Safety

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Macro and Growth Policies in the Wake of the Crisis

A conference on the theme Macro and Growth Policies in the Wake of the Crisis will take place at the IMF’s Headquarters in Washington, DC on March 7-8. The conference will be hosted by four of the world’s most noted economists, including two Nobel laureates: Michael Spence (Stanford University), Joseph Stiglitz (Columbia University), Olivier Blanchard (Economic Counselor and Director of Research at the IMF), and David Romer (University of California, Berkeley). The event will bring together leading policymakers and academics from both advanced and emerging countries, as well as representatives from civil society, the private sector, and the media. 

MIT+150 Infinite History project: Interviews with great economists

Over the past few years, the MIT150 Infinite History project team has collected the first-person recollections of more than one hundred people who have shaped — or been shaped by — MIT. Interviews with the late Professor Paul Samuelson, along with Professors Peter Diamond, James Poterba , Robert Solow and Lester Thorow.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Globalization Paradox

Dani Rodrik offers a new narrative, one that embraces an ineluctable tension: we cannot simultaneously pursue democracy, national self-determination, and economic globalization. When the social arrangements of democracies inevitably clash with the international demands of globalization, national priorities should take precedence. Rodrik's case for a customizable globalization supported by a light frame of international rules shows the way to a balanced prosperity as we confront today's global challenges in trade, finance, and labor markets
See the video here

The End of Poverty

Global poverty did not just happen. It began with military conquest, slavery and colonization that resulted in the seizure of land, minerals and forced labor. Today, the problem persists because of unfair debt, trade and tax policies — in other words, wealthy countries taking advantage of poor, developing countries. Renowned actor and activist, Martin Sheen, narrates THE END OF POVERTY?, a feature-length documentary directed by award-winning director, Philippe Diaz, which explains how today's financial crisis is a direct consequence of these unchallenged policies that have lasted centuries. Consider that 20% of the planet's population uses 80% of its resources and consumes 30% more than the planet can regenerate. At this rate, to maintain our lifestyle means more and more people will sink below the poverty line. Filmed in the slums of Africa and the barrios of Latin America, THE END OF POVERTY? features expert insights from: Nobel prize winners in Economics, Amartya Sen and Joseph Stiglitz; acclaimed authors Susan George, Eric Toussaint, John Perkins, Chalmers Johnson; university professors William Easterly and Michael Watts; government ministers such as Bolivia's Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera and the leaders of social movements in Brazil, Venezuela, Kenya and Tanzania. It is produced by Cinema Libre Studio in collaboration with the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation. Can we really end poverty within our current economic system? Think again.


Monday, February 28, 2011

From the Economics Focus

From the Economist:
IN THE course of writing this week's Economics focus about the 20 best papers ever published in the American Economic Review, I learned that:
  1. Some acronyms age better than others.
  2. Avinash Dixit and Joseph Stiglitz once made a case for taxing American football and subsidising opera. (See p.307)
  3. Paul Douglas of Cobb-Douglas fame was a remarkable man. (A Quaker, he nonetheless joined the Marines at the age of 50, earning two purple hearts, before serving three terms as Martin Luther King Jr's favourite senator. Most memorable, however, were his prewar tussles with his fellow Chicago aldermen, "the smartest bunch of bastards I ever saw grouped together").
  4. Remarkable though Douglas was, he and Charles Cobb did not invent the Cobb-Douglas production function.
  5. Even if they had, perhaps they shouldn't have.
  6. There's nothing new under the blistering sun. On p.48, Thomas Means, a former project engineer with Truckee-Carlson, anticipates Hernando de Soto by about 75 years. And on p.947/8 does Kenneth Arrow not anticipate John Rawls?
  7. Franco Modigliani and Merton Miller thought whole milk was better than skimmed. (See p.279)
  8. The word "adverse" in the term "adverse selection" is an adjective not an adverb.* (See p.964)
  9. The average bill for surgery in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1953 was $99. (See p.963)
  10. This I already knew: the third part of Friedrich Hayek's 1945 article, " The Use of Knowledge in Society", is one of the best intellectual tributes ever paid to society's chancers, opportunists and wheeler-dealers. Being in the right place at the right time, argues Hayek, is quite as socially useful as being the "right" man for the job in some abstract sense.
  11. The 20 best papers in the AER's history average about 1.3 numbered equations per page

Friday, February 18, 2011

Career advice in Development Studies

 If you’re thinking about your career, here’s a compilation of advice for young professionals and students in international aid/development. You’ll notice some mixed messages: Networking! No, experience is more important that connections! Actually, you need a graduate degree! I think we can safely conclude that they’re all important. What’s most important for you? Well, that depends on where you are and where you want to go..
Career advice in Development Studies

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Agenda for Development Economics

Angus Deaton, “Understanding the Mechanisms of Economic Development”
Daron Acemoglu, “Theory, General Equilibrium, and Political Economy in
Development Economics”
Dani Rodrik, “Diagnostics before Prescription”
Debraj Ray, “Uneven Growth: A Framework for Research in
Development Economics”
Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Dulo, “Giving Credit Where It Is Due”
Mark R. Rosenzweig, “Microeconomic Approaches to Development:
Schooling, Learning, and Growth”

The Agenda for Development Economics

The Evolution of Economic Science: Macroeconomics, Growth, and Development

The evolution of macroeconomics in the past century, and the emergence of microeconomic foundations in macroeconomics, then shifts outward, to the application of economic analysis to such issues as structural unemployment, the ongoing U.S. recession, and the best ways to help developing nations.

Moderator: Daron Acemoglu

Panel: Robert M. Solow HM, Peter Diamond '63, Robert Hall '67, Esther Duflo PhD '99

Changing education paradigms

In this talk from RSA Animate, Sir Ken Robinson lays out the link between 3 troubling trends: rising drop-out rates, schools' dwindling stake in the arts, and ADHD. An important, timely talk for parents and teachers.
Ken Robinson: Changing education paradigms | Video on

The linguistic genius of babies

Patricia Kuhl shares astonishing findings about how babies learn one language over another -- by listening to the humans around them and "taking statistics" on the sounds they need to know. Clever lab experiments (and brain scans) show how 6-month-old babies use sophisticated reasoning to understand their world.
Patricia Kuhl: The linguistic genius of babies | Video on