Archive for September, 2007

Researchers at the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex have produced an interesting but ultimately limited working paper (PDF) on inequality in Britain. Its focus is on the widespread acceptance of inequalities. It discusses theories, such as those of WG Runciman in the 1960s, that argue people are most interested […]

David Miliband, Britain’s recently appointed foreign minister, is clearly bringing his previous preoccupations as environment minister to his new department. Last week he gave a speech to the United Nations General Assembly on inequality and insecurity. In it he argued – correctly – that poorer countries will suffer more as a result of climate change. […]

spiked has published a letter by me on the desirability of encouraging Indian villagers to use foot pumps to provide themselves with water. It is in response to an exchange between Brendan O’Neill, who argued that carbon offsets were being used to encourage such primitive technology, and Michael Buick of Climate Care who advocated such […]

BBC online has published a useful article which gives some insights into the contemporary debate on African development. After discussing how Africa is unlikely to met the Millennium Development Goals it quotes Simon Maxwell, the director of the Overseas Development Institute, saying that they “were always meant to be more of a tool of political […]

My comment in the latest issue of Fund Strategy argues that, if conditions are right, investment in infrastructure can be seen as part of an ethic of high expectations. Infrastructure funds seem to be the latest fad. As Cherry Reynard reports in this week’s cover story several groups have set up such portfolios. Two key […]

I have stumbled across a paper by Aneel Karnani, an associate professor at the University of Michigan, which argues that microcredit does little to alleviate poverty. Businesses funded by microcredit tend to have low productivity and no economies of scale. He sees employment creation, with backing from the government, as key to eradicating poverty.

Paul Krugman, a New York Times columnist and professor of economics at Princeton, has launched a blog. It seems the must-have accessory for any self-respecting economist nowadays (see my posts of 24 March and 25 April). Krugman uses one of his first entires to publicise his new book, The Conscience of a Liberal. He describes […]

Happily it looks like developing Asia has, so far at least, resisted the impact of the global credit crunch. A new forecast from the Asian Development Bank predicts economic growth of 8.3% this year compared with an earlier forecast of 7.6%. Growth of 8.2% is anticipated for next year as long as the global economy […]

The 2007 State of the Future report from the World Federation of UN Associations takes a generally positive view of the future outlook. It starts by noting that people are becoming healthier, wealthier, better educated, more peaceful, increasingly connected and living longer. However, it also warns that the world is becoming more corrupt, congested, warmer […]

Today spiked has published an important essay by Frank Furedi on environmentalism.