Over on the Economics that Really Matters blog, I’ve written a recap post on a subset of papers from the 2019 Midwest International Economic Development Conference (MidDev). The post is titled: “The Economics of Violence, Conflict, and Crime in Developing Countries.”
Over the past weekend, I was able to attend the 2019 Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE) Conference at the University of Oxford. Established in 1096 the University of Oxford is the oldest English-speaking university in the world. Walking around the campus is inspiring, but even more inspiring than that is the work presented by so many on how to improve economic and social outcomes across the continent of Africa (… erm… the world. Evidently, the conference is also open to studies implemented in locations other than Africa.)
It is about time I wrote about this topic on this blog.
The Freakonomics podcast ran an episode last week entitled, “Is the Protestant Work Ethic Real?” The majority of the episode focused on research by Gharad Bryan, James Choi, and Dean Karlan evaluating the effects of a faith-based development program implemented by International Care Ministries in the Philippines. I wrote about this paper, back in March, but this podcast brings up a couple additional points worthy of discussion.
A forthcoming review article in a special issue of the Journal of Development Economics reviews the economics literature on violent conflict since the review of Blattman and Miguel (2010). If you do research in this area or teach development economics, the entire article is worth a read. Of more broad application, however, is the author’s listing of five myths about the microeconomics of violent conflict.
This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the North East Universities Development Consortium (NEUDC) conference. I presented my paper on the impact of the Dodd-Frank Act in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and surrounding countries (working paper available here and presentation slides here). It was an excellent conference and a wonderful experience (not least of which because Cornell University kind-of feels like Hogwarts).
This week I had the opportunity to give a guest lecture in the undergraduate “Microeconomics of International Development” class at the University of Minnesota. The usual professor (my advisor) was out of town and I happily agreed to substitute. It was a fun experience for me as I’ve never taught an undergraduate class before this experience.
I while back I posted about a neat new podcast run by some of the individuals who make up the Accord Research Alliance. The Accord Research Alliance is a group of people who are interested in implementing monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning initiatives in their work with faith-based international development. One of their members, Nathan Mallonee from Living Water International, was nice enough to invite me to contribute to their podcast series. We recorded the episode a while back and the podcast is now available.
There is a small Twitter fad going around recently, it goes something like this:
“What do you do?”
“I’m an economist.”
“Oh, cool! I’ve been thinking about making some investments, any advise?”
“I’m not that kind of economist. I’m a development economist who studies poverty alleviation in Africa.”
“Ah, okay. I’ve never been to that country.”
A couple weekends ago, my department (Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota) hosted the Midwest International Economic Development Conference (MIEDC). It is a smaller conference with tremendous quality of presentations. Despite this, many are not able to attend the conference or even all of the sessions. As a service to those interested, a few colleagues and I posted a recap of the 2018 MIEDC on the Economics That Really Matters blog.
Over winter break this year I had time to read… books… not just journal articles for a change. It was nice. One book I read was, Cents and Sensibility: What Economics Can Learn from the Humanities by Gary Saul Morson and Morton Schapiro. As someone who doesn’t spend enough time reading literary classics (or much fiction at all), this book challenged me to change my behavior.