Monday, December 7, 2009

Big Bag o' Blog Links

(Anyone I don't put a link on is on the lefthand side under Blogs I Check)

IFPRI will have a new Director General starting Dec 15: Shenggen Fan. He replaces Joachin von Braun (who succeeded my collaborator, Per Pinstrup-Andersen). He has been the head of IFPRI's governance division and I quote extensively from several of his papers in our upcoming food policy book, so I am quite pleased about the selection.

Africa links:
Day in the life of a Congolese midwife in pictures. Could use more than one caption. The BBC, courtesy TexasIn Africa.

TexasInAfrica also has (for a limited time only! since there are no permanent links) an excellent discussion of the complexities of the International Criminal Court procedings in the Congo.

Economic paradigm links:
Mind blowing. The book review for The Persistence of Poverty by Charles Karelis. Summary of the summary of the ...: There are diminishing returns to things that make us happy, but increasing returns to stopping the things that make us unhappy. If there are a lot of things making you unhappy, it's not worth it to undo just one of them. Hence: persistent poverty. I'm going to have to get this one on my reading list. Hat tip MR.

Professional fishermen don't behave like other professions. Because their activity is both pleasurable and income generating, when the government subsidized fishermen's second occupation, they worked less at the other job and used their new leisure time to fish more. Hat tip: Newmark.

Monetary links:
Another wrong way to do monetary policy: Change the currency, giving people only one week to exchange their money and only allowing people to exchange $40 (oh, alright, if you protest enough I'll up it to $60). Why? #1 It reduces inequality by taking away cash from the 'haves' ... or at least those who haven't invested in other currencies. #2 kill the black market. "This is a significant blow leveled at the market, and will help the government titghten up control." Hat tip Wronging Rights

Arnold Kling (via Sumner): I am prepared to offer pushback against the Sumner-Hetzel viewpoint. However, it really deserves the status of the “null hypothesis.” In a more reasonable world, everyone would be starting from the presumption that Sumner and Hetzel are correct. Those of us arguing folk-Minskyism and telling the Recalculation Story should be the ones fighting an uphill battle to bring our ideas into the policy debates. That this is not the case, and that SC [the scholarly consensus] is now on the fringe, is one of the most remarkable stories of this whole macroeconomic episode.

Fun links:
As you search for gifts for the people who have already bought anything trendy or interesting, Dave Barry's 2009 Christmas list of gifts whose purchase can only be justified if you believe that it will prevent us from entering a double-dip recession. After all, Kenyes tells us it doesn't matter what you spend it on.

Reform is coming to U2, at least if African leaders have their way.

The great Eggo shortage. What's your strategy?

Harvard is trying to boost admissions.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS/Mormon) held their first youth conference in Ethiopia, where there are four 'branches' (very small congregations). 160 youth gathered at Addis Ababa for dancing, religious workshops, and friendshipping.

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