Speaking of economic misconceptions, South African authorities are shocked that the people their new minimum wage law is intended to help are rising up against it. Many realize what the loss of their job would mean and would rather accept a lower wage and keep working than risk going without. This suggests an interesting behavioral/labor economics research topic: how do people value the minimum wage/probability of unemployment trade off a) before they move to the city (Harris-Todaro); b) while employed below minimum wage; c) while unemployed in the city. Loss aversion in an important development context.
The importance of California's vote to dismantle gerrymandering by turning the drawing of election district lines over to a citizen commission. Currently the incumbents have the privilege. "The potential for abuse is so obvious that it is a kind of miracle that the system has survived as long as it has."
Massachusetts teachers against volunteer librarians.
Yglesias on Pakistan's perverse aid incentives:
Our current policy, after all, is to give the Pakistani military a lot of aid that’s predicated on the existence of an Islamist militant threat. If the threat went away, the aid would probably dry up and even if it didn’t dry up it would be redirected away from military matters—we wouldn’t be interested in explicitly funding an arms race with India. When the Pakistanis give us a desultory effort it seems to me that we’re just getting what we paid for.
The World Bank states in no uncertain terms that "we are not advocating an authoritarian development model" but can't be convinced to say that they are advocating for democracy or any other system. Zoellick's recent speech spoke of the democratization of research, but not politics. This picture of a search of the WB website for "democracy" may be telling.
Clemens continues to be deeply disappointed with the methodologies used to verify the successes of the Millennium Village Project. Before and After shots just don't cut it.
Pictures of how much food you can buy with $1. One answer to that link is "a lot less kimchi than you could a month ago."
In Cuba's fashion world, I consider this good news. Dr. Watson: wearing Cuban formal wear since 1994.
Vote on the greatest Nigerians of the last 50 years. Advert for it below the fold: