Economic Development

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Essay, May/June 2014
Christopher Blattman and Paul Niehaus

Cutting-edge research shows that giving things to the world’s poor is much more expensive than one might expect. When it comes to reducing poverty, therefore, simply sending cold hard cash is often the best and most efficient form of aid.

Essay, May/June 2014
Marina Ottaway and David Ottaway

Iraqi Kurdistan has achieved new prosperity by exporting its own oil and gas to Turkey, against the objections of Iraq’s central government. By challenging Baghdad’s claims to exclusive control of Iraq’s natural resources, the Kurds are showing how economic cooperation can make Middle Eastern borders more porous.

Review Essay, May/June 2014
Tyler Cowen

Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-first Century is a truly important a book, a groundbreaking work of analysis of economic inequality. It is frequently brilliant, but also flawed, and its policy recommendations are wildly impractical.

Ricardo Soares De Oliveira

The countries of East Africa are in the early throes of an oil boom, with an unprecedented opportunity for economic development. Unless they avoid the mistakes of those before them, though, the region's governments could easily squander it.

Andrew Wilson

Belarus signed up early to join the Eurasian Union, but has started hedging its bets since Russia's annexation of Crimea -- and understandably so. According to Putin’s reasoning for seizing Crimea, Belarus could be the next target.

Alexander J. Motyl

It is time to imagine what once seemed impossible: In addition to Crimea, Putin attempts to annex the other southeastern Ukrainian provinces that are generally regarded as most susceptible to conquest -- Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk, Mykolaiv, and Zaporizhzhya. Ukraine would be the immediate loser but might find itself better off in the long run. Russia, on the other hand, would quickly discover that it is in possession of economically unviable provinces that cannot survive without massive infusions of rubles.

Johan Lagerkvist

Although China's leaders are intent on liberating the country's economy, they have outlined no such liberalization for China’s restless civil society. That approach may come back to haunt them.

David Petraeus and Robert Zoellick

As crises in the Middle East and rising tensions in Asia have consumed U.S. policymakers’ attention over the past decade, Washington has devoted comparatively little thought to North America. Yet it is precisely today's broader global challenges that make an ambitious strategy to strengthen North America so important.

Diane Coyle

The economy’s character -- and what citizens value -- is changing, and that the way we measure the economy will have to keep up. In particular, economists will have to grapple with three issues: complexity, driven by innovation; the increasing share in advanced economies of intangibles, such as online activities with no price; and sustainability.

Comment, Mar/Apr 2014
Jake Kendall and Rodger Voorhies

Most of the world’s poor lack a basic savings account, but the humble cell phone may change all that. Thanks to mobile finance, banks can now offer critical services to more people and in more places than ever before, helping them escape poverty for good.

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