Monthly Archives: March 2011

The Government of China Must Read MethodLogical

Last year I blogged about the global disease burden of smoking. The BBC is reporting there may be some progress on that front. China–the largest manufacturer of cigarettes in the world–announced a ban on public smoking, effective May 1, 2011. … Continue reading

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The Horror of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic

In terms of incomprehensible enormity, what is commonly known as the “Spanish Flu” is in a league of its own. It is commonly estimated to have killed between 50 and 100 million people. If it were a genocidal dictator it … Continue reading

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Idealizing the rural poor: American Heritage Edition

In a recent NYT article, Robert Shiller makes the case for indexing state-funded pensions to state GDP. This is a really sensible idea, but his framing device rubs me the wrong way: NOT so very long ago, most Americans lived … Continue reading

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A New Vision of India?

In India Calling, Anand Giridharas painted a tepidly optimistic picture of what he describes as a complex process unfolding in India – a process of reinventing the self, a coming of modernity, and a deviation from traditional societal norms of … Continue reading

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Another Flu Pandemic?

By now, you should be use to worrying about the flu. Avian flu (H5N1) and swine flu (H1N1) have dominated global health news cycles in recent years–probably because pandemic flu is one global health issue that can affect rich countries–spurring … Continue reading

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Even at low prices (and in poor places) the demand curve slopes downward

My UM econ classmate Austin Davis sent me a link to this great piece by Michael Kremer and Rachel Glennerster in the Boston Review, which summarizes what we’ve learned from RCTs in developing countries and how the results generalize to … Continue reading

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(Mis)measuring Brain Drain

Some brief thoughts on the paper Andrew found that attempts to put a price on the brain drain. Several of the things they’re doing are questionable: 1) They attribute all the investments in education to the home country. A lot … Continue reading

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