"Responding to Chinese challenge with democratic socialism" by Thomas Piketty, 13 July 2021. In a recent blog post, Piketty argues that the most salient way for the West to address the supposed "Chinese challenge" is to be honest about chronic shortfalls at home and launch big investments into human capital and physical infrastructure. This will… Continue reading Egalitarian cure?
A year ago around this time, I wrote the blog post "China and inequality" as a reflection of mine on recent academic papers within economics on the issue of income and wealth inequality in pre and post-revolution China. This week, another intriguing paper on this topic was released by Alesina et. al. 2020: "Persistence through… Continue reading Persistence of revolution
A revealing account of Milton Friedman's influence on China's reform and opening from the early 1980s written by the historian Julian Gewirtz, author of the book "Unlikely Partners: Chinese Reformers, Western Economists, and the Making of Global China" that depicts in much greater detail the influence of not just Friedman and other Western liberal economists,… Continue reading Milton Friedman in China
The timing for reading the book "Deaths of Despair" (2020) by the economists Angus Deaton and Anne Case couldn't have been more suitable, but mostly for reasons that are presently ravaging the world in many different ways: the COVID-19 pandemic, protests and killings for civil rights, and reawakened debates on structural racism in our societies.… Continue reading Deaths of despair
On 5 June, the US Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) announced that the US employment rate was at 13.3%, with 2.5 million new (non-farm) jobs created in net effect in May. Given the astronomical net loss of over 20 million jobs recorded in April, which gave way to the highest spike in the US employment… Continue reading Primary data collection during crises
Spending time in self-isolation in foreign land has naturally triggered me to quietly observe the variety of pandemic responses being executed, either directly through my own observations (in Indonesia) or indirectly through regular conversations with colleagues who come from different parts of the world. These days, my way to show my care for someone that… Continue reading Pandemic responses for developing countries
It has been a great week of recognition for the field of applied microeconomics, especially for people working in the intersections of development economics and political economy. Yesterday, it was announced that Melissa Dell, an applied microeconomist, was awarded this year's John Bates Clark Medal for her work on the role of the state, institutions,… Continue reading A week of applied microeconomics
I have been longing to write this blog entry since October last year, after it was announced that the latest Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences went to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, and Michael Kremer. In a previous blog entry where I shared my immediate reactions to this announcement, I briefly explained how the latest… Continue reading Plumbing, data and inertia
The news of this year's Nobel laureate(s) in Economic Sciences was just an hour ago announced to be the economists Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer for their work to alleviate global poverty, the official announcement said. Hopefully, this will bring development economics back on the radar of mainstream economics and make the field… Continue reading The return of development economics?
In many developing countries with a deeply rooted legacy of socialism and egalitarianism, debates about choosing between the policy preferences of economic growth, equality and social justice remain as contentious as ever. Within economics, unanimity is really never meant to be achieved when studying the following questions: What is the optimal tax rate? What is… Continue reading China and inequality