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Fridays Academy (2): What is poverty and how do we measure it?

Ignacio Hernandez's picture

This is the second posting in the Fridays Academy series. This series is based on the lecture notes on Economic Policies for Growth and Poverty Reduction, by Raj Nallari. We will post a note every Friday.


What is Poverty and how do we measure it?

  • To design effective policies and strategies aimed at reducing poverty, it is critical to understand the characteristics of poverty in a country or in a geographic area. Adequate Poverty measurement techniques are essential.  

The ‘Nescafé’ development model

Anyone who's ever spent time in Africa (and many other places - feel free to chime in) has run into the "Nescafe" phenomenon. I also like to refer to it as the "who do I have to kill to get a decent cup of coffee" kunumdrum. Rather than real coffee, most establishments, office coffee areas (if you are lucky enough to have one), etc. have Nescafe - instant coffee. It's just not that great. And rather than just recognize it's inadequacies and replacing it, it's just modified and jazzed up to appear better than it is.

Economics of Happiness

Raj Nallari's picture

What is the appropriate goal of economic policy? From 1950s to now, this measurement of economic performance has been steadily changing from monetary to non-monetary aspects -- increasing per capita incomes, to broad-based GDP growth, to human development, to sustainable environment, gender equity, development as freedom and empowerment, poverty reduction, equity in opportunities, and more recently, to happiness.

Markets for parking spaces

Manuel Roig-Franzia profiles the viene, viene’ men of Mexico City. These crafty informal entrepreneurs control the parking and safety of cars -or lack there of- in most major Latin American cities. Though in Chile and Peru it’s mostly ‘dale, dale.’


Raj Nallari's picture

Internet technology began as a Cold War communications network developed by  America’s Department of Defense (DOD).  Between 1968 and 1998, the DOD controlled the operation of internet protocols and was coordinated by a tech-god (late Jon Postel).  Since 1998, a group called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) operating under the oversight of the American Government manages the dot-com addresses, names and routing numbers.