Every year around this time, the Shanghai Jiao Tong University makes waves with its Academic Ranking of World Universities. As always, North America dominates in the short list of top 100 universities, with the Ivy League universities occupying most of the top slots.
The Open Society Institute has initiated a new campaign to prevent the spread of HIV. Here's the website, and here's what they have to say:
The OECD has recently come out with a new publication, this time on The Internationalisation of Business R&D. A lot of OECD publications provoke a half yawn from me, but this one is worth a look. Here's the main thrust:
We're celebrating our third birthday, and the PSD blog continues it's inexorable climb to the top! The blog now has nearly 3,000 RSS subscribers, and that's definitely something to celebrate. The other big news is no more Terrible Twos:
Harvard Business School recently released a revised version of an interesting paper entitled How is Foreign Aid Spent? Evidence from a Natural Experiment. Erik Werker, Faisal Ahmed, and Charles Cohen look at the impact of foreign aid that many Muslim-majority countries received from oil-rich OPEC countries in the 1970s. (Figure 1 below the jump, taken from the HBS paper, shows the overlapping spikes in oil prices and OPEC foreign aid.)
I've just run across a spate of items on the development of ICT in Africa; although it could just be coincidence, I suspect there's been a growing interest in this topic in the development community.
Of all sub-Saharan countries, Malawi comes dead last in the number of physicians per 1,000 inhabitants. According to the 2004 World Development Indicators (the last year for which data is available for most countries), Malawi had only .02 physicians per 1,000 inhabitants, tying Niger and well behind Uganda at .8 and Ghana at 1.5. Obviously, there is room for improvement.
One of Friedrick Hayek's key insights concerned the pricing mechanism - to put it very simply, prices convey an extraordinary amount of data, and it is this aggregation of data that allows independent economic actors to coordinate their activi
A new paper coauthored by fellow PSD blogger Thorsten Beck entitled Who Gets the Credit? offers up some new insights on what effect credit availability has on GDP growth. Using data on 45 countries between 1994 and 2005 on the relative share of enterprise vs. household credit, the authors conclude:
Communism failed to do it - can capitalism do any better? So far, the answer is not clear. I'm referring to the integration of the Romani minority into the mainstream of eastern Europe's transition countries. For those not familiar with this topic, 'Roma' is the polite term used in place of the more common 'Gypsy'.