The PSD Blog is going on an end-of-summer hiatus for the next two weeks. While we're away, check out our most popular posts from August if you missed them while at the beach:
- A Universal Definition of Small Enterprise: A Procrustean bed for SMEs?
- Coming Full Circle: Bucket baths at IFC
- Development 2.0: The skills gap
- Harnessing development’s information shadow
- Is the mainstream ready for output-based aid?
Also of interest to PSD Blog readers -- Professor Benjamin Powell takes the saddle over at Bill Easterly's Aid Watch blog to make the case for sweatshops. See an earlier post on the sweatshop debate on the PSD Blog.
And for those who love a good throwdown between a careful empiricist and a dedicated ideologue, check out David Roodman's recent review of Milford Bateman's book Why Doesn’t Microfinance Work? The Destructive Rise of Local Neoliberalism. (Don't miss the comments section, where the real fight gets going.)
I haven't yet had a chance to read Bateman's book. From what I can glean from the blog post and comments, Bateman ascribes support for microfinance, even the careful and conditional sort that Roodman has, to a desire to advance one's own career. Roodman is too nice to point it out, but Bateman has an obvious interest in being a noisy advocate for his own position in order to advance his own reputation (and consequent book sales). I would not insist this skews Bateman's view (how can anyone glean what another's true motives are?), but the same goes for Roodman.
Update: To clarify my last sentence: When I stated that "the same goes for Roodman", my intention was to say "It it not fair to dismiss Roodman's arguments by implying that they are a product of his desire to advance his career, just as it would not be fair to dismiss Bateman's views even though he may have a desire to pump up sales of his book."