Fragility, conflict and violence (FCV) have become some of the most pressing threats to economic development. Over 2 billion people live in FCV countries, and it is expected that by 2030 nearly 50 to 60 percent of the world’s poorest people will live in areas affected by conflict. This can pose major socioeconomic challenges, including a reduction of gross domestic product growth by 2 percentage points per year and driving youth to join rebellions due to conflict-driven unemployment.
Do skills matter for agricultural productivity? Rachid Laajaj and Karen Macours have a fascinating new paper out which looks at this question. The paper is fundamentally about how to measure skills better, and they put a serious amount of work into that. But for those of you dying to know the answer – skills do matter, with cognitive, noncognitive, and technical skills explaining about 12.1 to 16.6 of the variation in yields. Before we delve into that