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  • Reply to: At the current rate, female participation in India’s labor force is unlikely to increase   3 days 5 hours ago

    Thank you. I read with interest. It would be interesting to see differences across states as India is a complex and big subcontinent and to generalize a study's findings for 600 million female population is at best simplistic. Also simplistic is to apply west european liberalism views to a highly conservative subcontinent. I hope PM Modi's government takes note of this study for any suggestions on policy or other interventions to promote FLFP going forward. Thank you.

  • Reply to: Kinky development and the growth fetish   1 week 5 days ago
    Thank you Johannes. Hopefully the discussion is fun and useful.
    I agree with your comments and I think that the arguments made in the blog are in line with your arguments - something that I hope has not gotten lost in the polemics.
    The blog isn’t an argument against growth – it’s an argument against growth only (this is the argument made by Lant – note the title of the presentation: Why are we thinking about anything else? The politics of growth as a development objective). I argue against the view that income is essentially all that matters and that inequality is a concept of little consequence.
    And the blog certainly isn’t an argument against infrastructure (else I should expect to get some deserving reproach from colleagues working on these projects). The Bank and others will (and should) continue to build/upgrade/maintain roads, desalination plants, electric grids etc. etc. Rather, I argue that one advantage of the twin goals is that they give a useful lens through which to evaluate these (and indeed all) interventions. Will that power plant or new hospital benefit the poorest or will it contribute to widening income inequality? – and if the latter we should modify the intervention or consider abandoning it altogether. This is in contrast to the approach that infrastructure, as long as it contributes to GDP growth, is a good investment.
    In that sense, far from abandoning growth, the argument is to focus on growth that is inclusive, sensitive, and sustainable (by walking AND chewing gum: engaging simultaneously in multiple areas and levels as you correctly point out).
    Regarding your point on where to focus limited resources, what is driving supply and demand, and special interests:  obviously one can only touch on these superficially here, but broadly speaking I am making the argument that there is both a strong moral and development case to be made for focusing limited resources to the neediest and that, while approaches to development have always had a political and ideological component, the choice of interventions is increasingly evidence driven.
  • Reply to: Kinky development and the growth fetish   1 week 5 days ago
    Thank you Burak for your comment. I think ‘ending poverty’ is quite a grand idea. Similarly, the MDGs presented in many respects ambitious and grand goals (and, arguably, were overall a success). I agree that the choice of interventions (where we invest) has too often not been systematic or evidence- driven and that coordination has been lacking (or perhaps, more accurately, coordination has been unsystematic and left to personalities on the ground). I think both are increasingly (albeit slowly) changing – with focus towards best-buys and high-yield investments and concerted action that is coming from both coordination at the highest levels and driven by bottom-up country level demand. The estimations of the returns to these investments are indeed large and backed by a growing body of evidence (and whether one agrees with this direction or not, far from doing what is easy, this is a relatively harder path in terms of design, implementation, supervision and evaluation than any macro-level investments). It is in this sense that I drew the distinction between the dogma-driven models of development that are largely evidence-insensitive and the current paradigm.
  • Reply to: Mozart seduces the World Bank and the IMF   1 week 6 days ago

    Well said, Patrick! Keep on doing a great job!

  • Reply to: Kinky development and the growth fetish   1 week 6 days ago

    The choice of strategy among the development community is not really based on some grand ideas about what development should achieve. They are just based on what can be relatively easily done and the rest is rhetoric to justify the new alignment. The field of development economics (which used to encompass growth economics as well) now confines itself to solving small-scale problems and somehow pray that it will all translate to macro development/growth overestimating the rate of (increasing) returns to these programs. They may make relatively few people marginally better off, probably as long as the programs are supported by the donors and/or the local political structure sees some gain in participating, but it is doubtful if such programs will provide any sustainable and widespread prosperity.