- Last week's issue of The Economist had a good article on the use of randomized control trails (RCTs) in Economics. It is a useful one for undergrads who may have heard the term somewhere, but didn't know that this is an approach now being used in development economics.
- Related to that I love this title: Causal fetish club and the elusive quest for exogeneity.
- Dani Rodrik made some good points in a Project Syndicate blog about Africa's structural transformation. He asks if the recent impressive economic performance is sustainable:
But the aggregate numbers tell a worrying story. Fewer than 10% of African workers find jobs in manufacturing, and among those only a tiny fraction – as low as one-tenth – are employed in modern, formal firms with adequate technology. Distressingly, there has been very little improvement in this regard, despite high growth rates. In fact, Sub-Saharan Africa is less industrialized today than it was in the 1980’s. Private investment in modern industries, especially non-resource tradables, has not increased, and remains too low to sustain structural transformation.
- At the Why Nations Fail blog, Acemoglu & Robinson had a good post asking: Does leadership matter? They have argued that Nelson Mandela's legacy poses a challenge to political economy and how researchers can incorporate leadership and ideas into their theoretical models and empirical investigations. They make some good points and give two examples of recent research. They have more posts planned on this topic.
- Finally, Krugman has (what Justin Wolfers calls) a love letter to the Econoblogosphere, with the title The Facebooking of Economics.