Adam Smith opposes “shock therapy” for developing and transitioning economies

Michael Giberson “Get the prices right!” was the rallying cry of some economists in the aftermath of the break up of the Soviet Union. Don’t plan the transition, stop planning and let markets sort it out. Similar advice goes out to developing economies around the world. Don’t ease your way to liberalization, throw open the … More Adam Smith opposes “shock therapy” for developing and transitioning economies

Frankel surveys the natural resource curse literature

Michael Giberson We’ve mentioned the “natural resource curse” a few times here.  Harvard’s Jeffrey Frankel provides a recent and thorough overview of the literature in “The Natural Resource Curse: A Survey” with a helpful focus on what policies resource rich companies can consider to mitigate the curse. Abstract: It is striking how often countries with … More Frankel surveys the natural resource curse literature

Digging into the resource curse: Research into oil revenue and Brazilian municipalities

Michael Giberson A paper by Francesco Caselli and Guy Michaels, “Do Oil Windfalls Improve Living Standards? Evidence from Brazil,” takes a closer look at the how the resource curse works its anti-magic. (Ungated version here.) The abstract: We use variation in oil output among Brazilian municipalities to investigate the effects of resource windfalls. We find … More Digging into the resource curse: Research into oil revenue and Brazilian municipalities

Easterly on the civil war in development economics

Michael Giberson William Easterly writes, “Few people outside academia realize how badly Randomized Evaluation has polarized academic development economists for and against.” That claim seems reasonable enough. I’d bet few people outside academia know what randomized evaluation is. Frankly, I’d bet you could survey economists on the floor of the upcoming American Economic Association meetings … More Easterly on the civil war in development economics

Ghana and its newfound oil: Can it use the Alaska model to avoid the resource curse?

Michael Giberson A discovery of significant amounts of oil in Ghana has inspired a great deal of inquiry into how the country can avoid falling victim to the “resource curse,” the surprisingly low levels of economic development and weakening of political and social institutions sometimes associated with discovery and exploitation of valuable natural resources. In … More Ghana and its newfound oil: Can it use the Alaska model to avoid the resource curse?