Arguments for Africa

Despite the past centuries’ economic setbacks and challenges, are there reasons for optimism about Africa’s economic prospects? We provide a conceptual framework and empirical evidence that show how the nature of African society has led to three sets of unrecognized “latent assets.” First, success in African society is talent driven and Africa has experienced high […]

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*Island On Fire*

A good book, recent winner of the National Book Award for non-fiction, the author is Tom Zoellner and the subtitle is The Revolt that Ended Slavery in the British Empire.  Here is one excerpt about Jamaica, the central theater for the book: Among the staple crop civilizations of the nineteenth century, Jamaica was noteworthy for […]

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What should I ask Pierpaolo Barbieri?

I will be doing a Conversation with him, here is the opening part of his Wikipedia page: Pierpaolo Barbieri (Buenos Aires, May 17, 1987) is an economic historian, researcher, Executive Director at Greenmantle[and founder of Ualá, an Argentina-based personal financial management mobile app. He is the author of the book Hitler’s Shadow Empire: The Nazis […]

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The mortality of scholars

After recovering from a severe mortality crisis in the seventeenth century, life expectancy among scholars started to increase as early as in the eighteenth century, well before the Industrial Revolution. Our finding that members of scientific academies—an elite group among scholars—were the first to experience mortality improvements suggests that 300 years ago, individuals with higher […]

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Testing Todd

Emmanuel Todd, that is.  Here is a recent paper from Jerg Gutmann and Stefan Voigt: Many years ago, Emmanuel Todd came up with a classification of family types and argued that the historically prevalent family types in a society have important consequences for its economic, political, and social development. Here, we evaluate Todd’s most important […]

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My Conversation with Sarah Parcak, space archaeologist and Egypt lover

Here is the audio, video, and transcript.  Here is part of the summary: She joined Tyler to discuss what caused the Bronze Age Collapse, how well we understand the level of ancient technologies, what archaeologists may learn from the discovery of more than a hundred coffins at the site of Saqqara, how far the Vikings […]

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When Did Growth Begin?

The subtitle of the paper is “New Estimates of Productivity Growth in England from 1250 to 1870” and it is by Paul Bouscasse, Emi Nakamura, and Jon Steinsson: We provide new estimates of the evolution of productivity in England from 1250 to 1870. Real wages over this period were heavily influenced by plague-induced swings in […]

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Google Trends as a measure of economic influence

That is a new research paper by Tom Coupé, here is one excerpt: I find that search intensity rankings based on Google Trends data are only modestly correlated with more traditional measures of scholarly impact… The definition of who counts as an economist is somewhat, so: Plato, Aristotle and Karl Marx constitute the top three. […]

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Is this truly an Irish equilibrium?

The British health system is the single most important issue driving opposition to Irish unification in Northern Ireland. Citizens of Northern Ireland get free medical care as part of the U.K.’s socialized medicine. British taxpayers subsidize Northern Ireland’s public services to the tune of $12.5 billion, according to one estimate. That’s a lot of money to give up […]

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What should I ask Daniel Carpenter?

I will be doing a Conversation with Daniel, who is a professor of political science at Harvard and one of the world’s leading experts on the history of regulation and also the FDA.  Here is part of his bio: Professor Carpenter’s previous scholarship on regulation and government organizations appears in Reputation and Power: Organizational Image […]

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