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Category Archives: In the Media

Greene Street: A Long History of a Short Block

NYU’s Development Research Institute (DRI) is proud to announce the launch of the Greene Street Project. The project, based on the academic paper, A Long History of a Short Block: Four Centuries of Development Surprises on a Single Stretch of a New York City Street, is a study

Twitter Rudeness on The Paradox of Behavioral Economics

The behavioral economics pioneer Richard H. Thaler wrote a column in the New York Times yesterday, on how people can behave irrationally in a way that leads to not so great outcomes. The column gave examples of such problems and some suggested fixes. I posted a comment

How Not to Teach Children about Poverty

Meet Shameela, 5, a stateless child from a Thai refugee camp. Shameela’s battered shack has holes in the roof and walls. She has to share an outdoor bathroom with 100 other people. Shameela is crying while a photographer takes her portrait. Meet Harrison, 8, who

Then and Now: Migrant Labor Edition

On the left is one of photographer and muckraker Jacob Riis’ most famous photos, “Five Cents a Spot,” taken with newly-developed flash photography technology in 1888. At the end of the 1800s and beginning of the 1900s, immigration to the US spiked, and millions of laborers from Russia, Germany, Italy,

John Kerry in Ethiopia Today Fails to Change History of Rights-Abusing Aid

UPDATE 2, May 2, 12:47pm EDT: Is it progress to have provoked a  one-on-one Twitter war with Ethiopian Foreign Minister Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus? UPDATE: May 2, 2014  Coverage of John Kerry’s “concern” yesterday about arrested Ethiopian bloggers in US media today: none. US State Department

Bill Gates’ Dictator Problem

NPR’s The Takeaway asks in an interview with one of our local troublemakers this week, are billionaire philanthropists the true champions in the fight against poverty? Listen to at least part of the audio to get the tone of the critique, as well as read the selected

"We" Davos Men will save the world

Bill Easterly responds to Bill and Melinda Gates’ Annual Letter: Mr Gates says there has been much progress, but that “we’ll need to apply human ingenuity and act on our compassion” to keep it going. Conversely, he equates the idea that “the world is getting

Are the Aid Donors Un-Developing Ethiopia?

Samuel Lowenberg has an article in the Lancet: The World Bank, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) have consistently failed to act on allegations of human rights abuses in Ethiopia, including ones that are tied to their

"This story is also about you": Letter from an aid-financed jail

UPDATE 12:10pm 5/7/2013: The reference on Twitter to “Hollywood celebrity…” is an experiment in fake link bait described at the end of this post.   This is a letter just released from Eskinder Nega, a peaceful blogger and democracy activist serving an 18-year sentence in

The political economy of why your flight is two hours late today

Flights were delayed by up to two hours across the country on Monday…Airline executives were furious over how the {Federal} aviation agency handled the government-inflicted chaos, and privately said the agency was seeking to impose the maximum possible pain for passengers to make a political