Book Roast: The Cartoon Introduction to Economics

“What’s the difference between a recession and a depression,” asks a member of the public. “A recession is when you lose your job; a depression is when I lose mine,” replies an economist.

This is just one of numerous little jokettes that colour the pages of The Cartoon Introduction to Economics—a brilliant must-have for any student or teacher of economics or, indeed, anyone else interested in getting to know or simply recapping on the basics of a field that is currently positioned at the center of local, national and global decision-making. Read More »

Cartoon Economics: “We are all dead in the long run”

This month, for our Monday graphics series, Development Roast has teamed up with FSG Books and University of Washington Professor of Economics, the world’s first and only stand-up economist, Yoram Bauman to bring you a sneak peek into the second volume of his book The Cartoon Introduction to EconomicsLearning should be fun, so for five weeks during October, to coincide with INESAD’s Fun Economics Month, Development Roast will share one of the fascinating and fun cartoons from Volume Two: Macroeconomics. Today’s cartoon asks: What’s more important, short- or long-term growth and stability? Read More »

Guest Roast: From Crisis to Resilience: Rethinking Macroeconomic Vulnerability

By Anuradha Seth

The frequency of global financial and economic crises has increased over the past decade and a half, and they appear to have become a systemic feature of the international economy. The risk of economic growth and human development achievements being undermined by such volatile international developments is fostering an overall re-think about the inner nature of crises, the growing vulnerability of developing countries and their capacity to be resilient in the face of these shocks. Read More »

Highlights from the 3rd Bolivian Conference on Development Economics (BCDE 2011)

The Third Bolivian Conference on Development Economics was held at the Catholic University of Bolivia in La Paz last month with approximately 170 participants and 50 presenters, including keynote speakers Santiago Levy from IADB and James Robinson from Harvard.

The principalorganizers were the Institute for Advanced Development Studies (INESAD), the Society of Bolivian Economists (SEBOL), the Catholic University of Bolivia (UCB) and the Bolivian Academy of Economic Sciences (BCDE), receiving financial support from Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF), the Danish Embassy in La Paz, the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), Sociedad Boliviana de Cemento (SOBOCE), Fundación Estás Vivo, Banco Sol, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), Instituto de Investigaciones Socioeconómicas (IISEC), Banco Nacional de Bolivia and Boliviana de Aviación (BOA).

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Does it hurt your pocket?

CG_MachicadoAfter the hyperinflation of year 1985, Bolivia started a new economic cycle characterized by an economic stability but with a slow growth. This cycle has not ended yet although important transformations took place, in particular in year 2003 where a profound social and political crisis ended with the upcoming of the actual president and the implementation of a new economic vision based on the State intervention in the economic activity.

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Story of Black Cat and White Cat

Dr. Hwa Soo Park

By Dr. Wha Soo Park  

I would like to thank KOICA and INESAD for the opportunity to write this essay. I came to Bolivia last December, as a World Friend Advisor, and it is a pleasure to introduce my thoughts and experiences from my stay in Bolivia.

The former great Chinese leader, Deng Xiaoping, told us a very meaningful story about basic ideology to build the national development plan and strategy. He said, ‘whether black or white, the best cat is the one that catches more rats.  Which one is the best cat?  I put this question to participants in a meeting of the Ministry of Planning and Development in Bolivia (MPD).  Why did I introduce this story about the black cat and white cat?

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Metaphor Magic in Public Opinion

Metaphors and their associated cousins similes are incredibly useful tools. They can help break down complex concepts into easily digestible bites. Like a magic wand with a technicolor rainbow trail passing over an old grainy black and white movie, they can really paint a picture and bring to life concepts and ideas the way that straight talking may not. They are one of the reasons Obama is such a clear, engaging orator. His speeches have been analysed and he is found to be framing the economy as a person, a house and a journey, using various metaphors to simplify more esoteric economic concepts in the imaginaries of his audiences.

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Development from within

INESAD’s new book “Development from within” is a compilation of the Monday Morning Development Newsletters written by Lykke E. Andersen over the last 5 years. The foreword is written by Juan Antonio Morales, and the reactions of four pre-viewers are copied below.

The book will be presented later this month in La Paz. Readers in the rest of the world can request a copy by sending an e-mail to the address given below.

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Why Doesn’t Bolivia Catch Up With Chile?

By Paola Barrientos.

Neoclassical growth theory predicts convergence among countries with similar structural characteristics (i.e. preferences, technologies, and rates of population growth). In the case of Bolivia and Chile, despite of their differences, they have many common characteristics that could make us think that there should be some sort of converge: both are mining countries, have shared similar history (ex-spanish colonies and went under militar dictatorships and socialist regimes in similar periods), are catholic, speak the same language, and are located next to each other. However they do not converge (see Figure 1). Why is this? Is it a matter of time? (is it going to happen in the future?)

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Is fiscal policy alone enough for economic growth?


During the last few years a new economic setting has emerged in the Bolivian economy lead by the fiscal sector that can be summarized by three facts: i) For the first time in history the Bolivian economy has recorded fiscal surpluses several years in a row; ii) there is a social policy to attack poverty based on transfers from the government to the households (conditional transfers like the Bono Juancito Pinto, Renta Dignidad and Bono Juana Azurduy); and iii) the aim of the government is to use fiscal policy and in particular public investment as the foremost instrument to promote growth and welfare.

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