Cost-free Policies to Improve Public Health

It does not necessarily have to be expensive to improve the health of the population. It could be free – or even revenue generating!  Here are two ideas:          1)Slap a substantial tax on distinctly health-damaging products such as cigarettes: According to the World Health Organization, tobacco use is the …

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Social mobility in Bolivia is finally improving!

There is arguably nothing worse for long run growth prospects in an economy than low social mobility. Without the possibility of advancing upwards in society, poor people have little incentive to work hard and invest in human and physical capital. Conversely, without investment and hard work, there is little chance …

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Urbanization is a blessing – why fight it?

“The bourgeoisie has subjected the country to the rule of the towns. It has created enormous cities, has greatly increased the urban population compared to the rural, and has thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life.” Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto, 1848 All over …

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Do Your Aid Projects Hurt the Poor?

There are many aid pessimists, like me, who would much rather be aid optimists. However, the empirical evidence on the effectiveness of foreign aid is depressing, especially in poor countries where aid constitutes a significant share of GDP, as in Bolivia and Nicaragua (1). Any particular aid project is unlikely …

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