Hope as a “Gustibus Multiplier” in Development Economics

What is a “Gustibus Multiplier”? That is what I thought when I read the title of Michael Carter’s recent paper in Agricultural Economics entitled, “What farmers want: the ‘gustibus multiplier’ and other behavioral insights on agricultural development“. It turns out, De gustibus non est disputandum is a Latin phrase meaning “In matters of taste, there can be no…

A Quantitative Measure of Hope: A working paper

Over the past year an a half I’ve been working as a Research Assistant with the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy – Burma. Housed at Michigan State University, the project is generously funded by USAID’s Bureau of Food Security. It has been a tremendous experience. I’ve traveled to Myanmer twice (see…

Measuring Hope: Lessons from Rural Myanmar [Post-Op Notes]

For those who don’t know, a great new blog about applied development economics was launched last academic year. Managed by some folks over in Cornell’s Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management the “Economics That Really Matters” blog references Theodore Schultz’s 1979 Nobel Lecture when he said the following: Most of the people in the…

International Migration and (you guessed it) Hope

After my last post, my grandpa left the following comment: My father experienced some of the kind of poverty you write about when he was growing up in the Netherlands. The “hope” factor for him was emigrating to the USA, for which I (and you) owe our very lives… Thanks grandpa! This brings up an important…

The Economics of Hope

Two years ago I was a senior in college and sitting in a professor’s office discussing several topics I could focus on for a senior thesis. At the time the economics of happiness was gaining a lot of momentum as a research topic. I asked my professor if I could think about the concept of…

Debating the DRC’s Development

I’ve been reading a lot more about the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) recently (more on this to come, I hope). To that end, there has been a fascinating debate in Foreign Affairs about the plight of the DRC. It has been a while since the last time I summarized a development debate, but I think…

The Cardinal Treatment of Ordinal Variables

Last weekend, I came across a paper published in the European Economic Review by Carsten Schroder and Shlomo Yitzhaki entitled “Revising the Evidence for Cardinal Treatment of Ordinal Variables” (2017). I found the paper to be well-written, intuitive, and important. Although there are no direct policy implications of this paper, papers like these need to be…

[Book Review] Slow Kingdom Coming

Over the past few weeks – in the break between semesters – I’ve been able to find time to read. I’ve read less than I wanted to (of course), but have thoroughly enjoyed each of the books I read. In this post, I will review one of these books, Slow Kingdom Coming: Practices for Doing Justice,…