A development economist’s guide for cheering on World Cup teams

A development economist’s guide for cheering on World Cup teams

Worth a read if the USA loses. Otherwise, we all know who to root for. 


According to a …

According to a paper released by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) account for roughly 99 percent of Filipino firms. However, those SMEs only account for 35 percent of national output–a sharp contrast with Japan and Korea, where the same ratio of SMEs accounts for roughly half of total output. This translates into far fewer high-paying jobs on the local level for Filipino employees and exacerbates the huge income disparity across the country.

From an article in The Atlantic. Especially interesting to me since I worked on a country-wide RCT testing the impact of increased access to credit for SMEs. It will be several more years until the results are available, but it seems clear that a greater focus should be centered on creating growth for SMEs and micro businesses in places like the Philippines. 

For anyone compelled by the story of the present day Philippines, check out the recent award-winning movie Metro ManilaIt gives an impressively realistic depiction of what life is like for so many of Manila’s 19 million people. One of my favorite films ever. 


Giving a transport subsidy to job seekers for up to 11 weeks in Ethiopia increases the likelihood of finding steady employment by more than a third. That’s pretty cool.

Giving a transport subsidy to job seekers for up to 11 weeks in Ethiopia increases the likelihood of finding steady employment by more than a third. That’s pretty cool.

Interesting to think something as simple as paying for a job seeker’s transportation could help them increase their likelihood of getting a job by 30%. Is this the case in urban areas elsewhere? Would the effects be as strong if every poor job seeker had their transportation subsidized? More questions to think about.

Another link I thought about posting on Facebook last night but then decided to post it here, where I hope that the judgment of my dorkiness might be a little less harsh:


Among other things, Russ Roberts accuses Jeff Sachs of crushing the dreams of poor people. It’s a 120 min debate about the Millennium Villages Project, the criticism it faces, and the realities of its impact. One surprising takeaway: Sachs thinks that evaluating the impact of his project against comparison villages is useless. Hmmm…

Got the link for the interview from Chris Blattman’s blog.


Investing in Impact — Northeastern’s Social Enterprise Institute in Nicaragua

This is an amazing promo video that my friend Abhi Nangia put together to promote the work of Northeastern’s Social Enterprise Institute at Northeastern. I met Abhi when we were assigned to design a successful business model around providing clean cookstoves to people in rural areas of Haiti. That project was incredible and now he is working to start his own social enterprise called reweave. The organization’s goal is to use media development much like you see in this video to promote the work of under resourced social enterprises around the world. It will also connect entrepreneurs, students, and volunteers to each other to create relationships that cultivate the greatest possible impact. The website is scheduled to launch next spring. If you like this video please vote for it in the Global Business School Network’s Competition. If you want to learn more about the Social Enterprise Institute check out their website or ask me! I’ve done a lot of cool stuff with them over the past 3 years.

Vote for Abhi’s video here: http://promoshq.wildfireapp.com/website/6/contests/316681/voteable_entries/66324999

Learn more about Northeastern’s Social Enterprise Institute here: http://www.northeastern.edu/sei/