Sunday, April 26, 2015

[Links] Readings - girl-child marriages, altruism, confidence fairy and secular stagnation.

The links below are some of the interesting materials I have been reading on the Project Syndicate page. I thought it would be lovely to share it with you.
  • Debating the Confidence Fairy

  • When an economy is in a slump, i.e spending is already low, is it the right time for austerity measures? In this well written and interesting article full of historical anecdotes, Professor Skidelsky argues no, rather it would be a reason for the economy to resort to other measures, like a stimulus program. But, in contrast, another school believes that the confidence that an austerity will work and being boisterous about that assertion, which Paul Krugman calls the "confidence fairy", was as much important than the workability of policy.

    Professor Skidelsky thinks otherwise. In brief, political rhetoric cannot make a bad policy work.

  • Effective Altruism

  • Gallup’s poll for 2014 showed that approximately 2.3 billion people, a third of the world’s population, perform at least one altruistic act per month. Some countries are notable in giving money to charity, about 91% in Myanmar, while others like the US outdo themselves in helping strangers and donating to charities. Nevertheless, not all altruism, or giving to help others, is altruistic. Even despite this, the author introduces us to an emerging movement, the Effect Altruism movement, whose aim is to give with the heart and the mind. Their happiness derives from helping others. Good read.

  • Girls, Not Brides

  • Contains the usual arguments for girls education: better society, more mature and adapted mothers, etc but further with the exhortation that the responsibility rests on you and I, all of us, to ensure that girls do not marry before 18, before they are ready for motherhood. As beneficiaries of our parents and societies wisdom, the two authors urges us all to give the girls of this generation and the next a chance to live to their potential.

    Mature marriages, better generations.
    Credit: Goria Agostina on Pixabay
  • The Problem With Secular Stagnation

  • How can the fact that the pre-2008 financial crisis was occasioned by positive global productivity growth, decline in inflation and a reduction in real (inflation adjusted) interest rates? Arvind Subramanian explains this three movements by stating that the answer lies not in aggregate demand but on the rise of emerging markets especially India and China. Positive productivity shocks from the emerging markets was followed by disinflationary pressures and also a savings glut that brought about a reduction in returns to capital. The savings glut, he explains, were a result of the productivity shocks being resource intensive and mercantilist in origin, while making already prudent Asians more prudent, and profitable companies more profitable.

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