556: Unit 3

Add Headings and they will appear in your table of contents.

Intro | 1 | 2 | 3

19. Sustainable development (April 2)

READ: The last document in the stapled packet gave you a couple of weeks ago: Plumer et al. "In a First, Rich Countries Agree..." and bio of Mr. Reyes, and article(s) suggested by him that I will give you.  You might also want to read this piece in the Times about a project Mr. Reyes has been involved with down in Arizona. 

In class we'll have a Q & A with David Reyes, a sustainability consultant who is currently working on projects in Argentina, Cote d'Ivoire, Indonesia, Canada and the US. Most of his previous work has been in Sub-Saharan Africa (20+ countries), followed by Latin America, Asia, North America, the Middle East and Europe. 

20. Bangladeshi Textile Industry case study

READ: Banjo and Passariello, Development Econ: Bangladeshi Textile Factories, WSJ, 167-169; Rubana Huq, Letter from a Bangladesh Factory, 169-170; Adam Davidson, Econ. Recovery: Made in Bangladesh, 171-172.

Textile industry in Bangladesh: opportunity or exploitation?


22. Foreign Aid: Insight into the case for it and the debates around it.

READ: Peter Singer, Aid: A Duty to Give, 144-146; Colin Powell, No Country Left Behind, 147-152 (you can stop at the end of the fourth page); William Easterly, Why Aid Doesn’t Work, 153-157; Jeffrey Sachs, The Case for Aid, 158-162.

Mark or write: What is each author's thesis statement?

What is similar or different in Singer’s and Powell’s advocacy for aid? Are you convinced by either? Does Easterly convince you against the efficacy of aid? How would you characterize the debate between Easterly and Sachs? 

Next time we are going to start reading the book. Make sure you have it. 

23. “Lives of the Poor” & Hunger                                                       

READ In the book: by Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo, Poor Economics, pp. ix (from "What is striking" to xi and Chapters 1 and 2.  

The authors say: "people who are poor are just like the rest of us in every way."  Is this really true? 

Ch. 1 introduces you to the mindset used by J-Pal, Banerjee and Duflo’s “lab.” In this chapter, you will revisit some of the theories we have considered. Pay attention to the curves they discuss. What does it mean to call poverty a “trap” according to Banerjee & Duflo?

Ch. 2 gives us insight into the lives of the poor. How do the poor spend their money? What are your impressions?      

24. Education

READ: Banerjee & Esther Duflo, Chapter 4; and loose handout from Michael Sandel's Tyranny of Merit.

What role can education play in reducing poverty in poor nations? What role does it play in developed nations?

25. Women & Family Size

READ: Wikipedia, Missing Women, 183-185.

READ in Banerjee & Duflo: chapter 5.

Who are the “missing women?” What factors have led to this? What do we learn from Banerjee & Duflo about the kinds of decisions on the family level which impact family size? Should governments make reducing family size a priority? How can they do so effectively?

26. Informal economy & on the ground development

READ Banerjee & Esther Duflo: in Chapter 9, just 216 bottom to 234.

What is the informal economy and why is it so significant in the developing world? Is it an avenue to development?

27. Feb. 21 in-class writing thing. 

28. Microfinance               

READ: Muhammad Yunus, Banker to the Poor, 201-222.

Bring Banerjee & Duflo to class.

How does Yunus craft Grameen Bank for maximum success? Are there any downsides to his plan? (Film that covers Yunus – also very pro-Grameen=”Bonsai People” available on Kanopy)

Do you agree with him the credit is a human right?  

29. A Capabilities approach to poverty.

READ: The two documents in the stapled collection: "Development as Freedom," and "Amartya Sen: Economist, philosopher, human development doyen." Read the second document first. 

What is Sen's primary argument about development? What, if anything, does Sen's approach to understanding poverty add to the more income-based approach? Does the "capabilities understanding of poverty" point toward a different type of development strategy in solving poverty? If so, why? What would the difference be from a development strategy that concentrated on increasing incomes?

30. Institutional Change: Politics vs Policy

READ: Banerjee & Duflo, Chapter 10.

What do you think of the authors' assessment of many of the thinkers we read in the course?

31. Country Briefing due. You can find the assignment here.

Intro | 1 | 2 | 3