Para reflexionar

De nuevo recibimos de Martin su selección anual de los mejores sitios de internet, esta vez para provocar reflexión sobre la relación entre el desarrollo y la economía :



Dear Friends,

Once again, I have compiled a yearend list to share with friends and acquaintances.  However, unlike previous years´ Top Ten lists, in 2011 I am presenting a personal list of Ten Links to Think About.

The list was gathered in a unscientific manner during 2011 based on my random cyberwalk through the internet and is meant for those practitioners who, like me, are interested in the interaction between economics and development.

As always, I wish everyone a Happy Holiday and a great New Year.

Season’s Greetings

Martin Chrisney

TOP TEN LINKS (to think about)


1.       Social Impact:  Our work in economic development is driven by a desire to have a measurable, beneficial impact on society.  Naturally, the question always looms of how to measure that impact.  The area of social investing through philanthropic foundations provides a testing ground for new methods to assess these results and many of the best practices have been compiled in the The Tools and Resources for Assessing Social Impact. In addition to a community of practice and insights from the Mckinsey & Co. on the subject, it houses a database of 150 tools, methods and best practices.  These have been endorsed by the Gates Foundation, Rockefeller Impact Investing Collaborative, Ashoka, and many others.

2.     Limits of Empiricism.    As an antidote to the rational exuberance about the use of impact evaluations in economics, I recommend these two short blogs by Roger Martin, Dean of the Rotman School of Management on “The limits of the scientific method in economics and the world” I  and II.
3.     Frontiers of Economics.  Public policy has often been confounded by economic models that assume that ¨agents behave rationally¨.  Robert Schiller´s blog on neuroeconomics takes a look at that claim through the work of Paul Glimcher’s The Foundations of Neuroeconomic Analysis.  Indeed a new approach that identifies the parts of the brain that affect decision making and may drive the “animal spirits” that seem to bedevil our economies of late.  This blog highlights some of the great ideas you can find on Project Syndicate.
4.     Development Economics made interesting.  A must see from the BBC.  If you can believe it, a visually exciting presentations of 120,000+ bits of data on economic development .  Professor Roslings presents 200 years of history in 4 minutes.
5.     10,000 Firms in LAC.  The IDB and the World Bank and Compete Caribbean have collaborated to carryoutEnterprise Surveys of more than 10,000 firms in Latin America and the Caribbean.  The surveys offer a rich source of empirical data that should be mined by serious researchers who take inspiration from Prof. Roslings (see above) and others.
6.     Private Sector Development Topics:  The Donors Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED) has been in the vanguard of private sector development topics for some time.  Its current offerings include topics on business environment, green growth, and impact measurement.  DCED is also hosting a global conference on private sector development in Thailand for the 17-20 of January, 2012.

7.    Poverty Action and SMEs.  The Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) network hosted its first SME Initiative conference at the IDB in November which included a lively debate on whether multilaterals should look for gazelle’s (fast-growing firms).  David Mackenzie, in attendance at the conference, has joined the fray with a blog on “Should Development Organizations be Hunting Gazelles” which outlines a solid, cost-benefit logic to the topic — the implications of which may surprise you.

8.     Ideas for Development.  The work at the Center for Global Development, headed by my former boss Nancy Birdsall, is a source of innovative ideas for practitioners.  This year the Commitment to Development Index ranks major donors across a range of indicators.   Their work on Cash on Delivery Aid has generated a buzz on the use of new, less bureaucratic approaches to get development results.  As well, my favorite is the QuODA which ranks 100 aid agencies along a series of indicators related to their effectives (look for your favorite agency and see how they rank): hint Ireland is the best ranked bilateral donor.

9.     Big Ideas in Small Packages.  Not only do well-funded think thanks produce notable insights on economic development, there are gems in the other 99%.  Before there were blogs and online media, Prof. Dabir-Alai, produced these Briefing Notes in Economic.  Now in its 20th year and 85th issue, it continues to help demystify economics for the rest of us, most recently on the relationship between the stock and real estate markets.   Congratulation Parviz!

10.  Enterprise-Based Poverty Solutions. The Social Equity Venture Fund (Seven Fund) has made a name for its work supporting research and media aimed to reduce poverty.   The non-profit,  lead by Michael Fairbanks and Andreas Widmer, offers competitions and grants to support innovative and inspirational work on enterprise-based solutions to poverty.

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