Kenya Enacts Bad Immigration Policy

Kenya Enacts Bad Immigration Policy

Today, the Nairobi ex-pats are riled up about a new policy restricting immigration for young and low-skilled workers in Kenya.  Here is the story: Kenya has shut the door on foreigners seeking permits for jobs that pay less than Sh168,000 per month or Sh2 million per year (USD $24,000). The move, which marks a major labour market policy change, also bars foreigners aged 35 years or less from being issued with work permits. The changes are contained in fresh regulations that Immigration…

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Dambisa Moyo: Right and Wrong About China in Africa

Dambisa Moyo: Right and Wrong About China in Africa

Dambisa Moyo recently wrote an op-ed in the New York Times asserting that the surge in investment by China in Africa has been a positive development for the continent.  A lot of people take issue with Moyo’s oversimplification of highly complex problems, sweeping generalizations, and lack of analytical rigor.  I tend to agree with many of her points, as I have discussed in this blog, with the exception of a few critical assertions. First, Moyo, the development economics pugilist who…

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What Do I Think of Agriculture Development? Pt. 3

What Do I Think of Agriculture Development? Pt. 3

The following is part three of a three-part post on agriculture economic development.  Read part two here. Aid, as I have discussed in this blog, is one of the three D’s of foreign policy: defense, diplomacy, and development.  It is the hearts in the phrase “winning the hearts and minds.” Being so, the work is certainly not borne entirely, or even at all, out of altruistic motives.  Instead, it is one way of winning sympathy and gratitude from people whose…

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What Do I Think of Agriculture Development? Pt. 2

What Do I Think of Agriculture Development? Pt. 2

This is part two of a three-part post on agriculture economic development.  Read part one here. In the previous post, I explained my experience working in agriculture.  In this one, I will talk more generally about the challenges of agriculture economic development in general. Needless to say, the challenges are great, as I have written about before.  And, while I feel the idea of market facilitation has merit and has seen some successes, particularly in cash crops like coffee and…

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What Do I Think of Agriculture Development? Pt. 1

What Do I Think of Agriculture Development? Pt. 1

This is part one of a three-part post on agriculture economic development. After the better part of a year working for Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation (NWTF), a microfinance institution in the Philippines, I decided to head west again – specifically, to West Africa.  In late 2010, I moved to Ghana to work with TechnoServe, a non-profit specializing in market-driven solutions to economic development.  This is really just a fancy way of saying that TechnoServe recognizes the importance of competitive…

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HIV-Positive in Philadelphia vs. Uganda

HIV-Positive in Philadelphia vs. Uganda

“What does it mean to say that one life is “worth more” than another? Aren’t all lives infinitely precious? Well, no, at least not in any sense that’s at all useful for making hard policy decisions about things like job safety and access to medical care. Economists measure the value of a life by people’s willingness to pay for safety. Suppose you’d willingly cough up $50,000—but no more—to shave one percentage point off your chance of being killed in an…

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Luck of the Draw: Poverty and Success

Luck of the Draw: Poverty and Success

A few weeks ago, the class of 2012 graduated from university and stepped out into the world.  And one commencement speech, in particular, has been attracting a lot of attention for its candor and unexpected message: that the success of the graduates sitting in the audience is due, in large part, to luck. Michael Lewis, author of Liar’s Poker and Moneyball, spoke to the graduates of Princeton University and tried to make them recognize just how lucky they are: People…

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Happy Father’s Day (Develop Economies Becomes a Book)

Happy Father’s Day (Develop Economies Becomes a Book)

Just shy of three years ago, this blog came into existence.  It had a very simple layout and was located at joshweinstein.wordpress.com.  Over time, it grew in both scope and traffic, precipitating the move to a more professional layout and a re-branding as Develop Economies, a name I came up with at the spur of the moment.  This week, the blog will reach half a million pageviews, which is something I never could have imagined.  And in the beginning, there…

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What Do I Think of Social Enterprise?

What Do I Think of Social Enterprise?

In the last five posts, I have described in detail how Bridge International Academies has created a scalable model that can profitably serve the poorest segments of the population.  They use data to make decisions, processes to ensure quality, and technology to streamline systems.  In other words, they act like a business. This is how every social enterprise should work.  In fact, this is how every company should work.  Pilot, test, measure, implement, and repeat.  But this is not how…

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What Do I Think of Education and Bridge International Academies? Pt. 5

What Do I Think of Education and Bridge International Academies? Pt. 5

The following is part five of a five-part post about education in development and Bridge International Academies. In the last post, I talked about how Bridge is able to leverage its economies of scale to both utilize huge amounts of data to make decisions and, once those decisions are made, they can be rolled out en masse.  I will give a few concrete examples of how this works in practice. Last September, we wanted to see whether offering a free…

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