Daily Archives: August 9, 2016

Anything opposed by the teachers unions must be a good idea


Astonishingly ignorant @Oxfam clip on Brazilian poverty

Oxfam International managed to post a video clip blaming Brazilian poverty on inequality then tweet the same day on an important cause of poverty in developing nations. That important cause was the difficulty of establishing property rights in poor countries.

Brazil is a terrible place to start a business, register property, pay taxes and trade across borders to name but a few of many deficiencies is a business environment. Little wonder that it is poor because of all these factors that are within the remit of its government.


Source: Doing Business in Brazil – World Bank Group.

Oxfam International would serve the poor of Brazil and the  rest of the Third World far better by spending more time complaining about bad business environments.

Countries that embraced capitalism such as in East Asia did far better than those in Latin America that hesitated and preferred crony capitalism.

Oxfam mislead its readers about the degree of inequality in Latin America compared to the past.

Gender gaps in emerging economies: the role of skills

Skills and Work

By Paolo Falco.

Despite unprecedented progress over the past century, gender gaps in the labour market persist throughout the emerging world and are accompanied by important skill gaps. Most notably, women tend to perform worse in STEM subjects, have lower financial literacy and business knowledge than men. The OECD Employment Outlook 2016 paints an up-to-date picture of gender gaps in 16 emerging economies accounting for over half of the world’s population and outlines a comprehensive set of policy recommendations.

The integration of women into the labour market was one of the most momentous trends of the 20th century, and it was accompanied by an unprecedented process of skills catch-up. In 1950, women worldwide only had three quarters of the years of schooling that men had. By 2010, the ratio had almost reached 90% and it continues to increase (Barro and Lee, 2013). The rate of convergence was even higher in…

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Energy Institute Blog

One of the most important energy graphs these days shows actual and projected energy consumption in the world, separated between developed and developing countries. A version based on data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) is below.
Screen Shot 2016-08-07 at 8.38.43 PMThe vertical axis measures total energy consumption, including gasoline, diesel, natural gas, electricity from all sources, etc. – all converted to a common unit of energy (the Btu, or British Thermal Unit). It reflects commercial energy sources, but excludes things like firewood that people collect on their own. The horizontal axis plots time, and the straight lines reflect historical (actual) data while the dotted lines reflect projections.

Strikingly, the developing world – approximated on the graph as countries that are not members of the OECD – has already passed the developed world (in 2007) and is projected to consume almost twice as much energy by 2040.

To me, this suggests strongly that anyone…

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