Saturday, April 24, 2010

Links ...

  1. Development economist Esther Duflo of MIT wins this year's John Bates Clark Medal of the American Economic Association. She's the second woman to win this Medal. Here's her home page. [Hat Tip: Amol Agrawal and Swarup].

    Quite a bit of her work at The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) -- which she co-founded with Infosys Prize (2009) winner Abhijit Banerjee (MIT) and Sendhil Mullainathan (Harvard) -- has been done in India. Here's an excerpt from the NYTimes story:

    One of her own recent studies looked at how quota systems for female politicians affected Indian attitudes toward female leadership. [Another paper] looked at ways to motivate teachers to have better attendance at Indian schools ...

  2. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. in NYTimes: How to end the slavery blame game:

    While we are all familiar with the role played by the United States and the European colonial powers [...], there is very little discussion of the role Africans themselves played. And that role, it turns out, was a considerable one, especially for the slave-trading kingdoms of western and central Africa. These included the Akan of the kingdom of Asante in what is now Ghana, the Fon of Dahomey (now Benin), the Mbundu of Ndongo in modern Angola and the Kongo of today’s Congo, among several others.

    [...] In recent years, some African leaders have become more comfortable discussing this complicated past than African-Americans tend to be. In 1999, for instance, President Mathieu Kerekou of Benin astonished an all-black congregation in Baltimore by falling to his knees and begging African-Americans’ forgiveness for the “shameful” and “abominable” role Africans played in the trade. Other African leaders, including Jerry Rawlings of Ghana, followed Mr. Kerekou’s bold example.

  3. Ask Dr. Free-Ride: Ethically, which field of science is the worst? Not surprisingly, there is no clear answer, but just look at the links in that post! They contain a short history of scientific skullduggery, misconduct and fraud.