16 January 2010

10 Questions for 2010

I've been doing a bit of a spring-clean and found a few questions I've been musing over during the past year, half thinking about blogging, but googling in vain. Anyone know anything? Numbers are preferred, but I'd love to hear your thoughts either way.

1. Will increasing urbanisation in Africa improve growth? Is there a relationship between population density or city size and productivity in Africa?

2. What are the determinants of rich country citizen attitudes to aid? Do media debates such as Easterly vs Sachs vs Moyo have any impact?

3. What are the determinants of rich country citizen attitudes to immigration?

4. There are huge gains to "trade" from migration, however as with trade in goods there are winners and losers. Is it possible to compensate the losers and therefore allow for the capture of some of these gains?

5. What is the relationship between barriers to migration and the length of stay? What about internal migration?

6. What are the precise mechanics of aid fungibility? Is there a strategic interaction between government and donors? How do transparency efforts on each side affect this interaction?

7. Is there any evidence for Collier's assertion about a positive relationship between country population size and media quality? Is it even possible to measure media quality?

8. Are there any good cross-country measures of gay rights, and if so what are their correlates?

9. Are there any measures of the danger of countries for tourists? Tourist deaths per tourist? Would publicizing such data affect decisions? Is there an unfair bias against tourism to developing countries due to an incorrect perception of danger?

10. Will there ever be enough data?

2 comments:

D. Watson said...

10 - No

1 - It depends. If we pursue urbanization as a goal of creating growth, I strongly doubt it will. As countries develop, though, they congregate together in urbanized areas, allowing increasing specialization and enhanced productivity. But you need the preconditions for that to work effectively.

I'm working on a book on food policy and the data suggest that the economic multipliers for many countries are still higher in rural and agricultural areas than in urbanized ones. I quote myself:

Table 7.2: Estimates of the Agricultural Multiplier
Country Study Time Multiplier
Asia Delgado, Hopkins, and Kelly (1998) 1970s 1.80
India Rangarajan (1982) 1961-1972 1.70
Hazell and Haggblade (1990) 2.35
Hazell, Ramasamy, and Rajagopalan (1991) 1.98
Malawi Simler (1994) 1.66
Malaysia Bell and Hazell (1980) 1.80
Bell, Hazell, and Slade (1982) 1.83
Burkina Faso Delgado, Hopkins, and Kelly (1998) 1984/85 2.88*
Madagascar Dorosh and Haggblade (1993) 2.0-2.7
Niger Delgado, Hopkins, and Kelly (1998) 1989/90 1.96*
Senegal Delgado, Hopkins, and Kelly (1998) 1989/90 2.24-2.48*
Sierra Leone Haggblade, Hazell, and Brown (1987)
Zambia Delgado, Hopkins, and Kelly (1998) 1985/86 2.48*
Worldwide CGIAR (2005) 1.5-2.0
*- Estimates are an upper limit. Actual multipliers may be 30 percent lower.

"Agricultural productivity is closely tied with increased productivity in the economy as a whole. In agricultural economies, productivity growth has been higher in agriculture than in industry sectors (World Bank, 2007, Case 9-2). Significant poverty reduction has never occurred since the year 1700 without higher productivity on small family farms (Lipton, 2005). More recently, China, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand invested in agriculture by improving institutions and technology adoption prior to the strong economic growth and poverty reduction they experienced in the 1980s-90s (Bayes, 2007). Hazell et al. (2007) conclude that agriculture has been central in the development process, “either as a leading sector or as a supporter to other sectors.”
"

Roving Bandit said...

Isn't the last quote critical - "either as a leading sector or as a supporter to other sectors"?

From Blattman: "the path from $2,000 a head to $10,000 a head in GDP is through industrialization." http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/chrisblattman/~3/ec9Q-I5CZsQ/

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