The ten trends that have shaped the last century, and that will shape the next

Ten forces have defined how we have lived our lives during the last one hundred years, but the “rights” revolution is at their core and will shape how we live the next hundred years.

Daron Acemoglu, the MIT labour economist and co-author of Why Nations Fail, begins a recently released paper on a very personal note: “I write this as I await the birth of my second son.”

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Foreign aid: forget the T-shirts, just give them the money

I am thinking of starting a contest.

To the first three people who sign up to follow my blog I will send one of my used T-shirts, shipping and handling included. Or how about this: to the first three people who sign up I won’t send T-shirts, but will send the approximately $10 it would have cost to ship them.

Which would you prefer?

Before answering you should know that foreign aid programs are often designed as in-kind transfers: they send the T-shirts, not the money. In fact, in some cases quite literally the T-shirts.

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Economics is about being a good plumber

Ester Duflo is a smart women.

She has a PhD from MIT where she has taught development economics since her graduation in 1999. She holds a chair in the Department of Economics there, edits an influential economics journal, has published too many articles to count, won major prizes and awards—including a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship that is nicknamed the ‘genius’ award—and has authored or co-authored four books with the most recent released earlier this year called Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the way to Fight Global Poverty.

And to just what does this 38-year-old aspire? … She wants to be a good plumber!

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